Caff� Roma

Overall Rating: 7.500

Address: 526 Columbus Ave.
Cross Street(s): Stockton St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94133
Neighborhood: North Beach
Phone: 415.296.7942
Hours: M-Th 6:30am-6pm; F-Sa 6:30am-12am; Su 6:30am-9pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.80
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 9
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 7.20
Aroma: 6
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Syrup-like
Coffee Beans: Caff� Roma
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 10/07/2010
First Reviewed: 07/02/2003
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Quintessential S.F. espresso bar packs it in weekday mornings. Occasional large table gatherings beneath the sounds of Italian serenades. Sunny Stockton St./East end has large windows, many classic cafe tables, and some outdoor tables. Columbus Ave./West side showcases their roastery and wines, plus some sidewalk seating. (Free WiFi is no more.) Friendly staff can vary from very savvy to so-so. Some will offer a short (which isn't that short) or long single espresso with a glass of soda water on the side. More recently, they've cut a few corners and seem more lackadaisical. They pull larger-sized, overextracted espressos ("longs") from their two-group La Spaziale by default, so ask for short. Espresso often has rich, thick, deep brown crema that is often mottled with paler "hotspots". Complex flavor of chocolate, caramel, tobacco, and spice, though this is washed over with water dilution and some bitterness in their long shots. In recent years more ashiness has crept in. Can be served slightly lukewarm in their classic brown, Roma-logo ACF cups.