The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Coffee Shops

Categories: Caffeine, Top 10

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Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
3. Southside Espresso

Sean Marshall is yet another coffee shop owner who also roasts his own beans, and has done so since 2007 as the owner of Fusion Beans along with wife Michelle. His coffee shop, Southside Espresso, was as hotly anticipated as Blacksmith -- the second coffee shop from fellow roaster David Buehrer. Southside is tiny, square footage-wise, but packs a lot into its small space. In addition to terrific coffees and cortados, it also offers beer and wine and interesting combinations thereof, such as a shandy made with Kickin' Kombucha and Buffalo Bayou's 1836 Copper Ale.

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
2. Blacksmith

Blacksmith is the above-ground version of Greenway Coffee & Tea, with a few notable differences: A pleasant patio that overlooks Lower Westheimer and a small but potent food menu developed by chef Erin Smith, which features everything from Vietnamese steak and eggs or buttermilk biscuits with homemade marmalade for breakfast to Cuban sandwiches and BLTs with green tomatoes at lunch. The old building that once housed infamous gay leather bar Mary's has been totally transformed, with huge plate glass windows that flood the space with light and warmth.

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Photo by Joe Stephens
1. Catalina Coffee

Owner and coffee roaster Max Gonzales has made sure that Catalina stays at the top of its game by keeping its baristas well-trained, its coffee selection well-curated and its cortados well-made, every single time. There is no such thing as a bad cup of coffee here, whether it's a flat white or an espresso, and the pastries in the small case from Angela's Oven are reliably good as well. The zen-like, no-frills atmosphere is well-suited to working, reading or just relaxing -- leave catching up with your loud friends for the wraparound patio outside.



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Location Info

Map

Minuti Coffee

909 Texas St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Ben's Beans

1302 Dallas, Houston, TX

Category: General

Bohemeo's

708 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Doshi House Cafe

3419 Dowling St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Black Hole Coffee House

4504 Graustark St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Inversion

1953 Montrose, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Antidote Coffee

729 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: General

Down House

1801 Yale, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Revival Market

550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Eatsie Boys

4100 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: General

Boomtown Coffee

242 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Southside Espresso

904 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Blacksmith Coffee Bar

1022 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Catalina Coffee

2201 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help
34 comments
ryansupak
ryansupak

Houston Press food reviews often strike me as the mechanical regurgitation of whatever the trendy "foodie blogger" status quo is at the moment. (I come to this conclusion after having read them for many years).

With the exception of Catalina which can't even be touched by anything else in Houston, this almost could have been a top-10 list of the places with trendy ingredients in trendy neighborhoods, or a top-10 list of places to see designer yoga pants.

Maybe the "Indie Yuppie" thing is, in truth, the "aspirational lifestyle" that the people who click on Houston Press inline ads desire in the year 2013. If that's the case, then the articles are doing their job, and I have no complaint.

rs

wumpusmonkey
wumpusmonkey

Waldo's definitely needs to be on this list. There have been MAJOR changes in staff, menu, even the building itself since last July. The coffee's good, and the atmosphere is comfortable. If you haven't been recently, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Fredsix66
Fredsix66

I was hoping Fioza Cafe would make this list too. They do a great job over there in the Meyerland rivaling anything Catalina Coffee is doing. 

randomreader
randomreader

Inversion/Black Hole tie for 10th

Bohemeo's/Doshi Housetie for 12th

Minuti Coffee/Ben's Beans tie for 14th

Robert Knox
Robert Knox

Oh man, how did Double Trouble get left off this list? Great coffee, great atmosphere and the friendliest damn baristas/bartenders I've ever met.

Rene Reed
Rene Reed

My favorite coffee is the pot that is brewed and waiting for me each morning in my kitchen. There is never a line and it is always made just the way I like it. Boring, perhaps, but perfect.

Glenn Ray
Glenn Ray

Anytime I'm within five miles of Catalina Coffee they've got my business. However, my daily favorite in NW area is The Daily Brew (Eldridge & Cypress North Houston).

Descent Into Madness
Descent Into Madness

No Cafe Europe? All we get are these anemic concrete/metal warehouses with comfort-opposed chairs? The author needs to have a reality check.

Jeff Gilmer
Jeff Gilmer

You mean top 15? lol. Seriously though Catalina is the tops for me by far. Black Hole would be my #2

Barbara Pender
Barbara Pender

Right in my kitchen, however the the breakfast klub..never disappoints.

Peggy Lane
Peggy Lane

Great article, I don't agree with all the list but then I don't have to agree! What I truly enjoy is the bounty of fab coffee we now have in Houston. A great followup with be on local coffee roasters - not all with their own storefront. (And my roaster list would not match my coffee list).

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

Here are the Top 15 shops for the Top 10....wha??

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Double Trouble is #1 on my list. Rail access, nice people, wifi, a fantastic latte, and comfortable seating. Bring a few breakfast tacos and it's a party!

Johnc
Johnc

Can an honorable mention be given to Waldo's.  They always had a great coffee but it was sometimes not the most welcoming place.  Between the recent renovations and new menu items its taken a great leap towards a more go-to shop,

FRL713
FRL713

We desperately need an independent coffee shop west of The Galleria, nothing but Starubucks and Grocery Store options out here.

amesbuehrer
amesbuehrer

Congrats Catalina! And to my son, Ecky and all their talented co-coffee meisters!  I agree with Jalapeno - there's just too much great coffee in H-town to make this a "Top 10" list. I would also add Paulie's, and anyone whose had one of those delicious cookies with their coffee for an afternoon snack would concur!

Paulie's carries Ecky's Greenway roasted beans, along with Doshi House, Revival Market and Eatsie Boys, among others.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

Too many ties.  Why not a top 20?

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Descent Into Madness Hello. Author here. Although people visit/use coffee shops for many different reasons (I usually get a cup of coffee and leave, or stay for as long as it takes to finish the cup and have a nice chat with a friend) the chairs and sofas at the following places are just right for resting your buns: Antidote, Down House, Ben's Beans, Black Hole, the giant wall couch at Inversion and Boomtown Coffee. All places on the list, all places with great, comfy seating. Thanks for your kind and considerate comment.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Kylejack I am beating myself up for neglecting Double Trouble. Total oversight. It's my own fault for almost always getting cocktails when I go; I tend to think of it as a bar first, coffee shop second - which it's not. It's equal parts. Thanks for the note!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Johnc Consider it honorable mentioned. It reminds me of my old college coffee shop, Common Grounds. Very sweet little place.

someonex
someonex

@Johnc I love Waldo's.  It's a great place to get studying done, and the coffee's very good.

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

@kshilcutt @timblack2 I shall I shall. Off topic: I left a comment on the Westchase top 10 about the area between Westchase and Galleria....thoughts?

Peggy
Peggy

DT deserves an edit to the list. Tag it up with another - there's already doubles/trios on the list.

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