Second Helpings: Downtown Coffee Shops
Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse & Cafe1501 S. First, 416-1601 Monday-Friday, 7am-12mid; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-12mid
This inviting Bouldin neighborhood 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.
Halcyon218 W. Fourth, 472-9637 Monday-Wednesday, 6am-1am; Thursday, 6am-2am; Friday, 6am-3am; Saturday, 7am-3am; Sunday, 7am-1am
You can still grab a coffee and lounge at Fourth and Lavaca it's just called Halcyon now. A little brighter and swankier than its previous tenant Ruta Maya, Halcyon offers all kinds of espresso and coffee drinks, wines, scotches, and signature drinks like their Chocolate Espresso Martini.
Jo's Hot Coffee1300 S. Congress, 444-3800 Monday, 7am-6pm; Tuesday-Friday, 7am-9pm; Saturday, 7am-10pm; Sunday, 7am-9pm
This unique little joint, the coffee shop of the renovated Hotel San José, offers the best people-watching spot in the whole 78704 ZIP code, hands down. Cappuccino, espresso, lattes, and teas are all there, as well as a selection of baked goods that make perfect midday nibbles.
JP's Java2803 San Jacinto, 494-0015 Monday-Thursday, 6am-2am; Friday-Saturday, 6am-12mid; Sunday, 7am-2am
Free Internet access may initially draw you into this coffee bar at San Jacinto and Duval Street, but the steaming espressos and iced chai will bring you back. JP's has their coffee shipped from Seattle twice weekly, roasting at its peak for your drinking pleasure. The food menu offers a variety of pastries, perfect for snacking while you check your e-mail.
Little City916 Congress, 476-2489 Monday-Friday, 7am-12mid; Saturday, 9am-12mid; Sunday, 9am-10pm 603 N. Lamar, 472-5050 x115 Daily, 9am-11pm
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.
Mojo's Daily Grind2714 Guadalupe, 477-6656 Daily, 24 hours
Not too many people remember that 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.
Spider House2908 Fruth, 480-9562 Daily, 8am-2am
Whatever mood you're in (and coffee drinkers tend to be a moody lot), odds are you'll feel comfortable somewhere inside Spider House. 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.
Flightpath Coffee House5011 Duval St., 458-4472 Monday-Friday, 7:30am-11pm; Saturday-Sunday, 8:30am-11pm
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.
Ruta Maya International Headquarters3601 S. Congress Ste. D-200, 707-9637 Monday-Wednesday, 7am-1am; Thursday-Saturday, 7am-2am; Sunday, 8am-12mid
Ruta Maya didn't disappear they just moved! Now located on South Congress, the new Ruta Maya touts, "Same people, new location." Hot coffees, espressos, teas, Latin foods, Cuban sandwiches, baked goods, beer, and ice cream are all still available. Listen to an eclectic mix of local musicians, and sample the selection of organic coffees.