working and studying cafes in melbourne

The Best Cafes for Working and Studying in Melbourne

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    Melbourne is a bustling metropolis with many cafes to choose from. Cafes are the perfect place for workers and students to grab some coffee, tea, or food while studying or working on projects. We have compiled a list of five of our favourite Melbourne cafes that we think you should check out if you're looking for somewhere to work or study this year! 

    With the exam season looming for many (it always feels like it's threatening, even when it's months away), sometimes you just want to escape the house and go and study at a café. And no, this isn't brunch-fuelled procrastination—with Wi-Fi, a damn good coffee (maybe even a snack or two), you can conquer the world. And zero danger of naps. Now go and smash that assignment; it won't smash itself. 

    Some cafes have free Wi-Fi, outlets, comfortable seating, and many even offer discounts to students. If you're looking for a place with a great ambience that's both quiet and studious while also being well-lit, here are some of our favourite Melbourne cafes for working and studying.

    There are also many freelancers and entrepreneurs calling the culture capital home. Fortunately, Melbourne is also Australia's coffee capital, so many cafes are set up for people who want to study and work away from home.

    Naughty Boy Café

    naughty boy cafe ask melbourne

    499-501 Lygon St, Carlton North, Melbourne, Vic 3054
    0390417870

    Naughty Boy is the home of the 'freak shake—try it out for size and study simultaneously. Plonk yourself on one of their comfy chairs and get working on whatever takes your fancy. It gets a little busy here in the afternoon, but the late mornings are the perfect time to tick off your to-do list. 

    Located on Lygon Street – on the cusp of Carlton North and Princes Hill – Naughty Boy Cafe is famous for its freak shakes (free Wi-Fi). If a freakshake sugar high doesn't take your fancy, Naughty Boy Cafe also serves Allpress coffee, smoothies and has an extensive all-day food menu. Krispy chicken bao bun, or pulled lamb grain salad anyone?

    WIFI: Yes 

    Poolhouse Coffee

    pool house cafe ask melbourne

    6 Franklin Street Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000
    03 9639 6809

    Another hidden CBD gem, Poolhouse, is known with the RMIT community as it's close to one of their major buildings. Located at the back of the CBD Poolhouse (hence the name), they'll have you wishing you were swimming in a pool of Coffee (yes, please). They offer various eats, including healthy salads and rice paper rolls and Doughboy Donuts on Thursdays. Even better? There is free WIFI all day. 

    WIFI: Yes 

    Sun Moth

    sun moth

    28 Niagara Lane Melbourne 3000
    03 9602 4554

    Hidden away in Niagra Lane, Sun Moth is a firm favourite with RMIT City Campus locals. With spicy chai and a killer cappuccino, an extensive Asian fusion menu (with awesome healthy eats) and the 'Coffee to bar' attitude (meaning you can start with your Coffee in the AM and move onto the rosé come 4 pm), this place ticks all the boxes when it comes to studying. Be aware, though, and it gets rowdy during peak times.

    WIFI: Yes 

    Union Street Brewers

    union street brewers

    1/34 Union Street Brunswick, VIC, Australia 3056
    03 9191 9857

    Known to many as "that café near Jewell Station", Union Street Brewers is an absolute classic. There's a homemade rotating brekkie menu and some of the best chai lattes around (seriously, we've tried a lot of damn chai lattes). They also offer 10% off for students if you flash your I.D Card. RMIT Fashion Degree Students, it's close to your campus, so head on down. Free WIFI and a sunny courtyard round things out nicely. 

    WIFI: Yes 

    Mr Tulk

    mr tulk ask melbourne

    328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
    03 8660 5700

    Mr Tulk is a firm favourite for many students, partly because it's located right next to the State Library. Soak up that sweet FREE library WIFI while you sip your capp and feast on a light meal. All those books lining the walls makes you feel extra studious; plus, the café is named after the library's first-ever librarian—how cute.

    Mr Tulk has been a student favourite for as long as anyone can remember. Located on busy Swanston Street and inside the iconic State Library of Victoria, the quiet ambience and decor definitely create a studious vibe. The best part? The library offers free Wi-Fi, which you can access from the café! 

