A Trio of New Cafés in SF and Berkeley

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Showplace owner Cat hard at work.

On a quiet stretch of Brannan in SoMa, there’s a new café that has opened called ~SHOWPLACE CAFFÈ~—it has opened in a previously vacant office area of The Showplace Motor Works. Owner Catherine Twardos, a resident of the neighborhood, was unhappy with the dearth of coffee places in the ‘hood, so she took matters into her own hands. She is now offering both espresso and manual drip bar service using Sightglass beans, and also does an awesome Vietnamese-style coffee with a Phin filter to order. She also mentioned pastries (and some seating) are coming soon. Current hours are Mon-Fri 7:30am-3:30pm for the winter, and weekend hours will be coming in the future. She’s excited to have Showplace be a go-to place for the neighborhood, where they can find a friendly face and a really good cup of coffee. 715 Brannan St. at 7th St.

A tweet from Blue Bottle alerted me to this recently opened café in Berkeley, ~CREMA~—it moved into the former Café Cacao space next to the Scharffen Berger factory. Husband and wife John and Nora Dunning (she’s the pastry chef) are offering breakfast and lunch during the week. You can also get espresso drinks off their Faema E61, and there’s a drip bar (they’re using their own private label coffee). There are quite a few tasty treats, like a chocolate croissant pudding, a chocolate and salted caramel tart, cupcakes, wedding cakes, cookies, and French macarons. In fact, through the end of the month, anyone who comes in and orders a coffee can have a free mini cupcake. A second location is slated to open in Alameda in late January or early February. Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm. 2865 7th St. at Heinz, Berkeley, 510-848-7100.

And coming to SoMa (adjacent to AT&T Park) in early 2011 will be ~CAFFÈ PASCUCCI~, the first U.S. location for this Italian coffeehouse that dates back to the 1800s. The menu will include over 20 kinds of savory and sweet coffee beverages, dessert drinks, yogurt-based smoothies, and frozen-specialty options, including a drink made with espresso, hot foamed milk, gianduia, whipped cream, hazelnut crunch, and hazelnut spread. Whoa. Chad Newton (working with Frank Klein of FK Restaurants and Hospitality) will be consulting on breakfast pastries, pressed panini, and more. 170 King St. at 3rd St.