Second Helpings: Downtown Coffeehouses

Downhome coffeehouses in today's "Second Helpings."

Cafe Mundi
Cafe Mundi (Photo By John Anderson)

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized listings compiled from new and previous reviews. Today's entries were updated by MM Pack. For quick, reliable info about Austin eateries, check here.

Cafe Mundi

1704 E. Fifth, 236-8634 Mon-Thu, 8am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-midnight; Sun, 9am-5pm

Cafe Mundi is a cozy little haven off the beaten path, the kind of place that attracts a clientele of regulars who relish their few moments of peace in a place they feel privileged to have discovered. Their coffee is a changing affair, with Ethiopian beans taking the spotlight one day and a stout Latin American blend claiming it the next. The menu includes a selection of bagels, waffles, sandwiches, salads, and sweets.

Flipnotics Coffeespace

1601 Barton Springs Rd., 322-9750 Mon, 7am-7pm; Tue-Thu, 7am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 7am-1am; Sun, 8am-11pm

The tranquil porch at Flipnotics is a fine place to drink coffee and ponder the meaning of life with a trusted friend. It's also a great place to see live, acoustic music without choking on smoke. In addition to coffee, Flipnotics also sells beer, juice, and a tasty assortment of baked goods. Be sure to check out the vintage clothes shop downstairs, too.

Mojo's Daily Grind

2714 Guadalupe, 477-6656 Daily, 24 hours

Not too many people remember that the house at 2714 Guadalupe once housed a shady-looking dentist's office, which is a fine testament to Mojo's 24-hour popularity. Their war against corporate coffee is endearing to the slacker-types who haven't yet been priced out of town, but Mojo's also delivers good coffee, espresso, and cafe au lait. If you're hungry, try the baklava or pizza.

Spider House

2908 Fruth, 480-9562 Mon-Thu, 7am-1am; Fri-Sat, 7am-2am

A coffeehouse with the emphasis on house, this cozy old North Campus bungalow serves coffee drinks, juice, and beer as well as a small, eclectic menu in a comfortably shabby atmosphere. The patio and nicely landscaped yard are pleasant places to do some coffee-enhanced studying, watch a play, or listen to poetry readings and live music.

Little City Espresso Bar & Roasting Co.

3403 Guadalupe, 467-BEAN Mon-Fri, 7am-midnight; Sat-Sun, 8am-mid 916 Congress, 476-CITY Mon-Fri, 8am-midnight; Sat, 9am-midnight; Sun, 9am-10pm

Little City serves some of the city's finest coffee using fresh roasted beans from Central America, Indonesia, and East Africa. They describe their Top Shelf Blend as "really more like Al Green than coffee," which sounds pretty stimulating to me. Happy Hour, during which all coffee, espresso drinks, and fruit frappés are half-off, runs 5-7pm every weekday. Little City also has a good selection of baked goods, and the downtown location serves up several delectable varieties of salads and sandwiches.

Flightpath Coffeehouse

5011 Duval, 458-4472 Daily, 8:30am-midnight

Though the sound of jets thundering overhead at low altitudes is now a thing of the past at Flightpath, this Hyde Park coffee shop has become something of a community cornerstone. Flightpath's economical coffee and relaxed, sit-and-stay-awhile atmosphere makes it a prime spot for reading or studying. In addition to coffee drinks, you can sate your sweet tooth with a brownie or pastry.

Bouldin Creek Coffee House & Cafe

1501 S. First, 416-1601 Mon-Fri, 7am-midnight; Sat-Sun, 9am-mid

This inviting Travis Heights haunt features a funky lime-green exterior and an interior that's probably more homey than the place you sleep. Pick up a book, play Battleship, and enjoy all your favorite coffee drinks along with some killer honey lemonade. Bouldin Creek also has a small, economical vegetarian menu featuring all-day breakfast, salads, sandwiches, beans, collard greens, and homemade cornbread.

The Hideout

517 Congress, 476-0473 Mon-Thu, 6am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 6am-1am; Sun 10am-9:30pm

This downtown hotspot is a combination coffee bar, cyber cafe, and theatre, with something happening just about all the time, including performances by the in-house improv comedy troupe. In addition to the requisite coffee drinks, you can get breakfast items, snacks, and sweets, not to mention beer and wine.

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