A Guide to Austin Coffee Shops
Born and bred in the Lonestar state, this hallmark among Austin coffee shops features a bright and airy environment complete with warm earthy tones, ample seating, and a cozy little library nook. When it comes to java, flavor is key, and their on-staff Q-graders are certified to professionally evaluate the sensory characteristics of each potential coffee; they do a pretty great job at that too, considering Greater Goods was recently named Roast Magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year and Best Coffee in Texas by Food & Wine.
The folks here are also passionate about playing a constructive role in the community, that’s why each of their coffees supports one of four local non-profits. In other words, your morning cup of joe means meals for families, training for puppies, support for individuals with autism, and bright futures for children.
Worth the drive on 35, as the saying goes, intimately sized Figure 8 has industrial-chic digs complemented by greenery, a laid-back outdoor patio, and what may just be the most skilled baristas in town; whether in the mood for a latte, cortado, or cappuccino, prepare your tastebuds for one divine encounter.
Conveniently situated on a breezy South Congress 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 (which it certainly seems to be, given the lines), then their concerts, fundraisers, and iconic streetside-covered patio sure are.
Open through the late-night hours, Epoch’s generous abode nestled within the North Loop neighborhood – known for many modest single-family homes, colorful vintage boutiques, plus record and book stores – has been a local haunt since the mid-2000s. It showcases a casual atmosphere, ample comfy seating, warm glows, and seasonally rotating creative expressions. Whether you’re searching for a great spot to get together with friends or an exceptional studying environment, any of Epoch’s several Austin coffee shops should do the trick.
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.
Bennu is an independently owned 24-hour gem 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, and WiFi (with purchase). 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.
A beloved tradition for three decades now, Mozart’s was one of the first coffee shops in Austin to roast in-house, offer free wifi, and add a bottomless cup to its menu – that’s not to mention the countless first dates, business meetings, and events. On the latter note, during SXSW, it’s not uncommon to see a famous face or two taking solace and relaxing before the next show.
Overlooking the waters of Lake Austin, their outdoor deck is an experience that can’t be missed. Curl up with a book under an oak tree, watch the turtles come up for air, gather with loved ones at a patio table, or if you’re in town for Christmas, be sure to check out the bigger, brighter, and better than ever Annual Christmas Light Show.
Founded in 1998, Cuvée had humble beginnings as an exploratory hobby in a Dallas warehouse. Mentored by his uncle, owner and veteran Mike McKim found enjoyment in the roasting process and quickly realized that his product was in great demand.
These days, Cuvée operates from a world-class lab planted in the sprawling hills and dense cedar of Austin, Texas. Along with locally roasted craft coffee, their flagship shop on 6th Street maintains a tantalizing selection of craft beer and wine.
A few blocks over from 6th Street, Wright Bros Brew & Brew serves classic espresso drinks, filter coffee, and cold brew amidst stylish industrial digs. Keeping things fresh, their seasonal selections of fresh crop coffees change almost daily and include Austin-based brands such as Superthing and Figure 8. While visiting, your eyes may wander over to the 38 craft beers on tap or the mixed drinks menu, which includes tempting creations like a cold-brew splashed old-fashioned and an iced oat latte with vanilla and Jim Beam known as the Zoom Meeting Special.
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.
A must-visit for those aesthetically inclined connoisseurs of all things pink and pretty, Revival embodies the latest project from Gabriela Bucio, a proud Latina and restauranteur based here in Austin. The Instagrammable decor complements house specialties that include seductive amalgamations such as the Abuelita Latte (Mexican hot cocoa with espresso) and matcha-infused Fruity Pebbles.
Houndstooth’s several Austin coffee shops carry java, teas, and pastries that are sustainably sourced from both local and national partners, along with some of the finest estates, farms, and provinces around the world. At the N Lamar location, their gorgeous coffee bar sits center stage and is surrounded by numerous furnishings, trendy light fixtures hanging from above, and minimalistic walls to each side.
What began as a mobile coffee caterer in 2012 has since blossomed into this specialty roaster and moto cafe on the Eastside of town. Flat Track offers freshly roasted java made with an approach that aims to balance the unique flavors, sweetness, and acidity present in each bean. The shop itself has all kinds of bicycles, several motorcycles, and is flanked by a stunning outdoor patio with picnic benches, light bulbs strung overhead, and lush verdure around the edges.
Near and dear to the heart of downtown, The Hideout Coffee House features hardwood floors, art-adorned textured walls, ample seating, and plenty of natural light courtesy of the street-facing windows. Along with serving espresso drinks, locally sourced baked goods, vegan ice cream sandwiches, beer, wine, and light bites, this beauty also happens to be snuggled beneath an improv theatre so don’t hesitate to meander on upstairs and catch an assuredly once in a lifetime performance.
DJs spin vinyl every morning here, so prepare to move your feet to the culmination of sweet record collections and a radical sound system. The indoor space is quite small, so expect a short wait outside if there is a line – don’t worry, the line moves quickly and you’ll be eating and drinking in no time. Aside from delicious seasonal creations such as the refreshing Chai Rider and vegan Campfire Milkshake, Try Hard also maintains a family-friendly front patio and dog-friendly and smoking-friendly back patio that has shade/weather coverage so hangouts may carry on despite the rain.
Part live music venue, part beer garden, part coffee house, Radio is your south Austin haven complete with an expansive outdoor patio, plenty of furnishings, and gourmet food trailers – all set beneath majestic Texas live oak trees.
