It’s colder inside your flat than out, and sunbathing is no longer a procrastination option, which means it’s the perfect time to take your remote work to a café! But where to go? Where is the coffee good and the wifi free-flowing? Where will the baristas welcome you and your power cord, instead of passive-aggressively glaring at you until you leave? Read on, laptop warrior, for The Real Malta’s real and unbiased round-up of the best remote work cafés on the island.
Internet: Fast and unlimited, but iffy
Outlets: Several, though one or two might require yoga poses to access
Opening Hours: W-Sun: 9:00 to 16:00
This one’s a little slice of New Zealand on the Sliema waterfront across from Surfside. Closed late afternoons and evenings, it’s nonetheless one of the best places to park your workspace in the mornings. With several easily accessible plugs, friendly staff, and usually some flavor of indie rock playing in the background, you’re likely to find other Sliema-based remote professionals here. I’ve even made several industry contacts just by sitting at the right table. There’s only three things to be aware of. 1) It gets crowded on the weekends. 2) Internet can go on and off, so I wouldn’t recommend doing anything bandwidth-reliant. And finally, 3) the food, which often includes gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian fare, is delicious and ABSOLUTELY NOT CALORIE FREE.
Books and Cups
Internet: Reliable, unlimited
Outlets: Several easily accessible
Opening Hours: M-F: 9:30 – 19:00; Sat: 14:00 – 19:00
A newcomer in Gzira, Books and Cups is a cozy café plus library tucked away on Gzira Road, just past Manoel Island. It’s easy to miss its hipster-inspired sign, but inside boasts a five-language collection of books to peruse between laptop focus sessions. In addition to the books and coffee, there’s a selection of sweets and several lunch deals available, plus a few convenient outlets for when you want to charge up. At the moment, it seems to still be a hidden gem, so take advantage of the quiet atmosphere here while it lasts.
Internet: Reliable, unlimited
Outlets: A few, though only one is obvious and easily accessible
Opening Hours: MTWF: 10:00 – 18:30; Thu: 10:00 – 14:30; Sat 9:00 – 17:30; Sun: 15:00 – 19:30
For those of you nearer to the center of the island, Molly’s Cafe is the go-to place in Mosta for students, creatives, and random people typing things. It’s located on Constitution Street, several blocks up from the Mosta Dome. Their opening hours vary day to day, but most of the time they’re open until at least 6 pm, making Molly’s a great place to park with your work in the afternoons (except on Thursdays). Plugs aren’t super available, so make sure you come with a full charge, but the wide menu of drinks, lunch plates, and desserts more than makes up for it. And seriously, who can resist these PANCAKES?
Internet: Unlimited but sometimes iffy
Outlets: A few, a couple convenient
Opening Hours: M-W: 9:30 – 20:00; Thu-Sun: 9:30 – 23:00
You know those salon-style 1800’s coffee houses where all the intellectuals and artists used to meet to exchange work and come up with crazy ideas like staging revolutions against the aristocracy? Inspirations, the café part of St. James Cavalier’s center for creativity, is basically that—except with unlimited internet and pop music playing softly in the background. It’s the meeting place of choice for artists, NGOs, and creative industry folks based in Valletta. The food is usual Maltese restaurant fare, but the coffee is decent and it’s definitely a place where you can spend six hours straight finishing the design for your organization’s latest print publication. Trust me, I’ve done it.
Internet: Reliable, unlimited (though you might have to refresh it every hour or so)
Opening Hours: Every day, 8:00 – 22:00
Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without mention of British-based Starbucks knock-off coffeehouse chain Costa Coffee. The coffee is about what you’d expect: overpriced and oversized, with an array of syrups to make a dentist cringe. Still, in terms of work environment, the seats are comfy, the wifi is reliable and free, electrical outlets are everywhere, and the baristas will never so much as raise an eyebrow at you if you stay there the entire day—though they might gently insist that you probably want another grande vanilla whip caramel popcorn latte (or something like that) to keep you going. Expect these places to be busy, especially during evenings and weekends. Locations include Spinola Bay in St. Julians, in Birkirkara on Triq Birbal, and the airport (with two outside security and one inside that runs through the night for your red-eye pick-me-up).
If you’re desperate for a place to work, most hotel cafés, such as Talk of Town (The Palace Hotel, Sliema) or Café Juliani (Hotel Juliani, St. Julians) are pretty open to people spending an hour or few working there. Just make sure you order a cappuccino with your wifi. Mind, the coffee and food in these places (especially in the fancier hotels) tends to the expensive side. Café Juliani charges €2.50 for a cappuccino, beating even Costa Coffee in terms of pricey. However, these spaces stay quiet, usually feature table service, and often have enough free seating at any time for impromptu coworking meetups.
Mint, Molly’s, or somewhere else entirely? Where’s your favorite remote work café space in Malta? Let us know in the comments!