Coffices: Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect and Crown Heights

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Outpost is large and cozy on the inside, lush and green outside.

Here’s how the coffices in Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights stack up. Check out South Brooklyn (everything below Atlantic Avenue) cafés here, and North Brooklyn coffices here.

Outpost Café, 1014 Fulton Street
Layout/Aesthetic: 5
Outpost is perhaps the perfect combination of warmth and functionality. The tri-level, outdoor seating area is relaxed and beautifully decorated with vegetation, a deck and a wooden entranceway made of tree branches. It feels either like an enchanted forest where Ewoks live, or like the terrain of the final Planet of the Apes movie where the humans and the apes battle for control. Best of all, it’s the first outdoor seating area I’ve found that provides outlets! Inside, DJ tables, local art and varied seating make for perfect place to sit and work on rainy days.
Vibe
: 5
I made a few requests of the staff including a request for water, and they were especially kind and patient with each one. Outpost really feels like it was built to be the perfect coffice.
Coffee: 4.5
Outpost brews Dean’s Beans, definitely a new contender in the race for best beans. Dean’s is similar to La Colombe body and acidity wise but its flavor is far more interesting than La Colombe. This is one of my favorite coffees.
Wifi: 3.5
What a bummer! Outpost’s internet is its one weakness without a doubt, but it’s worth mentioning that for a weakness, it’s decent wifi–2.3 on Speedtest is just slightly less than what one needs for a fast reliable internet work. But, it seems that the café’s router has to be reset often. However, since the staff is friendly, asking them to reset the router isn’t such a big deal.
Plugs
: 4.5
They’ve got outdoor plugs! Inside is also quite well covered. The tables that aren’t close to outlets are few and far between.
+1
For all kinds of cake and creative coffee drinks.
Total
: 23.5
Outpost might be the winner of best coffice. It’s got everything you could want with a slight weakness in the wifi department.

Breukelen Coffee House, 764 Franklin Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 5
After visiting nearly every coffee shop in Brooklyn, it’s hard to be surprised when it comes to ambiance, but Breukelen Coffee Shop surprised me. With a front room dedicated mostly to coffee ordering and making, and an entire back room for workers with a community table surrounded by personal tables, brick walls and nothing else, the space makes for a surprisingly minimalist coffice mecca with an industrial vibe. Vibe: 5
The ultra-friendly Seattle-transplant working the espresso machine simply asked me why I was taking pictures and conversation ensued. In the back room, people study hard–the music is turned down and silence reigns. This is by far one of the best places to get work done in Brooklyn.
Coffee: 4
Even after walking all the way here, I nearly skipped Breukelen when I saw the Stumptown sign in the window, but I soldiered on, ordered my coffee and sipped. Breukelen Coffee House brews the best Stumptown, outside Stumptown itself that I’ve tasted and the organic milk, while not a necessity, certainly doesn’t hurt.
Wifi: 5
Breukelen has Optimum Online and clocked 20.5 mpbs on Speedtest. All hail Breukelen.
Plugs: 4.5
The outlets are set up so that almost anyone sitting at the long community table can plug in, as well as anyone at the smaller tables.
Total: 23.5
I had a feeling a soon as I walked in that this would be among the winners. If you live close, go here. If you’re visiting, go here. Breukelen Coffee House might be the coffice king.

Tiny Cup, 279 Nostrand Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 4
This place has that urban rustic vibe, heavier on the rustic than the urban. A bearded banjo player named Jethro was playing everything from Dylan covers to a banjo version of “Tomorrow” from Annie when I was there.
Vibe: 4.5
The only issue here is that they close at 6pm.
Wifi
: 3.5
Honestly, it’s just right, not super fast and not slow, pretty dependable.
Plugs
: 5
This is one of the best-plugged places I’ve been to, each seat has access to an outlet.
Coffee: 3
Unfortunately, Counter Culture tends towards the sour and Tiny Cup’s brew is no different. This is really the one weak link in this place’s chain.
+1
for peach-butter muffins and all kinds of other baked goodness.
Total: 21
Tiny Cup would be my favorite coffice, bar none, with better coffee. As is, they’re still among the best.

The espresso machine at Sit and Wonder.

Sit and Wonder, 688 Washington Avenue
Layout/Aethetic: 4.5
The brick wall, the Staxx Records posters, the varied seating, the couch and quite possibly the nicest outdoor seating area in Brooklyn, makes Sit and Wonder a top contender. For those that recall, Williamsburg once had a coffee shop called Read. Read was the holy grail of coffices and their back area couldn’t be beat. Something about it made you feel like a little kid in outdoor fortress you built with your dad.
Vibe
: 4
The baristas are nice. Free water is cold and available. Everyone’s got their laptops out and nobody seems to mind. Good vibes all the way.
Plugs: 3.5
There are a couple tables that are a distance from the outlets, but for such a large space with so many tables, it’s would be near impossible for there not to be.
Wifi: 3.5
Again, you need to consider how large this space is. On Speedtest this place hit 2.7, and over the course of several hours it remained steady the whole time.
Coffee: 3.5
The dreaded Stumptown. As soon as I saw the sign, I braced myself for doom, but to my pleasant surprise this was some of the best Stumptown I’ve had. The flowery, sour taste that tends to ruin Stumptown’s brew was very subtle.
+1
for coconut water, sandwiches and incredibly alluring doughnut treats!
Total
: 20
Sit and Wonder’s outdoor area is among the best.

