When Yogeshwari Panhwar decided to quit working full time to focus on writing a film script, she decided to frequent a neighbourhood café in south Delhi. Her debut café sojourn, however, ended rudely when, after an hour, the wifi on her laptop automatically disconnected as part of the café’s policy and rule. It didn’t matter that she was willing to pay extra for the wifi. As expected, Panhwar came home in a bad mood with barely any work getting done.
Thankfully, numerous cafes in Delhi NCR are working overtime to ensure that patrons not only get hi-speed internet connection but also well-lit and beautifully designed areas with bright, natural light to inspire an instantly calm, meditative feeling for working professionals. What’s more, many of these cafes are catering to the needs of the conscious patrons who appreciate healthy options on their plates created with emphasis on sustainability, regional flavour, and authentic recipes.
After careful consideration and conversations with people from various professional walks of life, here is a selection of cafes that are a favourite among Delhi-ites.
2. Colocal, Khan Market
The minute you brave through massive traffic jams and the pollution of the city to reach Colocal, you’ll find yourself transported to the look and feel of Pondicherry. Bring out your laptop and feel instantly rejuvenated and inspired with the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. Run by Sheetal Saxena and Nishant Sinha, there are three CoLocal cafes in Delhi NCR – Dhanmill Compound, Chattarpur; Khan Market, and Noida. People who work from Colocal swear by the avocado toast, power bowls, and yes, the artisanal chocolates made by Indian cacao. The menu is packed with flavour and goodness of fresh ingredients and seasonal produce. Top pick: a selection of freshly baked bread, sour dough pizzas (it doesn’t sit heavy even if you’re working long hours), and the dizzying varieties of coffee. The plug points are placed close to the tables so you can choose a comfortable spot to work from. Oh, and feel free to bring your pooch to work into this pet-friendly café.
Note: The brand also runs Roastery Coffee House in Noida, which gets a vote of approval as a “cool work café” from some of the people who were interviewed for this piece.
3. Tea Room, Hauz Khas Village
Though it can get a bit noisy during lunch hours, Tea Room by Blossom Kochar in Hauz Khas village makes for an interesting space to work from. If you, like some professionals, follow the Pomodoro technique while working, then a break could mean just browsing through books kept in one of the shelves. If you feel like rewarding yourself after achieving a deadline, get a pedicure done in the in-house salon. There’s lovely country music that’s played in the café but if it bothers you, it’s a good idea to visit this quaint place with noise cancellation earphones. The beverage selection has a wide variety of teas and the food menu has classic scones with jam and clotted cream, and the baked beans on toast. It’s private, cosy, and a favourite with many of the writers and researchers who come from neighbourhood’s numerous art galleries for their writing work.
4. Café Dori, Dhanmill Compound, Chattarpur
Café Dori is fast becoming a favourite among people as one of the coolest cafes to work from. The pan European café has an eclectic menu inspired by French, English and east European cuisines along with an extensive menu for coffee lovers alongside iced and hot teas, kombucha, fresh juices, and smoothies. The pet-friendly café has coffee that’s carefully sourced from local artisans and grown across different plantations in the country. It is a treat for those who like working in cafes – the ambience is perfect with hi-speed internet connection, reading material, an outdoor smoking area. The café is a part of the ‘Nappa Dori Experiential Retail Space’ that transformed an abandoned warehouse into areas comprising a library / workspace area, a café, and a lifestyle store.
5. Blue Tokai, Safdarjung Enclave
Present in 16 locations in Delhi, Blue Tokai is a brand to reckon with when it comes to careful roasting of coffee beans that are sourced from various farms in India. The coffee variety is incredible and a friend swears by the brand’s outlet in Khan Market, saying that the staff is friendly and doesn’t discourage you from working for long hours, even if it means that you’re sitting with just one cup of coffee for hours.
6. Harajuku Tokyo Café, Select Citywalk
Visit Select Citywalk on a weekday and it’s not an unusual sight to see people working on their laptops in this Japan-inspired café that serves over 95 dishes in addition to the existing menu with sushi, sandwiches, bento boxes, beverages, etc. With its bright colours and Insta-worthy décor, the café interestingly has a way of quietening down when you want to plug in your noise cancellation headphones and work. It has only recently re-launched and has a bigger area plus a newly setup live bakery. It’s comfortably, cosy, and it’s a wonderful option for those who want to work in a “mall” setup but still want a sense of comfort, style, a range of coffees with kawaii cookies.
7. Greenr Cafe, Vasant Kunj; Gurugram
The café takes prides in focusing on nutritious, wholesome foods, promoting quality produce with zero preservatives and processed-free foods. The healthy meals are a mainstay of this café that offers free wifi and convenient charging ports to those who want to work from this café that’s currently in two locations in Delhi NCR. It also has scanners, printers, and photocopiers for those who might need it. With its understated décor, Greenr is the perfect choice for those who, while working, want to opt for healthier food and beverage options.
8. Roasted by Roseate café, Vasant Kunj
Highly recommended by some of the people interviewed, this luxe co-working space gives stunning outdoor views of greens and foliage while serving an assortment of patisserie and boulangerie delights. Book for four hours at ₹599 onwards for complementary wifi; at eight hours for ₹899, you will get an additional discount on selected food and beverage items.
Also read | 5 cool cafes to work from in Bengaluru