Empire Caf��

★★★★☆
  • 1732 Westheimer Rd

    Houston, TX 77098

    Map & Directions
  • 713-528-5282

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POOR AND ARROGANT CUSTOMER SERVICE\r
\r
Dined here on the morning of 16 March 2013. The cashier shortchanged my wife $5, and then the manager, backed up by the cashier, insisted that we must have made a mistake, because they "don't make

3
★★★★★

POOR AND ARROGANT CUSTOMER SERVICE\r
\r
Dined here on the morning of 16 March 2013. The cashier shortchanged my wife $5, and then the manager, backed up by the cashier, insisted that we must have made a mistake, because they "don't make

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They improved their patio with sturdier shade and a wall barricading diners from Westheimer. It's still a nice place to bring your pup and watch the antique shoppers. Always watch your purse here...a few summers ago, I heard about two purse snatchings. I'm sure the new wall has helped deter crime.

I had a small pizza ($9) that tasted like it was made on flatbread and not crispy or crunchy. It reminded me of school cafeteria pizza. It was loaded with cheese and fresh sauce but had very little meat. My sister had the chicken caesar salad and didn't finish the whole thing. We graded the food a C.

She had a chocolate coffee dessert drink served with sugar cookies...that was the best thing we had. Grade: A

1
★★★☆☆

They improved their patio with sturdier shade and a wall barricading diners from Westheimer. It's still a nice place to bring your pup and watch the antique shoppers. Always watch your purse here...a few summers ago, I heard about two purse snatchings. I'm sure the new wall has helped deter crime.

I had a small pizza ($9) that tasted like it was made on flatbread and not crispy or crunchy. It reminded me of school cafeteria pizza. It was loaded with cheese and fresh sauce but had very little meat. My sister had the chicken caesar salad and didn't finish the whole thing. We graded the food a C.

She had a chocolate coffee dessert drink served with sugar cookies...that was the best thing we had. Grade: A

Pros: Dessert: Saw some awesome cakes

Cons: Parking

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It doesn??t get much more Montrose than this. Laid back, quirky and endearing, Empire draws a faithful crowd of neighborhood regulars that are sure to be served up by playfully amiable staff. Rest assured that you may hammer away at your laptop for hours with nothing but a smile from staff and fellow patrons. No one will rush you through your coffee here. Even the patio is made comfortable for lingering as they bring out large outside air conditioning units during the more intolerable days of summer.
Their espresso bar is consistent and reasonably priced. While drinks are not creative or overly exotic, they are brewed right and cost no more than your average chain. If you have someone to share it with, I suggest trying one of their massive slices of cake. These slabs of sweet decadence are sure to please anyone but impossible to finish on your own. I??ve tried both the carrot cake and the chocolate blackout. While the frosting on the chocolate is a tad too sweet for my bitter dark loving taste buds I am sure that it would suit most people and the carrot cake is superbly spiced with ample cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with just the right amount of cream cheese icing.
I have not yet tried their savory dishes but they offer a diverse menu of entrees and everything I have seen on the tables including paninis oozing with cheese and brightly colored salads looked delicious and appeared to be polished off with eager enthusiasm. After a day of shopping the eclectic resale boutiques that dot the Montrose-Westheimer strip, Empire is the ideal place to rest your feet and reward your frugality with a pastry that is sure to prevent you from buying any more clothes.

1
★★★☆☆

It doesn??t get much more Montrose than this. Laid back, quirky and endearing, Empire draws a faithful crowd of neighborhood regulars that are sure to be served up by playfully amiable staff. Rest assured that you may hammer away at your laptop for hours with nothing but a smile from staff and fellow patrons. No one will rush you through your coffee here. Even the patio is made comfortable for lingering as they bring out large outside air conditioning units during the more intolerable days of summer.
Their espresso bar is consistent and reasonably priced. While drinks are not creative or overly exotic, they are brewed right and cost no more than your average chain. If you have someone to share it with, I suggest trying one of their massive slices of cake. These slabs of sweet decadence are sure to please anyone but impossible to finish on your own. I??ve tried both the carrot cake and the chocolate blackout. While the frosting on the chocolate is a tad too sweet for my bitter dark loving taste buds I am sure that it would suit most people and the carrot cake is superbly spiced with ample cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with just the right amount of cream cheese icing.
I have not yet tried their savory dishes but they offer a diverse menu of entrees and everything I have seen on the tables including paninis oozing with cheese and brightly colored salads looked delicious and appeared to be polished off with eager enthusiasm. After a day of shopping the eclectic resale boutiques that dot the Montrose-Westheimer strip, Empire is the ideal place to rest your feet and reward your frugality with a pastry that is sure to prevent you from buying any more clothes.

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I come to this coffee shop alot and recommend my friends and coworkers to come here as well. I love their coffees, desserts, food, ....basically all their food is delicious. Its cozy and comfortable there, their prices on their food is not too bad although their slices of cakes are quite pricey....its around $7 per slice! The bus boys are very quick and friendly. MOST of the staff that works the register is nice...but at times they are not as friendly/nice. There is one short chubby white guy in particular that works there that is always RUDE to me and my friends. We would come there at different times and he would treat all this customers the same way. He is mean, unfriendly and never ever smiles to customers that come there. The ambiance of the place and the tasty foods keeps me coming back but that one guy does not need to be working there if he hates his job or hates being around people. Maybe he would be in a better mood if he treats people better and in return they will treat him better. Overall I do love this place besides the rudeness of that one guy. Overall everyone treats me decent in there and is never really rude to me. Customer service is pretty fast and decent. Food and coffee there is excellent. Parking is not bad...always can find a decent parking space there. Oh yeah one of the cons there is the LONG lines that form to order. Since there is only 1 or 2 cashiers there it does take a while to get to you. Sometimes you get lucky and the line isnt too bad or sometimes there no lines at all. The amount of people coming in and out of this place.... shows that its a good place to dine or hang out at. I love being outside during the spring weather...its really nice there.

