The Best Ann Arbor Coffee Shops For Remote Working

Laura Cowan

By on 08/12/21

The Best Ann Arbor Coffee Shops For Remote Working

As Ann Arbor continues to rise as an emerging tech hub, there are an abundance of tech jobs based in Ann Arbor. Many companies are choosing to stay remote, so living in Ann Arbor and working remotely is popular among those in the Ann Arbor tech community.  

It’s not uncommon to see startup founders or employees working remotely in coffee shops around town. What are the best Ann Arbor coffee shops for remote working? Here’s a list of our tested favorites.

Top Coffee Shops in Ann Arbor for Remote Working

Sweetwaters on Ashley

Duo employees and alum and tech Meetup group hosts flock to Sweetwaters on Ashley and Washington, right at the western edge of downtown Ann Arbor. Sweetwaters was founded in Ann Arbor 14 years ago and now has chains across the northeast. Great food, some of the best coffee in town, plus a friendly atmosphere and easy place to sit make this a favorite of many local remote workers. Best of all? At most times of the day, Sweetwaters is busy but not too busy to find a place to sit, and never too loud to get work done. They also allow hosted Meetup groups with reserved seats for your larger get-together. Great restaurants and shops and the gym are right around the corner, as is the popular garden store Downtown Home and Garden, which sells Zingerman’s baked goods.

Avalon Cafe

A full cafe and restaurant combined with a coffee shop, Avalon on Liberty has taken the place of many previous restaurants, including the Japanese steakhouse and the old Chinese restaurant that was there before it beneath the former offices of Automobile Magazine. Avalon is an outgrowth of a Detroit bakery and has fantastic options whether you grab and go or sit for hours. The coffee shop side mixes a bread counter with pastries and custom sandwiches or prepackaged fridge case sandwiches and salads. The lounge includes wi-fi, couches, and cafe tables. Avalon has cafe hours of 8 am - 3 pm every day, so this isn’t an option for a full workday or afternoon and evening visits. 

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RoosRoast is right across the street from Avalon on Liberty, and has that caramelized dark roast coffee Pacific Northwest natives will love. While friendly and offering free wi-fi, this cafe is pretty loud and busy. This is a favorite morning stop for local workers, but you’ll find fewer people working here longterm during the day as it’s hard to grab a seat. Sidewalk seating is sometimes available, as is a curbside piano, though that’s probably not going to help you get your work done. 

If you have lots of friends in the Ann Arbor startup community, you’ll probably run into friends here. We’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing for your networking but maybe not for your productivity. Roos is one block from several parking structures, but works best if you’re already downtown and stopping in for brief work sessions or a break.

Cahoots Cafe

Cahoots is a downtown Ann Arbor tech-focused coworking space extraordinaire, including a gym, event spaces, multiple options for large or small coworking options for startups and remote workers. They also have a public coffee shop. Right now, seating is limited, though there are outdoor seating options during the pandemic. This is a great option for remote tech workers looking to network a bit on the fly or meet up with connections downtown with a little more privacy than a mainstream coffee shop. 

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Sweetwaters Kerrytown

We mention another Sweetwaters because this one, located in the cobblestoned historic Kerrytown District on the north end of downtown Ann Arbor, is completely different from the Sweetwaters on Ashley. Located in a building with shops, a butcher, and some incredible restaurants including vegan options and Korean cuisine (yes, you might need to go there for lunch), Sweetwaters in Kerrytown is a popular morning drop-in location for local high school and college students, but clears out mid-day for a sleepier vibe. The cozy coffee shop has a gas fireplace, plus lots of seating indoors and out. It’s a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon in the courtyard next door. Did we mention that Sweetwaters has some of the best baked goods of the coffee shops around Ann Arbor? We love Sweetwaters for longer remote work visits because you can order any number of coffees or teas with fabulous cakes, donuts, ham and cheese croissants, quiche—you name it. 

Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company

Soon to take over the previous Espresso Royale location on South State Street toward the south side of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company is now building the second location that former Espresso Royale affiliated employees have taken over after the other South University Espresso Royale location was purchased by M-36 Coffee Roasters. This location has yet to open, but the previous Espresso Royale was a popular location for south side startup and tech workers, as well as realtors and other mobile professionals, and we anticipate this new coffee shop will be even more enjoyable. South State Street is somewhat removed from the rest of downtown, so offers an important option for remote workers who are not located downtown to be able to put up their feet (not literally) and get some work done. 

Black Diesel Coffee

Another location away from downtown that gives remote workers a great space to work is Black Diesel Coffee, another coffee shop that offers Pacific Northwest style dark roast. This shop also sells sandwiches, gelato, and has an outdoor fireplace. The busy traffic from Washtenaw is noisy outdoors, but this is still a wonderful place to stop in and work when you’re on the southeast side of town, as much of this corner of Ann Arbor is not very walkable or pedestrian friendly. Diesel has a lot of local college students, and the staff know their stuff on how to make you a great cup of coffee. This is a great remote work option for parents who might send smaller kids to summer activities at the nearby Ann Arbor Rec & Ed building. 

Argus Farm Stop

Two locations on this one, which we mention together because the only difference is really the location: Argus Farm Stop has a coffee shop in the Old West Side of Ann Arbor, and on Packard on the southeast side, both walkable to downtown and offering free parking. Argus Farm Stop is a concept started by a husband and wife team who wanted to bring fresh locally grown produce to people where they lived downtown. It’s a combo neighborhood grocery selling only locally sourced natural meats, dairy, produce, flowers, soaps and lotions, and frozen prepared calzones and Cornish pasties. We love how Argus offers covered indoor and outdoor seating and a super friendly atmosphere. Everything sold here is super high quality, and the free parking makes it easier to kick back and stay a while. Try the spinach pie. 

Plum Market

Similar to Whole Foods, Plum Market is a local health food chain in Ann Arbor that has locations in northwest and northeast Ann Arbor and combines a Zingerman’s coffee shop with the main grocery store. Unlike most Zingerman’s locations around Ann Arbor that are either a full restaurant or storefront such as the bakery or creamery, the coffee shops at Plum Market function like a normal coffee shop where you can order to-go or sit down and use the wi-fi. We love Plum as a remote work option for partial days where we are on the go. It’s quiet, and easy to combine with grocery shopping.Plus there’s a free parking lot parking at both locations. 


Check Out Remote Ann Arbor Jobs

Like many other cities, Ann Arbor is now home to a number of startups and remote jobs that allow you to work from home or out of a coffee shop. With a large list of choices we could only begin to cover here, you’re sure to find a great job and a great place to remote work if you’re considering Ann Arbor for your next job. We hope to see you around town!


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