Free WiFi, Cold Beer: The Best Places In Brooklyn To Work That Aren’t Your Office

Look at all those novelists, working at 61 Local. (Photo by Brooke Goldman)
Look at all those novelists, working at 61 Local. (Photo by Brooke Goldman)

Sometimes we want to go into the office, emboldened by the thought of brisk central air conditioning and the promise of a free lunch. Other days, the thought of wedging your body on a crowded train wth what seems to be the entire population of Brooklyn is too much to bear. Those days, you work from home — an unsavory prospect when you have no food in the house and a serious lack of comfortable seating. Instead of sitting on the couch watching the Food Network while you check your email, put on some pants and head to one of those bars, where you can work, eat delicious food, and treat yourself to that afternoon beer you so rightly deserve.

Cobble Hill
61 Local – 61 Bergen Street
I am considering relocating my actual home office to this place, which opens early, has great seating options, good beer, nice food and friendly people who don’t seem to mind if I set up at a table with notebooks and laptop. This is the dream office away from home.

Carroll Gardens
Abilene – 442 Court Street
Guys, this place is the best. Board games, cheap beer, a solid burger, and tables right next to big windows that open up to the adorable, stroller-filled streets of Carroll Gardens — you couldn’t ask for anything more. If you live in this ‘hood, consider yourself blessed.

Boerum Hill
Building on Bond – 112 Bond Street
Confession — I once ate and drank at this spot twice in one day, once for brunch, and later for dinner, and somehow didn’t feel weird about it. That is a testament to how pleasant this restaurant is for working, eating, brunching, drinking — whatever activity you can think of that you can do sitting down. Tip: The spaghetti and meatballs are out of this world.

Fort Greene
Red Lantern Bicycles – 345 Myrtle Avenue
If “working from home” means running some errands while checking your email on your phone, then you can wheel your bike over for a tuneup and sit down at Red Lantern Bicycles, where they’ll fix whatever ails your two-wheeled baby while you compose memos and do whatever else it is that people with normal jobs do. Have a coffee, or, if it’s late enough, and you’ve really earned it, a beer. We won’t tell.

Torst – 615 Manhattan Avenue
The interior of this Greenpoint newcomer is like every design nerd’s Scandanavian Pinterest board, and the beer menu is impressive, featuring a robust selection of beers from Danish favorite Evil Twin Brewery. Come in here to make your to-do lists while sipping on a Falco IPA, which is classic and excellent.

The Roof at Whole Foods -214 3rd Street
Yes, so this is a bar on the roof of Whole Foods, and I understand the inherent ridiculousness of this as a reccomendation, but don’t run away just because of that. It turns out that there’s a surprisingly good menu, great beer, and charming vistas of the scenic and beautiful Gowanus canal, which should make you feel a little bit less of a bad person. Try and enjoy yourself, but it won’t be that hard.

Videology – 308 Bedford Avenue
This video sture cum screening room is one of our favorite spots in a neighborhood glutted with cafes and earnest Macbook scribes. It’s generally empty, and you have the option of working from the tables in the front, or the lovely screening room in the back. Go ahead, get a beer while you’re filing that TPS report, or whatever it is in front of you. You deserve it.

Heavy Woods – 50 Wyckoff Avenue
What if we told you there was a place that had free wifi, a daily brunch, delicious coffee and the opportunity to partake in the glory that is crawfish mac and cheese for lunch? You’d tell us we were crazy, that a place like this doesn’t exist anywhere in Brooklyn, but we would silently point you in the direction of Bushwick’s Heavy Woods. Go forth and write the next “A Confederacy of Dunces” while drinking a cold one.

Skytown – 921 Broadway Avenue
Tucked away in the weird armpit of the Bushwick-Bed Stuy, this cafe-bar hybrid opens early enough for you to make it your office away from home, and offers a bottomless drip cup of coffee, so you can approximate the feeling you get when standing at your office’s Keurig machine. Get a snack, drink a beer, or treat yourself to your own personal happy hour with one of their affordable specialty cocktails. The Farmhouse 75 feels like a kissing cousin of a hot toddy and goes best with answering all those emails you’ve been ignoring.

Prospect Heights
The Saint Catherine – 600 Washington Avenue
This lovely neighborhood spot does trivia at night, but during the day, it’s a fantastic place for food, a beer, and endless amounts of Excel spreadsheets. Working from home is that much better when you’re doing it in front of a sunny window looking while sipping from an autumnal beer that has no hint of pumpkin or spice Try the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Nitro and be very, very happy that you’re not at work right now.

Crown Heights
Lincoln Station – 409 Lincoln Avenue
This cafe, nestled in Crown Heights, has many things that an intrepid underemployed individual would find alluring: a communal table, with outlets for working, coffee from Cafe Colombe, pastries and delicious food. The most alluring of all, however, is that they have 25 beers to choose from, and they are all less than $4.

Park Slope
Mission Dolores – 249 4th Ave
You can bring your own food, and have your pick from one of the best-curated beer menus across this great land. I highly suggest getting a pint of Six Points’ Barrel Aged Otis, an imperial stout available only at Mission Dolores, and reroute all your afternoon meetings to the bar.

Bay Ridge
The Wicked Monk – 9510 3rd Avenue
Venture out to this Bay Ridge outpost, get some lobster mac and cheese, set up your laptop and peck away. The bartenders are friendly, and they’ll mostly leave you alone, so this is the perfect spot to write you Great American Novel.

Windsor Terrace
Greenwood Park – 555 7th Avenue
This new beer garden in Windsor Terrace has a huge backyard, a lovely staff and best of all, a huge beer menu for you to pick from. Post up in the yard, order a beer and enjoy the last bits of summer.

Church Cafe Wine Bar – 416 Church Avenue
Granted, there’s not that much out this far in Brooklyn by way of cutesy coffeeshops with tortured indie rock and tattooed baristas, but there is this little place, which serves food, wine and kindness. While it’s not the best for working during the week, it opens at 11 on the weekends, so it’s perfect for all you weekend warriors with unrelenting bosses demanding answers. Pull up a stool at the bar, get some of their reputedly-delicious guacamole, and hang out.

Red Hook
Fort Defiance – 365 Van Brunt Street
I imagine that living in Red Hook inspires more work from home days than other parts of Brooklyn, so you’ve probably already picked out your spot. If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to visit Fort Defiance, a gorgeous spot in vibrant and bustling downtown Red Hook. After you finish your work for the day, take advantage of its proximity to Ikea, and revel in your ability to pick up a few things for the house, like your very own version of a suburban Target.


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