I met a guy at a conference and he emailed me the other day, “See you on the conference circuit,” and it made me think of other circuits I have in life. I’m currently in the Cafe Circuit. As I walk from home on errands around downtown and North Beach, there are a few cafes that I have in my rotating rolodex for their various merits, some kind of holy triad of free wi-fi, good food, good conversation, and decent espresso (double-small capp).
– Currently at Golden Gate Perk (Kearny & Bush), the oddly named Korean cafe. Perks: good cappuccinos, wi-fi, and Korean food (hearty gravy and rice dishes). It’s also got interesting street life pictured above. You can watch the Vidal Salon school across Claude Lane if you’re really into procrastinating
– Melt! (Filbert & Columbus) is the fun local hangout for chatting with neighbors. I’ve never actually gotten work done here, though I’ve heard some do. Great French Onion soup.
– Cafe Sapore – the art school hangout on Taylor & Lombard. It’s got Squat & Gobble style food, a tomato and spinach quiche that is to die for. Kind of noisy, but nobody is talking about computers, and I really appreciate that. I get tons of work done here.
– Top of Russian Hill, Chameleon, Pacific & Leavenworth. Good food, great espresso, nice non-intrusive cafe workers, and a quiet studious atmosphere. If they had this in college, I would have gotten better grades. It’s like a well-lighted place, that’s just quiet by communal decision. Lots of laptops, and you get tons of work done, but please only talk in hushed tones. Also a nice modern decor, not that scrubbed pine look that most cafes go for.
– 901 Columbus (Lombard & Columbus). This is like a hybrid Chameleon & Melt. Neighborly local feel, you can chat in normal tones, but you can also get a lot of work done. The owner teases me because he fears my personality is like how I order, always the same thing- the schwerma, named “the Pavarotti.”