Internet cafés aren’t dying, they’ve just changed
All you need is solid wifi and delicious coffee. These are my best places to work at, in Cape Town.
I love working in coffee shops and cafes for 3 reason: coffee, free wifi and being productive! As a freelance theatre-maker I am always on the road, working remotely. For this reason, finding a comfy spot to work at really matters to me. Even though I frequently change environments, moving from place to place, I always have work to do, so finding a “desk” in really important. I have come to realise that when exploring a new city I quickly identify spaces to work at and incorporate them into my routine (for the sake of both sanity and productivity).
Since Cape Town is my home city I spend a lot of timing working here, particularly in the CBD area. So I thought I’d make a list of recommendations of some of my favourite cafes and coffee shops to work, for other people looking for good coffee, interesting places and most importantly a good place to work! (Wifi being the determining factor for this list’ order!).
Wifi Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Cappuccino: R22 | Must try: Ricotta Cheesecake
The Blue Cafe has both sidewalk seating perfect for enjoying great views of Lion’s Head in the Summer and cosy basement seating in winter! Their daily delicious baked goods promises to satisfy (their 70% Dark chocolate cake and their carrot cake, won’t disappoint with a nice cup of strong brew) especially with a delicious cup of coffee! Their coffee is always served in quirky cups which adds to the enjoyment!
Seating in winter is sometimes tough, because of limited space (particularly in the mornings and on weekends) but on the upside parking is both free and abundant all year round! They’re also open until 10pm, making them one of the few late night places in Cape Town. But when you do get a seat and connect to the internet, you’re likely to be productive, if not, then your are doing something wrong!
Wifi Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Cappuccino: R20 | Must try: To be or not to be breakfast (anything with their Rosti)
If the sun’s out and the wind’s not blowing, then sitting at one of the sidewalk tables and enjoying a lovely coffee (Flat mountain coffee) while attending to my emails. Regardless of the weather, Table 13, has one of my favourite breakfasts in Cape Town, its light, fresh and delicious, with poached eggs, tomatoes, bacon, caramel onions with a rosti so good it reminds me of the first time I ever had a real rosti at a Zurich train station café.
They have a great atmosphere, plus they are located near myCiTi and 120min free parking (just off Main Road) which makes it super convenient to stop it.
Wifi Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Cappuccino: R22 | Must try: Roast Chicken
For the best roast chicken in Cape Town, cafe franks is the place to be. It’s the perfect meeting place for appointments over lunchtime. R75 for a hearty, home-made lunch, large tables (again excellent for meetings or teams) and wonderful wifi make for great lunchtime work location. I always manage to get a seat, but they do have a 1pm lunchtime rush hour, so I recommend you getting there a little before 1pm.
Parking in the city sucks, and it’s become really expensive at R16 an hour now, but if you don’t mind paying the meter and you need a midday meeting place with connection to the interwebs, Café Franks is you spot! It’s also located on Bree St, so getting their with Uber or MyCiTi is easy as pie…speaking of pie…Café Franks also serve some pretty scrumptious pie (you should try the Chicken and Leek).
Location: 45A Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
Wifi Speed: ★ ★ ★ | Cappuccino: R22 | Must try: Health Breakfast or Halloumi Wrap
Molten Toffee serves Deluxe coffee and have decent connectivity, need I say more? It’s an open, simplistic modern modern space and makes for a great work environment. They have interesting artworks on the walls (they change this up every month or so, which keeps things interesting). One has also got the option of sitting at tables or at the bar-top counter (I am a huge fan of standing desks so working on a surface where I can stand is a win!).
They also serve my favourite coffee (Deluxe coffee, who I would make #1 on this list, except they don’t have wifi and they’re a little dark for a work spot, but man they roast some superior coffee!). Molten is literally next to a MyCiti stop so they are super accessible, however, parking on Kloof St is a nightmare. If you work in the CBD and just need to step out the office for a couple of hours, or if you work from home and want a change of scenery, Molten Toffee is a recommended choice.
Wifi Speed: ★ ★ ★| Flat White: R21 | Must try: Cornflour Cupcakes
If you’re looking for a bright and cheerful place, a feel good place, to bright your mood but you also need to be productive, look no further! Lazari is at the foot of Vredehoek, just off the M3 when driving in or out of Cape Town, making it very accessible especially if meeting folk coming from the Southern Suburbs or from the N2 direction.
Daily, freshly baked treats’ aroma fills the air and makes the cheerful café quite a fun and feel good place to work at.
Wifi Speed: ★ ★| Cappuccino: R22 | Must try: Almond Croissant
I am Jason’s regular, they have got yummy coffee and literally the BEST croissants that have crossed my lips on the southern side of the equator. I have had limit myself to only going there once a week because of my love for these perfect pastries. They nearly didn’t make it onto my list but they recently got wifi. Yay!
BUT, and this is a big BUT, you have to sign up and it’s limited to an hour which is great for a quick session but doesn’t get you much more than that. I do understand though as they have limited seats and they are incredibly busy, you literally stand in line some days. But because they make the ultimate croissants, friendly staff and just general excellent vibe, I still rate them! Besides not all work has to be done online, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I love brewing a pot of coffee, and putting together a bowl of muesli, fruit and yogurt before settling down to work, but sometimes I just have to take the streets and let someone else do the brewing!