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All photos by: Hama’el Salman

Finding the perfect place to study or do homework plays a pivotal role in enhancing productivity and achieving academic success. As Houstonians, we are spoiled for choice since the city is filled with a plethora of coffee shops and workspaces.

Curating a personal list of go-to spots for different vibes and purposes is essential. Here is ours!

For Group Study

Whether it’s a group project or a study sesh with friends, finding a productive place that allows for free conversation is key.


Ironworks is a large industrial building in the east end of the city, and it’s only 10 minutes away from campus. It has a lot of open seating and a very creative vibe, so group projects or any collaborative work is very well suited for this space.

Ironworks also nailed the lunch department with their smoothies, sandwiches, tacos and other delicious options from multiple vendors. Additionally, the back of the building has many quaint vintage shops, perfect for browsing on your way out or when you need a break.

BHBG Coffee and Bayou Heights Bier Graden:

BHBG Coffee and Bayou Heights Bier Garden are two connected buildings located in the Heights. This is a great spot to go with friends on good weather days since there is a lot of outdoor seating with a beautiful patio and swings. As well as a separate workspace area with lots of natural lighting and privacy. Cozy vibes and great pastries!

For Aesthetics and Ambiance

Ambiance can have direct effects on your mood, so studying in an aesthetically pleasing place can be a motivating force. In these locations, even if you didn’t get your work done, at least you got a cute story picture.

Brass Tacks:

Brass Tracks is a delightful cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. It is quite large, however, it is always very crowded. The coffee and matcha here are 10/10, as well as the famous french fries, which are a must if you visit. Overall Brass Tracks is a very cute spot and can be productive if you thrive in a more vibrant atmosphere.

Eden Plant Co:

Eden Plant Co, located in east downtown, is a coffee and plant shop mixed in one. There are hundreds of gorgeous plants that engulf the building and they’re for sale! They also make fantastic matcha and coffee.

All in all, Eden is such a stunning and unique cafe with a serene ambiance. It is also on the quiet side which makes it a perfect location for getting work done or unwinding.

For Serious Focus

These locations are great for when you have exams approaching and need to cram, or you’re playing catch-up with schoolwork. The critical elements to look for are peacefulness and comfort.

CBB Fifth Floor:

The CBB building on campus has a quiet room on the fifth floor. There are a lot of booths and the chairs are quite comfortable. The quietness and being surrounded by other focused students creates an ideal haven for maximum productivity.

The Coffee House At West End:

This three-story historic building radiates dark academia vibes and coziness. With plenty of comfortable sofas, and even a beautiful rooftop with views of the city.

The Coffee House is excellent for efficiency. The people who go here are all working diligently on their laptops, adding to the focused atmosphere with no distractions. Also, this place has phenomenal croissants!


If dark academia isn’t your thing and you prefer a more colorful and light ambiance, Ola is the perfect cafe for you. It is calm and usually not too busy, making it a good spot for a solo study session. Located in Midtown, so not far from campus. They make the best Delgona coffee I’ve ever had, as well as other delicious Asian food options.


Agora is a popular Greek-themed coffee shop in the heart of Montrose, with a very cozy and warm ambiance. For those of us who pull all-nighters cramming right before an exam, Agora is destined to be your favorite place to study since it closes at 2 a.m. every single day.

Honorable Mentions

Lanier Theological Library:

Lanier is truly a magical place and definitely a hidden gem, it feels like you’re in Hogwarts or another century. It didn’t make it to the original list as it is very far from campus but worth the trip down.

Cougar Grounds:

The only reason Cougar Grounds isn’t on the main list is because we all know and love it already. However, the vibe can be more social than academic. Nevertheless, it is still terrific for getting delicious, affordable coffee and with friends.

MD Anderson Library:

Again we all know and love it. The upper-level floors are probably the best place to study on this list and of course, the library has its perks with access to the printers, other students and private rooms.

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