Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Current Favorite Hangout Spot

As someone who has the awesome option of making anywhere with my laptop and an Internet connection my office, it's often hard for me to buckle down and get focused on work when I'm at home. As a result, I find myself spending many hours per day in coffee houses. There is something about the abundance of caffeinated beverages plus being in an environment with other people lost in their own laptop worlds that really helps me get my work done.

Coffee Bar is definitely my favorite daytime hangout spot right now. It's clearly set up with the laptop-toting freelancer in mind. It's a big space with lots of windows and a loft-like feel. There's a much higher ratio of power outlets to seats than I have seen in any other coffee shop. And the place is generous enough to offer free wireless internet.

I think Coffee Bar might come off as slightly intimidating because it's nestled in the gray area between the Mission and Potrero (hence, hipster territory) and when you walk in you'll immediately be faced with rows and rows of MacBooks. However, I have never owned an Apple computer in my life, and I occasionally even have to do work on a dorky client-issued ThinkPad, but I have never once felt shunned. The people who hang out at Coffee Bar are nice, so you'd better be too if you go check it out. The smaller tables are reserved for laptop-free lunch patrons, so coffee-sipping laptop workers sit at either the counters/bars or big communal tables, which I quite like. I've even experienced a table of total strangers establishing a rotation for using the power outlet so that no one's battery got too low.

A couple tips: The food I've had was yummy but be warned that their chipotle mayo packs quite a good punch. The basic espresso menu can be found on the big roll of kraft paper, but also look out for the tiny daily drink specials menu on the little easel by the register. It took me a few times to figure out how other people knew that Vietnamese iced coffee was offered when it wasn't on the big menu.

Here are some of the things I love about Coffee Bar.
  • Free wi-fi.
  • Free parking nearby with no time limits.
  • I like the coffee. It's not in-your-face artisanal like Blue Bottle, but it is satisfying.
  • I also like that they have simple syrup at the cream-and-sugar bar, since cane sugar doesn't exactly dissolve easily in iced coffee.
  • Friendly staff and fellow patrons.
  • Lots of natural light.
  • Lots of power outlets.
  • Pretty latte art. That is how you know your drink was made with love.
  • It is not freezing inside. (I love me my Starbucks, but I'm convinced that every location constantly pumps cold air on customers to get them to not overstay their welcome.)

Do you know any places in the Mission/Castro/Potrero area that meet several of these criteria? If so, leave me your recommendations!

| Photo Credit: Me. |

1 comment:

Mlle T said...

That's exactly my theory about Starbucks. (Oh my goodness I almost typed an "f" instead of a "b" right there)

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