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.)
Commissary Cafe915 N.W. 19th Ave., Northwest | 503.593.5992
The adorable décor in here is enough to convince you to stay before you’ve even had a sip of coffee—the whitewashed space is punctuated by green wire chairs, a mirror that’s really more of an art piece, and a mint-green cappuccino machine. Chef/owner Kim Wilson is famous for her amazing baked goods, which they bake fresh onsite every day. While the brunch menu is good enough to merit a visit any time, you’ll almost always find people here on their laptops enjoying the natural light and perfectly brewed coffee.
Case Study Coffee5347 NE Sandy Blvd., Sandy | 503.477.8221
With three locations in Portland, Case Study is kind of a classic study space. The best drink here is the espresso—the owners started out with a catering company devoted exclusively to espresso, so they definitely know what they’re doing. All three locations offer community tables with plentiful seating and strong WiFi. There's also a location in Alberta Arts and Downtown.
Townshend’s Tea House3917 N. Mississippi Ave., Mississippi | 503.477.9646
There's a good chance you already know about Townshend's Tea from the shelves at your local Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage. Their flagship teahouse on Alberta Street (there are also outposts in Southeast and North Portland) stocks every variety of their tea and an endless supply of their game-changing Brew Dr. Kombucha in a homey space that's ideal for seeking refuge from the rain and cranking out a few hours of work. All of the locations have a mix of couches, cozy chairs, and classic tables, with plenty of space to spread out for the afternoon.
Breken Kitchen1800 NW 16th Ave., Northwest Portland | 503.841.6359
Breken Kitchen occupies a stand-alone space with train tracks on one side and highway overpasses on the other—it sounds loud, but it's actually quite cool. Coffee flows freely here, they offer salads and sandwiches, and the brick-lined interior is always filled with light. There are also varied seating options, from couches to café tables, to long community tables.
The Café at Christopher David901 NW 10th Ave., Pearl District | 503.206.8226
Christopher David is actually a hybrid interior design shop, florist, and café—which means that it's pretty much the most beautifully decorated working coffee shop you could imagine. And, as you'd expect, there are fresh flowers everywhere, too. In addition to great décor and strong WiFi, it’s hard not to love a place with an entire section devoted to toast.