One blogger’s favorite Austin coffee shop discoveries

By Lara Berendt

Everyone has their own favorite coffee lounges, and I’m no different. In choosing which shops to review for this blog, it’s been tempting to go to my regular spots, and I’ve hit up most of them since the blog’s inception. But my trips to unfamiliar coffee houses have been more rewarding because some have turned out to be real gems that I’m excited to revisit. Here are my top three newly discovered coffee shops, and tips on when to visit them and when it might be better to stick with your own regular spot.

Bennu Coffee interior

The eclectic and comfortable environment at Bennu Coffee on East MLK offers a creative drink menu in an ideal study spot. Photo by Lara Berendt.

1.  Bennu Coffee
Why: It’s cozy, the music is always awesome, the baristas are charming, and they have three different varieties of vegetarian breakfast tacos from Torchy’s.
When to go: If you want to get work done. There are more power outlets for your laptop in this place than there are hipsters—and there are plenty of hipsters.
When to skip it: If you want a really superb espresso drink. I love you Bennu, but you gotta step it up in this area.

Cappuccino and sesame seed bagel from Once Over Coffee Bar

Quality coffee and a serene patio setting earn points for Once Over. Photo by Lara Berendt.

2.  Once Over Coffee Bar
Why: Clean, modern decor; a serene back patio overlooking Bouldin Creek; excellent, high-quality espresso drinks.
When to go: If you’re in the South First area and craving a delicious cappuccino or espresso shot.
When to skip it: If you’re looking for a place that has a full food menu. Food selection is pretty limited here.

Summermoon counter view

Summermoon sells their organic, fair-trade coffee beans by the bag near the counter. Photo by Lara Berendt.

3.  Summermoon
Why: Cute, comfortable decor and layout; lovely baristas; unique and scrumptious coffee drinks.
When to go: If you want to enjoy a decadent coffee concoction on a sunny little patio in South Austin.
When to skip it: If you’re looking to hang out for hours in a vast, anonymous, hipster-saturated scene. This place is fine for idle laptop work, but it’s small and somewhat intimate.

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