The four corners of free wi-fi
School’s about to start and, if you’reanything like me, you’re going to want to do your homework in places other than the University of Nevada, Reno library. With this in mind, here are four free wi-fi spots I judge as superior to the rest, organized by which part of the Truckee Meadows they lord over.
Dreamer’s Coffeehouse and Deli
17 S. Virginia St., Reno
I love Dreamer’s. Squatting under the weight of the artists’ lofts above and looking out over the Truckee River, Dreamer’s makes me feel warm and cozy in ways none of the other venues listed here can. In addition to the coziness, Dreamer’s also has lots of comfy couches and plugs for laptops. In fact, you don’t even need a computer to use the internet here because they have a couple of public access stations.
The 19 kajillion coffee-based confections they make are all good, and check in at sub-Starbuckian prices. I also dig the sandwiches, which, while pricier than most sandwich shops, are at least tastier than the usual Port of Subs fare.
If you have to drive, the parking sucks, and because it’s small, Dreamer’s fills up pretty quickly. Beyond those complaints, the little café by the river is the best place in town to compose a masterpiece criticism of Othello.
180 W. Peckham Lane, No. 1100, Reno
Hidden in the shadow of the Atlantis, Pirate’s Pizza is about perfect for that mid-finals burnout. Not in the way taking a shower or riding your bike up a hill helps concentration, but in the sense of glorying in the abuse. Amazingly tasty, vein-clogging pizza comes steaming from the backrooms. Wash it down with some beer, and enjoy the fried cheese because nothing’s better than getting greasy finger stains all over the laborious assignments Professor Sadistica Von Torturerack loads you down with.
L&L Hawaiian BBQ
295 Los Altos Pkwy., Sparks
L&L is not a place you’d normally expect to find free wi-fi. It sits but one step above a drive-through on the formality scale, the food’s pretty cheap, and the seating is anything but lounge-like. That said, L&L has some of the best cheap grub I’ve found, and the menu stays refreshingly far from the typical expensive sandwich and froufrou coffee stuff the average wi-fi hotspot offers. I strongly recommend the musubis and the barbecue ribs and strongly recommend you avoid the macaroni salad.
3940 Mayberry Drive, Reno
Of all the free wi-fi spots in town, Walden’s Coffeehouse probably has the nicest setting. The stone floor stretches out comfortably, surrounded by windows and multi-colored walls. If the weather cooperates, they have a nice little porch out back where you can sniff the multitudes of flowers. Inside, they make decent sandwiches, really good coffee, and they even sell ice cream. For the degenerates out there, Walden’s has a decent wine list and tons of beer. In order to draw in the degenerates, they frequently host local bands, but only the mellow kind. Megadeth fans should look elsewhere.
That’s probably the only bad thing about Walden’s Coffeehouse. It teems with high school-age girls, white guys with peddle-pusher pants and dreadlocks and old hippies. If that isn’t your crowd, and you go to Walden’s, prepare to play minority for the night.