10 best cafes in Austin to work

Austin has a massive amount of coffee shops and cafes to hang out and do work. At the best spots, expect to find high-quality coffee, breakfast tacos, and bright airy spaces. Below are the few places I’m vibing right now to grab a coffee and get some work done.

Juan Pelota


Juan Pelota is inside Mellow Johnny’s Bikeshop, owned and started by Lance Armstrong. If you didn’t understand the name right off the bat, ‘Juan Pelota’ refers to Lance’s one testicle. Don’t get too hung up on that. Juan Pelota serves delicious coffee from Coava Roasters and has an upbeat vibe with cyclists and locals hanging out and sharing communal tables. It’s located right outside of downtown and is a good jumping off point for other activities around the city. Also, one of their baristas is a model for locally owned Criquet Shirts. He’s basically famous.

Epoch Coffee

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Epoch Coffee has a couple of locations north of downtown but definitely try their cafe on North Loop. It’s open 24/7 and has a standard menu of coffee drinks and tea in a casual space. Afterwards, check out some of the boutique and resale shops along North Loop and get a drink at Workhorse Bar or Drink.Well.

Caffe Medici

Cafe Medici has five locations around Austin, but go to the original in Clarksville. It’s in an old house which Medici’s website describes as ‘the neighborhood’s living room.’ It’s so true. Grab a table outside and watch as folks from the neighborhood filter in and out. You can’t go wrong with any of their espresso drinks, especially their cortado.

Radio Coffee

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Disclaimer up front: Radio Coffee doesn’t have Wi-Fi. So you can actually get work done without constant e-mail distractions. The coffee shop is in a nondescript house with wood-paneled interiors and a huge outdoor patio. They serve Stumptown Coffee but also have a rotating list of beers and kombucha on draft. The top reason to hit Radio, however, is not for the coffee but the tacos. They have a Veracruz Taco truck out back every day. Their migas taco is nationally recognized. It’s legit.

Bennu Coffee

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Bennu Coffee is a cavernous cafe filled with mismatched tables and seating. This is a go-to spot for UT students to study and is one of the few 24-hour coffee shops in town. They have pastries from Russell’s Bakery, breakfast tacos from Taco Mex, and pre-packaged sandwiches from Fricano’s. The founder of Bennu also started the fast-growing Chameleon Cold Brew.

Houndstooth

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Houndstooth is one of the best coffee shops in the city, known for their espresso-based drinks. Their latte is perfect and I’m 100% OK paying $5 or $6 every time. They have two locations but opt for the North Lamar shop as you can couple it with Tacodeli for breakfast tacos. Get the Otto or Jess Special. They won’t disappoint.

Thunderbird Coffee

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Thunderbird Coffee on Manor Rd. has loads of seating both inside and out and serves coffee, beer, and a limited food menu. It’s a chill spot with a mixture of people working on laptops and others meeting quietly over coffee. It’s also near two great taco spots in Mi Madre’s and El Chilito so grab a couple of breakfast tacos beforehand. The machado (beef and eggs) at Mi Madre’s is incredible but you can’t go wrong with any of their other options. These tacos are enormous and they have unreal tortillas.

Mozart’s Coffee

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Mozart’s Coffee is an awesome place to work outside. It’s located right on Lake Austin. They roast their own coffee and have a ridiculous array of pastries and other sweets. That said, the drinks and food are OK with most people come here for the views and large outdoor patio. When you’re done working, pop over to Abel’s or Hula Hut for a more adult drink.

Cenote


Cenote is the best coffee shop to hit if you’re looking to grab some food as well. They offer delicious breakfast tacos and sandwiches and great salads for lunch. The mango fields salad is a personal favorite. Add salmon and it’s out of control. Cenote is in an old house on the east side of downtown and has a huge outdoor patio with tons of shade.

Cherrywood Coffeehouse

Cherrywood Coffeehouse is a unique little cafe with ample seating both inside and outside. Much like Bennu, you’ll find a lot of UT students here studying or meeting for group projects. They have a solid food menu but I always find myself caving and succumbing to the delicious Chocolate City smoothie. As an added plus, they offer yoga every day at 8 a.m.

Best Airbnbs in Austin, Texas

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. It’s got music, it’s got movies, it’s got food and wine and beer and just about everything you could want in a destination. But if it’s your first visit, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the mind-staggering possibilities for accommodation. Don’t get frazzled; we’ve put together a list of our top Airbnb options in the city.

