You have an office with lots of natural light, great coworkers, and an “idea ball” you toss around to one another during brainstorming sessions. Occasionally, though, the idea ball knocks your laptop off your desk, and you need to work someplace else for a little while.
It sounds like you’re in the market for a good coffee shop. One with wifi, outlets, and maybe even some snacks, because you can’t do anything without snacks. Here are 14 great coffee shops where you can actually get some work done.
There are a lot of great things about Herman’s - like all of the food trucks that park out front, and the daily 1900 Ice Cream pint deliveries. But the best thing about working here is that they have garage doors that stay open the whole summer, which makes you feel like you’re working outside. On a nice day in July when you just can’t force yourself to sit at a cubicle, ask to work from home and grab one of the red-and-white lawn chairs lined up on the sidewalk here instead.
When you’re in Northern Liberties and need to get a lot done in a short amount of time, One Shot Cafe is the best place to go. They have a full breakfast menu, lots of snacks for when the breakfast energy runs out, and a second-floor library that’s always talkative but never too loud. Then, when you finish everything, you can get back to rearranging your kitchen cabinets or whatever it is you do in your free time.
Rally is a lot more than a coffee shop. It’s also an event space, a design studio, and a pop-up shop for local vendors. That makes it useful for a lot of different things, like distracting yourself from work by looking at all of the pretty pottery and greeting cards sitting on the shelves. But when you do need to get work done, there are always a few tables available. Plus, you can also reserve their tables by the hour for a small fee, so if you need to have a team meeting, forget going to the packed Starbucks down the street and just come here.
There are a lot of great coffee shops in Fishtown, but most of them are tiny places that fill up quickly - you might end up walking around the neighborhood for an hour looking for somewhere to work. Gryphon Cafe, a larger shop hidden on an out-of-the-way corner on Front Street, always has a big, open table for you to spread some random papers out on. And in addition to coffee, they also have things like lavender lemonade, a ginger-hibiscus cooler, and a full food menu.
It’s scientifically proven that working with your dog leads to better performance. Steap & Grind clearly got this memo, because not only are they happy when you bring your dog in, they’ll even feed them treats from time to time. Aside from that, they also have great food here, like chocolate chip muffins, sandwiches, salads, and a bunch of different kinds of iced tea that change daily.
ReAnimator has three different locations around Philly, but their one in Kensington on Master Street is the best for getting work done. It’s big and open, with huge, wall-to-wall ceilings across the front of the store. Add in the free wifi and some of the best coffee in the city, and you’re primed for a productive day.
You could hang out at Win Win for hours. Go in for breakfast, stay to get some work done, eat a grilled cheese for lunch, and then, all of a sudden, it’s 9pm and you’re sitting at the bar drinking a new cocktail the bartender says they’ve been working on. This coffee shop-bar hybrid has been around for a while, and even though it’s changed ownership, it’s still the best place to get some work done in Callowhill. Especially if you plan on spending an entire day there.
There are five Green Line Cafes in the vicinity of University City, and they’re all reliable places to get work done even if you’re not a student at UPenn. In addition to having comfortable seating that often includes pillows and armchairs, they also have a good selection of vegan and vegetarian sandwiches, as well as things like turkey croissants and roast beef wraps.
Calling the La Colombe in Fishtown a “coffee shop” is kind of like carrying a Swiss Army knife and only using the tiny saw - it’s not technically wrong, but it’s also a whole lot more than that. This place feels more like a brewery, with huge, vaulted wood beam ceilings, plenty of seating, and a full food menu with everything from breakfast sandwiches to Neapolitan pizzas. They don’t have free wifi, but they do have an Xfinity hotspot, which means that if you (or a very good friend) have a Comcast login, you can work here for as long as you’d like.
You might not think that a soundtrack of mostly punk and heavy metal would be conducive to getting work done, but it’s shockingly more soothing than the usual elevator music coffee shops play. The playlist and the worn-in furniture make Grindcore House in Pennsport a great, homey place to set up shop for the day. If you need some food, they have an all-vegan menu with pastries and sandwiches along with a bunch of tea and coffee options.
All three of the Rival Bros locations are great places to work, but if you’re also looking for a space where you can also pretend you’re one of Logan Roy’s heirs from Succession, hit the one on Spruce Street. They have high ceilings supported on pillars, painted-black walls, and dark leather booths you’ll want to remember when you finally design your Rittenhouse Square penthouse. The coffee is also some of the best in the city, and while the food menu is small, there are always pastries behind the counter from local bakeries.
Elixr’s roastery is a 2,000 square foot space in Callowhill, which means they have plenty of room for you to work. Whatever you’re doing, whether you’re updating some spreadsheets for your boss by EOD or reworking your entire fantasy football team after losing to someone who auto-drafted, Elixr has you covered. If you have a lot to accomplish, get their “coffee omakase,” which is essentially just five shots of their choice of coffee. Even if you don’t end up loving them all, it’ll at least keep you working until EOD.
The Monkey & The Elephant in Brewerytown supports and employs people who grew up in the foster system. That in itself might convince you to get your bean water here rather than any of the other coffee shops in Philly, but they also have a quiet loft upstairs that’s always empty and great a back patio.
Ultimo Coffee, which has three locations in Philly, is in the camp of “trendy coffee shops.” However, it’s not elitist or snobby, it’s casual and comfortable inside - so much so that you won’t think twice about dragging a bunch of tables and chairs around to feng-shui the room for your ideal working environment. Plus, the one in Newbold has a whole wall filled with beer refrigerators, just in case the coffee isn’t cutting it. Maybe switching from caffeine to alcohol will give you the kick you need to keep writing that novel or even just a few emails.