Coffee shops are ordinarily an entrepreneur's home away from home. It's where they brainstorm, create, plan, write and collaborate.
So, with entrepreneurs spending such an inordinate amount of time at coffee shops, I asked my network, "what are the best coffee shops for entrepreneurs?" After receiving hundreds of responses, here are the top answers. (Spoiler: Starbucks and Coffee Bean didn't make the list.)
1. Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Boasting six locations, Busboys and Poets is a favorite among entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland area. The restaurant offers ample seating and complimentary Wi-Fi. Also, many of the menu items are either vegan or gluten-free (the chili comes highly recommended).
Chianti Lomax, a management consultant at a D.C.-technology firm, says when she walks into Busboys and Poets, it feels like she’s “receiving a hug from art and creativity.” She further states, “The ambiance is nostalgic -- typically there is an awesome throwback tune playing in the background and you are subject to meeting some of the coolest people at the laptop tables.”
2. Ogawa Coffee
10 Milk St., Boston, MA 02108
This world-renowned Japanese coffee chain opened its first American shop in downtown Boston this year.
Sean McGrail and Dan Hermann, the founders of Paint Nite, recently told me that they love the design space, which is often referred to as an urban oasis. The space is open and bright, perfect for creative thinking.
Ogawa offers an array of standard favorites: café mochas, cappuccinos and iced coffees. But the shop also offers unique Japanese beverages, such as decaf kiyomizu and house blend kyoto. Perhaps one of the most unique features of the shop is its bleacher-style stadium seating on the second floor.
3. Southeast Grind
1223 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202
Southeast Grind is a locally owned and operated café in the heart of southeast Portland. The coffee house serves local health-focused snacks, smoothies, coffees and teas. Southeast Grind is open 24 hours, perfect for those entrepreneurs who work around the clock. Also, if you need a little privacy for a business call or meeting, Southeast Grind also offers private meeting rooms for $5 per hour.
4. Classic Coffee
862 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90014
Located in the fashion district, this new downtown favorite is clean, bright, airy and spacious.
Daisi Pollard Sepulveda, the owner of a digital media company, loves the natural lighting. She says the front and side of the building are mainly comprised of glass from floor to ceiling.
Classic Coffee also offers complimentary Wi-Fi and serves coffee from Intelligentsia. There are also several seating options, which makes lounging, meeting or just getting work done a comfortable experience. The only downside is parking, which in downtown Los Angeles can be expensive and a little cumbersome.
5. Fluid Coffee Bar
501 E. 19th Ave., Denver, CO 80203
Open until 10 p.m. every day, this coffee shop offers complimentary Wi-Fi and an array of delicious hot and cold beverages.
Andrew Schrage, owner of Money Crashers, a financial education website, was one of many who voted Fluid Coffee Bar as his favorite coffee shop. Schrage notes that one of the many benefits of Fluid Coffee Bar is that they have ample outlets and “they also offer computer/Wi-Fi access, just in case you’ve forgotten your computer at home" (10 cents per minute and 20 cents per document to print).
What's your favorite coffee shop to work in? Let us know in the comments section below.