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Coastal Settlement
Photograph: Coastal Settlement

The best quiet cafés with free Wi-Fi to do work or study

Singapore's best study and work-friendly cafés with free Wi-Fi, charging ports and a good cuppa to get your productivity game on

Written by
Time Out Singapore editors
,
Cheryl Sekkappan
&
Dawson Tan
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Looking for a quiet place to do work but not a fan of the stuffy office or library environment? We don't blame you, being cooped up in a cubicle all day drives even the calmest among us crazy. We also understand that not everyone has an ideal work-from-home set-up. Venture beyond your friendly, neighbourhood Starbucks and settle down with free Wi-Fi, power points and a good cuppa to get your productivity game on at these cafés instead.

RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to the best cafés in Singapore and the best cafés in the CBD

  • Restaurants
  • Tanjong Pagar

If you’re a fan of laid-back, Aussie-style café nosh, check out Sarnies. This sandwich shop lives up to its name with rustic ’wiches like roast chicken with house-cured bacon ($18) and tuna melt with broccoli, pickled cucumber and aioli ($21). It's not uncommon to see early morning hustlers multitasking: typing away while munching on a sandwich. Of course, they've got an exhaustive list of brews including flat whites, macchiatos and mochas. Here's a flex – their cuppas made it to Lonely Planet’s list of best coffees.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

This well-kept secret is a day spot tailored for budding entrepreneurs, digital nomads, hot deskers, students or even folks who just want a quick healthy pick-me-up. Anchoring itself to the bright modern interiors is a long communal table that is perfect for groups that are brainstorming for your next winning idea. Those looking to put in a session of deep focus work can seek respite in the cosy side alcove tucked away in privacy. Peckish? Enjoy cleaner options of healthy cold-pressed juices and hearty salads jam-packed with superfood ingredients.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Rochor

Early morning hustlers, start your mornings right with the inimitable scent of freshly baked pastries. It's no secret that this three-in-one French bistro has got the wines and gourmet down to a tee – it tends to pack up during lunch and dinner. But come early and you'll witness a working combination of Duo Galleria residents and those who've found the spot with their laptops. Pick a corner table and you'll most likely be left alone until the lunch rush hour hits. By then you'd have deserved a hearty lunch where regional French specialties such as garlic butter snails ($18), duck confit ($22) and a very affordably priced beef steak ($22) await you.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Chinatown

From the creator of Strangers' Reunion and Curious Palette, this open concept cafe has got all the natural light you'll need, thanks to its large window panes. With 60 seats, the modern cafe is spacious and draws in curious onlookers who are looking to slam out some work and sort out a quick meal. Their must-try item will be the buttermilk waffles with your own choice of ice cream. Priced at $14.50, it is a midday treat that taste like heaven on your tastebud with it being crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

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Kith Café Millenia Walk
  • Restaurants
  • City Hall

Kith Café's new flagship at Millenia Walk boasts even more space than its Rodyk, Park Mall and Quayside Isle locations. Enjoy a cup of its coffee ($4-$7), blended in-house, with housemade pancakes drizzled with maple butter and topped with honey cream cheese ($15) or a truffle mushroom sandwich ($16). During off-peak hours, it makes a conducive spot to check off your to-do lists. With wines by the glass from $12, it is well worth the reward as you look forward to the end of a busy day.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Kallang

Before the evening live band rocks the roof off, this craft beer joint is almost like a forgotten sanctuary of Kampong Bugis. The overall laidback vibe gives you peace of mind while you power through relentless emails. There's also an alfresco veranda that overlooks the lush grass fields during the day but only if the sun isn't scorching hot. Afterwards, relieve the day's tension while feasting on good ole American grub and fresh craft beers.

