Let’s be honest - what you are looking for here is somewhere with wall-sockets. I have broken out that element so you can scan the article easily.
If you want to know more about each cafe, read on. I have personally tested each cafe here many times - I do not have an office - so writing this article is the result of painstaking testing and experimentation. It's my Mona Lisa, really.
When I go to cafes to work, I never go for the full day. I would usually go for a half-day at most. I try not overstay my welcome, and try to order enough coffee so that I will be welcome back.
There are many options in Berlin, but these are the ones that have proven to be most reliable for getting some work done in my 5 years of living in Berlin.
Let's get to it - the real laptop-worker review of laptop-friendly cafes in Berlin.
Friedrichstraße 215, 10969 Berlin
Old-faithful. West Berlin is a minimalistic cafe located a couple of hundred metres from the chaos in Checkpoint Charlie - but by the time you reach it the crowds have disappeared, distracted by Mc Donald’s and KFC up the road.
Laptops are not allowed on tables to the front of the cafe, but toward the back there is a table with 6 places that is designated for laptops. There are plugs for everyone at the table. It is fine if you get a place on either end of the table, but it can be tight if the table is full and you are in the middle.
Laptops are allowed on some individual tables toward the back of the cafe as well. The WiFi speed is not great but sufficient.
There is an outdoor space out back as well if you want some fresh air and to get away from the screen for a little bit.
The coffee is good here! They do quiches and cake as well. They will bring it to your table after you order. There is also a water jug where you can help yourself.
The cafe also sells magazines - think Monocle and niche Monocle-like expensive magazines - but surely you will be too busy working to read them.
Overall this is a great place in a super central location to head to if you want to get some work done. They are open 7 days a week.
Eichendorffstraße 13, 10115 Berlin
Definitely my favourite cafe in Berlin. The staff are really friendly and the coffee is top-notch. I do warn you that the cookies are dangerous - you can see them baking them in-house while you work. It is almost impossible to resist getting one with your coffee.
The laptop users are relegated to a large wooden table at the back of the cafe. There are stools around the table, with a bit of back-support. There is not a lot of depth underneath the table for your knees to go without hitting the table, so I imagine this is not the best workplace for taller people.
There are also no sockets. This is probably fine if you have a fancy new Macbook, but for the rest you will have to move on after your battery runs dry. But this is fine as well - no one wants to overstay their welcome.
It probably doesn’t sound like the ideal workplace, but there is something calm and welcoming about Oslo that I really like. They have great music, the atmosphere is really nice, and the wooden interior is easy on the eyes.
Rosenthaler Str. 72A, 10119 Berlin
Sockets: Yes, upstairs only.
St. Oberholz is the mecca for Berlin laptop-workers. Located at a busy intersection, many remote workers will have darkened their doorway at one stage or another, either from working there or by attending a meetup held upstairs.
If you walk in, you will see almost 100% of people on laptops on both floors - which can seat many people. There used to be sockets everywhere, but they have now restricted the sockets to certain locations upstairs only. Try not to look like too much of a creep as you look at the wall behind people sitting at tables for any glint of a wall-socket.
Since the pandemic St. Oberholz has gotten really busy. It is so big though that there are usually people leaving a seat, so you can get one if you are willing to hang around a bit.
You order at the bar and they will give you your coffee in a little tray. I’m not a fan of this as your table space is limited, and your laptop and tray will be fighting for space. Another peculiarity: if you order an Americano, you will get the espresso in the cup, and a small jar of hot water separately. You then finish the job yourself. This is probably fine in theory, but I like my coffee hot, and giving the water a separate jar means it cools a little bit. The tables are mostly individual, however, which means that even if it is busy you will have plenty of elbow room.
The staff are nice here and trained for the busyness of the place. You will never be pressured to move on from your seat, so if you get one you can dig into some work.
The prices are fairly high, but the location is prime. They are very patient with laptop-workers who may not order a lot of drinks, so it is fair enough.
Rosenthaler Str. 1, 10119 Berlin
CODOS is right across the road from St. Oberholz, and is hard to forget, as as soon as you walk inside you are greeted by a lot of pink. I’m not crazy about the layout of the interior to be honest - it feels a bit clinical, hospital-like, and leaves me feeling cold.
There are no sockets here, so it is a great option if you just want to get 1 ½ - 2 hours of work done, or if you just don’t want the hassle of a busy St. Oberholz.
It is normally not too busy, the location is convenient, and you can sit by the window with your laptop and do some people-watching at the busy Rosenthaler Platz junction while you work. The coffee is decent and they have some nice pastries as well.
Pure Origins Estate Coffee
Georgenstraße 193 Stadtbahnbogen, 10117 Berlin
Sockets: Yes, some
This is right by Wayne's Coffee (below), located right across from one of Humboldt University’s buildings. It is more upmarket than Wayne's Coffee, being in a slightly better location. There is plenty of outdoor seating, but what do you care, you will be inside working! It seems to get quite busy at lunchtime.
The back row of tables facing the coffee machines has sockets, so you can work from there. But there is a catch - they give you WiFi codes with a limit of 1 hour. I have not tested the generosity of the staff - perhaps if you ask nicely they will give you 2 codes so you can stay longer. Buying 2 coffees to get 2 hours internet and power is not unreasonable, but it does put the pressure on, and means this won’t be a regular of mine. I usually buy enough coffee/food in any cafe to justify my stay there, but having this artificial limit does make it a bit more effort, so I usually go to one of the other options in this list.
Georgenstraße 14 - 18, 10117 Berlin
Sockets: YES, lots!
Welcome to socket heaven! There are sockets of all shapes and sizes for most tables. You will not be without one. They have 4 person tables, and a few 2 person tables, as well as bar-type tables with stools with sockets if you are not planning on staying too long.
The downside is that it is under a train track, and beside Friedrichstraße train station, which is not the most scenic area. The cafe is comfortable enough, but I think because of the busyness of the area outside I don’t end up staying too long. I would not come here to relax with a book, for example, but it is a great little spot to get some work done.
I have no idea what the coffee tasted like as I was just in awe of being surrounded by sockets, but it was certainly hot and there was most definitely caffeine in it. The staff seemed to be nice, and it attracts a college crowd. They play punk-rock tunes so the vibe is very relaxed.
Gartenstraße 85-87, 10115 Berlin
This is the least laptop-friendly cafe on the list, but I mention it as it is a good backup option to have in your back pocket if the other cafes in the area fail you.
Laptops are not allowed for most of the cafe, but you can sit in the area to the right of the cashier desk. The staff claim this is the only place where the WiFi will work, so stay to this area. The WiFi is quite slow, so do not expect to be downloading much or watching HD videos.
The cafe is unpretentious and has everything you need, and has decent opening hours, staying open until 7pm during the week and 8pm on weekends.
Don’t expect specialty coffees and homemade pastries here. Sometimes you just want to keep it simple, and Espresso House is perfect for that.
Zossener Str. 34, 10961 Berlin
Sockets: Yes, some
This is a really lovely spot in Mehringdamm. I mostly like it because it is the only cafe in Berlin where the staff respond to me in German (without switching to English) when I speak to them.
While that alone is enough to get a cafe on the list, Cuccuma has another excellent feature - a fantastic balcony upstairs where you can look down on the cafe below and the streets outside whilst sipping coffee. This is the place to be - these seats have sockets, and if you get one you will have a fine workplace. But they are tricky to get and fill up early.
If the balcony is full, then you will have to head into the back room upstairs behind the balcony. I have to say that it is a fairly odd room, and the furniture is made for relaxing and lounging, not for working, with the tables at about knee height, meaning you will have to balance your laptop on your lap.
The coffee here is tasty, and they also make excellent iced coffee. This place gets a lot of locals so there is a nice neighborhood vibe to it - it is not just tech workers on laptops. And, again, they speak German back to you!
Potsdamer Str. 33, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Now for a curve-ball - the library! Bet you didn’t think of that, did you? Well here is why you should do it: it is central, free, there are lots of seats, and the cafeteria is mega-cheap! I like the architecture as well, you get to work in a large, bright room, but it does not feel cavernous.
You may think it is too much hassle to sign up and register for a library card, so I’ll break it down for you real quick:
To register: bring an ID and your Anmeldung, and go to the desks on the right-hand side of the entrance wall, where you walk in. They will give you your card there and then.
Get a lock: you cannot bring rucksacks/bags into the library, so go to the vending machine and buy a padlock. The machine takes cards and it costs €7.
Leave things in locker: Then, leave your stuff in one of the lockers on the left-hand side of the entrance hall. You cannot bring laptop bags in, so you will have to carry your laptop & headphones in, and a see-through bottle of water (no other liquids are allowed).
That's it, you're in.
Coffee in the cafeteria is €1.60, and you can get a boiled egg for €0.80. They serve hot meals for €5. These are inflation-beating prices if I have ever seen them.
Choose from the vast array of seating options and get stuck into some proper work without worrying about overstaying your welcome or running out of power.
Thanks for reading. Feel like speaking German so you can become more confident in your daily life? Try out our online German meetups for free.