Denver is home to some of the best coffee roasters and cafes on the West Coast, serving up artisanal third-wave beverages at regional favorites. Companies have developed unique technologies to deal with brewing restrictions caused by the city's altitude, such as the Boilermakr system, which takes advantage of boiling temperature fluctuations caused by high elevations.
1.Prodigy Coffee House
© Prodigy Coffee House
Prodigy Coffee House is a unique nonprofit coffee shop and apprenticeship program in Denver's Elyria Swansea neighborhood, originally developed by youth career developer and instructor Stephanie Frances, a longtime employee at a number of alternative schools throughout the city. Year-long barista apprenticeship programs aim to teach Denver teenagers and young adults skills needed for the workplace, overseen by the company's Prodigy Ventures umbrella. Delicious coffee beverages use beans sourced by partner roaster Allegro Coffee, highlighted in a variety of pourovers and espresso-based beverages, including seasonally-flavored lattes. Food options include breakfast burritos, paninis, and hand pies sourced from local bakers Hinman's Bakery.
3801 E 40th Ave, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-441-3187
2.Purple Door Coffee
© Purple Door Coffee
Purple Door Coffee is a popular Five Points espresso bar and nonprofit organization, opened in 2013 by Madison Chandler in correlation with the city's Dry Bones organization, which works with homeless youth throughout the city. The coffee shop employs homeless Denver teens and young adults to work as part of its barista staff, aiming to supply them with meaningful employment and improve their life situation. Its name is a reference to the color purple's longstanding association with royalty, a statement that all who enter are treated in equally high standing regardless of identity or life situation. All beans are roasted in house at the cafe's roastery, infused into standard and unique coffee and espresso-based beverages. Locally-sourced pastries are also available for in-house dining and carryout.
2962 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-515-6639
© Huckleberry Roasters
Huckleberry Roasters was one of Denver's first independent roasteries at its 2011 opening in the city's Sunnyside neighborhood. Today, the company offers three public cafes throughout the city, including locations in the city's downtown district and RiNo neighborhood. All coffees are ethically sourced and roasted in house, with a focus on both single-origin coffees and unique blend flavors. Unique coffee and espresso beverages include the Comp 1&1, which pairs cappuccino and espresso, and delicious cold brew-infused milkshakes. At the cafe's RiNo location, a full menu of cafe fare is served up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including sandwiches, brunch plates, and boozy beverages. Educational community events such as brewing workshops are offered at the company's downtown location.
4301 Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 720-381-2504
4.Crema Coffee House
© Crema Coffee House
Crema Coffee House is the flagship coffee roaster of Denver's "Coffee Row," located on Larimer Street in its RiNo neighborhood. The coffee shop, which opened to the public in 2009, is named in honor of the foam that typically layers on top of well-prepared espresso, a reflection to its commitment to serve meticulously-crafted artisanal beverages. A multi-roaster program showcases beans from top regional and national roasters such as Minneapolis' Dogwood Coffee and Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters, showcased in pourovers, cold brews, and espresso beverages crafted with beautiful latte art. Fresh-pressed juices and local kombucha are also served up, along with a variety of eclectic menu items, including homemade breakfast pastries, pork belly bahn mis, and sweet potato waffles.
2862 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-284-9648
5.Boxcar Coffee Roasters
© Boxcar Coffee Roasters
Boxcar Coffee Roasters is a coffee shop and espresso bar located in Denver's River North District, opened in 2011 by Seattle transplants Cara and Vajra Rich. The cafe, which also offers locations in the city's The Source market and nearby Boulder, utilizes the region's high altitude conditions to roast coffee year-round at its Boulder roasting facility, using a unique Boilermakr roasting process to account for the region's temperature variations. Three Boilermakr roasts and two espressos are served up daily, along with a variety of delicious coffee shop beverages. Locally-sourced pastries are also available, including buns and chocolate croissants baked daily. A six-seat bar lets diners view the company's drink-making process up close and personal and chat with baristas about the company's coffees and operations.
