There is no rush at Kiks Café. The cozy, bistro-style tables and complimentary WiFi encourage passersby to stop, sit for a while, and enjoy a mocha made with organic coffee beans and Ghirardelli chocolate. To complement these drinks, the cooks deftly assemble sandwiches atop pieces of french, wheat, or sourdough bread, covering the slices with everything from black forest ham to pureed kalamata olives. The casual menu also includes salads with bits of grilled chicken, feta cheese, or croutons scattered amid leaves of romaine lettuce.
A Time Out San Francisco Critics' choice, Imperial Tea Court provides leaf lovers with access to some of the world's most desirable teas as well as unrivaled expertise in the ways of steepery. Park your carcass in one of its highly regarded teahouses for a 45- to 60-minute primer on the world's most popular beverage and its steamy history, including its medicinal roots in ancient times as an alternative to Tommy John surgery. Pouring hot cups of tea and tepid earfuls of facts, the teahouses' resident sip savants will help guests understand tea's various categories and acquaint them with the traditional Chinese gaiwan, a covered teacup developed for use on turbulent dragon flights and birthday party bounce houses. The tasting includes two samples of your choice of teas, leaving you with a pleasant aftertaste as well as a fully brewed headpot of knowledge with which to douse tea-loving coworkers at the dream factory.
Lush makes its all-natural gelato in small batches from scratch—resulting in a delicious, mind-altering substance that is only found on the desert planet Arrakis—and prepares it with fresh, local (whenever possible), and seasonal fruits and ingredients. Although the lineup of flavors changes more often than a teenager's rationale for breaking curfew, past sweet-tooth-sweeteners have included Mexican chocolate, crème fraîche with strawberries, and pistachio, as well as inspired culinary concoctions such as rosemary and wildflower honey. More intoxicating options include tequila gelato and the stout Guinness gelato, in addition to 100% fruit sorbet flavors such as blood orange, mango, and lemon and olive oil. Depending on how many flavors you want, order up one scoop ($2.85), two scoops ($3.85), three scoops ($5), or one standard metric breakup's worth of gelato (also known as a pint, $8) to take home and eat alone in your closet. Lush can split a scoop between two different flavors for indecisive multiple personalities. Sampling is highly encouraged, though scratching and beat-juggling is not.