San Antonio Coffee Shops that Give Starbucks a Run for Their Money

click to enlarge San Antonio Coffee Shops that Give Starbucks a Run for Their Money
Local Coffee, Photo by Amanda Rodriguez

Aspen’s Brew
A buzzing local favorite that is quick, cheap and fresh, Aspen Brewery offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy your cup of joe and free wi-fi. Complement your morning bagel with a flavorful cold brew iced coffee for only $5. 11255 Huebner Road, Suite 100, (210) 561-5551,

Barrio Barista
Part-community center, part-café and part-java emporium, this self-proclaimed coffee house is bringing San Antonio Coffee Roasters’ beans to the West Side. Owned by father and son team Gilbert De Hoyos (Jr. and Sr.), the former meat market is a haven for poetry nights, barbacoa grilled cheese sandwiches and Mexican American studies. Don’t miss the horchata iced latte. 3735 Culebra Road, (210) 519-5403,

Brown Coffee
Calling all coffee snobs: Walk into Brown Coffee Co. (either their roasting operation on Kings Hwy., second shop at 1800 Broadway or the latest location inside Methodist Stone Oak Hospital) and you will immediately understand that this place is serious about its beans. The minimalist design is sleek and clean, providing few distractions from the main point of focus. What’s even more minimalistic than the décor is the actual coffee menu itself. Brown’s knowledgeable baristas craft coffee and espresso beverages from their in-house roasted beans. Walk in a coffee novice and leave a neophyte connoisseur. Multiple locations,

Candlelight Coffee House
Looking for a little romance? Not ready for your perfect date night to come to an end? Pop into Candlelight with your honey for post-dinner espresso and pie. Located in an old house with soft lighting, plenty of comfy corners and mismatched old furniture, Candlelight packs just enough quirky touches to make you feel right at home. 3011 N. Saint Mary’s St., (210) 738-0099,

Commonwealth Coffee
Tucked right off Broadway, Commonwealth Coffee has quite the homey feel — probably because the building is a recent convert from an Alamo Heights bungalow. With King Louis and crooner standards on the stereo, a delightful shaded patio and iced coffee served in Mason jars, Commonwealth favors the cute without ever going overboard. France is an inspiration, with a pâtisserie and Francophile lunch menu. But fear not, they know they’re in SA — they serve breakfast tacos until 11 a.m. 118 Davis Ct. (210) 560-2955,

The Dominion Ridge Shopping Center holds one of the cutest coffee shops around. Filled with natural light, and most importantly a full espresso menu, Cuppencake also boasts fresh-baked breads and cakes. 22211 W. I-10, Suite 111, (210) 892-3010,

Estate Coffee Co.
The east side’s Dignowity Hill area lays claim to one of the best shops in town when it comes to great coffee. Try one of the coffee cocktails using house-roasted beans or specialty lattes, flavored with spices from Oak & Salt Quality Goods. Come weekends, you’ll find house-made donuts on the menu and pastries from neighboring Dignowity Kolaches. 1320 E. Houston St., (210) 667-4347,

Located in the Blue Star District, Halcyon features a hip, industrial loft-style interior adorned with local art and modern décor. With plenty of tables to work and lounge areas to hang, Halcyon functions as a study space during the day. This café transforms into a hopping bar scene come 10 p.m. with full bar and spiked espresso beverages. 1414 S. Alamo St., Suite 101 (210) 277-7045,

Hinee Gourmet Coffee
Opened in 2011, this wee shop is in on the joke: “Funny Name, Serious Coffee — No Butt’s About It” just so happens to be its slogan. The neighborhood joint in Helotes packs in the wild flavors and Frapp like creations along with paninis, soups and baked goods. 11881 Bandera Road, Suite 107, Helotes, (210) 695-2000,

Indy Coffee Co.
SA’s first mobile espresso provider moved away from its semi-permanent parking spot at Huebner and Vance Jackson and into a space of its own that caters to discerning college taste buds. Order one of everything and admire their little cactus mascot by the register, and make sure to order one of their cereal milk lattes or catch one of their surprise brunches. 7114 UTSA Blvd., Suite 103, (210) 233-9203,

La Taza Coffee House
There is no place better to enjoy a nice cup of coffee than at home, but La Taza Coffee House sure comes close. The coffeehouse comes complete with puzzles, paintings of horses, and, of course, plenty of coffee — all brewed from local Kiva Coffee Roasters in Fair Oaks Ranch. 15060 San Pedro Ave., (210) 494-8292,

