Over the past year, the Austonia team has been meeting at different coffee shops weekly to co-work. In the process, we’ve visited more than 40 local coffee shops in the city.
It’s safe to say that we’ve become very well-versed in Austin’s local coffee scene and we’ve had fun doing it. Since we were coworking, there was some criteria: There had to be seating and outlets for laptops, and each shop had to be open until 5 p.m. or later.
Our go-to orders:
- Senior producer Sonia Garcia typically goes for a floral iced tea or a chai tea latte.
- Austin FC reporter Claire Partain tries a different iced latte at each place she visits.
- Reporter Laura Figi usually reaches for a London Fog tea latte.
- Tech reporter Andrea likes the classics: a vanilla oat milk latte.
Next time you go out for a cup of joe, shake things up by visiting some of our tried-and-true cafés around town.
Café Crème | 1834 E Oltorf St.
This spacious Riverside coffee shop has it all: Parking, ample seating, hot food and a huge variety of coffees, teas and smoothies. Try a Cafe Sua Da, Claire's favorite Vietnamese iced coffee, and a homemade breakfast taco or have your pick of loose leaf teas while you nosh on a savory crepe. The eclectic inside has local art for sale all along the walls, large windows for tons of natural light, conference rooms you can rent and a lowkey outdoor patio for enjoying spring weather.
Cenote | 1010 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Come for the array of breakfast options and stay for the flavored mimosas. With plenty of seating indoor and out, Cenote shines best when it comes to its kitchen. Don’t sleep on its rainbow of salads, hot honey chicken or migas taco. Stay for a Michelada or your choice or local beers.
Flightpath Coffee | 5011 Duval St.
An unassuming gem, Flightpath Coffee makes for a great coworking space with multiple rooms, plenty of outlets and food options for all-day work. Flightpath's cozy outdoor patio is well-shaded so it stays cool even in the summer. Get a great selection of tea here!
Freddo ATX | 2336 S. Congress Ave.
Across the street from the oldest H-E-B in Austin in the historic Victorian Walter Tips House, Freddo ATX is a tranquil, quiet place to get some work done. A full menu of paninis, Austonia-approved breakfast sandwiches and daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. will keep you fed, whether you’re grinding or just enjoying the day. Don’t leave before you roam through all the rooms upstairs!
Greater Goods Coffee Roasting Co. | 2501 E. 5th St.
There isn’t much to eat at Greater Goods but the laptop-friendly atmosphere and phenomenal drinks make up for it. No two drinks are exactly the same, from the turmeric Tiger latte, coconut sugar Kali mocha, to Figi’s favorite, the McGregor, a rose tea and bourbon syrup latte.
The Hive | 10542 Menchaca Rd.
Nestled far south in a lush garden, The Hive will bring you back into nature without having to venture too far from the city. True to its name, The Hive has a huge garden to lounge in outback, and fresh treats while you’re there. We visited this coffee shop multiple times—our favorites are the coconut lemonade, lavender lattes and carrot cake.
Madrone Coffee Co. | 6266 US-290
A big stone building in Oak Hill, Madrone’s interior is dimly-lit and gives off a wintery vibe with a large fireplace as the focal point. Ask the barista what their recommendation is—Madrone frequently has revolving specials like dark chocolate matcha or mocha picante. Currently, Frida's Cocina Food Truck serves on the outdoor patio from 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
The Meteor | 2110 S Congress Ave.
Retro on the outside, modern on the inside, The Meteor is a cross between a café, bodega and bike shop. You’ll find your standard espresso and coffee options, lots of tea (may we say the best chai tea), plus a host of local beers and wines, for dine-in or to-go. If you’re hungry, grab one of their pastries, a sourdough pizza or Sonia’s favorite, “The Meteor Logical Bowl,” to enjoy on the sunny patio.
Nate’s Baked Goods & Coffee | 401 Orchard St.
