A rotating exhibit of the things I love most about living in San Francisco.

my favorite coffee shops; seesaw in Hayes Valley

scooter ride, Octavia Street and Seesaw Cafe

scooter ride, Octavia St

My first weekend back in San Francisco has been gorgeous, an unseasonably warm weekend with lots and lots of sun.

After ten days back east I was itchin’ to get back on my scooter and take a long ride. As per usual, I didn’t have much more of a plan, other than to find some coffee, snap some photos, hit a bakery and the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market on the way home.

My ride just happened to include a stretch of Octavia, and I’m glad it did. Driving the block between Grove and Birch, and I couldn’t help but spot a huge cartoon frog painted on wall of a business. I took note but kept going, but at Grove Street I decided to turn around and take a closer look, on foot.

Seesaw Cafe, hayes valley, S

Seesaw Cafe, hayes valley, S

Seesaw Cafe, Octavia Street

Seesaw Cafe, Octavia Street

I discovered that the space next to the cartoon is called Seesaw and a quick inspection of the board outside indicated they served Four Barrel Coffee and light bites- Score… what a great find! A friendly voice said “come on inside” and I was greeted by the owner, Sabrina, a lovely woman who gave me the lowdown on the cafe. Relatively new, it’s a coffee shop that also has toys, books and a (separate and supervised) playspace for kids, making it perfect for parents in need of an oasis. And grown-up kids, like me!

Seesaw Cafe

Seesaw Cafe

I walked in and was blown away by the design. This is a beautiful cafe, clean and minimal in aesthetic, with clearly delineated areas for children, interesting toys and art objects on floating shelves (some of which are for sale), tables of various height, and a gorgeous playroom off to the side. (Parents take note, you can enjoy your coffee while the kids play in the supervised playroom, staffed with a ‘sitter’. ) That playroom by the way is separated from the dining area with a gorgeous fir rolling barn door, custom-made, which deserves a close look in and of itself. Beautiful. It was no surprise to learn the owners took inspiration both from Asian and Scandinavian design, representative of their combined heritage, and it’s a perfect expression in white and natural wood. The light is amazing here and the space is quite airy. And how fun, they have a calendar of events that include children’s book readings in Danish, and Korean!

Seesaw Cafe

Seesaw Cafe

The food menu is still being devised but will reflect both the Asian and Scandinavian influences. Yum. In the meantime, get your fill of the Four Barrel, hand-brewed a cup at a time, and load up on cookies from my FAVORITE place, Goody Goodie. (I was pleased to learn the owners are friends, Remi of Goody Goodie is a total star;-) And, they serve cookies by Batter Bakery, too, home of the amazing sand angel cookie and the one I sampled today, a salted lavender shortbread cookie, which was divine paired with the coffee: perfumy, not too sweet, and just salty enough. Everything is served by an equally awesome barista, who also lights up the room.

coffee and shortbread cookies at Seesaw Cafe, Octavia Street, hayes valley

coffee and shortbread cookies at Seesaw Cafe, Octavia Street, hayes valley

Now, disclosure, I don’t have kids. That said, this space is one of the most pleasing, and creatively inspiring, I’ve encountered-  a third space to sit, relax and enjoy a coffee. If you want a little break from working at home, this is a great spot. While the facilities for children are there, clean and well-stocked, the space is delineated in a way as to allow the kids to play in a separate, supervised area while adults can relax and enjoy their coffee, and free wi-fi.

Personally, I love art and children’s’ books so being surrounded by that inspiration, as well as the shear beauty of the interior design, is an added bonus.

Seesaw “We’re a one-of-a-kind café, play studio and shop inspiring curiosity, creativity, and connection.”

600A Octavia St
(between Grove St & Birch St)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley

(415) 553-8070

Hours: Tue-Fri 9 am – 6 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am – 5 pm
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One response

  1. Pingback: share: more news from sfeater re:Hayes Valley Proxy Plan « MUS•e•YUM

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