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Specialty’s

7 Oct

A friend of ours recently asked why we don’t have any Financial District posts, to which we responded that we have a lot of trouble finding a good place downtown. Most establishments downtown specialize in shuffling large numbers of people through during the lunch hour (if they have chairs at all), so few places are a good spot for longterm laptopping. We are super excited about the new Coffee Bar coming to the area, but in the meantime, we tend to end up at Specialty’s.

Specialty's on Pine (and Montgomery)

Specialty's on Pine (and Montgomery)

In general, we try to avoid chain coffee shops, but as far as chains go, Specialty’s isn’t too bad. Some of the locations have ample seating and good internet connections. The spot at Pine and Montgomery even has a nice outdoor seating area. They are super tech savvy, from iPads for ordering on-location to an online sandwich builder to a warm cookie radar.  (Even if you don’t use the warm cookie radar, always ask which ones are straight out the oven. They are epically more delicious.)

Pluses: lots of locations around the Financial District (though not all have seating)

Minuses: it’s a chain, no outlets

A couple of their locations with seating:

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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

M Cafe

18 Aug
M Cafe

M Cafe

M Cafe is a diamond in the rough. And by rough, we mean the rough part of SOMA. Just a couple blocks south of the Civic Center station, M Cafe has empty storefronts and overgrown lots as neighbors.

The Godfather sandwich

The Godfather sandwich

That said, this is a great place to camp out for a long period of time. The owner is super friendly, the sandwiches are delish (try the Godfather with the secret sauce), and there’s hardly anyone there. There are lots of tables next to outlets, and the owner seems happy to have warm bodies in the room.

Pluses: friendly atmosphere, not busy, outlets, good sandwiches, and Greek treats

Minuses: sketchy location

Caffe Pascucci

22 Jul
Pascucci frosted goodness

Pascucci frosted goodness

Caffe Pascucci is directly across from the ballpark, but this Italian coffee shop is a world away from a sports bar. This roomy, white space is relatively serene and rarely crowded. This is location is just one of a worldwide chain, but its Italian heritage makes that seem classy rather than sellout-y.

Caffe Pascucci salad

Caffe Pascucci salad

There are plugs along the side walls, so this is a good place to stay for a while. They have a changing menu of special sandwiches, salads, and a few flatbread pizzas that are generally tasty. With a long list of Italian coffee drinks, it’s hard to order a non-fat latte when there are so many options with chocolate or dulce de leche or Nutella on the menu. They also serve beer and wine and occasionally offer samples of their newest treats at the register.

Pluses: Plugs, candy-like coffee drinks, relatively quiet and uncrowded, near MUNI N and T lines

Minuses: WiFi can be unreliable at times