Anyone who’s walked down Pearl St. knows there’s a cup of coffee waiting for them on almost every block or brewing just around the corner. But for the seasoned caffeine fiend, there are a few shops that pour a bold cup and offer the atmosphere you need. So, if you’re looking for a change of scenery, grab your laptop, a friend, or travel mug, and head to one of these coffee hot spots.
Need a quiet place to meet a friend or co-worker for a quick cup and friendly service? Head to Ozo at the top of Pearl. If you visit often enough, their quick-witted staff will remember your name and your favorite indulgence too. You might even sip outside and soak in the signature view of the Flatirons. This is really the heart of Boulder.
Alpine Modern has two incredible locations: one housed in a cozy, architect-restored Chautauqua cabin on the Hill and one ultra-hip spot on Pearl. Whether you want a simple cup of coffee and super-fast internet or a mocha and some coconut chia pudding, you’ll be at home at Alpine Modern. While you’re there, check out their curated boutique of mountain-inspired goodies.
Trident Booksellers & Cafe
While close neighbors with Ozo, long-standing Trident breeds totally different vibes. It’s a welcoming, homey study to sink into and get down to business. But you don’t have to be on an agenda here — work, study, or otherwise, it’s a casual place to wander the aisles for a solid read while savoring a small batch, locally roasted espresso. And on a summer night, head to the back patio — this is where all the magic happens: live music. It’s a good place to check out the local talent and breathe in that crisp mountain air.
The Unseen Bean
Unseen Bean founder Gerry Leary challenges the notion that you have to see the beans to be a top-notch roaster. That’s right — Leary is blind. He has built the Unseen Bean based on his senses of taste, sound, and smell, and, of course, his own intuition. The shop is right on Broadway, but if you can’t stay awhile, grab a one-pound bag of their House Blend beans to go.
Beleza Coffee Bar
Taking over the former Vic’s Espresso flagship shop on Broadway is Beleza Coffee Bar, set to open in fall of 2018. It’ll be owned and operated by former Vic’s barista and Ozo Coffee co-owner Greg Lefcourt and his partner Nafisa Ramos. The details of the new shop are still under wraps, but they’ve made it clear that they’re planning to feature a carefully-curated coffee menu with beans from roasters around the country.
Carabiner Coffee isn’t your typical shop — and that’s kind of the point. This wicked-cool coffee crew started roasting and brewing out of a tiny apartment in the mountains. They now sell out of their 1971 Volkswagen van (dubbed “Ol Blue”). Why? In addition to just liking the fresh air, they want to get their great Colorado coffee to the climbers, hikers, bikers, boarders, skiers, and mountaineers who spend their days outdoors. But don’t worry — if you don’t spend all your days adventuring in the mountains, you can find them posted up at Rayback, too.
Pekoe Sip House
If you’re not like all the other remote workers in Boulder and don’t have the luxury to hunker down in a cafe during work hours, Pekoe Sip House (in the Steelyards, at Alpine & Broadway, and on the CU Campus) is the best fix for a coffee-lovers on the go. They’ll get’cha with fast service, served with arguably the best Americano in town. Still hungry?
The Laughing Goat
Looking for a cozy spot to cultivate creative flow and use as your pop-up office for the day? Join the daily crowd of freelancers and students at The Laughing Goat. Find ’em on Pearl or at their new open and airy spot in East Boulder. They’ll pull a velvety shot of espresso while you scope the local artwork display and take in the alternative vibes. Too late for a caffeine kick? No sweat. They serve beer here (of the local variety) and live, local entertainment, too. Check out their schedule for a genre that suits your mood.
Boxcar Coffee Roasters
All that caffeine and no food can totally ruin a good buzz. But there’s no need to panic. If you’re like most people who need a little sustenance with their jet fuel, find your way to Boxcar Coffee Roasters. Their baristas know their stuff and don’t take coffee-talk lightly. If you ask, they’ll spill all the notes, from dark and earthy to fruity and floral, so you can find a flavor profile right for you. For a serious cup, this is the place. They also share space with Cured. Let’s just say their artisan sandwiches will blow your PB&J out of the water. See for yourself!
The Tune Up
Boulder fave Full Cycle is more than just a bike shop — in addition to outfitting you for your next ride, they’re now in the business of amping you up beforehand and winding you down afterward. Make a stop at their new gathering spot—The Tune Up— for sustainably-grown coffee, plus good local craft beer, cider, wine, kombucha, and snacks. They’re open early and open late, and it’s a good thing because the fun and chill community vibe will have you wanting to stay all day.
Flatiron Coffee has made its home at 28th and Arapahoe. There’s plenty of space to gather your friends or pop open your laptop, but for those seriously on the go, order your cup online and it’ll be ready when you arrive. Fitt Tip: try the house favorite — the honey pot latte.
Garage doors and fast pours. Think of this spot as the meeting grounds for newbies and regulars alike. It’s arguably one of the most popular cafes in Boulder and generally the first spot that newcomers touch down. What’s more welcoming than a free-flowing space right in the middle of all the action? So, if you’re looking to meet new people, The Cup may be just the place to open new doors for you (hint: also a good coffee date). They’re serving up smooth blends and tasty treats right on the edge of the walking mall.
Amante does one thing and they do it right. Italian coffee is the name of the game at Amante — they only use coffee beans from a third-generation coffee roaster in Northern Italy, so you know it’s the real deal. These recipes used by their roaster have been in his family for over half a century. They’ve got three locations in Boulder: Uptown on Broadway, Downtown on Walnut, and a newer spot at 2850 Baseline.
**Updated by Hillary Bennetts, September 2018