Food & Drink

The Best New Orleans Coffee Shops and Other Spots to Work Remotely

There are few traditions New Orleans share with the rest of the world, but wanting a solid cup of coffee in the morning is surely one of them. In true New Orleans fashion, however, the city was slow to adopt the boutique coffee shop trend. Still, we finally caught on several years ago, and now it鈥檚 rare to have a neighborhood without a local joint offering up a truly solid cup of joe. 

The emphasis, of course, is on local. New Orleans is not the kind of place known to take too kindly to chains moving in -- just look at the hullabaloo the Starbucks opening in the Marigny caused -- so the coffeeshops listed here are the kinds of places that offer their own unique vibe, though that doesn’t always mean a cozy place to curl up with a book or plug in your laptop to get lost (on Facebook) in your work.

Best for a Saturday pick-me-up: Hey Cafe

Uptown 
In addition to some of the best locally roasted, small-batch coffee in town, this Uptown mainstay offers a couple of sidewalk seats and a cute courtyard so you can kick back with a book or just escape the Magazine Street boutiques for a few minutes. Make sure to pick up an extra bag of beans to make for yourself at home.

Best for an Instagrammable ferry ride: Congregation Coffee

Algiers Point
While Congregation opened in the CBD space vacated by Pulp and Grind in 2019, its home is in the heart of Algiers Point, so hop on the ferry and head over. While you’ll likely get distracted by the roasting that takes place in the back of the shop, make sure to pay attention to the food menu. (The cheese grits with bacon gravy are a personal favorite.)

Best for a chat with your neighbor: Treme Coffeehouse

Treme
This coffeeshop in the heart of one of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods offers ample space to set up and stay awhile. The brightly lit space is filled with art, but you’ll also be sure to see some locals sharing gossip or quietly catching up on the news. 

Best for a breakfast burrito: Pagoda Cafe

7th Ward
Though Pagoda Cafe doesn’t have indoor seating, it more than makes up for it with its outdoor patio bar and covered tables. The hangover-curing breakfast burritos and perfectly flaky pastries are more than part of the charm. Hence why the line often reaches the sidewalk on busy weekend mornings.

Best for inspiration outside the office: Coffee Science

Mid-City
This is the place to go if you’re in need of some Wi-Fi and some thinking room outside the office. If you have to go in -- or if your days plans include visiting the nearby courthouse -- plan to make a quick stop here on your way by pulling into the small, semi-hidden parking lot just off Banks Street.

Best for remote and freelance workers: The Orange Couch

Marigny
This light and airy corner stop attracts all sorts of folks, from those needing a quick espresso on their way to work to visitors ambling by on a quiet walk through one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods. But it’s not uncommon to see most tables taken up by folks with laptops and notebooks, busily working away.

Best for an Uptown meeting: Cherry Espresso Bar

Uptown
Brewing some of the best coffee in town, Cherry has two locations, including one in the LGD, but it’s the Uptown spot that gets my vote for a casual afternoon date, work meeting, or spot to take the kids for a quick snack.

Best for increasing your carb intake: The Station

Mid-City
Since The Station opened on Bienville Street, it’s been rare to find a quiet Saturday morning here. From dog parents stopping by on morning walks to friends meeting up for a post-workout breakfast, The Station serves a steady stream of customers, many of whom are smart enough to make a choice from the daily selection of well-crafted pastries, sandwiches, and cakes. During Carnival, that includes the house-made kouign cake, which is basically caramelized layers of pastry doused in Brittany butter and sprinkled with salt crystals and sugar. Yum.

Best for a quick pop-in: Spitfire

French Quarter
Barely bigger than a closet, this French Quarter staple is a must-stop for a lazy Saturday spent tooling around Royal Street with visitors from out of town. If asking about the origins of your beans or waiting on a pour-over isn’t your jam, then glance at the list of signature drinks, which include the carefully crafted, fluffed-up espresso drinks that, served anywhere else, would be filled with overly sweet syrups.

Best for taking a bag home: French Truck Coffee

Multiple locations
It’s hard to miss the bright yellow local outposts for French Truck. With multiple locations dotted around town, each one offers a different vibe. From the neighborhood-centric vibe and patio at the Uptown location to the quick stop you can make in Metairie, each location does have one thing you can count on: A healthy stock of the locally roasted beans you can take home for later.

Best for vegetarian bites: HiVolt

Lower Garden District 
This spacious coffee shop just off Magazine Street offers a big, fresh menu for breakfast and lunches, including plenty of salads and vegan-friendly pastries. Just be wary if you plan to stay awhile -- the staff often turns the Wi-Fi off during high-traffic hours. 

Best for when you have kids in tow: Mojo Coffee House

Freret Street
If any time calls for a cup of coffee, it’s when you’re on carpool duty. For those moments, you need Mojo, which not only has plenty of joe, but also has house-made lemonades and limeades for the rascals who are part of your crew.

Best for working on your side hustle: Solo Espresso

9th Ward
This quiet little shop has some of the best coffee in town thanks to the thought taken into the selecting the beans they brew. Snag a spot at the communal table, crack open your laptop, and you’ll find yourself in the kind of place you can stay awhile and really get your creative juices flowing.

Best for silly-sounding pastries with a serious mission: Pontilly Coffee

Gentilly
Who needs kolaches when you can have nola-ches? This neighborhood shop does it all, from its wide variety of pastries to the full coffee menu, while raising money for Bethel Family House, a faith-based addiction recovery center.

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Chelsea Brasted is a freelance writer in her hometown of New Orleans, so she needs all the coffee shops she can get. Follow her on Twitter.