The 15 Best Coffee Shops in Austin Right Now

For working remotely, coffee dates, and people-watching.

With all the tech transplants and students filling up our fair city these days, it comes as no surprise that ATX is a major WFC (work-from-cafe) destination. There are so many options, too, suitable whatever the weather. Under the late-fall sun, you have scenic outdoor cafes that make excellent pit stops after your morning stroll (Mozart sits right by the lake, and Merit has space for dogs to play, for example). During the big freeze or the many days when temperatures veer toward scorching, let the indoor purveyors be your respite; from bustling Walton’s on Sixth, famed for its cakes, to the secluded Simona’s at the end of SoCo, where you’ll always find a seat. Whether you’re in search of strong Wi-Fi and power outlets or a place to get cozy with an acquaintance, these fabulous coffee shops will meet your needs.

Simonas

South Congress

At the back of Colton House, you’ll find the most beautiful of coffee bars designed by interiors extraordinaire, Patrice Rios. Sip under perfectly curated furnishings, fabrics, and lighting fixtures, in a two-story space that feels more like a chic townhouse than a coffee shop. There’s also a secluded outdoor patio shaded with oak trees, lots of snacks available (including Tacodeli cabinet), plus a cocktail and wine list to reward yourself at the end of the working day.

This quaint Victorian-style cafe has been packed out for decades by locals seeking generously portioned Texas comfort foods made fresh on-site, along with coffee and pastries. Usually busy, 1886 is a happening place to catch up with a group of pals, and if y’all prefer to caffeinate well into the afternoon, you’re in luck. Afternoon tea (which includes the option to switch out for coffee) is an institution at The Driskill, where 1886 is located—book way in advance.

Tous Les Jours

North Austin

Don’t be deceived by the name. Tous Les Jours, within North Austin’s H-Mart, is actually a French-Asian-inspired cafe and bakery chain from Korea. Their bread, pastries, and desserts are not only delicious—and not too sweet—but beautifully presented. Taking a bite with a hot brew is always heaven. Yes, this branch sits in the food court section, but it’s window-side, and a top spot for watching folks run their errands or browse K-beauty products. You’ll feel like you’re in Seoul—without the jet lag.

Good Things

Downtown

One of the city’s best-kept WFH secrets, Good Things is a little alcove that’s oh-so-quiet outside of the morning rush or festival season, with a seating area separate from the counter so you never feel like you’ve overstayed your welcome. Being at a hotel cafe means you can cheekily enjoy hotel perks without needing to actually be a guest, including long opening hours, strong Wi-Fi, and a multiple dining options.

It’s the most stylish coffee shop in town, but without the stuffiness. Codependent is an all-day hangout where you can recline on designer furniture until the after-work happy hour kicks in at 4 pm. The menu is extensive, beginning with coffee, tea, pastries, and morning cocktails, and ending with an evening menu full of nocturnal treats (a.k.a. wine, charcuterie boards, and indulgent desserts). Looking for a kick to your caffeine? The venue is famous for having the best Espresso Martini in Austin.

In need of an escape but out of PTO days? Check out Mozart, because flipping open a laptop under the warm winter sun within view of Lake Austin is the best way to take a day off without actually taking a day off. Coffee beans are roasted in-house here, and they’re great value too—for less than $5 you can go bottomless. Housemade cakes, pastries, and scones are similarly a must. Note that weekends are very busy with families and dogs.

For a quality brew, look no further than Merit in the pretty (and ultra-clean) Seaholm District. The shop works directly with farmers in Latin America and Africa to source beans, which are then roasted on a custom-built Probat roaster in Texas. In other words, they take their beans very seriously, and the coffee proves it. The Seaholm branch has a lovely outdoor terrace to enjoy, and it’s right by Healthy Pet Austin and a lawn area where dogs come to play.

If brain fuel is your priority, then come work from Walton’s. This joint is full of warm Southern charm and best known for legendary baked treats (the cake counter at the front is hard to resist). Line your stomach at breakfast with a coffee and pastry, and look forward to building your own sandwich come lunch, complete with oven-fresh bread. A long day in the office requires generous helpings of carbs, after all. And caffeine. 

Hank’s

Windsor Park

Anyone needing a solid source of caffeine amid a perfectly styled, sun-lit atmosphere will love Hank’s. The all-day diner sports the epitome of Insta-cool interiors with light wood banquettes, shiny cement floors, and white walls warmed by photogenic wicker furnishings, potted plants, and splashes of peach and green. Hank’s makes good use of Texas Coffee Traders’ locally roasted blend, which, in addition to the usual suspects, also includes refreshing Mint Cold Brew and Nut Milk Lattes.

The Brew & Brew is an ideal after-work spot to do more just work. The coffee shop and beer bar has plenty of seating, a buzzy open space, and a solid selection of food, coffee, and beer. Plus, it’s open until midnight-ish Tuesday to Saturday. Patrons can count on caffeinated classics made with a rotating selection of beans from top roasteries like Flat Track and Heart Roasters, alongside a list of stellar craft beers on tap.

Better Half does everything well. Come by any time of day for great food, world-class coffee, well-prepared cocktails, a killer selection of beer and wine, and ample parking. AM hours call for espresso, cold brew, and interesting drinks like a Cinnamon and Cardamom Latte. Those who do their best work after 5 pm will appreciate the cafe’s boozy offerings, like natural wine sold by the glass and bottle, plus creative cocktails and local beer. Indoor and patio seating is available.

Radio Coffee & Beer is a great place to hunker down and get things done with a cup of liquid motivation at one of the spot’s shady outdoor tables. The ever-present parade of patio pups means you’ll have no shortage of furry distractions (should you need to avert your gaze from your screen), and it also happens to be a legit South Austin food and drink destination. In addition to coffee classics from small-batch roasters, it’s home to a strong cocktail menu and some of Austin’s best food trucks by way of Veracruz All Natural and DEE DEE.

Now with two locations, Mañana offers bright, welcoming spaces dominated by colorful Mexican tiling and the hypnotic smell of fresh baked goods (both sweet and savory). While it can get pretty packed at peak times, the benefit of setting up at Mañana is that your meeting can easily migrate outdoors to the modern courtyards at both location. Try an Iced Japanese Flash Brew paired with a bakeshop treat, and stick around for live music events and happy hours.

Flat Track Coffee

East Cesar Chavez

Flat Track’s owners are obsessed with all things vintage and wheeled, so it makes sense that they share their industrial modern space bike shop Cycleast. Grab a shot of espresso or pour-over made with Flat Track’s house-roasted beans while browsing the bicycles for sale. Or sit on the adjoining patio while you sip on a Chingona (horchata and Mexican mocha with a shot of espresso) as you mull over that email you’ve been putting off all week.

Greater Goods’ East Austin flagship location is gorgeous, a former automotive shop stripped bare and re-clad in matte black and translucent panels. The space features indoor and outdoor seating options, as well as a particularly cozy reading nook with a view of the in-house industrial roaster responsible for the beans sold and brewed here. Greater Goods’ business model is based on giving back to local nonprofits like Central Texas Food Bank and Austin Pets Alive, so you can get a buzz and feel good about it, too.

James Wong is a Libra who spends his time pretending to be a vegan, watching wildlife clips, and booking plane tickets. Born in London, lived in Tokyo, and now residing in Austin, his greatest achievement is giving Posh Spice a hug in 2016.