My List of 8 Top-Tier Denver Cafes You’re Gonna Love

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Anastasiya Tkachenko

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Copywriter and Blogger behind The Journal. This is where I like to ask & answer questions, document travels, and share my world with you. I'm so happy you're here. 

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Cafes in Denver

Some of my best ideas, life-changing decisions, or a new sense of self have come about while sitting at a cafe.

There’s something magical about meeting up with friends or lovers over a cappuccino…

Or just sitting by ourselves in the cozy corner of what feels like our own little corner of the universe for a few hours.   

There’s nothing I love more than walking around Denver on a sunny Sunday morning, admiring the surrounding neighborhoods, and on the hunt for my next favorite cafe.  

Doesn’t it feel so intimate and special finding your new favorite cafe in an eccentric neighborhood?

A spot that has a warm and welcoming atmosphere with delicious drinks and small bites.

You can already sense inspiration for your next big idea brewing, can’t you?

It’s such a simple pleasure to sit and enjoy my favorite Iced Oat Milk Matcha Latte with a good friend, or with my laptop, spending the morning writing for my clients or brainstorming ideas for my blog.  

So whether you’re new to the city of Denver or a long-term native, there’s always a new cafe opening in the city and surrounding neighborhoods that are worth checking out.

So, if you’re in the mood to explore new cafes in your area of town, read-on the list below of my list of 8 Top-Tier Cafes You’re Gonna Love right here in Denver, CO.



The Molecule Effect

Eccentric, Moody, Hidden-Gem

If you’re wondering if The Molecule Effect is as cool as it sounds, then you are right.

Their website simply does not do them justice by showing off how truly amusing, eclectic, and deliciosuly moody their cafe and wine bar truly is.

Their first location opened in the acclaimed Denver Art District on Santa Fe and quickly opened a second location in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Denver, Washington Park.

What you’ll notice as soon as you step inside is the owner’s appreciation for welcoming and displaying art from Denver’s local art community. 

You’re likely to find a new local artist’s work displayed each time you visit.

It’s an ever-rotating display of artwork from some of the most talented artists Denver has to offer.

With that, throughout the week they host trivia nights, stand-up comics, musical-gigs on Fridays, and so much more.

It’s a hidden gem.

So whether you’re in bright and early at 7 am for your daily intake of a “Bullet Proof” coffee and breakfast sandwich, or spending your evening with friends after work enjoying a Cosmopolitan and live music, you’ll feel the chemistry at The Molecule Effect.   

How’s the atmosphere?

Art gallery meets cocktail lounge, with a sprinkle of comedy and comfy couches. 

What’s the crowd like?

In the morning and early afternoon, you’ll find a quiet work environment. Most of the crowd is working alone or in small groups, typically with headphones focused on getting their work done. As the sun sets, the crowd gets louder and it turns into a social hour for happy hour. 

I’m in, what should I try?

I love their Autumn Rose Latte, Brown Sugar Lavender Mocha, and Sencha Green Tea. Oh, and don’t forget to try the Southwest Breakfast Sandwich. Did I mention they have a bar?


Contemporary, Cool, City-Chic  

Aviano is the it-spot in Cherry Creek North, known for the high-fashion and being a high-roller neighborhood within Denver.

With two locations in Cherry Creek, depending on your mood, you can either enjoy a more intimate setting on Detroit St. or more of a community/work environment at St. Paul.

Either way, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a cool cafe in New York or London.

The cafe itself feels industrial, like you’ve stepped into a loft with high ceilings, concrete seating, and minimal, yet expressive and artisitc interior design. 

It’s one of the most perfect places to sit outside during the warmer months, right under the grand, luscious trees surrounding their patio.

This is more of an upscale, artisanal coffee shop with a bit more of pricier items, but still worth visiting and enjoying.  

I’d say it’s definitely an ideal spot for a first-date, or catching up with friends.

There’s nothing else like it.

How’s the atmosphere?

It’s cool, but a little cold because of the industrial elements. Very airy, sophisticated, and upscale.

What’s the crowd like?

Aviano brings out the who’s who of Cherry Creek North. From fashionistas and colorful creatives to business people and well-dressed locals.

I’m in, what should I try?

My go-to is an Iced Matcha Latte with Oat Milk with one of their fruity pastries. 

Novo Coffee

Funky, Delicious, Unique

If you’ve recently been walking around the beautiful Cheeseman Park neighborhood or took a stroll down 6th Avenue, then you might have stumbled into Novo Coffee.