This itty-bitty hidden coffee shop tucked just off of 5th Street, has some huge flavor inside. There is very little seating, which is offset by the huge amount of baked goods, unique drinks and affordable gourmet sandwiches. During our visit, we enjoyed a mint matcha lemonade, Dolly Parton-inspired cookies and a Super Bun breakfast sandwich.
Plaza Colombian Coffee Bar | 3842 S Congress Ave.
A festive tiki bar outside with a velvety dining room and stage inside, Plaza Columbian makes an easy transition from coffee to margarita. You’ll find lots of Colombian-inspired snacks inside, including the guava Gloria pastry, bocaditos and empanadas. Figi was wowed by the London Fog, made with vanilla beans, while the whole team enjoyed the plantain chips!
Opa | 2050 S. Lamar Blvd.
Grab a seat on the sunny patio or indoors for a good game of chess and some light Greek bites. There isn’t usually too much seating available for a long day of work, which goes to show how popular this day and night shop is. Grab a pizza, one of our favorite menu items, and some wine once the clock hits 5 p.m.
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By Samuel Stark
Those of us who have braved the journey to find parking on South Congress Avenue during peak hours know it is not for the faint of heart.
You might be circling, searching for an open spot for what feels like hours. Euphoria fills your spirit when you think you have finally found that perfect spot. But almost as quickly as your optimism ascended, it dissipates as you realize there is an almost inconceivably small car scooched all the way up to the curb. Your journey continues.
The Transportation Department is aware of the parking challenges in the area and is ready to take some steps based on recommendations that came from a study of the parking in the South Congress District, coordinated by the Downtown Austin Alliance.
“(South Congress is) experiencing the issues that happen when you grow businesses within a district: Everybody wants to go there,” Jason Redfern, division manager at the Transportation Department, told the Monitor. “And now we have to employ those tools to better manage all the parking and interest within that district,” he added.
The South Congress District parking study was split into two phases. Phase one aimed to diagnose the problems through data collection and analysis, and phase two laid out strategies to mitigate them.
The study found that many cars stay parked in the South Congress District, particularly on South Congress Avenue, for extended periods, sometimes beyond eight hours. Further, for the drivers who are violating parking rules, there is limited enforcement due in part to a lack of resources to fund enforcers.
Also, of the 5,400 parking spaces they tallied in the area, nearly 40 percent of the spots available at peak hours go underutilized, while spots on South Congress Avenue stay filled.
One of the study recommendations the Transportation Department is currently going forward with is the establishment of South Congress District as a Parking and Transportation Management District, a defined area that would benefit from the addition of parking meters. If a PTMD is approved in this area, 51 percent of the revenue collected from the parking meters would go to funding transportation-related projects within the district, Redfern said. See the proposed South Congress PTMD boundary here.
These parking districts already exist in the Austin area, including one on the east side.
“We’ve leveraged dollars (from) the East Austin area (PTMD) to help finish an intersection improvement project where they’re going to put in ADA-compliant ramps,” Redfern said.
Though eventually the Transportation Department will put meters into the South Congress District if the PTMD is approved, Redfern said they want to ensure other issues, such as simplifying and standardizing residential permit parking, are in place before they add them.
The parking study found that currently in the South Congress District there are 13 different types of residential parking permits, which have varying restrictions. The study authors point out that these different types of permits are “confusing” and suggest that this contributes to the underutilization of available spots, including for employees of South Congress establishments, outside of South Congress Avenue.
Before the PTMD strategy in the South Congress District is adopted, the plans will be presented before the Urban Transportation Commission and the Mobility Committee. The plan will then be presented to City Council, which will vote on it later this year, Redfern said.
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The Austin Police Department is investigating a suspicious death near Waterloo Park on Thursday night.
At the intersection of 12th and Red River streets, police received multiple calls at around 8:40 p.m. about a man covered in blood running in the roadway. Police say the man had potentially been stabbed. Austin-Travis County EMS transported the injured man to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No suspect is in custody at this time, and police did not reveal any suspect information in a late-night media briefing.
APD is asking anyone with information on this incident to contact Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or the homicide tip line at 512-477-3588.
Police said this was the second homicide incident they responded to in less than 24 hours.