When the weather turns cold, there’s nothing like a hot cuppa joe in a cozy coffee shop to warm the soul. Thankfully, Denver offers a host of places to savor.
“With a strong coffee culture, plus java shops and roasters galore, Denver is decidedly a great city for coffee lovers,” notes 5280 magazine.
The magazine recently named their favorite coffee shops, prioritizing “the ones working the hardest to source their beans ethically; the ones where the baristas are warm and hospitable as they pour the perfect rosette design atop your latte; the ones with the best atmosphere for chilling, working, meeting, or just caffeinating.”
Here are a few of the more unusual shops among their many choices:
Dandy Lion Coffee: “How do you make a traditional coffee shop even better?” asks 5280. “Answer: Combine it with a plant shop.” Beautiful plant displays created by co-owner Dominique Huynh –“marvel at her fanciful terrariums,” notes 5280 – combine with coffee made from beans by local Huckleberry Roasters and delectable pastries to make this a growing endeavor. 5225 E. 38th Ave.
Prodigy Coffeehouse: Drink your coffee and help others at the same time at this Elyria-Swansea shop that offers educational barista apprenticeship programs for northeast Denver youth. The shop is decorated with “bright murals and boasts garage doors that open to a large patio area, and offers waffles, breakfast burritos, pastries and other delights to go with your chosen drink. 3801 E. 40th Ave.
Stylus & Crate: The coffee, blended with Queen City Collective beans and house-made syrups, is fabulous, and the service is “extra kind,” according to the magazine. But that’s not all. Patrons can also order “fresh liege waffles so delicious they’re worth driving across town for” and bring their own vinyl records to play on the shop’s record player. Oh, and did we mention there’s a small vinyl shop to add yet another high note to this java joint? 6985 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge
Unravel Coffee: If you think green while ordering your coffee black, this is the place for you. Unravel roasts its coffee in-house “using zero-emissions Bellwether roasters.” Coffee beans come from Unravel’s own Ethiopian farms, and if you order coffee to go, you’ll receive it in a glass jar instead of a paper cup. Bring the jar back and save 50 cents on your next order. Australian-inspired foods, including tartines and smoothies, add to the enjoyment. 1441 S. Holly St. Unravel is also located in Breckenridge and Winter Park.
Weathervane Café: Some like to go to a coffee shop to sip a hot drink and work on their laptops. Others, well, they love to leave the laptop at home and socialize. Weathervane caters to the latter. It doesn’t offer Wi-fi. Instead, you’ll find “mistmatched vintage couches, two levels of seating…hanging plants and eclectic thrift-store art,” notes 5280—not to mention its signature Happy Camper Latte “sweetened with smoky maple syrup and garnished with a dusting of fragrant pine sugar.” Who needs Wi-fi after all? 1725 E. 17th Ave.