Updated: Jan 27
I love meeting up and networking at coffee shops. I'm not alone in this preference but with so many options how do you choose? I asked a few coffee enthusiasts and realized it's very subjective; and, the more I asked around the more my curiosity grew. It became an obsession to know where to find the best damn cup of coffee in the Mile High City can be found. Passionate coffee lovers would know, right? It turns out there is an insane amount of coffee lovers in Denver*.
Click here for a map of this list plus the honorable mentions.
There must be a better way to figure this out**. I brainstormed some ideas to collectively determine the highest quality of coffee (paired with being a knowledgeable Colorado native and Denver resident of 7 years, of course). I researched every top list of coffee houses and through a process of tallies, discovered which ones were repeatedly mentioned. The cream rises to the top, right?
Finally! We can put this debate to an end. I pity the next person who asks me where to get a cup of coffee because they will get more information than they expect from me... If you are new to Denver, a freelancer, or a coffee lover, this article is for you! Scope out the options for yourself and learn about the most popular locations. Thank god the internet helps us figure this out with out driving to each spot personally. Plus, I've added some opinions from patrons who can tell you why they love it.
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of coffee. In fact, it's my guilty pleasure in my attempts to also be healthy and watch my sugar, but I've been known to indulge here and there. Just a little. When I find myself in a new area, I must try the coffee! I wanted to highlight the best; but you can Click here for a map of this list plus the honorable mentions.
1st Place: Huckleberry Roasters
(303) 200-0390 I huckleberryroasters.com
4301 Pecos St Denver, CO 80211 I 1800 Wazee St Denver, CO 80202
You can visit and try Huckleberry Roasters at two locations- one can found in the popular Dairy Block downtown. They are socially conscious and collaborative. They believe in working with smallholder farms and coffee operations. Huckleberry's number one priority is being a responsible business, a great place to work, and deliver fantastic coffee experiences. This seems to be ringing true by both customers and Denver Top List evaluations. Huckleberry Roasters was founded in 2011 by two friends, Koan Goedman & Mark Mann- both with a passion for coffee and an entrepreneurial spirit. Sherry C. from Denver, CO shared her thoughts on Yelp.com: “I'm not as skilled as their baristas, but my coffee game at home is certainly better with Huckleberry's help." along with Sothery's C.'s opinion, “I ordered a Love Grows Latte with oat milk (only milk alternative) and it was truly amazing."
I tried a cup myself and I must admit, it may be my new addiction. It was incredibly smooth and flavorful. I tried a Chia Latte, which is one of my favorites and I figured it would be challenging to overcome my current hot spot. Good bye old coffee spot, hello Huckleberry! However, I didn't place this at 1st Place simply from my opinion. This cafe won by the overwhelming mentions on Denver Top Lists from numerous publications.
2nd Place: Corvus Coffee
(303) 715-1740 I (720) 458-0943 I corvuscoffee.com
1740 S Broadway Denver, CO 80210 I 4925 S Newport St Denver, CO 80237
Corvus Coffee Roasters focus on specialty and exotic coffee. They explore some of the most difficult areas in the world to source coffee and showcasing producers. They have multiple ways to sip on their fantastic coffee: subscription, hot, or cold. Subscriptions are available with 15 or 30 day delivery. The canned cold brew is perfect for on-the-go coffee lovers. You can stay awhile at three locations: Denver Tech Center, Broadway, or the newly opened Littleton location.
Try one of their pour overs if you're a purist or an Americano with steamed almond milk for a treat. I do enjoy cold brew occasionally, but the real stand out for me at Corvus is the Autumn Latte. Corvus is infamously known for transforming non-coffee drinkers into addicts. #fairwarning
3rd Place: Crema
2862 Larimer St Unit B Denver, CO 80205
A chill hipster vibe fills this all-day haunt run by coffee mavens, who also offer eclectic noshes. With a 4.6 rating with over 900 google reviews, this one deserves the number three spot on my list. One anonymous patron describes it as: " [A] pleasant experience, experience[d] the street. Walk[ed] around. Cool area. My food, cookie and drink are among the best I’ve had anywhere and I’ve been alllll over America." Don't worry my fellow coffee drinkers. Yes, they have a complete line up of non dairy creamers.
