Austin’s specialty coffee coffee scene has moved beyond up-and-coming status and is deserving of attention as a worthy destination in its own right. There is way too much to see or taste in one trip. Here are some generalizations to help you prioritize where you would like to visit:
- Out-of-town baristas go to: Fleet Coffee (East)—all about the coffee; multi-roaster cafe with championship baristas
- Austin baristas go to: Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors (East); Patika (South)
- Community activists go to: Greater Goods (East)—woman-owned business supporting women-owned businesses and community non-profits; in-house coffee classes; handsome build out
- Designers go to: Houndstooth Coffee (North, Downtown & East)—order the “twofer”; get inspired by the sharp interior design
- Process nerds go to: Cuvee Coffee (East)—Austin’s 1st specialty coffee roaster; interesting cafe gear & layout
- Motorcycle/bicycle aficionados go to: Flat Track Coffee (East)—local roaster located in bike shop
- Wood nerds go to: Flitch Coffee (East)—woman-owned coffee trailer, on-site wood workshop & urban lumber company
- Beer drinkers go to: Wright Bros. Brew & Brew (East)—39 beers and ciders on tap
- Hungry for breakfast crowds go to: Cenote Coffee (East); Thunderbird Coffee (North & East)
- History buffs go to: Caffe Medici (West, Downtown, etc.)—Austin’s original specialty coffee bar
- Wild Gift Coffee fans go to: Once Over Coffee Bar (South)—classic old Austin coffee bar serving some of the locally roasted espresso; Wild Gift coffees always in stock here
- Band members go to: Machine Head Coffee (North)—coffee recipes plus playlists; located inside Veracruz All Natural (great breakfast tacos!)
- HGTV fans go to: Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits (Waco)—come to Waco, let yourself go and just die
If this list seems biased towards East Austin, that’s not your imagination. We have lived and worked since 2005, so the locational bias is real and, arguably, unavoidable. Ping me if I am missing a juicy specialty coffee destination in Austin and I’ll add it to the list.
Also, if you are traveling to Austin and looking to stay someplace walking or biking distance from downtown and a bunch of East Austin’s finest cafes, check out our alley flat on Airbnb: East Austin Nest. Outside of summer, when no one in their right mind visits Austin voluntarily, our occupancy rates at are high. But you might find an opening that fits your schedule. It’s not the cheapest place to stay, but it is hard to beat the value. Great location. Handsome apartment. Excellent coffee set up. Gorgeous screened porch for enjoying your morning cuppa.