During a pandemic, sometimes you need to eat something sweet and chill out, and sometimes you need to drink something strong and be productive.

Lingering in a coffee shop may not be in the cards in times of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your caffeine fix from a (social) distance. While to-go coffee is nothing new, we're spotlighting six spots that make the present experience easy and breezy so you can feel safe and ready for a recharge.

Boomtown Coffee

The beloved Heights shop accepts online orders for a variety of standard and custom beverages, so you can schedule to pick up your cold brew or Mayan mocha (latte with vanilla, dark chocolate and cayenne pepper) at the exact point in the day when your energy starts to dip. Bags of Boomtown’s sophisticated locally and internationally sourced beans are also available for home delivery. Really like receiving packages? Treat yo’self, and indulge in a weekly, biweekly, or monthly subscription service.

The Roastery

With four Houston-area locations located inside H-E-Bs (including its newest outpost on San Felipe), The Roastery offers its full menu of potent potables, as well as salads, sandwiches, and sweet and savory noshes for pick-up or delivery through Favor. Enjoy a perfect lazy weekend day with the Roastery’s apple cider donuts, fig toast with goat cheese on multi-grain bread, and a cappuccino. Or maybe grab a mocha to motivate you to brave the masses while shopping.

Giant Leap Coffee

Serving coffee from Houston’s Amaya Roasting, plus “cosmic baked goods” (try the pineapple empanada) and beer, Giant Leap Coffee can be your one-stop shop to carry you from that 7 a.m. call with HR to that 4 p.m. Zoom happy hour. You can duck in and out of its East End storefront easily by ordering online, and that matcha latte and pecan sticky bun will be ready for you in less than 15 minutes.

Kaffeine Coffee

Name a better time to support a small java joint with a big heart. Kaffeine Koffee is going strong after four years, even in the face of tough competition. Its intimate care for patrons has naturally evolved during COVID-19 with owners focusing on takeout house drips (Midtown, Downtown, pecan roast), assorted lovely fruit and herbal teas, pastries, and paninis, all proffered with a (masked) smile.

Agora

The Montrose institution initially shuttered at the beginning of the COVID crisis in March, but reopened in May with a public commitment to adhering to stringent safety and sanitation standards. Those seeking to nurse their brew (beer as well as coffee) and admire the barista’s latte art in the quaint, eclectically decorated space can still do so; the more risk averse should take advantage of the takeaway option and get that luscious chai latte and chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookie for the road.

Antidote Coffee

Antidote is still doing takeout, and although there is no formal curbside system in place, you can call ahead and request that macchiato and muffin to be brought to your car. Lazing about with a latte inside the shop is strictly prohibited; however, in late May, Antidote announced limited outdoor seating is available for caffeine connoisseurs who want to commune with each other (six feet apart).

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