Austin, TX is an amazing town that's known for great music, clean air and amazing barbecue. We've visited quite a few times and have slowly developed an affinity for this place. We wanted to see what it would be like to actually live and work there, so Allison and I decided to spend a week there working remotely.
We didn’t have any specific places in mind when we showed up, but instead wanted to just play it by ear and migrate from coffee shop to coffee shop each day.
So after a week working remote from Austin, here are the best coffee shops we found:
Though we were unable to decipher it’s proper pronunciation, we found Cenote to be a great place to set up camp and get shit done.
This place has a great vibe and energy. Like many places in Austin, it was once a house but has since been transformed into a coffee shop, which gives it a nice homey vibe.
It was a bit crowded when we arrived just before noon on a Thursday, but there’s plenty of seating so we didn’t have a hard time finding a spot to hunker down. They also had a small area where you could stand and work if you prefer.
I had a chance to try their latte, and it was super delicious. I only wish I had the time (and the caffeine tolerance) to try their whole menu! They’ve also got a little juice vendor outside on the patio. I didn’t get a chance to try it but they were plenty busy so I’m guessing I missed out on something tasty.
Outlet wise, Cenote had us covered. Everywhere we sat we were able to find an outlet nearby. Once we were juiced up to 100%, we’d step outside for a little while just to change things up a bit.
Bottom line: With tons of seating, great coffee and outlets-o-plenty, you’d be missing out big time if you didn’t check out Cenote.
Wright Brothers Brew and Brew
After spending some time at Cenote, we decided it was time for a change of scenery, so we walked up a few blocks to Wright Bros Brew & Brew.
The outside wasn’t much to look at but when we walked in we were immediately impressed with the overall vibe and decor. There’s a great industrial feel with a sort of rustic look. They’re even attached to a super cool record store, which I highly recommending browsing through.
I was also happy to find that there were a decent amount of power outlets as well as plenty of seating. They had tall tables as well which are great for standing, if you were so inclined (see what I did there?).
But my favorite thing about Brew and Brew was the super simple beer guide. All beers are arranged on a grid, top right is dark and hoppy, bottom left is light and less hoppy. This made it super easy to find something that we liked.
I also had a chance to snag a mocha before beer thirty, which I found pretty tasty. I’d love the chance to sample more of their menu, but my initial impression was a positive one.
Their food options were fairly light, but surprisingly they allow you to bring in your own food from outside. I actually noticed this same phenomenon at a couple of other places in Austin as well, maybe it’s a trend?
Bottom line: Brew and Brew is a legit spot for coffee lovers and hard core remote workers. Inside you’ll find plenty of outlets, tables you can stand at and a great selection of beers. Unfortunately there’s no patio and the outside is a bit lack luster, but the unique decor and positive vibe on the inside make it a great place to get stuff done.
Buzzmill is a great coffee shop, bar and barbecue joint, just across the river off East Riverside Dr. This place has everything a remote worker could need. In fact, we ended up spending the entire day there!
Inside you’ll find a ton of seating and a super chill vibe. The decor really was amazing. I sometimes found myself just admiring the artwork and random items strewn about. There’s even a quiet section where you can focus without loud talking or music.
Outside you’ll find a ton of seating as well as a few power outlets so you can stay juiced up. There are also a couple of food vendors. We tried the barbecue and it was pretty superb. At night, this area transforms into a bar with great drinks and a live band.
Sound awesome so far? Well I haven’t even gotten to the best part. They have a 3 hour long happy hour from 5–8, and guess what’s on the menu. $1 PBR! You have to be careful though. At that price you might drink enough to be transformed into a true Austin hipster.
Oh, and did I mention it’s open 24 hours? I don’t even know how that’s possible! Seriously, this place has everything. If you’re in Austin, you’ve gotta check out Buzzmill
Bottom line: With decent coffee, tons of seating, and a quiet study hall, Buzzmill is a remote workers paradise. Throw in $1 PBR and amazing barbecue in the backyard, what more could you need? Cenote
After spending a few days in east Austin, we headed downtown to find some more great places to work. We eventually found ourselves at Cafe Medici. And while it had a different vibe than the quaint coffee shops of east Austin, it still had a charm all it’s own.
The inside felt very modern and well put together and there were more than enough tables to go around. I was also very happy to see tons of counter space, which is really important if you’re like me and prefer standing while you work. There’s also an upper level with tons more seating as well as a small patio area out front.
We had heard great things about their coffee, but at this point in the day we were already wired, so we opted for sparkling water and juice. Next time we’ll definitely have to give the java a try.
Bottom line: Cafe Medici has a super polished interior with tons of seating and plenty of counters for standing. Overall it’s a top notch place for digital nomads to get some work done.
Juan Pelota is a bike / coffee shop hybrid, created and owned by Lance Armstrong. Oh, and if you didn’t already make the connection, the name is an homage to Lance’s missing testicle. True story, I swear.
Testicles aside, we were really impressed with this coffee shop. Like Brew and Brew, they allow you to bring in outside food. In fact, they even recommended it! Their food selection is sort of sparse, so they advised us to grab something from the grocery store across the street and bring it in. On a side note, the store was a great little place with tons of organic options called Royal Blue Grocery, definitely check it out if you’re in the area.
I wouldn’t say there was a ton of seating, but luckily it wasn’t too crowded so we didn’t have a hard time grabbing a spot. We found some tables in the back that had outlets built into the benches, which is super convenient and a huge plus imo. Other than that, outlets seemed to be fairly sparse. There were also some tables outside, which is always nice for when you’re feeling cooped up.
Bottom line: While “Juan Pelota” may be a reference to Lance Armstrong’s missing testicle, don’t let the name fool you. This is actually a legit place to get some real work done.
So that’s my list of the best coffee shops for remote working in Austin, TX. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? Know of any other great coffee shops I missed out on? Leave me a note or hit me up on Twitter!
A version of this article originally appeared on Medium.