Fall is here, which means pumpkin spice EVERYTHING is back, so it’s time to get your latte on!
I set out on a mission to find the capital city’s best caffeinated bliss in an indie-mug, and here are the top five:
Picnik Austin, South Lamar Boulevard
Yes, it’s a food truck—well, more like a trailer/storage box—which makes it even more amazing. Besides to-die-for coffee, Picnik serves up Paleo breakfast tacos, gluten-free pastries and delicious coconut water smoothies. It’s perched on a grassy hill in the middle of busy Lamar, complete with tables and mats, adorably decorated like somewhere you’d expect hipster coffee-lovers to summer vacation. The service is what really keeps me coming back. You’ll never meet a more friendly barista.
Strange Brew, Manchaca Road
Strange Brew is definitely strange. Positioned oddly in the middle of a run-down strip mall, it’s half live music venue, half simple work space for coffee (and/or beer) drinkers. You can easily drive right past it on Manchaca, but don’t! It’s a great spot to sip amazing coffee and chill before heading into the next room to see an incredible band perform. Pretty great combo.
Irie Bean Coffee Bar, South Lamar Boulevard
Irie brings me back to college. It’s nothing special on the outside—faded sign, easily missed in the hustle and bustle of Lamar. But the inside is what draws you in—cozy and quaint, serving up some remarkable coffee. You walk in and wish you were a student again, just so you could curl up in a chair and study in the perfect atmosphere. Their mission statement is all about “positive vibes” and they definitely encompass that.
Radio Coffee & Beer, Manchaca Road
Radio has it all, really. A lot of indoor and outdoor seating, not one but TWO food trucks in the yard, delightful coffee and a top-notch craft beer selection. If you still need convincing, Radio is host to trivia, Monday night Bluegrass (and lots of other live music on other nights) and a Sunday afternoon flea market. I could set up a tent in their yard and live there forever, a happy camper.
Patika Wine & Coffee, South Lamar Boulevard
Patika is tiny, but the classiest on this list for sure, complete with “gourmet light bites,” wine pairings, and jazz musicians. They serve an amazing cup of coffee that you can enjoy in their ritzy, but not over-the-top, setting. They also run a “happy kart” downtown on 4th and Congress.
Other favorites are Sa-Ten on Springdale Road, Epoch Coffee on West North Loop Boulevard and Café Crème on East Oltorf.
Austinites love farmers markets, jewelry and clothing boutiques, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars…go local with your caffeine buzz as well!
By Alysha Kaye