The Best Philly Coffee Shops for Working Remotely
It’s time for a change of scenery.
Whether you’re a full-time WFHer or you spend all your free time side hustling, sometimes we all need a second space to clear our heads and get to work. And get a jolt of delicious, delicious coffee while we’re at it. Luckily, Philly loves its coffee as much as it loves its beer, both of which are taken seriously but served without pretension. So when you’re in search of where to park yourself and your laptop, you can find a comfortable spot in pretty much any neighborhood. From all-day cafes that easily slip into the night to shops serving satisfying lunches, check the city’s most beautiful coffee shops that double as places to work.
From the powder blue counters to the hot pink espresso machine, Three Graces Coffee is just so pretty—definitely the ambiance you need to inspire workflow creativity. Luckily the shop has the coffee caliber to match its aesthetic, serving classics like Americanos and iced caramel lattes alongside other creations including the honey lavender latte, 4-ounce cortado, or, if you’re having a sweet tooth moment, the scrumptious iced Twix latte.
Avenues Cafe offers an ultra-cozy setting to find refuge, plus a full calendar of community activities that aim to spark a connection once you’re ready to close your laptop. You can expect pastries from LeBus and lunch items from Sheree’s Home Cooking, along with boardgame nights, weekend brunch specials, and changing art galleries. So if you need a work distraction, this is your spot.
ReAnimator has five shops scattered across the city, each offering up airy, inviting spaces to hunker down with your work and enjoy some of the best Philly coffee. ReAnimator serves up the classics and seasonal favorites, as well as unique creations. The Applejack, for example, takes espresso, oat milk, and vanilla extract along with apple cider and ginger beer for an extra fizzy, festive treat.
Part coffee shop and part nonprofit, The Monkey & The Elephant employs former foster youth, and every purchase helps support the shop’s transitional employment program. The space features a homey art-filled environment to do your work, plus a picturesque urban garden area to bring your work outdoors. Paninis, granola, and baked goods round out the food menu to keep you strong all workday long.
The very new Guard House Cafe is currently the sole restaurant concept at the Frankford Arsenal campus, featuring a glistening new coffee and espresso bar and seating where you can escape the office. There you’ll find La Colombe coffee and a food menu of sandwiches, sweet and savory brunch, house-made scones, and more. For an extra sugar rush to fuel your productivity, try the signature Guard House Cookie—a 6-ounce monolith inspired by Levain Bakery and available in chocolate chunk walnut and oatmeal raisin, baked fresh daily.
La Colombe has numerous locations throughout the country, but the No. 1 destination in Philly is its massive Frankford Avenue shop, a space big enough to host a wedding but usually just hosts tons of coffee lovers who may be working—but not with Wi-Fi. La Colombe has somehow thrived even without offering any kind of internet connection, making it great for meetups or quality time with your favorite book (or just to utilize your hotspot).
Hidden on Sydenham Street in the middle of Center City, Elixr is a stark contrast to the packed sidewalks and high-rise office buildings around the noisy Rittenhouse neighborhood. All Elixr locations, including in University City and the Double Knot Cafe, are decked in a calming, dark romance aesthetic, often with gothic floral wallpaper to boot. Consider it the ultimate workday reverie.
Having a professional-esque coffee meetup can be tricky if you work from home—it’s not like you want them to see you in that haven’t-seen-sunlight-yet-today state. For getting work done and a bit of networking, Rally Coffee has tables specially reserved for your meeting needs. The Rally team doubles as a branding and creative agency and its staff working out of the coffee shop, so why shouldn’t you? If you’re flying solo, the airy aesthetic on a quiet Queen Village corner still makes it ideal for fuel and focus.
If good coffee isn’t enough to sustain your workflow, head to Uncle Bobbie’s for delicious food, including a few vegan options, and to peruse the book collection. The community space holds a thoughtfully curated collection of books spanning genres, especially highlighting authors and writers of color. The event space next door welcomes authors and hosts special events with the goal of making it easier for people to meet, mingle, and get inspired.
The second location of Dock Street Brewery introduced coffee to the mix, making the expansive corner space an all-day cafe as well as a local brewery. Snag a seat by the window and enjoy coffee, pastries, and small plates from the in-house Center of Gravity Coffee Bar. If you’re there for lunch, you can get a sandwich, salad, or full-blown pizza with your coffee. From there, just glide naturally into happy hour starting at 4:30 pm for discounted brews and snacks.
The Greenline Cafe has six locations all throughout Philly, including one in the heart of Center City at 17th and Arch. The original at 43rd and Baltimore, of course, is among the most beloved. It’s on a peaceful corner overlooking Clark Park—one of those little oases that makes you forget you’re in a big city. It’s perfect for people or park watching on that shaded corner, and it doesn’t hurt that the coffee and food itself is fresh and served with a familiar warmth. There’s a reason the first cafe has been dubbed West Philly’s living room.
The South Philly outpost of Rival Bros—as well as its quaint cafe in Fitler Square—is committed to quality coffee, which means you can expect house-roasted blends as well as carefully and ethically sourced single-origin beans. The Tasker Street and Lombard Street shops feature simple, crisp interiors with outdoor seating.
Washington Square West
Everyone needs a trendy cafe that doubles as a place to buy cured meats… right? Bower Cafe serves coffee free of syrups or artificial flavoring, capturing a purified coffee experience that can be rightfully enjoyed with an open-face sandwich. You can dine in for toasts and salads, but it’s the hand-made, dry-cured meats that will really get your attention. After setting up shop for coffee, you can head home later with a half-pound of chorizo (or pancetta, or soppressata) under your arm. When you’re inside, expect a close-knit and cheerful community.
Ultimo Coffee has been celebrated for serving the goods without the cliche elitism that can too often plague a good coffee shop. Its first location at 15th and Mifflin has gained some siblings over the past several years, with shops in Graduate Hospital, Rittenhouse, and Germantown serving signature roasts in a minimalist, less-is-more environment.
The ever-welcoming Chapterhouse Cafe keeps decor simple so it can line its walls with different artwork that changes seasonally to highlight local artists. The cafe boasts organic fair trade coffee as well as pastries and smoothies, plus tons of space to get to work on your own masterpiece. You can grab a hightop at the front window to people watch Ninth Street, or head to one of the big back rooms, outfitted with tables and couches that together give off a relaxing, never-want-to-leave vibe.