Peña’s Donut Heaven & Grill elevates earthbound appetites with a luscious litany of breakfasts and lunches, earning a CityVoter nomination for the city’s best breakfast in 2010. As the sun is carefully winched up and hoisted into the sky, Peña’s bakers craft delicious donuts ($5.79/dozen for glazed; $6.45/dozen for iced) fresh each morning, while plates of bagel, croissant, or biscuit breakfast sandwiches ($2.50 each) and savory chorizo-and-egg stuffed kolaches ($1.49 each; $15.99/dozen) hone in on hunger with surgical precision. At lunchtime, specialty sandwiches such as the 8 oz. california burger ($6.95) pose for pictures in an edible attire of sprouts and avocado, a slice of swiss cheese, and a dollop of tangy ranch dressing. In addition to classic American eats, Peña’s Donut Heaven catapults diners across the border with helpings of ham-and-spinach breakfast tacos ($2.50 for three) and lunches of beef burritos topped with pico de gallo ($6.99).
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.
Culled from natural ingredients, Berripop's nonfat frozen yogurt is whipped fresh daily and infused with vibrant flavors. Sate chromatic cravings with Berripop's rainbow of taste-hues, such as luscious chocolate, refreshing mango, piquant green apple, and delectably indecisive raspberry-pomegranate. With a twist of the faucet, yogurus whirl out a medium-sized mound ($4.50) to be adorned with edible textures from a topping bar rife with fresh kiwi, raspberries, almonds, Cap'n Crunch, Reese's peanut-butter cups, and more ($1 for unlimited toppings). Alternatively, guests can enjoy smoothies, parfaits, or shaved ice to make tongues feel as cool as Fonzie sledding the Alps on a gold record. Each location of the Texas-born dairy dispensary beams with a bright modern interior, free WIFI, and flat-screen TVs to entertain eyes as they fill bellies. Groupon buyers who return again within one month of their first purchase will receive 50% off their next set of treats.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
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.
Not only is Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar an "antidote to the antiseptic Pinkberrys of the world," according to Lonely Planet, it's also "the most adorable place in Houston"—or so gushes a Houston Press blogger. Like a worn-in powdered wig, the cozy shop exudes a shabby-chic French aesthetic, with bright pastel colors complementing cream-colored wooden furniture and shelves full of jarred candy and homey gifts. Sweet Lola's seasonal fro-yo flavors are equally adorable, boasting names such as "dreamy chocolate," "merri mint," and "blush," a combination of cherry and almond. Each creamy spoonful tickles taste buds with probiotic flavor sweetened with cane sugar and free of corn syrup or additives. A small but dependable selection of artisanal toppings crowns frozen creations with peanut-butter croutons and cookie crumble.