SFGuide

31 SF Coffee Shops For Getting Work Done

Is your roommate a pain? Are you over your couch? Do you work from your laptop? Sounds like you need a coffee shop with wifi.
31 SF Coffee Shops For Getting Work Done image

photo credit: Verve Coffee Roasters

One thing the last few years have made clear: no manager can ever use the phrase “work from home” and “it’s not productive” in the same sentence ever again. But if your WFH desk is actually your lap and you desperately need a change of scenery, coffee shops are here to help. Although you can’t just work at any coffee shop—you’ll want tables to hunker down at, solid wifi, and seating that won’t throw out your back after an hour. Here are some coffee shops where you can actually get work done. If you're looking for the absolute best coffee shops in the city, use this guide.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Lani Conway

Bakery/Cafe

Lower Haight

$$$$Perfect For:Getting Work DoneCoffee & A Light Bite

Wifi: Yes

As far as cafes doubling as work hubs, Beluna is a model child. Inside this airy, blue-tinged space in the Lower Haight by the Panhandle, plugs and seating are abundant, the wifi is fast, and the noise level ranges from low buzz to hush-hush. There’s also mood-boosting natural light, a menu of standard bagels and sandwiches, and a second-floor mezzanine that could act as your own private workstation. Even if you weren’t here to (respectfully) work but actually do some online shopping, this is still a great place to caffeinate and/or catch your breath. 

Wifi: Yes

You could host a rave inside this Lower Haight coffee spot—it’s that big. Cafe International has more low-key aspirations, of course, which is why there are worn-in couches, a seemingly infinite number of tables where you can relax and read (or silently contemplate quiet quitting), and a back garden with a very impressive mural. This place is the neighborhood’s living room (around since the 1980s), so hunker down with a friend, some coffee, and a bagel or sandwich.

Wifi: Yes

If you’re easily excited by orchids and houseplants, you’ll feel at home at Fiddle Fig Cafe. The plant-minded Russian Hill coffee shop on the corner of Taylor and Lombard Streets is an inviting outpost to enjoy coffee, fruit shakes, sandwiches, and pastries in a roomy, sun-lit space. If those things aren’t enough to inspire you to make Fiddle Fig Cafe an extension of your living room (tough crowd), the fast, reliable wifi and sunny sidewalk seats just might.

Wifi: Yes

This small-ish coffee shop between Fillmore and Lower Pacific Heights checks all of the boxes of a reliable neighborhood caffeine hub/workspace. Seasonal house drinks like lavender or maple cinnamon lattes are on hand, plus standard strong espresso, cold brew, and drip coffee. There’s also wifi, pastries for sustenance, and a solid seating situation where you can hunker down on a laptop or scribble on a notebook for a few hours, or, more realistically, get distracted by the designer dogs walking down Fillmore Street. 

photo credit: Julia Chen

Wifi: Yes 

The Yemeni latte from Delah Coffee is enough motivation for us to leave the house on a monotonous weekday. It’s strong, richly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, and has just the right amount of sweetness—plus, it goes perfectly with their bee bites drizzled with honey, and fantastic milk cakes by the slice. Delah is also one of the few coffee shops in the city that close at 10pm most nights, so you can post up at this SoMa spot and go into focus mode for hours. 

Wifi: Yes

Cafe Du Soleil is a French-style bistro located on a sunny corner in Lower Haight (they used to be located across the street). Grab coffee, a pastry, or an avocado toast before work, or come by for lunch with a friend to talk about that random thing that happened last week over a charcuterie board and snacks. A covered sidewalk patio, a big communal table inside, and an afternoon menu of beer, wine, and pizzas add to the charm of this place. During the day, this spot tends to get overrun with the laptop work crowd, but there’s still plenty of space to hang out. 

Wifi: Yes

Ballast Coffee is the ideal work station in West Portal. The quiet, airy cafe makes great iced and hot drinks (plus ube and calamansi-infused coffee), and serves mochi muffins from Third Culture Bakery. There’s plenty of space for you to finally start penning your magnum opus—the sun-filled patio, back room with a garden view, or bar and communal table up front. They also have strong internet, but make sure you come with your tech fully charged—there aren’t a lot of outlets. 

Wifi: Yes

Upfordayz is flooded with natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. It feels like a solarium, which is a much better place to spend a few hours than that cave you call a bedroom. This pleasant Nob Hill spot is about the size of a basketball court and tables are spread out enough that you won’t have to worry about awkwardly brushing knees with your neighbor. Snag a chair by the window and nurse a lavender latte or green juice—it’s the sustenance you’ll need to pen the next great American novel. Or, more likely, click aimlessly between the 25 open tabs on your laptop. 

photo credit: Melissa Zink

Wifi: Yes

This breakfast and lunch spot in Lower Haight is where we go whenever our upstairs neighbor decides that mid-morning on a Tuesday is the time to jump rope. The menu covers everything from smoked salmon toast and paninis to massive salads and loaded nachos (plus coffee, beer, and wine), so you could basically stay here all day and have three balanced meals. Tarragon Cafe has a ton of tables, but no outlets, so come prepared.

