Find my home
Search

The best cafes for working in San Francisco

Last Updated on

Everyone loves a good cafe to sit with their laptop and work, create, and meet new people with their favorite drink in hand. San Francisco is home to some of the best cafes each one unique in its design, ambiance, and of course caffeinated beverage of choice. We’ve handpicked some of the best cafes for you to visit.

The Workshop Cafe

The Workshop Cafe is specifically designed for those who desire an atmosphere of productivity when working. Complete with its own app, high-speed WiFi, and a plethora of outlets, you can bring your devices with you to work on whatever you need. The cafe also offers printing and scanning services, as well as private rooms for when you need to really focus and concentrate.

The Creamery

The Creamery is the perfect place to head to after long hours at work. It is a bistro, coffee shop, and a full bar. This shop prides itself in being open “from the commute to work to a happy hour drink after work.” It’s possible to run into anyone here as people work and mingle creating the perfect energy to spark those innovative ideas.

The Social Study

The Social Study offers Four Barrel Coffee, free WiFi, and tasty bar bites. The lounge is relaxing and warm, welcoming any visitors. It’s the perfect place to set up your laptop and get to work on your projects. They feature a great playlist and project a curated selection of movies onto their brick wall in the evening. It’s the perfect place to work in the day and relax or meet people in the evening.

Ma’velous

Ma’velous is all about serving its guests quality. They bring the finest roasted coffee and boutique wine from around the world to San Francisco. The cafe defines themselves as urban and sophisticated for the city’s coffee aficionados.

The timeless interior design allows anyone to get comfortable with their laptop, and work for as long as they need to. Ma’velous features local artists in the decor and art on the walls, filling the space with inspiration.

Coffee Bar

Coffee Bar has three locations in the city. Their Mission location offers free WiFi, breakfast, lunch, and coffee from Mr. Espresso. Inside is a pleasant place to work, and the outdoor patio is a great option when the weather permits. Coffee Bar encourages people to work there, but from 11 am to 2:30 pm, some tables are reserved for those eating lunch.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Common (@hi.common) on


Our coliving homes in San Francisco are all in close proximity to these cafes so you can find some respite in between your productive sessions. Be sure to visit the cafe that suits you best, and tweet us if you loved our recommendations.

Atlas Cafe

A community mainstay that was founded in 1996, Atlas is the place to go if you want a lively place with delicious food to accompany your java. Atlas has an extensive menu with lots of vegan options, salads, fresh ingredients, and sauces and dressings made on-site. 

The WiFi at Atlas is lightning-fast, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with high-bandwidth work. And while the decor isn’t particularly fancy, there’s great outdoor seating on a patio that’s dog-friendly and heated in the winter – perfect if you’re trying to escape office life. It can get a bit loud when the place is crowded, so if you’re looking for a library atmosphere, this probably isn’t your spot. Otherwise, some good headphones will do the trick.

Jane on Fillmore

If you feel energized by a little bustle, Jane on FIllmore is a great place to settle in. Jane (named after the daughter of the cafe’s executive chef) is very popular, with a devoted clientele and a lively, upbeat ambiance. The lower level is a no-laptop zone, but the upper area is perfect for banging out work with some coffee and light food. (Try a croissant or the nut bread with almond-butter and jam.) 

Note that Jane on Fillmore gets crowded and the line can be long – but you’ll be glad you waited patiently when you settle into a good, high-energy work groove. Lots of outlets here and free Wifi, so it’s just a matter of getting a seat.

Philz Coffee

Now that Philz is a national presence with locations on both coasts, the coffee shop is becoming a household name. But it all started with a cute, quaint little shop in San Francisco. With free WiFi and a chill atmosphere, Philz can keep you fueled up and working through the day. Try their legendary mint mojito iced coffee and grab some light brunch food (think pastries, bagels, and muffins) to go with it. 

