The Best Coffee Shops in Denver for the Afternoon Slump
Get your caffeine fix at these local cafes.
Denver runs on coffee. Or at least, a sizable portion of it does. It’s hard not to when every block is home to the quaintest, coziest coffee shops roasting excellent cups of joe. There’s a coffee shop for every occasion here, from the daily remote worker to the late-night caffeine fiend to the serial dater who also happens to love a matcha latte. Huddled in a private booth or out sunning yourself on a patio, you’ll find plenty of places in Denver to get energized and hang out, from leading coffee legacies like Queen City and Huckleberry to new(er) kids on the block like Milk & Honey. Here are our favorite coffee shops in Denver.
The vibes, as the kids say, are immaculate here. Picture a dreamy, dark-academia-style coffee shop with deep green walls, gold accents, plenty of flora, and really good coffee. Milk & Honey is tucked away off Blake, just next to a barber shop (tip: you can find the restrooms in that shared common space between the two), and is perfect for getting some work done or meeting friends. Open every day except for Tuesdays, Milk & Honey is women- and veteran-owned, has a spacious patio, serves up tasty lattes complete with foam art, and has a small selection of pastries—next to local, for-sale art—if that’s your jam.
Yes, this is, in fact, the mobile-cart-turned-Zeppelin-coffee shop where you can get a free drip coffee every day for the rest of your life if you get their logo tattooed on you (rules apply). Aside from that, showing up for a single latte or shot of espresso is equally welcome and encouraged if you’re not a big commitment person. However, the coffee here is enough to rope you into making this your go-to caffeine spot, tattoo or not, and the punky merch Procession slings by the register is also pretty tempting.
Baker, Five Points
While there may be no such thing as perfection, balancing the craft of excellent coffee and also giving back to the roasters is something Queen City does very, very well. With deeply planted roots in the Denver community, QC established its first location in the Baker neighborhood, sharing space with Novel Strand Brewing Company. A Five Points location followed, as did the popularity among locals. What’s cool about Queen City’s coffee, aside from its quality and the warm atmosphere it’s brewed in, is that the owners—the Byington brothers—have close ties with their African coffee farmers and participate in a profit-sharing program. Good coffee brewed small-batch in Denver and only so long as the farming conditions are adequate is what we like to hear.
Some coffee shops just have that homey feel to them; it could be that the shop sits in a brick bungalow, or it might be the carefully thought-out farmhouse decor or the warmth of the staff. In an impressive balancing act, Dirt Coffee in Littleton has all three. But even more than just serving really, really good coffee (like, really good), this place also works daily to make a difference in the lives of neurodivergent folks. Stop by the OG outpost or the new Park Hill location and be assured you’ll be served with a smile, and take note of the skill training behind the barista bar or the neurodivergent facts scattered like a game of iSpy across the shop. Your morning sip will be going to a good cause here.
Denver’s art district is clearly buzzing with all the caffeine needed to fuel its artists and young professionals, and this corner spot is an ideal one for those professionals to work remotely, too. And even if coffee isn’t your thing, a variety of teas, fresh juices, and kombuchas are available. It’s also got bites both small and on the larger side—including a tempting pork belly banh mi sandwich—to accompany your hot or iced drink of choice. Stop by the flagship location and stay awhile or grab a quick cup at the Crema Bodega in Denver Central Market.
Congress Park, Berkeley
Another coffee shop that locals—no matter which neighborhood you’re in—love to return to. Downpours serves hit-the-spot, house-roasted coffee to its followers, whether you’re taking your caffeine to go or working for a few hours with the help of a pour-over. Come for the sensational espresso, rotating seasonal flavors, and scratch-made milk alternatives, and stay for warm, buttery croissants fresh out of the oven.
Residing in the Baker neighborhood is this almost-hidden gem just a jaunt from the Santa Fe art district. Find cold brew, latte foam art, and really cool merch at this roll-in-off-the-sidewalk-on-your-wheels spot, which serves killer coffee and is decked out with plants and local art. It’s a great little cafe for getting work done or simply getting away—the atmosphere is bright and airy but the space is intimate. Grab a cup, settle in, and have yourself a day.
Baker, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood
Each location of Bardo offers homey vibes, tasty lattes of both the coffee and tea variety, and are open for in-house seating as well as pickup. There’s also ample lot parking at all three, so even if you head to the Broadway location, you don’t have to mess with meters or street parking. If you do decide to stay for a bit, enjoy the Wi-Fi and access to a color printer. The big bonus: They're open daily until midnight for anyone whose productivity really kicks in after dark.
From the plants growing on the walls to the geometric designs on the bar, this coffee house has modern decor down. Come for the bright, welcoming atmosphere, stay for the craft coffee and -- bonus -- some amazing cocktails. Pair your caffeinated or boozy beverage with a cheese plate and some smoked bacon pate -- they’ve also added online ordering so pickup is a zero stress situation.
Highland & RiNo
Each month, this spot features coffee from a different roaster that excels in three pillars: quality, sustainability, and community. This rotating, curated approach is unique and keeps the experience fresh. You can also opt for other specialty selections like CBD coffee, Japanese iced coffee, local kombucha on tap, and eats from community partners like La Fillette and Rebel Bread. Indoor seating awaits those remote working, meeting a date, or enjoying some solo time, though the RiNo locale’s outdoor patio is perfect for the warm weather.
This is more than a coffee shop; it’s a nonprofit that provides youth access to apprenticeships, giving them the chance to develop business and leadership skills. Each space has that era-meets-era, repurposed look down, with a drive-thru option at the Colorado Blvd location. You can dine in here—both inside and on the patio—and the food options include handheld waffles and breakfast burritos from Preito’s.
What started in 2011 as a backyard garage roasting operation is now a US Roaster Championship winner with four cafe locations in Denver, the latest being the former Allegro space on Tennyson. Whether you go for an oat milk latte or drip coffee, be assured that you’re going to get high-quality caffeine. Huckleberry is also known for being one of Denver’s most sustainable and ethical roasters, working with smallholder farms and coffee co-ops and supporting local and community-based businesses whenever possible.
Located in (and named after) one of Denver’s history-rich neighborhoods, this cafe is all about bringing together the community and serving entirely African-roasted coffee. Whittier Cafe not only has Ethiopian coffee ceremonies every Sunday—brewed in a “jebena,” by the way—but is also Denver’s only African espresso bar. And if you’ve never tried African beer, this is the place to do that, too. A diverse crowd, local art, and a welcoming atmosphere help make this place a cozy spot to sip your favorite beverage or discover your new favorite blend.
The flagship location of Logan House (which originally started as a home delivery coffee service) is located in the Stanley Marketplace, with three locations now dotting the city. Most reside alongside shops, restaurants, and small businesses, meaning a stop for coffee also gives you the chance to support other local vendors in each community hub. Sit and sip a seasonal beverage inside or out on one of the locations’ patios, but soak up the sunlight either way (they’ve got natural lighting covered for daytime work sessions). Be sure not to miss any rotating pastries or treats, either.
City Park/Curtis Park
No detail goes overlooked here, starting with the coffee, of course. They roast in-house, using beans sourced from around the world, which means they have a pretty regular rotation of new selections for you to try. Their food comes with that same attention to detail, and the entire kitchen is gluten-free. Indoor seating is available, and while the spring specials like the vanilla rose latte, spring julep matcha latte, and sweet vanilla orange chai are all delicious, we have an inkling the summer specials are just around the corner.