Tosca Cafe

242 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Bar/Restaurant housed in 2 story masonry structure


Tosca Cafe

Photo taken by Richard Doody in July 2010



Tosca was founded in November 1919 by Gesualdo "Baldo" Francesconi. The opera loving Italian named it Tosca after a Puccini opera. Prohibition started within weeks of the opening. The owner responded by dubbing it a coffeehouse and importing a gleaming silver expresso machine from Italy and installing it the prominent position on the mahogany bar it still holds. Tosca became famous for its special "cappucino", mixture of chocolate, steamed milk and a shot of brandy.

Tosca Cafe is housed in the original two story masonry building where it first opened. Its last major renovation was in 1938 and the signage and tile facing with arched window date to that time.

Update Log 

  • May 1, 2018: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody