Best coffeeshops for doing work

These places will help get your mojo flowing with amenities like outlets aplenty, free Wi-Fi and potent cups of joe.



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  • Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe


  • Photograph: Aubrey Therkelsen


  • Photograph: Kirby Tidwell


  • Photograph: Beth Levendis


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Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe


Soy Cafe
This cheery little corner spot is popular among the nabe's health-minded residents—the orange color scheme is surprisingly soothing, there are are scores of outlets drawing plenty of laptop warriors who settle in for the day, fortified by the shop's excellent coffee ($TK), vegan sandwiches and crepes ($7--$10). Queens-roasted, fair trade--certified Dallis coffee forms the base for the drinks here, many of which—per the joint's name—are enriched with soy milk. The soy vanilla latte ($4.50) has a pleasantly nutty zing, and the vanilla doesn't overwhelm. 115 Greenwich Ave at Jane St (212-229-9898,

The only purveyor of Stumptown beans in Queens, Sweetleaf recently tripled in size, opening up plenty of room for customers to settle in for a day's work. A designated laptop area with free Wi-Fi in the front faces floor-to-ceiling windows, while exposed brick and a chalkboard menu keep the space cozy. Thanks t the recent launch of a new single-origin espresso program, bean freaks can drool over selections like the juicy-sweet Ethiopian Mordecofe ($2.75). Choose your brewing method: Pour-over, traditional drip, French press and espresso drinks are available. 10-93 Jackson Ave at 11th St, Long Island City, Queens (917-832-6726,

Tea Lounge
During the week, the tables in this hangarlike spot are blanketed with keyboards: Freelancers, work-from-homers and underemployed types all tap their days away, thanks to gratis Wi-Fi and plenty of outlets. Best of all, no one will shoot you a dirty look if you occupy a table for hours on end. Yes, it can get crowded with kids after school, but a mild pumpkin latte ($3--$4.25) made with a private roast from Maine, will help you stay focused enough to work through the evening—good thing it's open till midnight. 837 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-789-2762,

Think Coffee
This minichain's downtown empire includes four locations within walking distance of each other, but the one on Mercer Street, in the heart of NYU territory, is our favorite for getting down to business: Free Wi-Fi, seating that runs the gamut from couches to posture-enhancing hardback chairs, and the company of homework-laden students should keep your head in the game. (A hint for the easily harried: The spots up front near the windows tend to be quietest; the back area is more popular for socializing.) The coffee ($2--$3), like the fragrant Amaro Gayo from Ethiopia, is all fair trade--certified, shade-grown and organic. The baristas here consistently steam their local, hormone-free milk to a perfect liquid velvet, so go for a latte ($3--$4) and start cranking. 248 Mercer St between 3rd and 4th Sts (212-228-6226,

Tillie's of Brooklyn
This high-ceilinged, low-key coffeeshop on a prime Fort Greene corner caters to the neighborhood's art students and freelancers with free Wi-Fi, long bar tables, and vegetarian-friendly snacks and sweets. Though a fair amount of foot traffic passes through, it's easy to find a seat and camp out (most people do) while sipping a bowl-size mug of organic, fair trade coffee, like the light-roast, slightly nutty Kitten New York blend—try it in a macchiato ($2.50--$3.25), courtesy of the shop's La Marzocco espresso machine. One caveat: There aren't a ton of outlets, so juice your laptop before a big day. 248 DeKalb Ave at Vanderbilt Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-783-6140,

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Users say

Mary Reilly
Mary Reilly

Not all Think locations have wifi (I know for sure the one off Union Square on fourth does not) and they all play (often really pretty crappy) music at earsplitting levels. Ost is great, but again with the noise- SO, SO LOUD. I have never been able to get any kind significant work load done at either venue. Housing Works in Soho is reliable on weekdays for both seating and quiet (my priorities). The coffee is cheap but not great. I drink tea there, and then, if I really need it, hit Gimme (on Mott) on my break. La Colombe and Saturdays are also both a stone's throw away and both serve dynamite coffee.