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Uniting Laptop Campers

This site was inspired by my days of laptop camping and the desire to share and explore laptop camping culture with others.

Coffornia, 296 Ocean Ave., San Francisco, CA (Outer Mission), Score: 37/50

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From the outside Coffornia looks plain but the inside is actually cute - lots of blonde wood. They have several types of tea lattes, coffee, sushi, freshly made sandwiches, homemade pastries, and random corner store items. It feels Japanese owned.

Score: 37/50

  • Food: 4/5 – Sushi, made to order sandwiches, and homemade Japanese pastries (cake rolls, jelly, flan, cheesecake). The tomato omelette sandwich on torta sandwich roll was fresh and tasty - bits of fresh tomato in the omelette, lots of baby leaf lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, ketchup. The bread was like a less spongy English muffin and was nicely toasted. The green tea roll cake was moist to the point of being soggy with little red bean and not enough green tea flavor.

  • Coffee: 4/5 – I didn’t get the coffee but they serve Intelligentsia and Altius (a Japanese brand). The red bean latte was decent - milky, sweet but didn’t have enough red bean flavor (they added some red bean paste)..

  • Wi-fi: 5/5 – Free and secure, password is at the register

  • Ambiance: 4/5 – Much cuter inside than it appears from the outside, wood counter, wood tables, wood chairs, wood accents on the wall, big chalkboard menu, grey walls, cute hanging lights

  • Noise: 5/5 – Quiet, no music, mostly the sound of the refrigerators

  • Plugs:  2/5 – Spotted two along the walls

  • Parking: 4/5 – Hit or miss but not too bad in general despite being so close to CCSF, you can find all day parking

  • Comfort: 3/5 – Small tables, wood chairs and stools are hard, they should sweep the floors more often

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Unisex

  • Art: 3/5 – No art on the walls

Tips: Get the lunch set special for $7.99 which is available all day. It comes with sushi or a sandwich, coffee or tea & a pastry. They also sell coffee beans from Intelligentsia and Altius (Japanese), candy, Asian sauces, and even paper towels. You can walk to CCSF/Ocean Ave. or down to Mission St./Excelsior for cheap eats.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

Sea Biscuit Café & Wine Bar, 3815 Noreiga St., San Francisco, CA (Outer Sunset), Score: 28/50

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The café is close to Ocean Beach and has that laid back by the beach feel that some places in the Outer Sunset have. At night it becomes a wine bar with beer, wine, champagne and mixed drinks.

Score: 28/50

  • Food: 3/5 – I heard the sandwiches, which are made with Boar’s Head and available hot or cold, are good. They also have a case of Krispy Kreme donuts (quite a few varieties). I also spotted pastries and a case of deli salads. The egg, avocado and cheese bagel had a generous amount of avocado but could have used some salt and pepper.

  • Coffee: 2/5 – Latte tasted flat, no foam art, no richness. They do offer a one cup at a time option. The latte is expensive.

  • Wi-fi: 4/5 – Free, ask for the password at the register. It wasn’t working at first but was fine after resetting the modem.

  • Ambiance: 2/5 – Long narrow space, looks older, random decor but with an ocean theme, chalkboard menu

  • Noise: 2/5 – People are quiet but the music is loud and annoying. I don’t like how the TV is on.

  • Plugs:  2/5 – Two plugs built into the banquettes

  • Parking: 5/5 – Pretty easy to park all day for free on residential side streets, street cleaning is on Mondays and Thursdays

  • Comfort: 4/5 – Chairs are padded and so are the banquettes

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Unisex, for customers only

  • Art: 3/5 – Blue ocean with sealife mosaic creatures, fits the place, no art for sale

Tips:  You can hang out at Flanahan’s on the same block and order sandwiches, they will deliver to you. ATM available. Earn rewards with Belly. Square is accepted.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

 

Diamond Cafe, 751 Diamond St., San Francisco, CA (Noe Valley), Score: 29/50

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I’ve been waiting for that awful Cafe Ponte to close…it’s finally gone and a new cafe/coffeehouse has taken over the space. Diamond Cafe is a humble neighborhood coffeehouse with extra friendly service.

Score: 29/50

  • Food: 3/5 – They have sweet and savory crepes, scramblers, bagels, breakfast burritos, pastries, sandwiches and salads. My bagel was fine - fresh ingredients, the hummus was bland though (needed salt). Cakes and cookies are from Ultimate Cookie. They have a gluten free cookie.

  • Coffee: 2/5 – Not good - no foam art, latte was quite bitter. They use organic/fair trade coffee beans.

