Work-friendly coffee shops are scattered throughout the startup-nurturing city of Austin, TX, but sometimes a business get-together calls for something a little stiffer than Baileys Irish Cream-flavored coffee.
The following five bars are great for a rendezvous earlier in the day, but tend to fill up and get much louder right after work and in the evenings. Most lack table service, giving you the independence to stay for a while, and all offer free Wi-Fi and an array of food, making them perfect for lunch or drinks with colleagues and clients.
4800 Burnet Road, Suite 450, 78756
Free Wi-Fi; table service
Apothecary is known for its friendly, laid-back, accommodating wait staff, who will happily pour you free (non-alcoholic) refills while you work to your heart’s content. Apothecary bills itself as a café and wine bar, so options abound for coffee, tea and wine. The food is on the more upscale side, with shareable items like charcuterie and cheese plates ($15-$17), salads like miso crab and strawberry salad ($14), and entrees such as roasted lamb chops ($24).
You’ll want to arrive early for seating, as the place is on the smallish side and does fill up because of the great happy hour deals—all-day specials on Sunday and Monday, half-off sparkling wine on Saturday, and $1 off glasses of wine and $2 off shared plates from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
709 E. Sixth St., 78701
Free Wi-Fi; table service in some areas
Although this Sixth Street bar fills up at night, daytime is perfect for getting some work done (with possible ping-pong breaks in between).
Easy Tiger is part bakery and part beer garden, so expect house-made sausages on pretzel buns ($7), giant pretzels that stand on their own ($4), a complete a snack board with house mustard, beer cheese and jerky ($4), and artisan sandwiches made with house-cured meats and fresh-baked bread ($8-$14). Thirty great selections of beer are on tap, as well as a collection of bombers, a selection of wine and a full bar. Sit inside for smaller tables, or outside if you’d like to work creekside at a communal, picnic-style table.
1950 S. I-35, 78704
This popular gastropub has a Bohemian feel to it and has one of the best craft beer selections in town (both on draught and by the bottle). Whip In specializes in “Whip Indianized” Tex Mex, like chicken makhani meatballs ($12), “taaco” salad ($9), goat/feta/roasted jalapeno sliders ($9) and various types of “beer”yani ($12). This place gets especially crowded around the after-work happy hour, but it’s ideal during the day or even most weekday nights.
1208 E. 11th St., 78702
The recently opened Quickie Pickie is part specialty convenience store with a well-curated selection of wine and beer, and part café with food available to eat there or take out.
Breakfast selections include breakfast tacos made with cage-free eggs and served on fresh corn tortillas ($2.50-$3) and a house-baked hempseed bialy with sweet cream butter ($3). Lunch includes sandwiches like the saltimbocca (eight-hour pork, prosciutto, Gruyere, Bosc pear chutney and marsala-sage butter pressed on a sweet roll, $9). A variety of salads are available at night, as well as a bar menu to accompany the on-tap craft beers (all $5 apiece.) The covered patio is the perfect place to stop, collaborate and listen.
408 Josephine St., 78704
This cozy, unpretentious wine bar (appropriately located in a house) opens at 3 p.m., and features a quiet back room and lovely front yard. Food is limited to cheese plates ($4.95-$24.95), empanadas ($5), mezze plates ($6.95-$13.95), desserts ($5-$10), and small bowls of nuts and chocolates ($4.95-$9.95). It also offers wine cocktails, wine flights and happy hour specials ($5 glasses and $18 bottles 3-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday).
Photos courtesy of coffeecultureatx.wordpress.com, yelp.com, apartmenttherapy.com, thrillist.com, housewineaustin.com, lifeofjustin.com