Hey all you freelancers, telecommuters, authors and entrepreneurs. Let’s admit it: It’s hard for us Providence café enthusiasts to find a nice place to write a blog that will launch us to stardom, pen the next great American novel or iron out a million-dollar business idea that isn’t completely overrun by copycats trying to do the same. These three quieter Providence cafés are great for getting work done and don’t compromise on service, treats or atmosphere.
Sin is not your average coffee shop; in fact, the coffee isn’t the main focus at all. Located on Westminster Street on Providence’s West Side, Sin is a custom cake shop, dessert bar and café all rolled into one. I was able to grab Jen Luxmoore, the owner, to tell me a little bit more about the place; she told me that someone once asked her what she would do if she won the Powerball, and her answer was open a bakery. She didn’t win the big one, but the idea stuck in her mind until she left her job to pursue the dream
For working, the space is ideal. Parking isn’t a hassle so far west on Westminster, and the space is bright, clean, quiet and filled with natural light. There’s also a lovely selection of coffee (including Nitro), tea and tasty treats.
1413 Westminster Street, PVD; Mon – Wed: 7am – 6pm; Thu – Sat: 7am – 11pm; Sun: 8am – 6pm
Mohamed Sefiani founded Tea in Sahara in 2009, and it makes an excellent addition to the Providence café scene. His charming shop on Governor Street on the East Side embraces Moroccan culture wholeheartedly. Before even stepping inside, there’s the option of sitting outside on some cozy cushions; if you’d rather be inside, prepare to step into a culture a world away: authentic Moroccan music, diverse seating options, ornate lamps and mosaics really make the place feel authentic. Once you’re there, try the mint tea: It’s a Moroccan delicacy: light and refreshing.
For working, there are a lot of spaces to set up shop, including a quiet back room. Plenty of outlets line the walls and the service is excellent: most often you’ll find Mohamed’s daughters behind the counter. Don’t leave without trying the baklava!
69 Governor Street, PVD; Tue – Sun: 11am – 11pm; Closed Mon
No one can call themselves a Providence café aficionado without first experiencing the vibe at Federal Hill café Saint Monday, the brainchild of co-owners John Gray and Morgan Pearlman. John’s from Iowa and Morgan’s from New Jersey, and the two lived in New York City before finally meeting in Providence. The year-old café’s menu draws on John’s midwestern heritage, with homecooked heartland eats like pigs in a blanket and buttermilk biscuits, while the vibe echoes the couple’s New York experience — modern, sleek and spacious. The goal was to make an all-day neighborhood hang-out spot, taking on the café role by day and neighborhood cocktail bar by night, and they did it wonderfully.
As far as getting things done, the space is bright and inviting, with plenty of elbow room in the open-concept space. Grab a spot at the bar or at the oversized booth that presides over the shop like a throne. Next time you need to take a Saint Monday — that is, a day to nurse a Sunday night hangover — stop by Saint Monday.
393 W Fountain St, PVD; Mon – Fri: 9am – midnight; Sat: 10am – midnight: Closed Sun