A Freelancer’s Guide to San Francisco

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At Fiverr, we’re shaping the future of work every day, and we love to celebrate our community’s ability to live and work on their own terms, while enjoying the flexibility of a freelance lifestyle.

In our blog series, A Freelancer’s Guide, we’re exploring different global cities and how to succeed as a freelancer in them. Whether you’re just visiting or living there full-time, these are places where you can thrive as an entrepreneur. This post is about the United State’s startup capital, San Francisco!

San Francisco is home to some of the world’s most progressive and robust startup communities, and the perfect place for a freelancer to be inspired. Great weather combined with seemingly endless places to explore make this city an amazing place to network and get things done!

Where to Stay

San Francisco, though small, is an extremely diverse combination of neighborhoods, where each one has its own distinct look and feel. With an easy to navigate public transportation system combined with an abundance of Ubers and Lyfts, no neighborhood is difficult to get to. Here are a few recommendations:

SoMa
This neighborhood is as historic as it is bustling. You’ll be surrounded by tall buildings, tourists, and people getting to work. The headquarters of Salesforce, Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb, (the list goes on) are all located in SoMa. Shop in Union Square, explore the Ferry Building right on the water, and take a ride up Powell Street on San Francisco’s famous Cable Cars.

The Mission
This neighborhood is undeniably the fastest growing and changing neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s almost always sunny, and is home to great local art, restaurants, bars, and shopping. The Mission is also home to Dolores Park, San Francisco’s most sprawling and frequented park and a favorite spot for locals.

The Marina
Looking for an escape by the water? The Marina is the neighborhood for you. Located right on the northern tip of San Francisco, you’ll be steps away from the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, and a myriad of delicious places to eat.

Lower Haight/Nopa
Located right in the center of San Francisco, the Lower Haight/Nopa is easily the most accessible neighborhood in the city. Take a run or a bike ride into Golden Gate park all the way to the ocean and get a taste of the quieter side of the city. You’ll be within walking distance from the Castro neighborhood, the Mission, Alamo Square Park (think Painted Ladies), and Haight Ashbury.

Hayes Valley
You’ll be greeted with a gorgeous view of San Francisco’s City Hall and the SF Symphony. Shop local stores, and grab a bite to eat at any of the amazing restaurants on Hayes Street.

Where to Eat

There are too many amazing places in San Francisco to put into one list! Here are a few, but you can always consult Yelp or Thrillist for more recommendations!

Foreign Cinema

Enjoy delicious American fare coupled with a gorgeous space and old movies playing the background. Perfect for a nice dinner with friends or a boozy Sunday brunch, Foreign Cinema is a staple of the Mission.

Il Farolito
You can’t visit San Francisco without trying one of our famous taquerias. You’ll find these all over the Mission and you truly can’t go wrong. Il Farolito a favorite, but you will be pleased no matter which one you step into.

Tartine Bakery

This famous bakery makes the most delicious bread. Come during the weekday for lunch to avoid crazy lines. Enjoy a sandwich, some coffee, and be sure to try the infamous lemon tart.

Nopa
This favorite is always packed with locals but somehow, you’ll always manage to find a seat. Classy, yet affordable American food with a twist of the Mediterranean.

Central Kitchen and Trick Dog
These two restaurants neighbor each other. Go to Trick Dog and enjoy an innovative cocktail as you wait for a table at Central Kitchen next door. Enjoy classic Californian cuisine made with only the freshest local ingredients.

Where to Work

You can get work done anywhere in San Francisco – whether it be spending a day at a coworking space, at one of San Francisco’s famous coffee shops, or even outside with a hotspot on a nice day. It really is a freelancer’s heaven. Here are some favorites:

Stable Cafe
Located in the Mission, this café has amazing coffee, great breakfast and lunch, and a beautiful and quaint outdoor garden.

The Social Study
Outlets galore! The Social Study in the Fillmore District was built for freelancers. With an old-timey vintage feel, you’ll be surrounded by books and exposed brick. There are personal desks that face the wall as well as communal tables if you’re in the mood to be more social.

Workshop Cafe
Located in SoMa, this coffee shop/café let you pay per day to work. Think of it has a hybrid between a coffee shop and a coworking space. Equipped with lightning fast Wifi, phone booths, and even a few conference rooms, this is the perfect place to get focused and network with other freelancers. You can book spots ahead of time on their website.

Dolores Park
If the weather is nice out, bring your laptop and a hotspot to Dolores Park. The park is surrounded by local eateries for you to pick up lunch on the go and enjoy it outside while getting some work done.

