Affordable and unique coffee is never far away in the 78704


Barely awake, the practically comatose student stumbles into the coffee shop for the largest cup of coffee they offer. She opens up her wallet and sends a pile of cash tumbling onto the table before staggering over to the nearest chair and setting up shop.


Most college students are familiar with this experience. Whether it is before that 8 a.m. class or just after a long night of studying, the coffee shop is a student’s second home.


However, the same students may quickly find that they have blown exorbitant sums of money on their caffeinated beverages at the campus coffee shops, and so the search for the perfect cup of coffee for the right price began.

Mystic Java Cafe (formerly Jeanie’s Java)

0.2 miles from campus

This coffee shop, located just a short five-minute walk down South Congress, proves that good coffee does not necessarily mean highway robbery. They offer two varieties of black coffee—medium and dark roast—for an affordable price of $2.75 for a large cup. Additionally, the prices for their other beverages are significantly lower than the coffee shop on campus.  Along with coffee, their over-priced sandwiches are lower than most sub shops and come with a free side of hummus and chips. Surrounded by The Great Outdoors and a plant nursery, the shop’s patio is a picturesque garden wonderland, complete with bubbling water fountains and fragrant flowers. For a campus that recently lost a library, this coffee shop offers a multitude of quiet study nooks for individuals and groups, along with delicious drinks.

Summermoon Wood Fired Coffee

0.6 miles from campus

Summermoon provides the best of both worlds. Their coffee prices are absolutely unbeatable: their coffee of the day rings up at just $1.55 for a small, $1.75 for a medium and $2.05 for a large—that’s a large, steaming, hot cup of joe for the same price as a small cup nearly everywhere else in Austin. They also offer one of the most perfectly-brewed cups of coffee south of Lady Bird Lake. Their secret lies in the production of their coffee beans: they’re wood fired (hence the name) in-house. This means that they ensure their coffee is perfectly roasted, as well as providing one of the lowest prices in town without sacrificing quality. Unfortunately, the shop itself doesn’t offer a lot of places to sit and enjoy their coffee, but it is the perfect place to grab a cup to go before heading into class.

Once Over Coffee Bar

1.3 miles from campus

Admittedly further from campus, Once Over Coffee bar is completely worth the journey. This location offers the kind of eccentric, off-the-beaten-path atmosphere that Austin is known for. The prices of coffee to go are comparable to the coffee shops on campus, but they offer “coffee to stay” at a much more affordable price: $1.67 for the first cup, then just $0.87 for each refill—rather than dropping four bucks on two cups of coffee, it only ends up costing $2.54. The shop is small, so while not a good choice for any kind of group study sessions, it is also quiet and secluded, so it provides the perfect location for some alone time with textbooks. The deck behind the shop is covered with trees and is complete with a babbling brook running behind it.