Indie Coffee Shops to Perch & Work
There’s something singularly compelling about a great coffee shop—particularly when you’re trying to pound out an overdue novel/screenplay/thesis/PowerPoint something. The presence of other procrastinators, the really good coffee, the ambient buzz of community are inherently appealing. It’s not all that surprising that the number of work-friendly cafés is constantly on the rise, so we’ve updated our guide to reflect the latest and greatest spots in ten major cities, whether you drop in for quick macchiato or set up shop for the afternoon. (We’ve noted when they don’t offer internet, a blessing for those who can’t get off email. You know who you are.)
Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden709 E. 6th St., Downtown | 512.614.4972
This isn't exactly the classic working coffee shop, but the dual-experience concept behind Easy Tiger is pretty cool. Upstairs, there's a bakery with amazing Bavarian bread; downstairs, you'll find a beer garden with a mile-long beer list and rows of picnic tables; the outside, there's a patio with ping pong tables overlooking a quiet little creek. The downstairs is definitely a party in the evenings, but it's quiet upstairs, making it a good choice for an afternoon of work.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters & Bakery3825 Lake Austin Blvd., The Doke | 512.477.2900
The enormous outdoor patio at Mozart's is on a dock that extends out onto Lake Austin, marked by a few big, mature oak trees that give lots of shade. Between that, and the fact that you can get a bottomless mug of coffee for just $3.50, there's almost no reason to leave. If you're not in the mood to work, stop by on the weekends for live music or during the holidays for an over-the-top Christmas light display.
Vintage Heart Coffee1405 E. 7th St., East Austin | 512.524.0583
This homey, neighborhood spot offers simple, cozy décor and lots and lots of seating. They serve all of their cold drinks in a Mason jar (this is Texas, so all but the most hard-core coffee folks will be wanting their beverages iced); the go-to orders are definitely the vanilla and lavender lattes. Coffee is sourced from Third Coast Roasting company, a local outfit that uses fair-trade beans.
Houndstooth Coffee1900 N. Henderson Ave., Lower Greenville | 972.863.9080
It's easy to fall for the décor in Houndstooth, which features a wooden herringbone bar, Scandinavian-style furniture, and clusters of Edison bulbs. The overall effect is really minimalist, which is great, because it lets their extremely well-researched and perfectly executed coffee shine. Nice touch: the coffee cups have adorable silhouettes of Texas that you'll see when you make it to the bottom of the cup. There are also locations in Austin (in Rosedale and Downtown).
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew500 San Marcos St., East Austin | 512.493.0963
The guys at Brew & Brew are sort of the tech geeks of the coffee world—they'll make you your espresso on a super-sleek Modbar espresso machine, which gives the barista a lot of control to make the drink exactly to your specifications. The décor is hipster in the best possible way, with exposed brick walls that are decorated with painted stripes near the ceiling. Of course, as the name suggests, you can switch over from espresso to lager whenever you're so inclined.
Caffé Medici222B Guadalupe St., Central Austin | 512.524.5730
This adorable shop, owned by couple Alison and Michael Vaclav, has a few locations in Austin (including an outpost in Central Austin, Downtown, and Zilker). The coffee is all French pressed, with the rich, earthy taste that comes with it. The vibe here is decidedly unpretentious, making it a comfortable place to unwind and dig into some work. As a bonus, all but one of their locations is open until 10pm.
Radio Coffee & Beer4204 Manchaca Rd., South Lamar | 512.394.7844
In what seems to be the Austin way, this coffee shop also has a craft beer list for the after work crowd. The rustic interior boasts reclaimed wood floors and walls, while the outdoor space is marked by a roofless tent-pole barn; sitting under the twinkle lights in the evening makes you feel as though you've landed in someone's backyard for the night.