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Thursday, May 23

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Restaurant critic Kim Conte is on vacation; while she's gone, we thought we'd offer quick profiles of a couple of restaurants and cafés with wireless Internet access. Know of anywhere else? Tell us about it in the comments.

Metropolis Coffee, 1039 W. Granville. Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss, the father-and-son owners of Metropolis Coffee in Edgewater, have a refreshing philosophy for their business. They write, "A coffee house should be a neighborhood center. It should be equally a place to... plan a revolution. A coffee house should be a showcase for artists, a forum for ideas, and a catalyst for conversation. Community is at the core of our coffee philosophy." There are few better ways to foster that community than by offering up free WiFi. Those who come in for the free hook-up end up staying for the other treats that make this place so popular: freshly roasted coffee (done daily on premises), a comfy atmosphere, and the nightly events like jazz, bluegrass and movie screenings. Their hours vary from day to day; check out their website for details. (SW)

Victoria's, 3224 W. Foster. Victoria's is a new type of fusion cuisine: not haute, not Asian. They combine two stand-bys of Chicago's food scene -- diner food and Mexican cooking. You want a burrito but your partner just wants a burger? Perfect. You want chips and salsa with your Reuben? This is the right place. Victoria's isn't glamorous, but they are friendly, are more than willing to let you linger for hours (it is a student restaurant after all) and they have great, old-school desserts. They have completely free wireless access, and are open 7 days a week until 10pm. (BS)

Prairie Moon, 1502 Sherman, Evanston. OK, so the WiFi isn't free, but the food and beer selection is worth it. With delicious and inventive American cuisine like a very tasty New Mexican Painted Soup made from roasted tomato, poblano and squash, lip-smacking Ancho Chili BBQ Wings, and a Shrimp and Crawfish Po' Boy with a garlic remoulade that leaves you drooling. The WiFi even reaches to their outdoor patio; it costs $2 for 30 minutes and $0.07 per minute after that, or $6.95 for the day. Check out (PMcC)

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Maureen / May 17, 2004 8:43 AM

In the loop, one can enjoy free wifi at the Vietnamese To Pho restaurant, at 19 N Wabash. Which means you can also get free wifi at Oasis Cafe next door, if Middle Eastern food is your thing.

sandor / May 17, 2004 9:19 AM

Pause Cafe, steps from the Berwyn L, has free WiFi. They also have a few iMacs set up for paid Internet access, which they lease out by the hour. Standard coffeeshop food, but their coffee is Intelligentsia.

miss ellen / May 17, 2004 10:24 AM

in the loop, 225 cafe has free wi-fi; located in the basement of 225 w. washington --- great salad bar, too!

also, up in logan square, coffee talk has free wi-fi; they open nice & early for the commuters (strangely, this is something to note, as some of the other independent shops in the area seem to think people DON'T get up before 10 am). very nice space, extremely friendly location, and quite convenient to many forms of public transit.

Paul McCann / May 17, 2004 2:04 PM

Psistaria Greek Restaurant, on Touhy in Lincolnwood also has free WiFi, a bar, good Greek food (but I had one horribly oversalted dish in about three or four dinners there), and live music on weekend nights. It's the kind of place where they push the tables out of the way and dance all over the place. They're fun friendly, and it's a good place for groups.

sandor / May 17, 2004 3:26 PM

There are six local coffeeshops that subscribe to the FaceFive wireless service: Atomix on Chicago, Bourgeois Pig on Fullerton, Filter at Milwaukee & Damen, Gourmand in Printer's Row, Letizia's on Division, and the Unicorn in Evanston. All of them cost $3 for 60 minutes (which can be broken up over time), $8 for a day or $20 for a month. Which really isn't that bad. And the best part is: the time you buy is tranferrable from location to location.

tom / May 17, 2004 8:54 PM

Cafe Ballou, at 939 N. Western, has free wireless too, as well as great food and excellent service. Kim Conte gave it a glowing review in an earlier drive-in. How can you argue with that?

Michael / May 18, 2004 10:25 AM

In Evanston, check out the Mozart Cafe on Chicago Avenue. Free WiFi, terrific hot cocoa, and great music to boot.

Paul McCann / May 18, 2004 12:58 PM

Getting slightly off topic from the restaurants - but there's another free WiFi cafe in Evanston on the corner of Oak and Davis, across from the post office. They do have cafe food like cake and muffins.

miss ellen / May 18, 2004 2:16 PM

Lots of good stuff:

I just grabbed a salad & on my way out, picked up one of the wireless info cards at 225 cafe.

They use and I went and checked out the service.

They have locations all around Chicago, maybe 20 or so (although some are pending). Some have an internet terminal, though most don't. Places like Whirly Ball, Fresh Choice, and all the way up to Kaffeccino on Sheridan Road. Oh boy, the Oasis Cafe is also on there!

Check out the rest of the hotpoint locations here.

Marc / August 24, 2004 3:00 AM

I'm curious whether there are any 24-hour food locations that have free wireless.

If you find any, email me... I appreciate it.

Scott / September 3, 2004 3:15 PM


Krispy Kreme has free wireless and is 24 hours. You can also look up other ones at


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