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Coffee at Dominican Joe Coffee Shop | Courtesy of Dustin Bryson
Coffee at Dominican Joe Coffee Shop | Courtesy of Dustin Bryson

The 10 Most Socially Responsible Cafes In Austin, Texas

Picture of Meaghan Kielley
Updated: 9 February 2017
With great coffee, comes great responsibility… or at least that’s how it is at these socially conscious cafes in Austin. From committed partnerships with non-profit organizations, charitable donations, sustainability and serving the community’s needs, these 10 cafes serve a tall order of social goodness on their menus, alongside delicious treats.

Café Del Sol

Café Del Sol is an impressive presence in the East Austin Community. All of the cafe’s earnings go to Southwest Key’s nonprofit programs, like East Austin Children’s Promise. Southwest Key is a national non-profit organization with a mission to keep kids off the streets, create more opportunities, education and jobs, and ultimately foster a community where people of all ages are supported in pursuing promising futures. The cafe provides healthy, well-balanced lunches every day for kids at East Austin College Prep and each month the cafe hosts events for non-profits and individuals to raise money for their own unique causes.

Café Del Sol, 6002 Jain Lane, Austin, TX, 78721, USA, + 1 512 583 2514.

Chicken Fajita Plate at Café Del Sol | Courtesy of Lizzie Chen

Chicken Fajita Plate at Café Del Sol | Courtesy of Lizzie Chen

Dominican Joe Coffee Shop

With fair-trade coffee and a clear mission statement, ‘to make a difference in the world’, Dominican Joe Coffee Shop  is seriously admirable and socially responsible. The coffee shop has a partnership with an Austin-based non-profit organization, Makarios, which helps prevent poverty and provide funding and support for quality education in the Dominican Republic. Dominican Joe purchases the Fair-Trade coffee directly from the growers. Direct trade coffee allows farmers to receive full paychecks for their hard-earned work, which helps them continue their work and support their families financially.

Dominican Joe, 515 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX, 78704, USA, +1 512 448 3919.

Inside Dominican Joe Coffee Shop | Courtesy of Jenni D.

Inside Dominican Joe Coffee Shop | Courtesy of Jenni D.


TOMS Austin

You may know TOMS as a shoe company whose business model runs on social responsibility, characterized by the slogan, ‘One for One’ and a promise that for each pair of shoes you buy, a child in need receives a new pair of shoes. TOMS expanded their assistance into the world of coffee with TOMS Roasting Co. and a cafe in Austin. For every TOMS Roasting Co. product you buy, TOMS helps provide safe water to a person in need. TOMS has partnered with international non-profit Water for People to help deliver clean water to four million people in over seven countries. The coffee is 100% sustainably sourced and farmers are paid directly.

TOMS Austin, 1401 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX, 78704, USA, +1 512 350 2115.



Blue Cat Café

Austin’s first official cat cafe, Blue Cat Café aims to do good by supporting Blue Cat Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats and teaming up with local animal charities to provide a space and great company for cats and cat lovers alike. Many of the cats at Blue Cat Café get adopted, and all of them are loved! Blue Cat Café provides funding and a space for a corporate office, meetings and events so that the Blue Cat Foundation can continue their efforts in making the world a happier place for feline friends.

Blue Cat Café, 95 Navasota St, Austin, TX, 78702, USA, + 1 512 368 3406.

Blue Cat Cafe Exterior | Courtesy of Errol M. from Yelp

Blue Cat Cafe Exterior | Courtesy of Errol M. from Yelp

Kerbey Lane Café

Any list of cafes in Austin wouldn’t be complete without Kerbey Lane Café, an Austin favorite for over 30 years now, open 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the seasonal pancakes you could ever hope for. Kerbey Lane gives back to the community through donations and partnerships with local non-profits, purchasing food from local farmers, and even supporting local artists by displaying locals’ art on the walls of each of their cafes. Notable non-profit partnerships include The United Way for Greater Austin (which connects volunteers with local Austin charities and addresses human and health issues in the community).

Kerbey Lane Cafe, 3704 Kerbey Ln, Austin, TX, 78731, USA +1 512 451 1436.

