The lively city of Austin surrounds all 160 acres of the hilltop with charming cafes, 24-hour study spots, and outdoor hangouts. We welcome our students to take advantage of on-campus study spots, but we also encourage Hilltoppers to get a feel of Austin and explore the great city. Switch up your study routine and plan a visit to one of these 18 spots within walking distance or a short ride away.
P.S. Don't forget to check out our interactive map at the bottom of the article.
Coffee Shops in Austin
Simona’s - Colton House Hotel (0.4 mi)
Across the street from St.Edward’s lies Simona’s, a coffee bar inside South Congress’s Colton House Hotel. Try a house specialty like the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (a mocha with chocolate, cinnamon, chili, and sea salt) and get to studying in their elegant indoor space or on their patio.
Summer Moon Coffee (0.5 mi)
Only half a mile from the hilltop, Summer Moon Coffee offers a cozy indoor bar and patio option, both with outlets to support your long hours of studying. To fuel your studies, try their Summer Moon Latte, made with their Velvet Blaze Espresso and topped with their signature Moon Milk, a homemade sweet cream. Pups are also welcome on the patio!
Freddo (0.6 mi)
Freddo ATX rests on the corner of South Congress and Oltorf in the historic Victorian home with a wrap-around porch and balcony. Freddo offers an extensive coffee menu. but touts their Freddo Cappuccino—a Greek cold cappuccino. If you’re looking for some food, too, their menu offers Greek specialties like Spanakopita (spinach pie in phyllo dough) and gyros, among classic cafe meals and munchies.
Plaza Colombia Coffee (0.7 mi)
Before you turn right onto Woodward from South Congress, your eyes will catch the vibrant yellows and oranges on the left of Plaza Colombian Coffee. Try their specialty-roasted coffee in their cafe con leche or the Sweet Bee (a honey-cinnamon latte). With all that studying, you’ll want to make room for a treat! Indulge in a Roscón (a sweet bread with guava filling) or sample their savory empanadas. And if you’re ever up for some live music in the background, visit on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Meteor (1.0 mi)
You don’t have to like bikes to visit The Meteor, but you might end up loving it even more if you do. Located on South Congress and a short walk from campus, The Meteor offers espresso, a hearty menu for every meal, and bikes! If you’re a cyclist or simply curious, check out their bikes and gear in the store!
Mañana (1.3 mi)
Take a five-minute drive down South Congress, and you’ll arrive at Mañana, a modern coffee shop with limited indoor seating, but a tranquil back patio perfect for getting work done. Manana offers over 10 kinds of coffee, along with seasonal beverages, pastries and breakfast tacos. They also have a refreshing selection of hot and cold teas.
Spokesman South (1.5 mi)
A lounge with craft coffee and flaky pastries, the Spokesman South rests behind St. Edward’s on St. Elmo Rd (five minute drive). The laid back lounge offers a large selection of teas, craft coffee, and hearty sandwiches, artisan kolaches and plenty of room for seating.
Café Crème (1.5 mi)
Let some crepes and cute latte art inspire your studies at Cafe Creme, which is just a five minute drive and five-minute drive from campus. You can even rent a conference room by the hour to focus on your work, while you enjoy a Café au lait (french coffee with hot milk) and a savory Crêpe Madame.
Opa (1.8 mi)
The little white home with the soft blue trim right off of South Lamar is Opa, a family-owned Greek cafe. Kick off your studies with a Mediterranean wrap and Greek coffee, or sample from their hummus trio. Study in their cozy lounge or on their spacious patio with fire pits, relaxed lighting, and live music.
Bennu (2.0 mi)
Your dream cafe is only a seven minute drive from campus. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Bennu is the place to go when your post-class nap went a little too long. With indoor and outdoor seating, Bennu’s lounge is the perfect place to meet your deadline and grab some fairtrade coffee to fuel your work.
Cenote (3.0 mi)
Coined as “East Austin’s Neighborhood Patio Cafe,” Cenote is only a nine-minute drive from campus. Start off with a cozy cappuccino and choose a delicious meal or snack from their extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Set up your workstation at one of their tables on the patio or inside their cozy lounge.
Carpenter Coffee Bar (3.0 mi)
Take a 12-minute drive north of St. Edward’s and experience the relaxing atmosphere of Carpenter Coffee Bar, and take a stroll through Zilker Park. Grab some breakfast tacos or a bagel and coffee, or dine in the evening and work at their indoor or outdoor bar.
Afuga Coffee Break (3.3 mi)
Swing by Afuga Coffee Break to prepare for that big exam with some pastries and hot coffee. Their contemporary outdoor patio with barstools and tables is the perfect place to study on a sunny Austin day.
Unique Public Spots
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden (0.4 mi)
Your next energy boost is only a nine-minute walk away, greeting you with an array of food trucks, all of your coffee favorites, and refreshing caffeine-free drinks! Try some of the classic chicken lollipops from Tommy Want Wingy and get some studying done at their spacious picnic tables. Bring your pup, too! They’re more than welcome at Cosmic.
Radio Coffee + Beer (2.3 mi)
Only a five minute drive from St. Edward's, Radio Coffee + Beer is beloved by Austin for their drinks, food trucks, live music and trivia nights. With indoor and outdoor outlets and seating to support your studies, you’ll be returning to Radio for their comforting atmosphere.
Austin Public Library (3.0 mi)
The Austin Central Library is an ideal place to focus, but it’s not just any library. With a wrap around terrace, furnished with plants and seating, and tranquil indoor study spots, it’ll be worth the hustle and bustle of downtown to enjoy the six-story public library. And if you need to check out a book, just fill out this form and visit the library for your free library card!
BookPeople (3.6 mi)
What’s a better place to read your books than a bookstore? BookPeople is an independent, locally-owned Austin staple that offers multiple genres and an in-store cafe! Sip on some hot tea or an iced coffee at the downstairs cafe and get some work done. When it’s time to wrap up, reward yourself with a fun trinket from the store!
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters (5.8 mi)
Take a 15-minute drive to Mozart’s Coffee Roasters and enjoy some pastries from their bakery, a warm cup of jo, and a beautiful view of Lake Austin. With three stories of patio seating, an extensive drink menu, and live music, you’ll want to spend hours studying on the lake.