2
★★★★★

I come to this coffee shop alot and recommend my friends and coworkers to come here as well. I love their coffees, desserts, food, ....basically all their food is delicious. Its cozy and comfortable there, their prices on their food is not too bad although their slices of cakes are quite pricey....its around $7 per slice! The bus boys are very quick and friendly. MOST of the staff that works the register is nice...but at times they are not as friendly/nice. There is one short chubby white guy in particular that works there that is always RUDE to me and my friends. We would come there at different times and he would treat all this customers the same way. He is mean, unfriendly and never ever smiles to customers that come there. The ambiance of the place and the tasty foods keeps me coming back but that one guy does not need to be working there if he hates his job or hates being around people. Maybe he would be in a better mood if he treats people better and in return they will treat him better. Overall I do love this place besides the rudeness of that one guy. Overall everyone treats me decent in there and is never really rude to me. Customer service is pretty fast and decent. Food and coffee there is excellent. Parking is not bad...always can find a decent parking space there. Oh yeah one of the cons there is the LONG lines that form to order. Since there is only 1 or 2 cashiers there it does take a while to get to you. Sometimes you get lucky and the line isnt too bad or sometimes there no lines at all. The amount of people coming in and out of this place.... shows that its a good place to dine or hang out at. I love being outside during the spring weather...its really nice there.

Pros: food, coffee, desserts, parking, customer service isnt too bad

Cons: long lines at times, alot of people there,

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I've eaten at Empire Cafe several times and was never pleased with my experience. The last time I was there my food came 20 minutes after my boyfriend's , and I had to ask for my plate from the rude cashier. Apparently my plate was sitting under the lamps for a while and the cashier/waitress wasn't apologetic at all. If anyone is scared of birds like me, this also isn't the best place for you to eat because they are swooping down and flying around all over the place. If you have the option, go somewhere else to eat !!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

I've eaten at Empire Cafe several times and was never pleased with my experience. The last time I was there my food came 20 minutes after my boyfriend's , and I had to ask for my plate from the rude cashier. Apparently my plate was sitting under the lamps for a while and the cashier/waitress wasn't apologetic at all. If anyone is scared of birds like me, this also isn't the best place for you to eat because they are swooping down and flying around all over the place. If you have the option, go somewhere else to eat !!!

Pros: can't think of any

Cons: service, food, parking, birds

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My husband and I were looking for a new breakfast spot. We went on a Saturday morning and were lucky that there was no line to order. However, the staff was extremely harried and rushed us to look at the menu and place our order. The food came within a reasonable amount of time, but was merely average. My husband had the eggs benedict and I had the gingerbread waffle. The eggs were over poached (coddled?) and the hash browns were cold. The fruit on my waffle was a little past its prime (gave up on a few pieces and pushed them to the side) and the waffle itself was not even warm. The only redeeming quality was the atmosphere; the people-watching was fantastic! The patio was also nice (semi-covered with ceiling fans). To compare it to another place in the same price range, the food at Le Peep is much better.

1
★★★☆☆

My husband and I were looking for a new breakfast spot. We went on a Saturday morning and were lucky that there was no line to order. However, the staff was extremely harried and rushed us to look at the menu and place our order. The food came within a reasonable amount of time, but was merely average. My husband had the eggs benedict and I had the gingerbread waffle. The eggs were over poached (coddled?) and the hash browns were cold. The fruit on my waffle was a little past its prime (gave up on a few pieces and pushed them to the side) and the waffle itself was not even warm. The only redeeming quality was the atmosphere; the people-watching was fantastic! The patio was also nice (semi-covered with ceiling fans). To compare it to another place in the same price range, the food at Le Peep is much better.

Pros: Ambiance and Parking

Cons: Food and Service

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We did brunch with the Italian toast, mimosas, and a couple coffees. The food, drink, and ambience were great. The line was quite long but it went very quickly (the line was out the door, however we were able to place our order within 10 minutes). Moreover, the food was delivered rapidly.

Empire has a very eclectic mix of people; everyone from your young professionals, to the local tattooed hipsters, as well as mom and daughter stopping in after church. Definitely worth a visit.

2
★★★★★

We did brunch with the Italian toast, mimosas, and a couple coffees. The food, drink, and ambience were great. The line was quite long but it went very quickly (the line was out the door, however we were able to place our order within 10 minutes). Moreover, the food was delivered rapidly.

Empire has a very eclectic mix of people; everyone from your young professionals, to the local tattooed hipsters, as well as mom and daughter stopping in after church. Definitely worth a visit.

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I adore Empire Cafe. I've been going there at least every other day for the past 6 years. The management & staff are awesome, as well as the food & drink. I've never had a bad time at Empire.

2
★★★★★

I adore Empire Cafe. I've been going there at least every other day for the past 6 years. The management & staff are awesome, as well as the food & drink. I've never had a bad time at Empire.

