I didn’t know quite what to expect from Ukraine, before I landed here. I certainly didn’t expect to find an undiscovered haven for digital nomads and remote workers in Ukraine’s quickly growing collection of busy coworking spaces and anti-cafes.
The anti-cafe concept is relatively new, beginning in Russia in 2011, and spread across Ukraine and several other post-Soviet countries over the next few years. Instead of charging for drinks and food, anti-cafes charge per hour, and give away tea, coffee, and snacks for free.
Most anti-cafes have desks and chairs for working, beanbags and sofas for relaxing, and many have a collection or board games, consoles for hanging out with friends, meeting rooms, and even cozy theatre rooms. They all have fast Wifi. Think of Ukraine’s anti-cafes as a Silicon Valley-esque startup office that you can use whenever you want.
After spending a week working out of several spots in Odessa, here are the top spots I’d recommend checking out if you’re looking for a cafe with wifi to work from or a coworking space in Odessa, Ukraine.
Impact HUB Odessa
Stretching over four floors, Impact HUB in Odessa is more than just an anti-cafe or coworking space, it’s also an event venue and gathering place for startup and social entrepreneurs in Odessa.
The ground floor “Living Room” is a drop-in space for daily or hourly workers, with ample desks, beanbags, and a barista to make a fresh coffee for you.
Terminal 42 is another huge anti-cafe style coworking space in the open plan loft on the top floor of an office building in downtown Odessa. There’s also several meeting rooms (one with only beanbags), and a table tennis table.
New York Coffee
New York Coffee is a cozy spot to hang out and relax on the many couches and comfy chairs. There’s a collection of board games, and a couple of big TVs with consoles. This was a quiet spot downtown during the day to get some work done.
I didn’t make it to Perron 7 during my time in Odessa, but this space gets a mention for a few reasons. Perron 7 is half anti-cafe, and half hostel. As well as the cafe, theatre and event space, there’s a bedroom with bunks for sleeping (included in the 150 UAH daily fee, including breakfast).