    WIFI: Yes 

    Serotonin

    serotonin ask melbourne

    52 Madden Grove, Burnley 3121
    manager@serotonindealer.com

    This sanctuary provides an escape from busy daily life with a nourishing eatery using a plant-based menu, located in a large space with hanging swings and neon signs. Feast on a naughty but nice peanut butter acai bowl as you revise those boring theories, or why not take it to the park across the road with a picnic rug? They even offer free exercise classes followed by post-workout chats and breakfast at the happiest place in Melbourne

    WIFI: Yes 

    Everyday Coffee Carlton

    everyday coffee

    36-38 Sackville Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066

    Everyday Coffee speaks for itself: it's a trusty daily. With free Wi-Fi and four different outlets around Melbourne, every day is a worthy mainstay of the coffee game. Northcote, Collingwood, CBD and Carlton all have Everyday localities. The Carlton venue doubles as a bookshop, which makes it an extra productive space — you'll be fully caffeinated and raring to get all the work done you need. Big communal tables and lots of suns (when it's out, that is) make for an inviting space, and good beans makes for good Coffee (s).

    WIFI: Yes 

    Guild Cafe

    guild coffee

    State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
    guild@almondmilkco.com.au

    The State Library may be beautiful and seem imposing and cold, but don't be put off — there's warmth, comfort and productivity waiting for you in spades, especially inside Guild Cafe. Situated in a part of the library that's been closed for 15 years, the cafe sprung up as part of the huge refurbishments the precinct went through last year. Big windows make for plenty of light, while large communal tables lend themselves perfectly to remote working with just you, your laptop, and many other focused people. Plus, the folks at Guild know what they're doing when it comes to Coffee, and an all-day filter coffee pass is available for $10 (or hot tip: try the almond milk).

    WIFI: Yes 

    Two Birds One Stone – South Yarra

    two birds one stone ask melbourne

    12 Claremont Street, South Yarra
    03 9827 1228

    Two Birds One Stone is arguably one of the best cafés in South Yarra. With the cool and quiet ambience and attentive staff, the café is favoured by local residents, students, and freelancers and workers in the area. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Manchester Press – CBD

    manchester press

    8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
    0426 987 017

    Melbourne's laneways are full of surprises and hidden gems if you know where to look. Manchester Press is a good example. It's one of the best cafés in Melbourne's CBD, known for its specialty bagels, industrial design and cosy atmosphere. Come here on weekday afternoons to avoid the busy crowds that come in the morning and during lunchtime. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Faraday's Cage – Fitzroy

    faraday's cage

    325-329 Gore Street, Fitzroy
    03 8589 1568

    Both a café and an artisan bakery, Faraday's Cage is a hidden gem located in the backstreets of Fitzroy. This local favourite serves great Coffee and some of the best hotcakes and pastries in Melbourne. And with free internet available, you can spend time in their outdoor courtyard studying and sipping your Coffee. Don't forget to grab a delicious flaky croissant before you go!

    WIFI:  YES

    Project 281 Café – Brunswick

    project 281 cafe

    281 Albert Street, Brunswick
    03 9080 6119

    Project 281 café is a converted warehouse popular for its spacious interior and abundance of greenery. The house-roasted Coffee and brunch menu is kind, with the latter inspired by Korean and Japanese cuisines. The café is usually packed on weekends, but if you come here early and secure a table on the mezzanine, you can embrace the buzzy atmosphere without sitting on the crowded ground floor.

    WIFI: Yes

    St ALi – South Melbourne

    st ali christmas lunch idea melbourne

    12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
    03 9132 8960

    It is located in South Melbourne's backstreets, ST. Ali is one of the pioneers of Melbourne's coffee scene. It's still one of the best coffee places in Melbourne. Aside from its award-winning Coffee, ST. ALi offers an inventive and delicious brunch menu. The famous South Melbourne Market is also within walking distance, so you can enjoy a quick visit to the market before settling down with your work at ST. ALi.

    WIFI: Yes

    Little Tommy Tucker – Bentleigh

    little tommy tucker cafe ask mellbourne

    432 Centre Road, Bentleigh
    03 9576 5174

    Located on busy Centre Road in Bentleigh, Little Tommy Tucker was recently voted the best local brunch spot across Melbourne, Stonnington, Caulfield and Port Phillip. Aside from the fantastic food, the best part is that the café is only a two-minute walk from Bentleigh Station. Bring your work here on a Sunday and visit the local market next to the train station. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Urban Projuice 

    urban projuice ask melbourne

    315 Montague Street, Albert Park Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3206

    This quaint little cafe has got healthy written all over it, so Mum won't even be mad about you leaving the house if you've got your books with you. Urban Projuice is all about fresh ingredients, whole foods and eco-friendly products with a yummy list of smoothies and specialty hot drinks. Sit up top on the balcony and order the DIY spring rolls; freshly prepared veggies sitting in steamed Asian pancakes dripping with peanut sauce, delish. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Au79

    cafe au79 ask melbourne

    27/29 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
    (03) 9429 0138

    Fancy studying amidst lush greenery and florals in a huge warehouse? We do, so grab your highlighters and head to the trendy area of Abbotsford, where Au79 is churning out prawn linguine and ricotta gnocchi…cause carbs fix everything.

