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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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!