Photos: Maria Castro, Francisca Sousa
If you've got tired from working in your pyjamas and you have decided to swap your work-from-home for work-from-café, you will notice that you have a lot of options for working-friendly cafes in Croatia. Being Italy’s neighbours, we have adopted the coffee culture in Croatia, and the offer of cafes is more than decent, even in smaller towns across the country. In this article we will share the impressions of our quest for the best: working-friendly cafes in Zagreb and Split. We set some criteria during our search: we were looking for high-quality coffee, a quiet and cosy interior, good and stable internet connection, preferably some food/snack options and generally a comfortable atmosphere. Before sharing our local insight, we must point out that if you’re planning to spend a couple of hours working in a café, it would be considered rude to order just one coffee and occupy a seat for an entire bartender’s shift. If you don’t want to be on that bartender’s blacklist, make sure you tip well and order more than just one drink.
Located next to Zagreb Botanical Garden, this bar’s aesthetics is based on the beauty of plants. Botaničar’s calm and creative space often hosts exhibits of local artists, and if you need a break from work, we recommend contemplating upon the breath-taking art on the bar’s walls. Coffee is amazing here, and the best thing is the big co-working desk you have in the middle for coworking. Laptop friendliness 10/10! Botaničar is only serving drinks, and apart from delicious coffee, you have a fine selection of craft beers as well as hot and cold cocktails. The place is generally quiet, but during some rush hours it can get quite noisy (by now you probably know how chatty Croatians are).
This small coffee shop in Trešnjevka neighbourhood is a perfect pick for those days when you need some serious work to do. And it has a cute terrace for those days where all you need is to relax and enjoy. Apart from coffee being one of the best in the city, we were surprised Karibu Kaaawa has such delicious selection of teas, and the best thing is – you can buy packs and take home! This is one of the quietest coffee shops and the gallery upstairs is quite comfy and convenient for all those who are about to start a session on their laptops. This is a non-smoking cafe, but if you're a smoker you always habe the option to light a cigarette at the outside terrace. If you get tired or hungry, they offer some tasty artisan pastries in Karibu Kaaawa. Make sure you get there early enough, as their winter working time is until 4 PM.
Very popular amongst students, Booksa is actually a book club, and an important part of cultural life in Zagreb (it hosts amazing events, such as literary evenings, film screenings and discussions, activist platforms etc). Annual membership in Booksa costs 10 kuna and the bar is self-service (meaning: pick up your drink at the bar and take it to your seat by yourself). In the vivid Martićeva street, it is surprising how peaceful and quiet Booksa is. Just being there makes me motivated to work since everyone usually comes to Booksa to read, study or work. This is by far the quietest place amongst all mentioned, and if you intend to work there, please respect the silence and try some of the organic fresh juices! Worth mentioning, this is a smoke-free and noise-free place.
At this industrial bar hidden in Teslina street, they roast their own coffee and once you try it, we cannot promise you’ll start buying coffee bags in Quahwa. This coffee shop is quite spacious, it has an outside terrace and 2 floors inside. Best thing about Quahva is their Cyber room – a space designed for those who came for a work session, not a chatting session with friends. Overall relaxed and quiet atmosphere makes this one of our favourite picks when it comes to laptop-friendly cafes!
ADRIATIC SOCIAL CLUB
People with refined taste in music will appreciate this bar, located near the main bus stop in Split. Adriatic social club is well-known for its groovy playlists, colourful interior, and tasty coffee. During the day ASC is a great place to settle for a work or study session, if you manage to not get distracted by awesome playlists. The place is pretty quiet and relaxed which makes it a perfect pick for those in need of a chill laptop-friendly bar. In the evening hours, ASC’s residents play records and introduce you to fresh tunes you’ll probably shazam in some point. P.S. ASC is celebrating its birthday this weekend, so stop by if you’d like to experience the evening rush we mentioned. Smoking is allowed inside, but the ventilation is quite good, and you always have the option to grab a seat at a terrace on a warm sunny day.
When in Split, do as people from Split do, and trust us, they do love hanging out in Basket. This is one of the most authentic local places, and even though it’s more famous for its events in the evening, during the day Basket is a calm and cool place to spend a working session. The interior will educate you on local music and culture (take a look at vinyls displayed and discover legendary artists like Toma Bebić) and the playlist will set you in a good mood. Coffee is decent, and if you’re a beer person, you’ll love their selection of local crafts at Basket. *Pro tip: after you finish work, take a newspaper, and read it backwards – this will make you 100% local! If cmoke bothers you, this might not be a perfect place for you since it's quite small and poorly ventilated.
Hidden in the tiny streets of Diocletians palace, this coffee shop became a symbol of good coffee in Split. Their specialty coffee, freshly roasted and brewed, is one of the best in town and they also offer artisan pastries for all the sweet tooths out there. The space itself is quite interesting and comfortable, it kept the spirit of Roman times with original stone walls. Even though D16 is usually quite busy during the summer, off-season period makes it more quiet and therefore perfect for a work or study session. You might get interrupted with a positive conversation buzz at some point, but hey – that’s the magic of this place. P.S. it's also a smoke-free area.