Food & Drink

Work From ‘Home’ at DFW's Best Coffee Shops

ampersand
Courtesy of Ampersand

If you’re simply popping into your favorite neighborhood coffee shop in the morning for a quick cappuccino to-go, you’re doing it wrong. Thanks to an ever-increasing swell of nomadic workers, DFW's coffee houses have become de facto workspaces that combine much-needed caffeination with reliable Wi-Fi, plenty of power outlets, and in some cases even public printers and private meeting rooms. So long as you don’t annoy the baristas, you’ll be welcomed back with open arms. Here’s a selection of the best places around Dallas-Fort Worth for a great cup of coffee, a tasty bite to eat, and a full recharge for your laptop.

Best for book-loving Anglophiles: Funny Library Coffee Shop

Design District
Unlike most actual libraries, this one adjacent to the Virgin Hotels Dallas lobby actually encourages you to eat and drink inside (with coffee by Hugh Jackman's Laughing Man). You'll place your beverage and house-made pastry order at the small counter next to a Texas-meets-England mural featuring things like Queen riding a bucking horse, and Big Tex sporting a Union Jack shirt. Before you settle into a table to work, though, grab a book off the shelf for some zen inspiration -- your options include a guide to cooking with weed, and a book jammed full of 879 puns.

Best for a CBD-fueled creative session: The Weed Spot

Bishop Arts District
The effects of CBD are hotly debated, but some research indicates that in addition to providing a calming effect it also increases creativity and improves focus -- a perfect combo for working in a public space with innumerable potential distractions. At The Weed Spot, lots of natural light and vibrant “grass”-lined walls add to the sense of euphoria. The drinks menu here is short and sweet, and each espresso, latte, or Viennese coffee is made using CBD-infused Costa Rican beans, which they claim reduces jitters and other common side effects of traditional coffee.

foxtrot
Courtesy of Foxtrot

Best for earning cool rewards and perks: Foxtrot

Multiple locations
Order up a pour-over made with single origin Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters beans and an all-day-breakfast spicy chicken biscuit, and then snag a table to get started on your to-do list; just make sure joining the Foxtrot Perks rewards program is at the top of that list. Spend $100 each month at this cafe/convenience store, and you'll enjoy benefits including free coffee, free delivery, and happy hour pricing on beer, wine, and cocktails all day. And if your list involves grocery shopping, you’re in luck: Fresh meats, breads, produce, grocery staples, and chef-prepared meals can all be purchased in person (or from the app, so you don’t lose your table).

Best for staging a corporate takeover outside the office: Herb’s House

Upper Greenville
It’s one thing to close a deal at a two-top in a quiet corner, but there are times when a legit meeting space is in order. In addition to the abundance of communal workspace with high-speed Wi-Fi and a public printer, people can rent out several private, closed-door spaces: the boardroom, think tank, work zone, back patio with fireplace, or even the entire dang coffee shop. Between agenda items, sip on Cultivar Coffee and munch on Tacodeli tacos or a variety of house-crafted sandwiches and snacks.

Best for feeding your liege waffle craving: Otto’s Coffee Shop

Downtown
Named for general manager Otto Schubert who ran the Adolphus Hotel from 1928 to 1946, this European-style coffee shop offers multiple rooms with varying levels of quietude, depending on your needs. In addition to all the usual Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters espresso drinks, Otto’s offers teas, beer, wine, and should you be more of a soda person, ice-cold Dr Peppers. Whatever you choose, it will pair perfectly with a crispy, handheld, Nutella-slathered liege waffle (also available at the walk-up window on Commerce Street).

ampersand
Courtesy of Ampersand

Best for getting your coffee spiked with booze: Ampersand

Fort Worth
It all starts with a unique air-roasting process at this duo of Fort Worth coffee shops started by TCU alumni. The low-key, homey environment makes for a very comfortable day of reading, typing, or hopping on calls from one of the plush banquettes while sipping on a signature drink like the R.F.M.E. (Reason for My Existence): a shaken iced breve latte with hazelnut. You can add a shot of booze to any drink for five bucks, or slip into the back of the space where you’ll find a full-on bar with plenty of non-coffee drinks for an entirely different kind of buzz.

