Here are my top 3 picks:
1. Greater Goods Coffee Roasting, East Austin
I will say that this place has completely won me over, to the point that I have to give myself a pep talk to go anywhere else! They have created a minimal, bright, Scandinavian type space that is also extremely comfortable and hygge (think couches, comfy chairs, gorgeous light wood, bookshelves with cookbooks, tons of along the wall seating – if you are a seating nerd like I am you will appreciate this). The drinks are absolutely lovely. Plant milks are available. I have observed the baristas here as they create amazing offerings. They do not cut corners and are very technique-oriented. Every Matcha Latte or Americano I’ve had has been delightful. These people are masters of their craft! Go visit them (but please leave the back couch open for me – it’s my favorite).
2. Sa-Ten, East Austin at Canopy and also on Airport Blvd
I found this place my first week in Austin and have been back for many return visits. I love the authentic Japanese experience as well as the Austin friendliness. The drinks have some lovely tropical options, like housemade coconut syrup, which I chose to add to my iced Matcha Latte. They are offering coconut, almond, and oat milk the last time I checked, which is awesome! The space feels very comfortable for lounging, and they often seem to have fun tasting events going on (do you fancy some sake with your matcha?)! They do some yoga events on the weekend as well, so I’m giving them bonus points for an amazing feeling of community one can sense in this space. The baristas know what they are doing, with drinks always coming out strong and flavorful. Side note: the food is absolutely scrumptious as well. Bonus: they make affogatos, served in the cutest vintage style (go get one, you’ll see what I mean).
3. Merit Coffee, Downtown
Merit made me an amazing iced matcha that was so refreshing. They whipped up a very tasty spicy chai on another day. Both of these flavorful creations were made with oat milk, my favorite of the plant milks. The space is super cute and aesthetically lovely, with good seating (though it’s not an overly large shop). The interior is simple, organized, and beautiful. I’m always influenced by a space, and this one grabbed me as it was clearly designed with a lot of thoughtfulness. The lighting is also natural and bright. I had a groovy conversation about being plant-based with one of the baristas here, who also loves plants! As a vegetarian I felt very welcome here. They make drinks with care, showing that they appreciate the art form. Bonus: they offer delicious pastries and hand-rolled bagels (I’m a bagel girl, always have been).