My travels have slowed down the last couple months, and I’ve been hanging around Denver a lot as a result. What’s a girl to do between adventures? Explore her own city, of course. I’ve been jumping around town, enjoying various activities and checking out new breweries. But in my explorations, I’ve also found some eclectic, distinctive and noteworthy coffee shops in Denver. Some I’ve known about for years, others I just discovered.
You probably know Denver – and Colorado – for the beer scene. But the brews are not limited to the hoppy kind. In fact, coffee shops have made their own cultural stamp on the city. It’s easy to spend hours in these places, sipping a cappuccino, getting lost writing a blog post or reading a really good book, or just people watching. I couldn’t possibly list all of Denver’s coffee shops – there are far too many. Here are some favorites that coffee lovers and digital nomads should definitely visit if they find themselves in the Mile High City.
The hip Platt Park neighborhood is home to this quaint independent coffee shop. Established by twin brothers back in 2013, Steam has become a popular hang out for people in the area. Located on the corner of South Pearl and East Colorado, the gray-colored building welcomes visitors with an artsy metal sign and an open patio. On a nice day, this place is buzzing (pun intended) with activity.
The baristas gather behind a wood-paneled coffee bar, an exposed brick wall serving as their backdrop. Garage door-style windows open up to the patio. There are plenty of tables where you can grab a seat with friends, or set up your laptop for a long afternoon of work. There’s a nice mixture of chic and industrial decor, with the back room featuring some more ornamental lighting.
The menu features the usual coffee staples (espresso, cappuccino, mocha, etc.) and its all created using innovative and sustainable brewing techniques. Steam’s mission is to only brew coffee that is ethically sourced, and only buys coffee from micro-roasters. The food selection is limited to pastries, so if you’re looking for something more substantial, I recommend going elsewhere. But if you want a friendly atmosphere that serves a solid cup of coffee, Steam is a good option.
If you go
Location: 1801 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80210
Hours: Mon – Sun: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Over in Wash Park you’ll find one of the newer additions to the Denver coffee scene. Overt opened in 2015 next to Vert Kitchen. The narrow coffee shop has exposed brick walls and a white-tiled back splash behind the coffee bar.
There is no indoor seating, but a decent size patio can be found out back. On a sunny day, it’s the ideal spot to sip an iced coffee and read a book or chat with friends. If the weather doesn’t permit an outdoor coffee break, I recommend getting a drink to go. The menu consists of your standard coffee drinks, and you can’t go wrong with any selection. There is a well-stocked deli case in the front, with pre-made sandwiches and salads from Vert Kitchen, kombucha, juices, coconut water, fruit and yogurt.
Overt is looking to expand and connect their coffee operations to the restaurant next door. A welcome move, in my opinion, as Vert has some exceptional food that would pair perfectly with a dry cappuccino.
If you go
Location: 712 1/2 S. Pearl St. Denver, CO
Hours: Everyday 7am – 5pm
Wash Perk is located in a residential area just a few blocks from beautiful Washington Park. This neighborhood coffee shop has been serving the community for almost 10 years. The cozy space offers patrons a laid-back atmosphere, with splashes of color and personality. Old stained-glass windows hang from the ceiling, and framed artwork lines the back wall waiting to be taken home.
There’s loads of outdoor seating, and on a nice day, the sidewalk and patio are packed with people enjoying the warm weather. The funky touches don’t stop when you step outside, either. Knitted works of art adorn the trees and colorful umbrellas shield you from the sun.
The drink selection includes most of the staples, with some specialties available on a rotating seasonal menu. When I was last there, they were offering a honey cinnamon latte and a lavender marshmallow mate latte. I regret my unadventurous iced coffee order, as that last one sounded really interesting.
A range of snacks are available for purchase, or you can order something more substantial such as oatmeal or a breakfast burrito. It can get crowded, and a little loud at times, but overall the atmosphere is inviting and fun. I recommend noise canceling headphones if you need to buckle down and get work done.
If you go
Location: 853 E Ohio Ave Denver, CO 80209
Hours: Monday to Friday – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Sat & Sun – 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
The name alone should be enough for you to guess why I like this coffee shop. It’s completely travel themed, from the old pieces of luggage on display to the postcards taped to the wall to the maps and globes scattered throughout.
Sojourners is located in the Virginia Village neighborhood, tucked away in a tiny retail plaza at the corner of Holly St. and Florida Ave. If I didn’t work a few blocks away, I would have never found this place.
There are a number of tables inside, as well as some comfortable couches and chairs to lounge in. Outdoor seating is available, but I wouldn’t recommend it since it looks out to a parking lot and a busy street – not the most appealing setting.
