Tips + Trends

Have to Work? 4 Terrific New Orleans Wi-Fi Spots

Mojo Coffee House (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

Uh oh — three dozen emails await your reply, and your PowerPoint desperately needs a polish. But that doesn’t mean you need to remain cooped up in your hotel room. Get out. See some of the city. And, get your work done. All you need is a Wi-Fi oasis with a speedy connection and comfortable seating. (The people watching is a bonus.)

Here are a few of New Orleans’ best Wi-Fi hot spots:

Outlet Collection at Riverwalk

The term “mall food court” rarely elicits good thoughts, at least for those over 12. Rewire your perceptions at the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, next to the convention center and close to downtown. Not only will you find better-than-average fast food (Izzo’s Illegal Burritos, a satellite of local Middle Eastern favorite Mona’s), but its strikingly well designed in a vaguely mid-century way. Better still, a wall of window overlooks the Mississippi River — massive barges and tankers appear to be passing just feet away. There’s even balcony seating outside. The free internet is what’s locally called lagniappe — a little something extra.

Mojo Coffee House

Located about 15 blocks from downtown’s Canal St. (take a bus for $1.25), Mojo is situated in the laid-back Lower Garden District. It’s a casual, neighborhood affair with a sort of neo-Caribbean vibe and sidewalk seating, plus sophisticated coffees and a selection of pastries. And you won’t be alone with a laptop here. The chief liability? Getting sucked into conversation with neighborhood denizens and watching your best laid plans go awry.

Backspace Bar

Admit it. Prowling the internet would seem more inspiring with a cocktail in hand and people about. This appealing, low-key bar in the French Quarter blends a dive bar demeanor with a literary pedigree. The decor includes funky old typewriters and references to famous authors. The bar menu includes classic cocktails (including those associated with literary figures), and for food there’s local comfort food like gumbo and red beans.

New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center

Here for a convention? The scale of the nearly mile-long convention center can be overwhelming. Just across the street near the center’s entrance is the New Orleans Downtown Marriott, a Marriott property with a more intimate scale. It’s got free Wi-Fi, scattered seating on high-back chairs and sofas, and a quieter hideaway upstairs in the mezzanine. Hungry? Try Wolfe’s in the Warehouse for fine meals while you’re typing away, or run over to the Starbucks adjacent to the lobby.