Whether you're a student, a remote worker, or simply a casual surfer of the World Wide Web, hunting for a sweet spot with Wi-Fi in this city of ours can be a true test of patience, endurance and gumption.
And when you do find a location that fits your basic needs (power outlets, food/drinks, table space, comfy seats and atmosphere), you often end up having to fight hordes of people to connect to the precious commodity that is the internet.
Hayes Valley is not exempt from this battle of the bandwidth, but we certainly have a few options for setting up a temporary workstation. Below are 11 locations where you can connect to the internet, and if you're a paying customer of these establishments, the free Wi-Fi keeps on flowing.
Mercury Cafe 201 Octavia Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Monday - Friday, 7am - 7pm; Saturday - Sunday, 8am - 8pm Drink Menu: Coffee & Tea, Beer & Wine Food Menu: Salads, Sandwiches and Snacks Vibe: Bright, lively, charming Outlets: Abundant (along the walls, but bring a surge protector if you want to charge multiple devices) Atmosphere: Mercury Cafe is a great spot for hitting the books, working on projects, or conducting a business meeting. While it can accommodate groups at its handful of larger tables, this joint generally caters to solitary workers. Don’t get us wrong, it definitely has ample seating, including a long banquette with plenty of table space and many much-need outlets to feed your devices. This cafe is great for the unemployed and freelance workforce, though space can get limited around peak hours (lunch time). The upstairs is a good refuge, but it offers no outlets. Hayes & Kebob 580 Hayes Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 11am - 10pm; Friday - Saturday, 11am - 11pm Drink Menu: Coffee & Tea, Beer & Wine, and More Food Menu: Mediterranean-Inspired Delicacies Vibe: Bright, aromatic and bustling Outlets: Slim to nil (two visible outlets) Atmosphere: Get your homework, projects or meeting done in the decadence of this beautiful Middle Eastern-style eatery with the smell of delicious food wafting through the air. The restaurant features comfy armchairs, a large outdoor patio (no outlets though), and an abundance of natural light. Just make sure to come fully charged, unless you’re able to snag a seat at either end of the long row of tables where there are outlets. Cafe La Vie 514 Octavia Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Monday - Friday, 7am - 6pm; Saturday - Sunday, 8am - 6pm Drink Menu: Coffee & Tea, Beer & Wine and More Food Menu: Breakfast, Sandwiches Vibe: Intimate, friendly and business savvy Outlets: Abundant Atmosphere: This little nook of a cafe is the quintessential cozy neighborhood hangout. The staff here is friendly and greets everyone with the same warm affection. Whether it be a hot summer day or a cold fall night, Cafe La Vie always manages to feel comfortable — the garage door wall and the fireplace regulate the heat depending on the weather outside. If you're toting lots of books, binders or devices, table space can be a little cramped, but it’s certainly enough to fit your laptop as well as a cup of joe and one of their scrumptious breakfast sandwiches. Taste Tea 535 Octavia Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Monday - Sunday, 12pm - 7pm Drink Menu: Tea, Tea and More Tea Menu: Steamed Buns, Macarons and Fresh Fruit Vibe: Tranquil, quiet, upscale but inviting Outlets: Abundant Atmosphere: Enjoy a little taste of Eastern culture in this part tearoom, part classroom and all serene workspace environment. With its large selection of teas waiting to be tried, this establishment encourages patrons to take their time sipping on their cup of brew while working or studying. The two large bay window seating areas provide a comfy space to sprawl out by your lonesome or with a group. Don't come here without gobbling up a steamed bun or three. Additionally, this is a great place to take a break from your studying or work — either read one of their many books on tea culture, or even meditate, as we witnessed one patron doing during our visit. The Hayes Laundry 800 Hayes Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Monday - Thursday, 7am - 10pm; Friday - Saturday, 7am - 9 pm Menu: Laundry Soap Vibe: Fluorescent and busy Outlets: Handful Atmosphere: Spend a productive morning, afternoon or evening doing laundry while working away. Seating and table space is slim, but at least there are enough outlets to help you get the job done while you wait for your clothes to finish. Unless you want to enjoy the white noise of clothes washing and drying, don't forget to bring your headphones. The Grove Hayes 301 Hayes Wi-Fi: Free Hours: Monday - Friday, 7am - 11pm; Saturday - Sunday, 8am - 11pm Drink Menu: Coffee & Tea, Beer & Wine and More Food Menu: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks Vibe: Bustling rustic eatery Outlets: Slim to nil (mostly around fireplace seating area) Atmosphere: This place has all the fixings for a temporary office (minus a surplus of outlets) and can be great for groups, business meetings or working by yourself. There’s an abundance of varying workspace, including tables for singles, couples or groups. The craftsmen, chunky wood decor and makeshift cornhusks remind us of a cozy winter cabin, which make it all the more inviting this time of the year. The fireplace and menu alone will make you to want to spend as much time here as possible,
There you have it, Hayes Valley! Go forth, be productive, and enjoy the many wonders of the internet (including this great dane and deer being BFFs). If we missed a spot, please feel free to tell us in the comments section below.
Never miss a story.
Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.