Wireless Wonders: 6 Coffee-Shop Alternatives With Free Wi-Fi

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2nomiFinishing up that killer work project — or résumé — but getting a bit squirrely in your pad? We hear you — but sometimes, we're not in the mood for the same old, chain-coffee shop, either. Where to go? Believe it or not, there are several options beyond the bean that offer up an alternative work environment (read: new energy) and tasty refreshments. The best part? These spots offer free Wi-Fi! After all, unless you're a sketch artist, we figured you'd need to be wired in.

So, next time you're thinking about where to set up your mobile office, consider changing things up with one of our picks. Have one of your own? Tell us! You can never have too many inspiring work environments — or welcoming distractions.

NoMI Lounge at the Park Hyatt Chicago
Your hot Friday night drink spot is a sleepy (and quite empty) environment during the daytime hours. Perhaps one of the best hidden secrets — until now — the NoMI Lounge offers comfy chairs, amazing views of the cityscape, and natural sunlight. It just may be the chicest work spot you've ever had. It is in the luxurious Park Hyatt hotel, after all. Treat yourself to a plate of its incredible sushi and come 5 p.m., a nice (well-deserved) glass of vino from the impressive list.
NoMI Lounge, at The Park Hyatt Hotel, 800 North Michigan Avenue (at Chicago Avenue); 312-239-4030.

Daley Plaza
We're still having an incredible Indian Summer, so why not take things outdoors? While farmers' market season is over (sniff, sniff), there are plenty of places in the Loop to grab a quick to-go bite. Feel like taking a break? This iconic hot spot is perfect for people watching — if not gazing up at the Picasso.
Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street (between Wabash Avenue and Dearborn Street).

The 900 Shops
We realize this one could be a dangerous choice — but it really can be a great work environment, too! We suggest skipping the busier downstairs area and heading up to one of the higher floors. Snag a table and chair — or settle into a couch. We have a feeling you'll work just a little bit harder considering you're surrounded by a retail haven. Hungry? Everything from Thai to pizza is at your fingertips. Be sure to save room for that incredible froyo at Forty Carrots — yum!
The 900 Shops, 900 North Michigan Avenue (between Walton and Delaware); 312-915-3916.

Map Room
Okay, so maybe this is a place you go to research your wedding — not put your nose to the grindstone on the most important project of your life. Map Room is open early and closes late, so grab that Bloody Mary and get down to business. You can get coffee — but that would defeat the purpose of visiting this cozy gem versus your local barista. If you're in need of a little sustenance, there's a variety of sammies offered from nearby Goddess and the Grocer.
Map Room, 1949 North Hoyne Avenue (between Homer Street and Armitage Avenue); 773-252-7636.

Library Bar at PUBLIC
Like the NoMI Lounge, this bar is practically desolate during the daytime hours. Oversized couches, soft music, subdued lighting — can we move in? The only kicker with this option is you may become a little too relaxed. Still beats the watercooler drama, right? Coffee by day, cocktails by night. You can also indulge in a "Quicksand" milkshake if you're really having a rough day on the job. As for eats, there's a variety of sandwiches, salads, freshly baked desserts, and other goodies by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Library Bar at PUBLIC,1301 North State Parkway (at Goethe); 888-506-3471.

Millennium Park
Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his incredible plan to make Chicago a hub for super speedy Internet service and provide free Wi-Fi in public places — high five! To get things started, you can now find free Wi-Fi in Chicago's most famous park in the tree-lined area of Wrigley Square. Again, take advantage of this spot before it's time for carolers, ice skating, and hot chocolate.
Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph Street (at Michigan Avenue); 312-742-1168.


Photo: Courtesy of Park Hyatt Chicago