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Houston's 10 Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

These spots keep "faceless food" interesting.

3. Cafe TH

Long considered one of the best places in town for meaty Vietnamese sandwiches and stir-fries, Cafe TH also has a special vegan menu with pho, curry and stir-fried tofu (among other things). Cafe TH doesn't get credit for having the most diverse vegan menu, but what it does offer is some of the best. When chef/owner Minh Nguyen is at the counter, he can work with you to adjust other dishes for your dining sensibilities as well. This is most definitely the spot for vegan pho, though, as Nguyen is able to coax as much flavor out of that veggie broth as the rest of us can out of beef.

2. Radical Eats

Who knew vegan food could taste so good? Check this dish out at our No. 2 pick!
Courtesy Radical Eats
Who knew vegan food could taste so good? Check this dish out at our No. 2 pick!
Cinnamon rolls and cappuccinos are like two peas in a pod.
Molly Dunn
Cinnamon rolls and cappuccinos are like two peas in a pod.

Staci Davis started Radical Eats as a totally vegetarian/vegan Mexican restaurant, a phrase you don't see very often. It had since evolved to include a few meat dishes — in fact, Davis recently competed at the International Festival's barbecue cookoff with legit beef — but Radical Eats is still popular for its veggie-friendly cuisine. In fact, Radical Eats is one of the only places in town that make vegan tortillas with no lard or butter that taste just as good as the fatty real thing. Most of the fruits and vegetables at Radical Eats are grown locally, though the restaurant no longer has its own backyard garden since it has moved to a bigger space on Westheimer. That means more room for brunch, though, the most popular meal of the week.

1. Doshi House

Doshi House, owned by Deepak Doshi and nestled in the southwest corner of the Third Ward, is the best among Houston's limited vegan joints. Functioning as a neighborhood coffee bar (with a coffee program overseen by Blacksmith's David Buehrer) and pastry shop by day, at night Doshi House serves up a single dish each evening — from vegan red beans and rice to vegan Thai curry, often for under $7. Here you can find comfort in a simple, hearty meal in a ragtag neighborhood art gallery-turned-cafe. Whether you're vegan or not, Doshi House's food is just plain good.
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Caffeine

Paper Co. Coffee
Where have you been all my life? Molly Dunn

It's no secret that I love coffee. The second a new coffee shop (orcoffee truck) opens, I'm all over it. Although Houston has many, many places to grab a traditional espresso-based drink or a creative concoction with a variety of syrups, no two are the same. Each shop has its own atmosphere, vibe, coffee drinks and selections of food.

If you want a funky latte or mocha, go to Inversion. If you're craving a perfect espresso and a filling breakfast, go to Blacksmith (the Vietnamese steak and eggs and the biscuits with crème fraîche are out of this world). If you're searching for a chill place to sip coffee, wine or beer and munch on something sweet late at night, try Agora or Southside Espresso. And if you prefer someplace quiet and relaxing with plenty of space, go to Paper Co. Coffee.

In the First Ward, practically underneath the interstate split of I-45 and I-10, you'll find what appears to be an abandoned warehouse, but really it's one of the best coffee shops in Houston.

I'm kicking myself for not discovering this gem, especially since I've driven by it countless times. Paper Co. Coffee has been open for almost a year — since July of 2013 — and I wish I had checked it out when it opened.

Taft Street Coffee closed last summer and moved from its location in Montrose to the building housing Ecclesia Church. It then reopened as Paper Co. Coffee. The building's first tenant was Phillips Paper Company, hence the name "Paper Co."

As you approach the giant white warehouse, you might second-guess yourself and think you took a wrong turn or failed to see the coffee shop. There are no neon signs or flashing lights pointing you in the right direction, just a small blue sign with an arrow guiding you to park on the other side of the building. When you pull up to Paper Co., you'll see a large window and a small bright blue door with the coffee shop's logo. Open that door to enter a high-ceilinged, wide-open cafe.

The moment you step inside, you're greeted by friendly smiles and a hello from the baristas. It's a charming cafe with whitewashed walls behind the wood-paneled espresso bar and dark-gray brick walls displaying art and photographs.

Paper Co. gets its beans from Mueva Coffee, a local supplier that imports coffee beans from Nicaragua, then roasts them in Houston, creating excellent hot and iced drinks.

The menu is simple. No frills. Just straight-up traditional coffee drinks done right. I started with my favorite espresso-based drink, a nonfat cappuccino — I've got a wedding soon; got to watch those calories! But let's be real; if baristas can make a frothy, creamy cappuccino with nonfat milk, then they know what they're doing, and Paper Co.'s barista did. The cappuccino was light and smooth, and as I took my first sip, the strong espresso mixed perfectly with the steamed and foamed milk. A sprinkling of cinnamon made it complete.

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