  • Wi-fi: 5/5 – Free, ask for the password at the register

  • Ambiance: 2/5 – Sunny corner of Noe Valley, lots of big windows, pale yellow paint, not much decor, chalkboard menu

  • Noise: 2/5 – Music isn’t bothersome. Traffic can be noisy. Some people do come here to talk but many come to camp too.

  • Plugs:  1/5 – One outlet only

  • Parking: 5/5 – Not too bad because you’re a few blocks from the busy part of Noe Valley

  • Comfort: 3/5 – It’s a small space with small tables and one long bench by the window. Chairs aren’t padded. It can get sunny by the window but they have shades. Lots of air.

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Unisex, for customers only

  • Art: 2/5 – None

Tips: $5 credit card minimum. Complimentary water. 

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

Philz Coffee/Delish Deli Sandwiches, 748 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA (Fillmore), Score: 33/50

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An unusual Philz location - the drinks and pastries are in one building and the bagels and sandwiches are next door at Delish Deli. Unfortunately this means you have to wait in multiple lines to get a bagel and coffee. They have great coffee but uncomfortable seating and horrible parking.

Score: 33/50

  • Food: 4/5 – The usual Philz fare plus sandwiches made with Boar’s Head. You’ll find Starter Bakery pastries (croissants, scones, kouign amann, muffins), breakfast burritos (pre-made), bagels. The bagels are big and good, but didn’t seem toasted? Philz bagel has cream cheese, tomato & cucumber ($3.75). Favorite pastries: kouign amann, scones.

  • Coffee: 5/5 – Made by the cup with cream and sugar (tell them how much you’d like). Light, medium or dark roast available, choose based on flavor notes like chocolate, berry, hazelnut, etc. Try the iced coffees too. Mint Mojito has real mint leaves, yum.

  • Plugs:  4/5 – Plenty of outlets though not enough for everyone

  • Wi-fi: 4/5 - Free, unlimited, no password required

  • Ambiance: 3/5 – Ecclectic, funky, worn in - has an independent deli feel, kinda cozy

  • Noise: 3/5 – Music isn’t too bad, it’s always busy but not deafening

  • Parking: 1/5 – A busy area, mostly metered parking, or you can walk from Hayes Valley where you can find 2 - 3 hour parking if you’re lucky

  • Comfort: 3/5 – Small tables all around, chairs are padded but still very hard, couch in the corner

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Available, unisex, one at Philz and one at Delish

  • Art: 3/5 – Random, nothing for sale

Tips: Order first, then pay. There’s an ATM inside Delish. There is no seating inside Philz, so camp at Delish. It could be difficult to find a table because this place is popular - campers are here.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

La Promenade Cafe, 3643 Balboa St., San Francisco, CA (Outer Richmond), Score: 38/50

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La Promenade replaces Zephyr Cafe, another coffeehouse. It doesn’t look like the place has been recently renovated and it still says Zephyr Cafe on the windows. La Promenade is one of the largest coffeehouses in SF and you should be assured to find a nice spot to camp. Because of the size, you don’t feel like you’re imposing if you camp for awhile.

Score: 38/50

  • Food: 3/5 – Typical coffeehouse fare, including sandwiches, bagels, soup of the day, a case filled with pastries, sweets. The bagel was decent - very cheesy with a juicy sausage patty.

  • Coffee: 4/5 – They seem to serve Mr. Espresso, Rodgers Coffee and Allegro Coffee. The latte was smooth and not bitter, but didn’t have richness or foam art.

  • Plugs: 3/5 – Sprinkled throughout

  • Wi-fi: 5/5 - Free, unlimited, the password is at the register

  • Ambiance: 3/5 – Dark inside and worn in, mural of street scene tries to make you feel like you’re sitting somewhere in Italy. Dark wood floors, wood chairs, wood tables. Kinda shabby chic with small chandeliers.

  • Noise: 5/5 – Soothing oldies music, quiet patrons

  • Parking: 5/5 – Look for all day parking on the side streets with street cleaning on Wednesdays and Fridays

  • Comfort: 4/5 – Small tables all around, padded chairs, couches. I like the booths they have where you can spread out and watch the cars go by.  

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Available, unisex

  • Art: 3/5 – Nothing for sale, big mural of street scene fits the name of the cafe

Tips: $5 minimum for credit card purchases. Piano in the back.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

Jebena Coffee & Tea Co., 990 Polk St., San Francisco, CA (Tenderloin), Score: 31/50

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Jebena is known for their Ethiopian coffee. Individual drip coffee is available. The interesting residents of the Tenderloin can sometimes been seen sitting outside.

