This one’s too busy. That one’s too quiet. And that other one’s full of sketchy old men. Whether you’re launching a start-up or pretending to be employed, we give you Philly’s top cafes where the coffee and free wireless are just right.
To Actually Work
What: Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery
Why: The music selection is good (The Books to Franz Ferdinand) and at a low volume, the seats are comf, and the staff is really nice. The joe ain’t bad, either.
When: Daily, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: 620 S. Ninth St. (215-238-2626).
To Skip the Scones
What: Mazag Cafe
Why: Delicious Turkish coffee (try the sahlab, a warm drink made with milk, orchid root, nuts, raisin, and cinnamon) and vegetarian snacks, all made in-house. Procrastinate over oum ali, a creamy filo dough treat.
When: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: 1001 S. Tenth St. (215-925-1842).
To People Watch
What: Philadelphia Java Company
Why: Spy on comings and goings as you answer e-mails (be warned: the connection’s a little slow) while sitting outside at the Second Street location. It’s got a decent, well-lit bathroom, too.
When: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: 852 S. Second St. (215-339-8248).
To Soothe Your Conscience
Why: They use wind power and biodegradable materials, and they compost their waste, so you can reduce your carbon footprint as you slave for the man. (Or maybe you are the man, in which case: congratulations.)
When: Mon.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 2100 Fairmount Ave. (267-514-7145).
To Bob Your Head
What: La Citadelle
Why: French pop and other international tunes are a nice break from Enya or reggae. There’s also enough room for you and your computer as you sip your La Colombe coffee.
When: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 1600 Pine St. (215-546-0820).
To Power Lunch
What: Cafe Cláve
Why: A huge Cuban sandwich, empanadas, tabouli, and, according to one bespectacled cutie who works here, reliable Wi-Fi.
When: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: 4305 Locust St. (215-386-3436).
Trust us: We’ve bean there.