10 Bay Area Cafes to Meet, Work, and Eat

Have you gotten used to a routine and are tired of going to the same place? Do you need to change it up a bit but just don’t know where to look? Well, look no further! This list has a variety of cafes for all kinds of scenarios, whether you’re wondering where to go on that first coffee date, or a student in need of a place to meet for a group project, or wandering around the neighborhood and need a bite to eat, there’s bound to be a cafe in here for you.

Meet

1. Matching Half

This cafe is a cozy one, and it can get super busy at lunch and in the early evening. It’s a great place to meet up with a friend to get some work done as it has free wifi and is quiet enough to have a good conversation but not so quiet that you’ll be worried everyone can hear you. The lattes here are amazing and so is the food, which mainly consists of small bites like avocado toast to go with your caffeinated drink of choice.

2. Sightglass Coffee

There are a few locations all around SF, but the one on Divisadero is my favorite. This is the perfect cafe to bring a date to— it’s spacious, has a carefully curated selection of perfectly-roasted coffee, pastries in case you need to munch on something, and the music is on point since they play all kinds of classic records on a retro turntable. Keep in mind this place doesn’t have wifi, which makes it the perfect cafe to unplug and spend quality time at.

3. Tertulia

This one is definitely one of my favorites in the East Bay. What it lacks in wifi it makes up for in a well-decorated, spacious seating area which includes a nice sofa (so you can pretend to be meeting up at a swankier Central Perk with your friends), but the real highlight here is the free gallery called Sanchez Contemporary in the back room. The cafe was founded by Bay Area natives and the work shown features a diverse range of talented local artists.

4. Red Door Coffee

While this place does have wifi and is quite spacious, it is an ideal cafe to make a stop at when exploring Union Square and the surrounding museums, especially since Red Door is attached to the 111 Minna Gallery, which is definitely worth a visit if you’re making a day out of seeing galleries and museums within walking distance of each other.

Work

5. Borderlands Cafe

This place is right next door to its sister bookstore (which should absolutely be visited) and it’s the perfect cafe to buckle down and get some work done. It’s quiet, has free wifi, great service, a vast selection of tea and coffee as well as food to nibble on. Keep in mind this is a cash-only cafe.

Photo by Chevanon Photography at Pexels

6. Cafe Blue Door

If you need a spacious with free wifi, food, and caffeine in Berkeley, this down-to-earth cafe is definitely a good place to check out. It’s very popular with Cal students and there’s plenty of open space for either a group project meeting or a long solo study session.

7. 1951 Coffee Company

This Berkeley cafe is noteworthy for several reasons— not only does it have a stellar drink menu, tasty breakfast pastries, and free wifi, it’s also a non-profit organization that according to their website provides “job training and employment to refugees and asylees while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.” Check out their website to learn more and definitely drop by the cafe to support their cause.

Eat

8. Sweet Bar Bakery

First and foremost, Sweet Bar has a fantastic food menu so it’s definitely a place to check out if you’re looking for a bite to eat, but its free wifi makes it a great place to get some work done, too. It’s also in downtown Oakland, which makes it perfect to meet up at before exploring the area.

9. Duboce Park Cafe

This is the perfect, laid-back location to get a casual lunch on a lazy day. The service is fantastic, there’s free wifi, the food is amazing, and the portions are generous. After lunch, take a stroll through Duboce Park and make some new doggo friends or wander over to Haight and Divisadero to do some shopping.

10. Vinyl Coffee & Wine Bar

This spot is a cafe by day and a wine bar by night, so it’s a great place to visit for multiple occasions. It’s spacious, has a nice but not-too-posh atmosphere, has free wifi, a solid food and drink menu both day and night, and is reasonably priced. You could absolutely spend the afternoon downing coffee doing work on your laptop and when you’re feeling strung out shut that work down and invite your friends to down some wine with you. Sound good? No? . . . Am I the only workaholic around here?

So there you have it, a list of 10 amazing Bay Area cafes for all your special occasions and workaholic lifestyle needs. Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations!

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