Mercury Cafe


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About us

Mercury Cafe was founded on the principle of localism. That is, supporting the local economy by purchasing from other local vendors. Our coffee is roasted at De La Paz Coffee in San Francisco. Our bread is from ACME Bread Company in Berkeley. Our fruits and vegetables are from Veritable Vegetable in San Francisco. Our sandwich meats come from Zoe’s Meats in Santa Rosa and Molinari & Sons, San Francisco. Buying from these and other local vendors helps us keep the money the cafe earns within the community, where it supports other local businesses and their employees. This has the added benefit of reducing the transportation carbon footprint.

The principle of localism also influences the quality of what we serve. We do everything by hand, from baking pies and scones to preparing sandwiches and soups, and all of our food is made with organic ingredients. Our coffee is individually prepared to fully capture the quality of the beans, which are bought by the roaster directly from the farmer or miller of each country of origin. We also offer a quicker pre-brewed French press for those in a hurry.

We strive to provide a sunny and airy atmosphere inside the cafe, while outside we built a parklet providing a respite from the traffic of Octavia Boulevard and as a comfortable place for folks to sit and enjoy the sun.

Our story

Before starting the Mercury Café, I worked at the Institute for Food and Development Policy—Food First—in Oakland, California. I learned about food systems, industrial agriculture, trade, organic farming, sustainability, and localism. I was struck by the inherent logic of buying locally, and supporting local businesses, especially agriculture. As industrial food production has become increasingly centralized, there has been a concurrent loss of local production of goods and services, interfering with the ability of communities to sustain themselves. To help correct this interference has become a guiding principle of the cafe's operations.

How your payment in advance helps

With much new construction throughout the city, particularly in Hayes Valley, the cafe has seen a shift in the neighborhood. We hope that through raising funds, we can better serve our neighborhood by buying new equipment (we need a new espresso machine and grinder for starters), improving the cafe, and completing the parklet—which, while quite useable, remains unfinished.

Get edible credits

Taster - you get:
  • $25 in food from Mercury Cafe
Friend level - you get:
  • $50 in food from Mercury Cafe
Fan level - you get:
  • $110 in food from Mercury Cafe ($100 + $10 bonus)
Patron level - you get:
  • $220 in food from Mercury Cafe ($200 + $20 bonus)
Champion level - you get:
  • $550 in food from Mercury Cafe ($500 + $50 bonus)
Angel level - you get:
  • $1150 in food from Mercury Cafe ($1000 + $150 bonus)
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Enjoy at

  • Mercury Cafe
    201 Octavia Street
    San Francisco, CA