The gig economy has transformed some coffee shops into hip workplaces in addition to being lively social scenes. Whether your goal is to work, hang out or just break through that mental fog, the coffee shops below will help get your day started right.
Located on the busiest portion of South Congress Avenue, Jo’s Coffee is an excellent people-watching perch. All the seating is outdoors, and you can plant yourself on a stool facing the street and enjoy the scenery. People are attracted by both the coffee and the famous “I love you so much” graffiti on one side of the building. The Iced Turbo and Belgian Bomber coffee drinks are crowd favorites, and there’s also a tasty selection of hot and cold sandwiches and breakfast tacos.
Summer Moon roasts its coffee the old-fashioned way, in a brick hearth heated by burning oak logs. An actual human spins the contraption until the beans are roasted to perfection. The result is a richly flavored coffee you can’t find anywhere else in town. The Half Moon latte is a popular choice because it’s mildly sweet with a serious caffeine kick. The Winter Moon iced coffee is ideal for hot Austin summer days.
This east Austin locale is a coffee shop on one side and a bike shop on the other. Parking is minimal, so most of the customers walk or bike to the shop, adding to the neighborhood vibe. Most of the time, beans are being roasted in the back of the store, ensuring that the place always smells great. Mexican mocha, latte and espresso are all top-notch at this friendly spot. And if your bike needs a new tire or other routine maintenance, you can often get the work done while you enjoy your coffee.
A popular hangout in the upscale Westlake neighborhood, Trianon Coffee serves up gourmet coffees from around the world. In addition to the usual lattes and cappuccinos, the shop offers smoothies, Italian sodas and blended matcha. The roomy venue has a wide variety of seating options, including stools, puffy chairs, couches and standard tables. For those who also want to brew fine coffee at home, the store sells a full line of accessories, including carafes, filters, mugs, grinders and storage containers.
The view of Lake Austin may be the main attraction, but Mozart’s also has wonderful coffee and desserts. Don’t miss out on the tiramisu and pecan tarts. If you prefer something savory, there’s also a selection of artisan sandwiches, quiches and empanadas. While the parking can be a hassle due to the proximity to Hula Hut, you can enjoy a nice long stay because of the reasonably priced Bottomless Coffee option. During the Christmas season, the restaurant is decked out in holiday lights and other decorations.
Revival Coffee has a strong community focus, even allowing customers to vote on which local charities the shop should support. Vibrantly colored murals by local artists adorn the exterior walls and fences. In keeping with the creative and offbeat vibe of the place, a lavender latte is the go-to beverage. The lavender syrup can also be added to their cold brews. The shop sells a few pastries, but several food trucks are available next door if you need a larger meal.
The relatively new south Austin location is already firing on all cylinders. Austin Java is serious about both high-quality coffee and super-fresh food. The atmosphere is a little more structured than most coffee shops since they seat you and provide table service. In addition to all the standard coffee beverages, Austin Java sells Vietnamese iced coffee and sweet concoctions like the Toffee Crunch and Dreamsicle frappes. The wide-ranging menu includes breakfast tacos, burgers, sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes.
Located in the iconic Frost Bank building, Houndstooth Coffee is a daily stop for many downtown office workers and high-rise residents. The beautiful red-tile walls and floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel like you’re not in an office building. Espressos and cappuccinos are the top sellers for sluggish white-collar warriors. Gourmet coffee aficionados appreciate Houndstooth’s single-origin cortado. Single-origin coffees are sourced from small geographic regions and usually represent the best beans from that area. Tacos and pastries from Texas French Bread and Tacodeli are also available.