Pros: the employees

Cons: none

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This place seems to age like wine. I have been coming to this place for around 10 years and each time I'm there I wish I could go there more often. They have great friendly staff, delicious food with huge portions whether it's for brunch, lunch, or dinner; they have coffee/tea/pastry and other coffee shop goodies, and also wine and beer. They also have a nice little courtyard on the side (which took me a few years to find!) What else could you possibly want?? Free parking? well, they've always had free parking but in the last year or so I noticed they opened up a new parking lot next door where a house used to be AND I even see a security guard (at least he looked like one...i'm not falling for the wallet inspector scam again).


Just drive around in the area and see how many places have even 1 free parking spot that's not the street? Another "Cafe" down the street has none. If you go to midtown you won't find any, so to me this shows the owners actually cafe about their customers and that's why they get such good reviews. This is definitely not starbucks. it's a "going to have fun and not worry about work" kind of coffee shop.

2
★★★★★

This place seems to age like wine. I have been coming to this place for around 10 years and each time I'm there I wish I could go there more often. They have great friendly staff, delicious food with huge portions whether it's for brunch, lunch, or dinner; they have coffee/tea/pastry and other coffee shop goodies, and also wine and beer. They also have a nice little courtyard on the side (which took me a few years to find!) What else could you possibly want?? Free parking? well, they've always had free parking but in the last year or so I noticed they opened up a new parking lot next door where a house used to be AND I even see a security guard (at least he looked like one...i'm not falling for the wallet inspector scam again).


Just drive around in the area and see how many places have even 1 free parking spot that's not the street? Another "Cafe" down the street has none. If you go to midtown you won't find any, so to me this shows the owners actually cafe about their customers and that's why they get such good reviews. This is definitely not starbucks. it's a "going to have fun and not worry about work" kind of coffee shop.

Pros: Great atmosphere, no gimmicks, great crowd, tastey foods/drinks

Cons: wish they would stay open later!

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Empire Cafe is my favorite place to go for a steaming bowl of pasta (I recommend the Fiorenza, the chicken and broccoli with linguini tossed in a creamy garlic sauce), a delicious Caesar salad and a big slice of carrot cake. Despite the horrible art (the artist should really study up on female anatomy), the ambience is especially nice on a weekday afternoon before rush hour. Study the menu (they are usually scattered around the counter or register) and don't be shy about ordering a delicious mojito...but be careful, they are strong! :)

2
★★★★☆

Empire Cafe is my favorite place to go for a steaming bowl of pasta (I recommend the Fiorenza, the chicken and broccoli with linguini tossed in a creamy garlic sauce), a delicious Caesar salad and a big slice of carrot cake. Despite the horrible art (the artist should really study up on female anatomy), the ambience is especially nice on a weekday afternoon before rush hour. Study the menu (they are usually scattered around the counter or register) and don't be shy about ordering a delicious mojito...but be careful, they are strong! :)

Pros: free appetizers at Happy Hour w/ purchase of drink, great pasta, good cake

Cons: parking (my car was also broken into there), staff can be snotty at times

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I always enjoy new dining experiences and having read the reviews opted to stop for breakfast. Not the only first timer I noticed - a couple arriving after I did seated themselves on the patio without ordering at the counter first. After several a period of "ignore" they got up and left, I should have followed their example. But I went inside, placed my order - coffee and the tradiitonal breakfast.

Coffee - hot, served with two cookies. Two Stars
Traditional Breakfast - Eggs-cooked to order as over easy, which they were:; bacon cooked up crisp but exceptionally greasy; cheese potatoes - one 3" square slab, burnt around the edges; whole wheat toast - one heal of bread; two pats of Land O'Lakes butter softened. The later a plus because it was spreadable on food - none of which was served warm enough to melt the butter.

Portion of breakfast consumed - one piece of cold toast, portions of two egg yolks, one bit of the cheese slab and a few bites of the side of fruit: pineapple was sweet, melons over ripe and should have been on the way out of the kitchen,, one fuzzy grape.

Paying for such a meal in advance rather than after only adds insult to injury.

Off day, perhaps, but lack of service (plate was delivered to the table and that was it) and quality of food together would merit a negative star rating even taking the coffee into consideration. There are two many alternatives in the neighborhood to consider a do over.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I always enjoy new dining experiences and having read the reviews opted to stop for breakfast. Not the only first timer I noticed - a couple arriving after I did seated themselves on the patio without ordering at the counter first. After several a period of "ignore" they got up and left, I should have followed their example. But I went inside, placed my order - coffee and the tradiitonal breakfast.

Coffee - hot, served with two cookies. Two Stars
Traditional Breakfast - Eggs-cooked to order as over easy, which they were:; bacon cooked up crisp but exceptionally greasy; cheese potatoes - one 3" square slab, burnt around the edges; whole wheat toast - one heal of bread; two pats of Land O'Lakes butter softened. The later a plus because it was spreadable on food - none of which was served warm enough to melt the butter.

Portion of breakfast consumed - one piece of cold toast, portions of two egg yolks, one bit of the cheese slab and a few bites of the side of fruit: pineapple was sweet, melons over ripe and should have been on the way out of the kitchen,, one fuzzy grape.

Paying for such a meal in advance rather than after only adds insult to injury.

Off day, perhaps, but lack of service (plate was delivered to the table and that was it) and quality of food together would merit a negative star rating even taking the coffee into consideration. There are two many alternatives in the neighborhood to consider a do over.

