Best coffeeshops/bars for telecommuting in the Twin Cities
January 29, 2011 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Got a new job working from home. Looking for a cozy, appropriate coffeeshop/bar to work from in the Twin Cities a couple of times a week. Requirements below!

I have a new job where I work from home. I have a local Starbuck's I work from a couple of times a week, but I'd like to audition new places. Here's what I'm looking for:

a) I live in Bloomington, but I'm open to anything in the surrounding suburbs, South Minneapolis and Uptown. (I've ranked those in order of preference.) If you have a place not listed here that you adore, please tell me.

b) Needs free wi-fi and ample outlets.

c) Can be a coffee shop or neighborhood bar -- just needs to be friendly to people like me who will hang around for a while. I definitely pay my "rent," so no worries there. Really looking for something cozy.

d) Places I've tried: Starbuck's in Southtown and also the one on 77th/Lyndale (OK, but not cozy), Anodyne in Kingfield (OK, but usually very crowded and difficult to find outlets), Kings Wine Bar in Kingfield (great, but pricey for everyday working) and Butter in Uptown-ish (like it, but not in love). When I lived in St. Paul and had a different job working from home, Ginkgo Coffeehouse on Snelling was my place, but it's a bit far to consider right now.

That's it! I appreciate any help you have.
posted by Laura Macbeth to Work & Money (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When I was in Minneapolis, I really liked Plan B in Uptown.
posted by the jam at 11:55 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've given up working in cafes, coworking is far superior. Its not totally free, but doesn't have to be expensive either and is worth it many times over.

Perhaps something here would be suitable?
posted by tempythethird at 1:12 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like Caribou, 'cause I think they have the best tables and chairs. I've recently started hanging out once in awhile at the one at Cedar and Minnehaha Parkway. If you'd rather sit in an armchair and work from your lap, they have great fireside seating there too. I haven't tried working from there. Never spent more than an hour or two, so I can't speak to that aspect, but so long as you "pay your rent", I think they would be cool.
posted by marsha56 at 2:28 PM on January 29, 2011

I lived in Bloomington while student teaching and did all of my lesson-planning/grading at the Dunn Brothers at 65th and York (near Southdale). It was comfy, not too busy, and they were fine with me being there most of the day on a regular basis. The Caribou at France/Old Shakopee in Bloomington isn't bad either, but finding an outlet can be tricky sometimes.
posted by JannaK at 3:00 PM on January 29, 2011

I also like Caribous for this. Avoid the one at 66th street off of Cedar, though -- it seems to have a full population of daytime laptop workers already and it's tough to get a table, much less an outlet.

If you're willing to go a bit further for supreme coziness, Wilde Roast in near nordeast is truly the comfiest, most wonderful cafe/coffeeshop I've found in the cities. They've gone through periods of not offering WiFi because of the non-rent-paying university students in the neighborhood, but when I was there maybe 2 weeks ago I think half the customers were on laptops. I would imagine that means the wifi is back on. Plus the food and drinks are way better than at Caribou or Starbucks.
posted by vytae at 3:30 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

my husband likes dunn bros around 50th and xerxes for working
posted by wurly at 6:15 PM on January 29, 2011

Fireroast Mountain (3800 37th Ave. South) is my favorite local one for getting work done - the booths in the back have outlets, and it's generally quietish but friendly during the day, and has a nice range of food and drink options. (They ask that you not do charges under $5, but will let you run a tab for your visit - or, of course, take cash in smaller amounts.)

It's only a couple of blocks east of 55, so it should be a fairly easy drive from Bloomington.

Also in the neighborhood are Merlins' Rest (British Isles pub/bar, and no, the apostrophe is not misplaced) though outlet access is not great) on Lake and 36th Ave. (south side of the street) and Blue Moon Cafe, on Lake Street and 39th Ave (I find the acoustics noisier than Fireroast, but also reasonable outlets.)

Both Fireroast and Blue Moon have similar vibes to the times I've been into Gingko, though I think Fireroast has the comfiest chairs/benches.
posted by modernhypatia at 8:36 PM on January 29, 2011

Those aren't areas where I know the coffee shops well, but the 52 Coffees blog archives may be helpful.
posted by lakeroon at 8:53 PM on January 29, 2011

Excellent suggestions. Thank you! I'm going to try many of your suggestions this work week. I'll let you know which ones I liked! (And keep on suggesting, if you have more.)
posted by Laura Macbeth at 8:22 AM on January 30, 2011

Bob's Java Hut at 27th and Lyndale is a very low-key place to hang out and work at. I no longer live in the Twin Cities, but whenever I visit family/friends, I'm at Bob's for 2-3 hours every day to get work done.
posted by mixer at 8:40 AM on January 30, 2011

For anyone checking back, I've found a couple of new favorites -

Bull Run Coffee on Lyndale in Minneapolis. Amazing, amazing coffee and usually not too crowded. I wouldn't call the atmosphere cozy, necessarily, but the coffee and staff are good enough to overcome this.

Angry Catfish by Longfellow. Again, amazing coffee.

Butter Bakery. Hit or miss, but they have super great food and usually plenty of cozy room.
posted by Laura Macbeth at 11:01 AM on October 31, 2011

« Older Help me decide on Macbook Air 11 inch or 13 inch   |   If I could just get my brain around this I would..... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.