So, there's a new Caffe Trieste location, right smack dab on Market Street (1667 Market, at Gough). This represents the company's fourth location, but its second here in the city . . . the other one being the original North Beach location. Which we dig quite a bit.
So how does the new location compare to the old? Let's break it down.
First of all, the Market Street Store is only a couple blocks from Al's Comics, which also is a recent Market Street transplant. Coffee and funnybooks in such close proximity=dangerous to our pocketbook, assuming the brew is up to snuff.
It certainly lacks the old-time aesthetic and character of the original, but makes up for it in establishing its own sort of identity. The space is beautiful--huge, airy, high ceilings. Italian music playing at acceptable levels when we visited. It was one of our recent (all too rare) warm days; Caffe Trieste was nice and cool. The staff was certainly friendly. We first went for an espresso and (diet be damned) an almond biscotti (combo pictured above). The espresso was quite nice--it measures up the North Beach store quite well. Less bitter, but a bit less body as well -- still very nice.
The brewed coffee on this visit was significantly less impressive--we would call it "okay." A little thin/watery; none of the character present in its espresso-based cousin. Still, the price was right; Trieste charges the odd amount of 76 cents for a refill, and the kind dude behind the counter gave us refill rates owing to our previous purchase.
On the non-coffee front: this location has panini, gelato, biscotti (which was awesome, BTW), and other assorted baked goods.
Overall? We quite like the new location. It's convenient, would prove to be a cool place to hang out on a hot day, and has a vibrant neighborhood around it to enjoy.