Philz Coffee has humble roots in San Francisco, much like another popular coffee brand. But in many ways, Philz is like the antithesis of Blue Bottle. Whereas the latter is sleek, minimalist, one might even say, snobbish, Philz is approachable, friendly. The aesthetic varies from location to location (SF is notably more grungy while LA is more industrial chic and Chicago is well, just heavily branded to be honest).
For the uninitiated, Philz operates in a very specific way. First of all, they only have pourovers – no espresso drinks here. Second, you order with a barista at the bar, and then go to the cashier to pay. For the love of… coffee… please don’t try to order at the cashier line. It’s always easy to spot out the non-locals just by the level of chaos in the ordering line. Granted, it isn’t super intuitive if you’ve been to literally any other coffee shop before. But anyways, now you know. Pick your roast (light, medium, dark) or pick a specialty drink (can’t go wrong with their signature mint mojito iced coffee), and then specify your milk and sugar level. Then, head over to the register to let them know what you ordered, and maybe get a lil something from the pastry case too.
There’s a reason why Philz has garnered a cult following over the years. It’s unpretentious but maintains high standards. The coffee is solid. Most locations have plenty of seating and free wifi. Their coffee names are heartwarming. And the distinct aroma that hits you as soon as you walk in is a source of comfort for any Californian.
Go here for: coffee, and more coffee
Order this: mint mojito iced coffee; Philtered Soul
Amount of time to spend: generally can get in and out in 10-15 min for grabbing something to-go, some locations have more seating and space than others for hanging out for a bit.
When to come: always
Other things to note:
Last visited: February 2020
Last updated: October 2020