Black Eye Coffee
(720) 287-0546 I drinkblackeye.com
3408 Navajo St Denver, CO 80211
From a speakeasy and less-than-legal activities to an open-air coffeehouse, Black Eye Coffee is a place steeped in history where every detail stirs the imagination and stories flow freely from every corner. Get ready to be lost in conversation while enjoying a delicious cup of handcrafted coffee. Intimate and open this carefully-crafted coffee shop pays homage to the building’s past and provides everyone with a space to relax with a cup of joe or host a private party. Serving myriad coffee-based drinks as well as beer and wine, you will immediately feel welcomed by their knowledgeable staff. Jessica M. shares, "[This is] my favorite coffee shop in Denver! I love the area and the food and coffee is so delicious. I've come here on multiple occasions and LOVE their seasonal foods they feature. I crave their summer apple and goat cheese toast so often and have recreated my own version since. Their coffee is always so delicious whether I get a drip or something more fancy. The atmosphere is younger and often a lot of people working on their computers, which I don't mind because I also come here for that at times. Street parking is usually fairly easy and I love the neighborhood the shop is in. All around a great location for a quick stop, to come with friends or work from."
"What I liked: I really enjoyed the drip coffee. It was very fruity and acidic. I like that sweeter, lighter body, but others may be looking for something fuller. The chocolate croissant was also very buttery and flakey. I'm also a big fan of the atmosphere. The repurposed tables and doors were cool. It's a little dim inside, but there are some nice big windows at the front where you can get more light. It's not a quiet place, but it was quiet enough for me... Overall, I would definitely want to come back here, if just for the drip. I think it would make a good spot for a casual date. It's a little bit too cramped to necessarily get work done". - Daniel N.
(720) 456-6648 I thumpcoffee.com
1201 E 13th Ave Denver, CO 80218
Courtney B. says: "I live in Cap Hill & I go to Thump 2-4 times a week. It's pricy but I obviously keep coming back. The coffee is consistent, the operations are pristine. If you know anything about cafes/ coffee culture you can tell right away that they do an amazing job. They care about the quality of their product. Pastries are made in house and every single one I've had is f****ing amazing. I appreciate this shop and the employees so much! Side note : when we were able to sit in at Thump before Covid it was one of my favorite places to do work. They play pretty good music, too."
"Awesome corner spot in Cheeseman park with a little micro-roastery for what I'm assuming are small-batch exclusives. Great atmosphere and ambiance. People chatting, working, reading, etc. Love that you can come in here if you want to get work done but it doubles as a great place for a chat with one or a few others. Big and inviting coffee bar and awesome natural light."- Aaron A. from Littleton
Little Owl Coffee
(720) 328-5574 I littleowlcoffee.com
1555 Blake St Ste 150 Denver, CO 80202
They are rocking a 4.5 rating with nearly 400 reviews on Yelp. Many Denverites seem to be ranting and raving about this coffee joint. Richard S. explains, "This little coffee shop you'd otherwise miss (there's not even a sign on the outside!) is definitely worth a visit. Granite and wood interior is beautifully simple and their cappuccino was precisely crafted - temperature and espresso perfect. Top it off with friendly service. Definitely worth a return visit."
Blue Sparrow Coffee
(720) 593-0180 I bluesparrowcoffee.com
1615 Platte St Ste 135 Denver, CO 80202 I 3070 Blake St Unit 180 Denver, CO 80205
Blue Sparrow features Roasters on a frequent basis. They are really proud to feature live music and events (COVID allowing). They always have Sträva's CBD coffee on the retail shelf as well as a cold brewed option on a nitro tap. Lisa N. says "I really like when coffee shops offer matcha lattes- it's nice to have options when it's not a coffee kinda day. Blue Sparrow does not skimp out- they go all out!"
