(Courtesy of Brixton Key)

8 Beautiful, Unexpectedly Public Places Where You Can Hang out All Day

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These hidden nooks are perfect to sit with your laptop, or perhaps even a book.

If you've lived in San Francisco for as long as I have, you've either decided that you'll work out of BlueBottle and Philz forever or that you're desperate for a change of pace. I'm in the latter camp; in search for a place that's reminiscent of that feeling of being abroad and popping on your laptop from the cool bar or museum you're currently visiting. Here are some hidden gems for when you need an escape from the well-known.


1) 111 Minna Gallery

Probably the best known on this list, 111 Minna is a coffee shop staple right off of Second St. and Mission. Filled with a rotating collection of art, this popular event space is an ideal retreat for inspiration. Unassuming from the outside, its interior is surprisingly large, yet warm and inviting. And the coffee is pretty good too. // 7am-9pm 111 Minna St. (SoMa), 111minnagallery.com

(Courtesy of 111 Minna Gallery)

2) SalesForce Public Sitting Area

Located directly across from the Salesforce Tower in their older building, this office lobby has tons of natural light, great benches, and, most importantly, a concert-sized LED screen with a visualizer. It feels strangely dystopian (especially with the towering Salesforce Tower in front of you), but is a wonderful spot to zen out. Favorite visualizer? The water. // 350 Mission St. (SoMa)

(Courtesy of Lawrence Anderson)

3) Sansome Rooftop Deck

Colorful tile and abundant sunlight make this spot feel like you're sitting in a cafe in Oaxaca. The views from this office building's roof aren't necessarily anything to write home about, but the bustling FiDi traffic below reminds you of the oasis you've found. You'll feel wrong hopping into the elevators, but this deck is 100% public. // 10am-5pm, 222 Halleck Alley (FiDi)

(Courtesy of Adam S.)

4) Airbnb Lobby

Airbnb's lobby is, unsurprisingly, a stylish haven. Filled with natural light, a green wall, and minimalist decor, it's a great spot to grab coffee or sit and get some writing done. // Open 24 hours Mon-Fri, 888 Brannan St. (SoMa)

(Courtesy of Airbnb)

5) Hive Park

Hive Park is a beautiful, communal location with both indoor and outdoor seating. Nestled in downtown Oakland, this rustically charming community center is the perfect gathering spot for work, gossip, or coffee. In addition to co-working space, Hive also has specialty restaurants and a holistic fitness center. // 2335 Broadway (Oakland), hiveoakland.com

(Courtesy of Hive)

6) Empire Park

Perhaps Chinatown's best kept secret, this plaza feels more like a neighborhood alley than a park. With benches and tresses with vines, Empire is a small, narrow hideaway where you'll unlikely be discovered. This spot is ideal as a quiet place to eat lunch. // 648 Commercial St. (FiDi)

(Courtesy of Nick Zi Chen)

7) Garden Terrace at 150 California

Pop onto this rooftop if you're looking for a quick, convenient place to work that's not your office. With a great view down California Street, greenery, and large metal archway, this spot is perfect for a brainstorm sesh. // 150 California St. (FiDi)

(Courtesy of JP Cavender)

8) Citigroup Center Atrium

This open air atrium looks straight out of an art museum, or hotel lobby in Africa. Brimming with marble, fountains and palm trees, the seating area is a true gem in the heart of downtown. Pick up a bite from the food trucks nearby and sit under the arched glass ceiling. You'll rarely not be able to find a table // 1 Sansome St. (FiDi)

(Courtesy of Adam S.)

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