Header image courtesy of Black Coffee Sugar
Originally published by Ines Fung. Last updated by Beverly Ngai.
It can be hard to work in the office or from home sometimes (looking at you, “home” offices), but even harder to find space and a little peace and quiet elsewhere to get your productivity levels up. Whether you’re a freelancer, student, an office worker currently banished to the never-ending drudge of “working from home,” or just wanting a hangout spot with strong WiFi connection and even stronger coffee, these Hong Kong cafés are the perfect places to get those items on your to-do list checked off.
With four branches dotted across Kowloon and New Territories, each of Espresso Alchemy’s offshoots dons its own unique aesthetic. You will find sleek, marbled tables and striking red arch displays at the Harbour City location; cosy, wooden-furnished interiors at Mira Place; and an airy, brightly-lit space framed by floor-to-ceiling windows at Nina Mall—but regardless of the changing looks, work-conducive environs and high-quality fare are consistently guaranteed. Fuel up with a hearty plate of pesto chicken penne pasta ($89) alongside an aromatic cup of honey earl grey latte ($42) and get ready to crush your tasks!
For the best way to describe Tuckshop by Social Club, think of the flexibility and food service of a gourmet café and marry it with the vibes of a co-working space—we’re talking high ceilings, spacious seating, and long wooden tables. Coupled with speedy WiFi and plenty of power sockets, you can camp out here with your laptop for hours on end without any trouble (yes, that means no glaring looks from the friendly staff for plodding away on your to-do list).
And for all of you dog lovers, Tuckshop is also pet-friendly—feel free to make a few canine friends while you are taking a breather from work! In terms of menu offerings, the crowd-favourite avocado open toast ($70) and sous vide chicken rice bowl ($75) make great brain food. If you are looking to for something sweet and indulgent to treat yourself after several hours of hard work, opt for the maple syrup-doused blueberry pancakes ($80).
Tuckshop by Social Club, Shop 4–7, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 9745 4966
Page Common beckons patrons to hunker down and get some serious work done with its sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere, reliable WiFi, and top-tier food—and we would not expect anything less from a coffee shop housed in the lobby of a fashionable, boutique hotel. Among the many light bites and pastries on offer, the signature tiramisu ($48) is the one to try—word of mouth has it that it is the best tiramisu in Hong Kong. We will let you be the judge of that, but we think their rendition of the creamy, coffee-spiked dessert, made with their house-blend espresso, is seriously hard to beat. Plus, the little kick of caffeine makes this dessert the perfect pick-me-up treat when that dreaded afternoon slump hits! Pro tip: If you’re staying for a while and anticipate your electronics running out of juice, nab one of the high seats against the wall for convenient access to the power outlets.
Page Common, G/F, Page 148, 148 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3844 8899
Coffee aficionados will be no stranger to homegrown coffee brand Urban Coffee Roaster. Since its opening in 2014, they have gained notability for their superb artisanal coffees and freshly roasted speciality beans sourced from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Colombia, and beyond. Choose from their extensive range of single-origin speciality coffees to awaken your senses and keep your mind in peak functioning. Duck into any of their shops across the city for a great cuppa joe, but for your working needs, we’d head to their newest location in Tseung Kwan O, which boasts gorgeous seaside views and ample tables for you to park your laptop.
This new kid on the block in Ngau Tau Kok really hits the trifecta of the perfect workspace for digital nomads: A relaxed atmosphere with plants aplenty, a massive space, and free WiFi with no time limit! With so much going for Lagom Kaffe, it’s unsurprising that they get pretty full during the weekends; so if you want to skip the hordes, the best time to visit is on weekday mornings. We can think of no better way to start off the day than by tucking into their scrumptious all-day breakfast ($128), or a buttery bacon rosemary scone ($25) and get cracking on your to-do list at one of the highly coveted window seats. The natural sunlight streaming in through the expansive, glass windows will do wonders for your productivity.
