Must-Try Cafes and Coffee Shops in Austin – Plus What to Order at Each Place
Austin, Texas, is among the most popular metros for those looking to relocate. From its beautiful weather to its thriving tech market, there’s a lot that this sunny city offers. For those that love a charming café or a unique coffee shop – Austin has you covered. The city is chock full of spots offering some of the best-tasting coffee and eats in the country. Unsure where to get started on your quest for the top cafes and coffee shops in Austin? We’re here to help. We put together a list of the must-try spots in the city along with what to order go.
Whether you’re a local living in an apartment in Austin, a tourist just passing through, or you’re moving to the area and looking for the best place to grab a cup of joe, read on to get a taste of what Austin offers.
Must-try drinks for the tea lovers
You don’t want to underestimate Austin’s love for tea. From matcha to chai and everything in between, don’t miss out on these fan favorite recommendations.
Gamma Ray tea
West China Tea is an artisan, and farm-direct Chinese loose leaf tea house in Austin that serves tea in the traditional Gong Fu Cha style. If you stop by this local shop, be sure to try their fan favorite, the Gamma Ray – Purple Red Tea. Not for the faint of heart, this sweet, earthy, fruity red liquor belies a rush of body-centered Qi that can be overwhelming to sensitive individuals.
Signature chai latte
Located in North Austin, Sorrento’s Coffee Drive Thru is a local, family-owned coffee shop and neighborhood staple. Their signature chai latte is their most popular drink due to its delicious handed-down secret recipe. For keeping cool this summer, you don’t want to miss their chai smoothies and espressocinos (espresso frappuccinos).
El Ultimo Latte del Mundo
Situated in East Austin, Revival Coffee is owned by Gabriela Bucio, a proud Latina, and restauranteur based in Austin. Known for its bright pink aesthetic, Revival Coffee is the perfect place to grab a delicious drink and also snap an Instagram-worthy photo. For those matcha lovers, you must try the El Último Latte del Mundo – a strawberry matcha latte topped with whipped cream and sparkles. Named after Bad Bunny’s “Último Tour del Mundo.”
Dirty chai latte
Also in East Austin, is Cafè Crème, a Vietnamese and French locally owned family business. If you stop by this cozy café, be sure to try their customer’s favorite version of a chai latte – but a bit dirtier. Their dirty chai latte is a unique blend of spices, chai tea, and sugar mixed with espresso and milk, making for an incredible latte.
Coffee drinks you’ll change your order for
Are you looking to switch up your favorite coffee drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the top coffee shops and what to try when you go.
Texas Coffee Traders
Roasting coffee on the Eastside since 1994, Texas Coffee Traders supports hundreds of local Austin businesses who use their coffee. If you find yourself in the area, stop by and smell the coffee wall or sample the day’s brews. If you’re looking to try a local favorite, go for the Shakerato, a shaken iced espresso that customers can’t seem to get enough of.
Radix House Coffee Shop is an Austin original and is founded on the mission of supporting communities through promoting conversation and education on PTSD and mental health. The shop offers its own locally grown hemp and locally made CBD items that you can add to your coffee. Try out their Rad Brew, Rad tea, or the popular CBD Latte.
Cappuccino made with Black Cat espresso and the Roadrunner
Escape to an oasis in the city by stopping by Intelligentsia Coffee Shoal Creek, where you can grab great coffee in a welcoming environment. If you stop by, make sure to take time to see the shop’s 30ft backdrop wall featuring Austin’s very own Erin Curtis’ inspiring art. Intelligentsia recommends newcomers try the cappuccino made with Black Cat espresso and the Roadrunner, which is a perfect summer pick-me-up.
Bourbon latte (alcohol-free)
If you’re walking into Greater Goods Coffee Co. and don’t get the bourbon latte, you’re doing it wrong. House-made Treaty Oak bourbon syrup paired with espresso and your milk of choice for a signature drink that hits the spot, hot or iced. It tastes kind of like caramel, kind of like baking spices, and it’s alcohol-free.
Lavender oat milk latte
Located in a 100-year-old casita, El Tigre Coffee Roasters offers a unique and homey experience. You can’t go wrong with any of their espresso-based beverages, but the lavender oat milk latte, iced or hot, has been a fan favorite since they’ve opened. The shop uses delicious Maison Routin 1883 syrups out of the French Alps and creamy Minor Figures Oat Milk to ensure the ingredients added to their coffee are as high quality as their natural and organic coffee beans.
