If you head down Manchaca past Ben White, you’ll see an unassuming strip mall with a coffee house/music venue mashup stuck in the middle. On one side lives one of the greatest listening rooms in the city, if you care to sample some local singer-songwriter fare. After being inspired, order a coffee and step to the other side to get some work done. Two large rooms with ample couches and chairs, as well as a “quiet” room, for those that require deep, zen like concentration. Also open 24 hours if you have to burn those midnight beans into the AM.
I had been to Thunderbird quite a bit but hadn’t eaten there until recently. I have to say, the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich is nothing short of a culinary marvel. Add to that fresh Taco Deli breakfast tacos every morning (I go with the bean and cheese), fresh pastries, and of course coffee, and you have the crown jewel of east Manor. This is another great space to work, kill some time, or grab a late afternoon/early evening beer with friends.
An older staple that’s been around, stuck in the middle of the up-and-coming Crestview/Burnet neighborhood, Monkey’s Nest has a great balance of coffee, sandwiches, and various pastries. The interior has a bit of a 90’s Austin vibe, too. You can almost hear the cast of Austin Stories kicking around weekend tales of ill repute until the wee hours.
Austin Java is the only entry on our list that has more than two locations, for a very good reason: We really love Austin Java! It’s a great place to get breakfast or to just grab some great coffee while trying to prep our next Phat Foodies post. Omelettes and breakfast tacos are sprinkled through the breakfast menu, and don’t sleep on the Chicken Satay Sandwich — it’s a time-tested favorite.
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