The pandemic has given birth to a new normal which includes the option to work from home. And while I’m a huge flag-bearer for work from home, I can’t deny that it does get monotonous every now and then. Your home is now your work place, and vice versa. So, I’ve begun to look for alternatives to working from home. I’ve turned to working from anywhere. And thankfully, Delhi NCR has some rather cozy and quaint options for us to choose from.
Pro Tip 1: Choose a day that’s ideally in the middle of the week – like, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Not only does it break the monotony, but this also ensures that there are less people around to worry about social distancing, and you get ample space to choose from. (At least that’s how I do it).
Pro Tip 2: If you’re planning to work from these cafés for a couple of hours, I recommend that you space out your food and beverages well enough so you stay hydrated, satiated and caffeinated; while not bingeing and overspending. (Again, it’s what I do).
1. Paul India
Paul is every French lover’s dream café in Delhi NCR – they have one outlet in Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj and another in Gurgaon. Even their windows have a Parisian façade so you really don’t feel like your in Delhi anymore. You can enjoy the French music while working away to glory, pretending you’re in Paris (the feeling is surreal, I assure you). I recommend their spicy potato fries, the croissants, crepes, (the pain au chocolat is a personal favourite), teamed with a lovely cup of Mocha and freshly baked chouquettes to go with it.
2. Bean Sahab Café
I stumbled upon Bean Sahab while wandering around Said ul ajab and it was the best find. It’s quaint, quiet, well-spaced and perfectly conducive to a workspace where you’re not disturbed. Their coffees are incredibly refreshing and so is their service staff. I recommend: The Espresso, their panini sandwiches, the gribiche, as well as their fish and chips.
3. Fig at Museo
Museo is a haven for photography lovers, as well as creative minds who often visit to work, collaborate or just spend time alone or with others. One of Gurgaon’s much-loved creative spaces, the camera museum has its café extension at Fig at Museo where you can actually spend hours, taking in the spacious surroundings, wrapped around greenery, sunlight and minimal décor. The fact that it’s pet-friendly means you occasionally have the pleasure of meeting furry babies who come, laze around and make the atmosphere better. I recommend their organic coffee (it’s a whole other taste), the trio tartines, the breakfast platter and their fluffy pancakes.
4. Café Tesu
Aside from their artisanal coffees, Tesu is actually a great place to work out of if you want to feel alone, yet surrounded by creativity. They have a nice nook for readers and bookworms, with a huge shelf of books to choose from. While their menu is quite elaborate, I personally recommend their coffees, croissant and/or bread selections, as well as their Pizzas and pancakes.
5. The Nerdy Indian Café
This one’s a paradise for book lovers as well as comfy food lovers and not just because it’s Instagrammable, it’s trendy and bookish. On every bill of Rs. 500, the café let’s you choose any book from their collection to take with you for free. Yu end up finding some great Pulitzer prize-winning books, first editions, cult-classics, as well as recently released popular titles, if you have a keen eye. I recommend trying their assortment of gravy momos, as well as their Amritsari-styled fish and chips. And, of course, a cup of tea to go with it.
Delhi’s beloved chocolate factory is all kinds of welcoming. It’s young, always smells of hot chocolate and the staff are just as warm. The fact that their breakfast and brunch options are extensive and delicious, coupled with this being a pet-friendly place, makes it a perfect place to spend a day remote working. You might need to carry your own hotspot, in case you find the network around sketchy. I recommend their breakfast options, their pancakes and definitely their hot chocolate.
7. Café Dori
It’s spacious, it’s got this old-world meets new-age aesthetic appeal and you’re bound to find some artsy intellectual individual, or duo working from the café. Dori is perfect if you’re paranoid about space and sanitation while also wanting to work in quiet settings that aren’t intrusive. I recommend their flatbreads, the avocado toast, the hot chocolate, the cold brews, as well as the Penacotta.
8. Jugmug Thela
It’s a hub for readers, chai lovers and the young creative minds. The well-lit café at Champa Gali has an inside as well as an outside seating area and it’s the chai that fuels you here. And when you need a break, you walk over to their book shelf, pick up a book and read your heart out. I recommend their range of teas, but also, their small meals, quiches and thin crust pizzas.
The beauty about WeWork is, it gives you a setting that mimics a great work space – a lounge area, a TT space, you can even book whole conference rooms for the more professional client meetings and you can eat your food at a common food area. You get kitchen space, cutlery, work-appropriate music and work desks, minus the micro-management that comes with an office. You can book a day pass to work from their spaces that gives you an access card that you can use whenever you visit. Plus, endless cups of tea (Chai Point) or coffee (a customised Blue Tokai blend), on the house. You can either pack your own lunch, or snack packs, or you can order from the restaurant options available around you.
