The Best Cafes for Working or Studying in Sydney

Pull up a stool and get working (with a coffee in hand) at these laptop-friendly cafes.
Lucinda Starr
August 14, 2019

The Best Cafes for Working or Studying in Sydney

Pull up a stool and get working (with a coffee in hand) at these laptop-friendly cafes.

Working from home is a dangerous perk. Whether you're a freelancer or lucky enough to have a flexible full-time gig, using your couch as your office can end in disaster.

You start with good intentions. You write a list. You send a few emails. You open that report that needs fixing. Then you open Facebook. Next, you check Instagram. And text back your mate to lock in drinks on the weekend. And then it's 11.15 am and you're no closer to the finish line.

Sometimes, we need some fresh air to get the work done. Although a visit to the library can be productive (we recommend heading to the ones in Green Square or Surry Hills if you're in the area), there's something strangely motivating about working from a cafe. There's the soft hum of conversation, the friendly faces behind the bar and, of course, infinite quantities of caffeine on hand.

If you're looking for the perfect spot to pull up a stool and hit to the keyboard, we've rounded up ten of the best Sydney cafes you need to visit with your laptop in hand.

  • 9

    Coffee connoisseurs will be well acquainted with the Melbourne coffee powerhouse, Industry Beans. Its latest York Street outpost delivers a CBD coffee destination made for tackling a tricky report away from your desk.

    Tucked away inside a heritage facade, the interiors are light and airy. All-white counters showcase the state-of-the-art customised La Marzocco mod bar. Plus, the plush bench seats are made for powering through hours of work uninterrupted. Expect a next-level specialty coffee offering like the Cold Brew Bubble Cup, featuring coffee-soaked tapioca pearls, cold brew and normal or vegan condensed milk. Oh, and make sure to nab yourself a bottle of bottomless sparkling water ($2).

    Before you head back to the office, sign up and order a takeaway coffee through the Industry Beans app and you’ll receive $5 welcome credit. Because who doesn’t love a free cuppa?

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  • 8

    Sometimes coffee is required to get the job done. When the withdrawals strike, head to the backstreets of Darlington towards Terra Cotta Roasters for bottomless batch or cold brew coffee. Yes, you heard us. Bottomless. At just $7, its a perk rarely afforded to drinkers across Sydney’s cafe scene. Owned and operated by former Australian Barista Championship judge Cedric Kim, beans are roasted on-site so you know you’ll be in for a great brew.

    Aside from copious quantities of caffeine, this neighbourhood gem serves eats perfect for fuelling a long session behind the keyboard. Grab its pumpkin ciabatta sandwich, a slice of Ivy Bruschetta or the indulgent pulled pork burger. With a selection of pastries and sweets also on hand, get ready to plug-in for a productive afternoon.

    Image: Tanya Saint James

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  • 7

    At first glance, this next inclusion might come as a surprise. But despite its 70s Miami-inspired fit-out and bright interiors, Southside Charmers isn’t just a spot to enjoy a boozy weekend brunch. This casual all-day eatery welcomes freelancers and laptop-wielders with open arms. Nab a seat at the bar or at the window and pretend you’re on vacation (while still getting your to-do list sorted).

    This friendly joint has all your remote working essentials covered, with free wifi, powerpoint access plus bottomless sparkling water for $2. On the menu, you’ll find Five Senses coffee plus fresh juices, smoothies, and kombucha for when you’ve hit your caffeine quota. And you won’t be disappointed if you hang around for a bite to eat. Try the Pablo Rice Bowl with mushroom, chorizo, greens — or breakfast tacos of scrambled egg, smoky black beans, charred corn and roasted pumpkin.

    Image: Kitti Gould

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  • 6

    Good Fella Coffee is The Hills’ hidden gem, bringing specialty coffee brews to Bella Vista. It might be cosy inside but this cafe holds a well-earned place in the hearts of students, freelancers, and remote workers alike.

