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3 places to work in Austin
1. Zhi Tea.
Want to have a table to yourself in a quiet, peaceful space? Go to Zhi Tea. Zhi Tea is an oasis of a workspace on Austin's East Side. It's not actually that far from the SXSW action, but you can bet it will be significantly untouched by the madness compared to workspace options downtown. Not even 3 miles east of downtown (follow East 7th straight east until Springdale, turn left and go up to Bolm), Zhi Tea is the place to go if you really need a break from SXSW--a break that will actually do the trick and successfully refresh you enough to continue enjoying the festivities. Jeff, the owner, is not only cool, but he's incredibly knowledgeable about tea. As he should be. Their tea is organic and much of it is handcrafted. They have a large selection of oolong teas and I recommend you try them. You'll find their gallery to be your zen-source amid the fiery chaos and well worth the little bitty trek.
Bennu Coffee is a 24 hour coffee shop on MLK on Austin's East Side. In fact, it's where I'm sitting and working right now as I write this. The music is usually good. The same goes for the art. And the coffee? It's always good. The space is large with couch, table, bar, and patio seating. They have food, free wifi, and incredibly friendly employees. You'll find that Bennu is always populated with college students, but hey, they're just trying to work, just like you. Hop in late at night or early morning for an especially peaceful place to work.
3. Summer Moon.
Summer Moon is located on South 1st. And it's far south enough on 1st that you should be able to focus a little better than you will closer to downtown. Granted, the space is limited inside Summer Moon, but they have outdoor seating, as well. Make sure to try their special 'moon milk' in one of your drinks. No one really knows what it is, not even the employees (it's pre-made by the owner), but one thing it definitely is is delicious.
Have suggestions of other places good for focused work in Austin during SXSW? Let us know in the comments.