Offices have their perks - like free granola bars and conference rooms where you can say things to your coworkers like “let’s circle back on that” and “to your point” for an hour until you all leave the meeting wondering what you actually just accomplished. (Hint: nothing.)
Working remotely has its perks too - like drinking wine while writing emails. But coffee shops usually don’t serve alcohol, and your apartment is filled with roommates eating Cookie Crisp and watching old episodes of It’s Always Sunny, so if you want to take advantage of that perk, your options are limited. Which is why we made you a guide to the best places to drink while you work in NYC. These cafes and bars have wifi and comfortable seating, and are all places where you can add animation effects to PowerPoints or edit the first line of 80 different cover letters while you have a beer or glass of wine.
Berg’n is a beer garden in Prospect Heights that fills up during the day with people working on their laptops and scribbling programming notes on legal pads. It feels like a cafeteria at a summer camp, but instead of Capri Suns and sloppy joes, people here drink good beer and eat pulled pork from Mighty Quinn’s. On weekends, this place tends to fill up with kids’ birthday parties and feels more like an actual summer camp, so we’d recommend working here during the week.
It’s tough to stay focused when you’re trying to work at a bar and the people next to you are on such an awkward Bumble date that you can’t help but listen in on their spirit animals and upcoming travel plans. You won’t have that problem at Spreadhouse, which is much more like a coffee shop than a bar. The big space looks like a cozy garage, and there’s plenty of room to put on headphones and do work while you drink wine or beer till close (10pm every night).
Here’s our next start-up elevator pitch: WeWork, but outside. Until we find enough people to invest, we’ll settle for the backyard at Freehold. The big space has table service and plenty of seating, and rather than procrastinating by looking through Facebook albums from when people still created Facebook albums, you can play some ping pong and get a drink. On weekdays, the whole bar menu is half-price until 8pm.
Working from your couch with some beers from the fridge might be tempting, but you know from experience that it’ll start with some Seinfeld in the background and end with a Handmaid’s Tale marathon. Avoid the temptation and go to Upright Brew House in the West Village, where you can pull a couple two-tops together if you need space or you can camp out at the bar. Try some beers you’ve never heard of from the long tap list, all of which are discounted during Happy Hour (before 7pm).
You’re enjoying your day off wandering around Soho when your boss texts you that she needs meetings with four different clients set up before her flight touches down in Albuquerque. Take a deep breath and order a glass (or carafe) of wine at Epistrophy. The all-day cafe has a full bar and a good selection of wines, and you can use this opportunity to decide whether you really need that $80 cat beret you saw while window shopping. On weekends, it’s possible they might ask you to close your laptop after 6-ish.
Cafe Amrita is less than a block from Central and Morningside Park, and it’s a short walk from both Columbia and Mt. Sinai. So whether you need a cocktail to help power you through Civilization And Its Discontents, or need to commiserate about the Boards with your fellow residents, Cafe Amrita is here for you. They stay open till midnight every day, but it’s best to work here during Happy Hour, when they have $3 beers, $4 well drinks, and $5 wines.
Greene Grape Annex looks like it could be your friend’s apartment - if your friend had a beautiful ground-floor space in Fort Greene where she let strangers hang out all day. The big open space is a comfortable place to work with tons of seating and some couches. Along with a full food menu of things like grain bowls and sandwiches, they have a rotating wine list, draft beers, and cocktails.
DTUT is what a college dorm would look like if the college students were in charge. Along with couches and tables of people playing Scrabble and working on their laptops, there’s a full bar with over 20 American craft beers on tap. Working here might make you feel a bit like you’re in your senior year again, but unlike undergrad libraries and common rooms, this place also has DIY platters of s’mores and fondue.
Sometimes you need coffee to help you make that Monday deadline, and wine to help you relax about that Monday deadline. You can have the best of both worlds at Kobrick Coffee in Meatpacking. Not only do they have full coffee and cocktail programs, but they also combine the two on some drinks, like a gin and tonic with cold brew, and a latte with Jameson. Know, though, that they dim the lights and start playing EDM around 8pm.
This cafe in Bed-Stuy serves coffee and breakfast dishes, as well as soju, $4 beers, and rotating drafts and large plates of Korean classics in the afternoon. A communal table takes up most of the one-room space, but they also have a few tables and window seats if you’re worried about someone Zuck-ing your new startup idea.
If you had just hit Ctrl-S at any point during that seven-hour Excel session on Friday, you wouldn’t be in this mess. But you didn’t, and now you have to spend your Saturday doing it all over again. Instead of letting your mind wander to dark places alone in your apartment, sit on the back patio at The West with a cheap beer and your laptop.
You won’t be the only one working at the indoor/outdoor cafe at the base of The Standard East Village. There will also be a model in the corner flipping through headshots with her manager, and the guy next to you will be Facetiming with his business partner in Flemish. This place has good wine and draft beer options, and excellent people watching.
Norman is an all-day Scandinavian cafe inside a Greenpoint warehouse that’s also a huge design studio. The open floor plan and communal tables make it feel more like a coworking space than a restaurant, and people tend to sit everywhere and order drinks, small plates, or some great baked goods. They also offer a few natural wines for $7 a glass everyday during Happy Hour.
If you consult on your friend’s non-dairy soft-serve delivery app, or are generally “in tech,” then you’ve probably had a meeting in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. Along with some standing room by the bar, the huge space has comfortable couches and armchairs, and it’s never too loud, at least until the DJs start spinning later in the night.
Spiegel is our go-to late afternoon work spot in the East Village, mostly because of how relaxed the staff is. Whether you ask to spread out over multiple two-tops, use an outlet behind the bar, or bounce between an outdoor table and bar seats, they won’t have a problem. The ideal strategy at this Middle Eastern cafe is to sit at the horseshoe bar and order the large plate of any three sides - but request to get them one at a time whenever you order another draft beer or glass of wine.
All four Grey Dog locations are solid utility spots that work for everything from 7am coffee to casual dinner with a third-tier friend. The West Village location is best for getting work done with drinks because it doesn’t get as packed as the others. When the words on your screen start to cross the threshold from alcohol-induced creativity to drunken gibberish, get something from the long food menu, which is available till 10pm everyday.
You should go to Little Skips just for the sandwiches (like The Grilled Granny - a grilled cheese with pesto and Granny Smith apples), but this casual cafe in Bushwick is also a great place to hang out just for the $5 beers and $19 carafes of wine. There are almost always seats available at one of the small tables or at the counter by the window. Also, most people here are working on their laptops, and unlike a lot of coffee shops, the baristas won’t glare at you if you stay longer than an hour.