Best cafes to work from in Joburg – even in load-shedding

more than a year ago
Following the great shift to remote working, every cafe and coffee shop worth its weight in beans has geared up to accommodate people looking to escape their home office or office office for a few hours. More importantly these days almost every coffee shop has to have back-up power, and some extra plug points installed, especially with annoying load-shedding (if you are new in town that refers to scheduled – and sometimes unscheduled – power cuts) now being a feature of South African life. WiFi of course comes fast and free. 

If you are looking for some good Joburg coffee shops to work from for the day, make your way to one of these spots. To check the local loadshedding schedule, download the free EskomSePush app.


Bean There Coffee Company

Bean There Coffee, 44 Stanley

Popularly known as South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee, Bean There sources its single origin unblended coffee from Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The minimalist decor of the store is perfect for savouring the flavour and the smell of freshly roasted beans is heavenly. It’s nice and quiet, so perfect to get the concentration flowing. Recently renovated it has a gorgeous interior and a quietness punctuated by the sounds of coffee being made, and best of all they have a generator to keep brewing through loadshedding. 
Where: 44 Stanley, Milpark
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Breezeblock ​

The Breezeblock courtyard

A popular cafe hangout spot in Brixton, during the early months of lockdown Breezeblock briefly relaunched as a co-working space before they could get back to serving food and drinks. Plug points are plentiful inside and there's lots of natural light. You can also sit outside and work in the pretty succulent-rich courtyard while you take in that all-important vitamin D with your cappuccino.
Where: 29 Chiswick St, Brixton


The terrace at Emzini in Westdene
We love the huge partially-covered terrace at this charming and friendly cafe and restaurant overlooking the Westdene dam. There's an emphasis on creating a relaxed space that is welcoming and feels a part of the surrounding community. The food used in the kitchen is all source from local suppliers based in and around the neighbourhood and patrons are a colourful mix of artists, writers, designers, musicians, academics and students who live in the area.
12 Lewes Street Westdene
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Service Station Café

Carmen van der Merwe’s corner cafe in Melville's pretty Bamboo Centre is airy and light-filled and has occupied this spot for close on 20 years. It's a great space for remote work at the long communal table inside the cafe. Free wifi and plug points are a tick on the list. There’s a good choice of fresh and tasty casual dishes, including a daily salad selection, deli items, plus plenty of frozen meal options to take home. 
Where: Bamboo, cnr 9th St and Rustenburg Rd, Melville

The Richmond Studio Cafe

The Richmond Studio Cafe

This cafe and espresso bar in Richmond was started by award-winning photojournalist Antoine de Ras and has long been a regular hangout for a local freelance journalist crowd. If photography is your thing you will love this place with its vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia decorating the entire space. There is seating indoors and outdoors to enjoy toasties and fresh cafe food options at any time thanks to a generator. 
Where: 14 Menton Rd (cnr Park Rd), Richmond 
This cafe is equipped with backup power



The Whippet​​​​​

The Whippet in Linden
The Whippet prides itself on being Linden's original neighbourhood-inspired coffee shop and the place that kickstarted Linden's revival as a cool suburb. The coffee and food are both excellent and thankfully they have a generator for when Eskom is acting up. If you're meeting with your team make use of the large communal table or there are benches with plug points designed for individuals. Make sure to get there and plug in early as it gets really busy. Can be super noisy so take headphones if that bothers you. 
Where: 34 7th St, Linden 
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Melrose Arch 

The Grind Coffee Shop

Meeting room at The Grind Coffee Shop
The upmarket Melrose Arch has more than a dozen restaurants to choose from, but if you need to get down to some work this coffee bar and cycle shop is the choice spot. Plenty of work stations with plug points strategically placed in a quieter area upstairs are ideal for spending some hours catching up on your laptop, and a generator for seamless working. Try the signature Coffee in a Cone, a macchiato served in a chocolate-lined ice-cream cone.
Where: Whitely Rd, Melrose Arch
This cafe is equipped with backup power


