I don’t normally write articles like this and I also rarely class myself as a “digital nomad”, the reason being the term is an oxymoron to itself. At best, the term is an excuse for people who were apparently “fed up with their jobs” so they ran away to find a “better life”. I smell excrement. But sometimes, there is no better way to describe my business and travel lifestyle to others, “oh you’re a dig-it-ALL nomad?”. Yes, OK. Let’s roll with it then.
Most self-classed “digital nomads” are not nomadic in the sense of the word at all, nor are they “location independent” since their independence ironically relies solely on that specific location, and the fact that it has Wi-Fi. Alanis Mozzarella has just written a cheesy new verse for her 1996 hit single. With this irony, travel bloggers flocking to Chiang Mai and Bali spring to mind. It is digital, but it’s not really nomadic unless you are on the move while you are working and are properly backpacking it rather than becoming a middle class white person being a foreign immigrant (“ex-Patriot”) in Thailand.
But hey ho, if the Chiang Mai crew can be digital nomads, then my barmy lifestyle of fake countries, war zones, disputed territories, countries you told me to avoid and backpacking hotspots has all the makings of real life nomadery too. And I work from a lapdog so I’m just as much a digital nomad as Wee Jimmy in Chiang Mai. Let’s get digital for once. These are my favourite Wi-Fi cafes in Bishkek, which is my favourite city in the world to be a digital nomad in. In no particular order.
1.Coffee on Manas
On Manas Avenue, sits the cool “Coffee on Manas”, also just called “Coffee” or sometimes Coffee House KG. It’s here where I managed to type up a whopping ten chapters over my book over some cappuccinos and pancakes.
It’s a very relaxed coffee shop with good coffee and cakes, a good place to meet up with people too – I met up with Andrei and Evgenia from Silk Road Explore.com and Aigul from Apple Hostel Bishkek in here.
For fast Wi-Fi and a central location, you cannot really beat Adriano Coffee. I station myself in here a few times a week when I’m in Bishkek.
Also to escape the Kyrgyz food for a day, they serve French and Italian food, the pizza and muffins are great and the coffee is superb. Adriano Coffee have five locations in Bishkek but I prefer the central one on Isanov Street.
They do have a discount card, where if you buy 10 coffees you get the 11th free.
As I was getting my visas for Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Gorno Badakhshan in Bishkek, Cave Coffee was the perfect option. It is situated south of the Vefa Centre and Railway Station and only a short dander from the Afghanistan Embassy.
They do good coffee and pancakes and it’s quiet, on a main street on Gorky Street.
4.Cup and Cake
Cup and Cake is run by a local lady and entrepreneur and again it is situated in the south part of Bishkek, pretty handy for the Embassies I was visiting. It is on the other side of Gorky Street to Cave Coffee.
Arguably the leader in Wi-Fi cafes in Bishkek, Sierra Coffee now has 4 venues throughout the city and I’ve drank in three of them. My favourite being the city centre location on Manas Avenue. This cafe is full of locals and foreigners all working from their laptops. The Wi-Fi is fast, coffee is good and the staff all speak good English.
Sierra Coffee have a loyalty card where you get your seventh coffee free. As a regular to all these cafes, this comes in handy as I’m working 7 days a week here, often drinking multiple coffees each day.
Also at Sierra, they do a great breakfast which includes a tea and coffee for 280 Som (£2.80) and the pumpkin muffins are also well recommended.
Sierra Coffee have four locations now and I much prefer the central one on Manas Avenue:
Sierra Coffee – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
– Manas 57/1: +996 (312) 311 248 (Hours: 07:30-23:00)
– Tash Rabat: +996 (312) 903 849 (Hours: 07:30-23:00)
– Mederova 52: +996 (770) 969 690 (Hours: 08:30-23:00)
– AUCA New Campus: +996 (770) 969-673 (Hours: 7:30-19:30)
On my journey from just another shit travel blogger to becoming a professional travel blogger, Bishkek is far and away my favourite city in the world to chill out and get my work done. I cannot be distracted here and these five coffee shops are all superb in their own way. I write this live and will be based in Bishkek for another few weeks, with perhaps a return someday. It’s a really cool and under-rated city and I’m not sure whether to promote it too much or not, as I like it the way it is. I don’t want it to become too popular and then, I won’t like it as much.
Here is a video I made in Sierra Coffee: