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A large sofa in a cavernous room sits atop an elaborate rug and marble floors with a wooden table in front of it. Behind the sofa is a room with mixed seating and table, a brick wall with large glass windows.
Kresge Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts
Gerard + Belevender

Working From Home? Try an Uncluttered Detroit Cafe or Restaurant Instead

Get out of the PJs and sign on from a spot in a coffeehouse, an art museum cafe, or a bookstore that serves fried fish

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Kresge Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts
| Gerard + Belevender

The COVID-19 pandemic and its transition to working from home and distance learning has increased the need for reliable access to broadband services. Although schools are back in session, many workers have yet to return to the office or have adopted a hybrid work model, often firing up the computer from home.

For those who miss the camaraderie of their colleagues, or are itching to put on some real clothes and escape the same four walls, try the diverse spaces below. They offer free Wi-Fi, outlets, and an uncluttered change of scenery to banter with others or flesh out ideas over charcuterie and coffee.

The state has an online map of more than 300 free Wi-Fi hotspots around Michigan. Users can insert an address into the search function and it will show the nearest free hotspots.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

City Coffeehouse

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Sink into a lounge chair at this Downriver coffeehouse that serves specialties like “dharma bum” tea (black tea with steamed milk and almond flavor) and apple cider just in time for the fall. Vegan and gluten-free pastries always are available. Nursing students get 15 percent off any handcrafted beverage. Masks are required.

The words City Coffee are emblazoned on a brick wall that sits behind several restaurant booths City Coffeehouse

Lucky Detroit - Coffee & Espresso

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Lucky Detroit is pretty stylish, thanks to the antique collecting of owners Chad and Jami Buchanan. The shop includes a butcher-block counter from a hardware store, a long communal wood table, a mounted moose head, and an antique cash register. Customers can expect roasts from Populace Coffee, espresso, and tea from Retea in Dearborn.

A long room with a sofa in front a fireplace, a communal table, and single chairs. The room has hardwood floors Gerard + Belevender

Detroit Shipping Company

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This bi-level food hall in Cass Corridor features plenty of food and drink including nitrogen ice cream and coffee cranker -320 Coffee & Creamery. The building is outfitted with Wi-Fi and plenty of tables near outlets — particularly on the second floor. There’s street parking and a lot nearby.

A long table with chairs in front of the window Gerard + Belevender

AWAKE Cafe

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Awake’s mission centers on connecting people. For its part, it serves small-batch, single-origin coffee from Honduras, with direct connections to the farmers and workers. A favorite of the Wayne State community, Awake also serves salad and sandwiches named for the community it serves.

Bikes And Coffee

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A bike shop for caffeine addicts and a coffee shop for cyclists, Bikes & Coffee is a place where both can comingle. Coffee on the menu is from Ypsilanti’s Hyperion Coffee Co. Snacks such as bagels, breakfast burritos, and vegan ice cream come from a wide variety of Detroit vendors and change on a whim.

Two people sitting at a counter talking. The counter looks out the window of the shop toward the street Gerard + Belevender

The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company

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This contemporary open space in Detroit’s Midtown has a wide variety of coffee drinks to keep people caffeinated while they’re working on their laptops. The space offers tables to meet and greet over avocado toast or cucumber toast and a lavender latte. A full bar serves wine, beer, and cocktails. A new cafe at Rivertown Market also has tables for working.

Kresge Court — Detroit Institute of Arts

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Many creatives head to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Kresge Court for its gorgeous indoor courtyard with soft seating and free Wi-Fi. There’s also an opportunity for sandwiches, soup, salad, shareable small plates, charcuterie. Beverage service also features all-day espresso drinks from Midtown Detroit local roaster Great Lakes Coffee, natural teas from around the world, wine, and beer.

A woman and a man sit in high-backed leather chairs inside Kresge Court at the DIA. Gerard + Belevender

The Commons

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The Commons is a combination coffee shop and laundromat with a community-centered focus. Stop in for a Van Dyke burger, zucchini pineapple bread, or a free cup of coffee if waiting for the wash. Sit in the front of the place and get work done at the same time.

The Congregation

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After several years of disuse, this circa 1920s church in Detroit’s Boston-Edison was revived as a coffee shop, bar, and community event space. The owners retained church pews and used them to construct a counter. They also kept a Casavant Freres pipe organ and set up an outdoor deck that overlooks Gordon Park. Breakfast includes avocado toast, pancakes, and a smoked salmon bagel, along with coffees and teas. Grab the WiFi password at the counter near the sugar and cream. Note: the great music on the overheads may drown out Zoom calls.