Note that ordering a coffee at Philz is a unique experience. Rather than a counter where you add your own cream and sweetener, you speak directly to the barista who will be making your drink. They do it all and strive to make it perfect. If you want something changed (like a little more cream), just bring it back to the barista for adjustments.

Mercury Cafe

With lots of seating, lots of outlets, and lots of food on the menu, Mercury Cafe is a very reliable stop for the laptop-and-headphones crowd. The decor and design aren’t particularly unique, but the shop’s large windows bring lots of friendly natural light to your temporary office. No one will bat an eye if you plug in your headphones – but Mercury Cafe’s music is so on-point you may not want to.

Of course, there’s plenty of great coffee, as well as espresso drinks, matcha tea, and the like. If you’re looking for a rock-solid meal, try the vegan chili or one of the sandwiches. (Prices for sandwiches run a bit high, but they come with included salads.) And keep an eye out after lunch for fresh baked goods, like house-made pies and scones! 

The Art Bistro

Having recently relocated, the Art Bistro is a beloved neighborhood favorite with a family-owned vibe. Grab a spot at a table or one of the plush couches and knock out some work on the free WiFi. The menu isn’t huge, but if you’re looking for avocado toast, a breakfast bagel or a fresh slice of apple pie, you really can’t go wrong. Eats at the Art Bistro also tends to be very affordable – an increasingly rare surprise in the City by the Bay.

The Art Bistro is small and cozy, which means it can be tough to find seating sometimes. Even so, you’ll find yourself coming back again (and again) for two major reasons: One, the service is incredibly friendly (which can also be a welcome surprise in our booming metropolis), and two – the Thai Iced Tea. Seriously, one taste and you’ll be hooked.

The Station

If you’re looking for a work outpost in FiDi, The Station has you covered. The Station is a little more fast-paced and businesslike than some of our other faves – and sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to stay focused. The drinks are high-quality, with fresh beans from local coffee roasters Sightglass and Blue Bottle, and fresh-pressed juice from Project Juice. There’s also a big emphasis on seasonal ingredients and local food. Dishes tend to run a bit pricey but they’re delicious and come in large, satisfying portions.

The WiFi at The Station is fast and the seating is comfy. Make sure your laptop has a full charge before you arrive, though; you can’t always get an outlet, and you don’t want to run out of power midway through a productive caffeine kick.

Laundré

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to get done. But here’s the good news: You don’t have to choose between doing your work and doing your laundry if you go the hip coffee shop Laundré. At this bona fide laundromat with a full-blown cafe in the front, you can power through emails while doing everyone’s least-favorite (and most unavoidable) chore.

Laundré has strong, good coffee (made by Sightglass coffee roasters), delicious hot chocolate, and tea, all of which are reasonably priced. You’ll also enjoy fast WiFi and plenty of outlets. The space is huge and airy – a welcome change from tiny coffee shops that can have you crammed in amongst other laptop jockeys. Note that you only get two hours of WiFi, after which you need to make another purchase and get a new code.

Ritual Coffee

Some kinds of work require blazing-fast WiFi. And some – like writing and graphic design – benefit from long, peaceful stretches uninterrupted by email and Slack notifications. If you’re in the latter camp, going to a WiFi-free zone might be just what you’re looking for. In that case, we suggest Ritual Coffee on Valencia Street.

With its laid-back vibe and chill music, Ritual is perfect for getting into your flow state and doing creative work. And though you won’t find WiFi here, you will find great coffee roasted by Ritual itself – both pour-over and espresso drinks. You’ll also find plenty of interesting food options (try the vegan Pig Out pastries!) and hip, interesting clientele.

New to San Francisco?

Moving to the Bay Area can be challenging. That’s one of the reasons we created Common. With our beautiful and affordable coliving spaces, you get a private, furnished room that you’ll be happy to come home to. You also have access to shared living (and working) areas, and a delightful community of like-minded people. We even have the space regularly cleaned while keeping you stocked with kitchen and bathroom basics to take all the hassle out of living with housemates. Come learn more about Common coliving in San Francisco.

Related posts in Best of: