This is the start to a series on my blog titled: A Workable Cafe. There are so many great cafes in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, but in my opinion, not all of them make a great work space. For each cafe featured they will be chosen based on the following criteria:
- Do they have nice, sturdy tables with actual chairs? I get uncomfortable fairly quickly so I need an actual chair vs. a slouchy couch. Also, by the nature of my work, I need to use a mouse to chop away at spreadsheets, so sitting up properly where I can lay out all my working tools is important.
- Is there free Wifi? You would think this was a given… but I’ve found myself at many cafes were you have to pay per hour for wifi! It sucks.
- Do they offer great food and drink options? I love a great cafe that serves things other than pastries. Especially if you are going to be camped out doing some serious work, you need real sustenance.
- What is the atmosphere like? I can’t stand it when it’s too crowded to get any work done OR (the worst) when I go to a cafe and the baristas are blasting their techno workout playlist that just makes it impossible to concentrate. *cough cough* Philz Coffee in the Tenderloin *cough cough*
- Are the bathrooms clean?… for obvious reasons.
So follow along for some great recommendations on where to get some work done from The City down to Silicon Valley. Our first cafe takes us to Town and Country Village in Palo Alto, CA.
Ayelet Babka Bakery
For this one I literally followed my nose. I work “away” from home some Fridays and in this particular day, I started out at a different cafe, one that shall not be named because the chairs sucked… so I got up and started walking towards my car only to be lured in by the lustrous scent of chocolate and sweet bread.
First I see the dark, trendy interior and then my eyes pan over to their marble coffee tables and I realize that this might possibly be a cafe….
So I wander in and ask if they have wifi and they shout back at me, “of course!”. I ordered a green tea and settled in. I was so curious by the scene that I asked more questions. Here is what I found out:
- Ayelet is a bakery cafe, that hosts baking workshops. You can check out their upcoming events here.
- They specialize in Israeli Babka Cakes and they are ESPECIALLY busy on the weekends; which is probably why I never noticed in before. I tend to avoid crowded cafes…
So let me break it down for you:
Do they have nice, sturdy tables with actual chairs?
Yes! Very few though, so like I said, I would imagine that on the weekend, there is no where to sit. I visited on a Friday afternoon around 3pm and it was empty. In the photo below, you can see a marble table top which is also available to sit at if you want to do work.
Is there free Wifi? Yes 😉
Do they offer great food and drink options? They offer an array of pastries and sweets, according to their Yelp reviews it looks like they serve Yogurt with fruit in addition to pastries. I did not see a menu while I was there, but based off the internet, I think it’s safe to assume they only serve and sell pastries.
What is the atmosphere like? On a Friday afternoon, it was quiet and lovely. There was a couple nearby drinking tea and speaking french. So I felt, with the aroma of sweet babka cakes and the sound of french gossip, very transported.
Are the bathrooms clean? unfortunately, they did not have bathrooms for customers! I had a terrible piece of glitter in my eye from makeup the night before and I really needed a mirror, I asked for their bathroom and they didn’t have one… for customers. So I had to use my phone to try and get that glitter out of my eye.
This Cafe is a 12 minute walk from the Palo Alto Caltrain Station. Click on the photo below to check it out on Google Maps.
All in all it was a lovely place to settle in and do some work. I loved the glass tea set they gave me for my green tea, the table was beautiful; I was sitting on a elegant green velvet chair that matched the sofa pictured above. Aside from not having a bathroom on site, this has definitely been one of my favorite finds since moving down to Silicon Valley.