Lagom Kaffe, Shop 101, 1/F, International Trade Tower, 348 Kwun Tong Road, Ngau Tau Kok | (+852) 2368 5228
Make yourself at home at Black Sugar Coffee, a friendly and cosy joint in Ho Man Tin (with two more locations in TST East and Tai Kok Tsui) run by very cute owners… two Shiba Inus! Okay, not really, but the owners take their two furry friends around the shops to hang out, and petting dogs is proven to boost mood and productivity, so the long tables at Black Sugar are ideal for a day of work. The interiors are well-lit, comfortable, and there are outlets abound. The WiFi is not restricted, either, so you can settle in for an eggs benedict & salmon sandwich ($108) in the morning then creamy carbonara ($108) for lunch, then wash it all down with a top-notch espresso ($35) or hand-drip coffee (starting from $60).
Little Cove is a bright and spacious third-wave coffee shop in Sai Kung that perfectly encapsulates the laid-back Melbournian vibe. The coastal-inspired minimal decor, the plants dotting the tables, and plenty of natural light make it a perfect oasis to refocus and get in the zone. While Little Cove is always packed to the rafters on weekends, it’s easy to find a seat with a socket (preferably on one of the couches) during regular office hours and the WiFi is fast and strong both inside and outside in the breezy alfresco area. The all-day breakfast menu—as well as Mediterranean lunch offerings that pair well with their home-roasted coffee—are sure to keep your energy levels up! Did we mention they also make their own paleo-friendly treats?
Little Cove Espresso, Shop 1–2, G/F, Siu Yat Building Block A, Sai Kung Town Villa Block A, Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung | (+852) 9572 8560
When it comes to local artisanal coffee, Coffee Academics is definitely one of the leaders of the pack. Their locations are often busy, but the Morrison Hill and Lan Kwai Fong cafés are relatively chilled out in addition to having soft seats. The WiFi here is restricted by time, so be sure you make a couple more drink orders if you plan on staying for a while to get through a backlog of work. We highly recommend their signature manuka latte ($58–$62), naturally sweetened with New Zealand Manuka honey. If you need an immediate energy booster, try their bulletproof coffee ($58) mixed with coconut oil and MCT oil.
Not only is Elephant Grounds the ultimate hipster hangout—the owners also operate lifestyle store WOAW! and more—but the free WiFi and independently-roasted coffee and handcrafted ice cream sandwiches keep freelancers and students coming back to spend their afternoons. There are locations all over town, but the best three to bring your laptop into are Sheung Wan, Star Street, and Mid-Levels. All are in convenient locations and offer reliable WiFi, enough space to spread out a bit, and abundant power sockets. Come early to get the perfect spot—the Sheung Wan location gets quite popular.
NOC has heaps of locations around town, all following their industrial aesthetic and brewing cups of carefully selected Arabica coffee. The Sai Ying Pun flagship roastery is their largest location and is almost always full of students from the nearby HKU, as well as freelancers of every creed, and that’s because of the fast WiFi and luxury of space. We also love that NOC is aiming to be as environmentally-friendly as possible by moving towards removing all plastic products from their cafes. Don’t worry if you grab a slice of their Instagrammable avocado toast ($94)—it won’t make you feel sluggish and you can turn it into fuel to get more done.
NOC, Shop 4, G/F, Bohemian House, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun
Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard is a hidden gem tucked under an overpass in Sai Ying Pun. It’s beloved by locals and you’re guaranteed peace and quiet here, as it’s somewhat off the beaten path. This neighbourhood café offers coffee classics as well as speciality drinks, such as the trendy turmeric almond milk latte (starting from $50) and super smoothies (starting from $83). There’s a graphic by the counter that informs coffee newbies of the coffee-to-milk-to-froth ratios their orders consist of. The best part about Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard is that there are power plugs and USB outlets at every table, and there’s interesting art for sale by local artists on the wall if you need to rest your eyes, as well as workshops to join.
Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard, 120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 3460 3880