Croft and Co 

Croft & Co on Tyrone Avenue, Parkview

This neighbourhood cafe on Parkview's Tyrone Avenue has only grown in popularity as a place to work, or look like you are working, while enjoying lunch and plenty of coffee. Early mornings are busiest here. Somehow even on a Tuesday lunch time it can be difficult to find a table, especially because the neighbourhood local is equipped with a generator. The prime spots are the booth-like tables in the back shielded by a garden centre's worth of lush pot plants. The cafe opens from 6am when it's packed with enthusiastic and often loud runners and cyclists, although even at that hour it's still a good place to work. 
Where: 66 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview 
This cafe is equipped with backup power


Green Dot Cafe

Green Dot Cafe on Jan Smuts in Parkwood

This cozy coffee bar is the new corner café in Parkview after Morning Glory sadly closed. Enjoy a coffee or more extravagant iced coffee frappe (with ice cream!) while you work inside or outdoors. There are healthy toasties, smoothie bowls, and Mediterranean flatbreads to fuel you through the day, and the café is halal-certified. The chic coffee bar is equipped with a generator so you can get your caffeine (and power) fix when loadshedding strikes. 
Where: 146 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Toasted ​​​​

Plenty of spaces for laptop working at Toasted
Find plenty of productivity at this little courtyard coffee shop that is a hotspot for people looking to work away from home. Inside there's a comfortable red couch with tables and chairs to work from as well as a dedicated long table boardroom. Outside in the courtyard there's a specially-designed cement counter with space to sit on your laptop and enjoy fresh air. They have a generator that kicks in after 5 minutes – just enough time to order a delicious toastie. 
Where: 138 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood 
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Proud Mary

Casual lounge area at Proud Mary

We’ve worked here ourselves a few times, so believe us when we say, this may be a very big space but it still gets super busy at lunchtime. The destination restaurant for Rosebank's voco Hotel The Bank has quickly become a popular meeting spot. In the back of the restaurant towards the lobby of the hotel and the Proud coffee shop you'll find a long table area, installed with out-of-office workers in mind, as well as more casual lounge seating. And no need to worry about loadshedding because they're fully equipped for power outages. 
Where: The Bank, 26 Cradock Ave (The Zone@Rosebank), Rosebank
This cafe is equipped with backup power


Father Coffee

Father Coffee, Kramerville

Father Coffee in Kramerville is located in an immense warehouse-like space. Of course it's pared-down and chic in that understated urban way that Father Coffee has perfected, and staffed by a serious team of baristas. It also has the look of a laboratory with an in-house bakery behind glass – those excellent cinnamon buns and almond croissants demand scientific precision. It's a relatively quiet place to work, with excellent coffee on hand, or a mug of Lindt hot chocolate if you’re overly caffeinated. Both Father stores (Rosebank and Kramerville) are fully equipped for the loadshedding blues. 
Where: 19 Dartfield Rd, Kramerville
This cafe is equipped with backup power



Seam Coffee

Lots of spaces to work from at Seam Coffee in Fourways

Seam Coffee is a locally renowned coffee roastery in the heart of Fourways, that is focused on creating sustainable farming in the coffee industry, from harvesting to roasting. Their Fair Trade goal is to connect coffee farmers and consumers, so that those who enjoy Seam's coffees also know they are directly uplifting the communities from where it is sourced. Good ethics aside, Seam is also known in the northern suburbs for having one of the best coffee shop co-working spaces and they have a generator to keep working at any shedding stage. 
Where: 2 Valley View Centre, Campbell Rd, Craigavon, Fourways
This cafe is equipped with backup power

Various locations across Johannesburg
Motherland Coffee Company

Motherland Coffee, Hobart Grove Shopping Centre in Bryanston
Motherland Coffee is a big yes when it comes to an out-of-office workspace and escaping loadshedding. Remote working has always been part of the brand DNA. There are usually more Macs on the tables than the local Apple stockist and you are never far from a plug point. Among the most popular with digital nomads are the Dunkeld branch and the busy coffee shop on Sturdee Avenue in Rosebank. A nice touch is that you can also buy a coffee for a friend and leave them a voucher for a cuppa on the message board by the counter.
Where: Motherland has branches across Joburg including at Dunkeld West Centre, Blubird Centre, Benmore Gardens, Bedford Village Shopping Centre, Hobart Grove Shopping Centre and 1 Sturdee Avenue 
This cafe is equipped with backup power



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