My Three Favorite Coffee Shops in Austin, TX

Funnily enough, this is probably going to be one of the most (if not the most) controversial blog posts I’ve ever written.  
We like coffee in our family. (This was taken at Counter Cafe-btw)
I could write a whole blog post prefacing this post- but let me stick to a couple of bullet-pointed caveats:
  • I absolutely love coffee.  However, I am not a connoisseur.  Instead, I am an enthusiast.  I worked in the coffee industry for ten years before starting my career in teaching and then real estate.  This does not, by any means, make me an expert or a super taster.
  • This is not necessarily an article about the coffee.  It is an article about coffee shops.
  • Furthermore, the title of “best coffee shop in Austin” has been the subject of a long-running debate.  However, it is not the subject of this blog post.  I am not writing about the best shops in Austin.  I am writing about my favorite shops in Austin.  You can’t argue with what my favorite shops are.
  • I have been to tons of cafes all over the country.  However, I haven’t been to them all.  And, sadly, I haven’t even been to all of the shops in Austin!  So, I’m sure that this list will change in the next year or two as I try more and more shops out.

  1. Dominican Joe (515 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704).
    The DoJoe Crew-circa 2009. (I’m the tall guy in the back with the green shirt)

    Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that I have a major emotional attachment to this coffee shop.  I worked at Dominican Joe (DoJoe) during my college days at UT and even a little after that.  In fact, this is where I met my wife, Kristen!  (She was my manager.)  During my time at DoJoe, I met some people who are still some of my best friends.  We, as a staff, were truly like a family.  And a certain lovely lady literally became family!

    Additionally, I interned with Makarios, which is the non-profit that the shop supports, in the Dominican Republic during my last summer as a college student.  I actually got the chance to work in the schools that were started by Sharla, the Executive Director of the organization.  In short:  This place is the real freakin’ deal.  I still go into this shop and feel incredibly grateful and nostalgic.  I could go on forever but I want to keep this short.

    I get the bottomless coffee.

  2. Caffe Medici (1101 West Lynn, Austin, TX 78703).

    Similar to DoJoe, I actually used to work at Caffe Medici!  When I got engaged to my manager, Kristen, at Dominican Joe, I thought it might be weird to be the boss’s fiancé.  So, I decided to move over to Medici.  These guys were sort of the pioneers of craft/artisan coffee in, well, the southern United States!  They taught me to pay meticulous detail to the grind, milk temperatures, espresso extraction/consistency, and presentation of the drinks I made as well as the overall process of the coffee experience.  I learned so much during my time there and I love the owner, Michael, and his passion for elevating the coffee culture in Austin as a whole.

    Medici (pronounced Médici) now has several locations across central Austin:  One on the university drag; one in The Austonian; and one on S. Lamar (by the Alamo Drafthouse).  Still, my favorite spot is the flagship store on West Lynn (in Clarksville), which happens to be the location where I worked.  If I could make a list of my 20 favorite shops in town, 80% of them owe their existence to Medici.  Thank you, Michael!

    I get the cappuccino with a little (house-made) chocolate .

  3. Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors (1111 Chicon St, Austin, Texas 78702).

    I have only been to this particular shop a few times…but it’s friggin’ amazing.  This is one of a handful of east Austin shops that have popped up in the last couple of years that are truly paving the way with respect to east side coffee excellence.  I love the decor.  I love the chill location.  I love the chill baristas.  Just go.

    I get the cortado.

Honorable mentions:  Houndstooth, Radio, Cenote, Satén, Flat Track, and Juan Pelota.  Go check out all of these!

Barrett Raven
C:  512-970-2648
O:  512-910-7403

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