    WIFI: Yes

    Pillar Of Salt

    pillar of salt ask melbourne

    541 CHURCH ST, RICHMOND VIC 3121
    (03) 9421 1550

    A long-time favourite for Richmond locals- study is guaranteed to get done in this Church Street cafe, where we recommend sitting out the back in their covered courtyard. Don't stray away from the classics here; these guys do mean scrambled eggs, with tonnes of sides, of course. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Moby

    moby cafe ask melbourne

    1150 High Street, Armadale, 3143
    (03) 9509 2710

    Located in the leafy suburb of Armadale lies Moby, which features a rooftop above the hustle and bustle of High St, perfect for catching up on those missed lectures. Go early in the morning for a coffee or settle in for the arvo and treat yourself to a cheeky chicken katsu burger and hand-cut chips with aioli. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Fourth Chapter

    fourth chapter cafe ask melbourne

    385 High Street Prahran, VIC, Australia 3181
    03 9510 2277

    Prahran's Fourth Chapter is another one of those new pretty cafes serving up golden lattes, acai bowls, and, you guessed it, smashed avo. Space is filled with natural light and has an outdoor courtyard with perfect little tables for 2- you and your laptop, to smash out that essay you've been putting off. 

    WIFI: Yes

    Auction Rooms

    auction room coffee shop

    103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia
    0393267749

    Located in North Melbourne, Auction Rooms is part of the St Ali family, a pioneer in Melbourne's speciality coffee industry. They serve St Ali coffee, and their all-day menu includes brunch dishes with Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern flavours. Auction Rooms is also known for its industrial interior – from concrete floors to distressed brick walls. There's plenty of seating, power outlets, and Wi-Fi for workers and students.

    WIFI: Yes

    A Minor Place

    a minor place cafe ask melbourne

    103 Albion Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia
    0393843131

    A Minor Place is where location-independent Brunswick locals and students hang out, thanks to its plethora of powerpoints and Wi-Fi. But this isn't the only reason people are drawn to the converted cottage. A Minor Place's all-day menu includes bagels, bubble 'n' squeak, and a Brazilian breakfast. Relax at a communal table with your laptop, and let the relaxing playlist of jazz and indie tunes inspire you for an afternoon.

    WIFI: Yes

    The Queensberry Pour House

    the queensberry pour house ask melbourne

    210 Queensberry Street, Carlton, VIC, Australia
    0393471277

    All you need to know about The Queensberry Pour House is that it's modelled after an American diner, which means endless coffee refills. You'll instantly feel at home in the cosy cafe, which also has Wi-Fi and a hand-written menu filled with dishes including coffee-soaked pie and an American-inspired meatball sub. The cabinet is always stocked with cakes, pastries, vegan delights, and sandwiches, too.

    WIFI: Yes

    Penny Farthing Espresso

    penny farthing espresso cafe ask melbourne

    206 High Street, Northcote, VIC, Australia
    0394822246

    TimeOut calls Penny Farthing Espresso a freelancer favourite because there are 'two power outlets on communal tables, free Wi-Fi, and an eclectic mix of creative customers'. Located in Northcote, the Coffee at Penny Farthing Espresso is supplied by renowned local roasters, Industry Beans. Some of the delectable dishes waiting for you at Penny Farthing Espresso include sweet potato rosti, a halloumi burger, kasundi, bacon and fennel baked eggs.

    WIFI: Yes

    Stovetop

    stovestop melbourne

    128 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC, Australia
    0393472010

    Located in Carlton near several Melbourne University buildings, Stovetop is another excellent choice. There's plenty of seating in the modern space, which has white and pale timber accents, but the most important ingredient is the free Wi-Fi. Named after the stovetop burners the cafe use, Stovetop also serves alcohol and has a signature cocktails list. Food-wise, the large menu has offerings such as New Zealand king salmon, chocolate and espresso waffles, and kimchi pancake.

    WIFI: Yes

    Besides the obvious proximity to a caffeine source, have you ever wondered why you study better in coffee shops? Research shows that coffee shop ambiance increases creativity, alertness, and ability to learn. So grab the comfiest couch and let the magic of the cafe help you ace your exams.
     
    While most scientists, professionals, and students tend to agree that coffee shop studying is indeed more productive and effective than at-home studying, it's not for everyone and it shouldn't be an everyday occurrence. Part of the reason studying at a coffee shop works so well is that it is a novelty.
     
    If your preferred shop starts filling up with too many people as the day goes on, take that as your cue to leave and free up the space for new customers to enjoy. Arguably, the maximum amount of time you should be occupying a coffee shop, even if you're following all of the above rules, is four hours.
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