$952/night, East Austin

Photo: Airbnb

If you are keen to hang out in gentrified East Austin, this bungalow is a solid rental. House is walking distance to some of the neighborhoods best cafes, restaurants and bars, such as: Figure 8 Coffee, Quickee Pickee, Hillside Farmacy and Whislers Cocktails.

Photo: Airbnb

$79/night, North Loop

Photo: Airbnb

The owners of this 80-sqft vintage camper describe their property; “If HDTV & Pinterest had a little affair baby, this would be it!”. Need we say more?

Photo: Airbnb

$120/night, Holly

Photo: Airbnb

This tiny house is just 1.5 miles from the convention center, and 10 minutes from the airport. Be sure to check out Blue Owl Brewing, a sour-mashed beer microbrewery one block away.

Photo: Airbnb

$1,395/night, Zilker Park

Photo: Airbnb

The four bedroom house looks over downtown Austin. It’s close to the Town Lake running trail, less than a mile from the flagship Whole Foods Market, and within 5 minutes from everything in downtown Austin.

Photo: Airbnb

$1,000/night, East Austin

Photo: Airbnb

Constructed in 1909, the 3,500 square foot house has been restored and can be rented for just over a grand. The property includes a massive backyard, including a covered dining table, BBQ and fire pit.

Photo: Airbnb

$995/night, Lake Travis

Photo: Airbnb

This lake front house has a private dock, so you can pack your boat and fishing rods. The pool and hot tub look out over the water. You can imagine that the sunsets here are pretty special. Downtown Austin is 20 or so miles away, but I’ve no doubt it’s worth the drive for the location. It will serve as a good jumping-off point for other places in the area.

Photo: Airbnb

$925/night, Lake Austin

Photo: Airbnb

The property has a rooftop deck overlooking the lake, patios and a huge waterfront lawn — the perfect place to rent if you have a big group of people for a long weekend. It also sleeps 13 people which somewhat takes the sting out the price.

Photo: Airbnb

$1,185/night, Little Bee Creek Falls Estate

Photo: Airbnb

While this one’s expensive, the chateau is managed by The Renters Club and goes all out in the way of perks, with free concierge and management service.

Photo: Airbnb

$1,039/night, West of Austin

Photo: Airbnb

The villa, located close to Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, offers panoramic views of the Austin skyline. The property sleeps eight and boasts abundant outdoor space. This location is pretty damn beautiful. Check prices with the owner as you might be able to score a discount.

Photo: Airbnb

$99/night, Bouldin

Photo: Airbnb

This place makes our list because it offers a compact studio close to attractions in downtown, Lady Bird Lake, South Congress, Barton Springs, Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, Palmer Auditorium – and it’s minutes from East Austin.

Photo: Airbnb

What to do in Austin

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. It’s got music, it’s got movies, it’s got food and wine and beer and just about everything you could want in a destination. But if it’s your first visit, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the immense possibilities. Don’t get frazzled; hit up these hot spots that have been tested, tried, and proven worthy by local Austinites.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

Torchy’s Tacos

 Torchy’s TacosAustin, United StatesEnjoy a damn good taco. Or four. At Torchy’s Tacos, of course, Austin’s favorite taco joint. Show your political affiliation with the Democrat, Republican or Independent, or stick with the Fried Avocado or Dirty Sanchez. And because Texans love their tacos at any time of the day, order a few for breakfast, too. And make sure to taste test the hot sauces and salsa. All of them. #cheap-eats #tacos #texmex #open-late

An Austin institution, Torchy’s is the local favorite for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snacks. Fried avocado? Check. Cilantro crema? Check. A hot sauce bar? Check. Try them all until you find your favorite. They’re damn good tacos.

Congress Street Bridge Bats

 Congress Avenue BridgeAustin, United StatesThe largest urban population of bats pour out at dusk. Fun with picnics, drinks, and dates.

Get comfortable in the park on the south side of the Congress Street Bridge just before dusk and watch thousands of bats take flight after the sun sets. If you didn’t see the bats you didn’t really see Austin.