"...the overall ambiance," she continues, "is inviting of productivity. I'm not sure I can put a finger on it exactly- perhaps the early morning sunlight? The small, intimate shop? The warm latte? Either way, despite being moderately busy with folks coming in and out all morning, I was able to pull a solid few hours of studying in without being too distracted."
(303) 832-0776 I hudsonhilldenver.com
619 E 13th Ave Denver, CO 80203
This place is one of my favorites and open 7 days a week. It's included in Pearl Street Hospitality's portfolio. It has outdoor seating, delivery, takeout, and sit-down dining. I absolute ADORE plants and modern white, earthy colors. You may already be aware of my beverage obsession after writing my Best Places to Get a Cocktail in Denver article, but I think it's worth mentioning again. The fact that this place has coffee, cocktails, and wine makes it thumbs up in my book.
Kristin K. was visiting from Montecito, CA and commented "This place is so cute! I met with some friends for an early Happy Hour. The Green Hour is AMAZING - honestly probably one of the best tequila drinks I have ever tasted. It went down way too fast. Unfortunately it is not offered for Happy Hour - but they did offer other beverages and wines. I would definitely recommend checking this place out and trying the green Hour!"
(303) 399-8347 I (720) 389-9948 I avianocoffee.com
244 Detroit St Denver, CO 80206 I 215 St Paul St Ste 180 Denver, CO 80206
Unfortunately, Aviano doesn't have take-out but that's probably a good thing for my budget. "Aviano, you can caffeinate me any day." laughs Megan R. "I find myself here on the first snowy day of the season, and it's just so dang cozy. Aviano brings all the vibes with the moody lighting, tattooed baristas, and fancy coffee drinks. They serve intelligentsia coffee, the lifeblood of hipsters everywhere, and [they] make a mean almond milk cappuccino. Their pastries tempt me every time [I] come in--their flaky croissants, cookies, and turnovers look back from their pretty glass case and beg me to buy them. I don't work in Cherry Creek very often, mostly because of the parking situation, but Aviano has a FREE parking lot (what?!!). Other good things: free wifi, a bar to sit at with really cute tile, a decent tea selection, and a patio for Denver's warmer days. I'll be back often to soak in the cozy vibes and drink alllll of the espresso!"
"With roots in Intelligentsia Coffee," explains Sophie V. "but without the corporate coffee feel, Aviano makes truly great coffee. The whole front opens up so has a wonderful open feel and the patio is just an extension of the interior."
Queen City Collective Coffee
(303) 728-9209 I queencitycollectivecoffee.com
2962 Welton St Denver, CO 80205
" They've got my vote for best of the best in Denver! Easily the most delicious and satisfying coffee you'll find in the state of CO. From bean to cup this crew doesn't miss a beat. Ownership is committed to cultivating quality relationships with the farmers who grow the beans. Every step of the process of their coffee is handled with great care and intention for quality. The customer experience is lovely and well done. It's simply amazing coffee from your drip to steamy espresso drink. You can find all the alternative but milks here. Queen City is changing the coffee game in Denver for the better. The bar is already rising with some excellent roasters making Denver a coffee hub in this country. No longer is the PNW leading the way in coffee. Come and see for yourself...QC is going to change your coffee drinking habits forever. " - Jason G. from Denver
Adam D. from Denver shares, "It's no secret that I have an addiction that involves anything related to coffee. My favorite coffee ever is Philz Coffee in California, which has migrated to the Midwest and East Coast, and somehow managed to hop over Denver for now. So I am always trying to find a roaster that equals its awesomeness. Well, I think I just discovered it. Queen City Collective Coffee has been roasting coffee for nine years and finally opened doors to this café, the second location. Its bright setting is inviting and offers natural lighting throughout. The barista was super cool and makes pretty coffee drinks including my favorite, the Cortado. The coffee here is super balanced, not a hint of bitterness with an earthy flavor. The first thing that came to mind after a sip of my Cortado was "holly shit this tastes like Philz." They also serve unique drinks like the Dark Star (Nitro cold brew and Coca Cola), as well as, the Turemic Latte, for those that shake from a drop of caffeine. Its open decor, tasty coffee, and free wifi make it one of my favorites."
