Memorable coffee shops seem to keep propagating around Austin. And all of the city's students, freelancers, startup founders and other assorted java junkies certainly keep them busy. Jo's and Mozart's are Austin classics, while Wright Bros., Cenote and Bennu are relative newcomers that already feel like they've been brewing here forever. All of them prove that being a great coffee shop means more than serving up caffeine. It means creating community, from providing a welcoming space to study or work to hosting live music and other local events. So when you're in Austin, branch out from the chains you know to try some local coffee shops. They're great for people-watching, eavesdropping and, increasingly, for eating good food while you sip your brew. You'll leave with both a caffeine fix and a greater sense of what Austin is all about. Not sure where to start? Check out one of the five shops below.
The Jo's on South Congress Avenue is a hub of that popular area, and it’s also home to the Instagram-able "I love you so much" graffiti. The downtown branch of Jo's, meanwhile, has a wider food menu and indoor seating. Either one will serve you a sweet, rich and caffeine-packed Iced Turbo, which lives up to its name.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew
Coffee and craft beer co-star at this hip and handsome space just east of downtown Austin. You can even get a shot of espresso served alongside a beer. Both the coffee menu and the beer menu (with 38 taps) are a blend of local favorites and top-notch offerings from around the country.
Opened in 2012, Cenote is another stylish spot with options to suit your every beverage mood. The coffee, beer and wine are paired with a food menu that emphasizes fresh and local ingredients and includes good gluten-free options. Adding to the charm: Cenote is located in a restored home built in 1887.
Mozart's Coffee Roasters
The draw at this Austin mainstay is the setting. The spacious deck overlooking Lake Austin is a scenic spot to savor your beverage, snack on sweets from the bakery and, on some evenings, enjoy live music. If you're visiting Austin during the holiday season, there's a music-and-light show several times nightly.
Open 24 hours a day, Bennu is there any time your caffeine craving strikes. Those extended hours and its proximity to the University of Texas make it popular with students, as do the cozy surroundings and the variety of food for sale from local favorites, such as Torchy's Tacos and Hoboken Pie.