South Congress

 Amy’s Ice CreamsAustin, United StatesWatch the Scoops get fancy.
It’s what they call the folks serving up ice cream at Amy’s Ice Cream, an Austin original. But they’re not just chucking your favorite flavors (or one’s you’ve never heard of) into a cone. Oh, no. Watch them toss it, flip it, catch it, even chuck it across the street on occasion. It’s dessert and a show. Try the jalepenolime or Mexican vanilla. #cheap-eats #icecream

Visit the iconic Austin shops that line the popular street south of the river. Get a fountain soda and some classic candy at Big Top Candy Shop, browse aisles of eccentricities at Uncommon Objects, grab a coffee at Tom’s, and watch the scoops throw your ice cream at Amy’s.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

 Kerbey Lane CafeAustin, United StatesA chain of some of the more interesting food that keeps Austin weird. Come for the breakfast tacos, stay for the desserts #food #foodietravel #cheap-eats #open-late

Everybody’s favorite local diner, Kerbey Lane serves up everybody’s favorite pancakes. And since the flavor of those pancakes changes each week, you never get bored. Those famous pancakes also come in vegan varieties.

The Alamo Drafthouse

 Alamo Drafthouse South LamarAustin, United StatesCatch a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse.
But don’t just see a movie; buy tickets to a Master Pancake and laugh as comedians poke fun at popular movies, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. And don’t forget dinner and drinks, too, and have them delivered right to your seat. Try the buffalo cauliflower; it’s delicious. #movies #dinnerandamovie

For movie lovers, there’s no other theatre in Austin. Cause it’s not just a movie theater; it’s a bar, restaurant and event center. The best part? You can have everything from craft brews to burgers to vegan appetizers delivered right to your seat like a boss.

Franklin BBQ

 Franklin BarbecueAustin, United StatesWait in line for the country’s best BBQ.
The line doesn’t lie. People travel from near and far to get a taste of Franklin’s BBQ, which has been called the best in the nation. But you better get there early. And bring a chair. A four to six hour wait isn’t uncommon and if you’re not at the head of the line all that’s left by the time you get to the counter might be turkey. #texasbbq #bbq

Austin is proud of its BBQ and Franklin is at the top of the list nationwide. But bring a folding chair and a good book and be prepared to wait. You’re going to want to get there early because the small restaurant runs out of the good stuff quick.

Barton Springs Pool

 Barton Springs PoolAustin, United StatesTake a (cool) dip.
At a bracing 70 degrees year-round, Barton Springs Pool is a refreshing spot to while away the blazing summer afternoons in Austin. Plus you get a great view of the city from the water. You’ll be swimming in a natural spring with a natural bottom, so watch your step; those rocks can just disappear right under your feet. #swimminghole #zilkerpark

On a hot day, there’s no better place to take a dip than this natural spring and swimming hole in the heart of the city. It’s a bracing 68 degrees year round and you can take in the view of the Austin skyline from the pool. Plus it’s only $5. Can’t beat that.

Austin street art

 Street ArtAustin, United StatesThe city is just brimming with color, so grab a map and hit the streets. Don’t forget your camera!
http://www.terradrift.com/2015/01/tour-of-austin-street-art.html #art #free

The city is just brimming with color, so grab a map and hit the streets. Don’t forget your camera!

Bookpeople

 BookPeopleAustin, United StatesMeet the author at Austin’s favorite bookstore.
With two stories of books and quirky gifts, Book People is THE go-to indie bookstore in Austin. And there are special events and book signings ranging from local authors to literary big shots all. The. Time. #books #bookstore
#free

It’s Austin’s favorite indie bookstore, all three floors of it. Even those who wouldn’t label themselves bibliophiles are bound to find some entertainment from shelves and shelves of national bestsellers, local faves, and quirky gifts. It’s so much more than a bookstore.

Blue Cat Cafe

 Blue CatAustin, United StatesCat cafes. Yes, that’s a thing. And Austin is home to the largest one in North America. Pay your $3, order your coffee and vegan food, and cuddle some kitties while you chill. And did we mention you can adopt one and take it home with you. Now that’s a souvenir!

Yes, that’s a thing. And Austin is home to the largest cat cafe in North America. Pay your $3, order your coffee and vegan food, and cuddle some kitties while you chill.

McKinney Falls State Park

 McKinney Falls State ParkAustin, United StatesOn a hot Texas day, nothing beats taking a tube and a cooler to McKinney Falls and spending the afternoon outdoors. Even if it’s too cool to swim, say in November, the park still offers some great easy walks on a beautiful day. #hiking #outdoors #swimminghole

On a hot Texas day, nothing beats taking a tube and a cooler to McKinney Falls and spending the afternoon outdoors. Even if it’s too cool to swim, say in November, the park still offers some great easy walks on a beautiful day.

Mayfield Park

 Mayfield Park and Nature PreserveAustin, United StatesGo get screamed at by peacocks. Didn’t know peacocks screamed? Then you haven’t been to Mayfield Park. There’s an historic home, hiking trails, and lots and lots of peacocks just wandering around the property. Take a stroll around the gardens, spot the peacocks in the trees, and don’t forget the camera to capture the guys showing off their feathers (and I don’t mean hipsters with hair accessories). #animals #hiking

Go get screamed at by peacocks. Didn’t know peacocks screamed? Then you haven’t been to Mayfield Park. There’s a historic home, hiking trails, and lots and lots of peacocks just wandering around the property. Take a stroll around the gardens, spot the peacocks in the trees, and don’t forget the camera to capture the guys showing off their feathers (and I don’t mean hipsters with hair accessories).

Mount Bonnell

 Covert Park at Mount BonnellAustin, United StatesWant a good afternoon hike? Head to Mt. Bonnell. And fair warning, when I say hike I mean climb. The way to the top is a staircase straight up. It’s hard work, but you’ll be rewarded with some pretty great views of the Colorado River and the canopy of trees below. #hiking #extreme

Right next door to Mayfield Park is Mt. Bonnell. And fair warning, when I say hike I mean climb. The way to the top is a staircase straight up. It’s hard work, but you’ll be rewarded with some pretty great views of the Colorado River and the canopy of trees below.

Cenote

 CenoteAustin, United StatesIf you had too much fun on Dirty Sixth last night, grab a cup of coffee the morning after at Cenote. Not only is it good coffee, but there’s a great garden seating area complete with art and sculptures so you can enjoy the Austin sunshine. #coffee #cheap-eats

If you had too much fun on Dirty Sixth last night, grab a cup of coffee the morning after at Cenote. Not only is it good coffee, but there’s a great garden seating area complete with art and sculptures so you can enjoy the Austin sun.

Hit up a farmers market

 Whole Foods MarketAustin, United StatesSee free Shakespeare on the top of the flagship Whole Foods Market.
There’s nothing better than outdoor theatre in Austin. Except free outdoor theatre. And free outdoor theatre that involves fresh pizza and kombucha from Whole Foods. Plus, Present Company does Shakespeare right! #free #shakespeare #theatre

There are dozens, so take your pick. Find locally made chocolate, kombucha, veggies, tacos, you name it. The Saturday SFC downtown market is my personal fave.

Live music

 Elephant RoomAustin, United StatesListen to live music in an underground jazz club.
The Elephant Room is something straight out of prohibition-era Texas, but without the ban on booze. And if the music and no cover charge on weekdays isn’t enough, you’re sure to get some extra entertainment out of all the dollar bills scribbled over with strange quotes and slang on the walls. #club #casual #livemusic #jazz #musicvenue

Anywhere, anytime. Austin is, after all, the live music capital of the world. And you can enjoy it at more venues than you could visit in a month. Head to The Broken Spoke for classic country music and two-steppin’, drink beer at underground jazz club The Elephant Room, or experience all the talented and diverse music the city has to offer at The Mohawk.

 Broken SpokeAustin, United StatesGo line Dancing at The Broken Spoke.
Everybody’s got to do it. Put on your cowboy hat and step to it. Feel free to start with a pint of liquid courage at the bar and a famous chicken fried steak. #country #food #dancing #livemusic

Quick guide to the 7 regions of Texas

Photo: Sturt Seeger

Photo: Sturt Seeger

Texas is so massive it can easy fit several other states inside its borders, so wouldn’t you expect to find regions with unique cultures, attractions, and ecosystems? There’s more to the Lone Star State than just transiting through DFW or partying it up during SXSW. We’ve got more food, people, and history to make anywhere else in the south blush.

1. The Panhandle

 Palo Duro Canyon State ParkCanyon, United StatesOne of the most scenic spots in the panhandle, if not all of Texas. Good for camping, Cowboy breakfasts, and hiking #hiking #camping


Easily the most overlooked part of Texas, the panhandle isn’t exactly accessible outside of the old Route 66 passing through Amarillo. The city still knows how to attract tourists with natural attractions like Palo Duro Canyon and the 72-oz. steak challenge at the Big Texan. If you want to stay inside our borders to head to the next region, you’ve got a long drive ahead of you on small state highways. On the plus side, you’ll get a glimpse of Lubbock and Texas Tech University.

