Coffices (coffee shop offices) are not for every type of work. If your work involves, say, a Skype audition for a killer virus movie, probably work from home? But if you’re more a headphones on, spreadsheets out worker bee type who likes a little background noise, the coffee shop office is a perfect venue for your freelance life, or even the occasional remote day.
Of course, not all coffices are created equal. The best have free wifi, plenty of power outlets, and a laptop-friendly vibe—that’s a given. But the other factors are up for debate. Clean and simple or cool with artistic aesthetics? Basic and serviceable coffee or fair trade, self-roasted fare? Bakery? Lunch options? Whiskey in your coffee? There’s a coffice for that! Here are some of our favorite coffice spaces, for varying reasons. And yes, potential for “coffice romance,” networking, and Instagram-worthy shots of your breakfast are all perfectly legitimate factors.
GROUNDED: Plants and lamp lighting give this Greenwich Village spot an earthy, cozy vibe. Wifi, outlets, and sandwiches have the potential to see you through a full day’s work here, but seating and internet tend to crap out quickly. Come early and bring data-lite tasks, and note that if the space looks familiar, you probably watch Broad City!
Grounded is located at 28 Jane Street between West 4th Street & Greenwich Avenue in Greewich Village. (212-647-0943, groundedcoffee.com).
THINK COFFEE: This spot was productive enough to serve as a launchpad for Foursquare back in the day, and there's still plenty of varied seating and power outlets. The bad news, unfortunately, is that there's spotty wifi. Still, lunch fare, a bathroom, and a nearby “fresh air” break zone (Washington Square Park) give this place all day work potential, so bring brainstorming-style work and/or your own hotspot.
Think Coffee is located at 248 Mercer Street between West 3rd and 4th Streets in Greenwich Village. (212-228-6226, thinkcoffee.com).
NINTH STREET ESPRESSO: You’ll need to weigh the pros against the cons here: free wifi, laptop friendly-baristas, plenty of two-seater tables and chairs, and outdoor bench seating vs. no power outlets and cash only. We’ll just add that this spot also has some of the best espresso in Alphabet City, and let you make your decision.
Ninth Street Espresso is located at 700 East 9th Street at Avenue C in the East Village (212-358-9225).
PUSHCART COFFEE: Free wifi, two-seat tables, plenty of outlets, huge windows, and clean bathrooms means this Gramercy spot's got your basics COVERED. To kick things up a notch, try a chai or almond milk latte, or the nutella hot chocolate. Also recommended: sit at the table that faces 2nd Avenue and watch the world go by while you pretend to pen your opus.
Pushcart Coffee is located at 362 2nd Avenue at East 21st Street in Gramercy Park. (646-476-8416, pushcartcoffee.com).
ACE HOTEL LOBBY BAR: This place gets crowded, but you'll be freelancing in style in the lobby bar's sexy, spacious lounge. Enjoy free wifi, copious outlets, noms, and the freedom to choose between coffee or alcohol as you work. Stumptown Coffee, located near the entrance, is a great backup if you can’t score a spot at the communal work table or one of the sofas. And skip book reading or notebook scribbling here—it’s dark, like a bar.
The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar is located at 16 W. 29th St (between Broadway & 5th Ave) in Nomad. (212-679-2222, acehotel.com).
CULTURE 36: If you’re a fan of the original Culture Espresso on 38th street, try its neighboring Culture 36 for more working space. The wifi, long tables, and chocolate chip cookies are aces, but you might want to have a backup plan for bathrooms as this spot has none.
Culture 36 is located at 247 West 36th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in the Garment District. (646-861-3553, cultureespresso.com).
PERK KAFE: This is not the most spacious of coffices, but has the working coffee break basics: semi-strong wifi, a long, communal work table, natural light, power outlets, and a bathroom (be sure to get a selfie in the subway-map mirror). Try a shaken, frozen espresso or get a free refill on your drip coffee as you work.
Perk Kafe is located at 162 Eeast 37th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues in Murray Hill (212-686-7375, perkkafe.com).
GROUND CENTRAL COFFEE COMPANY: Don’t let the small, busy front-of-house fool you. The library in back has couches and table space (plus fast wifi) to work with. You can pair your novel-writing with a cold brew or glass of wine, if you choose, plus this spot is open until 9 p.m. for night owls. Plenty of outlets and real cream for your coffee sweeten the deal.
Ground Central Coffee Company is located at 155 E 52nd St (between 3rd & Lexington Ave) in Midtown East. (646-964-4313, ground-central.com).
