When it comes to relaxing, there is a lot you can do in Austin. But as I sit here writing this post from a coffee shop on a warm 70 degree Austin February day I realize why I spend so many Sundays chilling with a latte instead of a margarita.
Austin has some amazing coffee shops, whether you are looking for a place to work from, somewhere to meet a friend, relax or go for a date you can find an Austin coffee shop that will cater to your needs
8) Cafe Medici
two three locations in Austin, Cafe Medici is great for downtown working and relaxing on the west side. Unlike many ‘chains’ the two Medici locations are distinctively different, and deserve two separate reviews, though at both locations they do my favorite latte in town.
The downtown Cafe Medici has a beautiful bar style downstairs, with plenty of upstairs seating (with power outlets) for those who are working. It’s the perfect place t meet with clients, and it stays fairly quiet, even during the coffee shop rush hours.
The West Lynn location is much smaller, but feels cozy, and more personable. If I’m meeting friends for a little conversation over coffee this is my go-to location. My only critique of this friendly cafe is it’s size, but if it was bigger, it would probably lose it’s charm.
7) Austin Java
Austin Java might be one of Austin’s more famous coffee shop chains but it’s never let that stand in the way of serving great coffee, and tasty food. All of the Austin Java locations around town have somehow managed to bring together all the benefits of Starbucks, but with a friendlier local feel, plenty of power outlets for those looking to work, and some tasty food for a reasonable price. If you are a regular coffee drinker, I would highly recommend the Austin Java mug, which costs $10, but gives you dollar refills for life not a bad deal for those who rely on their morning java fix.
6) Bouldin Creek Cafe
Maybe known more for it’s hippy clientelle and vegetarian fare than it’s coffee, it is nevertheless an outstanding coffee shop in it’s own right. Austinites have loved this venue which is named after it’s original location on Bouldin. Though I am personally an avid carnivore, I nevertheless find my self stopping by Bouldin Creek Cafe on the regular for the Bello Jiafra Melt, a gorgeous portobella mushroom and red bell pepper stuffed toasted sandwhich.
5) Strange Brew Coffee
Strange Brew is a recent addition to the Austin coffee scene, but it has already integrated itself seamlessly with the culture. During the day it serves great coffee and toasted sandwiches, but it really starts to come alive in the evenings when they open up another section for local bands to play. For those who work on a slightly later schedule than the average employee, this is a great spot to combine your working life with a little fun (Helped along by a decent selection of beers and ciders!).
For those of you who work outside this is a great place to go during the spring/autumn months, each table is topped with a gazebo to keep the sun of your screen, and has a pull down outlet to keep your laptop runnin!
4) Spider House
Spider House is another Austin institution that has stayed alive through providing a great mix of filling food, coffee and live music. This place has a habit of picking up amazing musicians for it’s line ups, especially during SXSW and ACL (Where you can at least switch out the hectic crowds for hectic local crowds). One thing definitely worth mentioning is that Spider House has one of the best patios in Austin, it does feel like a casual backyard, perfect for hanging out in during the Austin summer!
Often student filled, and with the vague smell of sweat, Bennu nevertheless makes it high up on my list of coffee shops thanks to it’s friendliness to those of us who work virtually. Great coffee, Houndstooth Pizza, and plenty of outlets for laptops!
The atmosphere in Bennu is a little eclectic, with local art ardorning the walls, and random office, lounge and dining chairs surrounding the tables. There’s also plenty of couch space available where you will often see people relaxing or studying, book in lap.
The informal-ness of Bennu is really what makes it special. You feel as if you are at home as soon as you walk through the door, and the friendly staff make sure you become part of the regular family as soon as you walk up to the counter. The best part, Bennu is open 24 hours a day, a substantial benefit for many people who keep to odd hours when they work remotely.
2) Halcyon Cafe
Halcyon fast become my go-to working spot. When it comes to downtown working and relaxing this place is relaxed, reasonably priced and brings in some great coffee (With a few adult options if you want a little extra kick.). On an evening it switches over to more of a bar, serving cocktails and beers till the early hours. The downside of this is that if you like to work later, it can get a little loud and rowdy.
For those just looking to hang out with some friends, Halcyon has a few menu treats that are perfect for sharing, the best of which is the S’mores plate (Adult version also available) which comes with your own personal mini fire to roast your marshmallows with. Mix in a few of the signature cocktails and you are going to have a fantastic evening!
Halcyon also has a great selection for the smokers among my readers, with a cigar packed humidor room, and a wide range of cigarettes.
As it’s slogan proclaims, Halcyon, all your legal vices under one roof.
1) Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
Lakeside view, free coffee re-fills, and the beans roasted on-premise, and by far the best patio area in town. Mozart’s is by far the best coffee shop in town. Even if the WiFi can be a bit spotty at times, the frustration fades away as you look out over the lake and feel the breeze on your face. Mozart’s even caters for the 100 degree plus summer months with a large conservatory area with plenty of outlets for those wanting to work.
Though I moved away form the west side of town recently, Mozart’s is still a home away from home for me, a place that reminds me why I am so lucky to be able to telecommute.
When the sun starts to fade you will often find live music being played on the outdoor decks by a wide selection of local musicians, solo and bands, who play in the warm summer evenings. It’s not just summer when Mozart’s keeps going in to the night, the Winter lights show gets better every year!
Though it can often get crowded by students and the west lake elite alike, you are rarely left waiting in line or long.
The final point worth mentioning is that though Mozart’s only serves light food and (delicious) desserts, you can bring in food from both Abel’s and Hula Hut which are right nextdoor!
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