Trieste is one of those very famous café’s that has a reputation built on former clientele. Once upon a time beatnicks living in North Beach used to walk on over to Trieste and hang out there and, like, totally jive man, you dig? (Ugh, that hurt to write) There many such places in North Beach, such as Vesuvio, Tosca and City Lights that are famous because of the beatnicks, but all of the places I just mentioned easily stand up on their own. Even without the history, City Lights is a great indie bookstore and Vesuvio and Tosca are damn cool bars.
You know what though? I don’t care. I was just thinking fondly about Café Fixe in Brookline, on the opposite side of the country, and I realize that even though Fixe doesn’t have that history, it is just so much better! I have never had a good experience with Trieste, and when I’m back in San Francisco in a few weeks and hit up all my old haunts I can pretty much tell assure you that I will not be wasting my money and caffeine resistance on this place (I mean, I can only have so many caffeinated beverages before I stop sleeping altogether, might as well make them count, yeah?).
The baristas are snooty, condescending, and why in the world would I want to go to a café where I’m made to feel guilty for disturbing the baristas meditation of whatever the hell he was just thinking about. Probably how to make his Converse look more “rugged” or when his next American Spirits break will be. The pastries are terrible; if you’re stopping by this place to get a pastry don’t! I implore you, go to Brioche café down the street; it’s so much better, and less crowded.
The only thing I do like about this place is how it’s kind of a community focal point, with lots of signs about shows, readings, etc. all over the café. From what I understand there are some open microphone type performances that still occurring there? Whatever, as far as I’m concerned there are a million places in North Beach that are less grungy, friendlier and with better coffee and snack options.