Twenty Eight Cafe, work-friendly cafes at Bencoolen, Dhoby Gauht

I don’t know about you but I can never study or work productively at the library or in the office. Maybe I’m weird but the atmosphere is way too tense and stressful. Something about the strikingly loud silence just gets on my nerves and prohibits any form of productivity. Unlike cafes which have a more soothing ambience; a jazzy playlist humming and muffled chatter in the background, the clinks of cutleries and buzzing of coffee machines… These are the sounds that fuel me.

If you’re just like me, you’ll know the struggles of finding the perfect study spot. Wifi, electrical outlet, quality of the coffee and food. Most importantly, a place where you won’t get chased out. Imagine paying for everything and settling down just to get called out an hour later. In order to avoid such a displeasing situation, here are the ten best cafes to do work productively.

1. Twenty Eight Cafe

Twenty Eight Cafe, work-friendly cafes at Bencoolen, Dhoby Gauht

Twenty Eight Cafe was created with the consideration for people to do work productively at. Hence, the large square tables, warm and gentle lighting and abundance of electrical outlets.

The coffee here is a little more generic tasting, with a mild nutty undertone and slight acidity. Meanwhile, they have quite a large scrumptious menu which includes Sakura Ebi Angel hair-Ebi-Kombu ($18) and the brand new Oyakodon ($15).

The food isn’t the most wallet-friendly especially if you’re a broke student or fresh graduate who’s trying to get that bread. So you can actually head down to Sunshine Plaza for cheaper meals such as Wanton Mee ($4.5) and King Kong Chirashi ($10).

The only downside is that it is a ten minutes walk from Bencoolen MRT Station. It also closes at 5pm, which is inconvenient if you’re the kind who would spend the whole day at the cafe.

Wifi: Yes
Socket: Many
Drinks: 7/10
Food: 8/10

Pros: Honestly the perfect place to do work
Cons: 10 minutes walk from nearest MRT station and closes at 5pm

Location: 28 Wilkie Rd, #01-06, Singapore 228051
Tel: +65 9628 2829
Opening hours: 7:30am- 5:30pm

Website

2. Starbucks

You must’ve seen this from miles away. Starbucks is the most obvious answer for a study/work spot. But, not all Starbucks are the same. You tend to want to avoid Starbucks that are located inside a mall as those tend to be more crowded and there’s a high chance you’ll get chased out during peak hours. Not all malls are like that though. For example, Bedok Mall and Bedok Point have really chill baristas. But if you go to NEX… don’t even try.

The drinks aren’t my favorite because I’m a pretentious coffee connoisseur but there is one drink I highly recommend, which is Matcha Latte with no Sugar (pure matcha) with a side of honey. I don’t know about you but Starbucks’ Matcha Latte is way to cloying for me and this order does the trick for me.

Anyway, here’s a list of Starbucks that’s ideal for doing work

  • 86 East Coast Road
  • Tampines West CC
  • Bedok Point
  • Orchard Gateway
  • Wisma Atria
  • Capital Tower (Tanjong Pagar MRT Station)
  • KINEX (Paya Lebar)

Wifi: Yes, refreshes every 30 minutes
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 5/10
Food: 5/10

3. Dalkomm

Dalkomm Cafe at The Centrepoint
Source: My Food Story Singapore

You might know this as the cafe from Korean Drama Descendants of The Sun (DOTS), but I recognize Dalkomm as my hustle spot. Just like Twenty Eight Cafe, this cafe has a number of large tables which are perfect for doing work. The cafe is also really spacious so it’s easy to get a table. But, what I like most about Dalkomm is their coffee. Utilising premium Arabica beans from Korea, they have three different roasts for you to choose from: K1, K2 and K3. The charts for their respective flavour profiles are available at the counter.

Instead of getting the cakes and mains at Dalkomm, I recommend getting a meal elsewhere first. There are tons of affordable options in the area such as Kim Dae Mun, A Poke Theory and Gyu Nami.

Do note that there’s a 1-hour dining restriction now due to the pandemic.

Wifi: Yes
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 10/10
Food: 5/10

Pros: Amazing coffee and large tables. The cafe is also quite huge so it’s easy to find a table
Cons: For now, the 1-hour dining restriction

Location: 176 Orchard Road, #01-01/06 & 102/103, The Centrepoint, Singapore 238843
Tel: +65 9008 4886
Opening hours: 10am- 10pm

Website

4. Grids & Circles

Source: @foodieggy/Instagram

Located at Chinatown, Grids & Circles is a 3-storey lifestyle cafe that’s straight out of a Pinterest board. Minimalistic decor that features immaculate white walls, flora and wooden furniture. The cafe is also gently lit with warm sun rays that stream through their large windows.

The chefs at Grids & Circles make all their food, sauces and condiments from scratch, so you can expect high-quality meals here. Their Clouds in My Coffee Cold Brew ($7.5) is also a popular item on the menu. 

Wifi: Yes
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 9/10
Food: 8/10

Pros: Clouds in My Coffee Cold Brew (very creamy)
Cons: Closes at 5pm

Location: 200 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058749
Tel: +65 6935 3546
Opening hours: 9am- 5pm

Website

5. 6 Letter Coffee

Hot Honey Cafe Latte at 6 Letter Coffee with cute latte art

6 Letter Coffee is an all-day brunch cafe located along Tanjong Katong road, with an extensive menu ranging from toasts and pancakes to rostis and chicken wings. A cup of Hot Latte starts from $5, with a balanced flavour profile but I recommend topping up $1 for their Honey Cafe Latte if you’re not a fan of the typical second wave coffee flavour.

Socket: Yes
Drinks: 6.5/10
Food: 9/10

Pros: Extensive menu at an affordable price
Cons: Not near MRT stations

Location: 259 Tanjong Katong Rd, Singapore 437047
Tel: +65 6285 0368
Opening hours
:
Sun- Thur: 8am- 7pm
Fri- Sat: 8am- 8pm

Website

6. Degree Celsius

Work-friendly cafe at Dhoby Ghaut, Degree Celsius Cafe

Degree Celsius is a minimalistic white cafe at Dhoby Ghaut that has an open space for people to do their work productively. The coffee bar has a limited menu but you’d be delighted to know that they offer free upgrade to alternative milk options such as almond, soy and oat. Their pastries and cakes rotate every now and then but if you’re lucky enough, try their Yuzu Honey and Lychee Guava Cakes ($8) that have delicate flavours that is sure to get you hooked on.

Wifi: Yes
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 6/10
Food: 8/10

Pros: Comfortable space for working
Cons: Not many food options

Location: 9 Penang Rd, Singapore 238459
Opening hours: 7:30am- 6pm (Weekdays); 8:30am- 6pm (Weekends)

Website

7. Komma Coffee

A social cafe for conversations and creatives, Komma Coffee is also an avenue for budding entrepreneurs and artists to showcase their works. For the coffee, Komma uses a darker roast which bears a bitter lingering aftertaste. For sweetened coffee, the Kuromitsu Latte ($6) was something to scream about. The black sugar injected a deep richness into the coffee without rendering it too cloying.

Komma Coffee is currently partnering with Haritts and The Whisking Well. We’ve had bakes from The Whisking Well, and let’s just say… stick with the donuts. Haritts is only available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Psst, we highly recommend the Pistachio.

Wifi: Yes
Socket: No
Drinks: 7.5/10
Food: 10/10 if you get Haritts

Pros: Conveniently located at PLQ which has tons of great food. And of course, Haritts
Cons: Finding a seat might be a little tough during peak hours

Location: 10 Paya Lebar Road, #01-20 PLQ Mall, Paya Lebar Quarter, 409057
Opening hours: 10am- 10pm

Website

8. Mellower Coffee at Tanjong Pagar and Bugis

Mellower Coffee has been rapidly expanding but here are the two outlets I recommend: Bugis and Tanjong Pagar. You might recognize Mellower Coffee as the cafe that sells cotton candy coffee, also known as Sweet Little Rain ($9.9). But if you’re there for some serious work, you might wanna get their regular Latte instead to avoid a sticky mess. They use a darker roast with an emphatic nutty punch. For a mid-day energy booster, get Salted Caramel Cheesecake ($7) or Millefeuille Mango ($7) to go with your coffee!

