A bit of a hike from downtown, on a busy street in south Denver that feels part industrial, part suburban commercial sprawl, part hipster bait gentrification zone, you’ll find the roastery and cafe of Corvus Coffee Roasters, known as one of the finest roasting houses in the area and my choice for Denver’s finest coffee house.
Not to be confused with Crema, the coffee and gelato shop in Jersey City, NJ, also found in my directory.
Located in the RiNo district, across the street from ink! Coffee’s flagship outlet. They may not be for everyone, but I found the building and interior beautiful. The black painted exterior is softened by yellow painted artwork and a shock of light blue with red accents around one of the entrances, and two huge windows that brighten one of the mishmash of rooms in this large space covering two separate storefronts which have been opened up. There’s also an eclectic mix of interesting artwork and decoration.
Pablo’s has been around forever and was on the vanguard of Denver’s coffee scene. It’s pretty clear from their website that these people are serious about their coffee, but the feeling in the cafe is a very accessible neighborhood joint.
Another Denver roaster and cafe operator, their original cafe on N. Pecos in the Sunnyside neighborhood is revered (and definitely on my list for my next trip). I visited the newer outlet, a stand-alone inside the Dairy Block complex in LoDo.
Novo is one of the region’s best regarded roasters, and their beans can be found at several quality coffee shops. They also operate four cafes in Denver, including this outlet in a newish multi-use building downtown off the 16th Street Mall and just steps away from an ink! Coffee outlet.
This small cafe in LoDo has a very high end, Scandinavian aesthetic. All the finishes feel expensive and cold. Gleaming white laminates, marble, wood in various shades, everything spare, the lighting is just so. I felt like I should have been much taller, much thinner, much blonder, wearing a turtleneck and plain, wire-rimmed glasses, not smiling because life is suffering and my turtleneck is very itchy and Ingmar Bergman is filming me in achingly beautiful yet incredibly depressing black and white.
A local chain founded in Aspen in 1994, it feels a little more corporate than indie. This location was bright and airy, if a bit sterile. The barista was friendly enough but didn’t seem to have any level of expertise. A Rancilio machine is used to make your espresso.
I really wanted to love this cafe near the University of Denver. Beautiful space, busy, friendly staff – I appreciated that the barista checked first on how I wanted my macchiato made – and great decor, including dolls of Pee Wee Herman and his pal Pterri hanging off the menu board. They seem to take the coffee seriously but not too seriously, roast their own beans, and offer classes.