(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

With traffic being a daily challenge for Bay Area workers, more companies, especially in the tech sector, are relying on employees to work remotely from home. But because the Bay Area loves its coffee, it isn’t an uncommon sight to visit a local coffee shop filled with virtual employees or individuals hoping to create the next hot startup. While not all of the most popular Bay Area coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi, like Blue Bottle, Four Barrel and the Mill, there is still an enormous variety of locations that do offer free wireless access, without mentioning any of the ubiquitous coffee chain shops permeating the region. Here are five of the best coffee shops to work from home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Actual Café
6334 San Pablo Ave.
Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 653-8386
wwwactualcafe.com

Actual Café is an outstanding spot for working on your laptop. It has great Wi-Fi, is located near the Berkeley Marina, has a great selection of food and drinks and even has its own indoor bike parking. Drink selections include espresso, cappuccino, latte, mocha and café au lait, as well as soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails. Actual Café does observe laptop-free weekends, which makes a lot of sense, especially when visitors just coming to visit for lunch might have difficulty finding a place to sit.

Coffee Bar
1890 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-8100
www.coffeebarsf.com

With an upscale setting and a hipster vibe, the Coffee Bar is one of the great hot spots for San Francisco telecommuters. Although there are a number of tables made available to people working on their laptops, one section is only accessible to lunch patrons from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Coffee Bar serves breakfast until 11 a.m. on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on weekends. Breakfast selections from the menu include organic peanut butter and fig jam on multigrain bread and breakfast burritos. In addition to the Bryant Street location in the Mission District, there are two other Coffee Bars in San Francisco’s Financial District, one on Montgomery Street and the other on Kearny Street.

People’s Coffee and Tea
2015 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 666-0666
www.peoplesjoint.com

Due to its proximity to UC Berkeley, People’s Coffee and Tea is a popular spot for students. But it’s spacious, laptop friendly and besides a nice selection of coffee and tea drinks, also serves a variety of low-cost meals, in particular its “famous bagels.” People’s Coffee and Tea offers free fast wireless and is open from 7 a.m. to midnight and is said to be open everyday, including holidays. The Downtown Berkeley BART station is a few short blocks away.

Philz Coffee
118 Paseo de San Antonio Walk
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 971-4212
www.philzcoffee.com

Philz Coffee can be found throughout the Bay Area and many locals say it has the most flavorful coffee, in addition to an excellent spot for laptop work. This downtown San Jose location is adjacent to San Jose State University, also making it a popular spot for university students. Philz Coffee is so popular in the Bay Area that any of its locations could make a list of the best coffee shops to work, including six locations in San Francisco and four other locations in the South Bay. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enjoys Philz Coffee so much that he helped establish a shop at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, open only to Facebook employees and their guests. The original Philz Coffee is located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The Creamery
685 4th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 896-1446
www.thecreamerysf.com

Just one block from the San Francisco Cal Train station, the Creamery is a popular spot for tech professionals. That’s because a number of San Francisco tech companies are headquartered nearby, such as Eventbrite, Dropbox, Wired Magazine, Reddit and Stumble Upon. It’s also a favorite spot for lunch meetings, where people can share ideas while enjoying selections from the menu like omelets, homemade granola with Straus yogurt, sandwiches, salads and a large selection of crepes. While there is plenty of seating indoors for telecommuters, there’s also outside seating, where dogs are welcome to sit with their owners.

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.