Indie Coffee Shops to Perch & Work
There’s something singularly compelling about a great coffee shop—particularly when you’re trying to pound out an overdue novel/screenplay/thesis/PowerPoint something. The presence of other procrastinators, the really good coffee, the ambient buzz of community are inherently appealing. It’s not all that surprising that the number of work-friendly cafés is constantly on the rise, so we’ve updated our guide to reflect the latest and greatest spots in ten major cities, whether you drop in for quick macchiato or set up shop for the afternoon. (We’ve noted when they don’t offer internet, a blessing for those who can’t get off email. You know who you are.)
Oddfellows316 W. 7th St., Bishop Arts District | 214.944.5958
Oddfellows is a celebrated brunch institution in Dallas—on Saturdays, the wait for the duck chilaquiles and fried chicken is hours long. But stop by in the morning or afternoon during the week and you'll find a quiet coffeehouse, perfect for nursing a coffee and emptying out a full inbox (the Wi-Fi is just as strong outside on the patio). They're especially proud of their espresso, which is made in a gleaming, luxury La Marzocco machine.
Opening Bell Coffee1409 S. Lamar St., South Dallas | 214.565.0383
Every town needs an arty coffee shop with open mic night and free Wi-Fi—with eclectic décor, oversize couches, and great coffee, Opening Bell is straight out of central casting. While the extremely full entertainment calendar makes this more of a daytime study location, there are plenty of tables, so you can find a seat even late in the afternoon. You'll also find all the requisite snacks and drinks, including a long tea menu, doughnuts, and a weirdly good breakfast taco.
White Rock Coffee10105 E. Northwest Hwy, Lake Highlands | 214.341.4774
Run by Nancy and Bob Baker, White Rock Coffee is literally a mom-and-pop operation—there's nothing glamorous about this local spot, but the excellent coffee (roasted by Nancy and Bob themselves) and laid-back vibe make it a mainstay. While there's always a steady stream of customers, it never feels crowded, so it's a good place to get stuff done. The original Highlands Lake location has a spacious lofted space (that's where most of the outlets are), while the new express location has a drive-through if you don't have time to park.
Murray Street103 Murray St., Deep Ellum | 214.655.2808
The décor choices here—an Oriental rug, couch/chair/coffee table seating vignettes, big wide garage-style windows—feel residential, which makes it a comfortable place for work. The coffee is pretty Goldilocks perfect (strong, but not too strong), though the real draw here are the sandwiches, served on olive-oil-toasted ciabatta.
Drip Coffee4343 Lovers Lane, University Park | 214.599.7800
The interior of Drip Coffee is really well laid out for work, with a slew of compact tables set up in rows just begging for a laptop or stack of books. The owner is a coffee-industry veteran who roasts the beans himself in small batches; devotees buy the beans in big batches.
Cultivar Coffee Roasters1155 Peavy Rd., Reinhardt | 972.677.7895
This coffee bar shares a space with the taco joint Good 2 Go Taco, which means they have unusually good food options for a working coffee spot. Both the tacos and the espressos are neighborhood favorites, so you’ll want to arrive early to snag seating.
Weekend1511 Commerce St., Downtown | 214.261.4545
Honestly, Weekend Coffee's retro graphic identity and associated swag are reason enough to visit (that, and the fact that it's located in the goop-favorite Joule Hotel), but the cold coffee here is some of the best in Dallas. It's a pretty tiny operation and seating is limited, but those who arrive early enough are rewarded with seats in leather chairs overlooking the room.
Union3707 Cedar Springs Rd., Oak Lawn
Union is a major gathering place for the community in Dallas—it hosts performances, volunteer events, and more. What's really cool for nomadic workers is that no matter what is going on in the space, there is always a conference room or other area reserved for work and study: a lifesaver when you need a place that's reliably quiet. But regulars will remind you that this place is so much more than a coffee shop—it donates 10 percent of its proceeds to a rotating group of community causes and rallies its customers as volunteers and donors to multiply the effect.