I have been visiting Austin’s Coffee since I was in high school and enjoying those open-mic comedy nights on Sundays (hi, Craig!) way too much. Jackie, owner of Austin’s Coffee, loves to tell the locals and visitors alike about what makes Austin’s so unique. She calls Austin’s, Orlando’s OG Coffeehouse. I couldn’t agree more. With Orlando bursting at the seams with new restaurant locations, expanding brands, and a rapidly growing population, it’s easy to forget what made Orlando so great in the first place. I like to think of Orlando as a tiny town, pretending to be a big city. Everyone knows everyone else through some means and a lot of those relationships started and developed at our small, local, and heavily invested in the community locations, just like Austin’s Coffee.
When you walk through the door, usually the back side door where you park, you can immediately smell the coffee and feel a sense of feeling “at home.” There are standard restaurant booth style seating but there are also eclectic chairs and couches that add to the vast amount of charm Austin’s offers. Art is painted directly on the walls and bricks, and hanging from just about every space available, all priced and ready to find their home on your own walls. Jackie has promoted and supported local artists and artisans (like Olde Hearth Bread Co.) for over a decade. Using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible, Olde Hearth Bread Co. provides the bread for Austin’s.
Shelix and I choose seats at the big front window facing Fairbanks Avenue, though shielded a bit from the traffic with a nice big porch with seating and where you can bring your dogs to enjoy the sunshine. Fresh brewed coffee and fresh tunes are in the air as we choose our lime green and red high-backed chairs.
I have a certain love of coffee and chocolate and Austin’s doesn’t shy away from this at all with a delicious frozen “Funky Monkey.” I can still remember the first time I had one, when visiting in fall as school was starting. I ordered the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich served with mozzarella, tomato, red onion, pesto & chipotle sauce on Olde Hearth Bread Co.’s Butterbread Squares. An absolutely mouth-watering meal with an option of pasta or chips. I chose the pasta for it’s simplicity, a balsamic dressing and some diced red-onions, a perfect accompaniment.
Shelix was ready to spice up her life with a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich served with chicken in blue cheese buffalo sauce with mozzarella all on an Olde Hearth Bread Co. Butterbread Square, her pomegranate Izze as a sweet drink to go with it.
As we ate, we got to chat with Jackie who was training the newest recruit and I was reminded that Austin’s is open 24 hours on the weekends, for all your late night, early morning needs. If you have somehow missed visiting Austin’s, check out their website for events, weekly open-mics, poetry readings, and enjoy the original community focused coffeehouse.