Step aside, Starbucks. I know you think you’re cool because you supposedly started the whole “blogger at a coffee shop” movement, but we’re in Austin, bucko. We’ve been laptopping with lattes since before you even thought it was a thing. Busted.
Seriously though, we’re millennials in tech start-up heaven. Who needs a cubicle in this day and age of flexible work environments and seamless connectivity? There’s a healthy plethora of Wi-Fi spots around town in the way of coffee shops, quiet bars or, my personal favorite, both at the same time. For the record, I do not drink during work hours. I drink on my lunch break like a responsible adult.
Whether you work remotely or just show up at a coffee shop with fake glasses to pretend you’re working when, in reality, you just sit there and spiral on YouTube until your latte’s done, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the best places to “work from home” in Austin.
#1 Monkey Nest Coffee
For me, a good place to work remotely is one that offers a work-friendly environment, while also providing a unique experience, fun atmosphere and exceptional menu items. With that said, Monkey Nest Coffee on Burnet nails it on all accounts.
Monkey Nest, open 24 hours per day, has it all. And when I say “all,” I mean like they have Mario Kart 64 tournaments sometimes. When you’re not getting your game on, you can enjoy the spacious interior, plentiful menu and frequent live music. Don’t worry, if you need things quiet, they also offer a private room in the corner with plenty of seating.
I personally found the live music to be helpful when concentrating. It’s never overbearing, but more like a background tone you can look up and enjoy when you need a break.
5353 Burnet Road – Website
If you’re looking to get your hipster on, Halcyon is your spot. I mean that in the nicest way possible, as you won’t find a better place to work downtown. Offering a lively crowd, impressively sophisticated cocktails and high-quality coffee, Halcyon is best during nighttime hours when you need to finish up a few things. I say that for two reasons:
- It’s super loud in there, so bring your noise-cancelers.
- There’s another really cool bar right around the corner (Lavaca Street Bar) for when you’re done and want a little nightcap.
As a bonus, Halcyon even has an humidor inside. You can almost literally have a smoke and a pancake while working. Name that movie reference!
218 W 4th Street – Website
#3 Spider House Cafe
There’s no way I can leave this off my list. Spider House is not only one of the best cafés in town, but it’s one of the best places to hang out in general. Despite how distracting its antique décor and steady traffic may appear, the commodious patio and cozy lounge serve as a perfect backdrop for a busy workday.
Whether you need to be caffeinated, nourished or inspired, Spider House’s jam-packed menu covers all the bases with style. Its history-rich atmosphere makes it easy to camp out and marathon your way through your daily to-dos. And you’ll never feel like you’re being pushed out the door because the staff members are exceedingly accommodating.
When you’re done, check out the ballroom next door. Its event calendar is all over the place, featuring everything from DJ Battles to slam poetry to comedy roasts that target animal species.
2906 and 2908 Fruth Street – Website
#4 Wright Bros. Brew & Brew
Well, I’m here as I’m writing this, so I’ll just look around and point stuff out. I’m at the bar, and up here on the left is a wall of 38 craft beer options, organized in a light-to-dark, smooth-to-hoppy matrix of sorts. There’s a wide range of seating, and the overall design is kept simple, to the point that it feels like I’m in a rundown art studio. Hold on; let me grab my coffee and head next door into the Companion Art Gallery to check it out.
Okay, I’m back. In addition to the art exhibits and vintage novelty items sold here, there’s plenty of seating that encourages Brew and Brew customers to make themselves comfortable. There’s a casual vibe everyone is cognizant of, making this spot appealing to those who don’t want distractions. Even though I just finished my beer, err…coffee, I’m welcome to stay as long as I want.
I actually come here quite often. Not only is the coffee delicious, but Brew and Brew offers the most consistent experience out of all the places I’ve mentioned.
500 San Marcos Street – Website
#5 Radio Coffee & Beer
Radio Coffee & Beer is relatively new, but it has already made a huge splash in Austin. Once again, you’re getting a healthy balance of work and play here, as Radio boasts an extensive beer menu, as well as probably the best coffee I’ve had in Austin thus far. If you’re starting to notice a theme with my workplaces of choice, you’re right.
What I like best about this place is the outside setup. Of course there’s a patio with plenty of seating, but there’s also a large lawn area. I brought a blanket and worked in picnic-mode, and I was surprised by how productive I was. It was a fun and different way to work, and I highly recommend it.
When the work is done, stick around for live music and the occasional outdoor movie screening featuring classic films.
4204 Manchaca Road – Website
As “working from home” becomes more and more the norm, it’s important to find reliable spots where you can sit down and enjoy the experience, while also being able to put your head down and get things done. It’s important to take breaks during the workday, and I personally find myself most productive in environments that give those breaks a little flavor.
While this is only a limited representation of all the work-friendly locations in Austin, these establishments offer the perfect balance between work and play, and are highly reputable among us remote folks. Plus, as you probably noticed, none of them are Starbucks. So there’s that.
@AndyChuckChase wants to know:
What is your favorite place to work remotely in Austin?