I love coffee shops. The sound of the espresso machine, the grinding of coffee, and the hustle and bustle bring me to a happy place. Sometimes, however, I need to settle in and get some serious work done. I don’t want to fight for table space for my laptop, my textbooks, and my highlighters. I just want a comfy chair, free WiFi and a friendly staff that doesn’t mind if I take up a table near a power outlet for a few hours.
Restaurant hopping while studying for grad school has me thinking outside the “Starbucks box”! Because these perfect study spots are hard to come by, I was hesitant to put out a list of my go-to places around Frisco! But in an effort to support my fellow on-the-go laptop and textbook carriers, here they are! Frisco, it’s time to start thinking outside of the coffee-shop-box for your remote working hours.
5th Street Patio Cafe
This charming spot is hardly a secret in Frisco. Between the WiFi, the ridiculously delicious food and self-serve coffee, it’s no wonder everyone knows about it! You have the choice between the front room by the coffee, the back room (where I hide) or the front patio. You make a great choice no matter where you are and it’s easy to lose track of time in such a welcoming, comfy space.
Pros: Indoor and outdoor seating with lots of outlets, Wifi, a friendly staff, and delicious coffee.
Cons: Lack of squishy, comfy chairs.
Yes, I realize I look odd walking through Stonebriar mall with my textbooks and laptop, but I’m headed to an oasis amongst the chaos, known as Bazille. I usually choose a booth along the wall facing the kitchen, where I stare when I’m deep in thought (aka procrastinating) and munch on brussels sprouts. The tea selection is fabulous and they’ll refill your hot water as much as you like. It’s a quiet setting where you can jump on a conference call if needed.
Pros: Accommodating wait staff, delicious food, WiFi, large table space, comfortable seating, free bread, and delicious chocolate delivered with your bill.
Cons: Parking at the mall, walking through Nordstrom or the mall with a laptop or textbooks.
If you want to feel like you’ve left Frisco, head to the back patio of Bonnie Ruth’s. Grab a table, sit in the shade, and soak in the ambiance. I may be next to you having a pan au chocolat and champagne, using the free WiFi. The atmosphere takes you to the other side of the world and the staff understands that you’re going to settle in and that you don’t need attention. Grab a table and relax.
Pros: Outdoor seating, quiet setting, ambiance, and WiFi.
Cons: Lack of comfortable seating outside.
The Community Grill is new to the scene in Frisco and is quite a hidden gem. With the WiFi password right on the wall, large booths with cozy seating, really good food, and great service, they’ll soon be a routine stop in your restaurant study rotation. It’s a great spot to meet someone for lunch or a drink as well.
Pros: Large tables to spread out, comfortable booths, and my personal favorite item on the menu…Wisconsin cheese curds.
Cons: They aren’t open until 11:00 am and the music is hard to ignore if you’re looking for peace and quiet. On the upside, it’s the kind of music that takes you back to your youth and makes you want to hum along.
While the Rail District Frisco is just getting ramped up, the Heritage Table has already begun to make waves with their carefully created menu with made-from-scratch menu items, great patio, and welcoming environment.
What you may not know is that they have free WiFi and they don’t mind you commandeering a table and pulling open your laptop. I prefer to sit on the patio to watch the cars go by and usually end up wandering over to Sunny Paige when I need a break. This is worth a try if you’re looking for a new place to make a few phone calls and fire up the laptop for a few hours.
Pros: WiFi, incredible menu, indoor and outdoor seating, 100-year-old historic house-turned-restaurant, quiet at various hours of the day.
Cons: Their hours can throw a newbie off (closed on Mondays).
If you’re new to Frisco and haven’t taken the time to wander the different floors of the Frisco Public Library you’re missing out. You’ll find me enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the 4th floor, sitting at a wooden desk in a comfy chair drinking a Big Red and gazing out the window. The grand wooden ceiling, cozy corners, and the general camaraderie of studying in a quiet space is incomparable.
Pros: Squishy chairs, WiFi, wireless printing, completely quiet setting, lots of power outlets.
Cons: No food, but there are drink machines on the first floor that you can bring up with you.
I know I said this list would be about places to work remotely OTHER THAN coffee shops… But this one is too good not to mention. With indoor and outdoor seating options, free WiFi, and amazing food and beverage in addition to coffee options, it’s cozy, quiet and easily accessible from the Tollway/Eldorado. If you start there in the morning with their delicious coffee and then find the hours passing by quickly, they’ll have a sandwich or salad ready for you to recharge.
Pros: Indoor seating with power outlets, cozy corners to settle in, covered outdoor patio, a variety of food and beverage, free WiFi
Cons: It’s a coffee shop. Been there, done that.
I stumbled upon Mariposa years ago and have never looked back. Hidden on the 3rd floor of Neiman Marcus at the Shops at Willow Bend mall, it’s sort of a mecca of ladies who lunch. Once I was handed a popover with decadent strawberry butter and told to “take my time” I knew I had found my study sanctuary. There’s soft music playing in the background so talking on a conference call probably isn’t a great fit, but the attentive staff with attention to detail brings me back again and again. Why would I study in an uncomfortable setting when I can sink into a booth and be pampered during an online final exam? This is living.
Pros: Popovers, strawberry butter, fast WiFi and impeccable service. Nobody gives me a weird look if I ask for yet another popover.
Cons: In Plano, limited hours (only open 11:00 am – 3:00 M-S and Sunday from 12:00 – 3:00 pm), lack of power outlets.
I knew I was asking for trouble when I decided to study at a wine bar. I was distracted by the social time that everyone around me was having, but it was a welcome distraction from my self-imposed stress.
The staff is always happy to help me find a table next to a power outlet and they don’t mind letting me hang for a long length of time while I munch on their delicious grub. When the weather permits, I highly recommend that you grab a picnic table in the back!
Pros: Outdoor and indoor seating, WiFi, and the fun ambiance of a renovated, historic home with no shortage of charm, good food and wine.
Cons: Everyone around you is having more fun than you are… And there’s often live music, which is fun, but possibly a distraction if you need to focus.
I wandered into the Omni at The Star in Frisco looking for some A/C and was quickly swept away by the varied comfortable seating, free WiFi, and waitstaff. I told them I was there to study and they quickly ushered me to a great spot with lots of space to spread out and settle in. Everyone was friendly and encouraged me to stay as long as I needed. The upscale, peaceful atmosphere was just what I yearned for, and might be exactly the right fit for you, too. If you need a distraction, watch kids play on the Plaza football field as tourist take photos. It’s a great place to people watch!
Pros: WiFi, comfortable seating, lots of space, outlets, inviting environment
Cons: Finding a parking spot, but it’s worth it
UP Inspired Kitchen is my unofficial go-to when I want to meet a friend for a weekday brunch, have a quick business meeting, or to sit down and study. While those around me are ordering one of their many delicious nutritious meals, I always opt for a dense, fatty muffin and some self-serve coffee!
You’ll find me outside at a large table on a cozy cushion with my computer plugged into an outlet (surrounded by my muffin crumbs). The staff is very friendly and you don’t need to explain that you’re going to be there awhile – they just get it. Settle in, relax, and get serious work done.
Pros: Welcoming staff, bottomless coffee, indoor and outdoor seating, a variety of seating types, power outlets, quiet, WiFi, delicious, healthy food.
Cons: Only a couple of power outlets outside, closes at 3:00 pm.
Where is your favorite place to find a bit of solitude, workspace, and good food and beverage? Leave us a comment below!