Three Spots to Grab Coffee near San Francisco’s Union Square

See recent posts by Liz Hamill Scott

Union Square, decked out for Christmas

This is it—the final push for San Francisco Christmas shoppers to pick up those all-important holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. A trip to Union Square can be productive, but it can also become daunting. Here are three places where you can stop for a refueling cup of coffee or bottle of water.

Peet’s in Front of Macy’s: Just outside of the door of the Macy’s at 120 Stockton Street, a permanent Peet’s Coffee kiosk distributes caffeine to weary shoppers. What it doesn’t provide is lots of seating—this is a grab-a-coffee-and-run walk-up coffee stand. The Hotel Palomar and the Villa Florence are close enough to Macy’s to run back and set down a few shopping bags before the next run.

Starbucks at Powell & Sutter: Right on the corner, just beneath the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, with a good view of the cable cars passing by on Powell, this sizable Starbucks has all the food and drink typical of the chain. It’s also got a number of tables and a couple of seating bars, which isn’t always the case at San Francisco Starbucks stores.

Il Caffe Rulli: The inevitable cute café up in the middle of the Square, Il Caffe Rulli boasts the highest prices of this bunch, but also the best selection of coffee drinks (including alcoholic indulgences—yum!) and lunchtime-appropriate snacks. There’s little indoor seating, but plenty of outdoor tables and chairs adjacent to the little holiday ice rink. The Westin St. Francis sits right across the street.

–Liz Hamill Scott of and

All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Oyster may earn an affiliate commission.