San Francisco

Top Ten Coolest Businesses Downtown San Francisco











If you’re looking for ways to connect with some of the A-list tech companies in Silicon Valley then SVIC (Silicon Valley Innovation Centre) run unique tours and immersion programs. But it’s not just for tech aficionados either, there’s also innovation programs for banking, transport and business models.  

It’s also worth checking out Google’s Acceleration Program which support start-ups to create products to Google standards. There’s a wealth of benefits included in this program plus opportunities to take part in a range of technology gatherings.

Networking events are also another great way to try and meet with some of these influencers. StartUp Digest in particular, focuses on tech start-ups based in both Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. While the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce hold regular networking events for a mix of business industries happening in and around the city.

The Bay Area, Downtown and Montgomery St

Touching Down in San Francisco

The San Francisco county is big enough to accommodate three airports.

There’s San Francisco Airport, the largest of all three and only 21km (13 miles) from downtown San Francisco.

There’s also Oakland International Airport which is ideal if you’re travelling to the beautiful national parks and The Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport which is your best pick if you’re looking at doing some business in Silicon Valley.

San Francisco Airport – SFO

The first airport to include its very own museum as well as a yoga room in Terminal 2, San Francisco Airport is innovative and modern, and equipped with a plethora of top notch facilities to ensure smooth and efficient travelling.

Once you have re-centred yourself with a session of stretching in the yoga room and collected your baggage, you have quite a few choices when it comes to making your way into the city itself.

The AirTrain is San Francisco airports’ own convenient transport shuttle that is free of charge and connects with both the domestic and international terminals including the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) which is the only train link running from the airport, to the city of San Francisco and the general Bay area.  

There’s also SamTrans, a public bus service that transports “passengers in and around the San Mateo area and offers direct services from the airport to downtown San Francisco, The Peninsula and Palo Alto”.

If you’d prefer catching an Uber, then travelling into the financial district of San Francisco could be between $30-40.

Oakland International Airport

Coming in as second busiest to SFO, Oakland International Airport is actually the closer of the two to the financial district.

The Oakland International Airport also has many choices for transport to and from the city. There is the BART service as well as AC Transit bus services. Jayride also offer a shuttle service otherwise an Uber is always an option.

Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport

This airport is on a much smaller scale compared to Oakland and San Francisco, however, it recently underwent renovations which is helping to improve people’s long held perceptions of this being known as the county’s regional airport.

Previously considered simply as a traveller hub, the addition of new restaurants and eateries is raising the status of this city owned airport.

If you’re keen to get straight into business, then it’s the obvious choice and a good substitute to San Francisco Airport for those wanting quick access to Silicon Valley.    

Getting Around “The City”

Travel Essentials

Currency USD
Language English
Time zone GMT-8
Electricity 110 to 115 volts, 60Hz AC
Dialling Code 415
Business Visa “While for citizens of most countries, a valid visa is required to enter San Francisco, citizens of 'participating countries' are eligible to enter for a period not exceeding 90 days for the purposes of tourism or certain unpaid business activities without a visa under the 'Visa Waiver Program' (VWP). Although you will need your eligibility confirmed through an online process known as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation).”

San Francisco Business Culture

While the city itself runs at a frenetic pace, the business culture in San Francisco can be summed up in one word, “relaxed.” Although, in saying that there are a few cardinal rules within the San Francisco business fraternity to adhere too.

Punctuality is still very important. Try not to organise meetings during peak times, with the most appreciated meeting times between 10am-3pm. Make sure you always take into consideration traffic delays; San Francisco is a bustling city.

Embrace the notion of “time is valuable”, it’s something San Franciscans take quite seriously. They are also very forward thinking in their approach to the concept of work/life balance so keep that in mind when making a meeting time and ensure that it fits in with their availability.

Be prompt and timely with any correspondence and whenever possible refer on any business via your own networks as it’s always valued and highly regarded.

San Francisco experiences what some refer to as microclimates so be prepared. Interestingly, the weather is cool all year round including Summer. Work attire is still the usual well-cut suit for those in the law and financial sectors however, a more relaxed style can be enjoyed for others.

Staying in San Francisco

San Francisco Proper

An art deco treasure, you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time into 1920’s Paris at the San Francisco Proper. The walls throughout the hotel are dotted with exquisite Mid-century modern art which extends to the rooms also. A visit to Charmaine is highly encouraged (it’s the hotel’s rooftop bar) and a meal at the hotel restaurant Villon is not to be missed. The hotel also considerately sends texts prior to your arrival checking on any special requests so they can ensure everything is in place for your stay.

The hotel is conveniently located close to BART with the closest main landmark being the Civic Centre (where major cultural activities and events happen).

Hotel Del Sol

This hotel was recently renovated and is furnished with 1950’s inspired décor. If you’re looking to slow down a little and avoid the fast-paced scene of downtown San Francisco, then this is perfect.

