Get Your "Kicks" At These Austin-centric Coffee Houses

By Shilpa Bakre

Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature food and drink really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Austin has had much success creating a substantial market for coffee drinkers. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent java and more. More often than not, most of these locales are coffeehouses by day , and lounges by night. You'll also find sustainable practices as places like Dominican Joe or Thunderbird.

5. Ventana del Soul

Dominican Joe's, affectionately known to locals as "DoJo's" is located just south of town in an up and coming area of town. The nonprofit coffee house was started in 2006 by two UT grads who wanted to own their own business but also make a positive difference in the world. They partner with another local nonprofit Makarios that is dedicated to the educational and economic development of the Dominican Republic. Makarios buys coffee direct from a farming community using fair trade practices and pricing in the Dominican Republic and then sells it to DoJos. The proceeds then go directly back into the community. All of that goodwill aside, they make a mean Americano, offer free wifi, and a plenty of seating. Dominican Joe's, affectionately known to locals as "DoJo's" is located just south of town in an up and coming area of town. The nonprofit coffee house was started in 2006 by two UT grads who wanted to own their own business but also make a positive difference in the world. They partner with another local nonprofit Makarios that is dedicated to the educational and economic development of the Dominican Republic. Makarios buys coffee direct from a farming community using fair trade practices and pricing in the Dominican Republic and then sells it to DoJos. The proceeds then go directly back into the community. All of that goodwill aside, they make a mean Americano, offer free wifi, and a plenty of seating.

4. Mozart's Coffee Roasters
Photo courtesy of Mozart's Coffee Roasters

This coffee shop's draw is its proximity to the water on Lake Austin. The deck is a local favorite during temperate fall and spring and even winter days. The European-style cafe with its soaring ceilings and brick-clad walls overlooks features a host of specialty coffees, espressos, gourmet teas, and granitas, not to mention an array of stellar desserts and pastries made in-house. Live music is offered on weekend evenings as well. Be sure to check out the views from the huge, tree-shaded deck.

3. Irie Bean Coffee Bar

Intent on customer satisfaction, Irie enjoys a loyal clientele and adds its own brand of cool to the neighborhood. The place's name (pronounced "eye-ree") is Jamaican and translates as "the state of feeling great." That vibe is evident thanks to a relaxed ambience, terrific coffee drinks, and a selection of sandwiches and baked goods that's available all day. (Customers are welcome to bring food in as well.) Colorful baristas contribute to the atmosphere, and WiFi, comfy leather furniture, and an outdoor patio are added perks. If coffee isnt your thing, they they always have a great stash of local brews to enjoy too.

2. Spider House Patio Bar & Cafe

Like many coffee places in Austin, the Spider occupies a former house. It's a cross between a coffeehouse and a bar and is extremely popular with students. At any given time, you're likely to find fokls deeply engrossed in their laptops, hanging with friends, or enjoying a film. The menu includes delctable sandwiches, excellent local craft beer, and of course a variety of caffeine drinks. They also host plenty of unique Austin events.

1. Halcyon Coffee | Bar | Lounge
Photo courtesy of Halcyon Coffee | Bar | Lounge

The one thing you can't help but notice about Austin is its eclectic blend of people and personalities, which exist in seeming harmony. This coffeehouse is one of the places that best exemplifies that simple truth. As you sip a cup of, perhaps, Vietnamese coffee, you're sure to see everyone from conservative business people to trendy hipsters. They all share a love of the bean, and they often take advantage of the make-your-own s'mores too. A wonderful way to begin or end your day.