The leaves are changing, and the cold fronts make you want to curl up with a nice, hot cup of joe. Wait—we’re in San Antonio, where the high temperatures are still nearing 100°F and the idea of drinking a hot cup of anything is enough to make your brow fill with sweat. Nonetheless, the fall season has officially begun, and what better way to jump start it than by celebrating International Coffee Day? (Thank goodness iced versions are now quite popular, amirite?!) In celebration of the day itself, denoted as September 29, I decided to drive around the city and try out some new(ish) coffee shops that you’ll definitely want to visit. Here are my faves:
I was quite shocked to find this tucked-away shop is actually in the spot of my old dry cleaners (meaning I pass by this spot a few times weekly and just realized its existence… #facetopalm). Sharing a wall with H&R Block, it’s a bit hidden between IHOP and Chipotle, but it’s a quaint, modern coffee shop with tons of drink options, fresh pastries, and super cool wall art. We visited on a Thursday morning after the working folk had already vacated so we were the only ones inside. I was able to enjoy a delicious turmeric latte and chat with a friend while my son devoured a mixed berry toaster pastry that was as tasty as it was pretty. It’s worth visiting whether you want a quiet place to work or a go-to coffee spot on your way to the office. I’ll be stopping by again soon to try one of their fresh juices.
Berry to Bean Coffee House, 3900 Broadway St., San Antonio, TX 78209 | (210) 549-2222
Although my friend and I separately drove around the building a handful of times looking for the sign, it turns out what felt like chasing a rainbow definitely ended in a pot of gold. Look for the big 8522 on the building and enter through the doors below. Located in the PARADOX coworking space, this spot is perfect for remote workers or those looking to stop by and grab their favorite coffee fix. We tried the iced Irish Coffee as per Lisa’s (the friendly owner) suggestion, grabbed some pumpkin nut bread, and tucked ourselves as far away from the people working on their computers as possible. While everyone was super friendly and didn’t seem bothered by my busy and LOUD toddler, this probably isn’t somewhere I would frequent with a 15-month-old. However, on the days I can pass him off to Dad, I will definitely return when I need a good cup of coffee and a quiet space to work.
Blum Coffee and Tea, 8522 Broadway St., San Antonio, TX 78217 | (714) 837-3863
This cute little drive-through coffee shop is a significant drive for me, but they have you in and out so quickly that it’s worth the drive just to avoid the lines that amass at all the big chain coffee shops. I pulled behind another car to wait my turn and was surprised when one of the baristas walked to my car to take my order. She said besides the seasonal drinks some of the more popular options are the “Islander” and “Lucky Clover.” I went with an iced Islander because I was intrigued by the “chocolate macadamia nut breve” description and was pleasantly surprised. They have hot, cold, and frozen options and multiple milk choices if you’re avoiding dairy.
I ordered a lemon poppyseed muffin top to go with my drink, which they were sadly out of but gave me a chocolate chip option on the house. Food is not made in house, understandably so when you see the size, but the hospitality and quick barista skills make it worth visiting.
Brevity Coffee Co., 8802 Huebner Rd., San Antonioo, TX 78240 | [email protected]
The kind of coffee shop where looks can be deceiving. Tucked away in a small shopping center on West Avenue, it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking carefully. However, inside is a modern-looking shop with fresh roasted coffee and tasty pastries, all made in store. They are known for their beautifully decorated, chocolate-dipped Oreos, but seeing as I didn’t want my 15-month-old to go into a sugar craze we opted to share an orange cranberry muffin. The barista was super friendly and offered my friend and I some great suggestions and personal favorites. Starbucks doesn’t hold a candle to Medina’s pumpkin spice chai latte, and my friend thoroughly enjoyed the recommended vanilla caramel latte. This was a great place to have a slightly rambunctious toddler but would also be a nice shop to drop into and get some work done.
Medina River Coffee, 11825 West Ave., San Antonio, TX 78216 | (210) 802-6155
This shop was definitely not on our way to any spots we visit frequently, but we will absolutely return. We decided to make a quick stop before we headed to church, and I’m sad we didn’t allot more time to stay and chat with the super friendly owner. We already knew what we wanted to drink (an iced latte and dirty chai), but she recommended trying some of the treats they order from Dignowity Kolaches, and the vegan chocolate cinnamon roll was nothing short of amazing. The shop has a cozy hole-in-the-wall kind of feel, and you’d be welcomed with a warm smile and open arms even if you stopped by with a whole gaggle of kiddos. The shop owner wants to make sure families feel welcome and is working to promote shopping local by rejuvenating the neighborhood with fun events such as #domingoondonaldson, during which the parking lot is blocked off every second Sunday of the month and a handful of nearby shops bring goods for an eclectic artisan market. We will definitely return soon to participate in the fun event.
The Koffee Kup Co., 1025 Donaldson Ave., San Antonio, TX 78228 | (210) 635-0400
All in all, this coffee tasting adventure was quite a treat! I was pleasantly surprised by how unique each little shop is and also loved the personal touch each presents to its customers. It solidifies my passion for supporting local shops and makes me proud to live in such a wonderful city, where you can find a friendly local barista every few miles or so. If you have a favorite coffee spot you think I should visit, comment below! And if you’re stopping by anywhere on International Coffee Day, the Kinda Lean, Kinda Green Mama Machine in me has to tell you to make sure to take your reusable coffee mug. Stay caffeinated, my friends!