A sofa in front of a pipe organ. Gerard + Belevender

Nandi's Knowledge Cafe

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This cozy bookstore with a focus on Black culture and education, rare books, and community building, also has free WiFi and plenty of seating, making it a great place to work. For lunch, try the fried fish, chicken wings, or sweet potato fries off the menu. Stick around off the work for poets and musicians who show up for open mic or kick back in front of the fire pit on the outdoor patio.

Detroit Sip

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Freshly reopened after the installation of new bike lanes disrupted the Liv6 corridor, Detroit Sip is revamped too. Settle in with one of the drinks named for local haunts: Belle Isle Blonde, Boston-Edison green tea, Bagley blend medium, McNichols morning dark, or a State Fair Banana Smoothie. Pair it with a treat from Paradise Foods. The Little Free Library kiosks are stocked with a variety of books for those who need a break.

Four women behind a counter stand facing a coffee machine. A chalkboard above them on the wall lists what’s on the menu Detroit Sip

Public Square Detroit

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Opened in April 2021, Public Square is looking to be a community hub in the Rosedale community, a “public square” where neighbors can work, meet, or hold block-club meetings. Pastries and baked goods are sourced from Avalon Bakery, and Clawson-based Sabbath Coffee Roasters provides the coffee. Non-coffee drinkers can work and sip on lavender or blueberry lemonade.

The Office Coffee Shop

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Part co-working space, part coffee shop, The Office is designed for working and sipping. True to its menu, there’s a long menu of coffee drinks, along with muffins, yogurt, and vegan cookies. There’s a variety of seating areas, from window-side benches to high- and low-top tables, that allow people to work solo or in small groups in natural light or darker spaces, depending on where you sit. Fax and copy machines are on the premises.

Bea's Detroit

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Bea’s in Eastern Market is a little bit of everything: cafe, co-working space, and special event venue. The airy spot is the perfect place to stop for a flavorful coffee or lemonade. The boutique co-working program is perfect for those who want to stop in daily or monthly, and work in an elegant space with city views.

Beacon Park

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The largest of the downtown Detroit parks, the contemporary and visually stunning Beacon Park has vibrant art installations, events year-round on its astroturf, and free WiFi. On warm days, sign on to work before a game of cornhole. Lumen, a full-service restaurant and bar, anchors the park and has a rooftop patio that overlooks the park grounds. The restaurant has an assortment of snacks perfect for outdoors: Everything Bagel Wings, with dill, lemon, and celery; calamari with cherry peppers and local herbs; cheese and charcuterie; and pretzels with Dijon mustard.

Tables with umbrella line the park’s astroturf. There are skyscrapers in the background. Michelle Girard

City Coffeehouse

The words City Coffee are emblazoned on a brick wall that sits behind several restaurant booths City Coffeehouse

Sink into a lounge chair at this Downriver coffeehouse that serves specialties like “dharma bum” tea (black tea with steamed milk and almond flavor) and apple cider just in time for the fall. Vegan and gluten-free pastries always are available. Nursing students get 15 percent off any handcrafted beverage. Masks are required.

The words City Coffee are emblazoned on a brick wall that sits behind several restaurant booths City Coffeehouse

Lucky Detroit - Coffee & Espresso

A long room with a sofa in front a fireplace, a communal table, and single chairs. The room has hardwood floors Gerard + Belevender

Lucky Detroit is pretty stylish, thanks to the antique collecting of owners Chad and Jami Buchanan. The shop includes a butcher-block counter from a hardware store, a long communal wood table, a mounted moose head, and an antique cash register. Customers can expect roasts from Populace Coffee, espresso, and tea from Retea in Dearborn.

A long room with a sofa in front a fireplace, a communal table, and single chairs. The room has hardwood floors Gerard + Belevender

Detroit Shipping Company

A long table with chairs in front of the window Gerard + Belevender

This bi-level food hall in Cass Corridor features plenty of food and drink including nitrogen ice cream and coffee cranker -320 Coffee & Creamery. The building is outfitted with Wi-Fi and plenty of tables near outlets — particularly on the second floor. There’s street parking and a lot nearby.

A long table with chairs in front of the window Gerard + Belevender

AWAKE Cafe

Awake’s mission centers on connecting people. For its part, it serves small-batch, single-origin coffee from Honduras, with direct connections to the farmers and workers. A favorite of the Wayne State community, Awake also serves salad and sandwiches named for the community it serves.

Bikes And Coffee

Two people sitting at a counter talking. The counter looks out the window of the shop toward the street Gerard + Belevender

A bike shop for caffeine addicts and a coffee shop for cyclists, Bikes & Coffee is a place where both can comingle. Coffee on the menu is from Ypsilanti’s Hyperion Coffee Co. Snacks such as bagels, breakfast burritos, and vegan ice cream come from a wide variety of Detroit vendors and change on a whim.

