Wi-Fi Coffee Shops that Don’t Suck

I am on the road for court a lot, and I am too cheap to by a AT&T wireless internet card for my MacBook.

Finding a Wi-Fi signal in the rural West can be challenging

So that means I am constantly looking for a coffee shop with  good Wi-Fi signal.  And they are harder to find then you might think.  So I figured I would start an on-line list.  Please email me or comment if you know of others.  I am only interested in coffee shops with free wi-fi in the 509 area code.  Urbanspoon.com has tried to catalog the free Wi-Fi coffee shops here, but tons of good shops are missing.  You will note that that site has a place where you can nominate othersites for inclusion, but they have not added any of my suggestions, and it has been 6 weeks. 🙁

In Colville, Washington, check out Cafe 103 – This place is in Colville on Main Street, 103 North Main in fact.  Check out their Facebook page here.   Cafe 103 has good free high-speed wi-fi, and good coffee, and a restaurant.  I have only had a sandwich there one.  Also check out Fairy Tale Bakery – This place doesn’t have a big web presence, but their Merchant Circle page is here.  They have free wi-fi, and good coffee and food, and maybe more pastries then Cafe 103.  Since they are just 4 or 5 blocks from Cafe 103, the Fairy Tale Bakery is probably their main competitor.  I don’t know which is better, but I know the Fairy Tale bakery is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  They are at 576 North Wynne, and it is one block North of Safeway.

In Chewelah, check out the Cougar Bakery, which just opened up where Treffz used to be.  In fact, the Treffz sign is still up.  I just got a coffee there Sunday, but didn’t try their food.  But its got Wi-Fi and is just one or two blocks off of HWY 395, so I am definitely putting them on this list.  They are at 209 East Main St.   You gotta love their minimalist web presence, here. UPDATE FROM 11/27/10: THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED.  They still hadn’t removed the Trefz sign that the previous owners had left.  I hope something new moves in there, or maybe Chewelah will be just another town with a bunch of “for rent” signs in every store front.  Is there another wi-fi coffee shop in Chewelah that doesn’t suck? Let me know.

In Spokane, check out Madeleine’s –  I went to this place for breakfast two days in a row last weekend.  It is at the corner of Main and Wall in downtown Spokane.  Parking can be a pain.

In Omak, check out The Corner Bistro at 19 E. Apple Avenue.  It is basically right behind the Chinese Restaurant on the main drag.  I think it is called China Star or something like that.  I lived in Omak for 3 weeks last month, and ate at this place lots.  Good Wi-Fi.

In Ephrata, check out the Rock Creek Ice Cream shop on 26 Basin Street NW which is pretty much the main drag in town.  It is owned by the Blue Flame Restaurant next door and they have free wi-fi.  This place just opened up recently.  The ice cream shop also serves espresso.  Nice place.   The nice folks who run the place have heavy accents, so when you ask for the wi-fi password, you may want them to write it down for you.

What am I missing?  Are there any in Kettle Falls, Addy, Soap Lake, Tonasket (actually i just thought of one I can add later), Deer Park?  Let me know.  I won’t do new posts, I will just add this list.  The criteria for listing is that they must have a free, good Wi-Fi signal.  It is o.k. if you have to get their password.  All the nieghbor kids don’t need to be mooching the signal 24/7.  I don’t really want to list restaurants per se, because you need to be able to just buy a 2 dollar coffee and sit their for 90 minutes without feeling out of place.  And the places can’t suck, for whatever reason.

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14 Responses to “Wi-Fi Coffee Shops that Don’t Suck”

  • Danielle:

    How bad can a place suck if it has good free wifi, and lets you sit there all day? What places have you gone to that you don’t like?

  • Steve Graham:

    Well, the Starbucks in Omak definitely sucked. The Wi-Fi was “free” if you had a starbucks card, that you had to carry around withyou. And it took forever to set it up. And the pastries tasted like saw dust, and the staff there was corny as hell and i am glad it closed down. I am not putting any chain coffee shops on this list

  • Fraggle:

    You need to list whether or not the coffee joints have places where you can plug in power cords. I need to know that.

  • Fusion Cafe at 302 Coulee Blvd E · Electric City
    (509) 633-3525
    In addition to being the best place in the mini-tri-cities (Grand Coulee, Coulee Dam, Electric City) to eat they have free WiFi and a Twitter feed for the daily off-menu specials.
    http://heavensentcomp.com/fusioncafe/

  • I didn’t mention that they serve espresso, drive up or sit in and consequently fit your criteria for inclusion – you can sit there for hours on end if you want sipping (or slowly nursing) a single coffee.

  • Steve Graham:

    Thanks Daryl, i will definitely add that place. Today i am going on a recon mission in Kettle Falls – there has to be a wi-fi cafe somewhere in that town.

    Fraggle – I think the technical term for “a place where you can plug in a power cord” is an “electrical outlet” 😉

  • Gari:

    Nice few cafes listed there, for a few more in New York, London, Sydney and Melbourne check out this site listing free wifi and power ready laptop friendly cafes. If you find free wifi hotspot/Cafe has good signals, and has a good environment,then please review it at http://www.laptopfriendlycafes.com.

  • Emile Blady:

    I’ve heard so many people complain about Starbucks’ coffee and how it doesn’t taste as good as other coffee. I personally can only drink Starbucks’ Americano coffee. Plus the ambiance in a Starbucks is part of the whole reason why I go there and why I’m a loyal customer. Say what you will, but Starbucks definitely knows how to market and brand themselves!

  • The best item at Starbucks is the white chocolate cookies. But these are excellent with frappacinos. I love taking a taste of a cookie then having a taste of a cream frappacino immediately after. It’s heavenly.

  • Bert in Rice:

    I’ll second the vote for Cafe 103 in Colville. We are on a satellite ISP with a bandwidth cap. When we need a big download we head to Cafe 103 for a panini (yum!) and coffee. Their connection is a lot faster than satellite, too.) Staff is friendly, and the place is always immaculate.

  • Steve: what became of your recon missiong to Kettle Falls? I’m looking for a place between Kettle Falls and Orient, WA. I fear I’m SOL outside of Kettle Falls, but quick web searches are not yielding any promising wifi in Kettle Falls either! I was hoping Meyers Falls Market would have wifi, but their webpage isn’t saying so if they do.

  • Sorry to keep hitting this, should’ve batched it up, but according to local KF source, there is a WiFi connection at Meyer’s Falls Market. Password is goodfood

  • Steve Graham:

    Hi John, i kind of gave up on Kettle for a while. As you probably know their chamber of commerce has a huge sign that says “Free Wi-Fi”, but when I pulled up it was closed, and you needed a password. So that kind of irked me. I will have to check out the Market. I have been going to Cafe 103 all the time though.

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Photo of Steve Graham Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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