The Best Spots to #DoGoodWerk in New York City

 minute read

Emma Banks

As a freelancer, sometimes the best way to spark a new idea or rejigger your perspective is to get a change of scenery. New York has an abundance of co-working spaces but if you're not a member, there are quite a few cafes that you can frequent instead. Here’s a short list of some of the best spots in NYC to get work done:


The Library at The NoMad Hotel

1170 Broadway

I have an affinity for public spaces that are reminiscent of private enclaves; thus, the NoMad Hotel’s library is exactly the type of snug, studious, academic-inspired space I want to spend all day in (especially in the winter when I don’t feel bad about avoiding the outdoors). 

Public Records

233 Butler Street, Brooklyn, NY

For those who prefer a more minimalist approach to design, Public Records provides a huge open air dining space, meticulously curated record shop, completely vegan menu and coffee program. There’s also a full calendar of evening events and a back room known to host many a late night dance party for those still in the neighborhood. 

Topos Bookstore Cafe 

788 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood, NY

Topos is in my old locale of Ridgewood, Queens which sounds far but is super accessible if you’re in Williamsburg or Bushwick. It’s worth the trip: the book selection is spot-on, and Ridgewood locals are unfailingly interesting and friendly. 

Variety Coffee Roasters 

146 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Variety is your standard cozy spot in Bushwick complete with its own in-house roastery. Much more seating than your average Brooklyn cafe, and not so stylish or sceny that you can’t stay a few hours and really get to work. 

Black Cat LES 

172 Rivington Street

Black Cat is the Lower East Side’s self-proclaimed “public living room,” and for good reason; it’s great for curling up on a well-worn couch with a book or a laptop. Also, it’s open until 10 pm, which is rare for an NYC coffee shop (most of them close in the early evening, which isn’t very helpful if you’re looking for a place to land after work). 

Rose Reading Room, New York Public Library 

476 5th Avenue

I can’t finish this list without including the NYPL’s Rose Reading Room. This place is like the crown jewel of the New York Public Library system and spending a day here always does wonders for my work. Worth a visit no matter how much time you have to spare. 

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