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  • Restaurants
  • Orchard

Oriole Coffee + Bar is a cafe by day with the highest standard and quality coffee from tree to cup. Of course, being a coffee bar, the joes are not to be missed – signature in-house cold-brewed coffee comes in black ($6), white ($7) or with MAD milk ($8), a non-dairy nut concoction of macadamias, almonds and dates. Sit along the alfresco stretch and you might just find inspiration from people-watching or enjoy total solitude and some deep work if you park yourself at the back with headphones on.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

Tucked below a HDB block in Waterloo Centre, Clap Café is a cosy joint with excellent coffee, decent bakes, and a calming ambience that's just right for the remote worker. Try the warming dirty chocolate or – for a kick of caffeine that's not too bitter – the cremé brulée latte. If you're hungry for a bite, you can try the basque burnt cheesecake (more reminiscent of a Japanese cheesecake, we think) or maple pecan pie. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Kallang

This minimalist coffee bar and roastery has just the right laidback vibe to unwind with a book and freshly poured coffee. Treat your tastebuds to the rich flavours of roasted beans from Latin America, artisanal teas and chocolates from the likes of Fossa Chocolate. It goes without saying the coffees are made with care (from $4).

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

This café along Hamilton Road is designed for one purpose: for people to unwind and connect with loved ones. There is a minimum spend for students looking to study here – $20 per person if you’re staying for two hours or longer. But with plenty of power points and free Wi-Fi, it’s a popular student haunt since it  also serves up tasty brunch fare. Their shakshuka ($18) is a flavourful breakfast stew featuring generous chunks of sausages and tomatoes, while their beetroot-cured salmon ($20) makes for a healthy choice. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Changi 

No one would describe Changi as central. But with café Changi Coastal Settlement, it’s worth the far-flung journey to the East. It's a stark contrast for those used to studying in quiet library pods: here, it’s endless greenery with a garden patio – for that much-needed breath of fresh air after being cooped up in lectures all day. While their food is top-notch, featuring thin-crust pizzas (from $26) and hearty breakfast plates ($26), it’s their ambience that makes it an idyllic study spot. Just bear in mind that it’s quite the popular haunt on weekends for families – and their dogs too. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Chinatown

This spacious café has all the perks of a co-working space but without the steep membership fees. It welcomes freelancers, students or anyone who needs some stable internet, power outlets, and a comfortable place to work for hours on end. Commandeer one of its long, low tables to work on a group project, or park yourself in a cosy side alcove for more privacy if you’re flying solo. The menu focuses on healthy fare with ample vegetarian, gluten-, dairy- and nut-free options. A huge perk? 20 percent off all food and drink orders if you sign up for their free membership.

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  • Restaurants
  • Serangoon

Perhaps best known for possibly popularising jaffles – an Aussie dish – in Singapore, this quaint cafe has undergone a much-needed facelift. Transforming the dusty salmon pink walls to zen-inducing textured walls, this heartland nook is now channelling major bonseki – Japanese sand gardens – vibes, if you would. But when it comes to coffee, they don't play. Cuppas (start from a $2.50 espresso) are brewed from single-origin beans and filter coffee selections that rotate on a regular basis (start from $7). One thing that remains is the work-friendly space with free wifi.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

Beat the work-from-home blues with Brotherbird – you can head down to enjoy free air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and power plugs. Order one of their delicious mains, which include rigatoni bolognese ($18), smashed avocado toast ($18) and chicken stew and croissant ($21). And we don't know about you, but we won't be able to resist Brotherbird's popular mochi donuts ($15), which come topped with soft serve ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

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Lowercase
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

Huge, airy and sunlight-drenched, Lowercase is an undeniably popular café in Lasalle College of the Arts. This laid-back but trendy café is a hideout for students, serving a mix of pastas and pizzas amongst other mains, as well as light bites in its selection of sandwiches and confectioneries. For students to unwind after a hardcore studying session, there’s also a bar area – which regularly holds events – with beers served on tap or craft brews by the bottle. 

Or check out these co-working spaces

For all you café-hoppers

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  • Restaurants

Grab a cuppa on your way to work or swap your regular cafeteria lunch meals with atas ones at these joints that not only serve a great change of environment from your bleak office walls, but also menus that'll satisfy any empty bellies. RECOMMENDED: The best cafés in Singapore

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