My infatuation with The Mill started in October 2012, when Four Barrel Coffee and business partner/baker Josey Baker set up a temporary coffee bar in front of the Nopa construction site that would eventually house handsome San Francisco bakery and coffeehouse. Even with a stool and ironing board as the only seating, there was promise in that coffee and toast. By the time The Mill opened in full to start 2013, the Austrian flour mill and Italian deck oven were in high gear, and seating options had improved considerably. The bread is now some of California’s best, crafted with a sourdough starter and including rarely seen varieties like dark mountain rye and raisin fennel. Bread factors into next level toast, which hosts premium local toppings, some made in-house, others sourced from nearby dairies and artisans. Four Barrel Coffee, run by Jeremy Tooker, Jodi Goren and Tal Mor, has achieved considerable success since launching in 2008, and they provide substantial specialty coffee support at The Mill.
The Scene: Brick and glass give way to an airy space with a high ceiling, exposed rafters, and perpetually active open kitchen. Seating is both communal and along the walls. Skylights bathe customers with flattering natural light. Shelves and racks host stacks of bread of various shapes, sizes and hues, and pastries reside behind glass near the register. A white tile bar features premium coffee equipment, include a Strada espresso machine and Kone pourover station. Wall-mounted art rotates, with my favorite option so far being bull’s eyes.
Must Order Food:
- Sesame Bread Toast ($4)
- Whole Wheat Toast ($3.50)
- Whole Wheat Wonderbread ($6)
Drink of Choice: Coffee + Espresso Drinks
Nearby Culture: The Fillmore