Pros: cookies with coffee

Cons: food, service

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Good food! Go here if you want to eat excellent food but don't mind the wait, or the rude girl behind the cash register. No lunch until 1, which they are very quick to point out. Nonetheless, excellent food. Wonderful capuccinos and a full bar... who knew!!

2
★★★★★

Good food! Go here if you want to eat excellent food but don't mind the wait, or the rude girl behind the cash register. No lunch until 1, which they are very quick to point out. Nonetheless, excellent food. Wonderful capuccinos and a full bar... who knew!!

Pros: Good food

Cons: Rude Staff

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Excellent kitchen, staff is usually really cool, excellent ambiance. Great bar! Heavenly desserts!

Regular customer, with the only complaint being that they don't have free wireless internet. It's ok, you can go there and hang out with friends instead!

2
★★★★★

Excellent kitchen, staff is usually really cool, excellent ambiance. Great bar! Heavenly desserts!

Regular customer, with the only complaint being that they don't have free wireless internet. It's ok, you can go there and hang out with friends instead!

Pros: food, cakes, parking, coffee cordials, seating staff

Cons: no wi-fi

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We like the shabby chic vibe here, and the lattes are super strong and tasty. You can't eat here without bumping into at least one person you know -- it has the feel of the neighborhood hangout, especially on the weekends. Food-wise, their breakfasts are their strongest feature here. Lots of fun for everyone, with the added benefit of a good eat.

2
★★★★★

We like the shabby chic vibe here, and the lattes are super strong and tasty. You can't eat here without bumping into at least one person you know -- it has the feel of the neighborhood hangout, especially on the weekends. Food-wise, their breakfasts are their strongest feature here. Lots of fun for everyone, with the added benefit of a good eat.

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The food was delicious as well as the dessert. The people are so friendly; it really is a relaxed place to just sit down and have a conversation. Great Food!

2
★★★★★

The food was delicious as well as the dessert. The people are so friendly; it really is a relaxed place to just sit down and have a conversation. Great Food!

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I love Empire Cafe. They have the best brunch in Houston, hands down. There are so many choices and everything is amazing. Be prepared - there will be a line at the counter, but it moves quickly and the food comes out fast. You are missing out if you haven't tried Empire Cafe!

2
★★★★★

I love Empire Cafe. They have the best brunch in Houston, hands down. There are so many choices and everything is amazing. Be prepared - there will be a line at the counter, but it moves quickly and the food comes out fast. You are missing out if you haven't tried Empire Cafe!

Pros: The FOOD!

Cons: line at the counter (moves fast), parking is sometimes tricky

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Empire Cafe is a nice place to have a cup of coffee and cake. Their outdoor patio can sometimes be a "hipster" scene or quiet, depending on the hours. From my experience I would not recommend it for food. I was with a friend and we shared what they consider a "panini." First off, it tasted like a cold salad slabbed between two thick loaves-and definitely not pressed the way a panini should be. They should have just called it a sandwich-but it sucked nevertheless. As for the coffee, it's good. And if you're a coffee drinker and/or smoker, the outdoor patio is great. As for will I go there again, maybe, only for after-dinner drinks. Try Brasil across the street-they have way better food.

1
★★★☆☆

Empire Cafe is a nice place to have a cup of coffee and cake. Their outdoor patio can sometimes be a "hipster" scene or quiet, depending on the hours. From my experience I would not recommend it for food. I was with a friend and we shared what they consider a "panini." First off, it tasted like a cold salad slabbed between two thick loaves-and definitely not pressed the way a panini should be. They should have just called it a sandwich-but it sucked nevertheless. As for the coffee, it's good. And if you're a coffee drinker and/or smoker, the outdoor patio is great. As for will I go there again, maybe, only for after-dinner drinks. Try Brasil across the street-they have way better food.

Pros: Outdoor patio, coffee, cake

Cons: Food

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My friends and I live at empire cafe. It is a great place to hang out with friends, especially after a long and tiring day. The employees, Matt, Aaron, Cory, Shanon, Mari, etc..., are great and always nice to their customers. The food is relatively cheap and quite delicious. In addition, the coffee is ALWAYS good and the desserts even better. Their cakes are the best tasting cakes I have had in my life. The line is a problem, however, the prompt service and great food are worth the wait. I believe the "restaurant info" is wrong. The cafe is wheelchair accessible, it is just not accessible at the front entrance. If you're looking for a place with great food, great people, and a great atmosphere, Empire Cafe is the best place in Houston for you.

2
★★★★★

My friends and I live at empire cafe. It is a great place to hang out with friends, especially after a long and tiring day. The employees, Matt, Aaron, Cory, Shanon, Mari, etc..., are great and always nice to their customers. The food is relatively cheap and quite delicious. In addition, the coffee is ALWAYS good and the desserts even better. Their cakes are the best tasting cakes I have had in my life. The line is a problem, however, the prompt service and great food are worth the wait. I believe the "restaurant info" is wrong. The cafe is wheelchair accessible, it is just not accessible at the front entrance. If you're looking for a place with great food, great people, and a great atmosphere, Empire Cafe is the best place in Houston for you.

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We love the Italian Toast here. I get it without the fruit for my daughter, and then I eat the fruit. The espresso drinks are too strong and bitter for my taste, but the Iced Tea flavors are good. The lines can be a bit daunting on the weekend, so my advice is to go early and grab a table outside. Then enjoy the colorful group of customers and the fantastic Italian Toast.