Kerbey Lane Cafe Presents Check to United Way for Greater Austin | Courtesy of United Way for Greater Austin

Kerbey Lane Cafe Presents Check to United Way for Greater Austin | Courtesy of United Way for Greater Austin

Apanas Coffee & Beer

Relatively new to Austin, Apanas Coffee & Beer makes a great impression with Fair-trade brews and fair business practices. Partnered with non-profit business Farmers to 40, this cafe honors the hard-working hands involved in each cup of coffee by directly paying farmers a fixed percentage of the income, which is usually double the amount that Fair-Trade coffee standards pay. Direct-Trade and full pay ensure financial security for growers, allowing them to continue organic, sustainable farming practices while also providing a source of income for growers’ families and communities. Apanas Coffee & Beer is an all-around win for the environment, growers, roasters and consumers.

Apanas Coffee & Beer, 11501 Rock Rose #118, Austin, TX, 78758, USA, + 1 512 520 2822.

Inside Apanas Coffee & Beer | Courtesy of Apanas Coffee & Beer

Inside Apanas Coffee & Beer | Courtesy of Apanas Coffee & Beer

Corner Bakery Café

Corner Bakery Café began as a small cafe in downtown Chicago and is now a chain franchise committed to delivering quality food and community service. Corner Baker Café has partnered with Share Our Strength’s ‘No Kid Hungry’ to help end childhood hunger in the U.S. Corner Bakery Café has funded an impressive $1.6 million to the cause which helps provide free meals at schools and local food pantries. Aside from raising money, Corner Bakery Café raises awareness about these important social issues by holding hundreds of community events throughout the year.

Corner Bakery Café, 9761 Great Hills Trail, Austin, TX, 78759, USA, +1 512 777 4250.

Corner Bakery Cafe | ©Mr. Blue MauMau/Flickr

Corner Bakery Cafe | ©Mr. Blue MauMau/Flickr

Eastside Café

Eastside Café gives back to the community and the world quite literally from the ground up, starting with their very own backyard garden. Eastside Café is committed to sourcing local food which helps reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment. Eastside Café supports a 22-year partnership with AIDS Services of Austin as a participating sponsor in Dining for Life, a dining event which now takes place annually to raise money for AIDS service organizations. Eastside Café also makes generous donations to local charities and non-profits including Central Texas Food Bank and Austin Empty Bowl Project, to help fight hunger.

Eastside Café, 2113 Manor Rd, Austin, TX, 78722, USA, +1 512 476 5858.

Whole Foods Market

This list wouldn’t be complete without the socially conscious powerhouse Whole Foods Market. WFM Coffee is Organic, Rainforest Alliance (non-profit dedicated to sustainability), Fair-Trade Certified and Whole-Trade Guaranteed. Whole Trade is a program created by Whole Foods Market to ensure good working conditions, sustainable farming, funding for healthcare, education, housing and essential needs of smaller communities that WFM sources their coffee and tea from, as well as many other products. One percent of every Whole Trade purchase goes to Whole Planet Foundation , a private non-profit alleviating poverty and hunger by improving financial structure and support to the self-employed poor.

Whole Foods Market, 525 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, 78703, USA, +512 476 1206.


Short N Sweet Café

Short N Sweet Café is a Vietnamese shop that lives up to its name by serving sweet treats like bubble tea, ice cream and milkshakes, with an even sweeter payoff; seven percent of all profits are donated to local non-profit organization Peter’s Clinic. Peter’s Clinic began in honor of Peter Pham, a 22-year-old Vietnamese American with dreams to establish a healthcare clinic for impoverished and rural people in Vietnam. Peter passed away in 2010, but his mission lives on. Short N Sweet’s donations help Peter’s Clinic to continue providing primary healthcare centers and homes for disabled children.

Short N Sweet Cafe, 10901 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, 78753, USA, +1 512 873 0893.

Peter's Clinic at Short N Sweet Cafe | Courtesy of Michael P.

Peter’s Clinic at Short N Sweet Cafe | Courtesy of Michael P.