The Cafes Where Newcastle Professionals Are Working

There are some amazing people doing some pretty cool things around Newcastle. Nestled in unsuspecting corners you will find some bright minds, quiet achievers and curious creatures seeking inspiration, having conversations, getting up to mischief and getting down to business.

A couple of years ago I published an article about where I love to work when I’m out of the office. Recently, I was revisiting the article to put together a refreshed version for 2019 when I came to the realisation that the criteria that I use to choose a place to work will differ greatly from others. With this thought, I turned to my colleagues, friends and trusted advisers to give me their best hideouts, escapes, nooks and networking hubs.

I’m lucky enough to have relationships with a largely diverse range of professionals. I seem to have unintentionally stumbled across something for everyone in the recommendations below – from the outspoken socialites craving some chit chat to the quiet creative geniuses who like to tuck themselves away and really contemplate their work.

Whether you need to find a new spot via your commute, the best toastie in town or a new ‘office out-of-the-office’, below you are sure to discover somewhere new to try!

Cafe Inu, Carrington

One for the dog Mums and Dads.

Cafe Inu has got it’s own thing going on. Quirky mismatched furniture, walls lined with posters, overgrown pot plants and natural lighting makes for a very cosy and unpretentious atmosphere. The food is unique and reasonably priced, the service is always on point and the coffee is consistent. While it is a huge, sprawling converted warehouse, it’s somehow easy to miss as you drive through the industrial area of Carrington. I suggest getting in on your GPS as opposed to driving there and looking for it.    

Really, the reason we go is they allow dogs inside. Inu has its own mascot, Bear, a gentle-hearted three-legged dog who goes around to each table asking for pats. Need I say more?

Recommended by: Jenna Pippin, Founder and Graphic Design Pippin Creative

It’s a real vibe – Jenna and Huxley at Cafe Inu, Carrington

Home Sweet Home

One for the contemplators.

Cafes like Travino’s, Warners Bay or Cleaver, Toronto are great for catch-ups, meetings and to shake up the day to day of sole business operation (not to mention much needed caffeine hits). But for me, home is the place for focused work. 

Sure, it may seem like a bit of a cliché to cherish the freedom of working from home, but I’ve always been one for quiet work spaces. Those places that you can call your own, where you can shut out the ‘noise’, and get stuck into the task at hand without interruptions. 

I’ll admit that the pile of washing, dirty dishes, or even Netflix can sometimes beckon. But the flexibility and freedom the home office affords is something I’ve worked hard to achieve, and not about to abandon. I mean where else can you take up more than your fair share of the workspace, raid the fridge at lunch, talk on the phone openly, and produce meaningful results for clients, all while wearing that daggy old cardi and/or ugg boots? 

Recommended by: Nikki Ovenden, Founder and Content Specialist at nikkij Content Marketing

Perry the Feeder, Mayfield

One for the socialites.

As a proud Mayfield resident, I am very happy to spruik my local, Perry The Feeder.  Perry’s food truck is set in a cute little garden off the side of The Muster Point, corner of Maitland Road and Havelock Street.  Walk into the garden and you’ll be greeted by other Mayf locals, perhaps the odd fur friend as well.  A huge frangipani tree offers shade and pretty scents in Summer, while blankets and fairy lights warm the early Winter mornings.

Perry The Feeder’s coffee is amazing and they serve the BEST damn toasties in the town (trust me)!  Jules and her team are absolutely lovely too.  The first time you walk in, they’ll make you feel like a regular (even if you’re not), citing “smiles are free of charge”.

The only negative is that they’re not open on Mondays, but it’s easy to forgive that when the quality every other day of the week is on point.

This neat little garden café is the perfect outdoor office for productivity and an awesome team brekky meeting venue outside of the CBD.

Recommended by: Brigette Landy, Manager, Finance & Administration | CX, Marketing & Sales at Forsythes Recruitment

You can almost smell the toasties on the sandwich press!

The Junction Hotel, The Junction

For the ones who want to get amongst it.

Just beyond the Junction Village and across the road from Tallulah’s lies a Newcastle institution and my favourite escape from the office – The Junction Hotel. From October through February, it is my second home and I’m yet to be disappointed by it.

