Starbucks is the best there is. Atmosphere is excellent and perfect for relaxing. I love to sit in the overstuffed chairs. Just the aroma upon entering is worth the price.
Some people balk at paying $3.00 for a cup of coffee. They need to learn how to pamper themselves. Anyone from France or Italy would refuse to drink the swill that we call drip coffee.
The Frappuccino is excellent and sooo refreshing on Houston's hot summer days. The creme Frappuccinos, like Vanilla Creme or Tazoberry Creme are delightful and different.
For you newbies: for hot, order Grande cafe mocha, the basic drink. You can expand from there. For cold, order a mocha Frapuccino, you can't go wrong with that.
When ordering hot espresso beverages, order a ""Grande,"" which includes two shots of espresso, never a ""Tall,"" which includes only one, thus too weak. Alternately, order the off the menu ""short,"" which includes the single shot but less milk.
Unfortunately Starbucks is not as good as it used to be. It's still good, and still features a unique, recognizable flavor, but the new automatic machines do not give the same quality that the old manual ones did, albeit you will get a bad one much less often. I think the McDonald's McCafe cappuccinos are really good and also feature a unique, recognizable flavor. People will scoff at me, but I think they're as good as Starbucks. They're not much cheaper though.
Pros: Excellent quality, Giant menu, Great place to relax
Cons: Price, Overwhelming menu, not 24 hour