Hotel Del Sol oozes coolness, and while in a quieter part of the city, it is still a vibrant, happening place. With a saltwater pool, bright and breezy rooms and a great choice of meeting venues close by, this hotel has been a popular choice for many return guests.

4 & 5 Star San Francisco Hotels

Fairmont Heritage Place

This first-class hotel overlooks the San Francisco Bay with generous apartment style rooms. If you have any downtime the hotel’s comprehensive amenities also include bikes. You could always take a ride through the city and over the Gold Gate Bridge. Being located on a bus line makes getting around the city for meetings easy.

The hotel was renovated from the infamous Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory into Fairmont Heritage Place.

Double Tree by Hilton, Berkeley Marina

If you’re looking to stay in the East Bay area, then this is your pick. The 378-room hotel boasts lovely views of the bay and Berkley Hills or you can choose a room with a courtyard if you prefer. There’s also a fitness centre to unwind in after a busy day of meetings or if it’s a stiff drink or three you’d rather, than there’s always the Bay Lounge at sunset.

Grand Hyatt San Francisco

An ideal option for the business traveller, this hotel is centrally located and close to Union Square and China Town. You can expect tastefully appointed rooms (all 662 of them) that are comfortable and quiet with reliable Wi-Fi.

A stay at the Grand Hyatt promises to be a superior experience for every guest.

Courtyard San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf

Expect spacious rooms with accommodating and friendly staff who pull out all the stops to make you feel special. The hotel is very considerate to the business traveller and includes flexible spaces to work and a 24-hour business centre.

It’s also worth becoming a Marriot Rewards Member (also known as Platinum Elite members) as there are a host of extra services extended for members.

Entertaining San Francisco Style

San Francisco has no shortage of fancy fare and cool bars to choose from when it comes to hosting a business meeting. Below are just a few ideas to get you started. Remember that the legal drinking age is 21 and alcohol can be served until 2am.

San Francisco Bars

Trick Dog

With a menu that changes every six months and a selection of unique cocktails that were created in collaboration with chefs from San Francisco restaurants, this is a popular bar that caters for a wide range of clientele. The drinks menu is displayed as a book, need we say more. The place gives off a speakeasy vibe with its dark and moody ambience and hidden entrance.

Urban Putt

If you rather like discussing strategies over a few rounds of golf, then Urban Putt can oblige. You can even drink while you’re putting thanks to the well-placed tables at each hole.

Urban Putt is the only San Francisco bar that comes complete with a playable miniature golf course. Each hole is different and has its own artistic design and theme. This is a fun, unique bar that offers a lighter approach to a business meeting.


If a Mumbai Mule is more what you’re looking for, then ABV serves up an extensive range of cocktails (and some bespoke ones too) to meet everyone’s liking. This bar is only a short drive from Union Square and has a modern, hip edge to it.

This establishment is bound to impress any cocktail epicures and is also known to serve up some delicious snack type fare if needed.

San Francisco’s Top Restaurants and Eateries

Bon Voyage

If delicious pillowy dumplings and cocktails sound like the perfect addition to your business meeting, then Bon Voyage won’t disappoint. The restaurant exudes a casual and fun ambience and one hella cocktail menu. With cocktail names like Bay Wolf, Blue Caterpillar and Ooty Club, these delightful cocktails are guaranteed to be a great way to kick off or end any meeting.


If you’re more of a beer connoisseur, then Radhaus has got plenty on offer. Pair that with some good old wholesome food like Chicken Schnitzel and Bratwurst and it’s a match made in heaven for those who enjoy such German delicacies.

It’s perfect for either a quick meal or something longer and if you quite enjoy hosting a meeting with a spectacular backdrop then Radhaus is just the venue. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset are stunning.


If your meeting calls for more sophisticated elegance, then Sorrel will do perfectly. Located in a quieter part of the city, hidden in suburbia, Sorrel lives up to all expectations and then some.

Offering an Al a carte menu which includes a tasting menu option that allows you to sample many of the delicious dishes on offer, this is an establishment that takes the meaning of superb to a whole new level. The Truffle Pasta is a must and if you aren’t a wine drinker than you may need to rethink as the restaurant only serves wine.

Coworking Spaces

Rocket Space

If you’re want a space that caters more for tech and start-up businesses, then this is it. Rocket Space is more than just a coworking space, it also runs corporate pilot programs to help start-ups increase brand exposure and connect with industry leaders. You’re bound to make some great industry connections here.

Have a Hella Great Trip

There’s no doubt a business trip to San Francisco could have the potential to open new doors and opportunities for many business professionals. With the evolving tech industries, emerging start-ups and a financial district that’s home to fortune 500 companies, the city offers endless possibilities for savvy business people with an entrepreneurial spirit.