    If you like a seat with a view, you’ve come to the right place. Every table has uninterrupted views of the bar, letting you watch the baristas work their magic. Grab a spot on one of the lower level’s wrap-around wooden tables or head upstairs to the sleek mezzanine loft for bar-style seating. Either way, you’ll be treated to free wifi with limited powerpoints dotted around the space, too.

    Coffee comes courtesy of Single O plus a rotating selection of guest roasters, alongside a bagel-focused menu (with a few toasties, house-made pies and salads thrown in for good measure).

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  • 5

    Securing a spot at a co-working space is an investment. Sure, there might be exposed brick, fiddle leaf figs and sparkling water taps aplenty. But if you’re yet to take the (oh-so-expensive) plunge, Veneziano Coffee is the next best thing.

    Perched at the Taylor Square end of Bourke Street, this sleek industrial space brings one of Melbourne’s best coffee roasters to Surry Hills. The interiors feel like the digs of a swish design firm, with polished concrete and black metal accents at every turn. Pull up a stool on their spacious communal table or head past the bar to nab a seat solo.

    Coffee is taken very seriously here. Browse the coffee board for the current selection of blends and single origins on offer. Oh, and filter coffee comes bottomless here too. You can thank us later.

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  • 4
    The main seating space at Matinee Coffee - one of the best cafes in Sydney

    Finding a seat a Marrickville’s Matinee Coffee is the easy part. In fact, this bold NYC-inspired cafe boasts 80 of them so you’re  spoilt for choice. There’s the glossy communal table, rows of comfy booth seats or even alfresco spots (for those looking to bring their furry friends along).

    Aside from seating, Matinee is an inner west favourite with good reason. It’s serving up house-roasted coffee, homemade pastries and a menu made with gluten-free and vegan diners in mind. And for remote workers, this spot ticks all the boxes. You’ll find free wifi, powerpoint access and bottomless filter coffee ($7) all under one roof.

    Image: Leticia Almeida

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  • 3

    There’s no denying Went To See The Gypsy is a good looker. The airy interiors feature blond rattan and exposed wood finished plus a custom-build mod bar. And when your office looks as good as this, you’re bound to smash through your to-do list in record time, right?

    This Alexandria warehouse space is the ideal home for freelancers, students and anyone looking for a desk on the go. Stop by mid-week and you’ll have the best pick of tables. The brews here are worth ordering a second round, made using the Gypsy Espresso blend plus a regular rotation of single origins. Plus, the waitstaff here aren’t the type to push you out after you’ve finished your drink, leaving you to get typing away in peace.

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  • 2

    One Another doesn’t command attention. But, that’s all part of its charm. Perched on the edge of Newtown and Erskineville, this handy local spot delivers no-fuss cafe fare that speaks for itself. Despite its unassuming facade, inside you’ll find ample sun-drenched seating and plenty of powerpoints to choose from. And if you need a break from your screen, borrow a cookbook from its shelves to get those creative juices flowing.

    Ideal for a mid-week visit with a laptop in hand, you won’t find anything on the menu over $20. Come for homemade muffins, classic bacon and egg rolls and seasonal fruit on toast. Plus, filter lovers, rejoice — these guys have you covered with large mugs of batch brew on hand using beans from Sample Coffee.

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  • 1

    Remember the good old days of studying at home? Where a fully stocked fridge was only footsteps away and mum was always on hand to deliver a nourishing feed. The fridge situation might have changed, but we’ve found a spot that’ll remind you of wholesome homemade family meals. And it’s a perfect place to come with a laptop in hand.

    Meet Eliette, Sutherland’s newest specialty coffee cafe from the White Horse Coffee team. Taking it’s name from the owner’s mum, the joint is a celebration of love, community, and delicious food and coffee. Expect to be fuelled by all your cafe favourites like bacon and egg rolls and house-made porridge. And if you need a change of scenery, grab your gear and head around to corner (literally) to the original Flora Street outpost.

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Top image: Southside Charmers by Kitti Gould

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