2
★★★★☆

We love the Italian Toast here. I get it without the fruit for my daughter, and then I eat the fruit. The espresso drinks are too strong and bitter for my taste, but the Iced Tea flavors are good. The lines can be a bit daunting on the weekend, so my advice is to go early and grab a table outside. Then enjoy the colorful group of customers and the fantastic Italian Toast.

Pros: Great Italian Toast

Cons: Long Lines, Hard to Find Parking

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I love brunch and breakfast at Empire. You can't order anything bad. I am a fan of the San Antonio breakfast and any of their omelettes. The waffles are pretty tasty as well. This is a European style cafe infused with an American style diner as you order and pay for the food before being seated. It can get quite crowded on Sundays so be prepared. I always enjoy myself at Empire.

2
★★★★☆

I love brunch and breakfast at Empire. You can't order anything bad. I am a fan of the San Antonio breakfast and any of their omelettes. The waffles are pretty tasty as well. This is a European style cafe infused with an American style diner as you order and pay for the food before being seated. It can get quite crowded on Sundays so be prepared. I always enjoy myself at Empire.

Pros: food

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Everything about empire is fab! Their cocktails, their food, their groovy artist ambience, and their fab desserts. A mixed crowd of business men, artists, girl friends on lunch dates, and couples. Their quality is always consistent.

2
★★★★★

Everything about empire is fab! Their cocktails, their food, their groovy artist ambience, and their fab desserts. A mixed crowd of business men, artists, girl friends on lunch dates, and couples. Their quality is always consistent.

Pros: Dessert

Cons: Parking can be sparse

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this place is perfect for a mini break or a quaint outdoor lunching experience after doing some antique-ing or vintage shopping. location is great: in the heart of montrose and minutes away from all the aforementioned quaint antique and vintage shops. the food and desserts are decent, but it's really all about the laid-back and eclectic feel of the patio. service is quick. also great for people watching.*

1
★★★☆☆

this place is perfect for a mini break or a quaint outdoor lunching experience after doing some antique-ing or vintage shopping. location is great: in the heart of montrose and minutes away from all the aforementioned quaint antique and vintage shops. the food and desserts are decent, but it's really all about the laid-back and eclectic feel of the patio. service is quick. also great for people watching.*

Pros: location, eclectic

Cons: parking

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Definitely get dessert, and try to sit outside to watch all the action on Westheimer if you go here. The food is all amazing, and the service is fairly good for this area of Montrose.

2
★★★★☆

Definitely get dessert, and try to sit outside to watch all the action on Westheimer if you go here. The food is all amazing, and the service is fairly good for this area of Montrose.

Pros: location, great desserts, price

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I was having a hard time deciding between the El Paso Migas and the Italian Toast (I love them both), and the guy behind the counter said "You can have a half order of both..." Are you kidding me? Breakfast indecision problem SOLVED. I love this place. The coffee is good, too, with the freebie cookies on the side. Other than that, I like the pastas and salads, let's not even mention the cake... The atmosphere is great, with the kitschy pin-up paintings, cool lighting, stained concrete floor, and lots of great outdoor seating. And, being in the heart of Montrose, the people watching is pretty good, too.

2
★★★★★

I was having a hard time deciding between the El Paso Migas and the Italian Toast (I love them both), and the guy behind the counter said "You can have a half order of both..." Are you kidding me? Breakfast indecision problem SOLVED. I love this place. The coffee is good, too, with the freebie cookies on the side. Other than that, I like the pastas and salads, let's not even mention the cake... The atmosphere is great, with the kitschy pin-up paintings, cool lighting, stained concrete floor, and lots of great outdoor seating. And, being in the heart of Montrose, the people watching is pretty good, too.

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Great dishes, coffee, and desserts! Cake slices are half off on Mondays! EC is an excellent place to hang out with friends or even to study. The atmosphere is casual and artsy, fits great into Montrose.

2
★★★★★

Great dishes, coffee, and desserts! Cake slices are half off on Mondays! EC is an excellent place to hang out with friends or even to study. The atmosphere is casual and artsy, fits great into Montrose.

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After reading all of the great reviews and being new to Houston, I decided to give it a try. I must admit, the atmosphere is super cute and the breakfast menu looked great. I ordered an omlete and my friend ordered some pancakes. My omlete was overcooked and cold, as were the potatoes that came with it. My friend's pancakes were good, but nothing special. The coffee is great and so was my friend's hot chocolate. In general, the food was ok, but nothing to write home about...Service was not super friendly either...

2
★★★★☆

After reading all of the great reviews and being new to Houston, I decided to give it a try. I must admit, the atmosphere is super cute and the breakfast menu looked great. I ordered an omlete and my friend ordered some pancakes. My omlete was overcooked and cold, as were the potatoes that came with it. My friend's pancakes were good, but nothing special. The coffee is great and so was my friend's hot chocolate. In general, the food was ok, but nothing to write home about...Service was not super friendly either...

Pros: Atmosphere

Cons: Food was not great

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Near Montrose and has a great patio and drink selection. Food is good, they have great specials. The tomato soup is awesome! The staff is never friendly though.

2
★★★★★

Near Montrose and has a great patio and drink selection. Food is good, they have great specials. The tomato soup is awesome! The staff is never friendly though.

