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You must have the churros at Cafeza.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Local roasts and picture-perfect lattes aren’t the only treats these cafés and coffee shops are brewing up. They’ve also got great eats.

Blacksmith

The superb Greenway Coffee program here is matched by an equally impressive food menu. Favorites include the Vietnamese steak and eggs, which arrive sizzling on a skillet with house pâté and a hunk of bread to sop up all the yolky goodness, and the scratch square biscuit with house sausage, egg, and cheddar, a top contender for Houston’s best breakfast sandwich. For a lighter option, try the steel-cut oatmeal, the Greek yogurt with toasted granola, or the green-goddess chicken-salad lettuce wraps.

Boomtown Coffee

A trip down 19th Street in the Heights isn’t complete without a stop at this little shop, open since 2012. While you’re fueling up on milk-and-honey lattes and flawless flat whites, sample the next-level coffeehouse fare—think smashed avocado toast dotted with sunflower seeds, over-easy breakfast tacos, and an ooey, gooey Grafton cheddar grilled cheese that gets its kick from scratch-made mayo and mustard.

Cafeza

Globetrotters will feel right at home at this cultured coffeehouse, which takes inspiration from the cafés of Barcelona and Buenos Aires, as well as the refresquerías you can find here in Houston. The self-proclaimed cafecería rocks espressos, drips, and vinos to pair with Latin-kissed munchies like mofongo, Cubano sandwiches, and empanadas. The churros are a house favorite.

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Image: Alice Levitt

Cavo Coffee

The toasts at this popular cousin to Montrose legend Siphon go above and beyond sliced bread. Favorites include the Jam Session with whipped ricotta, rosemary, cracked pepper, and house-made jam; the Trifflin’ Truffle with truffled sausage gravy, eggs, Fresno chiles, and togarashi spice; and the Avo Cavo with avocado, a 64-degree sous-vide egg, and honey-gochujang sauce. Oh, and the coffee’s excellent, too.

Paper Co.

Open the blue door in the back of Ecclesia church, and unleash the aromas of house-roasted blends and treats like corned-beef hash, buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles, and rich, spicy pozole. The entire menu is worthy, but the best thing about the place is its common meal; the “cafe for all” offers a daily healthy option with a sliding price scale. Pay the suggested amount—or donate—and receive the added bonus of helping to feed Houston’s homeless community.  

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Morningstar

The fare at this a.m. hangout is the perfect companion to the superb Greenway Coffee drinks. Doughnuts come in flavors classic (triple-chocolate-custard, sugar-glazed) and outrageous (matcha-frosted); for something savory, try the sambal-dipped honey-butter chicken biscuits, the six-hour “moneycat” potatoes laced with gochujang and green onion kewpie, or the Feges BBQ-brisket-stuffed kolache.

Siphon Coffee

While it’s mostly known for its siphon-brewed coffee, this neighborhood hub also serves up excellent eats. The kitchen sources local ingredients like pasture-raised eggs from Vital Farms and freshly baked breads from Kraftsmen Baking to build crave-worthy breakfast and lunch plates. Go for the daily quiche, the stuffed avocado, or the house chicken salad club, and end your meal with a chunky chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.

Slowpokes

True to its name, this is the kind of place where you want to put life on pause and settle in with a quality cup of coffee, perhaps with a sloth etched into its foam. You’ll want to linger over the food menu, too, especially the butternut squash flatbread, biscuit molletes, and ’gram-worthy grilled cheese with a sugar-doughnut bun.

Throughgood Coffee

It’s all about hometown pride at this hip neighborhood café from Beyoncé’s spiritual advisor, Pastor Rudy Rasmus (yes, that Beyoncé). The spot, which offers local goods including Morningstar doughnuts, Bleu Catering biscuits, and Kraftsmen Baking croissants, donates a portion of proceeds to Houston’s homeless. Hit the parking lot to find the Soul Taco food truck—another venture from the pastor—which dishes out tacos stuffed with Southern foods like fried chicken, smothered oxtail, and greens.

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Editor’s Pick

Throughgood Coffee

$ American/New American 732 W. 27th St.

Editor’s Pick

Slowpokes

$ American/New American 1203 West 34th Street Suite D

Siphon Coffee

$$ Café, Sandwiches 701 W. Alabama St.

This shop takes its food as seriously as its coffee. The morning fare at Siphon includes truly excellent breakfast tacos and a “Texas Benedict” with sausage,...

Editor’s Pick

Morningstar

$ Café, Dessert 4721 N. Main St.

The third coffee shop from David Buehrer, of the pioneering Greenway Coffee & Tea in Greenway Plaza and the perpetually-packed Blacksmith in Montrose, ch...

Paper Co.

$ Café, Global 1100 Elder St.

Paper Co. is the latest incarnation of Taft Street Coffee, the Montrose shop that shuttered and moved to the First Ward, along with Eccelesia Church, which h...

Cavo

$ Café, Sandwiches 3773 Richmond Ave.

This coffee house from Siphon co-owner Michael Caplan has far more to attract guests than mere caffeine. Toasts of all sorts compose the majority of the menu...

Editor’s Pick

Cafeza

$ Café, Latin, Mexican/Tex-Mex 1720 Houston Ave.

This cute corner cafe in the First Ward occupies the same stretch of Houston Avenue as Cafe Brussels, making for a bountiful Sunday brunch crawl: Start with ...

Editor’s Pick

Boomtown Coffee

$ Café 242 W 19th St

Boomtown began life as a specialty coffee, before eventually opening a coffee shop of its very own on 19th Street, the main shopping thoroughfare in the Heig...

Editor’s Pick

Blacksmith

$ Café 1018 Westheimer Rd.

Fans of coffee whiz David Buehrer’s original coffee shop, Greenway Coffee & Tea, have followed him over to his second location—Blacksmith, which occupies...