By Paul Joseph
The cultural, commercial and financial center of northern California, San Francisco is perhaps best known nowadays for being home to a vast number of start-up and global tech companies that together comprise ‘Silicon Valley’. For budding entrepreneurs who aspire to one day join them, there are also numerous co-working spaces dotted across the city where people can pay for the use of communal work desks in the company of likeminded folk.
If you’re planning to spend time in the Bay Area and would like to use a San Francisco co-working space during your stay, we’ve done some research and picked out 10 of the best co-working venues the city has to offer, based on factors including price, membership flexibility, opening hours, social events, and amenities.
Housed in an old printing warehouse close to some of San Fran’s best restaurants, bars and museums, this tri-level coworking space bills itself as a hub of art, culture and community. The venue offers a range of monthly membership packages starting at $440 per month for open seating, including perks such as 24/7 access, nap and shower rooms, and regular social events. For those seeking a more flexible option, Cove also offers ‘no commitment’ co-working on weekdays from 8am-7pm, with hourly rates priced at $4 or day passes for $32. There’s also an on-site coffee shop, café and tap room.
Founded by award-winning artist, author, and clothing designer Marilyn Yu in 2013, SHARED has grown to become one of the city’s most unique co-working venues. The concept is centered on the idea of creative “play” space, multi-purpose space that can accommodate a variety of activities such as thinking, experimenting, and collaborating. Membership packages start at $150 per month for weekend and evening hot desk access, and rise to $350 for daily access. Various dedicated spaces are also available. Amenities include a well-equipped kitchen, a lounge area, meeting & conference rooms, and bicycle parking.
Designed to avoid looking and feeling like a conventional work space, CANOPY prides itself on offering a refreshing antidote to traditional office life. With four sites across San Fran, their Financial District coworking venue offers a variety of membership packages to suit your needs, concierge-style services and amenities, and a busy events program. There are only monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $365 per month for daily access to a shared work table. Members can also make use of a conference room, private phone booths, a full-sized kitchen, printer/scanner, and tech support.
This dynamic coworking space is far more than simply a place to work for the assortment of creative professionals, startups, and freelancers who come here each day. Instead it is a veritable cultural, social and entertainments hub that hosts in-house fitness classes, live music, fine art exhibitions, happy hours, and other pop-up events. Membership is also highly flexible, with the option of daily drop-in and open seating (including communal bean bags) through to a more private setup, with prices starting at $400 per month. Amenities include a fully furnished kitchen space, printing/scanning facilities, lockers and bike parking.
Located in San Fran’s Central Business District, Anchor is one of the few co-working spaces on our list with no membership fees. Instead, you can simply book monthly floating desks ad hoc, starting at $225 per month with no additional commitments. You can also ‘try before you guy’ to see whether it’s the right space for you before shelling out any cash. The venue also has 5 conference rooms, a colour printer, and AppleTV for presentations, as well as recreational facilities including lounges, a kitchen, a meditation area, a Foosball table, and a regular programme of talks and other events.
SOMACentral has two co-working spaces – one in the warehouse-filled district of SOMA and one in the Financial District. The SOMA venue in the neighbourhood of Townsend is surrounded by several major companies including, Airbnb, Tech Crunch, Zenga, and others. Hot desks are available for $375 per month, and dedicated desks for $550 per month, with all memberships running month to month. On-site services and amenities available to members include high-speed Internet, secure bike parking, small job printing, gourmet coffee, conference rooms, and phone booths, There’s also a diverse programme of professional and social events, plus a games area for recreation.
Part café, part co-working space, guests at the Workshop Café certainly won’t go hungry during their working day. In keeping with its casual café vibe, no membership is required, and you can simply drop in to get a bit of work done and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat, or spend all day here if you prefer. Hot desking is relaxed too, with everything from standing desks to comfy chairs available, and every work station equipped with power outlets and high-speed WiFi. Other amenities include breakout spaces, work-friendly music, Apple TV and printing services. You can also order kitchen food, as well as gourmet coffee, wine & beer directly from your phone via a dedicated Workshop Café app.
Founded in London in 2005, Impact Hub has grown to become a global community of more than 15,000 professional members in venues worldwide, with a strong focus on positive social, economic and environmental change. Their San Francisco outpost is a membership community of entrepreneurs, activists, creatives, and professionals, with members having access to a co-working space, as well as amenities such as coffee/tea, privacy booths, printing, frequent events, meeting space rentals, and more. Membership comes in two packages – Community membership, which is priced at $50 per month for a one-day pass per month, and Community, which costs $225 per month for weekday access from 9am-5pm.
Bespoke is a trifecta of co-working, demo and event spaces located in Bloomingdale’s department store in the heart of San Fran. It’s home to an array of retail tech companies and offers weekday co-working access for $35 per day from 9am-6pm, or 24/7 shared desk access for $416 per month. Monthly members can work from one of the many communal areas and also have access to 5 hours of conference room credit per month, as well as amenities including unlimited printing, phone booths, shared kitchen, community events, a quiet library with sleep nooks, bike storage, shower and complimentary coffee and tea. Bespoke members also receive exclusive deals and discounts from a range of lifestyle brands.
Created in 2008, PARISOMA is at the heart of the tech, design and entrepreneurship startup scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. Membership includes much more than a desk and a chair, with members getting access to over 100 classes and events a year that are specifically geared to help them with their endeavours as well as an engaged mentor community. Available with all membership types are printers/copiers, conference and meeting rooms, phone booths, bike racks, and free coffee & tea. Day passes are available for $25 per day, and flexible seating membership starts at $325 per month.