Editors Picks

Our 11 Favorite Cafes for National Coffee Day

There’s great coffee to be had across Houstonia, from the Medical Center to Galveston Island.

By Katharine Shilcutt September 29, 2016 Published in the March 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Al Vetro's Victoria Arduino Athena Leva machine comes from Italy.

Image: Danny Aguilar

Al Vetro

In an area saturated with chains, this indie coffee shop is a breath of fresh air. Quite unlike the Starbucks locations that surround it, Al Vetro makes true Italian-style macchiatos, cappuccinos, and cortados with its direct-from-Naples espresso machine. There’s more to it than just fancy, copper-clad machines, however: Al Vetro also sets itself apart with locally roasted Java Pura beans and primo Mill-King milk. 


Where else in Houston can you get a flat white and a cast-iron skillet of Vietnamese steak and eggs for breakfast? Only at David Buehrer’s landmark coffee shop on Lower Westheimer, whose patio makes for a beautiful spot to watch the passing Montrose traffic on a sunny day.

Cafeza bar photo by inez lara ztz7hq

The counter at Cafeza

Image: Inez Lara


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 flat whites at Cafeza, then progress next door for real-deal Belgian waffles. Though ostensibly a coffee shop, Cafeza also holds it own in the food area, offering excellent tapas—including bocadillos, empanadas, tacos and warm churros—that pair up perfectly with the wine and craft beer menus. And if you’re here to get some work done, you’re in luck: in addition to wi-fi, there are abundant wall plugs and ample seating. 

Catalina Coffee

This grande dame of the Houston coffee scene has retained her regal status over the years, thanks to a coffee program that appeases snobs and newbies and everyone in between. Inside, Catalina is quiet and cozy—an ideal spot for waiting on a pour-over. Grab a seat on the xeriscaped side patio for a quiet retreat in the middle of the city.

Dandelion cafe hzpbvn

Dandelion Cafe

Local is the name of the game at this Bellaire spot next to Bernie's Burger Bus. Here, you'll find locally-roasted beans from Greenway Coffee and locally-baked pastries from Weights + Measures in addition to fresh-made juice blends and healthy tossed salads. Those in search of something more substantial at lunch should look to the menu of sandwiches and panini, especially the house-made egg salad on hearty wheat bread.

Doshi House

Greenway Coffee & Tea provides the beans for this smart little shop, which serves standard and vegan versions of all your favorite coffee drinks. Snacks from Oh My Pocket Pies and Sinfull Bakery are the perfect accompaniment to that almond milk latte. At lunch, look for a short menu of excellent panini. 

A cortado and a plum crostata at The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar

The Honeymoon Café & Bar

This coffee shop pulls double duty at night as a cocktail bar, while serving a full food menu all day long. In short: whatever you need—beignets, bottomless coffee, a Sazerac, soft-scrambled eggs on rye—The Honeymoon’s got it. Bonus: the shop, a sister to Boomtown Coffee in the Heights, roasts its own beans on site.

Mod Coffeehouse

If you think a quality cortado can’t be found outside the Loop, you haven’t visited this Galveston haunt, where they take their beans and their baked goods equally seriously. We love the homemade pastries and muffins, the snug second floor, and the Oil Spill—a strong, dark iced coffee with three shots of espresso—for powering through a long day at the beach.

The Nook

University of Houston alums created this on-campus operation, which offers beer and wine in the evenings in addition to an all-day coffee menu. Proceeds from the sale of its Cougar Blend coffee benefit UH, while The Nook itself gives back by hosting free movie nights on Fridays. 

Siphon coffee z8bt3d

Siphon Coffee

Siphon Coffee

It’s all in the name: the siphon coffee method, which looks a bit like a mad scientist’s lab, is the main attraction here. But if you don’t feel like waiting 15 minutes for a cup of coffee, we suggest Siphon’s equally good lattes and flat whites—especially in the morning, with a made-in-house breakfast taco or two. On the weekends, opt for a local craft beer on draft. 

Southside Espresso

This tiny, tucked-away treasure feels like a hidden gem despite its proximity to Uchi, one of the most popular restaurants in Houston. We love dropping by Southside for its creative coffees (try the horchata latte) made with Fusion beans roasted by owner Sean Marshall.


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