A Barista's Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Austin, TX

A pro's account of the city's burgeoning coffee scene.

Austin can credit its recent growth to an influx of tech industry money, a growing population that works remotely, and the entrepreneurial streak of the city's individualistic culture: all factors that have ensured its coffee scene's bloomed with it. Austin can boast at least a dozen different local coffee roasters—Chameleon Coffee started here, and Greater Goods, Civil Goat, and Wild Gift are three smaller startups worth trying—and more cafes than you can shake a mug at. As someone who was a barista in the third-wave coffee world for ten years, I have a list of my favorite coffee spots, each hipper than the last.


best coffee shops in austin

Boasting four locations in Austin and a huge rotating menu featuring coffee from roasters all over the country, Houndstooth arguably serves the best coffee in Austin. They take it seriously; baristas have to show up an hour before their shift to taste the full menu, and they can't even touch the espresso machine until they've completed a six-month training program. They offer classes, tasting menus, and occasional free tastings where you can learn how to develop your palate. In fact, my problem with Houndstooth is that they might just be a little too into coffee. Their extensive menu and daily offerings can be a bit overwhelming, and the baristas there tend to possess a sort of overbearing friendliness. Maybe it's just all the caffeine they ingest, but a simple interaction with them can be exhausting. Their logo, a silhouetted fedora in black and white, hasn't aged well, but serves as a fitting representation for a cafe that's trying a little too hard to be cool. Still, if you're looking to learn about coffee or try something new, it's hard to argue with their expertise.


best coffee shops in austin

Mañana is a bit of a dark horse on this list. While most of the hip coffee shops are located in East Austin, Mañana is off the courtyard of South Congress Hotel, right in the middle of the touristy drag. They use local roaster Cuvee's beans to great effect. Their iced coffee is wonderful, made using a lighter flash brew method popularized in Japan and showing up more and more in the States. I'll be honest, I'm cheating a little bit here. The real reason Mañana makes the list isn't for the coffee, but for their home-made pastries. They have a frosted cinnamon roll that I see in my dreams. Offerings can be pricey, but the pastries are half off from 5 PM to 7 PM every day, so you know when you can find me there.

Brew & Brew

best coffee shops in austin

The folks behind the bar at Wright Bros Brew & Brew can pull you a great shot of espresso, sure, but the cafe is also notable for its extensive selection of beer and cider—39 taps to be exact. Get there early for a coffee and a mighty decent bagel (Rosen's) or a breakfast taco from Pueblo Viejo, get some work done, and reward yourself with a beer. What else could you need? Brew & Brew stays open until midnight, and though there are other late night cafes in Austin, like the 24-hour Bennu Coffee, there's no better way to kill an hour before heading to a concert with your friends than a late night espresso and a beer. They've recently expanded to offer more seating, and if you like what they have to offer, check out Better Half, their full menu cafe, and Little Brother, their comically tiny bar.

Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors

best coffee shops in austin

Walking out of the Texas sun into Figure 8 feels like walking into a cave. In a good way. It's cool and dark, but not too dark. It's hip and can get a little busy, but those things never feel intrusive. It's the perfect place to get away from the world and get some reading done. Oh, and in my opinion, Figure 8 consistently serves the best shot of espresso in Austin. They serve a selection of different roasters, but the small batches they roast themselves are obviously where it's at. Their cold brew isn't my favorite, a bit too sludgy, and they tend to keep the place a little too cold, but they have patio seating and a more secluded little grotto around back.


best coffee shops in austin

Fleet is a tiny spot, consisting only of an espresso bar, two single-person tables inside the cafe, and a couple larger tables outside. Because it's so small, they keep the menu tight and simple. It's great for grabbing a quick shot, chatting up the barista for a minute, and heading out to whatever's next. I have a soft spot for small cafes that focus on no-nonsense efficiency. But a small, simple menu means that you really have to back it up with quality. The folks at Fleet know their business. They have a knack for pulling great single origin shots, extracting the fruity notes without being overly acidic (a hard thing to do).

Flattrack Coffee Roasters

best coffee shops in austin

Flattrack Coffee Roasters shares its space, a refurbished garage, with Cycleast, a friendly neighborhood bike shop. Its large open space is vaguely industrial, decorated in equal measure with motorcycles and plants. With a patio out front and a picturesque little yard out back, the cafe is designed to be Instagram-friendly. But all that outdoor space also means that it's particularly popular with a four-legged constituency, and you are sure to run into some cute dogs while hanging out there. And to complete the Austin atmosphere, they've recently started serving breakfast and lunch fare from a food truck out back.

Those familiar with Austin cafes refer to the last three places on this list as "The Three Fs." The final "F," and my vote for the best coffee in Austin is Flattrack Coffee. They serve a constantly rotating selection of single origin beans, roasted right there. One of their mainstay blends, Sidepipe, was designed specifically for a fruity and malty cold brew, and it goes above and beyond. They roast most weekdays from 9-5, so you can pull up a stool at the bar in back and watch the show. With the roasting, the bike shop, the dogs, and now food being shuttled in and out, it can get a little hectic. But the staff is always friendly and accommodating, and there's no better place to grab a tasty beverage and a bag of beans.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

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A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

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Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.