Where to find free wi-fi in London

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Who says nothing comes for free? Time Out crosses London to find the pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants that offer free wifi, as well as some free wifi hotspots

  • Photo for Hat and Tun

    Hat and Tun

    3 Hatton Wall, EC1N 8HX (020 7242 4747/ www.thehatandtun.com).

    Log on and tuck in to the solidly English gastrogrub in this Victorian boozer – it’s part of the Martin Brothers family of pubs (which includes the Prince Arthur in Hackney and the Empress of India near Victoria Park).

  • 5th View

    5th floor, Waterstone's, 203-206 Piccadilly, St James's, W1J 9HA (020 7851 2468/ www.5thview.co.uk).

    Finished surfing? Give your eyes a screen break and treat them to some spectacular views across the capital from this upmarket seafood and cocktail bar and café on the fifth floor of Europe’s largest bookshop. Read more

  • The Social

    5 Little Portland St, London, W1W 7JD (020 7636 4992/ www.thesocial.com).

    The Social, spawn of the legendary Heavenly Social club night held at Turnmills in the 1990s, has been a haven from the horrors of Oxford Street for a decade. Free wi-fi is available in the top bar where you can nestle in the diner-style booths and indulge in such homely comforts as pie and mash or fish finger sandwiches. Beers include Hoegaarden and Kronenbourg; the cocktail list features exotic creations such as a cucumber martini. In evening live music is a regular fixture, so it’s probably not the place to hold your business meeting. Read more

  • Scandinavian Kitchen

    61 Great Titchfield St, W1W 7PP (020 7580 7161/ www.scandikitchen.co.uk).

    Quirky café and deli serving delicious Swedish open sandwiches, gravadlax, herrings, meatballs and the Danish ‘red hotdog’, apparently the Vikings’s favourite snack. In the spirit of Scandinavian egalitarianism there is a fair usage policy, so in other words you shouldn’t abuse their good will by sitting there all day and not buying anything (and yes, that means you will be frowned upon if you nurse a single cup of coffee through the lunchtime rush). Read more

  • The Diner

    16-18 Ganton St, W1F 7BU (020 7287 8962/ www.thedinersoho.com).

    This is the place to come for the open-access wi-fi washed down with American fast food. The all-day breakfast of pancakes, omelettes and Mexican treats is more than enough to power you through a three-hour Facebook-athon. Read more

  • Hawksmoor

    157 Commercial St, E1 6BJ (020 7247 7392/ www.thehawksmoor.com).

    Given there can often be a dearth of pews to pull up in this debonair steakhouse and cocktail bar, you might prefer a branch of Coffee Republic for setting up your mobile office for the day, but if you are happy perching on a barstool, have a penchant for saucy cocktails and highly acclaimed slices of beef, then this is the wi-fi place for you. Read more

  • Hummus Bros

    88 Wardour St, W1F OTJ (020 7734 1311/ www.hbros.co.uk).

    A temple to chickpeas, Hummus brothers serves, erm, houmous, with a wide variety of toppings and wedges of warm pitta bread. There is open wi-fi access but this is essentially a busy fast-food restaurant so avoid lingering at peak times. There’s another branch on Southampton Row. Read more

  • Photo for Camera Café

    Camera Café

    44 Museum St, WC1 (020 7831 1566/ www.cameracafe.co.uk).

    The idiosyncratic Camera Café brings a touch of Parisian eccentricity to London. The front of the café is a shop with cabinets jam packed with second-hand cameras: anything from beautiful old Leicas to restored Hasselblads. In the back is a small but cosy café. French music is played and the walls are covered with photographs hung at jaunty angles. All the juices come freshly squeezed and the Thai food is excellent.

  • Bedford & Strand

    1a Bedford St, WC2E 9HH (020 7836 3033/ www.bedford-strand.com).

    You’ll encounter lawyers tapping furiously on their laptops at lunchtimes at this elegant wine bar-cum-bistro in a basement off the Strand. Choose from the wine categories of ‘Honest’, ‘Decent’, ‘Good’, and ‘Staff Picks’. For eats, order from the respectable, if slightly unimaginative, à la carte menu. Read more

  • Eagle Bar Diner

    3-5 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7637 1418/ www.eaglebardiner.com).

    It’s probably best to avoid this place during lunchtimes if you’re planning on stretching a Budweiser out over an afternoon’s worth of email catch-up – it gets quite busy. Otherwise it’s a perfect place for a big burger and fries washed down with a mammoth milkshake. Read more

  • Joe Allen

    13 Exeter St, WC2E 7DT (020 7836 0651/ www.joeallen.co.uk).

    This restaurant opened in 1977 and has been a popular haunt of the theatre crowd and tourists alike. The menu changes daily and might include such dishes as slow-cooked pork or corn-fed chicken breasts. Read more

  • Shampers

    4 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PE (020 7437 1692/ www.shampers.net).

    Shampers is a lively, no-nonsense place that serves British food and wallet-friendly wine and Champagne. It gets very busy at lunch and dinner times, and it’s hard to imagine a lone internet surfer hogging a table. Nevertheless, the manager is very happy to hand out the wi-fi code to anyone who asks. Read more

  • Zetter

    86-88 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1M 5RJ (020 7324 4455/ www.thezetter.com).

    In the heart of Clerkenwell, Zetter (a boutique hotel), is the place to head if you’re in search of comfort and style. Your fellow surfers will probably be monied sophisticates from the neighbourhood who are there for the weekend brunches and elegant setting. Read more

  • Café at Foyles

    113-119 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0EB (020 7440 3207/ www.foyles.co.uk).

    Fresh juices, healthy salads, top-notch sandwiches, Monmouth coffee, plenty of seating, jazz on the soundsystem... the café in Foyles provides a buzzy environment in which to wile away the afternoon surfing the web. If you tire of digital reading, pop downstairs to buy an old-fashioned book. Read more

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