Friday, March 20, 2020

Ultimate Guide to Denver Coffee Shops

Over the past year and a half, I've been visiting coffee shops in Denver in an attempt to create this guide. Now, it is by no means done. I still have about 30 shops to visit and those will get added as I go, but I wanted to get the list out there, so y'all have it. With nearly 40 shops already, this list truly is the ultimate guide to Denver's coffee spots. I highly encourage you to visit them all — collect 'em like Pokemon y'all — as each one is different and unique in its own way. Let me know if you already have a favorite or if I missed one down in the comments & if you're looking for a guide to Denver's restaurants, look no further — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Allegro Coffee Roasters

Located right on Tennyson Street, Allegro is an airy spot with old school wooden floors...yes, the boards will creek under your feet. They have lots of seating options, I even grabbed a seat one afternoon in the summer, plus, more options than just coffee. Grab you a Topo! The iced latte was refreshing and barely bitter. The wifi was good and it extends onto the patio where it would be lovely to sit in the early fall.
Truly one of my favorite shops in Denver is Amethyst-Lakeside. It is downright beautiful. Complete with millennial pink bar stools, tile floors, exposed brick and plenty of artwork, it is a must-visit. Plus, it's women-owned and we stan supporting women. While the wifi is good, I like bringing a book, sitting by one of the windows and indulging in an iced chai.

Atlas Coffees

Atlas is down in Littleton in the same shopping center as my favorite car wash. It's cute inside — with many nods to world travel — and their chocolate muffin kills me. It's a fun Saturday morning spot because people are constantly in-and-out discussing their weekend plans with the baristas. 

Aviano Coffee

In Cherry Creek, Aviano is cute. I love the floor tiles that extend up to the bar and the overall airy atmosphere. They have solid wifi to go along with the industrial-chic coffee shop vibe. The cappuccino isn't bitter, and the baristas are helpful. 
While technically in Wheat Ridge, I count it as Lakewood. It's really cute and big enough to always find seating. Unlike most aesthetic shops, I wouldn't describe it as airy but cozy.  They do have wifi, but it's only for 180 minutes per purchase. So if you want to camp out there expect to have to buy a new item every so often. They have lots of coffee options and snacks. I went for a simple cappuccino as it was cold outside and it wasn't bitter, just rich and strong.

Bean Fosters in Littleton & Golden

I'm partial to the Littleton location of this coffee chain (there's only the two shops), but if you like the idea of being in a library, visit the Golden location. But, the Littleton location is in a sea of chains, and it just feels nice. Cozy but with lots of room to spread out and a very color-coordinated bookshelf that I can appreciate. Since the area is full of hiking spots, I like to visit after an early morning walk. Their straight-up black coffee gets my day started in the best way.

Beet Box Bakery & Cafe

Where are my vegans at? Beet Box is for you! They are a completely vegan bakery/coffee shop near downtown. It's very cute, with exposed brick, plants and booths that are well-worn because they've seen friends meet to catch up on relationships, beginning business partners discuss future locations and more. I had a traditional latte with cashew milk, and it was super good. Plus, their s'mores baked good is delightful. 

Black Eye Coffee Shop

This is one of the more aesthetic shops in Denver. Located in the Highlands, it seems to always be packed. So, if you're planning to set up shop I'd say get there early! But it's got a good vibe, dark and lit up by a red neon "Coffee Shop" sign it feels right when it's lightly snowing or overcast. 

Born2Bake

Quite possibly, my favorite place in downtown Littleton, Born2Bake, seems like a home for people. Early on a Sunday morning, an old couple, who are clearly regulars, greet the barista and ask about her children. It's sweet. Not only is the coffee (and the eggnog chai in the holiday season) good, but the baked goods are A+. Get a cake pop, seriously. Also, their wifi is great! 

Brew Culture Coffee

Right off West Colfax, Brew Culture is one of the only "Instagram-friendly" shops in the Lakewood area. There's tons of natural light from the big windows that face Colfax and lots of seating. The bar is covered in white subway tiles in a cool pattern too. My suggestion: grab your coffee then walk behind the bar for the seating back there. It kind of gives you a birds-eye view of the whole shop — good for my people-watching peeps. 

Cafe Ole

Need a perk up after you get your Colorado driver's license? Look no further than this little shop in the same shopping center as the Lakewood DMV. It's pretty small, but on a weekday afternoon, I easily got a seat. I can't speak to the wifi as I only brought a book with me. But the place is comfy and cozy, with mismatched furniture and brightly colored walls. 

Crema

I cannot comment on the actual Crema coffee shop, but the location in Denver Central Market makes a mean cappuccino. Plus, it's right next to Izzio Bakery, one of my favorites. Grab a chocolate almond croissant and sit at one of the many tables in the food hall before walking around RiNo to see all the street art.

