Most Austinites aren’t strangers to a good cup of Joe—but there’s still a vast variety of coffee shops that don’t get the attention they deserve. For good vibes and great brew, here are four of my personal favorites.
This tasteful and quaint coffee shop serves its iced drinks in mason jars, which was enough to win me over before I’d even taken a sip. My vanilla iced latte was subtle in flavor but strong in sweetness. The walls are decorated with an eclectic assortment of picture frames and light fixtures, and a few large windows give the small shop a soft, natural glow on sunny days. This would be a wonderful place to meet a friend for a long chat or to spend a few hours reading or studying.
Hours: Mon-Sun: 7am-8am
Location: 1405 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
I nearly passed this unassuming coffee shop twice before heading inside. Prices are on the steeper end—a plain latte will run you about $4—but there is a 10% cash discount, so bring some green. I savored the best iced chai latte I’ve ever had in the back of the shop, which features a sizeable patio beside a small creek and is surrounded by strung lights and plenty of greenery. The iced chai was smooth and sweet but not overpowering, and had subtle cinnamon flavor.
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-pm, Sun 8am-6pm
Location: 2009 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Gelato meets espresso at this charmer off 38th street, which offers a multitude of gelato flavors that range from plain chocolate to more original flavors like horchata and coffee Oreo. The coffee menu also offers a variety of syrups and is one of a few shops to offer multiple different types of milk, like almond and soy. Try the affogato, which features a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of gelato; just pick your flavor wisely. Bonus perk: on Mondays, students get $2 gelato cones.
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-10pm., Fri 7am-12am, Sat 8am–12am, Sun 8:30am–10pm
Location: 1206 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78705
This little coffee shop is housed behind a bookstore and a clothing boutique with the friendliest baristas and no menu. Patrons can order pretty much any standard drink. I opted for a regular cappuccino, which turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve ever had: creamy, smooth, and topped off beautifully with latte art.
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sun 9am-5pm
Location: 913 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Just try to pace yourself when coffee shop hopping—that caffeine high can last quite a while.