Houston >Food & Dining > Empire Cafe
1732 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX | Directions 7709829.742755 -95.403705
Mon. - Thu., Sun. 7:30am - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 7:30am - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Neartown/ Montrose
Great coffee (it comes with cookies!) and the lunch sandwiches are an excellent deal- comes with a house salad for under $9. Ample parking which is rare in Montrose.
No stars here. (Not recommended should be a minus star rating) – 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.
It's good except... – 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!!
EXCELLENT All around.. – 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!
Strongest lattes in town – 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.
Simply Great – 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!
Best Brunch in Houston – 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!
Nice patio and coffee.... – 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.
Once-gritty Montrose grotto now boasts a funky, yet friendly vibe, with good food and great desserts. – In Short
The magic words: half-price cake night. Every Monday, you can sample a slice of pineapple-carrot, French chocolate or Toll House Cookie Crunch cake, among others, for half the price. This hot spot is primarily a hip coffeehouse where students assemble to debate how many piercings are too many. The more buttoned-up crowd stays for the four different kinds of omelettes and fluffy frittatas served all day, as well as thin pizzas, paninis, fresh salads and pasta dishes. Full bar available.
Best cafe to relax – 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.
Best French Toast EVER – 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.
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