In college, it's key to find a place you feel awake and motivated to study. Ambience plays a big role in finding a place that fits your particular studying habits. If you're like me, library isn't one of those places; I'm most productive in cafes where there are more energy to keep me alert. So this past month, after visiting multiple coffee shops, I came up with a list of five best places to study in Houston. If you find yourself unable to focus or looking for a change of scenery, I recommend studying in any of these locations for a few hours. You never know.

Fix Coffeebar

Valerie Ayala

This is my favorite coffee shop of all time. Fix Coffeebar is very chic and warm, providing a pleasant atmosphere to study at all day. The barista will even come by your table to make sure each drink suits your taste. I was never too fond of coffee, but this is where I fell in love with the Honey Lavender Latte. If not to study, you have to at least try its drink menu. Even the Matcha Latte was the perfect blend of sweet and bitter.

Luce Ave Coffee Roasters

Luce Ave Coffee Roasters is originally from Korea and this is its second branch in Houston. With its multiple single-seating tables aligned at the back of the cafe, it's an ideal place to get some work done without much distraction. This cafe offers unique cake options and drinks that are unmatched by other coffee shops. It is definitely one place to check out for their dessert options alone.

Valerie Ayala

Southside Espresso

Southside Espresso is cozy and feels like your next-door local cafe. It also offers a pet-friendly outdoor patio for you to relax under the sun. When it's warm, the door of the shop is open, giving you just the right amount of breeze. As locals go in and out for their daily drinks, you can sit down and embrace the serenity of this coffee shop.

Valerie Ayala

The selection of coffee and tea speaks for itself and includes in-house seasonal flavors. This is one place that will surely not disappoint.

Valerie Ayala


Cavo is a chill cafe that serves great food (until 3 p.m.) along with its drink menu. It is a spacious setting with plenty of outlets, making it easy to find a work spot. The best aspect of this shop is its location. Garage parking is available and it is also right across the street from one of my favorite price-friendly Japanese restaurant, Oishi. Next time, after enjoying a nice meal, walk across the street, and get some studying done at Cavo.

Inversion Coffee House

Do you know how to describe a perfect combination? Ice cream and coffee. Inversion has it: its Affogato.

This modern cafe is relatively quiet and well suited for studying. The high glass windows allow great lighting, perfect for the eyes. The only downside may be that the shop closes at 6:30 p.m. However, I use that early closing time to my advantage and go during the days I don't have classes or on weekends. This way, I don't lounge around the house but stay productive during the day, and clock out earlier to relax or have fun in the evening. 

This place also offers a selection of unique donuts. (For food, I recommend Les Givral's, Aladdin's, or the taco truck right across the street.) If not for the donuts or studying, definitely go for Affogato.