Living only a few miles from downtown Houston, I rarely find a need to venture outside the 610 loop. Typically I only trek out past that wall of traffic to visit my parents for weekly Sunday dinner, head to the airport, and occasionally brace the crowds in the Galleria. However, I grew up on the west side of Houston and went to high school in Bellaire and enjoy the occasional visit to my old stomping grounds.
Last week, I ventured out of my comfort zone to met up with a friend at the adorable new Dandelion Cafe. Located near the corner of Chimney Rock and Bellaire Boulevard, Dandelion Cafe is bordered by YogaOne Studios, Bernie’s Burger Bus, a nail salon, cleaners, a bank and other strip mall staples. The center that houses the bright coffee shop embodies all the quintessential characteristics of a typical Houston strip malls. (Side note: read this delightful article on the defense of Houston’s strip malls).
It has a corner location with big floor to ceiling windows on two sides. Whimsical dandelion like lamps and burlap coffee sacks hang from the ceiling and pops of green plants decorate the coffee shop counter. Having just opened a few months ago, the owner is contemplating completing the decor with a living wall full of real greenery to have customers feel like they’re actually lunching in a cozy garden.
Dandelion Cafe offers your typical coffee selection from Greenway Coffee as well as juices, teas and smoothies. A display case next to the front counter offers baked goods like bagels bites and pastries from Weights + Measures as well as gelato. The lunch menu was delightfully robust and vegetarian friendly with choices between salads, sandwiches and paninis. I ordered the Super Food salad with kale, quinoa, blueberries, sliced almonds, candied lemon peel and pomegranate vinaigrette. It was filling and healthy–perfect for a midweek meal!
Breakfast just got added to the menu and will be officially up on the chalkboard soon. If you’re a yoga fan, know that if you spend more than $10 at the cafe you can head next door to YogaOne for a $5 class during the month of February! Pretty great deal if you ask me!
I spent the afternoon working at Dandelion Cafe and munching on my quinoa salad. There was plenty of seating between benches, tables, and window bar spots, and even a few tables outside. Only downside I saw was the potential lack of outlet space for someone looking to really get a good day’s work in. Outside of that though, I think it’s totally worth the journey past 610!