Downtown Wi-Fi and Food

Dave · December 13, 2004 at 8:16 pm · Filed Under Off-topic ranting 

I’m in need of a suggestion. I’m going to need a couple of places downtown to spend Thursday and Friday working via VPN using my wireless laptop. I’ve checked out Wi-Fi Freespot and WifiMug, but it’s hard to tell how comfortable these places are or how well they’d put up with me hanging out there for 6-8 hours.

So, if you’ve got some recommendations for somewhere downtown with free wireless access, decent food in close proximity (if it’s a coffee shop, a solid not-too-expensive eatery nearby), preferably with an outlet available to the public, I’d love to know about it. I’m going to the Sonics game Friday night, so perhaps one in the general area of Key Arena for that day might work out best. Oh, and parking would be a bonus, but I’m probably pushing my luck there.

And, since I’m asking, anyone know if they allow backpacks in the Key, or am I going to have to find somewhere to stick it during the game?


26 Responses to “Downtown Wi-Fi and Food”

  1. DG on December 13th, 2004 8:24 pm

    Backpacks not allowed in the key unless ya want them to empty it 100% onto the table before ya head in…

    Starbucks not a good enough wireless spot for ya?

    I drove around downtown once for 4-5 square miles and didn’t lose my wireless connection for than a few seconds each time as I switched access points…

  2. billll on December 13th, 2004 8:24 pm

    the central library: its not near the key but there is free internet

  3. Dave on December 13th, 2004 8:29 pm

    Starbucks charges. I’m cheap.

    And, uhh, I’ve already scheduled lunch with two friends, so the library may not be what they had in mind. Thanks though.

  4. KC on December 13th, 2004 8:29 pm

    You could probably park yourself in Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square for hours without any fuss. Can’t remember how good the outlet situation is, but there’s lots of tables to spread out. And if they get sick of you, the Elliott Bay Cafe is right around the corner.

  5. Ron on December 13th, 2004 8:30 pm

    It’s not exactly downtown, but the Elysian Brewery on Capitol Hill is fabulous. Good food, great beer, fantastic staff, free WiFi. 1221 E. Pike,

    Espresso Vivace also has free WiFi and is also fantastic, they make the best cappuccino I’ve had outside of Italy. 901 E Denny just off Broadway,

  6. David J Corcoran on December 13th, 2004 8:31 pm

    Man. I miss living in a hip, big city. The nearest Wireless (free or pay) connection to my house is 200 miles away.

  7. KC on December 13th, 2004 8:31 pm

    Oh! Or you could do Top Pot Belltown, which is closer to the Key. The danger there is sending yourself into sugar shock by eating donuts all day.

  8. Sriram on December 13th, 2004 8:37 pm

    No bagpacks in the Key. They will ask you to keep it in a distant room and collect it after the game, so if there is anything valuble in there, you are at your own.

  9. Brian on December 13th, 2004 8:56 pm

    Caffe Zingaro has free wireless – it’s the closest place to the Key that I know of (on 1st N and Mercer, you can throw rocks at Key Arena). I spend a few hours a week there.

    If you hang out in the loft at Top Pot in Belltown, I don’t think they’d mind too much if you were there for a while. Ralph’s in Belltown doesn’t seem to mind me hanging out there, either. The library is obviously the place where they care the least, though.

  10. Tom B on December 13th, 2004 9:04 pm

    Top Pot coffee has wireless and decent coffee/lounging.. I see quite a few people in there for long stretches.. The one on capitol hill for sure and there is also one on 4th near the cinerama which might have the same setup.. both are a quick drive down to the key..

  11. roger tang on December 13th, 2004 9:05 pm

    Actually, you may want to check the Centerhouse at Seatte Center…..they were fooling around with free access a month or so back…so see if that’s still available.

  12. joebob on December 13th, 2004 9:18 pm

    Zeitgeist in pioneer square is pretty good, nice sandwiches, not too expensive and they don’t mind you hanging out for awhile. Plus it’s a pretty big place so it doesn’t get too crowded.

  13. Bill J on December 13th, 2004 9:21 pm

    I have free Wi-Fi but I live on the Plateau and…uh…nevermind…

  14. E on December 13th, 2004 9:41 pm

    Well, David J., the benefits of a big, hip city aren’t just limited to places where you can get Wifi — you also get tons of traffic, sirens wailing perpetually, high taxes, and urban blight.

  15. Mark on December 13th, 2004 9:44 pm

    You could drop your backpack off at my place while you’re at the game. I’ll be home that night. Corner of Mercer and 4th west, an easy walk to the game.

