With the pandemic turning work from home from a luxury into the norm, cafes with WiFi have become the newest hotspots for the gadget-toting youth. Whether there are never-ending conference calls to take or beckoning social media feeds to scroll through endlessly, such cafes are our go-to, on good days and bad. One would think a bustling metropolis like Bengaluru would be teeming with choices, and yet, it turns out only some of the dizzying number of cafes in the city pass the vibe check. From comfortable seating to clean restrooms to chill staff, there are many factors that go into what makes a cafe click. Well, we went looking, and here are five cafes across the city that we recommend:
Matteo Coffea, Indiranagar
Located on the tree-lined yet busy CMH Road in Indiranagar, Matteo Coffea is the perfect place to work out of. There’s free WiFi, sufficient power outlets and a friendly, non-intrusive staff. On a regular day, most patrons at the cafe would be seen tapping away on their laptops, conducting meetings or quietly reading books, which contributes to the chill, positive vibe of the place. The decor is pleasant without being distracting, and if you get one of the tables by the windows, you could do some relaxed people-watching of passersby outside. One of the nicest things about this cafe is how consistently good their food and beverages are, at least in the experience of this writer who has been a regular for many years. It’s also a good choice if you’re trying not to spend too much: a tall coffee and a sandwich could hold you up for a few hours without burning a hole through your wallet.
Note: Matteo has another branch on Church Street, though WiFi or power outlets are unavailable there. It is still a great place to work out of on weekdays (as it tends to be quieter and less crowded then), if you have your own internet connection.
The Roastery, Kalyan Nagar
Located on a quiet lane in the midst of the bustling HRBR Layout, The Roastery is a cool place to spend a few hours at, even if you’re not working. The delicious smell of fresh coffee greets you as you enter the cafe, beckoning you to get yourself a cuppa. The friendly staff serve a good selection of hot and cold coffees, teas and small eats. Settle down on one of their comfortable chairs or couches, plug in your devices and get started on your day’s work, or chill out with a good book. They also have outdoor seating if you would like some fresh air. The place tends to get crowded at times though, so you might want to carry your noise cancelling headphones if you need quiet to focus.
Starbucks, Church Street
If quiet is not your style and you like working amidst a buzz of activity, the Starbucks outlet on Church Street might be a good choice. Almost always filled with working folks on conference calls or in-person meetings, and a frequent influx of shoppers making a pitstop, the cafe tends to be lively most of the time. The WiFi is reliably good and that is great if you’re in the area and need to pop in for a quick call. The food and beverages are, of course, infamously expensive, but with a bit of planning and foresight, one can make good use of this place, even on a budget.
Qmin, Cunningham Road
Located on Cunningham Road, Qmin retains the charm of the erstwhile Tata Cha. With both indoor and outdoor seating to choose from, patrons can get a snack and a beverage and settle down here for a few hours of work (or play). The staff are known to be friendly and up for a pleasant chat if you’re up for it. The road outside tends to get busy, but the ambience remains relaxed, allowing you to focus. Another upside is that the cafe is surrounded by some really good restaurants and other entertainment venues that you can head to afterwards.
Dialogues, JP Nagar
If you love working out of cafes but get stressed out about constantly ordering something, you must try out Dialogues Cafe in JP Nagar. Here, patrons pay for the amount of time they spend at the cafe rather than what they order. There is an hourly pass and day pass apart from the flexible, customisable plans that you can purchase for yourself and your team. Depending on the pass, you get food and beverages from the cafe’s daily menu as well.
The cafe has high-speed internet, ample charging ports and seating of many kinds. You could chill on the bean bags, swing chairs and couches or opt for the more upright work chairs or benches. There are also conference rooms if you require more privacy, and a glass room with a collection of books and magazines that could be a good place to take a break.