Austin has a massive amount of coffee shops and cafes to hang out and do work. At the best spots, expect to find high-quality coffee, breakfast tacos, and bright airy spaces. Below are the few places I’m vibing right now to grab a coffee and get some work done.
Juan Pelota is inside Mellow Johnny’s Bikeshop, owned and started by Lance Armstrong. If you didn’t understand the name right off the bat, ‘Juan Pelota’ refers to Lance’s one testicle. Don’t get too hung up on that. Juan Pelota serves delicious coffee from Coava Roasters and has an upbeat vibe with cyclists and locals hanging out and sharing communal tables. It’s located right outside of downtown and is a good jumping off point for other activities around the city. Also, one of their baristas is a model for locally owned Criquet Shirts. He’s basically famous.
Epoch Coffee has a couple of locations north of downtown but definitely try their cafe on North Loop. It’s open 24/7 and has a standard menu of coffee drinks and tea in a casual space. Afterwards, check out some of the boutique and resale shops along North Loop and get a drink at Workhorse Bar or Drink.Well.
Cafe Medici has five locations around Austin, but go to the original in Clarksville. It’s in an old house which Medici’s website describes as ‘the neighborhood’s living room.’ It’s so true. Grab a table outside and watch as folks from the neighborhood filter in and out. You can’t go wrong with any of their espresso drinks, especially their cortado.
Disclaimer up front: Radio Coffee doesn’t have Wi-Fi. So you can actually get work done without constant e-mail distractions. The coffee shop is in a nondescript house with wood-paneled interiors and a huge outdoor patio. They serve Stumptown Coffee but also have a rotating list of beers and kombucha on draft. The top reason to hit Radio, however, is not for the coffee but the tacos. They have a Veracruz Taco truck out back every day. Their migas taco is nationally recognized. It’s legit.
Bennu Coffee is a cavernous cafe filled with mismatched tables and seating. This is a go-to spot for UT students to study and is one of the few 24-hour coffee shops in town. They have pastries from Russell’s Bakery, breakfast tacos from Taco Mex, and pre-packaged sandwiches from Fricano’s. The founder of Bennu also started the fast-growing Chameleon Cold Brew.
Houndstooth is one of the best coffee shops in the city, known for their espresso-based drinks. Their latte is perfect and I’m 100% OK paying $5 or $6 every time. They have two locations but opt for the North Lamar shop as you can couple it with Tacodeli for breakfast tacos. Get the Otto or Jess Special. They won’t disappoint.
Thunderbird Coffee on Manor Rd. has loads of seating both inside and out and serves coffee, beer, and a limited food menu. It’s a chill spot with a mixture of people working on laptops and others meeting quietly over coffee. It’s also near two great taco spots in Mi Madre’s and El Chilito so grab a couple of breakfast tacos beforehand. The machado (beef and eggs) at Mi Madre’s is incredible but you can’t go wrong with any of their other options. These tacos are enormous and they have unreal tortillas.
Mozart’s Coffee is an awesome place to work outside. It’s located right on Lake Austin. They roast their own coffee and have a ridiculous array of pastries and other sweets. That said, the drinks and food are OK with most people come here for the views and large outdoor patio. When you’re done working, pop over to Abel’s or Hula Hut for a more adult drink.
Cenote is the best coffee shop to hit if you’re looking to grab some food as well. They offer delicious breakfast tacos and sandwiches and great salads for lunch. The mango fields salad is a personal favorite. Add salmon and it’s out of control. Cenote is in an old house on the east side of downtown and has a huge outdoor patio with tons of shade.
Cherrywood Coffeehouse is a unique little cafe with ample seating both inside and outside. Much like Bennu, you’ll find a lot of UT students here studying or meeting for group projects. They have a solid food menu but I always find myself caving and succumbing to the delicious Chocolate City smoothie. As an added plus, they offer yoga every day at 8 a.m.
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