  16. Shoeless Jose on December 13th, 2004 10:49 pm

    Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square, Top Pot on Cap Hill and the Top Pot on 5th (as well as Bauhaus) are all owned by the same two cool brothers. You can hang out there as long as you want, provided you buy a coffee. I’d strongly suggest the one on 5th Ave near Blanchard(under the monorail, not that it’s running at the moment) — it’s large, rarely crowded, reasonably close to Seattle Center, and the parking for the other ones is insane (I live across the street from the Top Pot on Cap Hill and believe me there is NO parking) whereas there are all-day lots scattered around Belltown. There are several food options around the 5th Ave Top Pot, depending on what you’re looking for. The Palace Kitchen further up 5th isn’t for the cheap, but there are several places good for a quick lunch on 2nd (eg Noodle Ranch) though if you succumb to the donuts at Top Pot you may not need lunch.

  17. Pete Livengood on December 13th, 2004 11:03 pm

    Ahh, good to see the Elysian plugged. Just pointing out that Elysian’s other spot, Tangletown (corner of 55th and Meridian in Wallinford/Green Lake neighborhood) also has free wi-fi, and it’s a bit closer to the Key.

    Dave, I am also going to the game Friday. I’d be happy to meet you (especially at the Elysian, either variety), and give you a ride to the Key — you can keep the backpack in my car if you want.

  18. eponymous coward on December 13th, 2004 11:10 pm

    Why not the downtown library? There’s tons of places close to the library to eat (pick up a rock and throw it, you’ll hit someplace), they don’t mind people hanging out for 8 hours, outstanding architecture, close to the bus lines when you go to the Key. Heck, they even allow and sell coffee (as long as you’re not next to the books).

  19. tommy kim on December 13th, 2004 11:28 pm

    Just wanted to second the the reccomendation on Zingaro (post #9). Free wi-fi, very good coffee, about 150 yards away from Key Arena, decent food but there’s plenty of good food within a 100 yard radius of that place.

  20. JJM on December 14th, 2004 1:17 am

    Bauhaus on Pine, west of Broadway is a great place with WiFi. The place has brick and a cool library style bookwall. The baristas are attractive and the coffee good. They have Morning Glory Chai, Kool Aid for a buck, pastries up the yin yang (earlier in the day) and since the cooridor between Capitol Hill and Downtown is such a hub you do all the people-watching your little heart desires while working. As for food in the area, tasty and well-priced I could suggest a few dozen places on Capitol Hill. Closer to Bauhaus there’s a great Indian restaurant on Pike (one street over) and a couple blocks east. On the other side of Broadway up Pike is La Puerta, one of the best Mexican restaurants in town. I’ve driven by the little cafe on the corner of Mercer and 1st, looks nice enough, people are always sitting around smiling. Bamboo Gardens on Mercer not far from the Key is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in town. I’ll stop typing now. Enjoy whatever destinations you choose.

  21. Bela Txadux on December 14th, 2004 1:19 am

    Dave, blog-maven,

    Go to Fremont, five from the Key by car, ten by bus. There is a cafe out 35th toward Ballard on the south side at the end of the strip which has free internet and is set up for the long sitters. It’s directly across from Cafe Ladro, which is where I prefer to hang when I’m there but which doesn’t have free wifi as I recall. You have numerous outstandting food-and-brew options in the neighborhood.

  22. Bela Txadux on December 14th, 2004 1:22 am

    I love Bauhaus too, btw, and hung there for two years pre-wifi when they first opened. But it will take you a lot longer to get to lower Queen Anne, and the only really good place to eat, although it’s perfectly adequate, is the Six Arms one block south on Melrose. But Dad Watson’s in Fremont is the same outfit down to the tuna melt with Terminator combos.

  23. coffee addict on December 14th, 2004 11:04 am

    Top Pot downtown… comfortable with good coffee and really good sandwiches. It’s close to the key. Staff is fun, wifi is free, and there’s seriously cute girls that come in all the time.

  24. Shoeless Jose on December 14th, 2004 12:28 pm
  25. JMB on December 14th, 2004 4:50 pm

    I’m obviously biased, but if you’re looking for a lunch spot on Thursday or Friday, might I suggest Jitterbug in Wallingford? I’ll even be there from open until 4pm or so.

  26. Brian on December 14th, 2004 7:59 pm

    #11 is right – there is a free hotspot inside the Seattle Center House. I’m using it right now… it doesn’t look like there’s many power outlets, though.