Whether you’d like to sink into a corner and appreciate the company of loved ones over a steamy cup of joe, groove to the tunes of a local musician on stage, sip on a snazzy hand-crafted cocktail, or silently work amidst the old world charm of a reliable neighborhood gathering space, whatever the case may be, they’ve got you covered.
Snuggled within the South Congress Hotel, Mañana is an aesthetic standout among Austin 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).
Good people, reasonable prices and some of the best burgers in town…add to that locally roasted organic fair trade Ruta Maya coffee and an extensive on tap beer list, and you have a landmark destination that is hard to beat. Also thanks in part to the live music, community events like art fairs and open mics, dog-friendly patio, plentiful seating, and excellent study ambiance, Cherrywood remains an essential neighborhood haunt on the ever-growing index of Austin coffee shops.
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, there are gluten-free and vegan food options too.
Located deep in the heart of East Austin and close to the University of Texas campus, Thunderbird serves locally roasted, fair trade Wild Gift Coffee and craft beer amidst casual digs perhaps most underscored by several communal tables, eclectic chairs, exceptional WiFi, and a shaded wooden deck outside.
This adorable little cafe just a stone’s throw from 6th Street doesn’t have all that much seating inside or outside, however, what Fleet may lack in space, it sure does make up for with friendly service, seasonal cortados worth writing home about, and hand-crafted coffee derived from a diligently selected assortment of roasters.
Slinging caffeine by day and swanky craft cocktails by night, Carpenter Coffee Bar has tapped Texas’ botanical bounty for sips and snacks that feel as good as diving into Barton Springs. The space is an aesthetic treat among Austin coffee shops, by way of its good vintage vibes, warm earthy tones set against creamy white walls, ample wooden furnishings, leather seats, and occasional touches of plant life.
Cenote’s garden-surrounded building alone is a treasure, built in 1887, the historic house appears on Austin’s very first hand-drawn map, and over one hundred years later is still a fixture of its burgeoning community. Aside from serving amazing coffee, craft beers, and fine wines, they also have a full food menu of fresh offerings made with the best ingredients, including local veggies from many Texas farms, pasture-raised eggs from Vital Farms, and bacon from Flying Pig Provisions.
Housed within a graffiti art adorned, liquor store-looking building standing tall near the corner of St. Johns and Lamar, Barrett’s is a micro-roaster producing really tasty coffees on the daily. The shop has plenty of space to get work done, outdoor seating, as well as flavorfully adventurous specialties like a Chocolate Orange Blossom Latte, Nitro Root Beer Float, and the Ohayo – a cappuccino made with Breve and brown sugar, it’s as sweet, creamy, and decadent as you think it is.
Known for its rustic industrial charm and subtle infusions of Japanese culture, Sa-Tén was opened in the fall of 2014 and offers visitors an abundance of seating arrangements, convenient amenities for a productive cafe day, and superb espresso drinks, along with teas, local pastries, and mouthwatering food items such as chicken katsu, crispy tofu teriyaki, curry bowls, and kale salad.
Throughout the years, Caffe Medici’s Guadalupe cafe has hosted countless students, faculty, and staff from the University of Texas. With its high brick walls, vast second floor, and natural light shining through the windows during the day, this mainstay among Austin coffee shops carries a vibrant, youthful atmosphere that’s perfect for study sessions, get-togethers with friends, or just a well-balanced espresso.
This family-owned small business is an independent roaster residing within a massive warehouse where you’re sure to find a full-service espresso bar, a comprehensive inventory of coffee brewing accessories, and the famous “Wall of Coffee” featuring over 100 coffees from around the world. Bear in mind, Texas Coffee Traders doesn’t have too much room to lounge around, aside from a sparsely furnished patio area, but they do have a very convenient walk-up window that’s great for those on a stroll or otherwise looking for high-quality grab-n-go coffee.
Near and dear to the heart of Los Angeles, since its opening, Alfred has been a first among third-wave cafes to place an instagrammable emphasis on customer experience. Their introduction to Austin via the LINE Hotel lobby is no exception to this rule, offering aesthetically inclined patrons a photo op per every beautified corner – there’s the textured high ceiling, moody black walls, crackling modern fireplace, hints of verdure, and plush seating arrangements dappled throughout.
This Texas favorite offers guests a pleasant experience accentuated by an overall quaint yet open and airy environment dappled with cushioned seating and natural sunlight. Merit scours the globe in search of the best coffee beans before ultimately having them delivered to a facility where they roast test batches, cup, taste, adjust, test some more and finally establish the perfect roast for the beans. Rest assured, the folks here take their java sourcing, roasting, and brewing methods as seriously as they do their charming ambiance.
After moving from San Francisco to Chicago, Doug Zell and Emily Mange found that great-tasting coffee in their new home was surprisingly elusive. But instead of complaining or – even worse – settling for bad coffee, they hunkered down and opened a cafe and roaster in the windy city’s emerging Lakeview neighborhood on October 9, 1995.
Their operation has since grown to encompass visually attractive locations spread across the country. Intelligentsia’s Austin store is located near the Colorado River and it serves as a testament to this specialty coffee pioneer’s rise from humble independent roots. The ritzy coffee bar also showcases cute furnishings and an absolutely stunning tile wall mural complete with wide-ranging tones of reds and blues.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best coffee shops in Austin, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in the South Congress District!