Devil's Food Bakery

The place I tell people about maybe the most is Devil's Food. The bakery is the epitome of cozy with dark walls, plenty of seating and strong wifi. Yes, the coffee is good, but really, you're here for the baked goods. The ginger cookie with giant sugar crystals is where it's at...but I've never had anything bad. Plus, the baristas are some of the most friendly in the business — I swear I always have a great convo whenever I'm in there. 
This very aesthetically pleasing coffee shop off of Littleton's main thoroughfare helps a great cause and has delicious coffee. The breakfast burrito is also something to taste test. I would suggest going early in the morning if you want parking because it gets pretty insane. My only thing is the wifi can be a little sketchy, so come prepared with a book, too.

Enchanted Grounds in Littleton

If you are a gamer...of any kind...Enchanted Grounds was made for you. I go for the solid wifi and good coffee — they have a La Marzocco, so we know I'm in love. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing spot, but each time I've visited, it has been filled to the brim with people playing all different kinds of games, so there is a cool sense of community. Plus, parking is never an issue as it occupies the corner of a shopping center.

Global Goods & Coffee

Global Goods is in one of the cutest houses I've ever seen on the main drag of Olde Town Arvada. It's my go-to meeting spot for Bumble BFF dates and when I need to get some sh*t done on a weekday. I truly think it could have been in Gilmore Girls...seriously, you just feel like it's fall in Stars Hollow when you walk across the creaky wooden floorboards. Grab a spicy chai, breakfast burrito and sit on the patio with a good book or head inside for solid wifi. Also, the shop supports global creators, so pop into the backroom to see what goodies they have today.

Griffin Coffee

A relatively new shop in Edgewater, Griffin has it going on. Their nitro cold brew got me through a long afternoon of writing...and it came in a turquoise ball jar so we good, ya know? Plenty of seating and white metal chairs with good wifi welcome you to sit for a spell. The barista when I visited was so sweet too.

Ground Up Coffee

Ground Up is my closest local shop, and it's perfect to run in and grab a pick-me-up. Their iced latte is one of the best (I've tried in the city). I've never sat down and tried their wifi, but there's usually someone in there talking with the barista or doing work, so it must be pretty good! 

Hello Coffee 

This is another shop that you kind of have to seek out or have someone tell you about. I stumbled upon it on Google Maps and decided to test it out...boy was I happy! It's very cute, but the most important thing is the extensive latte menu. The concoction they put together are delicious...especially the thin mint. Plus, good wifi and plenty of seating options!

HOJA

HOJA is such a good cafe. Like truly. It's off South Pearl next to a Duffeyroll, and I just love it. The place is bright and dishes up delicious foods — the burrito is a must-try. I have never sat outside (they have a back patio), but when I visited literally, everyone went to sit out there while I chose a sunny booth spot. Make sure to get an iced cafe de olla — it's iced coffee with cinnamon and orange that will excite your tastebuds. Plus, look at it...it's so pretty.

Honey Hill

A newer shop in Park Hill, it's downright adorable, and they serve up gelato! I haven't even had the coffee...I just really love their watermelon sorbet. But I will go back to test the wifi and enjoy the overall vibe of the shop. With two rooms, there's lots of seating, but I would assume it gets pretty crazy with all the families that live in the area on Saturday/Sunday mornings.

Huckleberry Roasters in Dairy Block

Milk Market is its own insane, beautiful, food-filled thing, but inside it is a location of Huckleberry. They roast their own beans over near Sunnyside, but this spot has cute red tiles and a huge counter for sitting and enjoying the space. A latte is always a good option and grab a crepe from a few stalls over to tide you over!

Hudson Bay Coffee Roasters

On a corner in downtown Arvada, Hudson Bay has plenty of seats and wifi so you can't get stuff done. I had a foamy cappuccino that was just the right amount of coffee meets milk. Just look at that cloud of foam!

Link Coffee Bar

Want to talk about a cozy option? Link Coffee Bar is one of my faves. It's right across from where I volunteer, so I often find myself hanging there before a meeting. They have great wifi, comfortable seating and self-serve alcohol in the afternoons/evenings. The baristas are some of the best, and they make a mean iced chai. But also, their hot chai (pictured above) is the epitome of fall. 10/10 recommend.

Looking for the most Instagramable coffee shop in Denver? Look no further. Located in a former gas station, Lula Rose comes complete with a pale pink La Marzocco. It's just perfect for photos. The latte I had was excellent, not bitter at all. I sat by one of the big windows and just read my book — the place is oddly peaceful on a weekday afternoon.