Wifi: Yes

The Castro spot has almost everything you need for a full day of work: a bunch of comfy couches, group tables with ample laptop space to exploit the wifi, and some of the best coffee around. Just know that there is only one plug here. They have the requisite avocado toast and sandwiches too.

Wifi: Yes

You might think that a coffee shop serving vanilla lattes made to look like birthday cakes and rainbows would be more of a social media photo opp than a good place to work. But you’d be wrong, at least in the case of Home Coffee. This coffee shop in the Outer Sunset is surprisingly laidback, and an ideal place to type away when you need good wifi and plenty of spacious tables. Seats can usually be taken by San Francisco State students, especially during finals, and if that’s the case, prepare to share a table and make a friend with a complete stranger. Their Richmond outpost also has great wifi and plenty of seating.

Wifi: Yes

The two levels of seating all centered around a giant atrium make Daily Driver feel more like a college student center than a cafe. And feeling like you’re cramming for finals may be exactly what you need to bear down and get work done. The Dogpatch spot also makes excellent bagels that are wood-fired in the oven (we recommend getting it with lox and homemade farmer’s cheese), and go well with the coffee—and both are all you really need to get you through the morning (they close by 2pm).

Wifi: Yes

Working at a coffee shop can sometimes mean catching glimpses of the Slack drama unfolding on the computer of the person sitting next to you. But at Chestnut Street Coffee Roastery, seats are spread out, so you can work in relative privacy. Most of the regulars swing by for a quick coffee instead of staying all day, so this is a good place to hunker down if you’re on a deadline or want to get some reading done. Breakfast sandwiches and pastries are also on hand.

Wifi: Yes

Mercury Cafe in Hayes Valley is bright and unpretentious—exactly what we want in a neighborhood coffee shop. Come first thing in the morning for their baked scones (they will sell out), or stop by afternoons and order a slice of homemade apple pie. Mercury is one of the more relaxing places to work, but charge up your laptop beforehand—there aren’t a lot of plugs (nothing like the impending stress of 8% battery to cramp productivity).

Wifi: No

With its retro tabletops and fun music selection, Jane on Fillmore is cool without trying too hard. If you can get a table, order coffee and get an egg white sandwich. They also have some pretty incredible pastries in rotation (and gluten-free things if that’s your game), not to mention huge and delicious salads. Add a good number of outlets to the equation and it’s obvious why this is one of our go-tos.

Wifi: Yes

You have to pay for the wifi ($1 an hour) at this Richmond cafe, but the cozy spot is still a great all-day option for getting work done. It looks a bit like an eclectic living room filled with art, mirrors, and bookshelves everywhere. And while you’re getting work done, fuel up with coffee, smoothies, and a bagel or roast beef sandwich.

Wifi: Yes

This beautifully designed Russian Hill coffee shop is clean, modern, and bright. They also have small tables for working, and good pastry options if you need a snack. To drink, try anything with their house-made almond macadamia nut milk. Note that there are no outlets here, so arrive with everything fully charged.

Wifi: Yes

Like the name suggests, Nook is on the smaller side. So, if you’re traveling with an entourage of accessories, table space will be an issue. But otherwise, this Russian Hill cafe is a great spot to grab lunch and take care of business. Skip the salads and go for the hummus plate with pita, cucumbers, and tomatoes, or the smoked salmon bagel.

Wifi: Yes

As if we really needed another reason to visit, Duboce Park Cafe is named after the adorable dog park across the street. Ignore the breakfast menu and get the big house salad: mixed greens, sliced apple, fennel, pecans, and cheese. Then proceed to look at dogs rather than stare at Slack. Be careful, though—if the dogs distract you and your laptop dies, there are no plugs to save you. Indoor and outdoor seating are both available.

Wifi: Yes

Nothing fancy, but a decent place to read, write, and overthink some emails to your coworkers. The Mission cafe has a sizeable indoor space, a back patio for when it’s nice out, a full menu, and drinks ranging from coffee (of course) to beer and wine.

Wifi: Yes

This Outer Sunset cafe is located only a few steps from Ocean Beach, which is only one reason we love it here. The other is Java Beach Cafe’s range of great breakfast and lunch options, from salads and bagel sandwiches to subs and wraps—the perfect fuel-up food for catching up with work at the communal table or out on the front patio. The only downside is things can get busy and loud, and plugs are limited.