Stowaway Coffee & Kitchen
(720) 636-2374 I stowawaydenver.com
2528 Walnut St Denver, CO 80205
This place has outdoor seating, delivery, takeout, sit-down dining, indoor dining (COVID-19 Restriction allowing, of course), and curbside pickup! Stowaway is a food focused cafe serving an eclectic internationally influenced menu of breakfast, lunch and supper dishes. They have a thoughtful selection of coffee, beer, wine and cocktails. A small place, suited to smaller groups (2-6 people). There are no reservations, but the wait is never more than an hour when really busy.
Rohin S. a Denver-dweller, says it's "conveniently located in RiNo to grab some food in a spot where there's a bunch to do, or a meal before you go day drink. I haven't been inside since pre-COVID but it was quaint, well lit and cozy. Well decorated and just a cool place to check out."
(720) 550-7440 I whittiercafe.com
1710 E 25th Ave Denver, CO 80205
"The atmosphere is unassuming and friendly." shares Mary Jane C. The outdoor patio to located to the left of the café with ample space for social distancing. I find nestling up inside is more comfortable. It can feel a bit small with numerous patrons grabbing their coffee. The room extends back like a wide railroad room with limited seating. You can find books and board games in the bookshelves toward the back across from the bathroom."
"-Matcha latte has a true matcha green tea flavor. Deep milky matcha taste and not sweet.
-The Cortado was richly satisfying and I'm not a coffee drinker. I'll return to try other coffee drinks here in the future.
-I'm in love with their hot chocolate. Not too milky, sweet, or heavy. No powdery-feeling. I'm rarely impressed by a hot chocolate but it's just right here.
-You can taste the pure flavor of all three drinks - it's like the flavors aren't adulterated with other distractions like a lot of espresso drinks (i.e. Starbucks)."
(303) 999-0077 I novocoffee.com
1600 Glenarm Pl Denver, CO 80202
It makes me sad that there is no outdoor seating during these COVID-19 troubled days but the vibe inside is worth checking out. Joi B. says: "Do yourself a favor, denizens of Denver: Get the orange zest mocha at Novo Coffee. But if you're all about the overpoweringly sugary sweet concoctions that are more the coffeehouse rule than the exception (especially if we're talking major chains), you might find this drink too subtle. But oh, this was just what I needed! I mean, you could taste the coffee. You could taste the orange zest. You could taste the chocolate. And there's the mere hint of sweetness. It's the way a superb cup of coffee should be. Plus, I ain't gonna lie, I'm a sucker for latte art."
"Coffee is commonplace, yet a truly great cup reveals a complex process—beginning with farmers and ending with you. For us, it’s all about the relationships—every step of the way." says owners, Jake, Joe, and Herb Brodsky. Founded in 2002 with the mission to connect great coffee producers with coffee consumers. Seventeen years, three cafes, and a number of wholesale partners later, they are still working towards that goal.
Steam Espresso Bar
(303) 952-9716 I steamespressobar.com
1801 S Pearl St Denver, CO 80210
Steam strives to serve great coffee with exceptional hospitality in extraordinary settings. They overlook every aspect of their operation in hopes of crafting a great experience. They take pride in being a part of your pause for the day. "I got the pour-over coffee," says Xan P. "which was pretty much life changingly (definitely not a word, but my point stands) good. I struck up a conversation with the barista, who was really friendly and willing to answer all my questions about the menu. I always appreciate coffee shops that allow you to sit down with an actual cup of coffee, as opposed to the standard-issue portable cups a la Starbucks. Also, the decor inside this place is pretty awesome- minimalistic and tailor-made for Instagram photos."