If you’re not a frequent visitor to this area, then you’ve probably yet to make your way into this coffee shop which is perfectly suited on the corner of Gilpin Street and 6th Avenue, just down the street from the Esquire Theatre and the fan-favorite, Angelo’s Taverna.

But once you’ve made your way in, you’re gonna want to come right back.

The outdoor seating and proximity to Cherry Creek North keeps me coming back.

In the warmer months, Novo is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing drink after a long walk around Cheeseman Park.

Grab your go-to, then find a shady spot outside to sit and enjoy the glistening summer sun, or take it to go to stroll and admire the grandiose homes surrounding the park.

Plus, you have a chance to get a sneak-peak of the beloved Denver Botanic Gardens.

Or, in the cooler months, you can easily walk to Novo from Angelo’s Taverna, or another personal favorite of mine, Pho on 6th.

Nothing better than spicy broth on a cold winter’s day.

It’s a bit out of the way of your typical commute, but no matter what time of day, you’ll most likely find your perfect spot, just for you and your company.  

How’s the atmosphere?  

Leans more on the quiet side, but perfectly welcoming with the kind staff.

What’s the crowd like?

You’ll typically find studious people working on their craft inside, then pairs and groups of people outside chatting away.

I’m in, what should I try?

They pride themselves on their quality of coffee, (which they purchase from all over the world) so any of their speciality coffees are extra special. I also love their Matcha.

Bird Bakery 

Charming, Wholesome, Adorable

Not all great cafes are based in Denver, and this Greenwood Village cafe proves it.

Bird Bakery, located in the middle of DTC (Denver Tech Center), is the new heart of Greenwood Village.

Perfectly tucked away in the Belleview Promenade off of Belleview & I-25, and being the first store outside of their flagship bakery in Texas, Bird Bakery was an instant hit within the GV community.

As soon as you walk in, you’ll fall in love with the sweetness of it all: the cupcakes, design, and especially the staff.

You’re going to want to spend your entire morning sitting by the grand windows, enjoying one of their many baked goods and heartwarming drinks no matter the season.

Not only are the award-winning cupcakes darling and super delicious, but anything and everything off of their sweet & savory menu is going to satisfy your cravings.

And did I mention you can order a custom layer cake or pie? Umm, yes, please.

Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast casserole, nostalgic grilled cheese, cookie, brownie, or cupcake, Bird Bakery has got something special for you.   

How’s the atmosphere? 

Typically busy around lunchtime, but otherwise it’s usually comforting, friendly, and enjoyable. The staff not only is extremely welcoming and hospitable, but they take care of their customers like they’re family.

What’s the crowd like?

This is a family-friendly joint for sure, so you’re gonna run into a lot of families coming through, especially lovely moms getting together for brunch. Bird Bakery is located in DTC, which is a hub for companies and business people, so you’ll often see meetings taking place here as well.  

I’m in, what should I try?

Anything and everything. I personally love the Award-Winning Carrot Cupcake, the Monster Cookie, Tomato Soup with Nostalgic Grilled Cheese, and an Iced Hibiscus-Mint Tea with Lemonade.  

Hudson Hill

Ultra-Cool, Airy, City-Chic

Probably one of the coolest places in Capitol Hill to chill out, catch up on computer work, hang out with friends, or grab a late-night drink, all in one refreshing space.

Hudson Hill, located on 13th and Pearl in the popular Denver neighborhood of Capitol Hill ,is such a cool spot that you won’t ever want to leave.

Filled with tall ceilings, sprouting plants, and grand windows that let in a beautiful abundance of light through every inch of the cafe, as soon as you walk in you’ll immediately feel excited to be there.

A small yet functional space, the cafe has an extensive bar, couches for soaking in the sun, and a good amount of workspace available (make sure to come early to snag a spot before it gets too busy). 

Somehow, even at full capacity, it never feels too full or dull.

The luscious amount of plants and greenery hung throughout the cafe makes you feel calm and as if you’ve been transported somewhere tropical.

It’s my favorite place to write, feel inspired, meet with friends, and observe local Denverites.

How’s the atmosphere?  

Sunny, interesting, and inspiring. There’s something about sitting with other ultra-cool city people that makes you feel like anything is possible. It’s an intimate space that has room for everyone and anyone. 

What’s the crowd like?

You’ll find the coolest kids in town here, business professionals, and couples out for date night. Right smack in the middle of Capitol Hill, you’re in the middle of one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods.   

I’m in, what should I try?  

