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I have a thing for cute cafes. Before quarantine started, my weekly entertainment was to visit one of the cute cafes in Houston’s Chinatown and try out their desserts. Here are four places I found to be both Instagram picture-worthy as well as harboring a delicious taste that can satisfy any stomach.

1. Tom N Toms Coffee

I really love a good cup of iced americano, but sometimes Starbucks can feel too mainstream and isn’t what I’m looking for. I discovered Tom N Toms Coffee because it was one of the newer shops that opened in Bellaire. I soon became intrigued due to its sophisticated and mature design, and it has the concept of a study cafe targeted towards university students and adults. Besides the amazing array of coffee drinks they make, they also have a wide variety of desserts that can satisfy both your sweet and savory tooth. I would really recommend you to try the Nutella Chocolate Bread when you get the chance, I promise you won’t regret it.

Funny story, I ordered a double shot espresso when I first visited this shop, thinking espressos are just regular coffees with an extra shot. But, I soon found out that it was just a two-shot espresso with no water. Whoops.

2. Cafe 101

Just like how it sounds, Cafe 101 is a cafe-styled restaurant that offers not only Asian flavor teas and fresh fruit drinks but also culinary dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese as well as Korean. While they have a wide variety of milk teas and frappes, they also have a cocktail menu for those over the age of 21 that can enjoy a night out. While they do have a wide range of drinks, you shouldn’t forget about their savory foods. They have everything from small dishes like sushi rolls to items that can feed a family of 4 like the spicy hot pot. Something I would recommend here is the House Special Milk Tea and the Kimchi Fries with Beef & Egg. It’s a combo I have tried that satisfies both my sweet and savory cravings. 

3. Blkdog Coffee

I visited this place due to a friend’s recommendation because I was looking for a part-time job around this time. The cafe itself has a very aesthetic theme to it. The beignet, which comes in both regular and matcha flavor, is one of their most popular menu items and it definitely did not disappoint. I choose both the matcha beignet as well as a cup of matcha latte, that alone shows how much I enjoy matcha.

4. Hokkaido Japanese Kitchen

Just like the name sounds, Hokkaido Japanese Kitchen is a place that specializes in Japanese cuisine, which includes sushi, takoyaki and other fried dishes such as rice/gyoza. Their sushi roll selection is incredibly diverse, with choices such as the popular Shaggy Dog as well as the common California Roll. And as a rice lover, I really enjoy their rice entries as well as their Domburimono. It may look like any simple dish, but the authentic flavors will really make you feel as you’re in Japan. Another thing I like about this place is the affordable prices (ranging from $8 to $15) despite its high-quality food. It’s a perfect lunch/dinner hangout for college students.

Photo by Jason Villanueva from Pexels

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