The menu lists traditional coffee drinks, teas and bucket list items. The Mocha Picante is a popular drink, and I highly recommend it. You can also try the Orangutan and Red Latte. There’s also a section of travel tips, such as extra shot, alternative mile and syrup. Cute, right?
They have a wide selection of breakfast and lunch paninis, as well as oatmeal and pastries. The people behind the counter are super friendly and helpful, and the owner is frequently there making drinks and making sure everyone is enjoying their coffee. Guests will find open tables throughout the day, as it never gets too crowded.
If you go
Hours: Monday to Friday – 6:00am – 6:00pm; Saturday – 7:30am – 6:00pm; Sunday – CLOSED
St. Mark’s has been – and probably always will be – my go-to coffee shop in Denver. I’ve been frequenting this place since I was in high school, and it still serves as the perfect spot to meet up with old friends when they’re back in town.
Located in the City Park West neighborhood, St. Mark’s is named after the patron saint of Venice, which was one of the first cities in Europe to import coffee. St. Mark’s lion, gargoyle statues, colorful tiles and fresco-style paintings decorate the coffeehouse. Church pews line the wall on one side, and patrons sit at marble-topped tables. On a nice day, garage doors at the front and back of the coffeehouse open to outdoor seating areas.
When it comes to drinks and food, I usually fall back on my favorite: a cappuccino and an everything bagel with plain cream cheese. The menu consists of traditional coffee options, like mocha, latte and chai. If you feel like taking a break from coffee, I recommend trying one of their Italian Sodas – they’re perfect on a hot summer day. Food items vary from bagels and muffins to hearty paninis and cookies.
If you’re a night owl, St. Mark’s is one of the few coffee shops in Denver that stays open until midnight. If you’re looking for a different kind of brew, you can order a craft beer from the bar next door, The Thin Man.
St. Mark’s is a very popular coffee shop. If you want to guarantee yourself a table, I recommend arriving early. The place is packed by 9am. The traffic ebbs and flows, so you may get lucky if you arrive later in the day. You’ll find a mixture of people plugged into laptops, friends and families chatting over drinks, and busy-bodies stopping in for a coffee-to-go. Its your quintessential neighborhood hangout, and I wish I lived closer so I could spend more time there
If you go
Location: 2019 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206
Hours: Everyday 6:30am – 12pm
Copper Door began as a wholesaler back in 2006, roasting beans out of a garage. When Hannah Ulbrich took over the operations back in 2014, it expanded to become a coffee haven for the community. There are now two cafe locations in Denver: Mayfair and The Yard on Santa Fe.
I visited the Mayfair location on Jersey St., situated in an unassuming retail structure. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have found this place had it not been for my mom who recommended I check it out. Now that I know it’s there, I’ll definitely be going back.
A wall of doors welcomes you as you enter the quaint cafe, offering the perfect backdrop for an instagram-worthy shot. The baristas were super friendly and eager to help me decide what to order. I was feeling adventurous this time, and figured I’d divert from my usual cappuccino. I treated myself to a Dulce de Leche latte and a sweet potato chorizo burrito – both delicious and very reasonably priced.
The atmosphere is quiet and cozy, with plenty of tables where people can work on their various projects. A set of comfortable chairs sit in the corner, with a pile of games and toys next to them for children to enjoy. Bags of coffee line the shelves next to the counter, available for you to purchase and brew at home at your leisure.
I’m glad I discovered this coffee gem. It’s the perfect spot to grab a brew with friends, enjoy a quick breakfast or lunch break, or hunker down and work. Another cool fact to know about this place? Copper Door is the only 100% female-owned coffee roaster in Denver, and it actively supports women in the coffee industry. I can get behind that!
If you go
Locations: 932 Jersey St., Denver, CO 80220 & 900 W. 1st Avenue #180, Denver, CO 80223
Hours: Monday – Friday – 6:00AM – 5:00PM; Saturday – Sunday – 7:00AM – 4:00PM
Other Noteworthy Denver Coffee Shops
There are several Denver coffee shops you can visit, and I encourage you to explore the many options around town. If you need more recommendations, here are a few others I enjoy.
Hooked on Colfax – 3213 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206; 7am – 10pm Daily
Blue Sparrow Coffee – 3070 Blake Street, Unit 180, Denver, Colorado 80205
Crema – 2862 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205; Open every day 7am—5pm
Downpours Coffee – 3937 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212; open 7am – 4pm daily
Novo Coffee – Multiple locations and hours of operation
Do you have a favorite coffee shop in Denver? I’m always looking for new places to grab my other favorite brew. Please share in the comments.
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