The best cafés for freelance workers

Have laptop, will travel? We rounded up Melbourne's best cafés with WiFi for those without an office

Photograph: Graham Denholm

The age of the mobile worker is truly upon us. From freelance creatives to IT professionals to work-at-home mums, scores of mobile workers have turned their local cafés into flexible workspaces, sometimes at the chagrin of owners. But a select few establishments across Melbourne are welcoming the mobile workforce with open arms, fantastic coffee, great WiFi Internet service and waitstaff that will not continually wait on you till you over-caffeinate yourself and leave.

Hungry? Fuel up for your workday with some of the best breakfasts in Melbourne. If you're hitting that afternoon slump, stretch those legs and look for the city's best healthy smoothies

Melbourne cafés for freelancers


Auction Rooms Café

North Melbourne’s coffee house is a fantastic place to work from for the mobile crowd. The funky space has free WiFi, oodles of power points and a wide variety of coffee (from St Ali, no less) and tea options to keep the creative juices flowing.

WiFi: Yes

North Melbourne

Cru Café

If you get your best work done in a buzzing café then Cru is the place to go. There are plenty of power sources and a seriously sophisticated menu of all-day breakfast and lunch dishes. You can even grab a cheeky glass of red to really get the mind going.

WiFi: No


A Minor Place

This hidden café is where Brunswick locals go if they’re after free internet and an ace breakfast of bagels, eggs or organic fruit toast. With friendly service and places to charge the hardware, A Minor Place is a major player in the search for the perfect desk away from home.

WiFi: Yes


Mr Tulk

The State Library of Victoria houses possibly the best free WiFi-ed workspace in Melbourne in Mr Tulk. Located on the La Trobe St side of the library, this café is filled with students, grizzled writers and the occasional eccentric.

WiFi: Yes


Penny Farthing Espresso

A freelancer’s heaven, this relaxed High Street café brims with local writers, musicians and NGO workers seeking designer coffee and delicious fare. With two power outlets on communal tables, free WiFi and eclectic mix of creative customers, Penny Farthing is a freelance favourite.

WiFi: Yes


Small Block

In amongst the bustle of Lygon Street, Small Block welcomes freelancers with open arms, friendly smiles and free WiFi. The relaxing space will de-stress those nearing deadline; or distract you with eggs benedict and ricotta pancakes.

WiFi: Yes

Brunswick East

St Ali

St Ali’s industrial warehouse space draws a diverse crowd, from city workers to brunch aficionados. Be prepared to battle for one of the few power outlets but if you’re lucky, you can charge your laptop while you settle in with an expertly roasted coffee.

WiFi: Yes

South Melbourne


This Melbourne Uni campus café is a blessing for bleary-eyed students feeling the brunt of a full day of lectures. With a power outlet under each table and free WiFi, freelancers are invited to power through their work while chowing down a late brekky.

WiFi: Yes


Time Out Café

Time Out Café and Bar (no relation) is hooked up to Fed Square's free WiFi. Visitors to Melbourne are the mainstay here and the café is a handy option for transport-reliant mobile workers.

WiFi: Yes


Fuel for freelance workers


Sapna G

Check out Stop17 in Fitzroy on Smith Street. It's a great cafe with friendly staff and a good vibe. The writers room upstairs is for writers and freelancers,with free wifi, plenty of electrical outlets and no music. And you can get all-day breakfast. At 189 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Stop 17 (hence the name) on the 86 tram.

Ozzy F

You gotta be kidding recommending places ideal for "freelancers"...but with no WiFi?!?!