Mojo Coffee

Located in an Ethiopian grocery store in Aurora, Mojo is kind of tucked away. If you enter from the back parking lot, you'll be inside the coffee shop; if not, you'll have to make your way past cool foods to find it. First, get a Napoleon because it's the perfect balance of cream and stiff cake layers. The coffee was solid too.

Nixon's Coffee

Nixon's has many iterations around Denver. I visited the South Pearl location (not far from aforementioned HOJA), and I've been to the shack on the Hudson Gardens property. The South Pearl spot is often crowded, and it can be a little trying to get a seat. But the wifi is good, and I highly recommend the hot chocolate. It's rich and creamy, just like you want. 

Nook Coffee

In downtown Littleton, inside a cheese shop (which, also visit), Nook is good when you need to get something done in a cute surrounding. They have these big, wooden picnic tables where you can set up shop and sip your latte. The baked goods are spot on, and the people who own the shop are super sweet.

Novo Coffee on Sixth

I love this little shop on East Sixth. It's got the whole dark wood, comfy, spend some time catching up with a friend vibe going for it. I snagged a table on a Saturday morning, so while it can get crowded, you can usually find something. There's only street parking, so be aware of that, but they have good wifi, and the coffee isn't bitter but rich and flavorful! 

Pinwheel Coffee

I haven't had coffee at Pinwheel, so I can't speak to it, but they do have seasonal drinks that I'm a fan of. The did a ginger hot apple cider last fall that was to die for. The inside is bright with wifi, and it's attached to a bike shop, so that's fun! 

Queen City Collective Coffee in Five Points

Located in the Five Points part of town, Queen City is downright perfect. With plenty of natural light, good coffee, great wifi and a summer patio, it's just an all-around good spot. Plus, it's near one of my favorite museums (the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center) and easily walkable from the RTD stop (30th & Downing). 

Riize Coffee

In an industrial section of Littleton — south of the downtown — that I stumbled upon Riize is cute. With these cool black hexagon tiles that run from the bar down onto the floor, it's a quiet spot with big communal tables. There are tons of outlets, and they have excellent wifi, plus, kind baristas. They have a bunch of chai options too — yaaas!

Session Coffee

Right off Santa Fe, you wouldn't know how cute this shop was from the outside. But once you walk in its dark walls, great coffee and plenty of seating. The cappuccino comes with cute art, and it's just a solid option. I like coming here before I head downtown (I park at an RTD station and take the train into actual downtown). 

Sertinos Coffee

This place kind of, not totally, reminds me of the coffee shop in Friends (I am not a Friends fan, but I know about Central Perk, okay?). It just feels incredibly cozy. I went on a cold November weeknight, and it was just a nice experience. There was a lovely barista working, a fire was roaring, and the wifi was great. If you're in the Aurora area, it's a good spot. 

Solid Grounds Coffee

Perfect for meeting a friend or for spreading out if you need to get some stuff done, Solid Grounds is off Broadway in Littleton. It kind of reminds me of one of my Austin favorites, Mozarts. The latte was good, not at all bitter. It's yet another, cozy place with good wifi that is great for escaping the snow to get some work done. 

Sonder

If you love that minimalist, bright white, Pinterest coffee shop vibe, Sonder is for you. It's located in Aurora, in the bottom of a fairly new apartment complex, but it's kind of a haven for cute coffee shops in this part of Denver. Their wifi is good, there's plenty of parking, and they have a killer seasonal menu. I visited in the summer and had a sunflower latte, I don't even know if I loved it, but I loved that it was an option.

Steam Espresso Bar

One of my all-time favorite shops in Denver, I highly recommend to anyone in the Platt Park area. It's on the corner of South Pearl and Colorado in a skinny building. With exposed brick, reclaimed wood tables, and a good patio for spring/summer sittin', the shop gives off good community vibes. The drinks are done well — nothing too bitter — and the wifi is solid. On a spring day, I couldn't get seating inside when I first got there but then moved inside about an hour later, so it really just depends on the day/time.

Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters

Located in Lakewood off Colfax, Sweet Bloom is adorable. It's in an unsuspecting building kind of off-the-beaten-path, but when you walk in, it's a little oasis. They have a fair amount of seating, good wifi, and a really solid cappuccino — super creamy. They roast their own beans and sell them on-site — pick 'em up in a real cute bag. It does close pretty early, so plan ahead for that. The atmosphere is industrial chic, with lots of hanging plants — kind of like most aesthetic shops around the Mile High City.

Unravel Coffee

One Fall afternoon, I visited Unravel to kill time between a meeting and a social event. Off Holly, not too far from Cherry Creek, it has a good aesthetic. Very airy, with lots of greenery, the shop has plenty of seats. Normally coffee shops in Denver are insane, but I was one of the sole occupants that day. Their wifi is solid — I was streaming a football game while getting some work done. Plus, the baristas are aggressively nice...like dang.

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