Two people sitting at a counter talking. The counter looks out the window of the shop toward the street Gerard + Belevender

The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company

This contemporary open space in Detroit’s Midtown has a wide variety of coffee drinks to keep people caffeinated while they’re working on their laptops. The space offers tables to meet and greet over avocado toast or cucumber toast and a lavender latte. A full bar serves wine, beer, and cocktails. A new cafe at Rivertown Market also has tables for working.

Kresge Court — Detroit Institute of Arts

A woman and a man sit in high-backed leather chairs inside Kresge Court at the DIA. Gerard + Belevender

Many creatives head to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Kresge Court for its gorgeous indoor courtyard with soft seating and free Wi-Fi. There’s also an opportunity for sandwiches, soup, salad, shareable small plates, charcuterie. Beverage service also features all-day espresso drinks from Midtown Detroit local roaster Great Lakes Coffee, natural teas from around the world, wine, and beer.

A woman and a man sit in high-backed leather chairs inside Kresge Court at the DIA. Gerard + Belevender

The Commons

The Commons is a combination coffee shop and laundromat with a community-centered focus. Stop in for a Van Dyke burger, zucchini pineapple bread, or a free cup of coffee if waiting for the wash. Sit in the front of the place and get work done at the same time.

The Congregation

A sofa in front of a pipe organ. Gerard + Belevender

After several years of disuse, this circa 1920s church in Detroit’s Boston-Edison was revived as a coffee shop, bar, and community event space. The owners retained church pews and used them to construct a counter. They also kept a Casavant Freres pipe organ and set up an outdoor deck that overlooks Gordon Park. Breakfast includes avocado toast, pancakes, and a smoked salmon bagel, along with coffees and teas. Grab the WiFi password at the counter near the sugar and cream. Note: the great music on the overheads may drown out Zoom calls.

A sofa in front of a pipe organ. Gerard + Belevender

Nandi's Knowledge Cafe

This cozy bookstore with a focus on Black culture and education, rare books, and community building, also has free WiFi and plenty of seating, making it a great place to work. For lunch, try the fried fish, chicken wings, or sweet potato fries off the menu. Stick around off the work for poets and musicians who show up for open mic or kick back in front of the fire pit on the outdoor patio.

Detroit Sip

Four women behind a counter stand facing a coffee machine. A chalkboard above them on the wall lists what’s on the menu Detroit Sip

Freshly reopened after the installation of new bike lanes disrupted the Liv6 corridor, Detroit Sip is revamped too. Settle in with one of the drinks named for local haunts: Belle Isle Blonde, Boston-Edison green tea, Bagley blend medium, McNichols morning dark, or a State Fair Banana Smoothie. Pair it with a treat from Paradise Foods. The Little Free Library kiosks are stocked with a variety of books for those who need a break.

Four women behind a counter stand facing a coffee machine. A chalkboard above them on the wall lists what’s on the menu Detroit Sip

Public Square Detroit

Opened in April 2021, Public Square is looking to be a community hub in the Rosedale community, a “public square” where neighbors can work, meet, or hold block-club meetings. Pastries and baked goods are sourced from Avalon Bakery, and Clawson-based Sabbath Coffee Roasters provides the coffee. Non-coffee drinkers can work and sip on lavender or blueberry lemonade.

The Office Coffee Shop

Part co-working space, part coffee shop, The Office is designed for working and sipping. True to its menu, there’s a long menu of coffee drinks, along with muffins, yogurt, and vegan cookies. There’s a variety of seating areas, from window-side benches to high- and low-top tables, that allow people to work solo or in small groups in natural light or darker spaces, depending on where you sit. Fax and copy machines are on the premises.

Bea's Detroit

Bea’s in Eastern Market is a little bit of everything: cafe, co-working space, and special event venue. The airy spot is the perfect place to stop for a flavorful coffee or lemonade. The boutique co-working program is perfect for those who want to stop in daily or monthly, and work in an elegant space with city views.

Beacon Park

Tables with umbrella line the park’s astroturf. There are skyscrapers in the background. Michelle Girard

The largest of the downtown Detroit parks, the contemporary and visually stunning Beacon Park has vibrant art installations, events year-round on its astroturf, and free WiFi. On warm days, sign on to work before a game of cornhole. Lumen, a full-service restaurant and bar, anchors the park and has a rooftop patio that overlooks the park grounds. The restaurant has an assortment of snacks perfect for outdoors: Everything Bagel Wings, with dill, lemon, and celery; calamari with cherry peppers and local herbs; cheese and charcuterie; and pretzels with Dijon mustard.

Tables with umbrella line the park’s astroturf. There are skyscrapers in the background. Michelle Girard

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