The venue attracts a crowd of likeminded people so it’s a great place to mingle and network with the locals, take a meeting or have a casual hard-earned cold one with colleagues after a long day at work.

The challenge is really not spending all of my time here. An escape that offers an ocean breeze and plays great tunes that is conveniently located just across the road from our new office is very hard to go unmentioned!

Recommended by: Bradley Abbott, Director and Senior Financial Adviser at Newcastle Financial Planning Group

Despite clearly sitting on his own, Brad’s all smiles with a beer in his hand

Bank Corner Espresso, Newcastle

The one for central catch-ups.

I work a lot from my apartment in Newcastle West a lot, running both my VA business and my podcast, The Bold Platform. Working remotely can get lonely and that’s why Bank Corner Espresso is my go-to cafe! It is at the bottom of my building so I don’t lose time traveling, there is always a familiar face from our apartments there plus the staff are always so happy to see you. Bank Corner always has interesting music playing, delicious lunch options and the coffee is consistently good. It is also a great meeting spot for me for when I don’t feel like getting the car out of the garage.

I collaborate with two other Virtual Assistants in Newcastle; one who lives in Cooks Hill and one from Waratah so Bank Corner is also a great place for us to catch up.

There are sunny spots on the street for the summer months and cosy nooks inside by the heater for the cooler seasons. And if I sit close enough… I can still get WIFI from my apartment!

Recommended by: Adrienne Donnelly, Virtual Assistant – Coastal Social + Creator & Host – The Bold Platform podcast

Arm them with caffeine and watch them go! Adrienne leading her team at Bank Corner, Newcastle

Laneway on Darby, Cooks Hill

One for any time of the day.

Quiet and relaxed, the Laneway on Darby is the perfect place for a lengthy business discussion or a first-time meeting with a potential client.

More than just a hole in the wall kind of coffee shop, this Darby Street venue, which was formally the Depot on Darby, offers a wide array of menu options, and coffee which will have you racing to book your next meeting.

The venue is spaced out perfectly for a business discussion, and the staff are incredibly welcoming and accommodating. For me, it’s a go-to location when meeting a client based in Newcastle.

Open late Wednesday through Saturday, you’re guaranteed to score yourself a coffee no matter the hour of the afternoon… Helpful when you’re like me and traditional business hours aren’t always adhered too.

If the taste of the coffee hasn’t got you over the line, there’s also free Wi-Fi, while trying one of their signature ‘freakshakes’ is a must.

Looking for a car park, the tip from a regular is try Railway Street before you go battling along the main drag.

Recommended by: Jack Antcliff, Managing Director at Oasis Media

Lynch’s Hub, Newcastle

The one with harbour views and sea breeze.

Lynch’s Hub on the foreshore is, of course, my favourite!  It’s the perfect spot, right on the water to sneak a beautiful coffee and some of Blake’s (the manager) famous home-cooked snacks. 

Its dog-friendly, bike-friendly and there is always a smiling face to greet you.  Lap up some winter sun on the grass as you sip your latte and watch the passers-by and the tugs on the harbour… bliss!

Recommended By: Jeff Bell, Pimpin’ Bean Counter Extraordinaire (nah, actually just Director) at BeLLCORP Accountants

Momo Wholefood, Newcastle

One for those who seek some open space and natural light.

My favourite cafe to work from is Momo Wholefood on Hunter St. I love how it feels open and spacious with the bright airy light streaming in through the tall paned windows but how it also manages to feel cozy and inviting with the sofas, decor and plants. It is great to work from or meet with clients because there’s plenty of space to stretch out and set up your laptop for a few hours work. It’s wonderful to see a business turn an iconic Newcastle heritage building into something modern and inviting. They offer a range of delicious healthy vegetarian meals and yummy baked goods so you feel good after eating your meal. If you haven’t been to Momo’s yet, you’re missing out!

Recommended By: Kelsey Turner, Digital Marketing Strategist at Kaiza Media

The team are soaking up the natural light as Kelsey eagerly awaits her Vegetarian goodies!

