PUBLISHED November 17th, 2020 06:00 am | UPDATED April 24th, 2021 10:04 pm
Work-from-home arrangements are having a moment, but actually working at home is seldom the most conducive idea. Luckily, the next best alternative isn’t Starbucks – Singapore has no shortage of work-friendly cafes with free wifi, power points, and a peaceful ambience to get you in the zone. If you’re on your laptop all day, these 15 cafes in our shortlist also come with fantastic coffee, good grub, and in some cases, boozy inspiration.
Grids & Circles
Sprawled across three stories of a Chinatown shophouse, Grids & Circles serves up minimalist chic alongside eclectic Japanese flavours. Get a whiff of house tea blends like Roasted Oolong and Hojicha Karigane at the first-floor retail space, then head up to the light-filled second level for large tables and plentiful power points. For your coffee fix, the fan-favourite Clouds In My Coffee is a remarkably silky white cold brew; for work fuel, the food menu runs the gamut from tamago sandos to okonomiyaki rosti stacks.
Grids & Circles is located at 200 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058749, p. +65 6935 3546. Open daily 9am–5pm.
The Book Cafe
For two decades, The Book Cafe has been a home away from home for digital nomads, bookworms, and those who just need a cosy cuppa. With plush couches cocooned by well-stocked bookshelves, it’s the perfect spot to snuggle up while getting down to business. There’re plenty of power sockets around to keep your laptop fuelled; meanwhile, there’s an all-day breakfast menu alongside pastas, meat dishes, and cakes to keep you fuelled. The free-to-use printer is also handy for any emergency document needs.
The Book Cafe is located at 20 Martin Rd, #01-02 Seng Kee Building, Singapore 239070, p. +65 6887 5430. Open daily 8.30am–8.30pm.
KOMYUNITI is technically a bar, but hey, we all need some liquid inspiration. Buzzy and neon-lit by night, this YOTEL watering hole is serene by day, with super-fast wifi and a good handful of charging points. Helmed by veteran mixologist As’ad Isnin, the drinks program sees intriguing themes like a Barrel-Aged Series and Harajuku-inspired tipples – you’ll certainly want to start happy hour early. Keep your energy up with Asian comfort grub like the Modern Chicken Burger (S$19) featuring fried mantou buns, plus a range of bar bites.
KOMYUNITI is located at 366 Orchard Road, YOTEL Level 10, Singapore 238904, p. +65 6866 8067. Open daily 12pm–11pm.
W39 Bistro & Bakery
Westies, this one’s for you. Set just beside Clementi Stadium, W39 Bistro & Bakery is the dose of good cheer we all need with its sunshine-yellow hues and homely wood furnishings. You can catch some breeze in the pet-friendly alfresco area as well. The menu puts eclectic Asian twists on your usual bistro fare – think Salmon Ceviche (S$12) with sambal mayo or Ebi Cha Soba (S$30) in a homemade bacon tea broth. No less startling are the drink pairings, from Hitachino beers to a Teriyaki Avocado Latte (S$7.90) with, yes, teriyaki syrup.
W39 Bistro & Bakery is located at 39 Jalan Mas Puteh, Singapore 128637, p. +65 9646 5372. Open Tues-Fri 11am–10pm, Sat-Sun 9am–10pm. Closed Mon.
No worries about snagging a coveted charging point at Genius Central – you’ll find nearly one socket for every seat scattered around this sprawling workspace. This cafe is built for serious hustling, and you’ll find everything from single-person tables to long desks perfect for meetings. There’s a medley of nourishing grub to keep your mind sharp – Longevity Bowls packed with greens and grains, organic brunch fare, plus spice lattes and fresh juices to sip on.
Genius Central is located at #01-01, 7-13 Amoy Street, Far East Square, Singapore 049949, p. +65 8940 1200. Open Mon-Thurs 8am–8.30pm, Fri-Sat 8am–9.30pm, Sun 8am–4pm.
If you’ve ever lived in Australia, the Toby’s Estate coffee empire needs no introduction. Known for their fragrant Arabica beans roasted on demand and single-origin daily specials, the joe in this spacious Robertson Quay branch is a joy to drink. There’s always a cheery buzz in the air to keep you motivated, plus an alfresco terrace with riverfront views for when you need a breather. As for grub, think eggs benny done three ways and a hearty selection of burgers.
Toby’s Estate is located at 8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04, Singapore 238216, p. +65 6636 7629. Open Sun-Thurs 7.30am–6pm, Fri-Sat 7.30am–7pm.
If you like your workspace easy on the eye, Botany’s white marble walls, soaring ceilings, and hanging greenery are more than enough aesthetic inspiration. Opened by local actress Julie Tan, this garden-themed cafe is lined with comfy couches inside and all-white, picnic-worthy chairs out front. Tuck into healthy Asian and Western dishes alongside caffeine indulgences like the alcohol-laced Rose Latte (S$7++); come 6pm, unwind with free-flow wine and beer options (S$48).
Botany is located at 86 Robertson Quay, #01-03, Singapore 238245, p. +65 6951 4861. Open Mon-Fri 9am–10pm, Sat-Sun 8.30am–10pm.