French Vietnamese Au Lait
Passing by the West Capitol neighborhood, check out the lively indoor/outdoor space of Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea. The shop’s must-try drink is the French Vietnamese Au Lait; this rich, luscious drink is a French chicory coffee sweetened in the Asian tradition of using condensed milk and frozen, blended ice dragons.
If your mouth wasn’t watering already, try these popular eats
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, Austin is the place to be. Whether that’s pancakes at 9 pm, a unique dessert, or a delicious sourdough pizza, you’re going to want to try all of these yummy recommendations.
Magnolia Mud served with salsa and tortilla chips
Magnolia Cafe is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. With a full menu served all day, you can get gingerbread pecan pancakes and eggs at 9 pm or a chicken alfredo with local fresh pasta for breakfast. If you stop by, be sure to try The Magnolia Mud – the cafe’s famous house-made queso, black beans, pico de gallo, and avocado served with salsa and tortilla chips. It’s perfect for sharing any time of day.
SuperTuck sourdough pizza
With a laid-back atmosphere and a strong community vibe, nothing beats a slice of SuperTuck pizza and a glass of natural wine on the patio. The Meteor mills their own grains for their sourdough pizza called the SuperTuck, plus they make their own pickled jalapeños.
House-made hearth bagel
In need of a quick meal? Swedish Hill is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite or take-home deli items. A staff favorite is the bagel and lox board. A house-made hearth bagel served with lox and accouterments is a great way to start any day or a perfect light lunch. The café recommends you pair it with a cortado or an iced drink from the coffee bar. If you stop in for lunch, try the Clarksville Crunch kale salad, a local favorite.
Confetti cupcake with dragonfruit frosting
Maaribu’s unique desserts are made with the highest quality ingredients in small batches and are gluten-free. Many of their items include superfoods and adaptogens, like their Confetti cupcake with dragonfruit frosting, which is full of antioxidants and prebiotics.
In the Brentwood neighborhood in Austin, Texas, Brentwood Social House is a woman-owned community cafe that seeks to connect, commune, and nourish. Stop by and try their Millionaire Bar, the perfect trifecta of sweet, crisp shortbread, rich caramel, and thick dark chocolate. Or try the Bakewell Tart, fluffy almond cake with a thin layer of raspberry jam baked in a pie crust, or their famous Fat Rascal Scone.
For a picturesque and must-try item from Ovenbird, opt for their breakfast sandwich. It’s served on a Bavarian croissant – a chewy, crunchy pretzel and a flaky, buttery croissant that you’ll find nowhere else. If that doesn’t satisfy your wants, Ovenbird suggests their Scotch Egg – a still-soft-on-the-inside egg wrapped in sausage, breaded and fried. They lay it on a bed of arugula with a dollop of tomato jam on top.
Cherrywood Coffeehouse boasts freshly made-to-order food. Their top seller is the Sol Taco, an open-faced taco piled high with egg, sausage, bacon, black beans, and cheese topped with hand-cut shoestring fries. Looking for something different? The award-winning cheeseburger is a must-try.
Creating gelato with unusual ingredients is Dolce Neve’s specialty. The shop loves creating gelato flavors using ingredients including cheese, which make the dessert borderline savory. Their most popular flavors include ricotta, honey, and pistachio; goat cheese and pecan; mascarpone and matcha.
Looking to spice up your order? Look no further
Need more than a coffee buzz? These shops not only serve coffee but also serve alcohol-infused drinks with coffee creating local favorites you’ll want to check out.
Frozen boozy coffee
Inspired by their obsession with creating an environment that embraces the principles of permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative systems, Cosmic Coffee Beer offers their most popular adult beverage – the Frozen Boozy Coffee. This creamy frozen delight is made with house espresso, dairy horchata, chocolate mole spices, tequila, and mezcal. It’s been called the adult version of Wendy’s Frosty. Not wanting a buzz? They also serve coffee. Their most popular coffee beverage is the Cosmic Comet: house cold-brew coffee with Mexican vanilla, orange honey, and oat milk – served hot or iced.
Chocolate espresso martini
Halcyon is an excellent option for a classy Sunday brunch to midnight snacks. The café is well known for its coffee cocktails, such as the crowd favorite Chocolate Espresso Martini and the Long Island Iced Coffee, which is strong in caffeine and booze.