Credit: Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

With SEPTA striking, getting into Center City is a battle that’ll rob you of productivity before you even make it in to the office. That’s probably true — and it’s also the best argument to convince your boss or coworkers to let you just telecommute. Instead of waiting around for UberPOOL or trying to find parking, just grab your laptop and head to one of these cafes with free wifi, good coffee and space to spread out. Live in the suburbs? Try hitting one of these spots instead of pushing all the way in. It’ll be a shorter commute, and drivers will find readily available parking. (Check out the map below for exact locations.)

Northwest Philly

Chestnut Hill Coffee

A magic combo of baristas who somehow lack attitude, free wifi and a large upstairs space that’s quiet and has lots of natural light streaming from one huge window. 8620 Germantown Ave.

Rose Petals Cafe

A full kitchen means you can supplement the free wifi with some serious sustenance as reward for work well done. 322 W. Chelten Ave.

Manayunk/East Falls

Chestnut Hill Coffee

Offshoot of the original that has a similarly large second floor with large windows and lots of outlets. Full food menu with sandwiches in addition to coffee. 3300 Henry Ave.

Northern Liberties/Fishtown/Kensington

One Shot Cafe

House-baked pastries that are better than they should be and a giant second floor decked out like an old English library. 217 W. George St.


These folks are roasters, so the coffee’s as fresh as can be. The interior is small but the unusual shape provides several quiet nooks. 1523 E. Susquehana Ave.

Front Street Cafe

Take advantage of late autumn warmth and sit on the spacious back patio — or don’t and snag a cozy seat inside. There’s wifi, but a full bar, too, if you happen to stay through happy hour. 1253 N. Front St.


OCF Coffee House

Wide-plank wood floors, thick-top wood tables, windowed garage roll-up doors and free wifi make this one off the best workplaces in the city, no matter what else is going on. Oh, and there’s coffee, too. 2100 Fairmount Ave.

The Monkey and the Elephant

Small but with a purpose: Proceeds from coffee and baked good sales here go to help youths growing up in foster homes, who also make up the staff. 2831 W. Girard Ave.

West Philly/U City

Replica Creative

There’s literally a design studio inside, so you know the wifi signal is good. Sleek furniture and lots of sunlight, plus a few sandwiches from local bakeries. 3711 Market St.

Green Line Cafe

Although the original location doesn’t have wifi, the other West Philly branches are laptop-friendly, and offer up the same variety of easy caffeine. 3649 Lancaster Ave., 28 S. 40th St.

Saxbys UPenn

Communal tables, two-tops, couches and easy chairs, plus free wifi and coffee that provides a serious jolt. 4000 Locust St.

South Philly


Not huge, but some of the absolute best coffee around, plus you get to distract yourself by ogling the beer selection since it shares space with bottle shop Brew. 1900 S. 15th St.

Grindcore House

This free wifi hasn’t harmed any animals. Vegan snacks and very decent coffee, plus lots of tables to spread out and work. 1515 S. 4th St.

Bella Vista/Queen Village


Reserve a table in advance to ensure your spot — there aren’t many of them but the atmosphere is quiet and both the wifi and coffee are strong. 701 S. 7th St.


Relax and sip lattes in multiple rooms all full of people getting work done (or maybe they’re writing poetry). 620 S. 9th St.

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...