1825 Pearl St B, Boulder, CO 80302, Phone: 720-456-7962
6.Little Owl Coffee
© Little Owl Coffee
Little Owl Coffee is a small but quaint cafe in Denver's LoDO neighborhood, housed within the Sugar Cube building. The cafe, which was opened by Seanna Forey in 2013, is a nod to a favorite Tokyo cafe and bar of the owner, which was home to a resident pet owl. Single-origin, single-estate, and blend coffees are sourced from popular Denver roasters Corvus Coffee Roasters, crafted in traditional Italian-style beverages. Housemade almond milk is available in all beverages, which range from simple but elegantly-crafted espressos and pourovers to delicious flavored lattes. A selection of pastries is available for purchase, along with several pre-packaged menu options offered at the cafe's grab-and-go counter.
1555 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202
7.Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters
© Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters
Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters is a unique craft coffee shop in Denver's Lakewood neighborhood, owned and operated by World Brewers Cup Championship coffee roaster Andry Sprenger, a certified Q-Grader coffee curator. The coffee shop, which opened to the public in 2013, features an onsite roastery meant to engage both coffee producers and customers directly with the coffee creation process. State-of-the-art brewing methods are utilized to craft delicious roasts and blends sourced using direct fair-trade principles, available for purchase in pourover and Chemex brews or a variety of espresso-based beverages. Regular Connect With The Producer events aim to bring the community directly into the sourcing and roasting process.
1619 Reed St, Lakewood, CO 80214, Phone: 303-261-5954
8.Commonwealth Coffee Roasters
© Commonwealth Coffee Roasters
Commonwealth Coffee Roasters is a popular North Park Hill coffee shop opened to the public in 2013 by Ryan Fisher and Jason Farrar. The roastery and cafe, which also offers an outpost location called Caffe Figurati at Denver's The Source market, serves up a variety of delicious coffee beverages at both of its locations, including a pumpkin caramel latte offered up during the autumn months as a craft alternative to Starbucks' ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. Other speciality beverages include a cereal milk latte and Japanese-style pourovers taking brewing cues from the country's popular kissaten coffee bars. Brew courses are offered at the company's Park Hill location, along with a monthly coffee subscription service available to Denver-area residents.
5225 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207
9.Black Eye Coffee
© Black Eye Coffee
Black Eye Coffee is a hip cafe in North Denver's Lower Highlands neighborhood, housed within a former 1900s-era Coors beer brewing facility. The hipster spot, which was originally launched in 2012, serves up a multi-roaster program of beans from regional roasters such as Allegro Coffee and Take Flight Coffee, available in simple but elegant pourovers or decadent drinks such as horchata or almond lattes. Alternative milks are available in all drinks, including chai lattes and hot chocolates. A curated selection of local draft beers and California wines are also available, including artisanal wine coolers. Homemade breakfast, brunch, and lunch entrees range from avocado toasts to tartines and shakshukas, complemented by a selection of regional beers and wines.
3408 Navajo St, Denver, CO 80211, Phone: 720-287-0546
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© Weathervane Cafe
Weathervane Cafe is a charming cafe in Denver's Uptown district, opened in 2012 by married duo Lindsay and Alex Dalton. The cafe, which is housed within a beautiful renovated 1896 carriage house, stocks a variety of coffees from regional roasters Huckleberry Roasters and Corvus Coffee Roasters, available in classic beverages such as cortados or cappuccinos or with flavor infusions of the cafe's housemade smoky maple, orange and clove, or lavender syrups. Full breakfast and lunch menus are served up daily, highlighting breakfast burritos, craft oatmeals, and a variety of hot and cold deli sandwiches. Kitschy decor emphasizes retro-style furniture, which is also available for sale at the cafe's onsite vintage store.
1725 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 303-355-5863
© Thump Coffee
Thump Coffee is a popular Oregon-based roastery and cafe, originally opening its first location in the city of Bend. Since 2013, the cafe has operated a location in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood, serving up high-quality single-origin and blend coffees sourced sustainably from the world's best coffee farms. Housemade syrups infuse excellent espresso-based beverages, including the company's signature dark chocolate latte. A wide selection of hot and iced teas are also available, along with regionally-crafted kombuchas served up on tap and a selection of local craft beers. Housemade pastries are served up throughout the day, including delicious muffins that have become a neighborhood favorite.
1201 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 720-456-6648
© Pablo's Coffee
Pablo's Coffee is one of Denver's oldest craft coffee shops, opened in 1995 by business partners Craig Conner and Kris Kluver. Today, the coffee shop offers three locations throughout the city, including a flagship location on 6th Avenue and a new headquarters building on East Colfax. A down-to-earth vibe permeates all of the shop's locations, which strive to cultivate a community gathering place vibe for diners. All of the company's coffees are roasted in house, served up in delicious but unpretentious espresso-based beverages. Public cupping events and coffee workshops are offered at the company's Colfax location. Visitors should note that wifi is not offered for customers at any of the shop's locations.
