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Nook

5 Oct

Ever wanted to take a cable car to a coffee shop? Well then Nook is your spot. Right along the Powell-Hyde cable car line, Nook is a cozy cafe and wine bar with a large menu.

Fruit and granola at Nook

Fruit and granola at Nook

Despite offering internet, there aren’t many other people using laptops at Nook. The clientele leans a bit toward the leisurely lunch crowd, but they’re friendly to the laptop set too. There are a few tables outside, so on nice days you can wave at the tourists riding by.

Sangria Mondays

Sangria Mondays

Pluses: a lot of food options, happy hour

Minuses: internet is limited to 7am-5pm on weekdays (none on holidays or weekends), it can be crowded, and have you seen how expensive cable car rides are?

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Cole Valley Cafe

16 Sep

Cole Valley Cafe is just barely in Cole Valley (just one block up from Haight Street, some may argue it’s Haight-Ashbury instead). Regardless, it’s just a quick skip on the N-Judah to this spot west of Buena Vista Park, where the skies may be cloudy but the sandwiches are giant.

salami sandwich

Salami Sandwich at Cole Valley Cafe

The food menu at Cole Valley Cafe isn’t going to blow anyone away with its creativity, aside from a few Mediterranean specials. But the sandwiches are delightfully large and surprisingly tasty, especially for a list that sounds so basic.

On days when the sun does manage to peek out in Cole Valley, the handful of outdoor tables here are in high demand. Inside, you’ll find an assortment of square and round tables (the round ones are a little small if you’re sharing with a friend), a pretty painted menu board, and plenty of people working and studying. Several tables along the perimeter of the room have outlets nearby, and there’s a little box attached to a pole near the counter that claims to allow patrons to choose the music.

cole valley cafe

Inside Cole Valley Cafe

Pluses: good sandwiches that are also a good value, plenty of coffee and chai specials

Minuses: $5 credit card minimum, wifi can be spotty (and will remind you every so often to buy another drink — but of course, we advocate doing that anyway)

Haus

12 Sep

Lunch and Laptop first discovered Haus by thinking it was Sugarlump. Lucky for everyone, though, this little coffee shop a few blocks from the 24th Street BART stop has a personality all its own.

The light, unfinished-wood furniture is simple and a bit Ikea-esque but makes the interior feel roomy and bright. But the real reason Haus caught our eye is the back patio. It takes some finagling to get a shady table (despite a few umbrellas, the space is fairly exposed and that darn sun keeps moving), and patrons occasionally get treated to the crowing of a backyard rooster somewhere nearby, but it’s a great place to sit for a bit and pretend that San Francisco has a summer.

haus patio

Back patio at Haus

When we first started going to Haus, there wasn’t much lunch to go along with all the laptop, but they’ve since cycled through treats including baked goods and savory pies. It may not be the most substantial meal you’ll ever eat while working, but there’s always enough to tide us over.

Pluses: Plenty of outlets inside, nice patio,  solid coffee and espresso drinks

Minuses: Occasional odd and ear-splittingly loud music choices, limited food

The Creamery

23 Aug

The Creamery sits right across from San Francisco’s main Caltrain station, and as such, it’s a popular place for commuters to grab a coffee or snack on the go. But it’s also a great place to hang out mid-day with a tasty sandwich, a good cup of coffee, and plenty of other workers doing just the same.

The Creamery

Outside The Creamery

The Creamery’s extensive food menu is a definite strength: hot and cold sandwiches, sweet and savory crepes, and plenty of breakfast items. (The Creamery is also connected to a taqueria called Iron Cactus, should you want to put the laptop aside for a second and grab a burrito.) The inside is all wood beams and windows, but there’s also a sunny patio out front, where a few big umbrellas provide some shade.

Sandwich at The Creamery

Sandwich at The Creamery

The big downside? No outlets. Come fully charged, or plan to work for a couple of hours and then pack up for lunch (or a happy hour beer).

Pluses: Lengthy menu, Ritual coffee, plenty of seating

Minuses: No outlets, a little dark inside despite big windows

Rodger’s Coffee & Tea

11 Aug
Veggie sausage from Rodger's Coffee & Tea

Veggie sausage from Rodger's Coffee & Tea

Rodger’s Coffee & Tea is a small shop in between two BART stations. They specialize in individually brewed coffees (with more than 25 blends available) and sausages. Yep, you read that right. Haute Doggity sausages (including a veggie sausage), with all the fixings (sauerkraut, mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, etc.). You may be thinking that coffee and sausages don’t go too well together, and you’re probably right. So we got a coffee first and then followed it up with a sausage.

Small cold-brew coffee with milk (it's a huge small!)

Small cold-brew coffee with milk (it's a huge small!)

Pluses: Sausages, plugs inside, variety of coffee, outdoor seats, reasonable walk from BART, large cold-brew coffees

Minuses: Limited seating, limited food options (if you don’t want sausage, that is)

Local 123

8 Aug
Local 123

Local 123

Local 123 is an East Bay gem. They take their coffee (Sightglass) and tea seriously, and they even have beer and wine, on tap. Their website explains that wine on tap is greener and cheaper than bottled, so why not? We haven’t tried their food yet, but the menu sounds delicious and most of it is sourced locally.

Tea at Local 123

Tea at Local 123

This roomy spot has a lot of tables and a back porch, and no one batted an eye when one of us closed her laptop and started cutting, gluing, and coloring paper (for work, we swear!).

It’s a good thing this spot in is the East Bay. Otherwise we might have to close down Lunch and Laptop and go here every day.

Pluses: friendly atmosphere, room to spread out, environmentally friendly, outdoor seating

Minuses: far away from San Francisco, no visible outlets

Duboce Park Cafe

2 Aug

Duboce Park Cafe couldn’t be more convenient for one of us to visit, and yet it’s never been a Lunch and Laptop favorite, owing largely to lackluster food and coffee. But a recent series of upgrades has moved this Duboce Triangle/Lower Haight spot up a few notches on the list.

Outside Duboce Park Cafe

Outside Duboce Park Cafe

The first good sign was the introduction of Sightglass Coffee earlier this year. Then the treats quotient exploded, with donuts from Dynamo, cupcakes from Mission Minis, and cake pops joining an already solid selection of chocolate bars, brownies, and muffins. Even the bagels, which were already one of the better food options here, have gotten a quality boost and now come from the adorably logo-ed Spot Bagel.

The lunch still falls a little short, though; the sandwich menu reads like a list of things you could make cheaper at home. But the daily soup is often a good pick, and the smoothie menu is extensive. We’ve been meaning to try the pita pizzas, but we’ll get to that once we’ve tasted all the new bagels. If you like to work through happy hour, it’s hard to do better: $3 pints of good, local beer  starting at 4 p.m. daily? Yes, please.

The wifi is solid, but there aren’t any outlets, so be sure to charge up.

Pluses: On the MUNI N line and close to Church Street Station; abundant outdoor seating for sunny days; dog-friendly outside (and directly across from Duboce Park, for post-laptop dog fun); improving

Minuses: Lunch options are the weakest part of the food menu; no outlets; surprisingly noisy at times