It was a sad day when I stood at the door of Cafe Zaffiro, sometime in May, and realized it had shut down. A cosy, quiet cafe with the most awesome food, fast wifi and friendly staff, it was one of my favorite places to work out of in Delhi. That day I decided to start a fresh search for the best new cafes with free Wifi in South Delhi (Read: 5 Best ‘Work From Home’ Cafes in South Delhi).
Whether you are planning a work or leisure trip to Delhi, or have lived in the city for years, these cafes give you access to free, fast and reliable Wifi, affordable and good food, and non-intrusive service; you don’t get scorned at (or kicked out) for occupying a table all day with only a couple of drinks and some food:
1. Rose Cafe, Saket
In an unassuming part of Saket, on the road that leads to Garden of Five Senses, lies this little gem. True to its name, the cafe has an English theme, with high tea stands and such stacked in rustic, rose colored cupboards. Fresh cakes, brownies, tarts and waffles are on offer, as are lebanese platters, wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches. It’s all delicious, the service is slow but friendly, and the Wifi works well.
For winters, Rose Cafe has a very charming outdoor courtyard, and I can’t wait to give it a try on a sunny winter afternoon!
Rose Cafe practical information: Facebook | Zomato
2. Cafe at CMYK, Meherchand Market
Better known for its bookstore, the Cafe at CMYK sits quietly upstairs, it’s walls covered with quirky facts about Delhi. The wifi works fast on most days, the seating is conducive to working for long hours on your laptop, and the staff is efficient. While the menu specializes in Malaysian curries, I personally love their “It’s Greek to me” sandwich and the sandwich platter. There’s an entire section dedicated to healthier food, and a fairly long list of teas to choose from.
Cafe at CMYK practical information: Facebook | Zomato
3. Starbucks, Saket
Say what you may, but I love Starbucks. Always have. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love my Frappucinos, and only Starbucks can seem to get them right, even with skimmed milk and no whipped cream. The communal long table seating in the middle of the cafe lets you people watch from the glass walls, the staff is genuine and efficient, the coffee and nibbles (sandwiches, wraps) are satisfying, and the Wifi is reliable. I won’t lie, this is my second home in Delhi!
I only wish that they’d stop using the amount of plastic cups they do. Also, the acoustics of the cafe make it necessary to carry headphones, especially when the flow of people is heavy.
Starbucks practical information: Facebook | Zomato | Website
4. Three Windows Cafe, Malviya Nagar
Part of an art studio in a not-so-inviting lane, across the road from Select City Walk mall in Saket, Three Windows is a charming little cafe. And yes, it does have three windows to gaze out from! With a classy all white theme, an open kitchen, almost communal seating, and fast Wifi, it’s a great place to spend a ‘work from home’ day. The food, on the day that I visited, was just about average, but the young owner did promise that a new chef’s joining soon.
Three Windows Cafe practical information: Facebook | Zomato
5. Amici, Defence Colony
Since Bagel Cafe shut down, Amici has become the best cafe to work from, in Defence Colony. This Amici is a tad different from its other outlets, spread over two floors with plenty of seating and fast Wifi. The staff is welcoming, and the pastas, wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches are all delicious. During the day, the cafe remains fairly empty, making it more conducive to do some serious work.
Amichi practical information: Facebook | Zomato
Have you discovered any new cafes to work from, or just hang out at, in Delhi?
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Featured image by Sebastien Wiertz.
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.
Well, me and my blogger friends had a very bad sunday brunch experience at Rose Cafe!! but yes the decor and some of the food is nice 🙂
Oh what a bummer! I was planning to go to Rose Cafe for a nice evening out with my friend this weekend. It did seem a really lovely place from the outside. How bad was it? I think I’d still go, if only to enjoy the quaint English decor.
@MyUnfinishedlyf Tell me more! I’ve been there twice and loved it both times.
@Nishi I think you should give it a shot and see how you like it. I didn’t want to leave the two times I was there. It’s a bit out of the way, but worth the detour, me thinks.
http://www.zaffirokitchen.com/home/ (You won’t be able to sit quietly and work there) – Do try the lunchbox if you live near GK/Okhla. Also, If we open another Cafe Zaffiro, you’d be the first to know!
What a pleasant surprise to see your comment, Rhea. I called Zaffiro Kitchen today and spoke to your mom, and was thinking what a small world it is! Absolutely going to try the lunch box next week 🙂
I have a question. When/if you do restaurant/food reviews, how do you take photos of the place without drawing too much attention to yourself? Sometimes you also might want to capture photos of the place with other people in it because you know it will go with your post. Do you walk up to them or the staff and ask for permission to take pictures? Or do you just take the photos and ignore any curious/annoyed looks you get from people? I always feel very conscious of my surroundings when taking photos in any food joint.
The 2nd and 4th photos are lovely. I am from Mumbai, so probably shouldn’t comment on them. But will definitely check them out when I am in Delhi the next time. 🙂
I don’t do many restaurant / food reviews to be honest, but I have the same challenge when I travel. Sometimes I really want to capture people in my photo, but I find it unethical to do it without their permission – sort of making puppets of them. So either I take them in action from the back, so their faces are not visible. Or I request them for permission (and they’re mostly okay with that).
This is also one of the many reasons I don’t use a big camera (an SLR or whatever). I think it intimidates locals, especially in small villages, and also makes your tourist self stand out like a sore thumb. The Sony Cybershot is small and compact, and I think it can take rather good pictures.
I think at a restaurant, it’s probably best to ask for permission 🙂
A very interesting write-up about the various cafes you have mentioned. Does make one want to visit some of them! Thanks and all the best 🙂
Glad you found it interesting Jyotika!
It’s so important to find a good place to work, thanks for sharing these with us. I wish I was in Delhi to check them out in person!
I hope you’ll be back! And yes, there’s no underestimating the need for a cosy little place to let the creative juices flow 🙂
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🙂 I have been to Starbucks. Will try Amici soon, looks really good. However, Shivya, are there no open/roof-top cafes in some quiet corner of Delhi?
You can check out Cafe Ziro, which has a nice terrace with charging points. It was part of my first list of such cafes – http://the-shooting-star.com/2012/03/11/work-from-home-cafes-south-delhi/
Boheme was another one, but the management has recently changed and the menu doesn’t look half as appetizing. Not sure if they have Wifi anymore either.
We visited the Amici Cafe in Hauz Khas on our last Delhi visit, and loved it. Great food, great place to work from, too. 🙂
Lovely and v informative post! I now know where to head on the day I wanna spend all by myself with my laptop and a coffee.
Great review and would love to go a few of these places…..also is would you consider doing or suggesting some thing in North or West Delhi…the biggest challenge is both North, Centre and even West are never ever covered by any one…hence this request
Thanks in Advance
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Unfortunately cmyk cafe has closed down… Just went today, today being 10 dec 2013, and they told me the cafe has been closed and some renovations are happenning on the top floor for d book store
So sad to hear that 🙁 Thanks for the heads up though. I’m sure going to miss it.
I sit and work out of Costa in Vasant Vihar. While their food is lousy and unimaginative, you can do your day here with pretty much a coffee a day! They don’t bother & the location and access is excellent. WiFi is patchy!
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I m a traveller too and I have a dream to travel around globe too one day… I have been to kunzum travel cafe at hauz khas village its really nice the pay what you like policy the aroma of coffee and the travel books around you. You will find many traveller enthusiasts here…so next time visit if you haven’t visit before here.