Nunu Chocolates cafe is a nice spot to work and relax in Boerum Hill
Photo by Joshua Kristal
Every underemployed, self-employed, work-from-home, just wanna mess around laptop-toting fool has his or her favorite spot to suck up caffeine, sustenance and free Wi-Fi.
Mine is Abilene on Court Street in Carroll Gardens. It’s not an early morning spot—the bar opens at 11 a.m.—but it’s usually quiet until 5 p.m. or so, with many outlets free.
In warm weather, outdoor seating at Abilene is a nice plus. You can have a drink, of course, but the bar also serves coffee and soda, and the tenders don’t seem to mind if you’re not drinking alcohol–so long as you’re tipping. There’s also a bar menu of lowbrow comfort foods, such as sliders, chicken fingers and grilled cheese if your cholesterol count is too low.
Of course, Abilene is just one of many Brooklyn spots with free Wi-Fi. And so, for your web-surfing — I mean working –pleasure, here is a semi-complete list of South Brooklyn restaurants, bars and cafes with free Wi-Fi. Leave your favorite in the comment section if we left it off.
Baked — The baked goods are worth the walk, bike or bus ride over to this public transportation-bereft corner of Brooklyn. Unless you live in Red Hook, of course, in which case you’re probably already taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi, excellent coffee and made-in-heaven, somewhat famous goodies baked here. The cafe opens at 7 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. weekends.
Apartment 138 — This comfortable restaurant with bar and backyard garden offers its customers free Wi-Fi with their breakfast, lunch or dinner orders. Take advantage of the half-priced bottles of wine every Tuesday. The Smith Street restaurant opens at 9 a.m. for breakfast and 10 a.m. for brunch.
Brazen Head — The only other bar on our free Wi-Fi list, this Atlantic Avenue beer haven opens at noon daily, and advises that after two or three drinks you stop working and start having fun.
Building on Bond — By night, the restaurant transforms into a trendy Boerum Hill destination. By day, it’s a quiet café where laptops and Brooklynites of leisure enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. for coffee and breakfast pastries. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m., when you can grab hangover cures such as the cheesesteak or the B.O.B. burger (mixed with Andouille sausage for a kick) served on a pretzel roll with house-cut fries. The free Wi-Fi runs all day long.
Clover’s Fine Art Gallery and Cafe — Yes, it has a Clover coffee machine, along with free Wi-Fi and an attached art gallery. Nibble on panini, Jamaican patties, tea breads and cookies while taking in the colorful traffic along Atlantic Avenue.
Flying Saucer Café — This laid-back café on Atlantic Avenue with mismatched tables and chairs is full of singletons at tables brimming with books and laptops (plugs are accessible). The Wi-Fi is free, and the food and coffee decent. Reasonable prices attract students and thrift-store creative types. The café opens at 7:30 a.m. on the weekdays and 8 a.m. on the weekends.
NuNu Chocolates — Nunu Chocolates isn’t a big space, and its menu is small, but if you’re looking for a break from your normal Wi-Fi routine, this Atlantic Avenue chocolate store makes for a nice diversion. This is more of a drink than a food kind of place — pastries often run out by afternoon. The hot cocoa is excellent. The store opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends.
Fall Café — The neighborhood’s original office for freelancers, the Fall Café is packed by late morning with Apple-toting workaholics pounding out their next script. Seating is hodgepodge on thrift store couches and chairs, and laptop workers are asked to share tables. It’s professional and nice. Get there before 10 a.m. for the most comfortable seat. Decent coffee and a varied menu of breakfast and lunch favorites satisfy the regulars. The café opens at 7:30 a.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. weekends.
Maybelle’s Café — This relaxed Henry Street café (formerly Naidre’s, and before that, the Cammareri Brothers bakery featured in Moonstruck, starring a pre-crazy Nicholas Cage and Cher) offers online surfers and workers free Wi-Fi and a decent number of outlets. The Wi-Fi extends to the outdoor benches, and it’s on all night. Maybelle’s offers a full menu of Intelligentsia coffee, teas, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, soups and salads. The café opens at 7 a.m. with weekend brunch kicking into gear around 9 a.m.
Provence en Boite — This traditional Parisian cafe on Smith Street serves excellent soups, pastas, sandwiches, croissants and crepes, made by award winning French chef and owner Jean-Jacques Bernat, alongside French standards such as the croque monsieur and croque madame for breakfast and lunch. Salads are nice and the poached eggs are a whipped, lemon-infused marvel. Lattes are served in a cup the size of a small bowl. Lots of Euro-candies, cookies and French bread to take home. Free Wi-Fi is an added bonus. The restaurant opens at 7:30 a.m.
Ted & Honey — Staff at this bustling Cobble Hill cafe prefer laptop-toters to sit in the middle communal table or at the bar. Enjoy the restaurant’s D’Amico coffee blend and plethora of breakfast and lunch sandwiches with a side of free Wi-Fi. Breakfast offerings are a favorite, as is the turkey club with bacon, the moist house-made pastries, and iced Chai tea. Just about everything served at the Clinton Street restaurant (next to Cobble Hill Park) is made in-house. The restaurant opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends.
reBar –This atmospheric restaurant fits nicely in its Dumbo setting with tons of exposed brick, natural woods and boho-chic furniture. Start the day at 7 a.m. weekdays for breakfast or 11:30 weekends for brunch and access to the free Wi-Fi.
Root Hill Café — This Fourth Avenue café serves pretty great coffee, with espresso drinks and pastries, cookies, sandwiches and salads to match. The architecturally interesting environment departs from the traditional café vibe. Free Wi-Fi draws a crowd, but it’s not a library-quiet spots. The cafe opens at 7:30 weekdays and 8:30 weekends.