This Is San Francisco’s Prettiest Cup of Turkish Coffee
Think of all the to-go coffee cups a chronically caffeinated person chucks out in a lifetime and how many single-use plastic lids end up in the trash, and it’s easy to forget that coffee can be more than just a utilitarian beverage many people in San Francisco hastily consume with the taste of toothpaste still in their mouths.
At SF Breakfast Cafe on Sutter Street in Lower Nob Hill, the Turkish coffee service is nothing less than exquisite, a reminder that coffee is the definition of affordable luxury, something that—however quirky—is meant to be savored. There, it arrives in a gilt-handled cup and saucer with an evil-eye motif and matching glass of water, plus a gelatinous cube of pistachio-flavored Turkish delight.
Proprietor Fatma Golgeci told The Standard her husband brought these special cups back with him from Türkiye—formerly known as Turkey—and that the blue-and-white symbol is meant to ward off bad spirits. Known as nazar, meaning “sight” or “attention,” it’s commonly found on amulets and other jewelry, as well as in a standard emoji menu.
Because Turkish coffee is finely ground and unfiltered, it’s quite strong. So don’t snooze on the Turkish breakfast for one ($25) at the 6-month-old SF Breakfast Cafe. Its lavish spread of scrambled eggs, sujuk (Turkish beef sausage), sigara borek (deep-fried feta rolls), various cheeses, olives, tomatoes and cucumber arrives with a basket of warm pitas accompanied by honey, molasses and tahini, and clotted cream for spreading.
It’s not unlike a frühstück, the traditional German weekend breakfast that contains at least a dozen distinct, sweet-and-savory components—except maybe not as serious, as this one also comes with french fries.
It’s the very portrait of bounty. But for sheer aesthetic appeal, nothing compares to the coffee. In such a sticky-fingered city, is Golgeci worried that people will steal her cups?
“Actually no,” she said. “Because I have more in my home.”
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Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]
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