Sasha T. from Denver explains, "Steam is adorable and so conducive to working from for a long period of time. The baristas are all very friendly and accommodating. The coffee is Boxcar and brewed deliciously--you can opt for drip for $3 (16 oz) or an equally well-priced pour-over. They have almond, soy, and oat milks. The space is sparsely yet appropriately decorated with wood and metal. It's in a quiet area of Pearl. They play nice music, and the traffic is consistent but not overwhelming. Three cheers for eco-friendly cups!"
(303) 744-3323 I pabloscoffee.com
630 E 6th Ave Denver, CO 80203
"I've been going to Pablo's since before it was Pablo's." laughs Mark G. from Highlands Ranch, Co, "Fortunately, this incarnation of the corner coffee shop has staying power. Two reasons: great coffee and great service. Danger Monkey is an awesome roast, one of my favorites. I've never gotten anything less than a perfect latte. The employees are usually friendly (never rude) but what makes the service great is the obvious pride they take in making a perfect drink. The lack of wi-fi doesn't bug me and it's kinda nice to not be surrounded by people with their heads buried in pixels. I've eavesdropped on some good conversations there, the kind I expect to hear in a coffee shop. I'd join in but I gave up on the revolution a long time ago. I don't live in the area so usually I get my coffee on-the-go. Yup, I actually go out of my way to swing by Pablo's for coffee, a sure sign they're doing something right."
They have a great selection of coffee beans that you can take home, subscriptions, and merchandise.
Copper Door Coffee Roasters
(720) 432-1891 I copperdoorcoffee.com
7581 E Academy Blvd Denver, CO 80230
" I discovered this place by accident while visiting Denver. What a hidden gem. The amount of variety of coffee choices is amazing. I really liked the pour over option. I never had coffee that way. A fun and really special experience. If you're a coffee lover this is a must try!" says Marv E.
The mission at Copper Door Coffee Roasters is to provide you with the best possible fresh roasted coffee--coffee that reflects tradition and craftsmanship practiced around the world over hundreds of years. Copper Door Coffee Roasters was founded in 2006 by Sinjin Eberle. Up until 2014, it was solely a wholesale business, roasting coffee out of a garage. In 2014, Hannah Ulbrich took over the business, fostering a vision of expansion and community mindedness. They are extremely proud to be Denver's only 100% female owned coffee roaster. In a male-dominated industry, she is proud to support females doing amazing work in the Denver coffee community.
Middle State Coffee
(720) 287-1401 I middlestatecoffee.com
212 Santa Fe Dr Denver, CO 80223
This café hits a home run with hipsters by having their roasting facility paired with a cozy coffee dispensary. Molly S. says "Middle state coffee is my new favorite coffee shop in Denver. It's not over-crowded. The aesthetics are nice and set up to have a perfect photograph in any corner. There's plenty of street parking available. It's located close to several venues and restaurants for you to enjoy your afternoon in the area. They have all the espresso drinks you could want and take their time to make sure the coffee is great. The baristas are always super friendly and will often times bring your drink to you! I like the added personal touch. One even brought me water while he had time without me asking! If you're looking for a low key so that knows how to do coffee- this is your place."
Their method is simple: Taste a ton of coffee. Pick their favorite ones. High five the growers and producers because their efforts are shining through every cup, and their hard work is incredible. Do their best to preserve the taste (and the feeling) that they get from the first taste, and share it with you. Oh and then high five you because you’re awesome for trusting them to bring it to you with all of the flavor, integrity, and intent that it began with.
Click here for a map of this list plus the honorable mentions.
*All quotes above have been pulled from Yelp.com and are real reviews from real customers.
**We evaluated and combined the following Top Lists to help us create this list:
Thrillist, DenverEater.com, 5280 Magazine, CN Traveler.com, theculturetrip.com, uncovercolorado.com, denver.org, 303 Magazine, venuereport.com, Yelp.com, Foursquare.com, The Spoke.com, and USAJ Realty.
Written by: Jessica Gonzales, a Denver, CO local, with a background in event management, blog writing, and a master networker. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions or to feature your business.
Did your favorite coffee joint make the Ultimate Coffee House List? Do you agree with the choices? Let us know what your go-to coffee guilty pleasure is and why.