Outside Dreamforce: an insider’s guide

By | November 17th, 2009

Dreamforce

Are you in San Francisco for Salesforce’s Dreamforce event?

3 days, 15,000 people, booming sounds booths, light shows, and lots of clouds – both the real and virtual type. Salesforce provides you plenty of guidance about what to do at Dreamforce.

But what should you do when you are outside of Dreamforce?

You could go to the standard nearby corporate locations: Chevy’s, the W Hotel bar, Thirsty Bear, or Starbucks. But…the Backblaze team lives here and we like a little variety. So, shhhh…we’ll share with you a few of our favorite spots that are walking distance from Dreamforce, but provide a little local color.

Samovar – Directly above Moscone center, in the upper terrace on Yerba Buena Gardens but ironically REALLY hard to find. Quite possibly the best tea in San Francisco. Their Chai is mindblowing.

Metreon Farmers Market – Yes, it is an indoor farmer’s market. Great spot for a quick eat during the busy conference. Our favorites include the gyros, indian wraps …and of course, red velvet mini cupcakes. Also, as an appetizer, definitely try some of the afghani bread; if you stand at their booth long enough, you might not need lunch. (Metreon building – entrance at the corner of Mission St and 4th St.)

Pazzia – Great local Italian place. Italian style pizzas served by Italians. Go ahead, practice your Italian on the waiters and waitresses… They love it! (337 3rd St between Folsom and Harrison)

Epicenter – Good coffee, good sandwiches, free wifi. A Backblaze favorite. (764 Harrison St between 3rd and 4th)

Blue Bottle Coffee – These guys are serious about a cup of coffee. Everything they do, from selecting the beans, to assembling the blends, to roasting is painstakingly detailed. Then, each cup is brewed at the time you order it, one at a time. Once you have Blue Bottle, you won’t want anything else. (66 Mint Street at Mission St.)

Butler & Chef – This lovely French bistro has the best croque monsieur and crepes in the city. Great spot for a breakfast meeting. (155A South Park St near 3rd St and Bryant St in South Park.)

farmerbrown’s little skillet – The closest you will get to southern cooking in San Francisco. Needless to say, whenever you are presented a menu with waffles and fried chicken, what could go wrong? (360 Ritch, between Brannan St and Townsend St.)

BrainWash – Get your laundry done while sipping a nice coffee. Or if you have brought enough clothes for the week, just enjoy the soothing sounds and smells of laundry machines and clean clothes. (A bit of a walk. 1122 Folsom between 7th St and 8th St.)

What about for a drink in the evening?

B Bar – The $1 oysters during happy hour are fantastic… and as long as the weather is sunny and warm, the outdoor patio rocks. (Directly above Moscone center, near Samovar, in the upper terrace on Yerba Buena Gardens but ironically REALLY hard to find.)

Mr. Smiths – A hipster bar in a dive bar area. Happy hour goes till 8pm. (34 7th St between Market St and Mission St.)

111 Minna – An art gallery with a drinking problem. (Surprisingly located at 111 Minna St, just off 2nd St between Mission St and Howard St.)

Chieftain – Relax with a Guinness at this Irish pub that’s just a block away from Dreamforce. (198 5th St at Howard St.)

Bourbon and Branch – San Francisco’s very own speakeasy. You don’t need a reservation at the library, but you might need the password. (Locals know it’s, “Books” … Ssshhh, don’t tell anyone.)

And just for fun, you can stop by Central Computer – the place we started out buying hard drives by the pallet to fill our Backblaze Storage Pods so we could help backup all those sales laptops ;-) (837 Howard Street between 4th St and 5th St.)

Gleb Budman
Co-founder and CEO of Backblaze. Founded three prior companies. He has been a speaker at GigaOm Structure, Ignite: Lean Startup, FailCon, CloudCon; profiled by Inc. and Forbes; a mentor for Teens in Tech; and holds 5 patents on security.

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