The River City might not be a freelancing Mecca, but it does have an emerging community of individual workers. At this time, most digital nomads have to work from home—apart from a few coworking spaces, there aren’t many alternatives in the city. So, what option do you have if you want to find a remote office where you can get down to business and complete your daily tasks? So far, we’ve discovered some of the most freelancer-friendly coffee shops in San Francisco and in Austin. Now, it’s time to head over to Jacksonville, Fla. Stay with us and see which places welcome you with their arms (or doors) wide open.
Locally-run Bold Bean Coffee Roasters operates two coffee shops in the River City, each of them catering to different work styles. Hip young professionals will probably fall in love with the Riverside café, while art-loving individual workers will probably feel at home in the San Marco spot. Uniquely decorated to fit into their neighborhood vibe, all Bold Bean cafés provide a cozy and relaxing environment ideal for remote working. As soon as you grab a seat—and a delicious cup of coffee—you can get your creative juices flowing, hold an intense brainstorming session or simply finish those tedious administrative tasks. All coffee shops provide ample seating, plenty of outlets in plain sight, free Wi-Fi, bike-parking spots, and gender-neutral restrooms.
An international franchise specialized in bubble tea, Kung Fu Tea operates one location in Jacksonville, at 12630 Beach Blvd. Although small, it is freelancer-friendly—almost every table has a power outlet right next to it. Bright and colorful and with an uplifting vibe, this lively little place might put you in the right mood to finish the tasks at hand and even start new ones. Apart from the tables lined up along the wall, there are also a few lounging areas where you can strategize with your team—and play a board game afterward. Furthermore, Kung Fu Tea is the first bubble tea brand to launch a mobile app, that allows you to pay with a simple QR code scan and where you can earn, track, and redeem rewards. Also, did you know that the 30th of April was declared the National Bubble Tea Day?
A quaint and welcoming coffee shop located in Murray Hill, at 934 Edgewood Ave., Vagabond Coffee Co. is a hipster spot with a rustic charm. Featuring exposed brick walls and distressed wooden tables, it’s a cozy place that makes you forget all about the outside world. Your work will be all that matters—unless you need to take a break…then you can play a board game! The coffee shop provides ample seating, including a large communal table, two-person tables with padded chairs, window seats and even a couch. It can be quite silent inside, as many hard-working customers turn this coffee shop into an unconventional office space, taking full advantage of the free Wi-Fi connection available. A livelier ambiance can be found on the small terrace in the alleyway, perfect for catching up with friends.
If you want to spend your workday in a suburban café with an urban vibe, then Urban Bean Coffeehouse Café, located within Orange Park, is the place to go. Boasting an industrial-chic aesthetic, this coffee shop is a good fit if you’re a digital nomad who thrives in a lively, yet laid-back environment. On rainy days you can sit at one of the many indoor tables, while on sunny days you can move your coffice (coffee office) outside, on the patio. The Wi-Fi signal is great, according to Yelp reviewers, so you don’t have any excuse to procrastinate. Also, don’t be surprised if you see other customers working there—laptops are a common sight.
A hipsterish place with a rustic-industrial look, Southern Roots Filling Station is a cross between a bulk grocery store, a café, and an eatery. It can get noisy during rush hour, but if you enjoy working in a lively place it might be a good spot for a remote office. Besides, when you get hungry you can eat right there, without having to move to another location. The ambiance is homey and inviting, featuring wooden walls, shadow boxes, hand-written blackboards, and succulents. One of the walls is lined up with a cozy padded bench and comfy pillows, complete with table tops made from wooden doors. The rest of the place is outfitted with metal bar stools, large communal tables, and booths. There are also a few outdoor tables if you want to bask in the sunlight while working.
Operated locally, Social Grounds Coffee is a veteran-owned coffee spot with a noble mission—to offer jobs to homeless veterans. A minimalistic downtown Jacksonville place with a hip, urban vibe, it draws in digital nomads looking for a place to work without any interruption while enjoying a delicious cup of freshly roasted coffee. Featuring more than 1,000 square feet at 1712 North Main St., this coffee shop can comfortably seat about 20 people at a time. After you walk in, you can either hop on a bar stool or you can grab a seat at one of the four-person wooden tables with metal chairs. For its size, the place has a decent number of easy-to-spot outlets. You’ll probably also appreciate the free Wi-Fi connection available to all their customers and freelancers, as well as the small parking lot in the back.
When you want to taste the European experience without leaving the city you can pay a visit to The Coffee Grinder. Located at 9834 Old Baymeadows Road, this coffee shop boasts a uniquely Eastern European vibe, with many customers speaking foreign languages, so it might be the perfect getaway if you want a change of scenery. A dim-lit place featuring a modern-casual setting, the coffee shop has an intimate ambiance you might enjoy when you really need to focus on your pressing tasks. There are a decent amount of seating options inside, ranging from round wooden tables with padded chairs to booths and sofas, as well as an outdoor smoking-friendly area. Last but not least, the coffee shop has two resident DJs that spin progressive house and trance music a few nights a week—an instant hit if you want to start partying immediately after closing your laptop!
Bubble tea fans who want to get some work done while enjoying a huge cup of the Taiwanese beverage can head over to Naga Tea. Located at 11925 Beach Blvd. in Greater Arlington, it’s a bright and friendly place where you can make full use of the Wi-Fi connection and turn it into a remote office. Outfitted with wooden benches and a few two-person high-top tables, this tea/coffee shop is great for days when you want to strengthen the bonds with your team. After you finish your work you can relax playing Jenga, Dixit, Cards Against Humanity, Catan or any other of the available board games.
Opened in December 2017, House of Leaf & Bean is a 1,939-square-foot organic café and restaurant located on the site of a former Taco Bell joint. A quaint and cozy place featuring Chinese-inspired décor, it boasts a Zen atmosphere that is ideal for the days when you need to focus undisturbed on the tasks at hand or to meditate on your career plan. Able to accommodate up to 50 people, House of Leaf & Bean has a large variety of seating options available: high-top tables, window seats, regular tables, and large wooden communal tables. There’s also a small outdoor patio where you can enjoy the warm breeze, and a private parking lot—a strong plus for car owners.
Millennials have every reason to pick Brew Five Points as their go-to public working spot. Located at 1024 Park St., this coffee shop boasts a hip, yet intimate and freelancer-friendly ambiance. Although a little loud, the place is flooded with laptop-bearing customers that work for hours on end. If you want to take advantage of the fast Wi-Fi connection and squeeze in some work you can either hop on a bar stool, claim a seat at the wall counter or a chair at one of the large communal tables. No matter where you choose to sit, there’s a power outlet in the immediate vicinity.
A Jacksonville staple, Sippers Coffeehouse is a cozy eclectic coffee shop that boasts a homey and cheerful ambiance. Quiet and friendly, this spot is a good remote office for both freelancers working alone and for those working in groups. With an assortment of mismatched furniture—church pews, retro tables and chairs, modern couches, comfy armchairs, and even a private desk—it can accommodate any seating preference. There are plenty of power outlets spread throughout the shop, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery.