Denver, Colorado is my current home base. As the mile high city, there are some things that Denver does unequivocally right: All things ski & après ski. Microbreweries. Outdoor apparel (REI, Pata-gucci, et al). Yoga. Live music venues (i.e. Red Rocks, the Ogden, the Bluebird, the Gothic, Jazz in the Park). Hipster fashion (so much flannel). Brunch. Bikes + costumes. And last but not least: Coffee shops.
As such, I have rounded up my five favorites – arguably the best coffee shops in Denver. Check them out and let me know if you have any to add to the list.
1. Hudson Hill
- Hudson Hill
- Neighborhood: Cap Hill
- Vibe: Hipster chic
- Bevs: All the coffee, cocktails, beer, and wine you could want. Check out their menu for the fun cocktail selection.
- Bites: If you come in the morning, try a pastry (their croissants are magnifique) – for happy hour, snack on a cheese plate, olives, and some almonds.
- Good for: Happy Hour. By day, it’s a good spot for a coffee date or a laptop work sesh. It really comes alive for happy hour, as young professionals roll in after work.
2. The Wooden Spoon
- The Wooden Spoon
- Neighborhood: Highlands
- Vibe: Neighborhood Cafe & Bakery
- Bevs: Standard coffee selection.
- Bites: All of their food is delish. I’m partial to the egg scrambles (#1-herb goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and fresh arugula; #2-fresh moz, roasted mushrooms, and fresh spinach), add bacon, sausage, &/or baguette for some extra flavor. They also have salads, quiche, pastries and cakes galore, and soup in the winter and fall.
- Good for: Breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Or grab some pastries (macarons, cakes, tarts, cream pies, eclairs…) to go.
3. St. Mark’s
- St. Mark’s Coffeehouse
- Neighborhood: Uptown
- Vibe: Hip co-working space
- Bevs: Coffee, tea, and Italian sodas.
- Bites: Paninis, scones, and more.
- Good for: Getting in the zone. During the day, almost every seat is full and over half of them are by people on laptops. On sunny days, the front patio is prime real estate. By night, the workspace vibe turns over into a more festive nighttime clientele. The patio in the back is shared with their next door neighbor – The Thin Man (pop in for a house-infused vodka and to see the funky decor) – so live music wafts over creating an after hours bar scene.
4. Denver Central Market
- Denver Central Market
- Neighborhood: RiNo
- Vibe: Platform 9 3/4 meets Upscale Food Court
- Bevs: Grab a cup of coffee or kombucha from Crema, or a cocktail from Curio, the large bar.
- Bites: With a host of vendors to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Try Izzio for baked goods, The Local Butcher for meat, Culture for meat and cheese, Green Seed for veggies or fresh juice, Silva’s for a dozen oysters or fresh fish, SK Provisions for slow roasted meats served in burger or taco form, Vero Italian for pasta or pizza, Temper for a box of chocolates, or High Point Creamery for ice cream.
- Good for: Dates. The vibe hits that sweet spot between a bar and a coffee house, so it’s perfect for professional meet ups and Bumble dates alike.
5. Hooked on Colfax
- Hooked on Colfax
- Neighborhood: City Park
- Vibe: Down-to-Earth Eclectic with Edge
- Bevs: Coffee, tea, and smoothies; beer, whiskey, and cocktails.
- Bites: Scones, bagel sammies, and breakfast burritos. The daily pastry selection includes gluten free, vegan, and paleo options.
- Good for: Coffee and Booze and Community Meeting Space. With local art on the walls (a piece of which is now hanging in my house) and local campaigns or meet-ups gathering on the couches in the basement, you really get the neighborhood community feel at Hooked on Colfax. They have seating on the front patio, back patio, main floor, and basement – so you can opt for the buzz of conversation or a silent workspace. Stop by after yoga or spin class (across the street at Endorphin) for a smoothie, or try their weekend-only Bloody Mary bar. Check out their Facebook for some Skeleton coffee humor and info on events.
*Honorable Mention: The Denver Bicycle Cafe
- Denver Bicycle Cafe
- Neighborhood: Uptown
- Vibe: Casual Environmental
- Bevs: Beer, coffee, tea, and more.
- Bites: Tamales, soft pretzels, bagels, breakfast burritos, and assorted finger foods.
- Good for: Bikes. Beer. Coffee. You can get your bike repaired while you eat a tamale; drink a beer while your friend drinks tea for their Whole30; or soak in the sun at a picnic table outside. There is an overflow seating area on the corner (next to the bike shop), so you’ll always have a place to hang.