AROMA ESPRESSO BAR: The best thing here is the rooftop patio, but if it’s raining or you hate sunshine, fast and reliable wifi and power outlets await you downstairs. Seating choices are long, communal tables or comfy couches. Grab a salad for lunch and caffeinate with one of Aroma's famed Israeli-style iced coffees, which are more dessert than drink.
Aroma Espresso Bar is located at 161 W 72nd St (at Amsterdam Ave) on the Upper West Side. (212-595-7700, aroma.us).
DTUT: This spot has the bonus of cozy sofas, but sadly no wifi after 5pm. The good news is, once you close out your workday, the cocktails and s'mores here make for a great happy hour, and boost the chances you'll find your perfect Cromance (Get it? Coffice Romance? No? Sorry.)
DTUT is located at 1744 2nd Avenue (between East 90th and 91st Streets on the Upper East Side (212-410-6449, dtutcafe.com).
FREEHOLD: This hipster clubhouse boasts a huge space with comfy couches, outlets, free and fast wifi, bar food, and drinks after dark. Sit on the comfy upper level window seats, or grab a bench outside, and note that the dirty egg sandwich and a cold brew (or dirty chai) make for a nice working brunch. Best of all, Freehold's open until 4 a.m. if work gets crazy.
Freehold is located at 45 South 3rd Street between Kent & Wythe Avenues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-7591, freeholdbrooklyn.com).
ATLAS CAFE: It can be tough to get a seat at this popular Williamsburg cafe, so come here early. Free—though sometimes iffy—wifi, laptop friendly baristas, and much-touted bagels and lox will be your reward. Just remember to bring cash as they don’t take cards.
Atlas Café is located at 116 Havemeyer Street at Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-7470, atlas-cafe.com).
BROOKLYN ROASTING COMPANY: This industrial-style spot has a cool, old-timey feel with long tables and benches for seating, hanging lamps, and wood everything. Grab a flat white and a sandwich while you leach off the wifi and power, or take a fresh air break in the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park. If the ground floor gets too noisy, super important meetings (or Facebook stalking time) can be taken upstairs.
Brooklyn Roasting Company is located at 25 Jay Street between Plymouth and John Streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn (718-522-266, brooklynroasting.com).
GOSSIP COFEE: If you like to food ‘gram while you work, this is your ideal coffee place. (Look up the Ziggy Stardust donuts they made after Bowie’s passing if you need convincing). Bar stools and lounge space tend to separate the casual sippers from the coffice workers inside, while a backyard with benches offers extra work space on nice days. Avoid half-price donut day if you’re dieting, but don’t miss the cold brew for an icy productivity jolt. Bonus: free and fast wifi.
Gossip Coffee is located at 37-04 30th Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets in Astoria, Queens (718-440-8792, gossipcoffee.com).
PRESSO COFFEE: If aesthetics are your thing, this Flushing joint has color and style that'll help get the creative juices flowing. The coffee’s not cheap, but you’re practically guaranteed a spot at one of this spacious cafe’s many tables and cozy armchairs. Food options—waffles, parfaits, and sandwiches—will keep you fueled all day. Wifi and bathroom codes come printed on your receipt, so no freeloading!
Presso Coffee is located at 133-42 39th Avenue #101 at Prince Street in Flushing, Queens.(718-358-0257, pressocoffeenyc.com).
SWEETLEAF: This cafe has free wifi, a laptop room, and a “vinyl” spot in the back where you can spin 100+ favorites from the house record collection (but you can’t bring your laptop in, sorry!). Try a Rocket Fuel or Voodoo Child with a pumpkin donut, or the strawberry-puree-and-black-tea concoction. Vegan and gluten free bakery fare are available too. But bring a portable charger because there’s an outlet shortage.
Sweetleaf is located at 10-93 Jackson Avenue at 11th Street in Long Island City, Queens. (917-832-6726, sweetleaflic.com).
THE QUEENS KICKSHAW: This is your spot for a productive working lunch. Power up on varied (and mostly vegetarian) midday grub options, and enjoy wifi, outlets, and plenty of elbow room. Grab a grilled cheese with soup and a hard cider when you’re working late.
The Queens Kickshaw is located at 4017 Broadway at Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens (718-777-0913, thequeenskickshaw.com).
BEANS & LEAVES
: This is a lovely neighborhood spot with friendly staff, wifi, and vegan desserts. Try the white chocolate iced coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, or loose leaf teas.
Cathy Vandewater is a Brooklyn-based writer with strong opinions on subway etiquette. Follow her here. @cathyvandewater