Coffee is elevated to an art form at this ultra-secret spot tucked inside the Greenway Plaza 5 food court. Owners David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto have dedicated themselves to pursing excellence throughout the coffee process, from importing and roasting their own coffee beans to constantly tweaking their espresso machine to serve better beverages. Their passion for quality and customer service has earned them a cult following in the city, and you'll definitley meet many fellow baristas, chefs and bartenders while sitting at Greenway's counter.
Montrose staple Cafe Brasil is deceptively large with an ample outdoor patio and plenty of seating inside to squirrel away with your laptop or visit with friends. Enjoy performances by local musicians who take the stage on certain evenings. More eatery than strictly coffee house, Brasil's food is a constant attraction, but over all the tempting fancy fare, we suggest the throwback PB&J with fried bananas.
A favorite hangout for displaced Europeans as well as Yanks who crave a cup of gourmet java or tasty espresso and a timely read. The New York Times, New Yorker, Wallpaper, I.D. and more are there for your perusing. Agora's two-story-high foyer and ring of upstairs tables makes for perfect people-watching. Careful of the stairs (they're crazy steep) and watch out for the proprietor. He's the sweet older Greek man with a penchant for lingering hugs. After a fire last Halloween, Agora devotees worried that the coffeehouse's Greco character would be forever altered by the blaze, but owner Michael Sotiropoulos implemented smart innovations that leave the original alternative flavor intact.
Black Hole is like Antidote's younger, hipper sister. The Pippa to Kate Middleton, if you will. With the Warhol-esque Lindsay Lohan prints on the wall, a slew of scooters outside the front door and more deep V's than American Apparel, this is one place you'll want to leave the preppy gear at home and assume a look of intellect and indifference.
Located on hip Washington Avenue, Catalina Coffee is all about, well, the coffee. True java snobs will find their palates perfecty satisfied. And for those who like the sweet stuff? They top off every (mocha/caramel/vanilla/et cetera) latte with a foamy heart. "Dedicated to the art and science of coffee from seed to cup" is the motto. Doors open at the crack of 6:30 for early caffeine needs, 7:30 weekends. Doors close at 7 p.m.
Down House is the newest of the bunch on this list, but the great coffee and fast wifi make this Heights hotspot a great place to hunker down and get some work done. Owner Chris Cusack consistently has great offerings from Austin's own Cuvee Coffee, and great breakfast, lunch and dinner is also available. When the work day ends, cocktails and draft beers are also available. The pulled pork hash seems to somehow make a great cup of coffee taste even better.
The Coffee Groundz is one of Houston's few independent coffee shops located outside of Montrose and The Heights. Located in midtown, it's slightly more accessible to those who may have downtown jobs. Head here for a cup of coffee during the day and a beer during the evening; cozy couches and wifi are readily available all day long. It's also one of the most social media savvy spots in town - the owner received significant attention in the blogosphere after taking a customer's order via Twitter.
Revival Market isn't just a destination for coffee - it's a one stop neighborhood shop for delicious pastries, fresh produce, local meats and more. Founders Morgan Weber and Randy Pera, formerly of Anvil and The Grove, respectively, founded Revival in order to showcase some of their favorite local products. In terms of coffee, it's a great place to find beans from Greenway Coffee, Amaya Roasting Co. (owned by Max Gonzales of Catalina Coffee) and Fusion Beans. Delicious espresso beverages and drip quality are best enjoyed with house-made pastries and breakfast tacos.