It’s no secret that our first love was coffee. Indeed, it’s been our reason for being ever since our founder, James, a slightly disaffected freelance musician, started roasting beans in a former potting shed in Oakland. He was determined to help people experience delicious coffee at the height of freshness and the peak of flavor. He was a rarity in those early days—one of only a handful of people motivated by the idea that coffee is a fruit and the imminently nuanced flavors of its seed should be coaxed (not bludgeoned) through roasting.
Now, we’re thrilled to say, our ambition has new company.
Let us be the first to introduce you to our just-expanded, seasonally driven culinary program.
As James puts it: “We have an obligation to our future guests to make their experience extraordinary, and we’re not going to do that without good food.”
We’re proud of our current offerings of small bites and easygoing breakfasts. Yet, until now, we haven’t offered a seasonal menu—from savory to sweet—that gives guests a complete culinary experience. This is something we’ve always anticipated doing, from the moment we opened our first kiosk on Linden Alley in San Francisco.
This is everyday food prepared with deft hands—a simple luxury to punctuate the day. Unabashedly vegetable-centric dishes fill our menus, from a composed grain bowl with roasted roots and Romesco sauce, to the most satisfying avocado toast we could envision, drizzled with avocado’s own oil and garnished with sunflower and poppy seeds.
Classics will have their rightful place, too. For those of us who never tire of nut butter and jam, here’s our take: almond butter, seasonal jam, and flaky fleur de sel. And then there’s our ode to Italy, an espresso-fueled land committed to elegant, rustic fare: thin slices of mortadella atop sourdough toast (and that’s basically it).
This is food that says: "Yes, of course you could make this at home. But we would love to do it for you."
When a longing for sweetness beckons, we’ll offer an expanded menu of morning favorites and afternoon desserts, like a breakfast bar rich in dates, seeds, and oats, or a chia pudding soaked in coconut milk.
Simple and Seasonal Breakfast and Lunch
Seasonality is always on our minds. Our coffees are picked only when perfectly ripe, roasted after their necessary resting period, and served within days of leaving our roasters’ hands. We bring this same sense of timing to our food. In winter, you’ll find a salad of radicchio and roasted cauliflower warmed with masala spice, or a savory pumpkin soup cooked in a vegetarian dashi stock. When you’re longing for signs of spring, our ricotta toast will have green flickers of peas or verdant favas.
Our new menus are guided not only by seasons, but by the beloved regions that are home to our current cafes—New York, Los Angeles, Bay Area, and Tokyo. Just as we take a farm-direct approach with our coffees, our culinary team sources from the best regional farms we can find. We want our presence to make a positive impact on local farming communities, in the same way our relationships contribute to small coffee growers in our sourcing countries.
Until now, we’ve thrived under the extraordinary pastry talent of Caitlin Freeman. She’s filled our counters with delectable goods, perfectly suited for our coffees and teas—olive oil shortbread, fiery molasses ginger cookies, and her famous liege wafels, caramelized with flecks of pearl sugar, and ready to eat out of hand, from one of our humble coffee filters. (We’re happy to say, these traces of Caitlin are sticking around.)
It was no small feat to build a successful culinary program in some of our early spaces, where baristas danced around one another behind a miniscule coffee bar as they poured drip coffees and pulled shots. But we have entered a new phase now. With the addition of our recent cafes, we’re finally able to create the full culinary program we have always envisioned, under the guidance of our mile-a-minute culinary team: Hedy Macferran, Chef Ryan Hart, Chef Scott Boggs.
The Culinary Team at Blue Bottle
Hedy is our Director of Culinary. With her vast experience as a culinary events producer, she is wickedly creative and attuned to tradition. Chef Ryan Hart is our Regional Director of Culinary, New York. After honing his skills at Mario Batali’s Babbo and Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto, he spent time at Le Pain Quotidien, learning how quality and style can thrive even in the busiest of environments. Chef Scott Boggs is our Regional Director of Culinary, Southern California. From The French Laundry to The Spotted Pig, and most recently Suzanne Goin’s The Larder, Scott has a limitless repertoire.
The way we see it, both coffee and food have undergone a revolution in this country. People now search out straightforward food that reflects craftsmanship from seed to table. This very desire is what makes for our loyal community of likeminded friends. We want our cafes to be a sensory retreat from the bustling world, and we couldn’t be happier that you will now be able to share thoughtfully prepared plates paired with one of our carefully chosen coffees.
Our food is an invitation to linger a little longer, meet friends, have a conversation, and leave fulfilled. We can’t wait to see you (and feed you) soon.