ATXGuide

The Best Coffee Shops In Downtown Austin

Our favorite places for coffee in downtown Austin to grab a quick cup or work for hours.
The Best Coffee Shops In Downtown Austin image

photo credit: Mica McCook

Downtown Austin has coffee shops on nearly every corner. The problem is many are basically the caliber of what you’d find in an airport. Whether you live or work Downtown, need a place to study or get some work done, or are looking to fuel up before a run around Town Lake, you can trust that every spot on this guide will serve you a reliably great cup of coffee. As a bonus, a lot of these coffee shops also have beer and wine—and good Happy Hours—in case you need to level yourself out after drinking caffeine all day.

Also see our guide to the best coffee shops in Austin, and our guide to the best cafes and coffee shops where you can get some work done.

THE SPOTS

Bakery/Cafe

Downtown Austin

$$$$Perfect For:Coffee & A Light Bite

Houndstooth makes some of the best coffee in Austin, and you’ll find the Downtown location hidden in the base of the Frost Bank Tower. You can tell this place pays attention to the details—like the slick decoration of the space, and exactly how loud to blast old-school hip hop so that you can still talk to the baristas about the pros and cons of oat milk. During peak hours it can get pretty busy and noisy, so it’s not ideal for a long work session or interview, but it’s fine for a meeting or just hanging out.

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Attached to The Independent Downtown (a.k.a. “The Jenga Building”), Codependent is a coffee shop and cocktail bar that serves as a great place to get some work done during the day, as long as you’re done by 4pm (or earlier on the weekends). Because after that, there's a “no laptop policy.” Food here consists of small bites like charcuterie boards and pastries, and the drinks—both cocktails and coffee—are worth a little detour. Come here to get some work done during the day, then order an espresso martini once evening strikes to keep the night going.

With an incredible view of Town Lake from its patio, The Perch is an under-the-radar refuge very close to the Convention Center in the Waller Creek Boathouse. On a nice day, the dog-friendly deck is a fantastic place to be (just know it can get busier on weekends). Go before or after renting a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, and get an avocado toast while pretending you’re one of the fit people who row on Town Lake every day. The food menu is broad, and there are very good coffee drinks, smoothies, beer, and wine. During the week it’s pretty work-friendly—there are only a couple of tables indoors, but the deck has outlets.

An offshoot of the very good South Lamar coffee shop Patika, Patika Luncheonette is tucked away on the ground floor of the 100 Congress building (it’s kind of a secret spot, hiding behind the elevator bank). Only open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm, it’s a small space with only five tiny tables and some counter seating. The draw here is the excellent coffee. If you realize you’ve forgotten to eat today and don’t have any time before your next meeting, know that the breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and salads are also good. It’s a decent place to get work done or have a meeting—even with a constant stream of office workers popping in—with good wifi but not a lot of outlets.

Halcyon is a Warehouse District all-day cafe that opened in 2002, before the term “all-day cafe” even existed. It’s a calm coffee shop by day where you can get some work done, a cafe with breakfast and simple food options like panini sandwiches and salads, and a bar that’s open until 2am every night, with cocktails, wine, and beer. It’s right near a bunch of nightclubs, and it’s probably the place you’ve drunkenly stumbled into at 1:30am for their tableside s’mores.

The Downtown location of Jo’s Coffee might not sport the same iconic “I love you so much” wall art found at its South Congress counterpart, but on the menu you’ll still find all the same great coffee drinks, including the Iced Turbo—basically a creamy, chocolatey, hazelnut cold brew. This location also has a big dining room, where you can grab a few minutes of air conditioning if you’re out shopping, or just post up and work for a while. There’s also a walk-up window facing the street if you’re just looking for a quick cup on the go. 

The Downtown coffee shop Mañana Dos is from the people behind Mañana on South Congress, so you’ll find exemplary pastries like kouign-amanns, but here you can also get grab-and-go salads, smoothies, and beer and wine. On Electric Drive by the Town Lake trail, the space is all glass, concrete, and blonde wood, with a big covered dog-friendly patio. While this spot can get a little loud, because it’s tucked on the western fringes of Downtown, it’s generally a relaxed space to hang out or work (with lots of outlets).

Sporting old wooden floorboards, local pastries, and cozy decor, The Hideout is one of the few coffee shops Downtown that actually feels like it grew up in Austin. It’s close to The Paramount and 6th Street, making this a great stop to grab a little caffeine before catching a film or heading out on the town. But you can also just hang out here during the day to get a little work done and feel like you’re in a cute little neighborhood shop somewhere far from 6th Street.

This Merit Coffee location in the Seaholm district is a great place to meet up with people or get some work done Downtown (there are a ton of outlets and good wifi). The coffee’s good—they roast their own beans—and there’s some outdoor seating, Tacodeli tacos, and pastries. Conveniently, it’s near the new library and Trader Joe’s, so you can return those overdue books and pick up some sriracha hummus and pumpkin-spice kale chips before or after you get your caffeine fix.

photo credit: Chase Daniel

Right in the middle of the lobby of the Line Hotel Downtown is a walk-up counter location of Alfred, a mini-chain of trendy coffee shops based out of LA. In other words, it’s the kind of place that has kombucha on tap, matcha drinks, and plenty of milk alternatives. There are a few tables nearby, or you can sit anywhere you want in the lobby, but it’s not a place you’re going to want to linger for very long. Instead, stop by to pick up some very good coffee and tea. The pastries are made in-house, and the best are the matcha concha and the Eggs Benedict kolache.

Forthright, tucked away on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Brazos, is a cafe/restaurant you can also pop into for some very good coffee. It’s a bright space that’s polished enough for a work meeting, or you can easily camp out with a laptop at the wooden bar in the mornings. There’s also an elaborate tea and matcha drinks menu—one of the biggest in town. While it’s one of those places that serves avocado toast and makes their own nut milk, you can also get a Bloody Mary and fried chicken and waffles.

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Suggested Reading

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The Best Cafes & Coffee Shops For Doing Work In Austin

Our favorite places to caffeinate, work, eat, repeat.

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Where to get your late-morning and early-afternoon fix of eggs benedict, enchiladas, dim sum, and more.

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Some of our favorite places to grab lunch.

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