Pros: Patio, Food

Cons: Service

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The food is great, great service, excellent drinks, the atmosphere is perfect for a couple!... I will definitely visit this place again and will bring a few friends to visit next sunday..

2
★★★★★

The food is great, great service, excellent drinks, the atmosphere is perfect for a couple!... I will definitely visit this place again and will bring a few friends to visit next sunday..

Pros: Ambience, Service

Cons: Parking

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You have got to be crazy if you have bad things to say about Empire Cafe. I have never brought someone here who does not like it (and believe me I have brought many people here). First of all, the staff is INCREDIBLY nice. I go there and sit and do homework or read all the time, and they have never once rushed me or acted rude towards me. You have to wait in line to order, usually, but it gives you time to decide what you want. The cake is NOT 7 dollars, it's like 5ish, and the pieces are absolutely enormous. You can take them home and eat what you didn't finish later. The coffee - and other people I've taken there have agreed - is by far the best coffee I have ever had in my life. Strong and not bitter. They've won awards for being such a good place. Just try it - you will not be let down. If you're a regular, like myself, they'll often give you coffee or tea on the house. The food is like anywhere else - some things are amazing, and some are just ok - you just have to figure out what you like. Their soups and sandwiches are usually good, as are their salads, and their pizzas are nice and cheesy, and they offer whole wheat crust if you're watching your weight. Their daily specials are usually the best bet. People just have sticks up their asses - this place is fantastic and very cultured and great for people watching.

2
★★★★★

You have got to be crazy if you have bad things to say about Empire Cafe. I have never brought someone here who does not like it (and believe me I have brought many people here). First of all, the staff is INCREDIBLY nice. I go there and sit and do homework or read all the time, and they have never once rushed me or acted rude towards me. You have to wait in line to order, usually, but it gives you time to decide what you want. The cake is NOT 7 dollars, it's like 5ish, and the pieces are absolutely enormous. You can take them home and eat what you didn't finish later. The coffee - and other people I've taken there have agreed - is by far the best coffee I have ever had in my life. Strong and not bitter. They've won awards for being such a good place. Just try it - you will not be let down. If you're a regular, like myself, they'll often give you coffee or tea on the house. The food is like anywhere else - some things are amazing, and some are just ok - you just have to figure out what you like. Their soups and sandwiches are usually good, as are their salads, and their pizzas are nice and cheesy, and they offer whole wheat crust if you're watching your weight. Their daily specials are usually the best bet. People just have sticks up their asses - this place is fantastic and very cultured and great for people watching.

Pros: Everything

Cons: slightly pricey for the food

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Great food, not cheap, HUGE nice cakes (enough for 3 people), extensive coffee and beverage menu, always full of interesting people. Just as nice for reading the paper and sipping coffee Sunday morning as it is for dining out with a group on Saturday night.
I also like to bring my toddler to the fenced in back patio to let her run around while I snack.

2
★★★★★

Great food, not cheap, HUGE nice cakes (enough for 3 people), extensive coffee and beverage menu, always full of interesting people. Just as nice for reading the paper and sipping coffee Sunday morning as it is for dining out with a group on Saturday night.
I also like to bring my toddler to the fenced in back patio to let her run around while I snack.

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I want to list the positives first but since I racked my brain thinking about them and came up with none, I'll continue onto the negatives.
I sat at a table that the waitstaff intrusively decided would serve as a place to refill the cutlery/napkin dispensers. They just plunked the bin of silverware right next to me and started to fill the other tables' containers. My obvious displeasure was met with a glazed over look and a shrug.
Then the food arrived and the fun really began. The panini sandwich would have been palatable if I had had my tastebuds surgically removed. The potato wedges were soggy on the outside and undercooked on the inside -a nice combination if you're looking for a reason to give up food. Also, who charges $7 for a slice of cake?

1
★★☆☆☆

I want to list the positives first but since I racked my brain thinking about them and came up with none, I'll continue onto the negatives.
I sat at a table that the waitstaff intrusively decided would serve as a place to refill the cutlery/napkin dispensers. They just plunked the bin of silverware right next to me and started to fill the other tables' containers. My obvious displeasure was met with a glazed over look and a shrug.
Then the food arrived and the fun really began. The panini sandwich would have been palatable if I had had my tastebuds surgically removed. The potato wedges were soggy on the outside and undercooked on the inside -a nice combination if you're looking for a reason to give up food. Also, who charges $7 for a slice of cake?

Cons: "food", "Service"

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It is the perfect place to people watch, eat great food, and then walk to numerous antique stores! Great Place to spen any lazy weekend day!

Plus their breakfast is AMAZING, but then so is Lunch!

2
★★★★★

It is the perfect place to people watch, eat great food, and then walk to numerous antique stores! Great Place to spen any lazy weekend day!

Plus their breakfast is AMAZING, but then so is Lunch!

Pros: Great Patio, Great Selection, Fun Atmosphere

Cons: Little Parking

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This place is amazing. From their daily pastas and chicken specials to their coffee and desserts. I believe they even won an award for best breakfast in Houston from aol city guide. If you are not tempted by their daily specials, definitly try the Chicken Roulade or the Rustica pasta. Though, I am not a fan of their pannini sandwiches. They not like traditional panninis and the bread seems to be too dry. Other than that, this place rocks.

