Constantly on the lookout and trying new coffee shops, I somehow still end up at the same handful of bars. They’re the coffee shops that can give me the best of both worlds: A place where I can study while sipping on a hot cup of coffee and a place where I can procrastinate with a cold drink in my hand, listening to live music. These four coffee shops do just that and fuel my caffeine addiction show after show. Here are the best live music coffee shops in Austin that’ll have you coming back for more.
Radio Coffee & Beer
Since 2014, Radio Coffee & Beer has prided itself in serving carefully crafted coffees and a wide selection of local brews. The coffee shop offers an intimate setting in an unexpected place — right off of the highway and tucked away behind a cluster fast food joints. Full of surprises, Radio keeps a busy calendar of events, including movies on the lawn, trivia and comedy nights and the infamous Bluegrass night. Every Monday, string players gather in a cozy corner of the bar and fill the room with traditional, upbeat Bluegrass songs of heartbreak and lost loves. Go with fair warning though — the music is as addictive as the coffee, and you could just end up a Monday night regular at Radio like many have become.
Right down the street from Radio is one of Austin’s most popular coffee shops for the sleep-deprived, studious and all-around strange. Strange Brew is a 24-hour coffee shop that dedicates its space to hosting the most intense study sessions and weirdest 3 a.m. conversations. But the real treasure in this multi-roomed coffee shop is the side lounge to the left. Here you can sit in on Listening Shows dedicated to “observing silence” as artists perform every night of the week. Winner of eight Austin Music Awards, Strange Brew Lounge Side allows you step out of your hectic schedule and into a distraction-free quiet room so you can fully immerse yourself in the listening experience of great music.
Posted up on the corner of West 4th Street and Lavaca sits a hip little hangout spot perfect for grabbing drinks after work or table side s’mores post-dinner. “Coffeehouse by day, and bar and lounge by night,” Halcyon is known for balancing its laid back atmosphere with the ambiance of a swanky new hotel lounge. Seamlessly transforming into the night’s “it” place to be, Halcyon provides live music three nights a week, with genres ranging from World music to Flamenco to an assortment of what local artists bring in. Be sure to make it downtown or you’ll regret missing out!
Opa! Coffee & Wine Bar
Greek food and coffee seem like an unlikely combo, but this little coffee shop knows how to make it work. Opa! Coffee & Wine Bar is an oasis hidden behind the curtains of palm trees and potted plants on South Lamar. Like any true paradise, Opa! has all-day happy hour on Sundays accompanied by different bands each week playing acoustic sets throughout the day. Most nights at Opa! are filled with live acoustic shows perfect to listen to on your breaks from playing ping-pong on the outdoor back porch. So sit back, relax and let the music take you away.