12 Philly Coffee Shops Where You Can Pretend You Have an Office

Wi-fi, snacks, comfortable chairs, plenty of outlets, and no annoying cubicle neighbors to be found.

When you finally hit a wall trying to be productive in your own home, here’s where to go with your laptop and a pair of headphones to get some work done. / Photograph courtesy of Forin Cafe

Sometimes you need to get out of your home for a couple of hours in order to be productive. Whether you’re running from your roommate on their very loud Zoom call or that pile of laundry waiting to be folded, a couple of hours spent working in a new place can do wonders for your brain and your morale. Here’s where to go when you need wi-fi, strong coffee, an outlet, and probably a snack or two while you work.

Machine Shop and Two Persons Coffee, South Philly
Most coffee shops and bakeries are good at either the coffee part or the bread part, but Machine Shop and Two Persons Coffee are right next to each other in the Bok building, so you can have both at the same time. At Machine Shop, you’ll find some of the best French-inspired pastries in the city (think croissants of all kinds, seasonal tarts topped with figs, and and savory danishes full of jiggly egg) while you can rely on Two Persons for excellent espresso in the space across the way. Go back and forth all day for the perfect balance of caffeine and sugar. (There is also strong wi-fi and a good number of plugs.) 1901 South 9th Street.

Knockbox Cafe, West Philly
Where sometimes coffee shops can feel sterile and impersonal, Knockbox is cozy and comfortable, with a decent amount of indoor and outdoor tables, as well as comforting food like bagel sandwiches, grilled cheeses and weekend donuts from Okie Dokie. Plus: pellet ice in all of their iced drinks. 405 South 45th Street.

Alchemy Coffee, Rittenhouse
When you need to clear your mind, head to Alchemy Coffee. The cafe is decorated with a calming, minimalist vibe that is sure to help you focus on what you need to do, and the well-made espresso drinks (they’re also known for making great matcha) will help you fuel up. It’s a go-to for remote workers in the area, so you’ll be surrounded by other laptop-ed up workers for extra motivation. 119 South 21st Street.

Mighty Bread Co., East Passyunk
There’s so much that I love about Mighty Bread. But the refills on drip coffee, the skylight, and the fact that they’re open on Mondays all come to mind. I also love that they’re just as good at breakfast (quiche, avocado toast, croissants) as they are at lunch (kale salad, lentil soup, ham-and-butter sandwich). Stay all day, just as long as you’re eating and tipping. 1211 Gerritt Street.

Vernick Coffee Bar, Logan Square
Some of my most in-the-know friends count Vernick Coffee Bar among their favorite restaurants in the city, which is impressive for a coffee shop. But spend any time here and you’ll realize it’s not a coffee shop at all — it’s a daytime restaurant masquerading as a coffee shop. The dining area, which stays open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serves a seasonal, vegetable-forward, $35 prix-fixe lunch. The menu is constantly changing, but a recent menu included a confit tuna salad, an entree of chicken and polenta, plus mascarpone cheese for dessert. If you’d rather something smaller, the cafe menu includes everything from lemon buttermilk scones to quiche, salad, and a soft pretzel. Expect plenty of outlets and seats. 1800 Arch Street.

Photograph by Clay Williams

Forin Cafe, Kensington
Forin is the place to go if you’re in need of a little inspiration. The coffee is great, as are the food options (Kismet Bagels, treats from Darnel’s Cakes, peanut butter brownies, etc.) but the real draw is their always-changing pop-ups with local cooks, designers, bakers and other talented people. 2041 Coral Street, suite 2.

Ultimo Coffee, multiple locations
Many coffee shops have two essential problems: they close in the middle of the afternoon (which can really throw off your productivity if you’re in a groove) and they’re closed at least one week day. Ultimo has neither of those problems, and that’s why it’s worth knowing about. Their cafes stay open every day until 5 p.m., the chairs are always comfortable and the plug-ins bountiful.

Middle Child Clubhouse, Fishtown
Clubhouse gets a lot of hype for its nighttime scene, but the daytime situation is just as good, and also calmer. Expect wi-fi and coffee, as well as a whole lot of seating. Plus the unimpeachable sandwiches, which will keep you nicely fueled all day. Heads up: the kitchen closes between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and the place is closed on Mondays. 1232 North Front Street.

Elixr Coffee Roasters, multiple locations
Elixr has a handful of locations around Center City (and a spot on 36th and Market in University City), all of which are set up for spending a couple of hours getting some work done. Their spaces tend to be on the smaller side, with a few pastry options rather than offering a full savory lunch menu. So go here for a couple of hours before or after lunch, and it’ll be perfect for what you need.

Càphê Roasters, Kensington
Going to Caphe Roasters is like receiving a reward. The food is so good, whether you go sweet with an ice-cream parfait, or savory with a fried-chicken bánh mì, and the feel of this place is, simply put, lovely. No matter the season, the light flows in through the windows in a way that would take anyone out of a work slump. Schedule a lunch meeting here, then spent the rest of the day cranking away in this little oasis. 3400 J Street, G1.

Jezabel’s, West Philly
If you’re not a coffee-and-croissant person, go to this Argentine bakery for tea and empanadas in a very cozy dining room that somehow makes a hectic morning of emails and paperwork feel like a respite from the outside world. 206-208 45th Street.

Samuel’s, Center City
Technically, Samuel’s is a sit-down restaurant that serves Jewish deli classics for breakfast and lunch. But if you come in before or after the lunch rush (which lasts from about noon to 1:30 p.m. during the week) and ask for the wi-fi password, you’ll likely be able to tap away on your laptop while you eat a bagel sandwich, turkey club or pastrami sandwich. 1523 Sansom Street.