Austin >Food & Dining > Cafe Java
Cheap, quick, delicious, fresh.
Cafe Java looks like just a regular diner - and in the end, that's exactly what it is. The key to this place's awesomeness is that it does every single thing RIGHT.
First off, the establishment itself. Smart (and convenient) location, since Northwest Austin doesn't have a ton of good local eateries compared to other parts of the city. The decor is decidedly Longhorn, which, as an Aggie, is something I'll refrain from commenting on. :P Apart from that, it's always clean and orderly, and there always seems to be a table available.
Next, the staff. This place uses the tip jar methodology, and so you won't usually have just one waiter/waitress. This definitely works in its favor, as there is always at least one staff member constantly patrolling for coffee refills, dirty dish removal, or even idle chit-chat. They're all extremely personable, which makes this place a joy to eat whether you're alone or with a group.
Most importantly, the food. The fare is what you'd expect - omelets, eggs and bacon, sandwiches, pancakes. The thing that puts it over the top is the freshness of everything. As an example, I was in here for a quick lunch today and got the grilled turkey & swiss sandwich, and then potato salad as an afterthought. The sandwich was awesome, but the potato salad was just out of this world, way better than i expected. They used the little red potatoes (new potatoes I guess they're called?) and they were perfectly tender. The mayonnaise-based dressing was light and refreshing, which was perfect on this hot day, and there was the perfect amount of chives and boiled egg pieces. It was obviously homemade and extremely fresh and delicious.
They also roast & grind their own coffee beans, and it shows. Their coffee is delicious. Really, I could go on and on about the food that I've eaten here; all you really need to know is that you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
I was only in Austin for the summer, and of everything I experienced, Cafe Java will be up there on the list of things I'll miss. Five stars, easy.
Quaint little joint up north. This is a cozy little place tucked away in North Austin. I have only tried the breakfast plates and I have to say they are absolutely delicious. I really do like coming here so I highly recommend it. I give it 4 stars just because I haven't tried their dinner menu. I always go for the breakfast even during non-breakfast hours.
I Freakin Love This Place!!. I eat in and take out here alot. I started eating here about 4 years ago and this is the only cafe I consistantly keep coming back to. The food is presented very well every time, the service is prompt and friendly, and the cheesecake is my favorite. When I go to pay the bill, usually "grandma" is there waiting to collect your ticket and your money, she is a very sweet and charming woman, making your exit to this cafe memorable, handing out quarters for the little ones to get a piece of bubblegum out of their big gumball machine. I love it!!
Hipster Hangout. Cafe Java is a very casual, unassuming atmosphere with amazingly savory cuisine. Every dish I've tried imparts a homecooked feel--nothing comes across prepared and packaged. I've been here repeatedly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a consistently positive experience.
Good Fast Metro Diner in N. Austin. The metro diner you have been looking for in North Austin. Seat yourself, order and eat within a few minutes. great staff serving great breakfast in an insanely efficient manner.
Neighborhood treasure in north central Austin.
While Austin has lots of great little casual eateries in town ( The Omelettry, Zocolo's, etc), very few are to be found up north. This is one of them. We love the breakfasts (not just for breakfast!) and the dinner specials are great. I'm not sure if Herosmurf had a bad experience, but we've been coming here in the evenings almost weekly for over a year and always look forward to seeing the friendly staff and trying the recommended specials. Come as you are - summer shorts or just getting home from the office.
For dinner we love the tomato basil soup (on Fridays) which rivals any in town (Andiamo's is great also!) and the meatloaf (on Mondays) which is on par with that from Moonshine. We really know Austin food, and Cafe Java is a favorite spot for us for comfort, food, and convenience.
We have always found the staff to be very accommodating, and they will go out of their way to let us know if the specials are still available or not. But it's true: if they have one you want, get there early or risk missing out - unless you call ahead!
Best breakfast - Worst dinner.
Cafe Java is one of those places that can make pancakes that are sublime. Breakfast is great. They have a wonderful breakfast staff. It's kind of an earthy-crunchy environment, but everything is done quickly and efficiently and it's absolutely delicious. The bacon comes out just right. The eggs are cooked exactly as you asked for them. The pancakes don't do that obnoxious super-absorbent syrup thing that lots of restaurants get wrong. They do a very good breakfast.
Then, something changes at night. The restaurant becomes bad. I think whoever cooks in the evening there should probably be fired. It reminds me of Hell's Kitchen. I've gone in just a couple of times in the evening for dinner, and each time my food ended up in my napkin because it was appalling. Nasty wilted lettuce. Flavors that just make you wonder how old the food is and whether or not you got something that somebody else sent back. Just bad!!! You would have to pay me to try dinner there again.
my favorite restaurant.
Why does everyone say the coffee at Cafe Java is so good? Except for the "iced toddie", the coffee at Java tends to be mediocre. It doesn't compare with Starbucks. In fact, if the food were not so wonderful, I probably wouldn't come here every day.
Avoid coming between noon and 1pm; it is often very crowded. Order anything on the menu that sounds good to you; everything will be rather better than you expect. Except the coffee!
It's Like Eating With Family.
Cafe Java is a fabulous little restaurant basically hidden in North Austin. Hands down they have the most awesome coffee and breakfast - OMG the hashbrowns are THE BEST in Austin!! Everything is very affordable, and always yummy.
These are great reasons to eat a Cafe Java, but the main reason that I love this place so much is that it is truly a neighborhood business, and when I eat there I feel cozy, like eating at home (but with better hashbrowns) :-) It family owned and operated, and in the 8 years I have been visiting CJ these are the things I notice about them: Consistency, Low Staff Turnover, Great Food, Fun Atmosphere, Supports Local Artists, LOTS of Regulars!!
I am sorry for the person who gave them 1 star for running out of specials. I feel like this person is narrow minded, and misses the point. The reason they run out is because the specials are so awesome! If they never ran out, then they wouldn't be very "special" would they. My advice is to get there early and quit whining.
Great coffee AND breakfast. Finding a place that has good coffee and a great breakfast is pretty rare. Cafe Java is a gem because it offers both. Sadly we don't live near it anymore but it hasn't stopped us from trekking up north for a good meal! Sometimes there's a wait but it goes right quick so don't get put off if you see people waiting to be seated.
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