Strong, Sleek, and Steamy: A Guide to Austin Coffee Shops

This town runs on caffeine, how else would everyone power through all the late nights spent watching live music? (Answer: breakfast tacos). Boutique coffee shops can be found all over town, each brewing their own lovingly made version of the best cup of joe, from nitro cold brews, to a frothy latte. Find your perch and stay a while.

Figure 8 – Recommended by The Sword
Not only does this coffee shop offer tasty drinks; it also offers a tasteful atmosphere. The hip cafe is filled with warm natural light that highlights the aesthetically pleasing decor. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, just like the baristas that work there. The baristas will brighten your morning so much that you won’t even need caffeine anymore. Although the decorations are fairly contemporary and modern, you will still feel comfy and right at home at this spot. The music may be relaxing, but the coffee certainly isn’t! Their strong selections will wake you right up. The rotating range of roasts keep things fresh, while their commitment to coffee (as opposed to smoothies, tea etc.) helps reduce menu anxiety.  Although the location gets crowded, customers will have no trouble finding a table. Their is plenty of outdoor and indoor seating. You may have trouble finding parking, but there are plenty of bicycle racks. P.S. Their coffee art is gorgeous and sometimes even creative (I recommend checking out their Guy Fieri cup on their Instagram page).

Drip coffee all the way!” — The Sword

Epoch – Recommended by Curtis Roush
Epoch is the spot to come to if you’re a night owl or looking for a unique story. It is also great if you’re an early morning riser looking for a place to focus. This 24 hour coffee shop is able to offer the best of both worlds due to its diverse inside and outside areas and long hours. The inside is usually populated by students looking for a place to get some serious studying in with the aid of caffeine, comfy chairs, and free Wi-Fi. Outside on the other hand, are hordes of regulars with diverse backgrounds, lots of stories to tell, and lots of cigarettes to smoke. At epoch you can zone in or zone out. The popular spot is filled with eclectic furniture and awesome art. The bathrooms are graffiti-friendly, packed with pictures and quotes from customers from all walks of life. If you come often enough, the baristas are sure to remember your order. If you are smart enough, you will make a slice of pizza part of your regular order. The spot offers ample seating, but good luck finding parking or seating during finals season!

Epoch on Burnet. Pour over game is strong. Top notch beans – I really dig Ethiopian coffees, lighter roasts.” – Curtis Roush

 Radio Coffee & Beer – Recommended by Bee Caves
This coffee shop/bar combo offers a little something for everyone. The coffee shop serves a legendary Nitro cold brew that could help you give the Road Runner a run for his money. In addition, there is a variety of other coffee choices that are on the sweeter and gentler side for those looking to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Busy-bees better act fast though, since the Wi-Fi becomes unavailable after 5 p.m. This helps to  encourage customers to socialize over tacos and beer outdoors though. The outdoors area hosts two taco trucks that serve mouth-watering tacos that complement the wide variety of local beers that are on tap inside. The happening hot spot also hosts movie and music nights. On Monday’s, local bluegrass musicians come to liven up the joint. This is a great place to get your buzz on!

Huge yard and kombucha on tap. Vera Cruz taco truck on-site for the added bonus.” – Bee Caves

Spider House – Recommended by Austin Basham
Spider House is the epitome of Austin culture. It is hip and cozy. Since 1995, the Spider House Village has hosted an array of trendy stores all situated within feet of one another. There are vintage clothing boutiques, beauty parlors, tattoo shops, photo stores and food trucks aligned throughout the small Spider House village. Spider House is definitely the highlight of the area though. Its patio is an oasis complete with shady trees, year round Christmas lights, picnic benches, antiques, art, board games, trivia nights, swings and diverse music both on stage (live music) and on stereo (radio). The awe-inspiring patio is a great place to relax and enjoy both coffee and cocktails. For those looking to get rowdy, the ballroom across the way offers daily events such as slam poetry and live music. The prices are unbeatable during happy hour, and the nightly drink specials are creative and fun. Unheard of in Austin, the locale offers free parking in spacious lots. Only down side of this place? It is rumored to be haunted! Keep an eye on your drink…

There’s a really quirky/weird coffee shop close to the UT campus called Spider House. It’s right down the street from my old college house. I used to study there a lot and even played a benefit show there once when I was in school.” – Austin Basham

These recs are from our latest vinyl and city guide package, The Sights and Sounds of Austin, presented by Boost Mobile. Check out the digital version of the guide below or head on over to our interactive Austin city guide!

photo by: Reagan Hackleman