I fell in love with coffee in 2009 after my first experience at Catalina Coffee. I had no idea that coffee could taste like that! If forever changed my world and started my obsession with quality coffee.
When I was a wine rep I was always out about visiting restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops who often times offer a few cool select wines. This is how my coffee love affair grew into what it is now today.
To my great surprise, Houston coffee shops have multiplied like rabbits since I’ve been holed up in my house during the past year.
best houston coffee shops
Here are Houston’s top coffee hot spots. The list is updated periodically. This by all means not an extensive list nor does it include the amazing coffee shops in the surrounding Houston areas. Enjoy!
Catalina Coffee was the first coffee house that introduced me to quality coffee. I never understood what the ‘big deal’ was until I experienced it for myself. And then I knew. One may think that coffee is all the same, until you taste their coffee. It is life changing. It was smooth, not bitter, and didn’t need sugar or milk! I was awestruck. I ordered a latte and then decided to have a shot afterwards because it tasted so good.
Not only will it thrill your tastebuds but I felt like I had injected rocket fuel into my veins. I was wired for the rest of the afternoon. I was hooked. It’s been 12 years and going strong. The cool thing is that you can find Amaya Roasting Company’s beans all over town. Buy a bag. You’ll be happy you did.
Warning! Once you do you won’t be able to drink the rough, burned stuff anymore (unless it’s life or death and you need caffeine to exist). Even then it will be a challenge after you’ve tasted the good stuff.
Hours: M-F: 6:30 am – 7 pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30 am – 7 pm
Many people have fallen in love with Southside Espresso. It’s a cozy coffee house located in Montrose with a nice dog friendly patio. Often times they feature specialty syrups and creative concoctions that will have you coming back for more.
It shares a bathroom with Uchi. It’s a good spot to people watch around 4 pm when happy hour starts.
The coffee is delicious; they offer a tasty, unique wine and beer selection, and the people are welcoming, friendly and helpful. They also roast their own beans through their sister company, Fusion Beans Coffee Roastery.
Hours: M-F: 6: 30 am – 4 pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30 am – 4 pm
Boomtown Coffee has a location in the Heights off of 19th Street situated next to Dance House Fitness. They feature local artwork on the walls with plenty of tables, chairs and outlets to get some work done.
If you are a breakfast taco fan then I highly recommend the veggie breakfast taco. The food menu is great and has something for everyone.
Confession: I had a serious addiction to their milk and honey latte for a while.
Hours: 7 am – 7 pm
Brass Tacks opened in EaDo in August of 2020; it has an open air atmosphere with green plants decorating the stairs and enjoying the natural light streaming in from the ten foot tall windows.
There are a handful of partitioned cubbies outfitted with outlets, created to offer private work spaces.
If you prefer not to venture indoors you can order your coffee, tea or food through window outside and find a seat at one of the picnic tables on the dog friendly patio. Highly recommend!
Hours: M-Th: 7 am – 8 pm
Friday: 7 am – 9 pm
Sat – Sun: 8 am – 9 pm
ThroughGood is located in the Historic Heights district. Enjoy the spacious patio area with picnic tables, both covered and uncovered for pups and kids to enjoy. The coffee is amazing and you can get a soul taco during the week! Yes! If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure it would be breakfast tacos. They have plenty of parking.
Hours: Mon – Sun: 8 am – 3 pm
Retrospect is located in an old 1920’s gas station in EaDo across the street from the downtown Houston Community College (HCC). Retrospect has been a life saver during the pandemic thanks to their outdoor ordering and delivery window.
Their sweet and savory crepes are full-flavored. The Janis Joplin is a must-try drizzled with both sriracha and the balsamic. If crepes aren’t your thing, you can find the usual pastries or breakfast tacos.
Bonus: You receive a discount for walking or biking to their location.
Monday: Mon – Th: 6:30 am – 10 pm
Fri: 6:30 am -12 am
Sat: 7:30 am – 12 am
Sun: 7:30 am – 10 pm
it's more than coffee
My favorite coffee shops listed here “made the cut” because of the feel of the place. The people are warm, welcoming and make the coffee taste that much better. It’s about the vibe. It doesn’t mean that you have to hang out for 8+ hours a day. In fact, my number one go to is a place doesn’t offer free wifi so it’s not intended for people to stay and hang out to work.
If you are not a coffee fanatic but prefer loose leaf tea instead then you must try Tea Sip! Find amazing, delicious, aromatic loose leaf teas in the Heights. Tea Sip only uses all-natural, certified organic ingredients. They also supply many of the local coffee shops with their yummy tea.
Hours: Sun – Sat: 10 am – 6 pm
why is my coffee so small?
Are you familiar with the saying, “Big things come in small packages” ? This is true in the case of quality coffee. The flavor is intense, the texture is creamy, the temperature is just right.
But, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” you say. Yes this is true in many cases. When it comes to food or drink, often times bigger means diluted or mass produced. It’s difficult to maintain quality as quantity increases beyond its natural capacity.
Have you noticed the difference in flavor intensity between biting into a giant red apple versus a small crispy red apple? The smaller apple packs all of the punch! If not, next time you go grocery shopping, experiment with the different sizes of the fruits and veggies you bring home.
Of course you can order coffee beans from all of these coffee houses online. Many of them offer subscriptions to make it convenient to drink amazing coffee and tea at home.
more to come
I will continue to update this post with more of the awesome coffee spots around town. So far these are my favorites. Give them a try and let us know what you think!