San Francisco Telecommuting
August 15, 2006 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I just moved to San Francisco and I am looking for good places to work that have either free WiFi or cheap WiFi.

It's not hard to find a cafe or something to work from for a day, but it's a big city, and so I am hoping folks can give me hints on the good places to work. The kind of places where you can really get some work done, are comfortable, and have cheap/free wifi, etc. Sometimes I even need to use Skype for my work, so if it's the kind of place I can talk on the phone that'd be good too (but is not necessary, I often work from places I can't easily talk).

Good answers look like "I have worked from place XYZ, it's awesome b/c of 123, I get lots of work done there." Bad answers are ones like "go to any cafe, library, etc", which is to say finding a place to work from is not a problem. Rather I am looking for informed recommendations on places to work from, based on experience.
posted by mto to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Good questions might tell us what neighborhood you're in.
posted by andifsohow at 9:25 AM on August 15, 2006

When I was contracting I was able to get a lot of work done at The Canvas at the corner of 9th Ave and Lincoln. Big room with free wifi and food to keep you going. Also decent ambient noise so it's okay to talk on the phone.

Some spots can be a bit uncomfortable for long periods of time.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:28 AM on August 15, 2006

Ritual Roasters is a common hangout for people on their laptops. They have fee wifi (and excellent coffee), but don't let you plug in your computer on the weekends.
posted by nyterrant at 9:52 AM on August 15, 2006

Response by poster: I live in Noe Valley. However, I am happy to go anywhere in the city that's a good place to work.
posted by mto at 10:02 AM on August 15, 2006

My favorite coffee shop to work at when I lived in Noe Valley was Luv a Java at Dolores and 26th. Quiet, but still OK for occasional phone calls, good beverages, friendly people, a little food if you need it. And free wireless, of course. All within easy waalking distance of Noe valley.

I miss it!
posted by babar at 10:17 AM on August 15, 2006

From Noe Valley, I second Ritual Roasters. Another pretty good spot is Progressive Grounds on Cortland, up Bernal Heights. I work from the back room there most Friday mornings, and it's relatively comfy seating, good food and coffee, and active without usually being loud (although I left earlier than usual last week when a group of kids came in, that's the only time that's happened all summer). You can definitely talk and make calls, other people will be as well, and there's a nice outdoor patio area. That said, it strikes me as more of a neighborhood spot than a people with laptops spot; I usually outlast everyone I notice when I first walk in. I don't know if that makes it a good spot for you or not though.
posted by andifsohow at 10:23 AM on August 15, 2006

Cheesebikini has a map of free SF WiFi:

There's also one for Berkeley there, too. I know these maps were created quite a while ago, but there has been some updating.
posted by tula at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2006

Maxfield's on Dolores and 16th (or around 16th) is frequented by folks who have their noses buried in laptops. I've been there on several occasions and have been surprised at how library-quite the cafe is despite being filled with people.
posted by quadog at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2006

Agree with quadog. Maxfield's House of Caffeine, Dolores and 17th.
posted by sellout at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2006

coffee to the people is a great place to work. not that close to you, but if you're in upper haight i highly recommend it. free wifi, comfy couches, board games, good music, they have it all.
posted by christy at 4:47 PM on August 15, 2006

There's the SFLan.
posted by MikeKD at 6:11 PM on August 15, 2006

Be careful - laptop thefts from coffee shops are up. Apparently, they just walk in, grab the laptop you're working on, and run. A few months ago, a guy got stabbed in a Valencia street cafe when he leapt to his feet in response. Not to scare you, but I'd think it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least avoid working too close to the door.
posted by treepour at 7:41 PM on August 15, 2006

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