3806, 630 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: 303-744-3323
© Vert Kitchen
Vert Kitchen is a gourmet cafe and restaurant in Denver's Washington Park neighborhood, acclaimed by national publications such as Westword and The Denver Post as one of the city's best dining destinations. The cafe, which has been featured on Food Network, serves up coffees and espresso-based drinks from Huckleberry Roasters each morning at its Overt coffee shop beginning at 7:00am, available with infusions of organic milk and housemade syrups. Grab-and-go meals are available to complement beverages, along with a selection of fresh-baked pastries. French-influenced fare served up at lunch and brunch emphasizes locally-sourced and organic ingredients, including favorites such as croque madame and unique eats such as curry chicken sandwiches.
704 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80209, Phone: 303-997-5941
14.Lula Rose General Store
© Lula Rose General Store
Lula Rose General Store is a combination coffee shop and general store located on Denver's East Colfax Avenue, near its City Park and Congress Park neighborhoods. The general store, which was opened in 2015 by owner Oliver Miller-Finkel, serves up a multi-roaster program highlighting Denver-area roasters such as Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters alongside national favorites such as Coava Coffee. Pastries are delivered daily from Thump Coffee Roasters, including scrumptious blueberry orange pecan muffins and housemade macarons. Breakfast croissants from Sugar Vision are also supplied on the weekends. A wide variety of charming home goods are sold at the general store, including locally-produced housewares and canned james.
3434 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206, Phone: 303-388-1933
15.Amethyst Coffee Co.
Amethyst Coffee Co. is a delicious coffee shop offering two locations throughout Denver, including locations in its Capitol Hill and Lakeside neighborhoods. The company, which is helmed by Denver 30 Under 30 honoree Elle Taylor, serves up craft beverages prepared with beans sourced from Commonwealth Coffee Roasters and Ritual Coffee, with a guest roaster program also showcasing constantly-rotating selections. Clever seasonal beverages include the shop's Garden Party latte, which infuses cold brew with cream, sumac, sparkling water, and corn-pea syrup. Doughnuts from Beet Box are available for purchase, along with a cocktail menu served up during the evening hours.
1111 Broadway STE 101, Denver, CO 80203
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16.Corvus Coffee Roasters
© Corvus Coffee Roasters
Corvus Coffee Roasters is one of Denver's most popular local roasteries, serving up a selection of sustainably-sourced single-origin coffees picked from the best farmers around the globe. The cafe, which is helmed by owner Phil Goodlaxson, offers two locations throughout the city, including a location near the city's downtown on South Broadway and a Belleview Station location. An open-plan atmosphere lets visitors get an up-close glimpse at the roasting and preparation process, with community seating available at both locations. Third wave-style beverages include Kyoto-style Japanese highballs, maple cinnamon lattes, and lemon-rosemary hot toddies. Pastries are available for purchase alongside beverages, with cupping events, latte art classes, and homebrewing courses offered at both locations.
1740 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210, Phone: 303-715-1740
17 Best Coffee Shops in Denver
- Prodigy Coffee House, Photo: Prodigy Coffee House
- Purple Door Coffee, Photo: Purple Door Coffee
- Huckleberry Roasters, Photo: Huckleberry Roasters
- Crema Coffee House, Photo: Crema Coffee House
- Boxcar Coffee Roasters, Photo: Boxcar Coffee Roasters
- Little Owl Coffee, Photo: Little Owl Coffee
- Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, Photo: Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters
- Commonwealth Coffee Roasters, Photo: Commonwealth Coffee Roasters
- Black Eye Coffee, Photo: Black Eye Coffee
- Weathervane Cafe, Photo: Weathervane Cafe
- Thump Coffee, Photo: Thump Coffee
- Pablo's Coffee, Photo: Pablo's Coffee
- Vert Kitchen, Photo: Vert Kitchen
- Lula Rose General Store, Photo: Lula Rose General Store
- Amethyst Coffee Co., Photo: chayathon2000/stock.adobe.com
- Corvus Coffee Roasters, Photo: Corvus Coffee Roasters
- Cover Photo: Hoda Bogdan/stock.adobe.com