Don’t miss out on the Japanese Style Matcha Latte, Breakfast Burrito, or a good old-fashioned Oat Milk Cold Brew

La Belle Rosette  

Lovely, University Life, Simple

If you’re near the University of Denver and wanna stop in for a delicious iced coffee, GF cinnamon roll, and get a taste of being back in University, then head into La Belle Rosette, a tucked-away coffee shop and wine bar that only DU locals and University students know about.

It’s a simple cafe with minimal seating and decor, but man are the drinks good.

Usually, you’ll find plenty of DU students using their time off to work on their assignments, so the seats get filled up fast.

But, if you’re in the mood for a quick fix of delicious coffee, specialty tea, or cozy goods like chocolate croissants, lemon bars, or breakfast paninis, then you’ve gotta stop by this darling cafe on your next day to or from work. 

And if there’s not enough seating, you can take your goodies to go and take a walk through the University of Denver campus.

How’s the atmosphere?  

Quiet, studious, and productive. If you’re coming here to stay awhile, then it’s most likely to get some work done on your own. There isn’t much room for group work, but if you get there early, you should be able to snag a table.

What’s the crowd like?

You’ll typically find on any given day University students grinding away, with a sprinkle of loyal neighborhood locals enjoying their morning coffee. 

I’m in, what should I try?  

Try their Iced Coffee with Vanilla and Oat Milk, the GF cinnamon Roll (so yummy), or the Tangerine Green Sencha Tea. Actually, get all three.

Nixon’s Coffee House

Warm, Inviting, Reliable 

The coffee shop I tend to recommend most often is Nixon’s Coffee House.

It offers a space for all my favorite things: studying, working, meetups, and lazy weekends.

It’s location seems perfectly situated in the middle of it all: simple drive to downtown Denver, down the street from Washington Park, and just around the corner of South Pearl Street

The coffee house itself is the ideal combination of an indoor-outdoor feel.

In the summer, the open up the glass wall and you’re truly letting the refreshing wind and glistening sunlight pour into the cafe.

They’ve got plenty of seating (fills up fast), but overall, it’s an incredibly warm and inviting environment.

The staff are some of the nicest people I know.

There’s not enough room to explain how lovely this place is, please go experience the delight on your next day off.

How’s the atmosphere? 

Calm, warm, and busy. The floor-to-ceiling windows open up to let in all the good natural light, but it can get quite hot inside during the spring and summer. Nonetheless, it can get a little loud and busy, but a simple pair of noise-canceling headphones solves all the noise problems.  

What’s the crowd like?

You’ll find all types of wonderful people here. Some enjoy their alone time with a book, some meetings, interviews, or group projects, families, couples on the go, and everything in between.   

I’m in, what should I try?

Do youself a favor and try a few things off the menu, they never dissapoint. Make sure you grab a yogurt parfait, a Pomegranate Iced Tea, Pumpkin Bread, Vanilla Steamer, or Crisp Apple Cider. Delicious!

Olive & Finch

All-In-One, Quality, Delightful

In terms of location, quality of products, staff, and overall enjoyment, Olive & Finch has it all.

Perfectly located in the center of Cherry Creek North, within walking distance to Cherry Creek Mall, not only is this the ideal eatery and bakery to visit for a quick pick-me-up, but you’re more likely to want to spend your entire day here.

And you actually can!

With room to brunch, study, meet up with friends or colleagues, or just take yourself out, you could spend your entire day here enjoying the variety of delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, pressed juice, or happy hour options.

You’ll be so impressed by the quality of food and drink that you’ll think you’re at sit-down restaurant.

Whether you’re here in the summer and enjoying the patio seating, or in the winter and getting cozy inside, Olive & Finch is your place for anything and everything you may want throughout your day.

And the desserts are just fabulous. 

How’s the atmosphere? 

Very chill, but energizing. There’s never dull energy here at any given time and there are always eager customers inside. It gets pretty busy during lunchtime and over the weekend, so come early to make sure you grab a spot. 

What’s the crowd like?

Depending on the time of day, you’ll either find people working on their computers, or in small groups enjoying a breakfast date, or some rowdier groups in the late afternoon during happy hour. Either way, you’ll always feel the warm, lively energy from the crowd or the staff. 

I’m in, what should I try?

This is a tough one since there are many menu items and everything is worth mentioning. My personal favorites are the Shakshuka (yes, they do have Shakshuka and it’s great), Sonoma (two sunny side eggs w/vegetables, goat cheese, fruit, and English muffin), Rejuvenate Pressed Juice, and a brownie.  

Thank you for making it to the end of my list!

By the way, are you feeling adventurous?

Click here to read my travel guide, 48 Hours In Aspen, to get some major inspiration and plan ahead for your next trip to Aspen, Colorado.



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