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[whitespace] Coffee Walk

A biased tour of where to get your morning slug

By David Kissinger

Find out where the cafés are in your neighborhood, then go hang out in them. A sample of cafés around North Beach and Jackson Square:

Zero Degrees, 490 Pacific near Montgomery (415.788.9376). Scones ($1.75), cookies ($1.25), biscotti ($1.25). Closed Sundays.

Starbucks, 701 Battery (415.986.5808). Be careful--some stores rigidly enforce the code of drink sizes: Tall, Grande, Venti. The maple oat scones ($1.65) are among the best in the world. Closed Sundays.

Café Prague: 584 Pacific near Kearny (415.433.3811). For breakfast, try a rich muffin ($1.50). At lunch, order a grilled chicken breast on focaccia ($7.75) or a Niçoise salad ($5.95).

Near Pacific Avenue:

Caffe Greco: 423 Columbus Ave. (415.397.6261). Nearly empty on a recent Sunday, although usually packed. Representative of North Beach's rich variety of cafés--all are excellent but Greco's espresso is one of the best. Here's a coffee trick: Stir a cup of espresso ($1.50) lightly with a spoon. If the foam returns and covers the surface completely, you have a good cup of coffee.

Mrs. T's: 809 Montgomery near Pacific (415.982.6663). Full salad bar ($4.54) and sandwiches ($3.95-$4.35); am, egg and cheese on English muffin ($1.99). Good, quick lunches that are appreciated by the no-nonsense office crowd. Closed Sundays

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From the January 3, 2000 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc.