We’ve taken a small break on coffee shop reviews because Catherine hasn’t been visiting many, what with the new baby and all. I decided to review one I’ve been to several times lately, but will remind you, dear reader, of why LiveMom decided to do these in the first place:
First it was Cafe Mundi. Then it was Little City. My two favorite coffee shops, one where they actually knew my order when I walked in, have closed. When I heard the news that Little City was closing, I literally got all teary-eyed.
I call myself a coffee shop junkie, even though I don’t get to hang out at them as often as I would like to now that I have kids and all. And so what’s a junkie to do when her two favorite spots have closed? Go in search of a new one.
Austin has changed quite a bit since I moved here over 14 years ago. One very noticeable change is the amount of coffee shops that have sprouted up in all areas of town. There are tons of ‘em! They’re everywhere! To get my fix, I plan to visit and review at least one a month until I find my new favorite spot. To make it easy on you and on me, the reviews will be in bullet points with lots of photos to free up more time to people watch– an essential when you are at a good coffee shop.
In the past month or so, I’ve been to Walton’s Fancy and Staple (609 W. Sixth St.) several times because it was a convenient place for me (a far-northie) to have a work meeting with a friend (a far-southie). And I will tell you, it’s a lovely space. However, I won’t post any pictures, despite what it says in the previous paragraph, because the staff got rather perturbed (though still polite) when I asked to take a few shots and said I’d have to go through their management office. Well, they have some beautiful photos on their website – I hope you’ll go there to see them. Without further ado, the pros and the cons …
- Beauty: Natural light streams in the windows of this old building with exposed interior walls. Everywhere you look, there’s a delight for the eyes, from the fresh flowers for sale to the back counter where you can peruse gift items and candies. The pastries in glass cases look like they’re poised for a cookbook photo shoot. Even the bathroom is pretty in a refined, stylish way.
- Delish: The pastries are as tasty as they look, the cappuccino is good and strong, and the salads my friend and I had were really fresh and delicious.
- Friendly: The staff people (working behind the front counter) are very nice, although you may wait a little while for your order during a busy lunchtime. Mid-morning is perfect for pastries and coffee and friendly service.
- Location: It’s right near Bookpeople, Whole Foods and the not-to-be-overlooked Austin Wine Merchant.
- Dog-friendly outside: There’s a doggie station to tie up your companion while you get coffee, and a few seats out front for you and your furry friend.
- Not work-friendly: If you want a place to sit and update your blog or write a proposal on your laptop, this is NOT it. There are very few electrical outlets, and even though we used one without comment on one visit, we were asked not to use one the next time by the manager, who grumbled something about fire codes and was not very polite about it. (Later, a staff member who shall remain unnamed told us that, really, if our laptop was about to die, it would be okay to plug it in for a little while. Nice kid.) So, meet your BF or take your mom for luncheon, but don’t plan to sit and work unless you have stellar battery life. Also, the chairs are not all that comfy — so I’d surmise they are, in fact, hoping to discourage the usual coffee-shop workers.
- Parking: There’s not much, and right now Nueces is closed on the block east of Walton’s, so there’s only two ways out: onto busy Sixth Street (not at a light) or west down the alley to Rio Grande — but dodge the hooks sticking out of the dumpster!!!!
- Kid-neutral: I saw very few kids there, but it was a school day. However, I’ll say that besides desserts, there’s not much there for children, which may also be by design.
Check it out and let us know what you think.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple
609 W. Sixth St.
Austin, TX 7870
Have a favorite coffee spot you’d like us to visit? Let us know by leaving a comment below.