2
★★★★★

This place is amazing. From their daily pastas and chicken specials to their coffee and desserts. I believe they even won an award for best breakfast in Houston from aol city guide. If you are not tempted by their daily specials, definitly try the Chicken Roulade or the Rustica pasta. Though, I am not a fan of their pannini sandwiches. They not like traditional panninis and the bread seems to be too dry. Other than that, this place rocks.

Pros: Daily Specials, Breakfast, Coffee

Cons: Panninis, Can get crowded

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How can you rate this place as just okay? Only thing it is missing is jugglers and fire eaters. I mean they literally have something for everyone. You like food? They have good food. You are vegetarian? They got some stuff for you as well. You want a drink after work; they got a really neat happy hour with appetizers. You want beer, they got that too. Oh yeah and they have coffee, teas, cookies and great deserts that keep people coming back day after day. I really liked the cold brewed coffee. Only place I have found it is here. Parking can be annoying sometime because the lot gets crowded.

2
★★★★★

How can you rate this place as just okay? Only thing it is missing is jugglers and fire eaters. I mean they literally have something for everyone. You like food? They have good food. You are vegetarian? They got some stuff for you as well. You want a drink after work; they got a really neat happy hour with appetizers. You want beer, they got that too. Oh yeah and they have coffee, teas, cookies and great deserts that keep people coming back day after day. I really liked the cold brewed coffee. Only place I have found it is here. Parking can be annoying sometime because the lot gets crowded.

Pros: Coffee,food,&liquor, great prices, great atmosphere

Cons: wish it was open late, parking

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Nice atmosphere for students. The food was a tad too spicy, although the garnishes on the side were well done. The cakes were overpriced and as in most places, too large and sweet. Overall not a bad place to hang out.

1
★★★☆☆

Nice atmosphere for students. The food was a tad too spicy, although the garnishes on the side were well done. The cakes were overpriced and as in most places, too large and sweet. Overall not a bad place to hang out.

Pros: inexpensive, good value, casual atmosphere

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I was looking for a good cup of coffee and a place to study and people watch on a saturday night. There are a few hip coffee houses nearby, like Brasil, empire won out because of their lighting. The food was fabulous, but they lost a few patron's orders so they waited a while for there food and it was not served with a smile. It didn't happen to me but it was disturbing to watch how it was handled. All in all I'm going back today (good food and atmospere!)

2
★★★★☆

I was looking for a good cup of coffee and a place to study and people watch on a saturday night. There are a few hip coffee houses nearby, like Brasil, empire won out because of their lighting. The food was fabulous, but they lost a few patron's orders so they waited a while for there food and it was not served with a smile. It didn't happen to me but it was disturbing to watch how it was handled. All in all I'm going back today (good food and atmospere!)

Pros: food, atmosphere, people watching

Cons: , accuracy, complaint resolution

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buying an entree was a waste of time and money. the food was terrible, but once my boyfriend and i got cake and coffee, i quickly saw why this place has such a reputation. eat your meal somewhere else, but definitely share a huge slice of cake at empire. parking: just walk if you live around.

2
★★★★☆

buying an entree was a waste of time and money. the food was terrible, but once my boyfriend and i got cake and coffee, i quickly saw why this place has such a reputation. eat your meal somewhere else, but definitely share a huge slice of cake at empire. parking: just walk if you live around.

Pros: lively, not afraid of carbs

Cons: , entrees

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Empire Cafe is great for their coffee and cake. I especially liked when I ordered a coffee drink, they brought these little cookies alongside my drink. It was great. Their cakes are especially delicious. My fiance and I had the black forest cake, and enjoyed every bite. However, I didn't like the long wait. The parking is also a problem.

1
★★★☆☆

Empire Cafe is great for their coffee and cake. I especially liked when I ordered a coffee drink, they brought these little cookies alongside my drink. It was great. Their cakes are especially delicious. My fiance and I had the black forest cake, and enjoyed every bite. However, I didn't like the long wait. The parking is also a problem.

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This hip but unpretentious bistro has great food, great service, great prices, outstanding happy hour (order a drink and get a free appetizer--foccacia margarita pizza or something equally huge and yummy.) When the weather is mild, you can't beat the vast outside patio right on Westheimer for people watching.

2
★★★★★

This hip but unpretentious bistro has great food, great service, great prices, outstanding happy hour (order a drink and get a free appetizer--foccacia margarita pizza or something equally huge and yummy.) When the weather is mild, you can't beat the vast outside patio right on Westheimer for people watching.

Pros: Great atmosphere, Great food, Great happy hour

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This is a great place to go for a nice dessert! My favorite is the Black Forest cake. It is delicious!
I have yet to try the TollHouse Cake, they are always out of it everytime I go. Try the coffee, I like the Milky Way drink. Mmm. I haven't tried the entrees yet, but I want to. I passed by the cafe yesterday, and it was PACKED! That is my only negative about this place.

2
★★★★★

This is a great place to go for a nice dessert! My favorite is the Black Forest cake. It is delicious!
I have yet to try the TollHouse Cake, they are always out of it everytime I go. Try the coffee, I like the Milky Way drink. Mmm. I haven't tried the entrees yet, but I want to. I passed by the cafe yesterday, and it was PACKED! That is my only negative about this place.

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Not so much "tragically hip" as it once was. But the food is still pretty, the coffee cheap and bottomless, and a great-looking staff. Who could ever pass up 1/2 price cake-day?

