Denver doesn’t mess around when it comes to brewing a good cup of coffee. Even as chain shops catch onto the growth and opportunity in Denver, most coffee-drinkers here still prefer local shops. And to be honest, so do we — so here's a list with some of the best, local shops around the city for you to discover your new favorite spot.
Any local spot that has quality coffee, homemade breakfast pastries, and a friendly staff is a solid 10 in our book. Never mind that Crema is a dream coffee shop for a hipster, this RiNo den takes you out of the craziness of the city and into a peaceful oasis for you to enjoy your java. Head to the OG coffee house for the full cafe experience, or pick up a cup at their bodega at Denver Central Market. All drinks are out of this world whether your caffeine of choice is coffee or tea, hot or iced, brewed or pressed. Not to mention, Crema has perfected the art of a latte. We’re sold.
We could easily miss our train while getting lost in the espresso at Pigtrain in the newly modernized Union Station. For starters, with 300 days of sunshine in Denver, Pigtrain’s patio is perfect for year-round use whether you’re working, meeting an old friend, or just people-watching. You can even pair your cup o’ joe with a childhood throwback: Pop-Tarts (except these are really homemade!). All aboard!
“We love coffee” is their motto and it’s no coincidence you’ll quickly fall in love with theirs. From seed to cup to conversation, Allegro caffeinates the entire experience of enjoying a cup coffee or specialty drink. Buzzin’ in Berkeley, this place has the perfect ambiance for a mid-day date, business meeting, or a study session. Plus, with locally-sourced baked goods and bites, you can stay all day!
Coffee on tap. You heard us. Aside from their organically-grown java that’s roasted in-house, Kaladi is known for their Venetian Creme coffee on tap (unfortunately, not available in IV form). They’ve posted up in two spots: either a short walk down the street from Denver University’s campus or right on Broadway in Englewood.
Amethyst Coffee brews Commonwealth coffee daily, but also brings in a guest roaster. Sometimes local, sometimes not, Amethyst aims to add variety with a rotating selection of beans that are packing some serious flavor. You’ll want to hang around their cool clean spaces (in Cap Hill and Lakeside) as long as you can.
Brewing Kaladi coffee at four locations around Denver, Nixon’s cafes have everything you want in a coffee shop (a great brew, a cool space, and friendly service) plus a whole lot more — like kombucha on tap (and really good food). Open into the evening, Nixon’s isn’t just for the morning crew.
If you love to shop in Cherry Creek like we do, you’ll need some of the best caffeine to get you through your shopping binge. Head to Aviano in Cherry Creek, another locally owned and operated coffee joint that knows how to handle their beans. Aviano nails a classic drink but spices up their fancier caffeine options for an amazing, unique cup of java.
If you believe that coffee is the most important meal of the day, you’ll fit right in at Blue Sparrow. This spot at Backyard on Blake brews beyond espresso and cortados with a damn good nitro cold brew. They also mix it up with specialties like a matcha latte and cold brew iced tea. Love ‘em? You’re in luck — they’re opening a second shop on Platte in spring 2019.
When the original LoHi coffee shop first opened, the owners didn’t realize the overcaffeinated frenzy Black Eye Coffee would create. The shop boasts a cozy, artsy ambiance, and great reputation. And if you’re feeling boozy or snacky, you’re in luck, Black Eye also serves a collection of beer and wine, plus tasty sweet and savories (including gluten-free options)!
Huckleberry has been roasting and brewing in Denver since 2011 and quickly grew a following. Their original shop in Sunnyside is home to their responsibly-sourced coffee and an open, welcoming space. They’ve since expanded to the new Dairy Block and also created Port Side, a restaurant in RiNo serving breakfast, lunch, drinks, and, of course, Huckleberry coffee.
Born in Bend, Oregon, Thump has expanded to only one other city — Denver. Lucky for us, we can head to the Cap Hill shop to for really good coffee, house-made pastries, local kombucha, beer, and a welcoming space. Yep, they’re even open till 7pm.
How’s this for unique? Pinwheel’s Sunnyside shop is run by a group of Montessori middle and high schoolers. It’s part of an apprenticeship program — students learn math and accounting, marketing and creative writing, and of course, how to pour a perfect cup of joe. As if they couldn’t get any cooler, pastries, eggs, and farm produce are sourced from the schools’ culinary and farming programs.
Buried on Boulder St. in the Highlands, you’ll find some of the best coffee at your neighborhood coffee house, Maci Cafe. Tucked between two of the most popular dinner spots (Lola and Mizu Izakaya), Maci is answer to any start of your morning. Bring your to-do list to this cozy, brick-walled cafe, or sit out on the patio to treat yourself with high-quality espresso drinks, gourmet sandwiches, salads, and pastries. And along with your coffee, you should definitely indulge in their panini (rumored to be the “best in America”).
The only 100% female-owned roaster in Denver (yesss, girl power!), Copper Door roasts and brews at their shops at The Yard and in Lowry. The baristas at Copper Door aren’t phoning it in, either — they really know their stuff.
Prodigy is backed by (and serves Allegro Coffee) and exists to mentor young adults from the surrounding neighborhoods in business and barista work. The non-profit shop provides technical and applied skills training and on-the-job professional development modules taught by educators, business mentors, and specialty coffee craftsmen. Apprentices build skills, social capital, and understanding for success in the new economy, with an impact goal of social mobility. Translation: feel good about caffeinating yourself here.
Corvus’s flagship roastery and espresso bar has a home just south of downtown on South Broadway. They also have a shop near DTC at Belleview Station. All of their beans are sustainable, single-origin, and sourced directly from the growers. Corvus also hosts classes at their S. Broadway location, covering everything from home brewing basics to tracing the path from seed-to-cup.
Logan House has set up alongside other local favorites at Stanley Marketplace. They quickly became a favorite and they’ll soon be opening up a second shop in RiNo. What’s unique about Logan House? They deliver! Logan House brings freshly-roasted coffee beans right to your doorstep in recycled wine bottles. And yes, the coffee is delicious.
Little Owl’s LoDo shop offers a farm-to-cup experience with single-origin and single-estate coffees, manual brew methods and craft espresso. Beyond the beans, they also have specialty teas and semi-sweet and savory pastries.