Air-con, wifi and coffee: when you’ve got to be productive in George Town, there are a lot of reasons to work at a cafe rather than at home. It can be a little difficult to decide which cafes from which to work, however. Fear not – here is a list of my favourites (in no specific order).
The Mugshot Cafe:
- Wifi: pretty good overall – but because this coffeeshop is in a traditional townhouse, it gets worse as you go further into the building. So if you want fast wifi, bag yourself one of the little tables near the front of the cafe.
- Air-con: this cafe is open to the road at the front, so it’s a little warm nearer the entrance (although there are fans, so it’s really not bad). It gets cooler as you get further into the cafe.
- Coffee: their long iced black is delicious, and it comes in a hefty-sized glass that will keep you caffeinated for a good while.
- Ambience: Really good buzz. There are plenty of seats, so you never feel like you’re taking up space.
- Extra notes: Mugshot takes card for however amount. And last but not least: their staff are lovely. The friendliest I’ve come across in Penang.
Location — 302 Chulia Street. See on Google Maps here.
Opening hours — 8AM – 12AM, everyday
Coffee Addict Cafe:
- Wifi: Probably the fastest wifi I’ve found in a Penang cafe.
- Air-con: Very strong. You might even get a little chilly.
- Coffee: Some of my favourite coffee. Plus, they even put little biscuits on the side of their hot coffees (it’s the little things!).
- Ambience: Despite their prime location on Campbell street, this cafe is always surprisingly quiet – you won’t feel the staff eyeing you up to leave.
- Extra notes: Great staff who will top up your water glass every time you run out. You’ll leave Coffee Addict very, very hydrated.
Location – 24 Campbell Street. See on Google Maps here.
Opening hours – 8AM – 6PM, closed Tuesday
- Wifi: great wifi, very quick and reliable.
- Air-con: Just the right temperature.
- Coffee: good. More expensive by a few ringgits, but there is lots of variety from which to choose. Please try the Australian latte for me – I never did and I still regret it.
- Ambience: Very good buzz. While it’s always pretty busy, this is one of the biggest cafes in George Town, so you can sit there happily for a while without feeling like you’re taking up too much space.
- Extra notes: Like Mugshot, will take card for any amount. Huge variety of food (savoury meals as well as baked goods) available if you get hungry.
Location — 105 Beach Street. See on Google Maps here.
Opening hours — 9AM – 11:30PM, everyday
Monkey Cup Cafe:
- Wifi: very quick.
- Air-con: Nice and cool!
- Coffee: Their special house coffee is addictively good… You’ve been warned.
- Ambience: incredibly quiet. Ideal if you really need to do some serious work, not so ideal if you need a degree of background noise in order to concentrate.
- Extra notes: They have a good selection of deep fried goods if you need a snack. Its location is a little far from the centre of town.
Location — 36 Jalan Chow Thye. See on Google Maps here.
Opening hours — 11AM – 11PM, closed Tuesday