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5 Best ‘Work From Home’ Cafes in South Delhi.

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Let’s face it, working from home isn’t easy. Waking up early in the morning can be injurious to your daily schedule. Getting distracted by social media is necessary to keep your sanity. You can be eating breakfast at dinner time, and supper during lunch. The least you deserve is a handful of cafes that understand your lifestyle.

Since bidding goodbye to corporate life in sunny Singapore and moving to Delhi, I’ve been on a quest to find cafes with easy all-day access to good food, a lightening fast internet connection, and the option to interact with a friendly staff. It’s been over 6 months, and I’m glad to present my pick of five cafes that best meet the basic necessities of working from home:

- Free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi.
- Affordable and good food.
- Non-intrusive service, i.e. you don’t get kicked out for occupying a table all day with only a couple of drinks & some food.

1. Zaffiro by Zaza, near GK I.

cafe zaffiro, zaffiro by zaza, best work from home cafe, south delhi, free wifi

Photo by thecityguide.in

If the name isn’t quirky enough to tempt you to visit this cafe, maybe the idea of a bamboo roofed working space and exquisite Medditeranean-Italian-Continental food at affordable prices will. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Zamrudpur, away from the bustling markets of Greater Kailash, Zaffiro by Zaza is a tastefully designed cafe, a funky artsy retail shop, and a hub for cooking classes, all rolled into one. The food is consistently good, the Wi-Fi reliably fast, the noise levels low, and the service welcoming and friendly, especially since the owner, Rachana Desai, is almost always around. Mushrooms on toast, pesto pasta, the egg salad sandwich and the home-brewed iced tea are personal recommendations.

Cafe Zaffiro practical information: Location | Website | Facebook | Zomato

PS: The word Zaffiro is Italian for sapphire.

[Update (August 2013): Zaffiro has shut down. Life as I know it is over.]

2. Market Cafe, Khan Market.

Market cafe, Khan market, free wifi, best cafe, work from home, south delhi

Photo by marketcafe.in

Khan Market has no dearth of cafes, and yet finding free internet access and unobtrusive service isn’t easy. Market Cafe affords you both at reasonable prices, considering the up-market area that it is located in. It’s outdoor seating is perfect for a sunny winter afternoon or a breezy summer evening, and it has enough quiet corners indoors to let you work undisturbed for hours, and chill with a drink or sheesha after.

Turtle Cafe, the more popular hangout among the Facebook generation, is a disappointment in comparison, with uptight service and no connectivity. Watermelon, around the corner from Market Cafe, is the second best bet for a quiet space to work, only with a less reliable internet connection.

Market Cafe practical information: Website | Facebook | Zomato

3.Cafe Ziro, Hauz Khas.

cafe ziro, hauz khas, free wifi, south delhi, work from home cafe

Stairway to heaven. Only picture I could find on Ziro’s facebook page!

While Kunzum Cafe is all the rage in Hauz Khas thanks to its commendable branding as a ‘travel cafe’, the absence of food leaves a lot to be desired if you intend to work for long hours. Cafe Ziro, on the other hand, offers a quiet rooftop fenced with quirky green bottles to work from, complete with plug points, Wi-Fi and good music. The food menu is extremely limited, but they more than make up for it with what they do serve.

The word Ziro comes from a little village in Arunachal Pradesh inhabited by the Apatani tribe, who live in a sort of time warp, drawing only on the positive aspects of the modern world. They closely profess to the Epicurean philosophy of eat, drink, be merry, and to unpretentious living – exactly the kind of ambiance you find at Ziro.

Boheme is another good rooftop option to work from at Hauz Khas, with the added advantage of a spectacular lake view, though that also makes it more popular for post-work hangouts and less apt as a quiet work place.

Cafe Ziro practical information: Facebook | Zomato

4. Coffee Quotient, Saket.

coffee quotient, saket, select city walk, free wifi, work from home cafe, south delhi

Picture from Coffee Quotient’s facebook page.

Hidden away in an obscure corner near the parking lot behind Select City Walk, Coffee Quotient offers a quiet hideout to work from, even on a busy Sunday when every other cafe in the mall is overflowing with people. It is modestly priced compared to other cafes in the area, with a cozy wooden ambiance, and plenty of fast food & drinks to choose from.

Coffee Quotient practical information: Facebook | Zomato

5. Bagel Cafe, Defence Colony.

bagels cafe, defence colony, free wifi, best work from home cafe, south delhi

Photo by delhi.burrp.com

You don’t need to love bagels to love Bagel’s Cafe, but chances are both will grow on you. For the uninitiated, the bagels here are heavenly creations stuffed with ingredients ranging from grilled veggies to nutella & cheese. The cafe’s homely ambiance, alternative food and friendly staff make it a hit for working from home on weekdays, while weekends get louder with more people discovering this chic hangout. It’s still a personal favorite for me, to the extent that I’ve been given an exclusive loyalty card for spending so many work days here gorging on bagels.

Bagel’s Cafe practical information: Website | Zomato

[Update (August 2013): Bagel Cafe at Defence Colony has shut down.] 

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What are your favorite cafes to work out of, or just hang out at, in Delhi? 

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Also Read:

 5 Awesome New Cafes With Wifi in South Delhi

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Follow The Shooting Star on Facebook & Twitter for more offbeat discoveries.

[Feature image by David Goehring]

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45 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wonderful post, may head out and check these places when I get bored of going to office on the weekends. This makes me think, about time someone opened NY style independent work hubs in India — common paid work areas for freelancers and people working in digital media. The people who work pay a flat fee and have to follow some simple rules like actually show up to work so that the place isn’t all empty, food is available by vendors. May very well spark the new creative revolution if done well here.

    March 11, 2012
    • It is a great idea and definitely has potential for our generation in India. I believe Bombay already has something of this concept, with specific cafes subsidizing food et al for regular ‘work from home’ folks & serving as a place to meet fellow freelancers, small business owners, etc. Delhi has yet to pick up on it.

      March 12, 2012
      • Pawan Sony #

        Any specific cafes in Bombay that are doing this?

        March 14, 2012
        • I haven’t spent much time in Bombay so I really can’t say, but Zomato could be a good place to look for them. Good luck!

          March 14, 2012
  2. Very very useful post Shivya. I am definitely in need of them though they may not work for me because of distance. I am sure there would be some in/around Noida.

    Welcome to Dilli.

    March 12, 2012
    • Glad it’ll be useful Nandan, South Delhi isn’t ALL that far from Noida :) I believe Noida does have a bagel’s cafe for a start, so you can check that out, and Zomato other similar cafes.

      March 12, 2012
  3. sounds fun! working from cafes… i run one, and was looking at ur post from owners perspective.. got a few tips ..

    March 12, 2012
  4. nice share!!! :)

    March 12, 2012
  5. Wonderful post..I wish I had some more cafes like that in Chennai, where I live!

    March 13, 2012
    • Thanks Kalpana, I’m sure you’ll be able to find some – are there any restaurant review sites like Zomato in Chennai?

      March 14, 2012
  6. squared-ring #

    Reblogged this on squaredring and commented:
    Café Zaffiro is my favorite!

    March 14, 2012
    • It’s one of my favorites too :) Thanks for the reblog!

      March 15, 2012
  7. Kunal #

    Thanks for this Shivya. You could probably add – Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to this list. They have 2 outlets – one in Select CityWalk Saket and other in GK 1. Although the ambience is pretty ordinary but the drinks and WiFi speed are commendable.

    March 15, 2012
    • Hello Kunal, I was quite unlucky with both coffee beans – the one in City Select does not have Wifi at all (confirmed that last week when I was there) and the one in GK did not have its wifi working when I was there a few months back!

