If we’re honest, it could just be a caffeine addiction. But there is something so satisfying about the rituals surrounding consuming coffee.
The smells. The sounds of the machines dispensing a dark elixir heightening your senses, all of the feelings of warmth and joy as you drink it. These experiences are magnified when you get out of the house, leave your coffee pod machine behind, and go to an excellent cafe. Of course, you can stop by a certain Seattle-based multi-national and have a perfectly adequate cup of joe. However, there’s something to be said for a local neighborhood spot, free from corporate uniformity, pouring excellent coffee.
The locations chosen below are more than just a place to get a coffee; they represent their neighborhoods. In their cafes, you’ll find what makes an area unique, and they tie into a larger truth. Whether you’re getting an iced coffee in Saigon, bold Turkish coffee in Beirut, or cafe au lait in Paris, the true joy of the experience is interacting with your community, sitting down with a good book, or having a great conversation, and taking a moment to relax.
Criteria For Making Our List
It’s all in the beans! High-quality coffee should have that smooth flavor that hits your lips in even just one sip.
Can you feel the local culture while walking around the neighborhood with your cup of Joe?
Is the atmosphere relaxed? Are you able to work peacefully, hang with a friend, or have a productive meeting?
This Denver gem has turned into the gold standard for great coffee in the Mile High City. Since 1995, when Craig Conner decided to quit his corporate job and max out his credit cards to follow his passion for coffee, Pablo’s, located in Capitol Hill, has been producing an excellent product. It goes beyond just roasting the beans themselves.
They eschew factory-farmed coffee beans and instead hunt down and source single-family farms growing unique blends. It’s a commitment far beyond fair trade; instead, an ethos to partner with fantastic coffee growers to bring one of the best products to Denver. There are three locations across Denver, including cap Hill, Governor’s Park, and East Colfax. Be aware Pablo’s does not have wifi.
Our Favorite Drink: Espresso
Locations & Map
Colfax and Syracuse – 7701 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220
6th and Washington – 3806, 630 E 6th Ave Denver, CO 80203
13th and Pennsylvania – 1300 Pennsylvania St #102 Denver, CO 80203
If a local coffee shop can be a microcosm for the neighborhood, then Aviano is quintessentially Cherry Creek North. It’s an artisanal cafe for those with discerning taste who are willing to pay for quality. They brew Intelligentsia coffee, and you notice the skill and pride the baristas take in their work.
The clientele is an eclectic mix of business meetings, college students, and shoppers looking to take a break. Aviano also has a great tea menu for those looking for some non-coffee options. FYI, our Kentwood Cherry Creek office is right next door to Aviano, so be sure to stop by and say hi and peek in the window at our listings!
Our Favorite Drink: Hot Oak Milk Matcha Latte & The Regular Latte
Hours & Locations
Open Daily 7 am-4 pm
Detroit Street – 244 Detroit St, Denver, CO 80206
St. Paul Street – 215 St Paul St, Suite 180, Denver, CO 80206
Open Daily 7 am-5 pm
In many ways, this local gem is the opposite of a hyper-modern coffee shop. You’ll find a dedicated neighborhood staff cracking jokes, making book recommendations, and of course, pouring great coffee. Sure, Wash Perk only has one location, but who needs more when you are only blocks away from Washington Park.
So the next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop in for iced coffee before heading to the park to get some exercise and feed the ducks.
Our Favorite Drink: Hazelnut Cinnamon Latte
Hours & Location
Open daily: 6:30am – 5:00pm
853 E Ohio Ave, Denver, CO 80209
Mutiny Information Cafe
Mutiny might be a little bit of a left-field choice because a lot is going on here. As you walk in, you might notice an incredible array of used books, including rare first editions or the excellent selection of comics and records. There might be an open mic happening with up-and-coming comedians, singer/songwriters, or a podcast recorded in their studio.
Our Favorite Drink: Latte
Hours & Location
Friday-Saturday 8:00am -10:00pm
2 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
Blue Sparrow Coffee
With locations in the vibrant RiNo art district and the Platte Street community, Blue Sparrow is crafting extraordinary coffee concoctions Downtown. An ultra-modern aesthetic and a commitment to sustainability are the highlights of this vibrant spot. Every few weeks, the shop rotates a featured roaster to showcase an artisan they’ve discovered who shares their love of great coffee.
These unique roasters can be from right here in Colorado, all the way from Ireland and Netherlands. They also have a diverse menu of Japanese Iced Coffee, Upstart Kombucha, and house-made Chai, along with a wide selection of pastries.
Our Favorite Drink: Iced Matcha
Hours & Locations
Open daily: 6:30am – 5:30pm
3070 Blake St Unit 180 Denver, CO 80205
1615 Platte st Suite 135 Denver, CO 80202
This excellent Cap Hill spot strives to be a neighborhood destination by offering various menus and experiences. You can start by meeting a business associate or answering some emails in the afternoon in their spacious and comfortable space while sipping from their extensive coffee and tea options. Later on, you can order a cocktail like the excellent Race Day, with bourbon, lemon oleo, mint, and orange bitters.
Hudson Hill also offers a great variety of snacks you can order. Our favorite is the grilled cheese with cherry jam.
Our Favorite Drink: The Dalgona
Hours & Locations
619 E 13th Ave, Denver, Colorado 80203 (303)832-0776