Solo Cakes & Cookies Cafe whips up batches of moist cupcakes and healthy soy cookies daily in addition to concocting wedding-day confections. A rotating menu of cupcake flavors includes classic standbys such as chocolate and vanilla, which sweetly complement cups of coffee. Staffers also eagerly accept the challenge of a custom order, adorning cake tops with intricate flowers and swirling frosting latticework. Customers surf free WiFi for recipe ideas or food-fight videos while bakers work, and Solo Cakes & Cookies Cafe serves Ethiopian breakfast noshes alongside a smorgasbord of sweets, which can be devoured atop square tables located indoors or streetside.
Since joining forces with the renowned caterer, Isabel Nores, in Argentina in 1986, Mariquita Combes has since perfected the marriage of quality cuisine and expert service. In 2003, Mariquita flew a magical chef's apron to Houston and began her own catering company, La Villette, where she oversees events ranging in size and extravagance from small business lunches to lavish weddings. In addition to catering, LA Villette also has a cafe, located on the ground floor of Decorative Center Houston. There, visitors can take in the scenery while enjoying empanadas, gourmet sandwiches, salads, and burgers.
At Teahouse 101, visitors lounge on couches, channel free WiFi, and sip on almond-milk tea or Vietnamese coffee. Baristas hand off more than a hundred different styles of drinks, from milk teas and fresh juices to smoothies and coffee beverages. Tapioca pearls, fruit jellies, and taro or egg pudding in almost any drink can be satisfyingly chewy, much like all the tires on a rival’s Hot Wheels collection.
For more than 75 years, Shipley's Do-Nuts has served up hot and fresh hand-cut donuts daily from Lawrence Shipley's time-tested recipe. Currently furnishing more than 60 varieties of fried ambrosia to donut disciples, Shipley's Do-Nuts creates three types of craveable crowns for the taking ($5.95/dozen glazed, $6.55/dozen mixed). The traditional yeast donut's everyday attire is a glaze coating, but it entertains a closetful of options, including curve-enhancing nuts, sequin-like sprinkles, and black-tie appropriate chocolate icing for attending formal french-bread balls. Filled yeast donuts protect their secret stash of cream or fruit with a sweet glaze force field, while denser—but not dumber—cake donuts aid rough morning wake-up calls by operating as portable pillows perfect for commuting or by sliding into stomachs in icing, glaze, sprinkles, or au naturel.
Himalayan pink salt, almond marzipan, Mexican chipotle, Moroccan mint tea—these are just a few of the exotic ingredients that the chocolatiers at Araya Artisan Chocolate cull from around the world so that they can infuse their Venezuelan chocolates with complex and surprising flavors. They strive to emulate French and Belgian styles, complementing the cocoa bean's naturally bitter taste with honey instead of sugar. They make each chocolate by hand in Katy, using only natural ingredients devoid of preservatives, artificial flavors, or glowing red serums pilfered from mad scientists. They even make vegan options. These experts decorate each of the chocolates with colorful designs, adorning peanut butter–berry with bright stripes and adding an enticing dollop of green atop the margarita option. Due to their insistence on hand crafting unique bites, they've earned attention from foodies at My Table and the River Oaks Examiner. They offer authentic French macarons, and have a wide variety of flavors that are imported from France, with gift boxes available as well. Just recently, Araya Artisan Chocolate opened its newest location at the Uptown Park Mall.
Teahouse Tapioca and Tea's first opening day was a bit chaotic. The locale was Kaohsiung, in Southern Taiwan, and the owners hadn't figured out how much a cup of tea should cost. But they had decided they would treat their customers like family. To their surprise and delight, their customers reciprocated that sentiment, and those first tea drinkers returned the favor by keeping the owners informed of current trends, helping the teahouse develop their signature green tea with tapioca. The drink proved immensely popular, and eight years after opening, the owners expanded internationally.
Today, Teahouse Tapioca and Tea has five locations throughout Houston to serve its traditional cream tea. The drink's essential ingredients are tapioca balls, which are infused with dark brown sugar and caramel to make them chocolatey brown and extra flavorful. The drink isn't for everyone, but if you aren't pleased with its taste, you can exchange it for one of the teahouse's espresso drinks or juice.