The branch at Tanjong Pagar is generally more conducive as it’s a lot less crowded compared to the one at Bugis. Their wifi is also 24/7 unlike the Bugis outlet, which only entitles you to 1 hour. However, Tanjong Pagar closes at 4:30pm and on weekends whereas Bugis is opened till 8pm everyday.

Wifi: Yes (1 hour at Bugis and unlimited at Tanjong Pagar)
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 8.5/10
Food: 10/10 

Pros: Good food and drinks. Quite convenient.
Cons: Tanjong Pagar branch closes early and Bugis branch only has 1 hour of wifi 

Location: 77 Robinson Rd, #01-03, Singapore 068896
Tel: +65 6532 2436
Opening hours: 8am- 4:30pm; closed on weekends

Location: 108 Middle Rd, #01-01 Bernhard Schulte House, Singapore 188967
Tel: +65 6255 0820
Opening hours:
Sun- Thur: 9:30am- 8pm
Fri- Sat: 9:30am- 9pm

Website

9. Kith Cafe

Not my prime choice because the food and coffee really elevates the working experience. But if you’re strictly just looking for a place that guarantees your stay and provide you with the caffeine rush you need, Kith Cafe is the place for you. There are designated tables set aside for a productive day. But do take note that there’s an hourly charge during peak hours (or when they get too crowded for their regular crowd!)

Wifi: Yes 
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 5/10
Food: NA

Pros: Guaranteed spot
Cons: No hipster cafe vibes

Location: 11 Tanjong Katong Rd, #01-30/31/34 KINEX Shopping Mall, Singapore 437157
Tel: +65 6214 3780
Opening hours: 10am- 10pm (Weekdays); 8am- 10pm (Weekends)

Website

10. Coffeesmith

Another Korean cafe on the list but to be honest, the coffee’s a far cry from Dalkomm. It’s acquired from 5 types of Arabica beans and while it has a balanced flavour profile, it’s a little too generic and commercial for my liking. That aside, it is a great place for doing work since it has wifi and a number of sockets in the cafe. It’s also open 24 hours, perfect for hustlers.

Wifi: Yes 
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 5/10
Food: 8/10 

Pros: 24 hours
Cons: Generic food and coffee, kinda like the Korean variation of Starbucks

Location: 277, Orchard Road, #01-09/09A Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858
Tel: +65 6385 4979
Opening hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Website

11. Nuevo

Wallet-friendly meals, decent coffees and a work-friendly cafe. Nuevo is a hidden gem located deep within the office buildings area at Paya Lebar. Famous for their S$14 Yakiniku Beef Striploin with Sous Vide Egg, this cozy cafe is also a great place to do work once the lunch crowd disperses. It’s spacious and it has huge benches so lots of space for organizing your notes if you’re a student. The coffee isn’t anything to shout about but it is a decent cup to fuel your day. Do note that It gets a little crowded from 12pm- 2pm so it might be a little too noisy for a conducive working environment.

Wifi: Yes 
Socket: Yes
Drinks: 5/10
Food: 8/10 

Pros: $14 beef bowls that are decent for the price
Cons: Not such a big con but it’s a short walk from Paya Lebar MRT Station

Location: 11 Tanjong Katong Road, KINEX #02-K3, 437157
Tel: +65 6282 5408
Opening hours: 11:30am- 8:30pm

Website


Alternatively, head onto LaptopFriendly to source for more work-friendly cafes with wifi, electrical sockets and good food.

Note: These were all places that I’ve been to for intense grind sessions at one point but now I only go to Twenty Eight Cafe and 86 East Coast Road Starbucks

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