Score: 31/50

  • Food: 3/5 – They have bagels, egg sandwiches ($5.50 with tomato, lettuce, scrambled egg, cheese is an extra 50 cents), pastries, frittata, hummus plate, panini sandwiches, cookies, cakes - lots of food. The bagel was big and the bagel egg sandwich was good (eggs were dry and not fluffy though) but overpriced at $6.50.

  • Coffee: 3/5 – The latte had no foam art. It had a bitter edge and no lovely richness. Passable. Was it Ethiopian? I’m not sure

  • Plugs:  4/5 – Many outlets

  • Wi-fi: 4/5 - Free, unlimited, fast, ask for the password at the counter. Got kicked off once.

  • Ambiance: 3/5 – Somewhat cozy and homey with big flatscreen TV, chartreuse green walls, wood tables, lots of brown colors. It smells like dishwashing detergent since the dishwasher is so close to the dining area.

  • Noise: 4/5 – The lively ethnic/world music isn’t too loud, people are quiet. You can hear the traffic.

  • Parking: 1/5 – A busy area, can be tough to find even 2 hour parking

  • Comfort: 3/5 – Small tables, counter seating, banquette has cushions but stools and wood chairs aren’t padded

  • Bathroom: 3/5 – Available, unisex

  • Art: 3/5 – Mostly windows so there isn’t much wall space, there’s a mural of SF & coffee that fits the space. The art isn’t for sale.

Tips: $5 minimum for credit card purchases. ATM on site. They have chips and drinks too.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

 

Philz Coffee, 2248 Westborough Blvd., South San Francisco, CA, Score: 39/50

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This is the largest Philz location that I’ve been to and it’s fairly new (possibly their newest location). It’s located in a shopping center that’s in the middle of a major renovation with new tenants including Pacific Supermarket (not yet open).  It’s already popular with campers, including some hardcore ones.

Score: 39/50

  • Food: 4/5 – Pastries from Starter Bakery include wonderful kouign amann and scones. They’ll warm your pastries for you. They also have wrapped bagels, breakfast burritos, oatmeal, croissants, and cookies.  They’re lacking in substantial fare (meal size).
  • Coffee: 5/5 – Don’t come here looking for espresso as they specialize in one cup at a time coffee. It’s organized by light, medium or dark roast. Decaf available. The iced coffees are excellent. The coffee is strong and customized to your liking (specify how sweet and how much cream you want).
  • Plugs:  3/5 – Some sprinkled around
  • Wi-fi: 4/5 - Free, unlimited, no password required
  • Ambiance: 4/5 – Industrial looking with high ceilings, hanging lightbulbs, chalkboards…better looking than most Philz locations
  • Noise: 2/5 – Pretty noisy and distracting, constant stream of customers, music is loud, acoustics aren’t good because there’s an echo effect
  • Parking: 5/5 – Super easy, big parking lot, might get a lot worse once the shopping center is completed
  • Comfort: 4/5 – Couches, small tables, unpadded metal chairs, communal tables and counters with some small tables.
  • Bathroom: 4/5 – Single unisex restroom, not much decor
  • Art: 4/5 – No paintings but they do have art on the wall for sale featuring cacti

Tips: Coffee, mugs and Philz t-shirts are available for sale. Grab and go drinks available from refrigerated case. Order from the barista first, then go to the cash register.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

Peet’s Coffee & Tea, 1509 Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, CA (Merced Manor), Score: 37/50

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This particular newish Peet’s location replaced the awful Tully’s Coffee. It’s in a shopping center, Lakeshore Plaza. There are only five small tables inside. It’s busy in the morning with a constant stream of customers. Peet’s used to limit wi-fi usage but they lifted the restriction (yay).

Score: 37/50

  • Food: 4/5 – An array of pastries includes muffins, croissants, cookies, cake, oatmeal, scones, granola bars, and chocolate bars. They have a refrigerated case of grab n’ go drinks, salads and sandwiches.
  • Coffee: 4/5 – How much I like the latte depends on the blend. I like Espresso Forte though the lattes aren’t creamy and there is no foam art
  • Plugs:  2/5 – Spotted two outlets
  • Wi-fi: 4/5 - Free, unlimited, no password required.
  • Ambiance: 4/5 – Small, bustling, warm and cozy. Clean, contemporary and pleasant.
  • Noise: 3/5 – It’s small so the noise from the coffeemaking even seems loud, later they started to play 80s pop music
  • Parking: 5/5 – Busy parking lot though you can usually find a space
  • Comfort: 3/5 – 5 tables, unpadded chairs, narrow area for seating, people everywhere
  • Bathroom: 4/5 – 1 unisex
  • Art: 4/5 – Framed woven fabrics from Africa

