A few years ago, we started a series called Bullet Point Coffee Shop Reviews. At the time, Catherine was consoling herself with the loss of her “old Austin” favorites, Cafe Mundi and Little City, and she was on a mission to explore new-to-her places and provide you with a quick overview. As a service to you, our loyal readers, and because we are still looking for excuses to get out of the house, we are bringing these reviews back. If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments or by emailing us at email@example.com.
There are those days when you just need to get out of the house. As a work-at-home mom, I do appreciate rolling out of bed and logging on (at least, on those days I’m not walking my son to school). I really appreciate the flexibility of being able to run an occasional errand during the school day or to be able to volunteer. On other days, the lack of human interaction gets to me. I need to see people, get fresh air and get a change of scenery. On those days, I spend a few hours at a (preferably local) coffee shop.
Yesterday, my son was home sick from school, and the weather was glorious, and I quickly became grumpy that I wasn’t able to get out and enjoy the beautiful day. So, today, with my son back in school and with another sunny Austin spring day in store, I decided it was time to flee to one of my go-to coffee places: Flightpath Coffee House in Hyde Park.
Last month, Catherine and I visited Epoch Coffee, which was described to me by a friend as “old Austin”. I would say Flightpath also falls into this category. It’s been around as long as I can remember, opening in October of 1991 (according to our barrista), nestled into a quiet mini strip mall and a place I’ve had countless meetings and interviews. It’s so old that I’m assuming it gets its name from being in the flight path of the former Austin airport (did you ever wonder why Airport Boulevard is so far from the airport? Because the old airport was where the Mueller neighborhood is now!)
- Plenty of tables. I attempted one cavernous East side coffee house twice, only to be turned away because there weren’t any seats. What a drag! I’ve never had this problem at Flightpath. Since I usually come to a coffee house to work, I also appreciate a high table to chair ratio. I just can’t get as much done in one of those recliner-type chairs, and they make me sleepy.
- Plenty of outlets. How annoying is it to be in a coffee shop with a low battery and not an outlet in sight? Flightpath has plenty of outlet options so your trusty device stays charged up.
- Open early, closes late. We’ve had some late night editorial meetings in the past and have been tossed out of coffee shops that close early. Luckily, Flightpath is open until 11 p.m. nightly so work or pleasure can last a little longer.
- Good coffee. This sounds idiotic, I realize, but I’m usually so focused on just slurping down my coffee that I’ll admit, I rarely notice the quality, unless it’s really bad. I was about to do the same with my skim latte today, but I actually stopped for a second, noticing how tasty it was (my coffee snob husband would be proud!) Catherine told me her go-to drink at Flightpath is the Carrolton, which she used to get in between sales calls during her pre-LiveMom working days.
- Pleasant environment. Flightpath’s website points out that the coffee shop hosts no events or live music, so that patrons can have a quiet atmosphere (and that patrons who do wish to visit with friends can do so on the patio). I’ve certainly had meetings there, and not gotten any dirty looks, but it is definitely a more serene environment than some places that I find too distracting to actually get anything done.
- Lots of food options. On my last visit, I arrived just after 9am, and there were still plenty of pastry options, as well as breakfast tacos. In addition, there was a whole display full of snacks and treats including nuts, bars, chocolate and more! The lunch options include pizza, quiche, sandwiches and wraps.
- Beer and wine available. If you want to socialize at night and imbibe in adult libations instead of tea or coffee, Flighpath offers beer and wine!
- Limited parking. Yes, it’s not downtown, but I have rarely snagged one of the four spots out front. There is no parking on Duval until 6pm, so that means you will probably need to park a block or two away. It’s a minor inconvenience, in the grand scheme of things, but worth mentioning.
- Outside patio can get smoky. I love the idea of the outdoor patio, and it is shady, but unfortunately, there is usually at least one person smoking outside. I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, and I find I’m even more intolerant to it, now that I so rarely have to experience it. Sometimes you can avoid it, but sometimes not.
Drinks to try: The Carrolton and New Orleans Iced. These two iced drinks are perfect remedies for our hot Austin weather that is just around the corner.
Check it out and let us know what you think. Where is your favorite coffee shop in the Austin area?
5011 Duval Street
*Disclosure: LiveMom was not compensated to write this review. All food and beverage products consumed during this review were purchased by LiveMom.
If you like coffee, here are some other reviews in the series:
- Monkey Nest Coffee
- Texas French Bread
- Corona Cafe
- Thunderbird Coffee
- Walton’s Fancy and Staple
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf