Caught in the Web at Spider House

By Julie Bissinger

Spider House, located at 2908 Fruth St., is a quirky cafe just north of the University of Texas campus that offers a wide range of food and drink items. Photo by Julie Bissinger

A trip to Spider House gives you a full dose of Austin culture.  Spider House embodies the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” The old, rusted bed frames that form a fence around the outdoor patio immediately caught my eye.

Spider House's large outdoor patio contains most of the cafe's seating. Photo by Julie Bissinger

Spider House, located at 2908 Fruth St., isn’t like the other coffee shops that I’ve been to in Austin.  In addition to coffee and tea, a full food and alcoholic beverage menu is also available to patrons.

I took advantage of this and ordered “The Organic Egg Sandwich” off the all day breakfast menu.  The food menu is somewhat pricey for what you get.  I paid $6.50 for my sandwich, made with an egg, a few strips of bacon, lettuce, and cheese on a croissant.  Lunch sandwiches, pizza, salads and snacks (appetizers) are also available.

"The Organic Egg Sandwich," ordered from Spider House's all day breakfast menu, featured an egg, bacon, lettuce and cheese on a croissant. Photo by Julie Bissinger

The drink menu prices are comparable to other coffee shops.  I ordered a mocha latte, which tasted like hot chocolate plus coffee.  The drink’s steamed milk even featured a cool design on it.

A leaf-like design was made from the mocha latte's steamed milk. Spider House's drink menu included a variety of sodas, juices and alcoholic beverages in addition to the tea and coffee offerings. Photo by Julie Bissinger

Spider House seems to cater to a specific group of people.  The atmosphere is lively but eccentric.  The cafe is randomly decorated with items like a replica of Manneken Pis, a myriad of Christmas lights and rusty patio furniture.

The outdoor patio at Spider House featured a humorous replica of Belgium's Mannekin Pis, with a statue of a little boy appearing to urinate in a bath tub. Photo by Julie Bissinger

Spider House also played music at a level too loud to work comfortably.  I noticed more people talking with each other and hanging out than working on laptops and reading.  The smell of cigarette smoke engulfed the seating area, which could be unpleasant to those who don’t smoke or who have allergies.

The poor service is also worth noting.  The food and drinks came out fast, but the waiter disappeared when I wanted my check.  After tracking him down, it took an additional 20 minutes to receive the bill.

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3 responses to “Caught in the Web at Spider House

  1. Spider House has always been one of my first choices in places to go study and have a coffee. I have never really ordered an actual meal there though, I think after reading this blog I am going to go there soon as a place to eat dinner with friends. I always love the atmosphere there.

  2. i really like that you addressed the issue of noise/music level. i know this issue, at least for me, determines if i go to a coffee shop and for what purpose. ive been to spider house, but not to work, and after reading this post i would definitely hesitate to go if i needed to get some work done.

    one other thing: i really like that you guys have twitter account for this blog- your tweets are quirky and just the kind of things i would tweet about if i did it more often (or if i had that capability on my phone, ha)! keep up with the good work!

  3. I think that I’ve also always seen Spider House as more of a place to just go and relax with your friends. In fact, most of the times that I’ve been there, I’ve rarely ordered anything to eat or drink. I think the atmosphere is nice for being with friends, but I’m not too surprised that you said it isn’t the best location for studying.

    I do also like the interesting choices of furniture they have there. That’s always been something that’s brought me back, since I don’t know of any other restaurants or coffee shops that so accurately fall under the “Keep Austin Weird” idea.

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