The school year is upon us and as you or the littles are heading back to class, you may be wondering where you can go to find an urban oasis perfect for studying or writing. You may thrive on hustle and bustle or perhaps you need a quiet nook away from the crowds. Thankfully, there are plenty of great places to study in Houston that offer shady patios, comfy couches, free WiFi, and awesome eats to help get you in the zone to learn. Count on us to bring you a little bit of everything from happening cafes to empty libraries- we’ll include something for everyone.
Read more below for our big list of the best places to study in Houston:
Libraries are always some of the best place places to study in Houston, thanks to their quiet setting. Here are some of our favorites.
Fondren Library on Rice University Campus– 6100 S Main St.
This Rice Campus library has a ton of cubicles, tables, and study rooms all with outlets for you to plug in your computer. For Rice University students, the library is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday and has different hours on the weekend. For visitors, their weekday hours are 7 am- 10 pm. You’ll want to bring your I.D. and enter through the East Entrance. Be aware that paid parking is limited and might require 10- 15 minutes of walking.
Looscan Neighborhood Library– 2510 Willowick Rd.
Part of the Houston Public Library system, this location offers private study and meeting rooms upstairs as well as a slew of programs for the community like a weekly Story Time. The library is open to the public every day except Sundays. Keep in mind, parking is extremely limited so the best time to visit is close to opening hours.
Lanier Theological Library– 14130 Hargrave Rd.
One of the most beautiful libraries in Houston is also open to the public. You’ll need to arrive at the Falba Gate and use your cell to call the library’s main number (281- 477- 8400). They’ll open the gate for you and you can park on either side. You’ll have to show your ID and register. This library is particularly quiet because children can only come for tours. Be aware that books cannot be checked out from the library but you can print a small amount of copies or scan pages to a USB drive. They also have wifi available!
The African American Library at The Gregory School- 1300 Victor St.
For a dose of history and culture while you study, visit Houston’s first libraries in Freedman’s Town Historical District. It sits right on the edge of Downtown Houston, part of the HPL system, and is open to the public. You’ll want to go to the second floor to find the library as the first floor is dedicated to exhibits and preserving the school rooms. There are plenty of quiet tables to sit and study as the library is usually pretty empty. Like all HPL locations, they also offer free wifi.
M.D. Anderson Library– 4333 University Dr.
One of the larger libraries on this list, this location is on University of Houston’s downtown campus. The library is open to visitors and has long hours- from 6 am to 1:45 am Monday through Thursday with different hours on the weekends. Visitors can take advantage of the open, unsecured wireless network but you’ll want to bring your own computer as their spots fill up fast. There is a snack area on the first floor and seven other floors to choose from. The first floor can be a little bit louder so definitely take the elevator to find a quiet cubicle upstairs.
Want to get outdoors to do your schoolwork? Here are some of the best outdoor places to study in Houston.
Discovery Green- 1500 McKinney St.
Houston’s biggest and best urban park is also the first park to offer free wifi to the public. The park is full of shady areas, plenty of seating, and public art. Plus, you can take a quick study break an engage in any of their programs and activities, like their free yoga classes on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Levy Park– 3801 Eastside Dr.
Recently voted one of the best parks in the State, Levy Park also offers free wifi park-wide. There are a few seating areas as well as a lot of green space for you to spread out on a blanket. There are also several restaurants nearby or you can bring your own picnic. There are also device charging stations!
Japanese Gardens at Hermann Park- 6000 Fannin St
One of the most relaxing places inside Houston city limits, the Japanese Gardens at Hermann Park are always free. There are a few shady benches to sit and read or overlook the koi ponds and the park is usually pretty quiet and empty.
Mercer Botanic Gardens- 22306 Aldine Westfield Rd.
This expansive park in Humble has two sides. The botanic gardens offer a serene backdrop for reading and writing as well as several benches and shady areas throughout the park. On the opposite side of the road lies playgrounds and trails with several tables and benches.
Cullen Sculpture Garden– 900 Bissonnet St.