Tips: You can also buy coffee beans here. Other tenants of Lakeshore Plaza include Lucky’s, Noah’s Bagels, Nubi Yogurt, Ono Hawaiian BBQ and Ross. You might not be able to find an unoccupied table.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

The Little Spot Café, 1199 S Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA (Mission), Score: 36/50

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The Little Spot Café, in case you were wondering, is little. It’s not in the busiest part of the Mission so it’s got an out of the way, independent coffeehouse charm. You can watch the cars drive by in relative peace and quiet.

Score: 36/50

  • Food: 4/5 – You’ll find breakfast bagels, pastries, cookies, croissant sandwiches, and sandwiches. The sandwiches come on housemade bread. The breakfast bagel with egg and cheese ($3.50, $1 to add avocado) was good – big bagel lots of butter. I’ll add an extra point for making bread (comes out fresh around 3 PM).
  • Coffee: 3/5 – Latte had a faint taste of chocolate for some reason. Soy and almond milk are available. The latte had no foam art. The flavor was interesting, not bad, not bitter.
  • Plugs:  4/5 – Several outlets along the walls should be ample for everyone there
  • Wi-fi: 5/5 - Free, unlimited, average speed. The password is posted at the counter.
  • Ambiance: 4/5 – Small, funky, cozy, mismatched furniture, indoor plants and chalkboard menus. Used books in the corner, community bulletin board.
  • Noise: 4/5 – The music isn’t too loud, pretty quiet place.
  • Parking: 2/5 – A busy area, can be tough to find even 2 hour parking
  • Comfort: 3/5 – Small place with 6 tables, one futon, mismatched, chairs are not padded
  • Bathroom: 4/5 – 1 unisex for customers only, small but clean
  • Art: 3/5 – Needlepoint sailing scene and framed picture of Muhammed Ali matches the funky, vintage feel. No paintings on the wall.

Tips: $5 minimum for debit card purchases. If you are vegan or love kale, they have a kale slaw vegan sandwich.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper

Reveille Coffee Co., 4076 18th St., San Francisco, CA (Castro), Score: 39/50

Brand new! Reveille opened their second outpost a few doors down from Starbucks (on the same block) on February 3rd. The shop is stylish and serves quality pastries and sandwiches (made to order). Campers are already here but not that many of them (yet). Chairs are hard and there aren’t any outlets but I still wanted to hang out and enjoy the ambiance.

Score: 39/50

  • Food: 5/5 – Pastries from Starter Bakery include kouign amann, croissants, muffins, cookies and cakes. They have a kitchen that prepares breakfast items (waffles, egg sandwiches, biscuits, fancy toast), sandwiches and (quinoa, warm goat cheese, kale) salads (in the $9-$10 range). They use Della Fattoria bread. I had an excellent fried egg sandwich with braised leeks, kale and gruyere ($7.50).
  • Coffee: 5/5 – Pretty foam art on the latte ($4) which comes in one size. Non fat milk isn’t available but they have 1%. The latte is very smooth and creamy with a nutty flavor that lingers nicely on the palate. They have pour over and cold brew styles. I spotted bags of Four Barrel Coffee but also Reveille Coffee bags.
  • Plugs:  0/5 – Didn’t see any
  • Wi-fi: 5/5 - Free, unlimited, ask for the password at the counter.
  • Ambiance: 5/5 – Stylish, modern, light and clean with white and black tiles, white chairs, wood tables, wood walls and ceilings. Ceramic cups with Reveille logo.
  • Noise: 4/5 – People are quiet, you’ll find campers and even quiet conversations. Music is relaxing. The clanging dishes seem noisy though.
  • Parking: 2/5 – Busy intersection and busy part of the Castro
  • Comfort: 3/5 – Mostly small tables and counters. Seats are new and not padded. Banquette is made out of wood and hard. Stools aren’t comfortable. On the plus side, the tables aren’t right next to each other but there’s more distance than usual.
  • Bathroom: 5/5 – Yes they have one unisex one with great hand soap from
    Aesop and maps on the wall
  • Art: 5/5 – No paintings but I like the stacked split wood pile wall and all the furnishings.

Tips: You can sit outside and do some people watching. They have a coffee frequent buyer card that works at both locations. Lunch is available starting at noon. Coffee beans and accessories are available for sale. Help yourself to water at the counter.

"Laptop Campers Unite!"

- Laptop Camper