Coffee shops have become America’s meeting place. Whether catching up with friends, catching up on work or escaping from the office drama, coffee shops now offer it all, a place to plug in and finish that report or to unplug and restore your mind, body and spirit. Here are a few that exceed the requirements for a hot cup.
Purple Door Coffee
2962 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80205
Open since April 2013, this coffee shop is a full cup of generosity and social justice. Purple Door is a community coffee shop that employs homeless teens to move their lives away from the past lives of poverty and homelessness. After many years of planning, the shop opened thanks to Madison Chandler, a former intern at Dry Bones, a youth advocate and mission leadership organization for youth living on the streets. Today, Purple Door Coffee is spiritually supported by Dry Bones and Belay, a youth employment program for at-risk youth. The coffee shop serves a handful of coffee and tea drinks and a daily selection of pastries.
853 E. Ohio Ave
Denver, CO 80209
The beauty of Wash Perk is that customers are not just a revenue stream, they are family. It even looks like your favorite aunt’s living room, with mix-matched furniture in a cute corner house, brightly painted walls and a friendly staff to match. Wash Perk gives a lot of attention to sustainability, including water-stingy plumbing, and for regulars, a reusable and refundable mason jar $1 program for iced drinks. As for beverages, food and treats, the cafe is laser focused on local, with Kaladi Brothers coffee, Mame’s burritos, Sweet Action ice cream and locally baked sweets.
1628 16th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Denver is more than lucky to have one of the best independent bookstores in the country, with no signs of caving in to the behemoth Amazon of online book sales. It’s kind of like being in the library without all the shushing. And nothing goes better with a good book than a great cup of coffee. Udi’s is the food supplier, so it’s always local and always real. Book signings make the place all the more fun, so sign up for its events calendar newsletter.
The Market at Larimer Square
1445 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
The Market could be a transplant from San Francisco, New York or even London. It has that same feel when you walk into a place with good bones, history and a menu large enough to keep people coming back for more than just coffee. When you see the shelves, you’ll see that this place is still true to its roots as a local grocer. Since 1983, The Market has been operating as much more than a quaint grocery. Hot plate specials, a full-on deli, a luscious bakery, fresh juices and a coffee bar with a hot toddy and brunch cocktail bar will keep your brain busy on deciding what to order.
Related: Top Doughnut Shops in Denver
Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.