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Best Wifi Hangout: Generous with bandwidth and coffee 

Cafe Rooz

Some entire US cities now dish out free Internet access, but it's rare to find a cozy East Bay cafe willing to do the same. Most java joints ask users to fork over $30-plus a month to connect via wireless providers, and the freebies tend to be overcrowded, have tables the size of our big toes, or are lacking in ambience. That's why Cafe Rooz is so refreshing. The roomy Piedmont Avenue spot has perfected a winning formula: staff you'd want to hang out with, great coffee served in prewarmed mugs (genius!), 75-cents-off refills, tasty salads and sandwiches for five dollars and change, decent-size tables, reliably impressive art, and a distractingly attractive clientele. There are also plenty of sockets. Technically, hopping online isn't "free" — you have to spend $3 for two hours' worth. But if you're not willing to support a stellar independent coffee shop, you'd best stay at home with your Mr. Coffee and overstuffed purple chair.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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