Good coffee. Fast wifi. Comfy seats. Plug sockets. There's a lot to consider here...
When you’ve got work to do, and cleaning out your cupboards suddenly seems more attractive than getting your head down, it’s time to get out of the house and join the laptop brigade stationed around Leeds’ wifi hotspots.
Atmosphere is everything, plug sockets are prime, and you can do without death stares from the barista because you've been there an hour and not ordered a second cappuccino.
With the likes of Laynes banning laptops on weekends, it’s not always easy to find a comfortable desk that won’t turn you into The Hunchback of Notre Damn. The library is just a bit too silent, and no way are you spending 10p a minute at Kronos.
So plug in and scroll down for our list of the best laptop-friendly spots in Leeds... the ones where you can actually get some work done.
Episode One Coffee
83 Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BR
New to the Leeds cafe scene, Episode One is a bit of a hidden gem if you’re after a quiet spot to knuckle down away from the central shoppers. Owners Kyle and Maeve have kept things nice and neutral; grey walls, dotted with cubic wire shelves, housing mini cacti and bags of their Ozone espresso. With monthly rotating guests, speciality coffee is their thing, so you can ensure a decent brew if you’re in for the long haul. They’ve got a reclaimed wooden bar in the window, with sturdy stools, and enough plug sockets to go round. Reliable wifi, a throwback indie playlist, and a small affordable menu make this a bright and uncluttered work spot overlooking the gardens of St George’s Crypt.
Stage Espresso & Brew Bar
41 Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BB
Down the road, opposite the courts, Stage is well situated for attracting solicitors, NHS staff and students, and their basement room is a popular laptop hang out for all the above. Cage lights hang from the low ceiling above a large co-working table and comfy leather sofa. There’s a massive TV at the end, where they occasionally screen sports, but the friendly brothers Matt and Martyn aren’t adverse to you plugging in your powerpoint for a meeting. Downstairs the playlist is cleverly more down tempo, a mix of instrumental electronics to soothe and focus. At the entrance, a bar lines the curved window where square eyes can watch the world go by.
15 Thorntons Arcade LS1 6LQ
If you’re in town and need to send some urgent emails, Kapow is a cool option, ideally situated within the beautiful 19th century Thorntons Arcade. With it’s retro gaming quirks, hessian furnishings and vivid walls, you can happily wile away a few hours fuelled by some serious Java (with aromas to boot). Spread across three floors, there’s a choice of seating, with a round table at the top perfect for meetings, overlooking the painted shop fronts below. Look out for their happy hour between 10 and 11am.
The Queens Hotel
City Square, Leeds LS1 1PJ
Definitely the grandest office on our list, The Queen’s Hotel may seem like a strange place to bring your laptop, but bear with us. The foyer of the bar, accessible from the train station entrance, is a super setting for your latest venture. The staff won’t bat an eyelid if you sit in here all day. Just think of the business cred you’ll gather holding meetings with potential partners under an antique chandelier? With its jazz piano lift music, low velvet chairs, and silver trimmed marble columns, residents and local entrepreneurs chat over drinks beside black and white photographs of Hollywood stars. Sounds formal, but the ambience is the right balance between relaxed and industrious.
Friends of Ham
4-8 New Station St, Leeds, LS1 5DL
Friends of Ham might seem like another weird place to whack out your MacBook, but open from 11am each day, it’s often frequented by businessmen holding a quick meeting before their train. The heady mix of gorgonzola and salami is proven to stimulate brain cells. If you don’t believe us, they also do quality Darkwoods coffee, roasted over in Slaithwaite, so you could try that too.
43 Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BT
If makes you forget Call lane’s vomit and taxi lined gutters on a Saturday night. It’s friendly, full of light…the floors aren't sticky. Macrame plant holders and tropical murals transport you to a fresh green headspace, where, once you’ve cracked the complex wifi password, you can spend a pleasant afternoon tapping away. Upstairs there’s a lovely quiet room, with a round table for collaborating, or high backed window seats for solo contemplation. Working late? On a Friday and Saturday night it opens until 11pm, so if you’re more of a night owl, they’ve got you covered.
Belgrave Music Hall
1-1A Cross Belgrave St, Leeds LS2 8JP
Here’s another watering hole, rammed come 5pm with the hoop-earringed-puffa-jacket-clad crew, eager for a half price Dough Boys slice. Consequentially, its dead day-time, so grab your supplies and head for the Northern Quarter. What’s great about working here, is alongside familiar cups of The Docks coffee, you have a massive choice of drinks to keep you hydrated. Who’s to stop you ordering a beer at noon? The Wifi is consistent - even on the roof terrace, so, on a sunny day, you can feel like a king with the most enviable office around.
Open Source Arts
1A, Aire Place Mills, Kirkstall Rd, Leeds LS3 1JL
Studio space, veggie cafe, events hub, co-working…Open Source Arts is one of the best places in Leeds to bring your projects to life. Just off Kirkstall road, their arty warehouse is designed for makers, doers and creators looking for a productive environment, or a helping hand. With views of the sky through oblong windows in the high corrugated ceiling, paper pin-wheels and disco balls twirl in the light. If anywhere will get your creative juices flowing, it’s here. There might be the occasional dance class going on, but that all adds to the energy of the place. The uber welcoming team won’t even care if you eat your own snacks, despite their abundance of gorgeous cakes baked in the open kitchen right behind you. Get your hands on one of their goodness packed apricot power balls to see you through a day's graft.
Sheaf St Cafeteria
3 Sheaf St, Leeds LS10 1HD
Sheaf St, down near Brewery Wharf, is a natural choice for freelancers and digital nomads, due to it’s connection with Duke Studios, one of the city’s trendiest co-working spaces. If you don’t want to pay to hot-desk, the Grub & Grog cafe area, with free wifi, is a great environment, where the framed mantra is “Work hard & be nice to people”. Sometimes their yarden is open where you can toil fenced off from the roar of nearby traffic. When mental respite is needed, there’s a stack of board games by the glass doors, and there’s even vegetables and eggs to take home for your dinner if you’ve lost track of time.