Now that the kids have gone back to school, maybe this means you finally have time to sneak away with friends for a cup of coffee? Or maybe you’re ready to plan that mom’s night out that got sidetracked because of busy summer schedules? And maybe, just maybe, you want to simply go somewhere quietly by yourself (without the kids!) and just sit with a nice beverage. No doubt about it — mama needs a break sometimes. Whether you’re in need of a cup of joe or something stronger, we’ve rounded up a list of Awesome Austin Coffee Bars for you to try.

coffee bars austin

There was a time when you had to make a critical decision regarding your drinking: to go grab a coffee or head out to the bar for a beer? Fortunately those days are gone, and you no longer have to flip a coin to decide between sipping on cappuccinos or craft drafts. Here ten awesome spots in Austin that boast both brews and booze, and are sure to satisfy–no matter what kind of buzz you’re looking for.


Thunderbird Café and Tap Room


If you want to know what the people at Thunderbird care about, it’s simple: people, espresso, great food, and beer. Their employees are friendly and knowledgeable; the coffee is direct-trade; they serve up fresh sandwiches, along with breakfast items and treats from local businesses like Tacodeli, Quack’s Bakery, Celeste’s Best and more; and when it comes to beer, well, we suggest you try out what’s on every one of those 35 taps. Because it’s good to have goals.


JP’s Java


While its proximity to campus means you might have to fight through swarms of students to secure a spot in this often-crowded coffee shop, it’s totally worth the attempt. The coffee is fresh—roasted and shipped to JP’s from an award-winning coffee company in Seattle twice weekly—and they’ve got sandwiches, snacks and a nice selection of beers on tap as well (that, we suspect, some students might use to, um, fuel their creativity). JP’s is perfect to get some work done, sink into one of their leather couches to watch some TV, or simply enjoy a latte or lager on their pleasant patio.


Buzz Mill

buzzmill atx

Located off of East Riverside, this coffeehouse/bar serves up fresh-brewed, locally roasted coffee 24 hours a day, and cold brew made fresh daily (which you can take even take with you in a growler). There’s also an array of craft brews from all over the states, and a large selection of rotating infused liquors (try the walnut whiskey). They are now serving Gardner’s Feast Organic Tamales, and recently started Taps, a “weekly celebration of awesome beer” that takes place every Thursday. So come out and hang out in the fort or the massive backyard. Buy a beverage, catch some comedy or live music, play some games, and grab some grub from the food trailers parked outside. The bottom line is that if you’re looking to catch a buzz, you should head out to this lumberjack-themed bar. (Wood-chopping skills recommended but not required.)


Strange Brew


If you’re looking for a sweet spot to sip on organic fair trade espresso and coffee or to guzzle (primarily locally brewed) beer on tap, look no further than Strange Brew. Enjoy your drink in the establishment’s cozy atmosphere to the sound of live music, or buy one of their growlers, fill it up, and take your beer or cold brew home with you. After all, while Strange Brew’s extensive menu and around-the-clock hours technically make it possible to stay there forever, let’s face it: at some point, you’re going to need a shower.


Bouldin Creek Cafe


If the little ones are keeping you from getting a solid night of zzzz’s (sound familiar mamas?), you can start to feel human again after a long night at Bouldin Creek via their variety of coffee drinks (both basic and elaborate). Or choose from the solid beer selection—all of which pair well with any of the items on their extensive vegetarian menu. We recommend you keep the drinks comin’ and stick around until you feel better…or at least good enough to make it through another long night.


Radio Coffee and Beer

radio coffee

This relatively new spot on Manchaca—opened by singer/songwriter Jack Wilson—is already making a splash in South Austin. On the coffee front, Radio serves Stumptown, which sources the best coffees in the world and maintains a focus on building relationships with the farmers behind the beans. When it comes to beer, they’ve got tons of taps—including local favorites like 512 Brewing and Austin Beerworks—plus more than your basic bottled selection, with plenty of beers and ciders on offer. We suggest you enjoy one or more of those options while chowing down on a taco or two from the Veracruz All-Natural trailer parked outside. Because even when things are great, tacos tend to make them better.


Spider House Café and Ballroom

spider house

When it comes to cafe-esque establishments in Austin, it doesn’t get more original than Spider House. The dark interior is lined with a wall of comfortable, intimate booths, while the festive patio and backyard area are adorned with string lights, fountains and statues, meaning you have your choice of atmosphere in which to enjoy your gourmet coffee or craft beer of choice (think 12 Texas drafts alone, plus a few other options, and some tallboys if you’re feeling, um, fancy). Start your evening (or afternoon, we don’t judge) there, then head next door to the Ballroom, where, depending on the night, you could find a poetry slam, live music or a dance party in progress. And more drinks, of course.




This fun Fourth Street spot is a coffee shop by day and a bar/lounge by night, with all the assets to fulfill your drinking needs as the day goes on. But while they have beer, of course (it’s $1 off during happy hour), and coffee drinks, the real stars of the Halcyon show are the cocktails that combine alcohol and coffee. Try their signature drink, the Chocolate Espresso Martini, or another favorite, the Long Island Iced Coffee. And either way, be sure to order the s’mores, which are roasted tableside and—after you’ve tried them—will suddenly seem like they shouldn’t just be a staple for Boy Scouts, but for bars, too.


Wright Bros. Brew & Brew


Wright Bros. Brew & Brew has a promise that’s basic but brilliant: good beans, good beers. And there’s not just a focus on quality at this East Side establishment; with a full espresso bar and 38 beers on tap, they’ve got quantity covered, too. Drop in for one of their coffee drinks, try out their made-from-scratch syrups, and watch the ModBar modular espresso machine—what they call the future of espresso—in action. Meanwhile, if it’s craft beer you’re craving, there are plenty to choose from (let us refer you back to the 38 beers on tap), and the selection is constantly changing. And finally, what may be one of the best parts of Brew & Brew is the fact that you can take bottles, cans and growlers to go—making it the perfect place to take care of that beer hankering when you’re in a hurry.



cenoteA quaint little café with a big yard and picnic tables, Cenote was opened by longtime Austinites who pride themselves on providing great coffee and food, sans pretentiousness. Stop by for some high-quality espresso or fair trade, local coffee from Cuvée (whose coffee bar is now open on East Sixth), and—if you consider yourself a connoisseur—try whichever single origin coffee is currently on rotation. As for beer, whether you enjoy it in draft, bottle or can form, they’ve got you covered, with 20+ options. It’s also important to note that Cenote doesn’t just do drinks. There’s a full menu, meaning you can start your day off right at breakfast, swing by for a salad and sandwich at lunch, and get your happy hour snacking on with, say, some hummus. Then you might as well stay for dinner. You’ve come this far, after all.


Want to read more about beer? Get recommendations and more from Austin experts here. As for the coffee? Check out the places above, and see a bigger list of Austin Coffee Bars on Do512.

Contributed by Sam Sumpter, edited by Do512Family.