Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and take your laptop somewhere new. A change of scene and pace can be very invigorating: drink a barista-made coffee instead of instant, see some people who aren’t your supervisor, feel part of the hustle and bustle of non-academic life. Sydney doesn’t have too many cafes with fast, free Wi-Fi, but if you need to read or write, there are a few places that can host you.
Voted on Foursquare as Sydney’s best ‘coffice’ (café+office), Vivo on George St actively welcomes laptop workers, so you might find yourself seated between start-up entrepreneurs, city workers and business meetings.
Best for: aspiring business people
MCA café and sculpture terrace
What could be more inspiring than the harbour before you and a world-class gallery below? The MCA café has fast Wi-Fi, great food and stunning views.
Best for: those who are visually stimulated
This library is tucked away on New South Head Road in a peaceful, historic building surrounded by beautiful gardens. If you get there early, you can nab a window seat overlooking the harbour, and when you’re finished for the day you can go for a quick dip at local favourite Redleaf Pool.
Best for: lovers of peace and quiet
A Potts Point stalwart, Hernandez is where you need to go if you’re on a roll. The 24-hour café has Wi-Fi and glorious, thick hot chocolate that will keep you going as the revellers stumble past to the nightclubs of Kings Cross.
Best for: people watchers
Gardener’s Lodge Café
This café in Victoria Park was opened under a grant from the City of Sydney Council to give opportunities for employment and training for young Aboriginal people, so your coffee is doing good for more people than just you. Plus, it’s easily accessible from Sydney Uni, Notre Dame and UTS.
Best for: the socially conscious
The Grounds of Alexandria
While lacking in Wi-Fi, the Grounds is a kind of hipster theme park, with several food and coffee providers, a florist, boutique grocery store and a few farmyard animals. Some of the food served comes from the garden that surrounds the seating. A great place to go to sit and read in the outdoor section or to tap away at your laptop without the distraction of the Internet.
Best for: transplanted country kids
West Scrumptious Café
Situated by the Parramatta River, the undercover outdoor seating is perfectly positioned so you can benefit from the breeze off the water. Their extensive breakfast menu will set you up for the day.
Best for: big breakfast fans
For Shire dwellers, a trip into the city or Inner West for thesis-writing can be time-consuming and costly. However, Grind Espresso is a local café that serves top-quality coffee and has made a commitment to sustainability by investing in solar energy. Plus, it’s right near Cronulla Beach and has free Wi-Fi: what more could you want?
Best for: the environmentally friendly
Another 24-hour delight, Maisy’s will be there for you when there’s nowhere else to go, serving a full menu available 24 hours a day and proudly offering free Wi-Fi to customers.
Best for: night owls
Tip: not all cafes offer power outlets, so make sure your batteries are full and you have a notepad, a pen and some readings in case you run out of charge!