If you’re a freelancer or have to work while on holiday, you’ll know the struggle of finding the perfect place to get productive. It’s a delicate balance. Not too crowded to be distracting, but not so empty that you’re That Guy—the one taking up a table with books and a laptop, while the staff look on disdainfully. The wifi needs to be good, as does the coffee, but you don’t want to end up paying a fortune for either. We’ve rounded up our favourite spots to get online and get things done in the Mother City.
Field Office, Woodstock
The Field Office is an obvious choice—you can tell by the name it’s freelancer-friendly. There are two branches in Woodstock where you can get online and enjoy fantastic coffee, breakfasts, lunches, and fresh baked goods. The space is fresh and modern and attracts freelancers, startup founders, tourists, and trendsetters from around the city. It’s perfect for meetings on the go and full-day working space.
Bootlegger is a chain with branches in Kenilworth, Seapoint, Century City, Tokai, the Cape Quarter, and Constantia. Our tried-and-tested favourite is the Kenilworth branch, with plenty of table and counter space and some pleasant outdoor seating. All branches offer free wifi and have a slick and trendy look. They do amazing freshly ground coffee, as well as lovely lunches and breakfasts. They also open at 6:30am so you can get an early start. There are ample plug points and even bag hooks to make it the ideal office away from the office.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Wi-Fi Lounge
Here’s one a little out of the ordinary. Fancy your workday with a panoramic view of the city and ocean, and including a trip to one of the top attractions in Cape Town? Why not work from the top of Table Mountain? The lounge has free wifi, table space, plug points, and air conditioning. The balcony is particularly nice with its fresh mountain air and mind-blowing views. It opens with the first cable car up and closes 15 minutes before the last car down. There are muffins, scones, sandwiches, and plenty of hot and cold beverages on offer. You’ll have to pay to use the cableway (or, if you’re so inclined, throw in a hike before and after) but it’s worth it for the view alone.
Caffé Neo, Mouille Point
Caffé Neo is located near the lighthouse, overlooking the Mouille Point Promenade. The workspace and sea views do wonders for productivity while the staff let you get on with it in peace. To boot, the wifi is fast and reliable, and there are plenty of plug points available. They make good coffee and light meals. It can get a little crowded at times, but early mornings and late afternoons are relatively quiet.
Suprette is located in the trendy Woodstock Exchange, a hub for local designers, artists, and startups. There is an abundance of natural light and the counter by the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the bustling Albert Road. It has all the fittings of a good workspace—free wifi, plug points, great coffee, and fantastic food. Its location also ensures it’s always filled with freelancers, designers, founders, and some of the brightest young minds in Cape Town. And when the afternoon slump hits, perhaps a local craft beer on tap will inspire you to keep on going.
Origin, City Bowl
The superb coffee is what makes Origin so popular. They source green beans, which are roasted, ground, and prepared in-house. The staff is well-equipped to advise you on the perfect coffee for your tastes. There are big and small tables with plenty of space, and the requisite free wifi. They also do great food, including all-day breakfast.
Mustacchio Caffe, City Bowl
Mustacchio Caffe is in the style of an Italian caffé, right down to the décor and coffee. There are Italian or South African blends to choose from, but they also serve premium spirits and bespoke cocktails for those who need something to take the edge off. There are plugs everywhere and the wifi is free.
Smak, City Bowl
Smak delicatessen on Bree Street brews their own brand Uber coffee and serves great breakfasts and lunches catering to everyone. There are vegan and banting options, as well as cheese platters for the not-so-hungry. It’s often populated by freelancers in the daytime, so you won’t be alone in your pursuit of productivity.
Hard Pressed Café, City Bowl
What do you get when you combine coffee, food, and vinyl? One of the coolest “coffices” in town! Here, you can settle in with their signature blend of hard-pressed coffee with its distinctive chocolatey aftertaste, and enjoy the warm crackle of vinyl. Sit by the counter for access to power outlets, and remember to try the cocktails when you’re done.
Hartlief Deli, Constantia
Hartlief Deli is a German bakery and butchery that serves great German lunches. If you like your workspace with a side of sauerkraut, this is your spot. There’s also breakfast served until 12pm, and if you sit at the counter you’ll have access to power outlets. The wifi is unlimited and fast! It gets a little crowded at lunchtime, so arrive early enough to secure your spot.
Haas Coffee, City Bowl
Haas is a gorgeous coffee shop. It’s arty and filled with trinkets, and it doesn’t get too noisy. There’s a full bar for those who like to wash down the workday with a cold one. The coffee is great and the lunches are delicious too. There are large and small tables, although you’ll have to choose your spot carefully if you want to be near a power outlet.
Balmoral Café, Muizenberg
Balmoral Café has all the regular fixtures of a good workspace—great coffee, speedy wifi, and plenty of plug points—but it has the added bonus of a view of the Muizenberg beach. There are also comfy couches upstairs with good lighting, which makes it a laid back place to work.