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Jewel Mlnarik
Jewel Mlnarik A maker of Workfrom and other joys.

8 best coffee shops for writing and meeting writers in Portland


Yes, WiFi is great for many of us that work in coffee shops and bars, but what about those times when the internet is a distraction? For me, that’s when I need to write and why I once threw down cash for Omm — an app that takes over my entire screen and blocks internet distractions.

I was recently asked by a newcomer to Portland for recommendations on good cafes for writing and meeting other poets and authors. I instantly thought of some favorites and places that hosted literature events, but my list was small. So I turned to friends, including one who’d recently asked me for a list of quiet places in his neighborhood before we had such filtering on Workfrom.co. He needed a quiet place out of the house he could go to in the evenings to write and edit literature anthologies and comics. Another friend said she sought places with oversized, comfortable chairs and couches and I realized my list could get out of hand quickly. So I stopped at a great eight. (Click on any for more info and links to related groups and resources.)

What do you look for when you need a place to write? Do you have any favorites not listed here? Let us know!

glyph cafe and arts space

Glyph Cafe and Arts Space

Self proclaimed crossroads for literary and visual arts and culture, they frequently host poetry slams, readings, book launches and First Thursday art openings. During the day it boasts comfy spots, natural light, lots of little tables, in and outdoor spots, good food and small beer, wine and cider menu.

rain or shine coffee house

Rain or Shine Coffee House

Situated at the foot of tranquil Mt Tabor park, Rain or Shine stays open late every Thursday for readings from various local and visiting authors. During the day it boasts comfy spots, natural light, in and outdoor spots and breakfast.

ford food and drink

Ford Food and Drink

At the edge of Division, Clinton and Ladd’s Addition neighborhoods and across from the Independent Printing Resource Center, this creative haven welcomes visitors to the building’s many businesses with daily brunch and lunch specials, a killer happy hour, lots of tiny tables and group tables, a comfy corner and various reading materials. Most weekends you can expect poetry readings or live music in addition to various community events throughout the week.

rocking frog

Rocking Frog

An old house disguised as a coffee shop, this haven boasts nooks and crannies perfect for hiding out, reading and writing in private and one of the best back patios when the sun shines. Snuggle in next to the fireplace in the winter and cool off next to the A/C in summer and focus on your craft and refuel with donuts.

oui press

Oui Press

Folks who remember the grand Press Club on Clinton will likely seek some comfort in Oui Press for their large selection of magazines and the New York Times for sale. While the seating isn’t as cozy as other writing hot spots, it’s easy to get lost in the quiet warmth of the space, its homemade chocolate, soups and fresh baked cakes, cookies and bread.

red e cafe

Red E Cafe

The Red E Cafe’s flagship store in Northeast has long been a community favorite for its eponymous roasts and variety of seating, including several couches and personal tables. It trends on the quieter side of places, free from auditory distractions. The local Coffee House Writers Group meets here occasionally to boot.

palio's coffee

Palio Dessert & Espresso House

Palio’s is a favorite of writers, editors and students for its large shared tables that allow one to spread notes out, being library quiet and a surprising amount of space and seating options. The front room boasts a raised living room lined with book shelves, comfortable seating and personal tables and the back room is lined with those large tables. Concentration is easy to come by here and the deserts are a bonus.

the waypost


Located near the hip and eater friendly Williams neighborhood, the Waypost recently expanded to add more room for a dedicated stage area. Most evenings you can expect live music, trivia or community event showcasing local artists. During the day it boasts dark, secluded areas, comfy spots, little tables, an outdoor patio abutting a community garden, affordable lunch, great happy hour and a full bar.


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