Just across from the Contemporary Arts Museum (always free!) lies the tranquil statues and sculptures of the Cullen Sculpture Garden. The green space with works by master artists has plenty of shady areas to sit and read or write peacefully for those who work best in natural environments.
Rothko Chapel- 3900 Yupon St.
The meditative chapel and art gallery is so quiet, you can hear your heart beat. Visits to the Rothko Chapel are free and open to the public so long as you respect the guidelines. The reflection pool and next door public park also offer respite and solitude for those who need to study their notes.
Coffee Shops & Cafes
Coffee shops and studying have always gone hand in hand. Here are some great cafes for getting ready for your next big test.
Bohemeo’s Café- 708 Telephone Rd.
Located in Historic Eastwood, the laid back atmosphere is perfect for those looking to study and also get a great meal. The café offers free wifi and you can get anything from a latte to ice cold draught beer. It’s often pretty quiet but they offer free live music frequently so check their schedule before you head out.
A 2nd Cup- 1111 E. 11th St.
This coffee shop also supports the fight against human trafficking so you can feel good about getting your caffeine fix. They offer a small variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as coffee and smoothies. There is also plenty of seating and free wifi.
Inversion– 1953 Montrose Blvd, Suite A.
This coffee and tea house offers pastries and light snacks inside modern, art-filled digs. You will probably see plenty of other people studying or working so you’ll feel right at home. There is plenty of bar seating as well as tables. Their wifi and their service are both fast!
Slowpokes- 1203 W. 34th St., Suite D.
Open every day, Slowpokes offers coffee, beer, wine, and bites in a relaxing atmosphere. They offer plenty of seating and outlet plugs, plus free wifi. Sometimes the music can be a little noisy so bring your noise-cancelling headphones if you want more quiet.
Boomtown Coffee- 242 W. 19th St.
This small- batch specialty coffee roaster has two locations- one in the Heights, and one on Main Street. You can also find their coffee in other coffee houses all over town. They offer a variety of seating options from comfy couches to bar seating to small tables. They offer coffees, teas, a food menu, and strong wifi.
Paper Co Cafe- 1100 Elder St.
This cafe off the beaten path lies in a former warehouse so it has plenty of space. Their food is well known to be delicious as well as their coffee and other drinks. They have mostly picnic- style seating so you’ll probably be sharing a table with someone else or you can bring the whole study group! They also offer free wifi.
Tout Suite- 2001 Commerce St.
Located just East of downtown, this is known as one of the best coffee shops in Houston. They have community style tables as well as bar seating, wifi, and plenty of outlets. They’re known for their delicious coffee and desserts but they also have great soul food and other foodie cuisine. They also offer freshly squeezed juices and adult beverages. They’re open until midnight every night.
Campesino Coffee House- 2602 Waugh Dr.
This Latin- inspired coffee house offers everything from the traditional latte to horchata and other juices. They have a small bites menu including vegan and meat-filled tamales. Their seating is extra comfy with both couches and small tables. There is also a patio with umbrella tables for you to soak up the sun. They offer wifi and outlet plugs for you to stay charged.
Mercantile- 5411 Morningside Dr.
This location offers plenty of seating options as well as outlets and free wifi. You can take a ride on the swing to clear your mind. You’ll find plenty of other people there studying at the large community tables. They offer adult beverages and occasional live music and events so check with them before you go for a serious study sesh.
Black Hole Coffee House- 4504 Graustark St.
This modern and eclectic eatery and coffee shop offers food, coffee, and wine. They have eclectic seating, plenty of outlets, and free wifi- plus outdoor patio. There are also vegan and vegetarian options!
Fioza Café- 9002 Chimney Rock, Suite F.
This coffee house offers locally roasted brews, smoothies, pastries, and sandwiches. Their Friday mornings are pretty busy so if you need a slower, quieter study spot, go on a different day. If you need a study break, you can borrow any of their board games or card sets. They also have a lot of plugs and free wifi.
Empire Café- 1732 Westheimer Rd.
This European style café offers huge American plates and rich desserts. There is plenty of seating inside and out and their shady patio is dog-friendly and has umbrella tables to keep you cool. They also offer free wifi.
What are your best places to study in Houston? Let us know in the comments below: