A Guide to South Congress Coffee Shops
Nestled amongst a series of massive grey industrial warehouses along St Elmo Rd and next-door neighbors to a Tesla showroom is Spokesman, one of the artsiest coffee shops in the South Congress District. Aside from procuring a vibey atmosphere accentuated by high ceilings, impressive wall murals, ample seating, and a purple glow by evening, this hidden gem serves specialty coffee beverages made with beans that have been meticulously roasted in-house, as well as fine wine, tasty food, and a well-curated selection of draft beer.
Capturing those vibrant, fun vibes seemingly only discovered while enjoying spring break in Latin America, Plaza Colombian Coffee occupies a glimmering corner on South Congress Avenue and is the ultimate place to escape from your daily routine and enjoy the best 100% Colombian coffee (roasted in house), select scrumptious baked goods, and the novelty of its tapas-style cuisine.
Along with the remarkable patio area boasting a tiki hut bar and corn hole, the main building’s interior features colorful accents, authentic Colombian decor, and lights strung above. On a dance-related note, they are a live music venue known for salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha-cha, etc.
Snuggled within the South Congress Hotel, Mañana is an aesthetic standout among South Congress coffee shops, by way of its bright, subtly tropical atmosphere, wooden furnishings, touches of cute potted plant life, patterned blue tile wrapped counter, and necessary amenities for a productive cafe day.
The luscious decor serves as an accomplice to thoughtfully sourced, rewardingly delicious coffee beverages crafted with house-made syrups. Don’t get us started on the tantalizing assortment of house-made pastries (vegan and gluten-free options available).
Opened in 2009, Once Over is a modern haven for locally roasted coffee and craft beers with a leafy-tree enclosed wooden deck that overlooks a creek out back. They have delicious baked goods from Clever Baking Co., Misty Morning Bakery, and Celeste’s Best, and Rockstar Bagels; all of the food is vegetarian, rest assured, there are gluten-free and vegan food options too.
Tucked away just off the main drag is one vintage-looking log cabin surrounded by a flourishing garden oasis complete with a rainwater-fed pond that’s home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including many edible plants, frogs, toads, dragonflies, fish, lizards, and the occasional turtle. In addition to chicken coops, herbs, vegetables, and fruit, among other vibrant plants, there are plenty of seating arrangements dappled throughout the grounds, lest we forget several regularly scheduled food trucks as well.
Though you’re sure to encounter delicious takes on your traditional caffeinated favorites, as a soothing waterfall runs in the background, the tune of birds chirping echoes from the trees above, and warm sunlight catches the serine setting, consider treating yourself to an artisan coffee cocktail like the cinnamon, vanilla spice, and double espresso infused Carajillo or the Cosmic Espresso Martini.
Conveniently situated on a breezy South Congress Avenue corner, Jo’s pick-up window has been providing locals and tourists alike with coffee, tacos, sandwiches, and prime people-watching since opening in 1999. If the often-photographed wall mural reading “i love you so much” wasn’t already enough of an attraction for folks to stop by (which it certainly seems to be, given the lines), then their concerts, fundraisers, and iconic streetside-covered patio sure are.
Turkish, for “footpath” (or alley), Patika’s adorable allure is underscored by preserved Arkansas flagstone walls dating back to the 1940s, an abundance of wooden tabletops speckled throughout, cute little light fixtures, a cozy corner nook, and some subtle Dutch flair – that’s not to mention the tree-shaded outdoor patio area.
When it comes to java, they are one of the few coffee shops in Austin that carries their own coffee, courtesy of a super rad sister company called Superthing Coffee Roasters. It’s local, small-batch, and consistently delicious.
For all those foodies whose phones eat first, on the weekends, they transform into a buzzy brunch cafe, so leave your laptop at home (as WiFi is turned off during brunch hours), bring your appetite, and focus on relaxation and connection. No reservations needed; tables are first come, first served.
Located inside the Kendra Scott Flagship store, this whimsical, highly instagrammable gem among South Congress coffee shops serves exceptional java, global wines, sweet pastries, and a seasonal rotation of sweets and bites from local bakers. An indulgent brand experience, Sips & Sweets Cafe is a favorite wine bar in Austin because of its picturesque decor and delicious treats. Meet here after work for happy hour, weekend bites with your besties, or an afternoon pick-me-up. After you enjoy your treats on two gorgeous patios, take a moment to peruse through the store and draw inspo from the jewelry, home collection pieces, and one-of-a-kind ambiance.
Bennu is an independently owned 24-hour haunt with high-quality, fair-trade coffee, locally sourced food, and friendly service in a clean, comfortable atmosphere. Guests similarly enjoy the cozy seating, large tables and workspaces, WiFi (with purchase), and abundance of free parking. Before you know it, Bennu will be your reliable around-the-clock destination for getting together with friends, late-night study sessions, or grabbing a delicious cup of joe to go.
The beverage menu features personal French press service offered with a variety of rotating organic beans, seven signature gourmet mochas, an endless variety of customizable espresso drinks, and a daily offering of fresh brewed iced teas. And, of course, their acclaimed cold brew coffee – the original inspiration and recipe for nationally-sold bottled coffee, Chameleon Cold Brew.
The beating heart of Colton House – a glamorous hotel that combines residential amenities with upscale luxury and service – Simona’s offers visitors delicious coffee as well as a well-curated selection of beer, wine, and craft cocktails, along with gourmet grab-and-go snacks. Whether you’re catching up with friends, conducting an important business meeting, or just stopping in to reminisce about the day’s adventures (before you head out for the night), the friendly folks here have created a lush, multifaceted space that boasts ample eclectic yet posh seating arrangements, elegant old-world charm, and a kids space full of fun toys and games to keep your littles occupied while you indulge.
Combining the complementary cultures of coffee, food, wine, and bikes under one mid-century, neon-lit roof, The Meteor maintains a charming cafe area that pairs perfectly with their specialty coffee drinks, craft beer, natural wine, house-made baked goods, ingredient-driven food menu, and delicious Roman-style pizza.
Meanwhile, the bike shop is a boutique retail environment that specializes in expert service and a carefully vetted selection of bikes, apparel, accessories, and Meteor-branded gear.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best South Congress coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Round Rock!