BitterSweet, 180 Dekalb Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 4
I do believe that I’m in love this little coffice. It’s tiny, with only five or so tables, but it’s bursting with charm. The walls have a cool painted motif and there’s a slight 50s ice cream parlor vibe.
Vibe
: 4.5
BitterSweet strikes me as the perfect place to sit and work. If it didn’t close early (5pm,) it would be a perfect score. Again, it’s minimal but that can go a long way. The lighting is right, the music is at the proper volume, and they serve treats.
Plugs
: 4
Every seat is plug accessible. Of course, this isn’t that difficult to achieve considering the size of the cafe.
Wifi: 2.5
The wifi here works, it’s dependable and it’s fast enough, but it’s nothing to write home about. It’s another case of enough speed for most coffice needs, but not enough for some.
Coffee: 4
Fort Greene coffices really have great coffee! La Colombe, a Philly-based coffee company provides BitterSweet their beans have a strong body without being overwhelming. Well nigh perfect.
+1
For deliciousness of all stripes
Total: 20
BitterSweet’s only real weakness is its size and its closing time. A well-rounded coffice.

Penny House, 732 Washington Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 2.5
To be frank, Penny House looks like a Coffee Bean, like a simple chain cafe, devoid of any particular charm. There’s no real ambiance to speak of, but it’s functional, spacious and comfortable, so that’s half the battle.
Vibe
: 3
I was frightened when I started taking photos that the guy working here was going to smash my camera in order to destroy the evidence, but maybe that’s just his Brooklyn-born charm. Otherwise, this place works as a coffice.
Plugs
: 4
There’s an outlet at almost every booth. They’ve got outlets to spare.
Wifi
: 4
Pretty much any place with Optimum Online is going to have a fast connection. This place clocked almost 7 mbps on Speedtest, which is very fast.
Coffee
: 4
La Colombe strikes again! I don’ think a barista can ruin La Colombe.
+.5
for general breakfast lunch menu
Total: 17.5
I wouldn’t call this place charming, but it does the job.

Smooch, 265 Carlton Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 3.5
It’s all quite minimal and the actual shape of the place is unique. The types of seating are varied and comfortable and there’s a nice outdoor seating area.
Vibe: 3
The staff was pleasant enough and the vibe seemed fine until I asked if they had Splenda and got kind of an attitude. Let’s put it out there now that no coffice should be too cool for Splenda.
Coffee: 4
As I drink this cup of coffee, I’m a circling the beginnings of severe heartburn as a result of drinking so much coffee, yet I’m still sucking it down. The beans are from a South Carolina outfit called Larry’s. It’s a got a really nice balance, not too acidic but with a certain complexity of flavor. The only issue here is that $3 is a little much for a small drip coffee.
Wifi: 2.5
1.81 on Speedtest, which is really enough for most coffice practices.
Plugs: 4
This place is well plugged, far better than most.
+1
for hippie food with funny names. There’s a sandwich that’s named after the reviewers who trash them on Yelp. Gotta love a sense of humor.
Total: 17
All in all, Smooch is a good place, particularly if you sit outside and bring your own Splenda.

Tillies, 248 Dekalb Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 3
I was all set to give this place a 2 because it’s rather drab looking. The setup is like that of high-end Manhattan bodega. However, it’s plenty spacious and I realized they were selling Akashic‘s Brooklyn Noir book series, so that bumped them up a point.
Vibe: 3.5
The vibe beats out the aesthetic. While it doesn’t look like a place to sit and copyedit your short story, it turns out that it actually is sort of is that place, just in a subtle way.
In order to gauge the kindness of the Barista’s at Tillie’s, I ran the “Water test.” If I’m unable to gauge an employee’s niceness, I simply request a glass of water and their reaction usually gives me some indication. Once I asked for water, the woman behind the counter quickly retrieved a cup of lukewarm water and returned to conversation, but she wasn’t mean about it.
Coffee: 3.5
It’s got a hell of a bite, which is nice after drinking so many cups that lack such bite. Essentially Tillie’s has super acidic, heavy coffee, but it’s not burnt and pretty perfect for that first coffee in the morning.
Wifi: 4
Tillie’s smokes in the Wifi department. 9.3 puts it among the ranks of the fastest coffices yet.
Plugs: 2
Only one section of this large establishment is plug accessible, which is bummer considering all the other ingredients are in place for a fine coffice
+1
for smoothies, sandwiches and Vita Coco
Total: 17
Tillies is a dependable work spot. It’s kind like the old Volvo of coffices, it’s not pretty, but it won’t let you down.

Colador Cafe, 1000 Bedford Avenue
Layout/Aesthetic: 4
Despite the painting of Biggie and Jay-Z on the wall, this place doesn’t consider itself too cool to have Splenda. In fact, there’s Splenda at every table. I’ll bet Biggie would used Splenda if he was still around. Really though, it’s spacious and comfortable.
Vibe
: 3
The music is a little loud, as is to be expected, and the look of the place is a tad bland. It feels more like a bar than a café, but it works.
Wifi
: N/A
It simply wouldn’t work. They seem to have it, but I did all I could, and couldn’t get it going.
Plugs
: 2
There are a few outlets, but most tables don’t have access
Coffee: 3
A little acidic for my liking, and not as balanced as it should be, overly earthy, but passable.
+1
for full food menu
Total: 13
You could factor in a extra few points for when their wifi is fixed.

 

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