Sometimes you just want to make a change in scenery. Sometimes, you can’t afford a proper office. And sometimes you don’t want to pay 150 euros/month for a hot desk at an industrial loft full of young hipsters. Sounds familiar?
A nice café is what you need then. No smelly food, people and interior to rest your eyes on after staring at laptop screen for an hour… Should be easy, right? Unfortunately, not all cafés are born equal, when it comes to making one your coffice. Café + office… Welcome to Tallinn Work-friendly cafes series!
Where to find Tallinn Work-friendly cafes?
Cafés outside of immediate centre of Tallinn tend to have somewhat lower price tag and are less crowded. There is also a higher chance of cheap or even free parking. Those two stack-up quickly, if you do this kind of thing daily.
Myself and a few of my friends, who enjoy working in coffee shops, have formulated the following 6 requirements to a good office away from office:
- Must have good Wi-fi
- Because it’s a constitutional right
- Must have plenty of power sockets
- Because access to free electricity, like the one that required a Letter of Authority, is also… you guessed it
- Must have at least 10 comfortable “chair + table” combos
- Because we want our backs to feel well after 3 hours of sitting and be sure that there is a spot for us
- Must have reasonable pricing
- Because paying more than 3 euros per cappuccino makes our wallets hurt
- Must be relatively safe and have “respectable” clientele
- Because we will take bathroom trips and want to know it’s safe to leave laptop on the table
- Must be either a little fancy or rustic
- Because we want to tell a story about being THERE (and feel a tad fancy)
And with this list in mind, here are our top 5 picks. If you have more locations to add to the list, please write a comment below and we will update the info!
Lyon Café & Boulangerie
Address: Meistri 22, Tallinn
Price of a cappuccino: 2.9 euro
What: As you might’ve guessed, it’s French-themed and has a large selection of pastries and cakes. There is a proper food menu too, serving all meals.
Location: It’s located about 8 km from city centre, right next to Tallinn Zoo’s back entrance and a 15-minute walk away from Rocca al Mare shopping mall.
Upsides: Perfect for situations, when you need to do some urgent work but need something for your family to do. Zoo tour will take about 2-3 hours and you can join them, if you get done earlier. If you get stuck, then send them on to the Rocca al Mare shopping mall to buy yourself another 1,5 hours. There are two sets of chairs, both with decent backs and several large armchairs, if you feel like working from a cuddly position. Outside terrace is open during the warm season.
Downsides: Nothing really. They could offer a wider selection of cognacs, because, you know, French, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker.
Address: Veerenni 24
Parking: 1 hour free or 0.5 euro/hour or 2 euro/day
Price of a cappuccino: 2,5-euro NB! A mug of basic jar coffee is just 1 euro.
What: Fork is essentially a lounge combined with a buffet/grill restaurant, serving all meals.
Location: Fork sits in the middle of the trendy Baltika quarter, located about 15-20-minute walk outside of city centre. Baltika quarter is home to several designer bureaus, fashion outlets and start-ups, including Transferwise. Seems like they expected plenty of laptops to visit them daily and designed accordingly.
Upside: There are plenty of trendy people here, as well as quite a few expats, so great spot to meet new friends. But what I enjoy the most is… POWER! As in power plugs. There must be over 20 of these little marvels scattered around. Provided you didn’t forget your charger(s) and did not come in during super busy lunch hours, you are all set. Oh, and they pack an all-season barbecue in the kitchen.
Pro-hook-up-tip: If you see someone with a serving tray wondering about during lunch hours looking for a table – wave them over to join you at yours. Starting a conversation with them being grateful to you is a great icebreaker. And they will likely leave in 20 minutes for work in a nearby office, hopefully leaving a phone number behind.
Downside: Free parking in front of the building lasts only 1 hour. Unless you intend to run out to change your parking clock once an hour, which is a good way to stretch your legs, you should park in the back. That will cost you though and that parking area is not shoe friendly, especially if it’s wet. Also, it does get crowded between 11am and 2pm, so you might want to avoid that time if you prefer to avoid crowds and the buzz. Fork is closed on weekends.
Honourable mention: Hot desks
As you might know, a hot desk is basically your right to sit at any desk, e.g. desks are not assigned. This works well in environments, where most of your tools fit into a laptop bag. These are great because:
- You get to meet and talk to new people, as each day someone new might be your neighbour
- It is still an office and you can get a discipline injection if needed
- All required amenities are there
- Free coffee (if applicable) might be a budget game changer
- It’s relatively more secure than a random café
Located outside of city centre, Spring Hub offers a more “industrial” feel to the office space. It is located to allow for easy access to city centre by tram and to airport through a nearby Tallinn circle-road. Spring Hub runs regular seminars and master-classes for its residents and outsiders alike.
Lift99 is located in the new trendy Tallinn Telliskivi quarter. It’s a classic hipster setup with old industrial buildings and warehouses turned into offices, shops, studios etc. There are plenty of bars, cafés and restaurants on the territory and the recently renovated Tallinn railroad station market is right next to it.
This is a guest article by Vladimir Jelov, a fellow travel lover. In daily life he is a sales, marketing and IT expert, as well as business writer. He recently grown a beard (literally), resides in Tallinn and is constantly on a look-out for a warm country to call his office. Check out his latest blog Smarketing Works.
More stories by Vladimir:
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