Ritual Coffee/Four Barrel Coffee/Sightglass Coffee
We couldn’t decide on one San Francisco coffee shop so we listed three of them. Enjoy fancy coffee, sprawling spaces to work, great WiFi and the community of tons of other great freelancers.

Where to Network

Networking is San Francisco’s lifeline. With multiple coworking spaces (some even targeted at specific industries), meetups, happy hours, and more, San Francisco is a networker’s paradise!

Meetup.com
Be sure to check out Meetups in the San Francisco area. You are guaranteed to find multiple events every evening for different specialty interest groups. Whether you are looking to get connected to photographers, VCs, technical folks, young people, older people, or anything else you can think of, you’ll find it on meetup.com. The best part is that almost all the events are free and open to the public!

WeWork SF
There are 5 WeWork locations in SF, and they are all amazing. Stop by any one of them for a tour and spend the day enjoying free coffee and beer in their common area workspace. You’re bound to connect to some interesting folks and discover new startups everyday.

Third Workplace
This co-working space has hourly and daily rates you can book in advance online. A huge plus: conference rooms are available to daily drop-ins and non-members too! If you are staying in SoMa, this is the spot for you.

Makeshift Society
This artist and creative focused space offers co-working as well as a community to network and connect with like-minded folks. It’s easy to book a day-pass and the staff is extremely friendly and will help get you set up!

Mission Cliffs
Looking to do something truly San Franciscan? Stop by Mission Cliffs for a break in the work day and meet some new people rock climbing. Mission Cliffs is crowded after work hours, so go during the day if you want to meet other freelancers. The gym will be packed with folks who don’t work regular hours and are looking to connect through the climbing community. Hint: Don’t refer to San Franciscans as San Franciscans, we hate that ☺

Where to Meet

Looking to hold a meeting while you’re in town? You won’t be able to visit a coffee shop or café (and the occasional bar) where someone isn’t holding some type of business meeting. Here are a few suggestions for quiet yet cool places to meet up!

Mission Cheese
Mission cheese is the perfect after work place to have a drink with a colleague. You’ll almost always have a spot to sit and the wine selection is excellent. Cheese mongers run the place and serve light bites and an expertly curated cheese list.

Matching Half Cafe
This place is AMAZING. A beautiful and quieter space that serves Sightglass Coffee. Located in Western Addition, you’ll definitely find peace and quiet here. Pro tip: the outlets are most abundant in the back of the café.

Coffee Bar
Located in the Outer Mission/Potrero, you’ll meet tons of tech folks from companies in the area like Lyft, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Kitchit. Parking in San Francisco can be limited, so this is a great option for those who will be driving into the city!

We’re no doubt missing many spots, old and new, that keep San Francisco thriving, but it’s clear that regardless of where you meet, eat, or work, you’ll be surrounded by like minded go-getters all over San Francisco. So have you booked your ticket, yet?
Have any places to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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Matt Jensen
Growing and engaging communitys for 10 years, Matt engages Fiverr's digital communities. Helping both sellers and buyers colaborate and share ideas with each other.
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aladin02dz
Guest

Thanks for sharing! may be one day I will visit this wonderful place of innovation and technology!

fastcopywriter
Guest
fastcopywriter
You couldn’t pay me to live in San Francisco. The city is overpriced, there are people making $100,000 a year and spending 50% of their paycheck on rent. There are folks who commute 1-2 hours, each way. Everything is super expensive, there are homeless people everywhere, if you’re not a tech millionaire, San Francisco sucks. If you’re a tech millionaire, everyone hates your guts. Got a fancy car? Watch out for vandals that will key it out of spite. On the other hand, if you’re a liberal hipster that enjoys $10 fair trade organic coffee, then maybe you’ll love it… Read more »
shifat27
Guest

I am from Bangladesh & if you are making around $2k/per month,you can live a luxurious life around this part of the world but I don’t believe I can lead a life like now if I was living in San Francisco.

hossain836
Guest

Thanks for sharing! may be one day I will visit this wonderful place of innovation and technology!

hex0rnaveen
Guest
hex0rnaveen

Hmmm… really inspiring Thanks for Sharing this wonderful article.

hossain836
Guest

really inspiring Thanks for Sharing

nirkri
Guest

Hmm..mm.. Thank for sharing such a wonderful inspiring article – Good luck to every one – Let’s Welcome 2017 wonderful new year.

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