The Fair Bean – Breakfast Empanadas and damn fine coffee

So for the last 3 years or so I haven’t had a working left turn signal. I know, I know, I am a horrible person. When the signal got busted I didn’t have the money to fix it and then I just got so used to foregoing electronic signaling and instead using my arm that I never made it a  priority. For years, I haven’t made tough left turns. That is the reason, the only reason, that I don’t go to the Fair Bean on South 1st every morning. It is on the wrong side of the street! But it is so worth the effort to stop in, even if you do have to turn the car around. Now my signal is fixed so I am going to share four reasons why I think you should check it out. Reason 1, they really do have fantastic coffee here. The coffee in Austin, most of the country really, isn’t that good. When I was a kid my Dad loved his coffee. He would stop at McDonald’s or whatever, take a sip, and then toss all the liquid out of the window. I don’t know why or how he kept the faith that he was going to get a good cup at a drive through because he never liked it. Now that I am older I get it, although I drink nasty coffee all the time. I am used to it and don’t complain until I go to Portland or have a delicious cup somewhere and think, oh yes this is what coffee is all about. It can really be a delicious drink. The people at the Fair Bean understand this concept of good coffee in a way that other Austin coffee shops don’t seem to get. They always have several different kinds going, today I had a super dark roast from Honduras that is fabulous! If you don’t want whatever they have already brewed you can get your own french press. They also have amazing specialty drinks like horchata lattes. They cold brew the iced coffee and have soy, rice, and almond milk to make lattes with. You can also get their fair trade coffee in bulk.

Reason 2, the service is always really good. The people who work there are really friendly and so helpful. It breaks my heart that I always see the Fair Bean open on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays because that staff really should get paid time off just for being so wonderful. I don’t know them or anything and they aren’t quite at the level of pep as the Emerald City Pres, my other favorite coffeehouse, but they are super nice about everything and will always track down vegan items for me or honor whatever other ridiculous request I have.

Reason 3, the food is fantastic. If you are tired of breakfast tacos you can change things up and  go to Fair Bean and get yourself a breakfast empanada. They are the best empanadas in town, I promise. The first time I tried one I was really hesitant to eat it because it really didn’t taste vegan but I promise they are, they used to have a vegan chef. The crust is so buttery, light, and flaky and the empanada is just chock full of vegan sausage and potatoes. It is so flavorful.  They are really a deal too, I only need one for a perfect breakfast on the go. The only problem is that sometimes they are out, but I swear they are worth making multiple trips or calling ahead for, and lately they have had them every time I go.They also have really good chocolate chip cookies and banana bread made my Celeste’s Best. I think they are my favorite cookies in town.

Reason 4, the atmosphere. The Fair Bean is really a lovely clean place to while away the hours. Once they played Dave Matthews while I was sitting there but I won’t hold that against them forever because usually the music is pretty good and at least not too loud. They have humongous windows that let in a lot of natural light and national geographics scattered around. There is a comfy couch and lots of tables to do homework at. If I was a student, it is the definitely the spot I would go to get stuff done.

So check it out next time you are on South 1st. I read Bouldin is going to close for while they move to a different corner but I am trying to have no fear, there are so many place to eat on South 1st.


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