Local Coffee
A “local” favorite and winner of the San Antonio Current’s “Best of SA” coffee category for several years in a row, Local Coffee is serious about its craft. With several locations around the city (one even inside a former Starbucks), San Antonians have made Local their favorite go-to café — for good reason. Multiple locations,

Mila Coffee
Big flavors are coming out of this tiny truck that’s parked next to Richter Goods in the Broadway News parking lot. Try the horchata cold brew or vanilla latte made using Mexican vanilla beans. 2202 Broadway, (210) 929-3678,

Mildfire Coffee Roasters
This little-shop-that-could opened in 2005 as one of two joints in town roasting its own beans. Now, 10 years and two locations later, Mildfire is still kicking and thriving. Stop by the original location or the newest one by the Medical Center for pour overs and more. Multiple locations,

Olmos Perk
Something about Olmos Perk just seems to promote productivity. The classy but relaxed atmosphere encourages work and socialization. Students get a 15 percent discount, which makes Olmos Perk a perfect study destination to bring a group or go solo. Claim your territory at one of the modern but comfortable couches or plant yourself in one of the four individual study cubicles, complete with cozy chairs, power outlets and spacious desks — a studier’s holy grail. You’ll finish that essay in no time. 5223 McCullough Ave., (210) 858-2956,

Paramour Coffee
If you need a place to escape from reality, get swept away by the morning views at Paramour, which serves as a coffee shop during the day. Lattes are just that much prettier when you’re that high up. Service starts at 7 a.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. weekends. 102 9th St., Suite 400, (210) 307-8740,

Press Coffee
This petite (600 square foot) coffeehouse is located within biking distance from San Antonio College. Press almost gives you a sense of being in a friend’s house — a very posh and clean friend’s house. Imagine if they served coffee at Anthropologie and you’ll get the picture. Sit at one of its handful of tables with the latest Current while sipping on your Buddha’s Brew Kombucha chai tea (provided on tap) and you’ll forget you ever left home. 606 W. French Pl., (210) 758-5513,

Revolucion Café + Juice
This shop boasts a unique flair, providing customers with a cafe experience in the bright and pristine environment of a juice bar. The coffee offerings reflect Revolucion’s health focus with options ranging from honey lavender lattes to matcha green teas to vegan and gluten-free drink and snack options. Take advantage of the grab-and-go convenience of stocked refrigerators full of fresh-pressed juices. Come in for a latte and pick up your favorite juice to go. Namaste. 7959 Broadway, (210) 701-0725,

Rosella Coffee Co.
Rosella’s two-story loft has plenty of space for you and your friends to hang out, meet up or work on group projects. If you get carried away into the afternoon talking or working, you’ll find that Rosella transitions into a fun evening spot, offering wine and an extensive selection of Texas craft beer. Who knows, you might get a little extra brilliance from whatever you choose to sip on. Look for their new location opening later this year in the Rand Building. 203 E. Jones Ave., (210) 277-8574,

The chef Andrew Weissman-owned coffee shop packs in delicious breakfast sandwiches, juices, salads and pastries, but they focus on keeping the downtown area caffeinated — and they’re directly across a Starbucks to boot. Try the nitro Cuvee on tap. 160 E. Houston St.,

Theory Coffee Company
Manned solely by a man with beard enough for two, Mark Vollmer’s coffee trailer offers quality coffee and pastries to cappucino-craving commuters at 410 and Nacogdoches. Grip an iced latte (there’s house-made almond milk for vegans, too) and admire one of the classic muscle cars that frequently stop by. 2347 Nacogdoches Road, (512) 507-3025,

The Wander’N Calf Espresso Bar & Bakery
Situated just off Boerne’s Main Street, The Wander’N Calf shares retail space with boutique bakery Sugar Belle’s Bake Shop. Run by South Florida transplant Wendy Riggott, the menu boasts a host of well-curated sips, including 100 percent Ethiopian Yirgacheffe cold-brew coffee and the most legit Cubano this side of Miami. 128 W. Blanco Road, Suite 9, Boerne, (830) 331-9156,

White Elephant Coffee Co.
The latest micro-roaster to hit Southtown comes via Jose Carlos de Colina, a Rio Grande Valley transplant. Pick up the usual latte or a bag of beans for your own brewing pleasure. 1415 S. Presa St., Suite 107, (210) 465-9478,


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