We may have been experiencing a November with occasional highs in the 80s, but “FALLtastic” weather is inevitably around the corner. And, as every good caffeinator knows, cooler weather is coffeehouse weather!

In the Spring Branch District, we’ve got your major chains like Starbucks and McDonald’s serving coffee of course, as well as smaller chains like 85°C Houston, 1027 Blalock Rd., and bakery cafes like World Catering Bakery, 1073 Silber Rd.

Bu cafephiles know that the Spring Branch District is also attracting new and unique coffeehouses that are continuing to serve even through this pandemic, while taking safety precautions and offering enhanced outdoor seating and take out — or even delivery options.

Dolce & Cafe

Dolce & Cafe, 7670 Katy Freeway at I-10 and Silber at the Marq-E Entertainment Center, is woman-owned, woman-managed and woman-inspired. The cafe opened in 2018 serving dishes inspired by the owner’s French grandmother.

A recent Facebook post from the cafe said it best: “Everything gets better with a cup of coffee and fruit tarts!”

You’ll come for the coffee but you won’t want to leave without trying a crepe. Trust us.

Slowpokes

Houston’s local, quirky coffee and wine bar, Slowpokes, with locations in the Garden Oaks and Upper Kirby neighborhoods, opened up shop last year at 8147 B Long Point Rd.

Slowpokes baristas will fill your cup with the choice liquid you need at the moment, either in the form of a caffeinated pick-me-up or a happy hour special. And, oh boy, is their happy hour special. With comfortable seating on the patio, you will want to make Slowpokes your first stop for coffee in the morning and last stop as Happy Hour is from 4-8 p.m. weekdays and, on Wednesdays, wine bottles are half off! OK, fine, you can stop for lunch, too. They serve yummy breakfast all day, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and much more. Did we mention the pastries brought in daily by local vendors?

Buzz & Bites

Newest on the Spring Branch coffee and food scene is the recently opened Buzz & Bites Coffee Shop, 1444 Blalock Rd Suite G.

Opened by sisters looking to “share their passion for coffee with the world,” the owners said they also strive to serve the freshest food possible.

Ingredients like avocados, kale, eggs and locally-sourced bread packed with nutrients will energize your body as much as your coffee selection.

On a recent visit, we couldn’t believe the massive size of The Classic Croissant, stuffed with scrambled egg, tomato and Swiss cheese. Large in size with a flavor to match, we somehow managed to finish it. (Someone had to do it.) The equally massive cinnamon roll, though, had to be saved for later but was tasty as an afternoon treat warmed slightly in the microwave. A warm chai latte was the perfect accompaniment.

If you are at Buzz & Bites at lunchtime, we suggest trying the “Melting Tuna,” with tuna salad, arugula and tomato on sourdough bread. The tuna mix had a great tangy flavor and the bread was as fresh as can be. Because we were full, we passed on a pistachio muffin and, sadly, we are still regretting it.

Brunch is served all day at Buzz & Bites, as are the buzz-inducing drinks, of course. The decor is bright and cheery, but if you’re not quite ready to spend time inside a cafe, they offer carryout. Order online here: https://buzzandbites.e-tab.com/buzzandbites#!/order-type

So, if you’re someone who likes to feel a chill in the air and a warm cup of joe in your hands, check out one of the Spring Branch District’s growing number of coffee shops.

And don’t pass on the pistachio muffin.

— by Dorothy Puch Lillig