Out of office: Great places to work remotely in Vancouver

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With the rise of the creative class and an ever-shifting economy, Vancouver has seen an explosion of entrepreneurs, start-up business people, consultants and freelancers, all of whom need to escape their home offices at any given moment. Luckily, there are loads of places to work remotely while enjoying great food and a beverage. Here’s a sampling.

Nelson The Seagull

1
315 Carrall St, Vancouver BC V6B 2J4

The open-door policy at this hip, Gastown café means that all you need to do is buy a coffee and you’re welcome to while away the day getting things done. And it’s nice, strong coffee, so you may only need one. But do try at some point their delicious, wholesome lunches, a flaky croissant or a salad to fuel you through your remote workday. The open, airy space and the friendly, laid-back vibe will make all that work stress just that much more bearable.

Prado Cafe

2
Lwr 1938 Commercial Dr, Vancouver BC V5N 4A7

When you stroll by Prado’s big, floor-to-ceiling windows as you’re cruising the Drive, the scene staring back at you will no doubt be mostly filled with the backside of Macbooks. This is a good indication that the minimalist but lovely café serving 49th Parallel coffee is a great bet for your remote office. It’s mostly treats on offer with your hot beverage of choice, so perhaps consider something else for the lunch hour, but for a morning or afternoon session, there’s no cooler spot on Commercial.

Lucky's Doughnuts

3
2902 Main St, Vancouver BC V5T 3G3

A die-hard 49th Parallel coffee fan? Head to the source. Its Main Street location (complete with a tempting case of Lucky’s Doughnuts) is large, lively and laid back and a great place to hunker down with some work or to meet with clients or colleagues for a brainstorm session. It’s often busy but a large communal table and a counter bar provide ample space for hard-working individuals and in good weather the side patio provides an outdoor office.

Breka Downtown Bakery Cafe

4
812 Bute St, Vancouver BC V6E 1Y4

Popular with students and freelancers keeping odd hours, Breka Bakery’s 24-hour café means that your project — whether cramming for an exam or getting your design brief in on time — can be worked on up to the last minute. While we don’t recommend this course of action, we do recommend any pastry behind the counter for the sugar jolt you’ll no doubt need at 2 am, as well as the numerous cups of coffee available to keep you going.

Smile Diner

5
424 Pender St W, Vancouver BC V6B 1T5

If you need a downtown spot to get some uninterrupted work done, hit up the classic Smile Diner on Pender. Open at 8 am, it serves simple but hearty Western breakfasts as well as lunch and Chinese dishes. The numerous booths throughout the diner means there’s always a place to sit and spread out comfortably. When you need a break from a long session, try one of their triple-thick shakes served by some of the nicest restaurant owners in town.

Calhoun's Bakery Cafe (2008) Ltd

6
3035 Broadway W, Vancouver BC V6K 2G9

Another hugely popular 24-hour joint in Kitsilano, Calhoun’s sprawling, farm-house-style interior is cozy and comfortable and a great place to get some work done over a huge steaming latte. They’re adamant that you purchase something, so don’t take advantage of their free Wi-Fi with snacks from home. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, even beer and wine — whatever you need to keep you going throughout your workday (or night) — is available from the friendly staff behind the counter.

Matchstick Coffee

7
639 15th Ave E, Vancouver BC V5T 2R6

Carefully brewed and poured coffee, freshly baked bread and pastries, savoury lunches and killer tunes on the turntable are just some of the hallmarks of this excellent establishment on 15th near Fraser. The space is large and welcoming and ideal for getting a few hours’ work in. But be warned: there’s free Wi-Fi but no outlets, so be sure to come fully charged, or take the old-school route and get down to it with pen and paper. At this hand-crafted coffee shop, you’d probably get serious respect from patrons and staff alike.

Melriches Coffeehouse Inc

8
1244 Davie St, Vancouver BC V6E 1N3

This classic meeting spot in the Davie Village is always bustling, filled with locals catching up in line and the West End home-office crowd looking for a change of scenery. Their reliable menu, friendly service and all-around upbeat vibe means you might not want to compose your PhD dissertation here, but it’s a great place to shoot off a few emails, schedule some meetings or do research. Just maybe bring some ear buds or noise-cancelling headphones.

Opus Hotel

9
322 Davie St, Vancouver BC V6B 5Z6

It’s an inarguable fact: work and meetings just run more smoothly when coffee’s involved. But sometimes cafés aren’t the best venues for these important tasks. A better option? A swank hotel lobby. The OPUS Hotel in Yaletown recently redid their lobby to include a daytime coffee bar (which turns into a nighttime lounge), perfect for impressing clients or for getting your work done in an inspiring setting. Don your power suit or your three-inch heels, order a double espresso, open your laptop and prepare to take over the business world.

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