For those who work from home, we salute you. It isn’t easy ignoring the new season of Mindhunter/the cobwebs you’ve just noticed in the kitchen/all your unwashed laundry. If you do manage to ignore all that and your bed, well, hats off to you and your tunnel vision. If you don’t? Here’s an article for you and all the procrastinators, procrasticleaners and procrastibakers out there.
We’ve compiled the cafes around Melbourne most conducive to working and studying. With great food, bottomless filter coffee, free wifi and comfy places to sit, it’s well worth lugging your laptop to these spots and forcing yourself into actually getting something done. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to change out of PJs but, on the upside, you won’t have to your housemates you’ve had a productive day when in actual fact you’ve been in the same YouTube hole you fell down hours ago.
THE QUEENSBERRY POUR HOUSE
This is not a drill: The Queensberry Pour House does unlimited filter coffee for $5. Yes, they know exactly what they’re doing. Yes, you may be so hopped up on the Brown Mistress that you’ll not actually get any work done. But yes, you’d be silly not to make good use of the deal. Adding to that are the cosy vibes, diner feel and an epic American meatball sub. Do yourself a favour and hook yourself up.
All-day dining in the bayside area may be hard to come by — but Fitzrovia should be your first port of call if you’re looking for somewhere to hang out all day with your laptop. Housed in a converted Federation mansion and with a brekkie menu not to be sneezed at — rockling kedgeree and apple rhubarb nut crumble hotcakes included — Fitzrovia is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday (and breakfast and lunch on the other days). In the cold months there’s an open fire, so you can pretend you’re a writer from the 19th century and hack away at your unfinished novel while living the warm and cosy dream. Quill optional.
WOLF AND HOUND
Flemington is lesser known for its cafe culture than its neighbouring suburbs, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of options perfect for a working day with coffee — and Wolf & Hound cafe is a prime example. Just near Newmarket Station, Wolf & Hound is a sweet little space with food that packs a serious punch (think chilli scramble and some hectic crumpets). There are vegan options, free wifi, nice vibes and artworks of doggos on the walls.
The southside provides for those seeking an out-of-home office, with Hobba on Malvern Road the place to go for a warehouse space that’s still comfortable enough to feel at home in. Hobba serves up big hearty meals (e.g., 24-hour slow-cooked beef short ribs) and either house blend or single origin coffee options. Plus, the wifi is fast and free — so the reasons for going are many. Be aware, Hobba is a popular weekend brunch spot so, to nab a booth, you’re better off stopping by midweek.
A MINOR PLACE
Everyday Coffee speaks for itself: it’s a trusty daily. With free wifi and four different outlets around Melbourne, Everyday is a worthy mainstay of the coffee game. Northcote, Collingwood, CBD and Carlton all have Everyday localities, and the Carlton venue doubles as a bookshop, which makes it an extra productive space — you’ll be fully caffeinated and raring to get all the work done you need. Big communal tables and lots of sun (when it’s out, that is) make for an inviting space, and good beans makes for good coffee(s).
A down-to-earth offering on Victoria Street as it reaches into Brunswick West, Factory Cafe Bar is a quiet, unpretentious eatery that’ll welcome you in with the lure of very comfortable couches, and keep you with the promise of home-cooked lasagne. A family affair, the owner and his mother can often be found serving together, and the quirky vintage decor will have you feeling even more at home. Enjoy the free internet, the home-baked treats, and see if you can nab the squishiest couch in the window.
The State Library may be beautiful, and seem imposing and cold, but don’t be put off — there’s warmth, comfort and productivity waiting for you in spades, especially inside Guild Cafe. Situated in a part of the library that’s been closed for 15 years, the cafe sprung up as part of the huge refurbishments the precinct went through last year. Big windows make for plenty of light, while large communal tables lend themselves perfectly to remote working with just you, your laptop, and a bunch of other focused people. Plus, the folks at Guild know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee, and an all-day filter coffee pass is available for $10 (or hot tip: try the almond milk).
EARTHLY PLEASURES CAFE
If you feel like you need to get out of your natural environment to really get your work hat firmly on, why not head out of town a little? Earthly Pleasures is well worth the one-hour drive to Belgrave in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges — and pleasures it offers indeed. Ethically focused and in dreamy lush surroundings, the cafe is set in a beautiful old stone building among green gardens. Take your laptop outside, make full use of the free wifi, and feel utterly refreshed (yet somehow also very productive). Homemade sweets, beer and wine are available, and the 8.30am–5pm opening hours step things up a notch to “I’ll stay here all day” levels.