Le Pain Quotidien
This French-themed chain bakery is a safe bet when it comes to Wi-Fi and its locations in Madrid are pretty spacious, so you’re likely to snag a spot at a table or on the long communal table. Food ranges from freshly-baked croissants and other pastries to a good range of vegetarian options and, of course, plenty of café au lait.
Swinton & Grant
This gallery space and café in Lavapiés attracts art-lovers and the general vibe is street art, from the latest contemporary artists’ work on the walls to the books for sale in the book shop. The café sells coffee, a range of teas and homemade cakes and sandwiches. The best thing about the space is you can relax with a book once you’ve had enough of work/browsing the web.
La Ciudad Invisible
Prepare to seriously stoke your wanderlust at La Ciudad Invisible, a café-meets-travel bookshop in the centre of Madrid that prides itself on being a place where travellers can meet, relax and use its free Wi-Fi to plan their upcoming adventures. There is a good range of new travel guides to buy and used ones to consult. The wide-ranging menu includes juices, teas, coffees, craft beers and cocktails, as well as tapas options for when you’re feeling peckish.
Lolina Vintage Café
With decor that comes straight out of an eccentric aunt’s living room as well as a menu of both sweet and savoury treat, Lolina’s is a feast for the eyes, and for the stomach. Although it gets busy at night, when the thing to order is its signature mojito cockatil, it’s more laid-back during the day, especially during the week. Grab a comfy spot on a sofa and enjoy its bargain €2.50 breakfast while you work.
La Casa Encendida
This social and cultural centre, close to the Reina Sofia museum of contemporary art, is a great place to plug in and do some work, surrounded by inspiring exhibits. The café has both long, communal tables and individual tables and serves tea, coffee and a range of healthy snacks, including homemade cakes. The café also has a lunchtime menu del día, a fixed-price menu that is based around ecologically-sourced produce. Don’t miss the rooftop garden before you go.
Yes, it might be teeming with achingly cool types but the brunches and breakfasts at Federal Café, an Aussie-run café chain, are really good and just the ticket if you fancy something a little different form the normal Spanish options. From French toast covered in maple syrup and bananas to runny Eggs Benedict and its own breakfast burger, there are lots of options on the menu. There are communal tables (you might have to work here at weekends) and individual ones, and the Wi-Fi is free.
OK, this one isn’t exactly a café but is definitely worth remembering for when you’re traipsing the streets of Madrid in search of free Wi-Fi. The Cibeles Palace, the former headquarters of Spain’s post office, is now a cultural centre that regularly shows exhibitions. It also has a good range of newspapers and free Wi-Fi across three floors, as well as comfy sofas.