2
★★★★☆

Not so much "tragically hip" as it once was. But the food is still pretty, the coffee cheap and bottomless, and a great-looking staff. Who could ever pass up 1/2 price cake-day?

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the funky and interesting interior of Empire Cafe puts you in a great mood. I've been here twice and I definitely plan to come back. The food isn't overpriced and its fabulous. My favorite is the Chicken Roulade--chicken stuffed w/spinach and a creamy sauce, and it comes with roasted potatoes and fresh veggies. I've yet to try the desserts, but they look mouth-watering.

2
★★★★★

the funky and interesting interior of Empire Cafe puts you in a great mood. I've been here twice and I definitely plan to come back. The food isn't overpriced and its fabulous. My favorite is the Chicken Roulade--chicken stuffed w/spinach and a creamy sauce, and it comes with roasted potatoes and fresh veggies. I've yet to try the desserts, but they look mouth-watering.

Pros: nice interior, great ambience

Cons: sometimes crowded

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This place rocks for chocolate mousse cake and strawberry cheesecake and latte! It stays open late on the weekends. IT's a great place for a first date on a spring/early summer night in the patio/garden area. One complaint: the staff needs to work on their service and manners.

2
★★★★★

This place rocks for chocolate mousse cake and strawberry cheesecake and latte! It stays open late on the weekends. IT's a great place for a first date on a spring/early summer night in the patio/garden area. One complaint: the staff needs to work on their service and manners.

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this place is rockin.. i really like the ambiance, food, and coffee here.

2
★★★★★

this place is rockin.. i really like the ambiance, food, and coffee here.

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I really like going here for breakfast because you can gourmet food here you won't find at Denny's. I especially like the polenta and frittatas. It is a nice touch that you are given a couple of cookies to go with your coffee. Lunch time is pretty good also, as I like the fact I could still get breakfast if so desired. Evenings are my least favorite time as that when it seems all the trendoids crawl out of the woodwork.

2
★★★★☆

I really like going here for breakfast because you can gourmet food here you won't find at Denny's. I especially like the polenta and frittatas. It is a nice touch that you are given a couple of cookies to go with your coffee. Lunch time is pretty good also, as I like the fact I could still get breakfast if so desired. Evenings are my least favorite time as that when it seems all the trendoids crawl out of the woodwork.

Pros: Good breakfast, Great desserts

Cons: Parking

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Excellant food, devine cakes, and lovely teas. It's all good.

2
★★★★★

Excellant food, devine cakes, and lovely teas. It's all good.

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I can't believe people like this place. Ok, few good things >> coffee, those complimentary dipping things you get w/ your coffee. And the panini for only 5$..is a filling lunch. Their dinner menu needs serious help, seafood pasta tastes and SMELLS from across the room like and old dirty fish bowl w/ limp noodles. The frittata was burned/ rubbery.. Every Wednesday night my friend and i would end up eating there..simply because we didnt want to get up and fight for a table anywhere else. Well i dont fall for it anymore. Oh, yeah..having the raw turbinado sugar and smoking indoors is pleasant as well. But cafe artiste beats this place hands down..including pretentious trendy West U following.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I can't believe people like this place. Ok, few good things >> coffee, those complimentary dipping things you get w/ your coffee. And the panini for only 5$..is a filling lunch. Their dinner menu needs serious help, seafood pasta tastes and SMELLS from across the room like and old dirty fish bowl w/ limp noodles. The frittata was burned/ rubbery.. Every Wednesday night my friend and i would end up eating there..simply because we didnt want to get up and fight for a table anywhere else. Well i dont fall for it anymore. Oh, yeah..having the raw turbinado sugar and smoking indoors is pleasant as well. But cafe artiste beats this place hands down..including pretentious trendy West U following.

Pros: cheap panini, good coffee

Cons: gross dinner menu, overpriced, crowded, no parking

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No, they do not. After frequent visits to Empire, the employee taking my order told me they no longer serve soy. Not only that but the reason they don't serve it anymore was because the employees would drink it and soy was more expensive so they stop serving it. Seems so wrong for this "tragically hip" establishment.

1
★★★☆☆

No, they do not. After frequent visits to Empire, the employee taking my order told me they no longer serve soy. Not only that but the reason they don't serve it anymore was because the employees would drink it and soy was more expensive so they stop serving it. Seems so wrong for this "tragically hip" establishment.

Pros: cookies with coffee, fun atmosphere, outside patio

Cons: no parking, no soy, bad coffee

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Very cool feeling in this restaraunt whether with date or with friends... great food and great atmosphere. The best is to sit outdoors and listen to the sounds from Westheimer. Highly recommend!

2
★★★★★

Very cool feeling in this restaraunt whether with date or with friends... great food and great atmosphere. The best is to sit outdoors and listen to the sounds from Westheimer. Highly recommend!

Pros: atmosphere, flavored tea

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I can't believe I only discovered this place last year! The food is incredible and reasonably priced, and the cakes are fantastic! The fresh-squeezed lemonade is a tart treat, and everything about the place is delightful.

2
★★★★★

I can't believe I only discovered this place last year! The food is incredible and reasonably priced, and the cakes are fantastic! The fresh-squeezed lemonade is a tart treat, and everything about the place is delightful.

Editorial from

This neighborhood cafe attracts an arty, urban mix of people who like to linger over coffee. Though it offers counter service only, the cafe makes the process easier with pleasing displays of daily specials. Breakfast features scrambled…

 

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