      March 15, 2012
  8. Shivya, thanks for this post. Very useful. I bet some of the newspapers get inspired to do a piece similar to this one :)

    To reply to Vishveshwar and Pawan’s comments: I don’t think Bombay has something like this yet. But I know Bangalore does. It’s called Jaagaa. See this http://www.jaaga.in

    A photographer friend in Bangalore works there. Fixed fee every month, Wi-fi, just the kind of stuff you were talking about.

    March 17, 2012
    • Thanks for the info, Arcopol. If I ever move to Bangalore, I’ll definitely look it up. I did try pitching this piece to some Delhi magazines but no one showed much interest :)

      May 18, 2012
  9. I would add Flipside Cafe to the list. It’s in Hauz Khas Village and very close to Ziro.They play some excellent music, much cozier as compared to Ziro (esp in winters) and the owner is super nice.

    March 22, 2012
    • Flipside was my initial choice for a cafe in Hauz Khas, but the rooftop ambiance (with plug points) of Ziro just won me over :)

      March 22, 2012
  10. loveashootingstar #

    as someone who has just started working from home…..this is totally an useful post!!!

    though im someone who has managed to keep a strict daily routine even working at home….i think once in a while, going out to these places instead of working from home is a nice change!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    April 6, 2012
    • I know what you mean, Sushmita. It helps to get out & get a break sometimes. Glad you found the list useful :)

      May 18, 2012
  11. as someone who has just started working from home…..this is totally an useful post!!!

    though im someone who has managed to keep a strict daily routine even working at home….i think once in a while, going out to these places instead of working from home is a nice change!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    April 6, 2012
  12. Nice to see some great options and even better to see that a city like Delhi is finally opening up to the warmth of cooking classes at a restaurant – a must try…!! something very similar to made@home does in an exclusive manner

    April 10, 2012
    • It’s a lovely restaurant too. I’ll check out made@home now :)

      April 10, 2012
  13. Abhijeet #

    Nice list! I’ve been working out of cafes in Delhi for a long time and whenever I come across such a list, I start reading with the curiosity of a kid in the hope that I’ll discover a new cafe that I am yet to explore. And I did – Coffee Quotient!

    I’ve added it to my list of The Best Cafes in Delhi-NCR to Work From – http://abhijeetm.posterous.com/the-best-cafes-in-delhi-ncr-to-work-from

    April 25, 2012
  14. Cool list of cafes, gotta try them all soon! As a person constantly on the move roaming around the streets and ruins of Delhi I have often felt a need for such places…thanks for the compilation!

    May 7, 2012
    • Glad it’ll be of use :) And welcome to The Shooting Star!

      May 7, 2012
  15. Wow!!! this is such an useful post. But I second that idea of having an independent work hub. Makes so much sense for the likes of us working out of home.

    June 19, 2012
  16. Deb Libengood #

    Work from home is a nice job since you have all the comforts of your home. ^

    <a href="The latest posting from our web blog

    http://www.caramoantravel.com/caramoan-tour-package/

    November 28, 2012
  17. loved the post…will surely visit all of them. Have only tried Coffee Quotiesnt at sak et is great.

    April 21, 2013
    • Unfortunately Zaffiro has shut since. Shall be posting an updated list soon.

      April 22, 2013
  18. Thanks for such a nice tip!!.. It would be really helpful if you can mention few more option.. Honestly telling you.. yours was the only search result of Google that has helped me.

    June 2, 2013
    • I need to put up part 2 of this list, as some of the cafes in this list have shut down :( Shall do that soon!

      June 2, 2013
  19. How is Kunzum Cafe? Have heard a lot about it, but never had a chance to visit it.

    August 13, 2013
    • I don’t usually go to Kunzum because there’s no food! I’m happier paying for food and sitting there all day, than no food, no bills :)

      August 13, 2013
  20. waaaaooo!! Looking for something exactly like this…..

    Thanks for the blog @Shivya!

    September 1, 2013
  21. This one from bhopal. Yet to see anything similar in the city. Perhaps will check each and every mentioned cafe one by one. Thanks for the curated list.

    October 12, 2013

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