One of the best things about being a digital nomad is the ability to work from anywhere. One of the worst parts, is finding that inspiring little corner with strong wi-fi to call your office!
We spent a month in Bali and not only have we seen some breathtaking scenery and caught some waves (well white water at least), but we also did heaps of work - from photo editing, to writing, planning, and client work. A big part of our productivity came from the inspiring environment we chose to work from and of course caffeine.
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We’ve researched and tested several coffee shops and compiled a list of the best cafes in Seminyak for you to work from. Wi-fi in Bali is (almost) a given in any cafe, bar, restaurant and even the dodgiest of all the warungs, and there’s 4G signal in al urban areas so that’s already a great start for any digital nomad. What we look for when choosing our office for the day is:
a pleasant and bright space with enough natural light to keep us awake and inspired,
tables big enough to fit both our laptops, a drink and ideally a notebook,
seats comfortable enough to allow us to spend a couple of hours sitting and working without our asses going numb,
friendly staff; there’s nothing worse than a grumpy waitress to ruin your flow,
the right balance of chilled vibes and positive energy.
So without further ado, here are our top four favourite coffee shops to work from in Seminyak.
1. Basil Kitchen
We’ve been here more times than we can count and we did an insane amount of work here, in fact, even this blog post has been written at the Basil Kitchen! Zi randomly came across it when she was looking through the Go-Jek menu in an attempt to find a place that served Randang, which Tom has been craving for days. It turned out not only did they do delicious dinner, but they are open all day and the place is super cosy.
The internet is generally pretty fast, but it does drop a bit during lunch and dinner time when it gets busier. While it is a popular venue for dinner, it is usually on the quiet side during the day and most guests choose to sit outside, so inside you get the aircon and all the plugs just to yourself. The staff is super nice and helpful, the food is absolutely divine (definitely try the beetroot hummus & avo toast, it’s to die for!) and coffee is among the best we’ve had in Bali. On top of that, Basil Kitchen is very affordable with all meals being priced at only 50K.
This is the first coffee shop we found in our sleepy state on our first morning in Bali. As it’s common for Seminyak, it is a coffee shop combined with a shop (which takes up most of the space) and there are only a few tables for you to sit at.
Souq has great wifi, but due to its scarcity of tables and electricity plugs, it’s more suitable for a shorter visit rather than a full day of work. We’ve never seen this place get busy which also means chances are, the internet is amongst the more reliable ones. The service is fast and the staff is very helpful and polite. We loved that they offer complimentary chilled water, which is a very nice touch and by no means the norm in Bali. They mainly serve breakfast food and the menu is basic, but the food is good and reasonably priced. We prefer stronger coffee than they normally serve so we learned to oder our cappuccino with an extra shot here and it was delicious.
Our flatmate recommended Ingka to us and for a good reason. Ingka is catered to digital nomads, remote workers, bloggers and the like. Almost every table has a plug and you’ll see several laptops on most of them.
Since Ingka is among the popular coffee shops to work from, the wifi can get really slow due to heavy use, especially during lunch time when it can get quite busy. In those cases we just used our own hotspot and kept going. We like Ingka because it was radiating productivity - seeing others working hard gives us that extra kick in the ass we often need. The menu is very extensive and diverse, there’s a little bit of something for anyone, and everything we tried was very tasty. However, Ingka is on the pricey side.
4. Shelter Café Bali
The Shelter is a bit of an institution in Seminyak, so we could not miss out on it. We loved the big open rooftop terrace with loads of greenery that felt almost like a jungle, and we kept coming back because of its island vibes, yummy salad bowls and that to-die-for banana milkshake.
The internet at the Shelter is on the slow side due to it’s size and popularity, but if you like working in a busy environment, this is the place for you! The Shelter isn’t the typical coffee shop we’d usually work from, but we chose to come here on days we were feeling a bit lazy and needed to feed on the hustle, bustle & good vibes of the cafe to keep going. We haven’t found, and sincerely we didn’t really look for, any electricity plugs here so to be sure, charge your laptop before hand. The staff is on the slow and lazy side, just like the wifi, but the wait is so so worth it! Everything we tried from the menu was absolutely delicious and oh-so-pretty!
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These are our four favourite coffee shops to work from in Seminyak. Some of them we’d camp at for days on end, others we’d visit for short bursts of productive work. All of them have their plusses, and some of them have their minuses, but we hope this article helps you pick your go-to ‘office’ when in Seminyak.
Let us know what you look for when picking that perfect coffee shop to work from and if you found that perfect match in Bali!
Don’t be that guy: Be respectful of other guests and especially the business owner and staff when you decide to work from a coffee shop. Don’t take up more space or plugs than absolutely needed and don’t sit there for hours and only order one coffee. Keep in mind that they’re in business too and there might be other paying customers wanting that table.