Wireless Coffeehouses in Seattle?
I'm a freelance writer and just got a new laptop w/wireless access, so am investigating wireless cafes around the city.
Does anyone have any favorite spots for sitting and hanging out? Am thinking of places like the old Still Life--big tables, not horribly crowded, innocuous (or even enjoyable) background music, etc....
I know there are compilations of Wireless cafes, but most are focused on the quality of the wifi connection, rather than the quality of the whole experience.
One more thing-- because I spend my life in coffeehouses and could continue this subject forever.
Yesterday I was itching to work in the sunshine so after bumping down to Folklife to get my organic on, I remembered that the Olympic Sculpture Park has a cafe and decided to cross my fingers for wifi.
No such luck. If the park had wifi and I had myself one of those sun-deflecting screen protectors I would be there all-day everyday. Seriously I think Seattle is ready to hop on the wifi bus and go citywide. --Check http://www.seattle.gov/html/citizen/w... and email email@example.com to let them know we should--
Anyway, point of post is Uptown Espresso right next to OSP has no wifi or seating, nor is there any other decent coffeehouse in the vicinity. I walked up to Western and Wall to a place called Elbasha that has wifi . It was probably eighty degrees inside-- hotter than outside-- and I ate the worst poppyseed muffin of my life. The music was hard metal and the door was open adding the deafening roar of the giant semis getting off the viaduct. They had one plug so I recharged and sent out a few emails that couldn't wait. Then I left.
Stopped by Macrina on my way downtown. It's one of my favorite lunch spots, but I had forgotten how close I was to it. I was told they have no wifi, but it's possible to snag some from a neighboring building. Didn't stop to check, but perhaps good to know.
Anyway. I'm ready for a citywide wifi. What do you guys feel?
Wow, this thread is slanted with a ton of north end recommendations.
I'm a harsh judge of both espresso quality and ambience. And I've been around. It seems that wifi is a given these days. Here are a few of my favorites.
My number one is Uptown Espresso at 4th and Wall in Belltown-- there are several other locations (Lower QA, Waterfront, Downtown, West Seattle..). Lots of space, good writing environment-- I'm a writer as well.
My second is Joe Bar on Harvard and Roy in Capitol Hill. Really nice to work outside in the spring and summer. Good place to work for hours but it can get quite bustly. Full of artsy types from Cornish and the 'hood. Number one for atmosphere but the space is small and you might feel too cramped.
I also like Victrola, Bauhaus, Caffe Ladro, Essential Baking, Galaxie, and Top Pot.
Mioposto in Mount Baker is fun too-- family friendly, but lots of space to work during the day.
Occasionally I'll go to Elliott Bay except I can't handle the windowless basement for very long. Grand Central Bakery in Pioneer Square is nice too.
On Caps I would skip Vivace (busy with students/never adequate room) and Caffe Vita (unreliable/very slow connection)-- and, of course, corporate coffee is a big NO.
Good points, sophie. I mostly work in N. Seattle. I agree Vivace is too crowded and Victrola on 15th is also too crowded, but has good tables if you can get one and lots of people watching. I hear there's an internet tea place around there too.
Top Pot is awesome, but closes early at 7 so that's not good for me as more of a late nite writer.
My favorite on cap hill because no else seems to be there is the Online Coffee Company on 14th and pine. It's huge and empty every time I've gone in there, but I've gone in mostly off hours in the evenings.
The Ladro on 15th on cap hill is nice and quite, but the Ladro downtown, near the Paramount is too small, and not a place to work. I've never been to the Belltown location, but I hear it's nice.
I've actually conducted an telephone interview at the Ladro downtown. Granted, it was a bit hectic, but sometimes it's the most convenient as there aren't many decent places in that immediate vicinity.
I agree with you regarding upper caps Vic. It can get overly crowded-- but generally I find it to be a good workspace. Lower is more relaxed though.
FYI Victrola on lower caps (Pike and Bellevue) requires a visit to the "power station" to recharge. No outlets except for at the high tables on one side of the room. But usually it's chill enough that you can leave your homebase spot and recharge at the tables without feeling space greedy.
