Where to drink now

Where to drink in Austin right now: 8 new indie coffee shops to break up the grind

Where to drink in Austin now: 8 new coffee shops to break up the grind

Hot L Coffee
Hot L Coffee is as chic as the rest of the Carpenter Hotel. Carpenter Hotel
Merit Coffee ATX
Merit Coffee is set to take over Austin with three locations. Merit Coffee
Houndstooth Rock Rose Austin interior
The latest Houndstooth Coffee is a quiet oasis in busy Domain Northside. Photo courtesy of Houndstooth Coffee
Velouria Austin pastries
Pastries await early morning guests of South Austin's Velouria. Photo by Cassandra Klepac Photography
Hot L Coffee
Merit Coffee ATX
Houndstooth Rock Rose Austin interior
Velouria Austin pastries

More than fitness bros circling Lady Bird Lake or scooters scattered on every sidewalk, nothing quite says Austin like its dearth of independent coffee shops. Caffeine is simply a way of life in the Capital City, helping locals get through the everyday grind. It’s no wonder buzzy new cafes keep sprouting up.

The last six months have been no exception, as eight newcomers joined the scene. Ranging from brand-new concepts to fresh locations of established brands, these cafes are the reason why Austin can’t stop, won’t stop.

Flamingo Hemp
In March, Sixth Street mainstay Flamingo Cantina branched out with a new “CBD bodega” selling oils, supplements, vape cartridges, and tasty infused treats from local caterer Keep Austin Baked. But the tiny kiosk isn’t just about chill vibes. Perk up with an espresso or cappuccino before dancing the night away at one of the venue’s raucous shows.

Houndstooth Coffee
Charge up for a day of power shopping at Houndstooth’s fourth location, slinging caffeine in the heart of Domain Northside. Like the other three shops, it is a coffee nerd’s paradise, serving beans from some of the most respected roasters in the nation and sourcing dairy from local farms. It also has a full cocktail menu so guests can come in for a nightcap before making it home with the day’s haul.

Hot L Coffee
Like everything else in the six-month-old Carpenter Hotel, this coffee shop is as hip as it gets. Taking cues from the institutional architecture of its 1948 building, the spot finds glamour in everyday materials like painted brick and subway tile. It’s the perfect backdrop for an Instagram post, but don’t spend too long staging the perfect shot. You wouldn’t want your kolache to get cold.

Little Brother
Perhaps not the best place for folks who desire lots of personal space considering this new Rainey Street bar and coffeeshop only has room for a handful of guests. Those who don’t mind bumping shoulders with a new best friend or two will find heady cold brews in the morning, classic hoagies in the afternoon, and affordable cocktails into the night.

Merit Coffee
Housed in the historical cottage that most recently hosted Stonehouse Coffee + Bar, this is the second of three planned locations for the San Antonio-based chain. Like its predecessor in the Seaholm District, it offers a wide variety of coffee and expresso drinks, pressed juices, Tacodeli tacos, and pastries from another Alamo City favorite, Bakery Lorraine.

Plaza Columbian Coffee
True to its name, this South Congress Avenue newcomer focuses on everything Colombian — from the in-house roasted beans to the hard-to-find tropical juices and hearty arepas. The brilliantly colorful artwork captures the spirit of the Latin American country too, making it an energetic place to catch up with friends.

Trianon Coffee
Like Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, resurrection looks good on this Westlake fan favorite. After closing his original shop in late 2017, owner Michael Sexton listened to community outcry and opened version 2.0 in November 2018. The strong cups, cheery atmosphere, and snacks from locals like Quack’s and Wholy Bagel still make it a hometown hero.

Owners Tim and Sara Lupa are most known in Austin for late-hours haunts like The Brixton and Drinks Lounge, but their latest concept makes room for some sunshine. Stop by on the way to work for coffee from Austin Roasting Company, pastries from Crema Bakery, and mandatory breakfast tacos, or ease into the afternoon with an espresso martini. Like many new cafes in town, Velouria lets guests pick their poison.