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Houston - good coffee place

I'm looking for recommendations for a good place to get coffee and a small bite or pastry. I want a decent cappuciono (Starbucks are not decent...) and some nice cakes or pastries. Galleria area, midtown, or inner loop locations prefered. Somewhere you would meet a girlfriend.
For those familiar with New York, some place like Balthazar or even Le Pain Quoditien.
I've been disappointed with Andre and the chocolate bar is too sweet.

Any recommendations?

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  1. Based on your NYC choices, I think you would like Tiny Boxwoods. It is actually part of Thompson & Hanson, a local landscape architecutre/nursery/home & design store. The cafe doesn't have a lot of cake/pastry options (but what I have had has been good - especially the chocolate chip cookies), but the coffee and atmosphere are just what you are looking for. There are a lot of tables inside and several outside if the weather is nice.

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    Tiny Boxwoods
    3614 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77027

    2 Replies
    1. re: friednoodlesandbeans

      Finally got to Tiny last week - I can't believe I'd never been there before. Had lunch on the bar and a great coffee aftrewards. You are right that they are light on the pastries, but do have good coffee. I can deffinitely see this as a good girlfriend lunch spot. And I am not alone, the place was packed with lunching ladies (the bartended pointed out there was not one man in the place...)
      Curious that this place doesn' get mentioned more often - but a great find.

      1. re: JenJen16

        Are you referring to Tiny Boxwoods off Alabama?

    2. I really like Empire.

      Here's a topic I posted sometime back...
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/571765

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      Empire Cafe
      1732 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098

      3 Replies
      1. re: scjohann

        Thank you both for the recs. I've never been to Tiny Boxwood, so will check it out and report back. I like Empire Cafe's food, but there coffee really isn't all that good. Next time I crave cake, I'll give it another shot.

        1. re: JenJen16

          Jen, the Houston CH's current favorite shop is Catalina Coffee on Washington. Give that a try.

          1. re: Bulldozer

            I gave it a try when I moved here a year ago. Excellent coffee indeed, but it is a bit far from where I live. I wish I lived in the Height - so many great places...

      2. how's Brazil just off Montrose these days? anyone been? That might be a spot?
        Deidricks only location on Montrose isn't as cool looking as the other one that was on westheimer but the coffee is really good.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jscarbor

          Deidricks does have good coffee, but not much in way of patries or food. I need to check out Brazil.

          1. re: JenJen16

            Have you tried Java Java Cafe on 11th st. They have different coffees, expresso's, cappucino's, smoothies, etc. Not really pastries, but some good cakes and pies, and interesting breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, quiche. It's a cozy place to hang out with a friend. I have never been to NYC, so I can't compare, but it is pure Houston Heights.

            1. re: danhole

              Adding it to my list - I haven't been there yet.

            2. re: JenJen16

              it is actually Brasil, and it is on the corner of westheimer and dunlavy. it will be on the southwest corner...i mention this because there is no sign really. it's an old brick building with big windows in the front, and a patio on the corner. i've always found their coffee to be good though lately i've been ordering wine. their food is excellent, and the chorizo that comes with one of the breakfasts will keep you coming back. been going there for about 16 years and could not recommend it enough.

              1. re: sungrumble

                I ate at Brasil yesterday. Coffee was good but migas left something to be desired. The eggs were overcooked and unseasoned. The green salsa was bland. The beans were good.

                I think I will give them another chance next month.

                1. re: scjohann

                  I've never had breakfast there, only a sandwich and some kind of cake. It's been a long time, though, so I don't remember exactly what it was, but I do remember I really enjoyed it! I think it's a nice little spot. If I lived around there I would go on a regular basis, but I guess not for breakfast!

                  1. re: scjohann

                    As promised, I gave them another chance this week. It was much, much better. I wanted to get french toast but the omelette of the day sounded great (artichoke, eggplant and feta). I like how they offer you a tomato or potatoes. No salt or better on eggs, though.

                    I am still partial to Empire which is practically across the street but either is good.