Houston, TX

Houston's top three places to get the greatest coffee

Jason Martinez

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HOUSTON, TX - Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, has a thriving and diverse coffee scene.

Its colorful neighborhoods are teeming with varied coffee shops and cafés, each with its own personality and offerings. From a café that epitomizes Houston's character to a hip coffeehouse, here's a list of some of the top cafes you really must visit.

Paper Coffee & Co.

Founded in 2013, this place is named after the first occupants of their home at 1100 Elder Street, the Phillips Paper Company. Striving to make high-quality coffee for all types of coffee drinkers, Paper Coffee & Co makes everything from a classic latte to traditional pour-overs.

On top of that, they aim to educate people about the whole process of coffee, starting from farming to brewing. This establishment is claimed to be a spot that personifies the spirit of Houston.

Why? Because each day, they offer one meal on a sliding scale, which means you pay what you can, and if you have some extra cash, that will go towards subsidizing someone else's meal if they can't afford it. Isn't it great? So, either you're a visitor in the city or a Houstonian, make sure to visit this place.

Location : 1100 Elder Street

Retrospect Coffee Bar

Established in 2017, Retrospect Coffee Bar took over the historic Oil Filling Station after it was renovated. Since then, this space has become a mainstay in the Midtown neighborhood. Stephen Harrison built the establishment along with his partners.

Combined, the team has over 60 years in the coffee, restaurant, and bar business in Houston and New York City, ensuring the quality of servings they offer at this Coffee Bar. Their specialties? Espresso drinks from a variety of Houston roasters, a selection of house-made crepes, and delectable pastries, along with craft-brewed beers and wines.

With ample outdoor seating and a giant orange espresso machine, make sure to include the Retrospect Coffee Bar on your bucket list.

Location: 3704 La Branch Street

Empire Coffee

Whether you're a student trying to finish assignments while hanging out or a white-collar worker who wants to stick around for frittatas, Empire Coffee is your best choice.

As a Montrose mainstay, this hip coffeehouse offers custom-roasted, world-class coffees and espresso drinks. Please stop by and relax on the Empire Cafe's outdoor patio while enjoying their fresh-made pasta or sandwich, as well as their daily specials and wonderful breakfast and brunch menu.

Combining a cozy European atmosphere and friendly service, at Empire Cafe, you can also enjoy their signature Italian Toast for breakfast, Chicken Florentine for lunch, and Chicken Parmesan for dinner. They take pride in their homemade scones, muffins, and cakes.

On top of that, they offer half-price cakes every Monday, where you can sample a slice of pineapple-carrot cake or French chocolate cake, among others, without having to break your bank.

Location: 1732 Westheimer

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Houston-area beat writer, self-proclaimed restaurant critic

Houston, TX

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