That tea place you mentioned is called Remedy Teas. I've been once and tried to get a friend to go with me the other day for lunch but he was more in the mood for a bagel. Very modern decor. Also it's underground. I don't remember the light situation. Great service though. I plan to go back. I'll let you know if it seems to be an all-day kind of work spot.
I think I might've made the original posting in this thread. Anyhow, I'm still freelancing and still looking for great places to camp out. My current favorite North End destination is Hotwire just north of 175th on 15th Northeast. It's actually in Shoreline. The tables are huge, the coffee is great, and the staff is friendly. I love that place.
I work a lot in cafes and my favorite by far and away is Wayward Coffeehouse (http://waywardcoffee.com/) in Greenwood on 85th and Greenwood Ave. Love it!!
Why? Wireless, organic coffee, outlets everywhere, very early and late hours, big tables, couches, lots of open space, low noise, not too crowded, pastries, sandwiches, independant coffeehouse with a great owner who's passionate about her small business and community, near Gorditos and Seven Stars Pepper which I think is a plus.
Cafe Diablo on Queen Anne is my second choice. Late hours, whole 2nd floor just for work with no noise (but its temperature control is questionable). The only downside is that I don't like their food except for the tropical fruit salad. They serve high-end expensive desserts, wine, sweets etc.
Another great option is Wingmasters in Ballard if you want beer and mozzerella sticks with your wireless instead of coffee. The Seattle public library branches are also not to be discounted for wireless and a quiet work environment.
Zoka is too crowded with Tangletown locals and UW students. That's the same with most U-district cafes I've been to. Cafe Verite is not a work-friendly place or layout (ever try to work while rabid hordes descend for cupcakes and coffee before a movie?) Cafe Fiore is one of my favorites on Queen Anne but closes at 6, same with Herkimer. Chocolati has no seats. Fremont Ladro has nice big library tables, but the one in Upper Queen Anne has tiny uncomfortable cafe tables.
Zoka in Greenlake is good (and the original), but the UZoka in the University District (just north of UVillage) is even better for WiFi... I think it was built with laptops in mind.
Also, try the Green Bean in Greenwood and 85th. They have wireless, great food, and the staff is awesome. Plus it's a non profit with fair trade and organic coffee and loose leaf teas.
Caffe Fiore on Queen Anne (W Galer @ 3rd, near Trader Joe's) has WiFi, great organic coffee and eats, and a super friendly staff. Music tends to be at an acceptable volume and decent (mostly KEXP-style). It can become laptop central in the afternoons or on weekends, but not too crowded. They have a big round table that usually has about six people very spread out around it on laptops quietly clicking away - it's my favorite spot.
You didn't tell us if you have a particular neighborhood in mind.
The one I like downtown is the Zeitgeist - 2nd/Jackson across from the King County metro office. It has a lot of Still Life vibe - it can get crowded at the lunch hour.
Haven't been here in about a year (not because I don't want to, just not part of the routine), but if you want to hide out, there is the Monkey Grind Espresso on 85th/Dayton (2 blocks east of Greenwood).
Been my experience that the wifi is rarely the limiting factor - its the number of outlets.
NOt sure if you can find the "Old Still Life", however here are a few suggestions.
Zoka in Greenlake - busy but always great baked goods and strong internet access.
Herkimer Coffee on Phinney ridge. A perennial favorite and very cool. Not so busy and never an attitude.
Cafe Solstice in the U-district.
Cafe Verite in Ballard. mmmm, cupcakes.
Why pay for wireless at the Tully's next door when you can get it here for free?
I like solstice, but last time I was there it had no wireless support outside a weak city of seattle connection.
If you like still life, the u-district branch lives on as 'star life on the oasis'. While its name is gag-worthy, it has a decent wi-fi signal and is open until midnight so you can live the...er...starlife.
Seconding Zoka, but also consider Fremont Coffee, Chocolati (Wallingford), or Blue Dog (U-district) as good places to work/surf the net.