2. North Texas

 Deep Ellum Brewing CompanyDallas, United StatesCraft beers as only Dallas can make them. Dancing and Texas fun is just around the corner. #food #beer


After a taste of dry air and isolation, you’re probably in the mood to experience some culture, grab a few cocktails, and party it up in the big city, right? Start in Dallas. Downtown Fort Worth, the western part of the metroplex, still has its draw with the Stock Show, but Dallas is where it’s at. We have professional sports teams like the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Sidekicks, and Stars. Deep Ellum brings you craft beers at the Deep Ellum Brewing Company and nightlife at It’ll Do. For a taste of culture, visit the Dallas Museum of Art and the Sixth Floor Museum. Just watch out for traffic from all those fancy cars the city folk like to drive.

3. East Texas

 Sam Rayburn LakeLufkin, United StatesA reservoir running through Deep East Texas. Excellent for outdoor fun. #hiking #camping


Dallas is more like the midwest than the rest of Texas, with wide open spaces still resembling the prairies frontiersmen had to cross to colonize the country, but it’s nothing compared to what you’ll see once you start heading towards Arkansas and Louisiana. Behind all the pine trees and lakes, there are some truly unique small towns and attractions. As the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches usually makes the list for residents touring locally with its charm and accessibility to Sam Rayburn Lake. The Texas State Railroad in nearby Rusk gives adults and children the opportunity to ride a fully functional steam locomotive train.

4. Austin

 Congress Avenue BridgeAustin, United StatesThe largest urban population of bats pour out at dusk. Fun with picnics, drinks, and dates.


No tour of Texas would be complete without The People’s Republic of Austin. Deriving the name for its liberal views in a sea of conservative counties, the Texas state capital has as many visitors as Dallas or Houston, despite having half the population. The reason is crystal clear once you drive down I-35 and see the UT tower peaking out over the campus buildings; Austin may be the center of all government and policy in the great state of Texas, but it’s also the epicenter of weirdness for the universe. With festivals like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits and food like Chuy’s and Kerbey Lane Cafe, this city is a mecca of entertainment and comfort. Many visitors have to watch the bats fly out from the Congress Street bridge and hit up a few bars on Rainey Street.

 Kerbey Lane CafeAustin, United StatesA chain of some of the more interesting food that keeps Austin weird. Come for the breakfast tacos, stay for the desserts #food #foodietravel #cheap-eats #open-late

5. West Texas

 Big Bend National ParkBig Bend National Park, United StatesAn amazing piece of land in West Texas. Come for the hiking, stay for the hot springs. #hiking #camping


Halfway between the dead zone of the Panhandle and the activity of Austin is the west of Texas. Home to ranches, oil fields, and a whole lot of desert, this is where you go when you want an Instagram picture of the road stretching towards the horizon. The mystery of the Marfa Lights keeps travelers rolling through this neck of the woods – so to speak – as does watching the stars, big and brilliant in the Texas sky, from McDonald Observatory. There are endless hiking trails all the way to the Mexican border at Big Bend National Park.

 McDonald Observatory Visitors CenterFort Davis, United StatesExperience star parties in some of the clearest skies on earth. A little out of the way, but worth the journey. #free #outdoor

6. Houston

Houston may be the most populated place in Texas, but it’s also not the first choice when people think about the Lone Star State, earning the nickname the Carcinogenic Coast for its factories and oil refineries. However, there are still a few attractions to bring out your inner child. Tours at the NASA Johnson Space Center are open to the public, and there’s a huge network of underground tunnels and cisterns to inspire your adventurous spirit.

7. South Texas

Always save the best for last, which is what the south of Texas represents for a lot of people. Neatly cutting off the state south of Houston and Austin, this part of Texas is the closest you can get to Mexico without crossing the border. Not only can tourists see the birthplace of the Republic of Texas in what remains of the Alamo, but you get a taste of that delicious Tex-Mex at restaurants on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Keep heading down along the coast and there’s even a taste of the tropics: palm trees, coconuts, and sandy beaches at South Padre Island.