Do you have a hidden gem you’re dying to share? Email me your recommendation and I’ll add it to the blog post.

PS. How good is working and living in Newcastle?!

The top 7 cafe’s to work from as a business professional in Newcastle

As a marketing strategist, I am fortunate enough to find myself in a role that means I’m not confined to a particular space or a desk. I like being on the go and the variety in work-spaces certainly suits me! While Rumble Social is based in Newcastle, it’s not uncommon for me to work from my home, at DaSH, a co-working space in Charlestown or at a cafe to meet clients in Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney. As I am now reaching the two year mark in my business, I feel like I have found a pretty good selection of cafe’s around Newcastle that welcome me to set up for the day and work from my laptop. In my travels, I have found that not all venues are so inviting when they see you have a laptop in tow. I understand that some businesses see this as taking up a table unnecessarily and it could mean less patronage, while others welcome the fact that I will be ordering numerous coffee’s and a bite to eat. As a business owner myself, it’s important that I respect the businesses decisions of others.

To help other business owners, professionals, digital nomads, freelancers and the like, I have put together this list to avoid any awkwardness when determining where to schedule your next meeting or day out of the office. Here are my favourite places to frequent around Newcastle.

 

Q & Co

The Esplanade, Warners Bay

Lake views, fresh decor and friendly staff – there’s a lot to love about Q&Co. I have found this venue great for a takeaway coffee, the staff are very friendly and super quick. If I have a meeting at Warners Bay, Q&Co is my go-to as a central location to meet my Lake Macquarie based clients.

 

Ground Floor

Hunter Street, Newcastle

Ground Floor is great place for casual meetings or for killing a couple of hours on your laptop. I love going in Winter and sitting outside to soak up the sun that peeps through the fig trees lining the mall. Inside there is a lot comfy chairs to settle into and cosy corners to hide in. This is one of the most popular cafes in the mall so avoid at lunchtime as it can get very busy and can mean it’s not the most productive place to meet with others. The free Wifi is plus too!

Xtraction Espresso

Bolton Street, Newcastle

Kenn, The owner of Xtraction, is the ideal cafe owner. He has a genuine interest in his customers and is constantly trying to make their lives better by making small changes to the experience at Xtraction. Whether it’s an app so regulars can order ahead or free Wifi – this place has the customer at the heart of it and being in the CBD, welcomes busy professionals with open arms.

One Pickett Fence

Honeysuckle

I have only been a handful of times but each time the staff have been so friendly and I just can’t get past quaint white picket fence barricading the outdoor seating from the road! I find that Honeysuckle has a lack of great coffee spots but this is certainly the exception. The only thing that’s missing is the water views but that just means there are less distractions so my productivity is at it’s peak.

The Letter Q

Joslin Street, Kotara

Nestled in the heart of Kotara, you will find a small shopping village that will lead you to believe you have ended up in a small country town. Don’t be fooled, you are actually less than 500m from one of the largest shopping precincts in Newcastle. The Letter Q have your coffee needs covered without the hassle of finding a park in Westfield, with the added charm of a Novocastrian owned and operated business. Owners Kendall and Deb are a mother daughter team producing hundred of baked goods from the site every week. I have had a number of meetings here and while it is quite small and can get to capacity quickly, it’s great for a casual, quick coffee with a client.

Little White Bull

The Esplanade, Warners Bay

For the best coffee in Lake Macquarie, go and see Jinny, Jenna and the team at LWB. This funky little place offers great food, awesome service and better yet – free Wifi with views of the lake! You can usually get a park right out the front except for lunchtime but with no parking metres, finding a park in the car park out the back shouldn’t be a problem at any time of the day.

The Depot

Darby Street, Newcastle

Another one of my go-to’s is the Depot on Darby. I find the Depot to be a great spot if you’re meeting someone for the first time because the staff are friendly, attentive and give you the space you need. The lunch and breakfast menu with suit even the fussiest of eaters and there’s free Wifi if you choose to use it. For an afternoon sugar attack the freak shakes and smoothies come in very handy!

 

I’d love to hear where you have found to be a great spot to work in Newcastle. If you have somewhere to add to the list, leave a comment below.