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Thoughts & Musings

14 cafes for the funemployed

I was excited for my first fling with funemployment because I saw it as an opportunity to check out different cafes in the city. (Not that I can budget for anything but house coffee at each one, but that's good enough for me.) Newly funemployed or WFH people: this post is for you.

*Assume all of the below have free wifi unless expressed otherwise.




  • PROS: Tables with a convenient strip of plugs, consistent noisy-cafe-ambience, relatively fast turnover if you aren't able to get a seat. If you use your Capital One card at the Peet's, all drinks are half-off. You won't be judged by staff for coming every day--they're welcoming and are used to having regulars. Free waffles the first Wed of every month.
  • CONS: Wi-fi can get debilitatingly slow around lunchtime until ~4pm -- I wouldn't be able to spend a full workday here without my friend's trusty hotspot as backupSometimes it's too loud and buzzy and busy. Some people do relatively personal/private work in the wide open, and you overhear things you probably shouldn't, 
  • PROS: You feel the quiet, humming energy (some very focused entrepreneurs go here), your order finds you via their concierge service, the health nut cookie is ridiculously good
  • CONS: Limit of 10 hrs to work in the gated area. After that's used up, one must begin to pay for the time spent in that space (or else stay relegated to the front portion / outside)

North Beach / Chinatown

  • PROS: Not packed on a weekday so I don't feel guilty spending most of the day here, bomb pastries and coffee.
  • CONS: A little too warm/stuffy most of the time, even with the blinds down... and the music can be jarring/random/dissonant, but that's solved with headphones of your own music.
  • PROS: Blue Bottle coffee is served here. Lots of chairs and tables, relatively spacious, good sandwiches.
  • CONS: No outlets.
  • PROS: One of the cheapest cups of coffee around. Fruit tarts are available here. Outlets and tables available for the all-day worker.
  • CONS: The space is on the cozy side, so I feel bad taking up residence at a table when there is limited space to go around for the meal-time customers.
  • PROS: Beautiful interior space with a vertical garden, plenty of light comes in, outlets available.
  • CONS: Depending on who is behind the counter there can be some attitude and dragging of feet. Overall it doesn't bother me much but I think this can cause the experience here t be a hit or miss.
  • PROS: No wifi. It's the place I go to when I need to get sketches/journaling done, or Adobe/Sketch work done.
  • CONS: A little cramped but once you get a spot, all is ok.

Nob Hill / Tenderloin

  • PROS: Not too busy and lots of room.
  • CONS: A little dark when compared to brighter cafes.
  • PROS: Excellent coffee and vibe. A little small but I haven't had trouble finding a seat before.
  • CONS: N/A

10. Philz

  • PROS: I love an iced Ecstatic. One of the bigger Philz cafes I've seen. Generally packed but you should be able to find a spot.
  • CONS: N/A

The Mission

  • PROS: Good coffee, ambience, ceiling height, lighting, people-watching, sunlight and food.
  • CONS: No wi-fi. Which can be good or bad depending on the day :)
  • PROS: Lots of seating, a delicious iced tea, a back porch seating area.
  • CONS: None really, except you need to find a shady spot to do computer work when on the back patio. Otherwise the sun is pretty intense.
  • PROS: Great vibe and interior decor, consistent wi-fi, a no wi-fi zone during specific times of day, healthy food options, succulents garden outside, tasty iced coffee, beautiful lighting, feels airy and roomy
  • CONS: Pretty busy any day of the week

East Bay

14. Awaken Cafe in Oakland

  • I've only been here once so I'm not sure of the pros/cons... but it is one of the bigger cafes I've visited and I'd visit again.