Best for listening to live music or a poetry slam: White Rock Coffee

Lake Highlands
During the day, the two-story layout makes for a fantastic place to work with a majority of people nesting in the upstairs space where there are fewer things to draw your attention away from the tasks at hand. White Rock Coffee roasts all its own beans from single origins to crowd-pleasing blends and a variety of tasty pastries and lunch offerings. Just plan to get your work done prior to 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, when there’s almost always live music or an open-mic night. 

Best for getting an actual meal: Ascension Coffee

Multiple locations
Anyone who frequents coffee shops on a daily basis knows, a morning visit can easily turn into an all-day affair -- and when that happens, you need something more substantial than a pastry to keep motivated. Thankfully, Ascension Coffee has way more than muffins among its European cafe-style selections. Menus vary by location, but full breakfast entrees, salads, flatbreads, soups and sandwiches can be found in some form at each, with healthy and indulgent options in every category. Best of all, with table service available, you don’t ever have to worry about leaving your computer unattended when it comes time to order a second chocolate lava cake.

wild detectives
Joseph Haubert

Best for reading (or watching) a little Shakespeare: Wild Detectives

Bishop Arts District
Part bookstore, part coffee shop, part live-entertainment restaurant and bar, Wild Detectives truly offers something for just about everyone. Order any book here or at the shop, they’ll ship it for free, and even buy you a drink when you come to pick it up. Once you’ve found a hard-to-come-by parking spot in the neighborhood, you might as well stick around, sip on some java from nearby Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, eat a slice of French silk from Emporium Pies around the corner, and get a little work done -- in a quiet nook, or under the trees in the spacious backyard. Time it right and your day could end with a production of Shakespeare in the Bar, a book reading or a singer/songwriter jam session.

houndstooth coffee
Courtesy of Houndstooth Coffee

Best for experiencing what a tiny house is really like: Houndstooth Coffee

Walnut Hill
Even though Houndstooth has multiple area locations, the Austin-based company’s shop in Walnut Hill is easily the coolest. A duo of solar-powered tiny houses connect via an only-slightly-less tiny patio; you'll give your order to the barista in the first building, then retreat to second one affectionately known as the Schoolhouse. Inside, you'll find a quiet, sun-filled space with plenty of chairs and workstations away from all the sounds of frothing, foaming, and frappe-ing.

Best for a retail therapy break: Herald

Southlake
This charming suburban coffee shop gets its name from the flagship Macy’s store at Herald Square in Manhattan, but there’s far less hustle and bustle to be found here. Tucked away from the retail therapy offered within the Market by Macy’s (a smaller version of the department store), the thoughtfully designed space offers a variety of seating options to make you feel right at home. And speaking of, pretty much anything you see here -- from the tables, chairs, and dishes to the Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters coffee beans -- can be purchased to take home.

Best for building up karma points: La La Land Kind Cafe

Lowest Greenville
From the ingredients to the mission statement, this cafe's whole vibe is about integrity and social consciousness. The founders started the We Are One project, which helps provide housing, job opportunities, therapy, and more essentials for aged-out foster youth who are forced onto the streets. Many of the employees are former foster kids who are part of this program, so every time you stop in here to work and sip on a coffee or matcha drink from their 100-percent organic menu, you’re actually helping make a difference in people’s lives.

deep ellum coffee shop
Chase Daniel

Best for a one-on-one meetup: Merit Coffee

Deep Ellum, Highland Park
At either the bright and airy Deep Ellum location or the small-but-chic Highland Park outpost of this San Antonio import, you’ll find ideal setups for two-person meetings or a little solo concentration time. That’s because nearly all the seating centers around small, bistro-style tables just the right size for a strictly business tête-à-tête. Each day, a minimum of a half-dozen roasts are available to craft beverages from an equally succinct drink menu.

Best for skipping the coffee and going right to wine: Royal Blue Grocery

Multiple locations
Much like there are dog people and cat people, some folks are more wine-and-charcuterie than Americano-and-scone. Sure, the Stumptown Coffee drinks will charge you up in the morning hours, but anyone needing to tuck inside for a little late afternoon work session might find the happy hour a little too tempting. Luckily, there’s a well-curated wine list for anyone wishing to lean into those urges. And because the seating areas share space with a full boutique grocery store, you can put those multi-tasking skills to work and grab everything you need to make a nice dinner at home (or let the chefs do all the work and pick up some readymade gourmet goodies instead).

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Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist contributor.