Austin’s Indie Coffee Shops

Soy Latte by BrittanyBush, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

Soy Latte by BrittanyBush, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

Before coming to the States, I hated coffee. I could not fathom why people would torture themselves with espresso shots and macchiatos when there were sweeter alternatives like hot chocolate or tea. Being Indian, I’ve always loved chai and the only coffee-based drink I ever had were the sugar-loaded frappuccinos from Starbucks. But living in Austin for nearly three years has made me a 360 degree convert. Lattes are now an integral part of my life. Recently, I have been on a quest to get cheaper coffee when I found myself spending a fortune on my caffeine fix.

I found several independently owned coffee places which served larger portions, had friendlier staff and cost much lesser than the larger chains. A decent-sized, regular latte at these places costs around 2 dollars lesser than the same amount at the bigger coffee chains.  For people who pick up coffees outside on a regular basis, that translates to about $450 savings per year overall!

Here are some places I like/have been recommended to visit:

  • La Tazza Fresca is a quaint, little place on Guadalupe and 37th and makes the most amazing mocha shakes! Their drinks are cheaper than those sold by the larger coffee chains and their ambiance is much prettier. I really liked the music they played the last time I went and best of all, they are open till 2am everyday! They have free wifi and if you like hookah, they have that too (I’m not trying to make you a decadent, I swear!) Get map and directions from the UT campus here.

  • Flightpath Coffeehouse has been recommended to me by several friends as a great place to study over weekends. They have spacious interiors and good affordable coffee along with delicious desserts. While it seems to be more of a study place, their menu has options aplenty for lunch and light snacks too. Directions here. To see some reviews about the place, click here.
  • Epoch Coffee is one of those rare and wonderful places that are open 24 hours a day. This is again, great for
    Epoch Coffee: Opening Day by clickykbd, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

    Epoch Coffee: Opening Day by clickykbd, Flickr. CC 2.0 Attribution.

    people looking for a place to study but outside of the library setting. I’ve tried their hot chocolate and cream cheese bagel which were both excellent and the free wifi is always a plus. Their servings are gigantic. They also have an inflammatory sign against a competing chain of coffee shops  (which will not mention here) which I thought,  accentuates its Austin-ness. Map and directions are here and more reviews are available here.

Here is what Simran Madan, biology/pre-med and economics junior at UT Austin said about the place:

The frozen lattes at Epoch are amazing. It attracts a lot of local artists and I saw many people drawing when I was there.

Her top picks for cheap and best coffee shops from a student’s point of view were La Tazza Fresca and Epoch Coffee.

A complete list of independent coffee shops in Austin is available here. Other tips for improving your own brew of coffee, go to Make Better Coffee and Coffeekid.

Post by Simrat Sharma


4 responses to “Austin’s Indie Coffee Shops

  1. Michele Pierini

    Another great coffee shop is Progress Coffee on 5th St. just east of I-35. They serve organic products and have a pretty nice lunch menu with different kinds of sandwiches. Also if you are politically conscious, their coffee is fair trade!

  2. I really like the coffee they serve in Jester City Limits, in the Jester Center. It’s white-chocolate caramel. It’s like a $1.50 for a large. I even ice it on hot days and it’s actually better then the hot stuff.

    Ya coffee!

    Mozarts is nice too.

  3. I really like Dominican Joe’s on South Congress. They have a great menu and a cool atmosphere.

  4. It’s great to have some recommendations for good coffee in Austin – I’ve found it quite hard since I’ve been here to find really good coffee, and often just end up settling for the Starbucks across the road from me. But I will definitely give all of these places a try!

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