Old Hen Coffee Bar
Tucked away in Farrer Park, Old Hen Coffee Bar is a favourite haunt among cold brew lovers in the know. You’ll have no problem getting work done at this sleek, minimalist cafe – not with smooth bottles of Cold Brew Black (S$6.50) and White Coffee (S$6.90), Dark Cocoa (S$6.90), and Matcha Milk (S$7.50) to get your gears turning. The Rangoon Road stretch is lined with great brunch spots, but we reckon Old Hen’s lineup of comforts like Pulled Pork Pita (S$12.50) and Smoked Duck Burger (S$16.90) work just as well.
Old Hen Coffee Bar is located at 88 Rangoon Rd, #01-03, Singapore 218374, p. +65 6341 5458. Open daily 9.30am–6.30pm.
Set along Upper Serangoon Road, this pink-hued, plant-lush cafe oozes peaceful vibes and tastes just as dreamy. Amber Ember’s star offering is jaffles – Aussie-style toasties prepared with a jaffle iron – in deliciously melty flavours like Cheesus Loves You (S$14) and Cheeky Beef (S$16) with three kinds of cheese. It whips up some stellar cuppas with seasonal beans from specialty roastery Cata Coffee, but it’s the teas like Ume Ume (S$5++) – green tea with cherry blossom petals – that keep us coming back.
Amber Ember is located at 730 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-01, Singapore 534613, p. +65 6926 3312. Open Tues-Fri 10am–5pm, Sat-Sun 10am–6pm. Closed Mon.
One Man Coffee
This Upper Thomson favourite fills up quickly and takes no reservations, so you’ll have all the more motivation to hit the grind early. One Man Coffee brews up a mean cuppa with beans sourced from Melbourne’s Axil Coffee Roasters, along with floral-forward iced teas. Grab a spot at one of their rustic wooden tables indoors or outdoors, and fill up on wholesome brunch fare like the Smashed Avocado on Sourdough (S$14).
One Man Coffee is located at 215R Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574349, p. +65 9658 1685. Open Wed-Mon 9am–5pm. Closed Tues.
If you’d pick a pint over a cuppa any day, work-from-brewery is the way to go. The Singapore offshoot of Fremantle-based brewery Little Creatures is spacious and light-filled, with signature beers like their flagship Pale Ale on tap alongside seasonal house brews. Line your stomach with greasy goodness like BBQ Pork Tacos (S$16), pizzas, and burgers – but if you’d rather skip the food coma, there’re some surprisingly tasty salads too.
Little Creatures is located at 36 Club St, Singapore 069469, p. +65 6239 0350. Open daily 10am–10pm.
From the folks behind Strangers’ Reunion and Curious Palette, Wakey Wakey pairs industrial-chic good looks with the waffle indulgence of its sister cafes. Aside from the usual chai lattes and cold brews, they’ve recently launched a vegan-friendly Oatgasm coffee brewed with oat milk. Nosh on fluffy Buttermilk Waffles (S$12) topped with fresh fruits, alongside a range of burgers and grain bowls. If you need a breather from work, the full-length windows offer prime opportunities for people-watching.
Wakey Wakey is located at 302 Beach Road, #01-04/5, Concourse Skyline, Singapore 199600, p. +65 8874 0787. Open Mon-Fri 8am–5pm, Sat-Sun 9am–6pm.
Having shifted from its longtime Arab Street digs to North Bridge Road last year, Working Title is cosier than ever with mismatched chairs and eclectic murals. This Halal-certified burger bar serves up patties made fresh daily in toasty brioche buns, from the seriously stacked Beef Baconator (S$18.90) with homemade garlic aioli to the Magic Truffle Mushroom (S$15.90) featuring grilled portobellos. Skip the usual cuppa and opt for a Bandung Latte (S$5) to keep you perky.
Working Title is located at 783 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198751, p. +65 8768 0463. Open Mon-Fri 12pm–10pm, Sat-Sun 9am–10pm.
KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar
Need a sugar rush to combat a mental block? Bukit Timah dessert spot KARA offers some serious eye candy with walls decked out in pastel hues and tropical murals, and power sockets under almost every table. Here, you’ll find healthy eats like Chicken & Avo Salad (S$16) and Tempura Fish Kimchi (S$16) grain bowls, but the star of the show is the sweet treats. Treat yo’self to a melty, Warm Peanut Butter Cookie (S$13) baked in a skillet or one of their homemade mochi waffles in indulgent flavours like Matcha Berry (S$12.50).
KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar is located at 617 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 269718, p. +65 6468 8940. Open Mon-Fri 11am–10pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am–10pm.
With its pale hues, wall-to-wall glass windows, and luxuriant potted plants, The Glasshouse lives up to its name indeed. Sitting pretty in the heart of CHIJMES, this cafe brews up specialty filter blends from a constantly rotating range of roasters. Besides roasts, The Glasshouse is serious about its toasts – crisp, open-faced goodness made with artisanal sourdough and topped with everything from mushroom ragu to hazelnut s’mores.
The Glasshouse is located at 30 Victoria St, #01-03 CHIJMES, Singapore 187996, p. +65 6900 3237. Open Mon-Thurs 8am–5pm, Fri 8am–9pm, Sat 9am–10pm, Sun 9am–6pm.
Top Image: Amber Ember