Strange Brew vs. Epoch Coffee: which is the better 24-hour coffee shop?
Both coffee shops offer themselves up for praise and criticism, but one is definitely better.
Everyone's favorite way to start the day. Photo: Flickr creative commons.
Not many cities have the luxury of multiple 24-hour coffee shops like Austin does. But with that luxury comes full-out brawls for the best 24-hour coffee shop in Austin, like the one I’m about to instigate between south Austin’s Strange Brew and central Austin’s Epoch Coffee.
At Strange Brew, you'll pretty much always find seating, either inside or outside. The environment feels homey, with abstract art on the walls and lots of space. Strange Brew serves everything from delicious grilled cheese sandwiches to Torchy's breakfast tacos. The shop also has hot coffee and cold coffees, hot chocolate, milkshakes and the perfect blend of sweet and salty peanut butter mocha frappes.
Strange Brew's interior. Photo: StrangeBrewAustin.com.
What I don't like about Strange Brew is how you can hear the live music when sitting outside and a little bit when sitting inside (minus in the quiet room). The coffee shop has a show or two each evening and during the day on Saturdays.
Then you've got Epoch Coffee. With its quirky, lovely art on the walls, comfortable couches and chairs inside and outside and its ambient coffee shop environment, it’s perfect for both awkward OkCupid dates, working on your laptop, or just playing board games, which the shop also offers. Overall, Epoch has a soothing feeling, with perfect lighting, cool A/C and cute college students aplenty, and enough coffee, tea and pastry options to satisfy Austin's numerous hot beverage addicts.
Epoch Coffee's patio. Photo: Elisabeth Donoghue, via Facebook.
My only qualms with Epoch are the parking and seating situations. You may not find parking in its lot, which isn’t too terrible since you can park one or two streets over, but it can be difficult to find seating inside during the busiest times of the day.
Overall, I think Strange Brew has the better food and drink offerings (also: bottled beer), whereas Epoch has a more appealing environment. No matter which you choose, these are two great Austin coffee joints that will be happy to caffeinate you any time of day!