Coworking spaces offer more than a reprieve from the sky-high rent prices of the Bay Area. They also operate as incubators, think tanks and social spaces where freelancers and startups can meet and share ideas. To help find a coworking space that’s right for your budget, profession and work style, we put together this handy guide to spaces for everyone, from tech entrepreneurs to installation artists.

Coworking in the Bay Area
via Unsplash

Creative coworking spaces for techies, artists and entrepreneurs

Check out all 19 of our recommendations for coworking in the Bay, or skip to the section that fits your location and type of work:

Coworking spaces in San Francisco

Tech spaces:

The Vault SF
via The Vault

1. The Vault
Location: Jackson Square

The Vault prides itself on its extensive list of amenities curated with the aim of fostering creativity, learning and collaboration. They maintain a solid roster of in-house mentors and teach workshops on everything from programming to infrastructure development. There’s even a vintage library and exercise room to escape to when you need a break from working. Because of the exclusivity of resources offered, businesses must apply for membership. The Vault is ideal for businesses seeking mentorship and an upscale environment.

RocketSpace
via RocketSpace

2. RocketSpace
Location: Financial District

Founded by tech entrepreneurs, for tech entrepreneurs, RocketSpace is the birthplace of the next big thing (and the big thing after that, and the one after that too). Just look at their list of alumni, which includes several big players like Uber, Spotify and Weebly. In addition to their tech coworking campuses, RocketSpace also offers two accelerator programs per year and a corporate consultancy program to help startups find big brands to work with. With 1.5 RocketSpace startups receiving funding each week, it’s the place to be for fast-growing startups. Fun fact: they’re a #99designed company!

3. StartupHouse
Location: SoMa

With 24/7 access and events like pitch competitions and networking events, StartupHouse is the perfect place to work all night on your new idea. They even offer network apartments so if you never want to leave the office, you don’t have to! StartupHouse is ideal for early-stage startups looking to share experiences and celebrate victories with other hardworking entrepreneurs.

Artist spaces:

Shared SF
via SHARED

4. SHARED
Location: SoMa

SHARED is a creative workspace where members can think, learn and experiment in a cozy environment. The environment consists of a toolshed, private lockers, a lounge and shared meeting rooms spread across two floors, as well as shared workspaces with areas specifically designated for sewing, painting and woodworking. Although private studios are available, they are smaller in size and better-suited for artists who work well in contained spaces (such as illustrators and jewelry-makers). One of the biggest perks of the space is the opportunity to participate in San Francisco Open Studios each November, which is a great way for freelancers and creative entrepreneurs to show their work to local buyers and gallerists.

Minnesota Street Projects
via Curbed SF

5. Minnesota Street Projects
Location: Dogpatch

Minnesota Street Projects is a relatively new affordable studio solution for visual artists in the Bay Area founded by collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport. The campus offers artists individual or shared studio spaces, resources (such as a wood shop and print shop) and the ability to work alongside recognized Bay Area artists for costs much lower than market rate. In addition to the studios, there are several art galleries and nonprofits on-site, and the space hosts several notable Bay Area art events like the San Francisco Art Book Fair. Minnesota Street Projects studios are competitive in terms of acceptance and are ideal for mid-stage artists who are working full-time on their art.

A little of both:

parisoma
via PARISOMA

6. PARISOMA
Location: SoMa

With collaborative programs and an open floor plan, PARISOMA is ideal for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking to work closely with others. Their members come from all over the world, with 34% from Europe, meaning you can meet some cool new friends too. The best part? Unlimited Philz coffee, no matter which membership plan you’re on. If you’re not ready to commit to a desk space yet, dip your toes into PARISOMA’s ecosystem by checking out one of their many in-house entrepreneurship events.

Coworking spaces in Oakland

Tech spaces:

techliminal
via Tech Liminal

7. Tech Liminal
Location: Uptown Oakland

One of Oakland’s first coworking spaces, Tech Liminal specializes in one-on-one coaching for tech companies. They offer professional development tools in all categories from marketing to SEO to video production and programming. Tech Liminal even facilitates meet-ups between members to help foster the sense of community they’re after. It’s the perfect place for entrepreneurs looking for a sense of family in the workplace.

Artist spaces:

qulture-collective
via Qulture Collective

8. Qulture Collective
Location: Downtown Oakland

Unlike other places on this list, Qulture Collective isn’t just for coworking. They’re also a retail shop, cafe, gallery, maker space and community platform focused on building visibility for QTPOC (queer and trans people of color). Members include artists, entrepreneurs and activists primarily working in the nonprofit sector. Wifi is free and instead of membership, all contributions are donation-based.

