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Guerilla Coffee
Photograph: Guerilla Coffee

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
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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

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  • 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. 

  • 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).

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  • 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. 

  • 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. 

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  • 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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  • 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
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  • 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. 

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  • City Hall

The minimalist interior makes you almost productive immediately and with the stadium-style seating which also boasts some private nooks and crannies, this place is also great for having more intimate huddles or discussions. Coffee-wise, you're all set. The menu was developed by the talented team and Keith Loh, Chief Executive Officer at Lola Group – who also happens to be the 2010 Singapore National Barista Champion and the 2013 Singapore National Cup Tasters Champion – the menu features café classics and new soon-to-be classics and Guerrilla's signatures like Iced Black Mint and 'Home' which is a comforting cuppa featuring unique ingredients like sea salt and pepper. 

 

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  • Bukit Timah

Escape the rush hour in the CBD to this quiet part of Bukit Timah for some coffee and work. Comfortable seating makes for great workspaces at this café – and it doesn't hurt that Atlas has a coffee programme that is worth buying into. Need to fuel your foggy morning brain? Check out the hearty breakfast offering like eggs and toast, pancakes, waffles and more. 

 

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  • French
  • Rochor
  • price 2 of 4

This casual and quiet spot along Wilkie Road has all you need for a deep focus session. Wifi, power plugs, ample tables, an airy and well-lit space and also, good food to power you through. Go for a hearty all-day Common Breakfast ($23), Asian-inspired rice bowls ($15) topped with the likes of kimchi beef and miso pork belly, or full-blown mains such as barramundi ($22) or crabmeat linguine ($18). There are sandwiches, light bites, desserts and coffees too. 

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  • Raffles Place

Botany makes for a fairly atas place to work from. Located at the idyllic Robertson Quay, this place will put you at ease with its high ceilings, white marble walls and – as the name suggests – lush greenery. You'll get a decent meal here. Take your pick from its menu of local and Western cuisine. Breakfast offerings like chicken congee ($12) exist alongside muesli ($13) and french toast ($15), while appetisers like otah chips ($15) accompany mains like the homemade beef burger ($22). At the café, only Himalayan salt, organic pasta and air-flown Australian grass-fed beef are used, to maintain the quality of the ingredients. 

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  • Bukit Merah

Get into the work zone at City Sprouts, Singapore's first plot-share urban farm built on the former Henderson Primary School Campus. At the heart of the multi-concept space is a large repurposed canteen where you can settle down for the afternoon within easy access of five food establishments. As Pyroast, you can choose from more than 15 types of single origins and three home blends at affordable prices – traditional kopi and teh start at only $1.50. For a filling meal, grab a hearty Japanese rice bowl from O-Kome (from $10), a juicy cheeseburger meal from Dirty Buns (from $11), or tuck into Meat & Greet’s hearty Pulled Lamb Kebab ($17). 

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  • City Hall
  • price 2 of 4

Without the office lunch crowd, Millenia Walk manages to be one of central Singapore's quieter malls. It’s even more secluded on the second floor where Commune Café sits, making it a particularly conducive spot for work or study. An offshoot of furniture store Commune, the café has a sophisticated yet relaxed ambience, with alfresco-style seating on the link bridge so you can people watch when you need a break from the computer screen. For coffee, Commune uses beans from Common Man Coffee Roasters, producing aromatic brews (from $3.50) that you can jazz up with caramel, gingerbread or Irish cream. The food options are decent too, with desserts like chocolate banana waffles with ice cream ($8.50) and chocolate tarts ($4) for a late afternoon pick-me-up.

Modelled with a warm industrial look and calming Korean drama OSTs playing in the background, this spot is easily one of the best places in town to get some work done in peace. Its abundance of seating areas and power plugs, coupled with its extensive menu of premium drinks and food ensure maximum concentration as you enjoy uninterrupted work sessions while keeping the hunger pangs at bay. 

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  • Bukit Timah

The 95-seater has different areas to match your differing working style. Kick back and lounge on the swing seat, or settle down on the tables with warm wooden fixings. Have an award-winning barista pull you a satisfying cup of coffee that will surely give you the boost you need. When you're feeling peckish, the café also serves up treats like maple sea salt cheesecake ($9) and fluffy skillet pancakes ($12). 

Or check out these co-working spaces

For all you café-hoppers

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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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