Whether you’re a local working from home or a traveler who needs a quick dose of WiFi, San Francisco has an abundance of little cafes to relax and get some much-needed work done.
I love to get out of the house (especially if it’s nice and sunny!) and check out cafes around SF. The change of environment gets me motivated and productive, while the delicious food and chance to watch people pass by make the experience fun. I have a dream of visiting every coffee shop/cafe in San Francisco, which is still veeery far away, but for now I’ll tell you my tested-and-true favorites.
La Promenade Cafe
3643 Balboa St P/C: La Promenade Cafe
Walking into La Promenade, it feels like you’ve stepped into a chic and cozy cafe steps away from the Eiffel Tower. It’s divided into two sections. In the front, huge windows let in natural light and offer plenty of space: you can grab a seat at one of the circular tables (2 people), or at one of the booths or couches if you have a larger group. In the back, La Promenade has a huge bookstand where you can borrow a book and chill out on the couches nearby.
Food: La Promenade has quite a large menu for a cafe that includes bagels, sandwiches, salads, soups, and breakfast dishes. For drinks, they have coffee, tea, smoothies, and even beer/wine! You can live out your dreams of having a croissant and glass of wine without even leaving San Francisco.
My Favorites: If you stop by, try the Coconut Mocha (left)! It’s not officially on the menu, but the cashier will know what you mean. I learned about this from scrolling through Yelp, and it’s a delicious blend of mocha, coconut syrup, and whipped cream. For food, try their bagels or sandwiches– my favorite is the Lady Lox bagel or Breakfast bagel.
Java Beach Cafe
1396 La Playa StP/C: Yelp
Nestled between Ocean Beach and the Golden Gate Park, Java Beach is the perfect mix of surfer dude and casual local. This cute beach cafe has tons of space inside, but the real treat is sitting outside on a warm day– if you can get there before the locals! My favorite spot is right next to the front window (under the neon sign in above pic) because there’s a great view of the ocean and Judah Street. If you have time or need a break from working, take a short walk over to Ocean Beach, dip your toes in the sand, and enjoy watching the waves.
Food: If you’re visiting Java Beach Cafe for the first time, definitely try their special, the Tsunami Sandwich. It might look like a regular sandwich, but the ingredients blend perfectly and make it delicious! It also comes with a side of crispy chips and makes for a pretty filling meal
270 7th St
If you want a simple, no-frills coffee shop to get some work done, then Sightglass should be on your radar. A friend introduced me to this cafe, which makes small-batch coffee and sources it from organic farmers. The best part is the mezzanine level (or second floor, call it what you will ) and natural light that filters through the huge windows. I felt like I was in some sort of hipster cabin, in the best way possible!
Food: Although I’ve only been here for coffee, I’ve heard people rave about Sightglass’ croissants (and seen people ordering them to prove it). The Pistachio Croissant and the Almond Croissant are definitely at the top of my list for the next time I visit.
Brioche Bakery & Cafe
210 Columbus AveP/C: Yelp
Somewhere between the border of Chinatown and North Beach lies a cute little cafe named Brioche Bakery & Cafe. If you’re hopping off the 8 bus line, it’s hard to miss the bright blue sign and purple-tiled tables. I feel like I could sit in this cafe all day and watch people go by because it’s so comfortable and the staff are very sweet.
Food: When in a French bakery, try the French Toast, non? A few slices of french toast topped with fruit, syrup, and an iced mocha on the side makes for a delicious breakfast. If you’re looking for something else, Brioche Bakery also offers macaroons, croissants, parfaits, cookies, sandwiches, and more!
611 Post St.
When I saw Joy’s Place for the first time, I only had two words: absolutely adorable! The cafe has a black-and-white/chalkboard theme that’s simple yet very cute. Likewise, they’re open until midnight (!!). Since most places (including bars/nightclubs) close relatively early, Joy’s Place is a gem to do work — weather it’s at 11AM or 11PM.
Food: Since this is a Korean cafe, you can expect to find dishes like shaved ice, honey toast, and yujacha tea. My recommendation would be to make a beeline to the Honey Toast. It’s made by taking toast, cutting into little cubes, tossing in butter, and toasting. The final product is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and totally delicious. Joy’s Place also adds a really generous amount of whipped cream and honey to top it off!
There you have it– my 5 favorite cafes to get work done in San Francisco! Do you have any favorites, or ones that you’d like to visit? Let me know your favorite cafes!