9. Nimby
Location: West Oakland

Perfect for loud metalworkers, rambunctious festival artists and anyone who wants to make a whole lot of noise, Nimby’s mission stays true to their namesake slogan “Not In My Backyard” by offering a space where you can do everything that you, well, couldn’t do in someone else’s backyard. In addition to 70,000 square feet of warehouse-style studio space, Nimby also doubles as an event spot: at night, artists show their work to crowds of fun, art-loving locals. The volunteer-driven space is ideal for those building the next big thing to install at Burning Man. They’ll even help you source recycled materials for your project!

nimby
via Nimby

A little of both:

10. Oakstop
Location: Uptown Oakland

Located down the street from our Oakland office, Oakstop is a coworking community, gallery and event space in the heart of Uptown Oakland. It’s the perfect alternative for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking for a place other than a coffee shop in which to work. When you need a break from working, you can wander into the on-site gallery and peruse art made by local artists. Plus, memberships range from two days/week to 24/7 access, so there’s sure to be a package that meets your needs.

oakstop
via Oakstop

11. Percolator
Location: Downtown Oakland

Percolator boasts a diverse roster of techies, photographers, and physical artists working side-by-side in their beautiful coworking and event space in Downtown Oakland. The diversity of the community creates interesting collaboration and learning opportunities, but you don’t have to worry about bumping heads thanks to separate areas designated for digital and physical work. Plus, the space is open 24/7, making it especially great for those looking to work late hours and weekends.

impacthub
via ImpactHub

12. Impact Hub
Location: Uptown Oakland

True to their name, Impact Hub is the place for startups looking to make an impact on the world. They offer a range of programs to help companies develop their ideas. They also host several annual fundraisers and events to raise awareness for important issues and spur activism. If you’re a nonprofit or social justice-oriented business, consider taking up residence in one of their amazing ergonomic seats.

the-port
via The Port

13. The Port
Location: Jack London Square & Lake Merritt

In addition to tech entrepreneurs and artists, you can also find chefs working at The Port, making it the most delicious place on this list. And, as if that’s not enough, there’s a 30-foot tube slide to use when you’re feeling stumped (seriously). The Port is split across three historic buildings in Oakland, and members are welcome to work at all three.  Expect to have fun here.

Coworking spaces in Berkeley

Tech spaces:

berkeley-wework
via WeWork

14. WeWork
Location: Downtown Berkeley

When it comes to coworking, WeWork knows what they’re doing. They have locations all over the world and house companies of all types and sizes. We’re especially in love with the Berkeley location for the eye-catching mural by Jason Woodside that runs up the side of the building. Plus, the perks offered are second to none, including weekly networking events, happy hours, classes, workshops and even an in-house maintenance crew. Fingers crossed they bring WeLive to the Bay soon.

nextspace-2
via NextSpace

15. NextSpace
Location: Downtown Berkeley

NextSpace believes in “new beginnings, networking and naps.” If you’re not sold yet, they also offer a members-only website with resources like community forums and mailboxes on the premises so you can have mail delivered to your business. Memberships are available at all levels, ranging from a day pass to a designated office. Check out their blog to catch up on community news and familiarize yourself with the space, which has several locations across Northern California, Los Angeles and Chicago.

16. Sandbox Suites
Location: Downtown Berkeley

With alumni like Airbnb, Blue Bottle Coffee and Cisco, it’s safe to say Sandbox Suites know a thing or two about coworking in the Bay. Membership is affordable and flexible to suit the budget and needs of businesses of all sizes. We love that the friendly atmosphere lets you work on your own without feeling alone. Plus, amenities like workshops and conference room access are available no matter which membership level you choose.

Artist spaces:

makers-workspace
via Makers WorkSpace

17. Makers WorkSpace
Location: Northwest Berkeley

Makers WorkSpace brings together artists, makers and creatives of all sorts under one roof. Each artist receives their own private studio, plus access to the communal kitchenette and lounge. The biggest perks of Makers WorkSpace are the marketing opportunities they offer artists, including listing members’ businesses on their website and hosting regular open house events. Although all studios are currently full, you can submit a waitlist application.

18. Firehouse Art Collective
Location: South Berkeley

Located within walking distance of Ashby BART station, Firehouse Art Collective is a non-profit project directed by Tom Franco. The goal of Firehouse Art Collective is to provide an affordable and inspirational environment for artists in the Bay Area. Studios are moderately sized, though artists also have the option to combine studios with one another to create larger spaces. Curated shows are regularly hosted in the gallery downstairs, too. If you want to dip your toes in the water, consider attending one of the painting and drawing classes held weekly in the space.

firehouse-art-collective
via Eat Sleep Play Blog

A little of both:

19. ActivSpace
Location: West Berkeley

While many of ActivSpace members are artists, they are also home to a lengthy roster of “hobbyists” and freelancers. The multi-story building has several spacious private studios plus shared spaces. One of the biggest perks is the security of the building, with gated access, private parking and individual studios with lock and key so you can keep your belongings safe overnight. Studios range in size and are generally more affordable than other options.

Before you go…

If this information doesn’t have you ready to embark on your coworking journey in the Bay Area, consider checking out the apps Croissant and Desktime. Both offer an extensive directory to coworking in the Bay and let you filter by location, cost and space type. Now get to work!

Which coworking space do you love in the Bay Area? Share it in the comments below!