Hey Laura, I packed my thermos for my week-long trip to San Francisco. Help me fill it up! The only caveat is that I’ll be on foot in the Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason area. What’s good that is nearby?
You’ll be spending most of your time at Fort Mason, so be aware that Greens (famous! awesome vegetarian fare! you should eat there!) Restaurant has a little to-go cafe with coffee and pastries in the morning and soup and sandwiches in the afternoon. Greens To Go opens at 8am (9am on Sundays).
Also in Fort Mason is Cafe Franco, located in the back of the Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel. Look for signs at the hostel, and be aware that the cafe is often closed between 3 and 5pm. They have free wifi, thanks to the hostel.
If you can’t make the walk to Fort Mason without tanking up first, here are some well-Yelped* stops along your way.
Coffee Adventures - The owner apparently pulls a great Americano, and their pastries and sandwiches get good reviews too. This Fisherman’s Wharf cafe has free wifi and comfy couches. Give the finger to the Starbucks across the way.
901 Columbus Caffe - Near your hotel if you need a free wifi hotspot and a decent cup of coffee.
La Boulange Bakery - On Union street at Laguna, this one is closer to Fort Mason. It’s a French bakery, so what you get here will rival the Sparrow back home. They have a gorgeous array of macarons, but no wifi. If you plan on making this your coffee-home for the week, pick up a frequent coffee drinker card and your 10th espresso is on the house!
Blue Bottle Coffee - Totally in the opposite direction, but well worth the walk. I don’t know if the Ferry Building shop has them, but this is the place with the vacuum presses! Go early (they open at 7am) if you don’t want to wait with the Ferry Building lunch crowd. They have a booth at the Farmers Market (worth a visit!) on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
The Buena Vista - for ::ahem:: evening coffee, check out the historic Buena Vista’s famous Irish Coffee! (They actually open at 8 or 9am, so if you’re off to a rough start…) :)
And, because you’re lucky, I’m adding another recommendation - on Saturday nights the Fort Mason-based improv theatre group called BATS (Bay Area Theatre Sports) do a fantastic improv show. I have fond memories seeing BATS when I was part of an improv team in college. Go!