Wifi: Yes

The Bernal Heights coffee shop is where we go when we’re in it for the long haul. They have everything—a spacious outdoor patio, plenty of tables inside, and free wifi. There are also a ton of food and drink options: wraps, sandwiches, salads, and beer, coffee, and wine. Basically, if you need a place to camp out, this spot is it.

Wifi: No

Kantine is a Scandinavian cafe on Market Street that makes pastries, porridges, soups, and sandwiches. Stepping inside the bright, airy space will make you want to pull up a chair, read a book or study over a latte or a cinnamon knot, and stay all afternoon. Get a cured trout sandwich on their sprouted rye bread or a yogurt bowl with seasonal fruit that’s always bursting with color. 

Wifi: Yes

The mint mojito at Philz is basically dessert masquerading as an acceptable adult drink. Grab one (and maybe a pastry or bagel) and use the sugar high as motivation to finally respond to those emails you’ve been avoiding. All of the Philz locations throughout the city have wifi, but we like the Castro outpost, which is lowkey and spacious.

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

$$$$Perfect For:Late Night Eats

Wifi: No

Laptops are technically welcome at Caffe Trieste in North Beach, but you might fit in better if your work is a bit more analog. Open since 1956, this cash-only spot is the oldest espresso-based coffee shop on the West Coast. Inside, you’ll find a space packed with locals reading newspapers, books, and journaling their deepest thoughts late into the night (they close at 10pm). The menu is full of classic espresso drinks, some pastries like cannolis, and a small section of food like grilled cheeses and salads. So when you finally want to get some work done on that novel you’ve been putting off for years, come here to channel the Beatniks who used to frequent this place.

photo credit: Brit Finnegan

$$$$Perfect For:Getting Work Done

Wifi: Yes

If you’re looking to camp out with a laptop for a few hours and take care of that important work thing you’ve been putting off for weeks, go to Hungry Cafe in Bayview. This relaxed spot inside the Southeast Community Center doubles as a free coworking spot, with plenty of outlets and two floors of seating. You won’t even need to leave the building for sustenance because the cafe supplies a long list of Egyptian and North African dishes, like a Mediterranean fried chicken seasoned with sumac, a spicy harissa chicken levant bánh mì, and a turkey hoagie with a tangy Yemeni zhoug sauce.

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez

$$$$Perfect For:Coffee & A Light Bite

Wifi: Yes

Cafe Alma in Bayview is a giant coffee shop within a cozy warehouse space that’s full of rotating art, vintage cookware, and plush couches. No matter the time of day, there’s always a chair, couch, or even a long table that you can use for a group meeting over a cup of coffee—this place is so massive that you can always carve out your own nook without anyone else noticing. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat from their surprisingly long menu of fruit smoothies, warm breakfast sandwiches, salads, and crispy panini.

Wifi: Yes (weekdays only)

This Lower Haight coffee shop is often filled with more electronics than an 11-year-old’s holiday wishlist. People easily spend hours in the minimalist white space bent over laptops, books, or meticulously drafting Partifuls while nursing lattes, cups of matcha, or chia pudding. Just know that they turn off the wifi on weekends and holidays so you can keep your eyes up and maybe converse with a real person.

Wifi: Yes

With its high ceilings, space the size of a dance floor, and hidden back patio, Flywheel Coffee Roasters is the ideal place to spread out with your multiple notebooks, laptop, water bottle, and, of course, one of their great espresso drinks. The cafe in the Haight is also right across from Golden Gate Park—a stroll through greenery can be your reward for being productive all morning. This also means it basically functions as the runway of a dog show, so prepare to lock eyes with more than a few poodle mixes while you work on that spreadsheet.

Wifi: Yes

Farley’s in Potrero Hill is the kind of coffee shop where you can hang out all day without fear that you’ll get kicked out. The huge space has tall ceilings, lots of light that flows in through the big front windows, and fresh air that’s circulating from the continually open front door. In other words, this is about as close to working outside as you can get while still being within the friendly confines of a building. The coffee is not bad either, but really you're here for the plentiful seating, quiet environment, and the magazines for sale in the back that provide a friendly distraction when you need to take your eyes off of a screen for a second. 

Wifi: Yes

If you’re trying to make an important deadline but want to enjoy a nice sidewalk patio while you’re suffering, go to SPRO. This mini-chain is known for creative drinks like a red velvet mocha, a sangria cold brew, and an activated charcoal latte. They have three locations in the city, but the Mission-Castro spot is the best for working on a sunny day. The interior is a bit clinical, but there are huge floor-to-ceiling windows and some outlets if you need to recharge before you head back outside to see the city unfold as you wonder why you have to make a third presentation this week.

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