10. Di Ghent
Easily one of Gurgaon’s favourite cafes, Di Ghent is perfectly cozy, nerdy and work-friendly. What adds to the whole package is their breakfast and brunch options that, honestly, never grow old. So take your work pile, sit at Di Ghent, enjoy the vibe, the food and the feel of being productive and creative at the same time. And when you need a break, pick up a book from their reading nook. I recommend their breakfast options – I usually alternate between the French and English plates—as well as their desserts, smoothies, teas and coffees.
Starbucks has always had a great café-cum-collaborative space culture. And when you go on weekdays, during the day, most Starbucks outlets are quaint, well lit, with soft music that gel with a good work environment. They usually have their own WiFi. But, just in case, be sure to carry your own hot spot in case of sketchy network. I recommend their hazelnut lattes, the mocha and their frappes, along with some cheese toasties.
12. Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
Again, the OG place to chill, enjoy great coffees and great blends, while working and indulging in healthy food options – that is Blue Tokai. If you’re lucky enough to visit the Galleria outlet, you can even by yourself a book from the Bahrisons store and then sit at Blue Tokai to work, read, or do both. I recommend their lattes, the hot chocolate (is heaven), and their sandwiches and burgers that come with a side of crisps.
13. Ivy & Bean
This quaint place in Delhi’s Shahpur Jat sees a lot of artists, young students, as well as readers drop by because of its proximity to Delhi University’s South Campus colleges and designer boutiques. Ivy & Bean is known for a great coffee soiree. But, it’s cozy setting, coupled with the location makes it a great hideout to work from, while enjoying coffee, books and food, in equal measure. Aside from the coffee, I recommend the thin crust pizzas, burgers and the pancakes.
14. Café Soul Garden
Another one of Gurgaon’s gems when it comes to cafes, it gives you the perfect dose of Vitamin-D, as well as some furry love—since it’s pet-friendly. You can come here, choose your place, enjoy a great vibe, along with your work. You can even bring your own alcohol and enjoy an easy drink while working, if that’s your thing. Definitely try their pastas and pizzas and be sure to read their house rules before making reservations, or getting your pet along.
15. Triveni Terrace Café
Triveni is a favourite for many Delhiites and if you’re regular enough, you’ll even become a friendly face around the café. The fact that it’s open, overlooking greenery and has a natural essence to it, will even boost your creativity and motivation to work from here. The food is a mix of Indian and continental. I recommend their filter coffee, the palak patta chaat and the home-made thalis.
16. The Grammar Room
Ever since TGR opened, it’s been a favourite for readers and foodies, alike. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming and invites anyone who wants to work in serenity, with board games in one corner, under warm lighting and the smell of cookies filling the air. Once again, I recommend the hot chocolate, along with their sandwiches, the parfait bowls, and the shrimp, or mushrooms roll.
17. Greenr Café
Greenr is known for its clean eating options, as well as the collaborative culture in its café. Aside from their vegan and vegetarian menu, they have a great workspace environment that will let your creative juices flow while you snack, or binge on healthy options. I recommend their smoothies, the Baja Black Bean Bowl or their hand-cut sweet potato chips if you like munchies. Price for one: INR 2,000 approximately.
18. AMA Café
Another favourite tucked away in Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tila, AMA is a Himalayan concept café that makes you feel like you’re up in the hills while enjoying fluffy pancakes and hearty breakfasts. It’s a popular among the Delhiites and is lovely on a cool week day in the city. You get just the right amount of sunlight coming in to let you enjoy a calm work day with a great vibe. I recommend their Old Manali breakfast, the apple pie, the fries and the fluffy pancakes.
19. Quick Brown Fox Coffee Roasters
QBF is both easy and hard to miss in Dhan Mill Compounds, depending on how frequently you visit and know the place. But, once you do visit, I assure you, it keeps calling you back. As the name suggests, they’re known for the delectable coffee options. But, it’s also a great collaborative workspace where you’ll spot others who are, much like yourself, looking for a creative and conducive space to work from. Aside from their coffees, I recommend their pizzas (especially, their mini dessert pizzas, if you have a sweet tooth) and the Goan chorizo and pickled avocado toast.
20. Kaffa Cerado
Another quaint but great place for coffee and creativity, nestled in Okhla, Kaffa Cerado has a neat space that actually fuels you to spend your hours working and enjoying the variations of coffee. They do great brownies, croissants and easy breakfast options for you to choose from.