Looking for the best coffee shops in Colorado Springs? The local craft coffee scene has been keeping Springsters caffeinated for a macchiato minute, riding what coffee aficionados commonly call the third wave of coffee. That term was coined two decades ago to define an artisan movement to replace poorly mass-produced coffee with intentional sourcing and nuanced tasting notes.
When it comes to a quality cup, the heart of the city holds a high concentration of the best coffee shops in the Springs. Downtown coffeehouses and cafes offer something for everyone, whether you’re carrying out, meeting a colleague, on a remote work session or nestling into a comfy couch for conversation or contemplation. Here’s a peek at what’s percolating at our favorite coffee shops in Colorado Springs.
More Coffee Than Cafe
You can always find a pastry and delicious lighter fare here, but these downtown coffee shops are anchored by their beans and beverages.
Building Three Coffee
Sometimes stylized as Building3, Building III or B3, this hot spot sits inside the Lincoln Center. The former elementary school originally opened in 1948 and is now home to a variety of artisan vendors. Building Three’s owners have a special interest in where their beans are imported from and often take origin trips to build relationships with their farmers.
The beanery roasts onsite, providing their wholesale beans to other coffee shops and restaurants around town. Along with carefully crafted coffee, you can pick up a pastry — with vegan and gluten-free options — at Building Three, or grab a bite at its sister restaurant Sisu Cafe and Mercantile two doors down.
“I attended a behind-the-scenes cupping at Building Three a couple months ago, a special tasting where you look for aspects such as sweetness, acidity and body,” says Bailey Ashida of Visit Colorado Springs. “Building Three is not your average coffee shop. They have a strong dedication to uniquely sourced coffee and a heart for the community.”
2727 N. Cascade Ave., Suite 155
Loyal Coffee on South Nevada is a multi-barista-owned specialty shop, with a community-first mentality. It’s roasting and espresso pulls are some of the very best around. And since opening its doors in 2016, Loyal quickly became esteemed beyond steaming milk by supporting fellow artisans and entrepreneurs. Besides community and coffee, Loyal has created buzz around its tasty toasts: bacon & egg, avocado & egg, ricotta & apple and sweet Colorado honey.
“Not only does Loyal Coffee have some of the best coffee in town, the baristas are super-knowledgeable about their craft,” says Carrie Simison of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. “It’s a comfortable place to set up for remote work. And if you need a break, you’re sure to run into a familiar face — because if you know and love coffee, you find yourself at Loyal.”
Bonus: If you’re on the northside, Loyal has a second location in the Northgate neighborhood.
408 S. Nevada Ave.
The Perk Downtown Coffee & Tea House
Located on Tejon Street, half a block from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Headquarters, this downtown cafe has a touch of ‘90s nostalgia thanks to its colorful, eclectic art and chalkboard walls. The Perk has made a long-lasting name for itself with specialty beverages, easy-to-go breakfast burritos and perky sunrise service.
“The Perk has been a staple in my life for over two decades,” says Colin Christie of Neon Pig Creative. “In high school, it was by far the coolest place to bring friends and hang out. Now, as a working professional downtown, it’s the first place I suggest to meet clients. The owners are incredibly supportive of our community, offering their upstairs space to be used by local nonprofits and meetup groups. Long live The Perk!”
14 S. Tejon St.
Solar Roast Coffee
Coffee is associated with starting the day and sunrise, and Solar Roast Coffee is using our sun as an energy source for roasting. Owners Mark and David Harktop’s journey started small, with only a satellite dish, plastic mirrors and a broccoli strainer to MacGyver a sōl-ution for roasting coffee beans a greener way.
With Helios — the chariot-riding Greek god of the sun — as their symbol of inspiration, the solar-powered siblings chased the light and found success in the Centennial State’s 300 days of shine. After establishing a brick and mortar in Pueblo a decade ago, the Harktop brothers opened a funky downtown Colorado Springs location in 2019. You can pick up a vinyl record while you’re there and check out an open mic, happening twice a month. See the schedule at @SolarRoast.
134 N. Tejon St.
Story Coffee Company
Story Coffee Company is the tiny house coffee shop residing on the south side of Acacia Park, across from Ladyfingers Letterpress. Story’s story began with co-owners Carissa and Don Niemeyer’s meet-cute 20 years ago when Carissa worked as a barista dressed for Halloween as a “saucy little hippie.”
Together, they have accumulated a wealth of knowledge within the world of coffee. The couple has judged barista competitions and reported for Barista Magazine. And before opening their Colorado Springs shop, the Niemeyers went on a quest, visiting 200 cafes in over 40 states.
In all their travels, they never found another tiny house coffee shop, leading them to believe they are the first in Colorado, if not much farther beyond. Measuring at only 160 square feet, the Niemeyers’ tiny coffeehouse has an impressive impact while leaving only a tiny footprint.
Bonus: Story Coffee opened a second shop in Old Colorado City last summer.
120 E. Bijou St.
Switchback Coffee Roasters
Most Coloradans know that a switchback is an intentional zig-zag bend along a steep trail that makes it easier to climb. The name is fitting for Switchback Coffee Roasters who many consider the King of the Mountain when it comes to coffee roasting in Colorado Springs. With pauper beginnings in a garage, Switchback has a neighborhood cafe and roastery in the Shooks Run neighborhood — and now a second location in Hillside, between downtown and Memorial Park.
“The Hillside neighborhood has a rich history we wanted to connect with,” says Brandon DelGrosso, Switchback Coffee Roasters’ owner and operator. “We came to provide a community gathering space, and we love being rooted in another neighborhood. It was an opportunity to grow our food program as well.”
Hillside has a modern aesthetic and the original Shooks Run cafe is a hip, popular spot. The two have a lot of common ground[s], including rave reviews of their avocado toasts.
Shooks Run: 330 N. Institute St.
Hillside: 909 E. Moreno Ave.
The Best Coffee Shops in Colorado Springs With Café Vibes
You’ll find some of downtown Colorado Springs’ best coffee here, but the vibes and offerings blend more extensive options.
Good Neighbors Meeting House
Good Neighbors is a true neighborhood cafe along the Shooks Run Trail, surrounded by historic homes in Patty Jewett. As a sibling eatery to the Wild Goose Meeting House, you can see the family resemblance, but each spot has something unique to offer. Good Neighbors has the more modern aesthetic with a touch of classic diner feel. It’s slightly more refined than the Goose, but you’ll find a similar blend of craft beer, cocktails and entrees alongside exceptional coffee.
According to Schaeffer Ware, managing owner of Meeting House Hospitality, the Bacon Avo Waffle is the most popular menu item, along with the breakfast sandwich. “For specialty coffee drinks, Good Neighbors has a maple brown sugar syrup and our very popular pumpkin syrup currently available until the end of November,” Ware says. (Check out Ware’s Butternut Squash Crostini recipe here for a seasonal DIY dish at home.)
505 E. Columbia St.
In the heart of the hot and poppin’ Trolley Block in downtown’s New South End sits long-time resident The Exchange, aka The Coffee Exchange. With an upstairs loft and outdoor patio, the expansive space is versatile for remote work, business meetings or brunch parties. The menu covers a lot of ground too. From bakery goods and breakfast burritos to BLTs, The Exchange provides a plethora for the palate.
“One of my favorite coffee spots is The Exchange, which offers ample outdoor seating, as well as indoor cafe tables and bar-height seating,” says Becca Tonn, communications executive. “This place has stolen my heart with its fabulous house-made muffins and treats, like their delectable lemon bar and tempting Oreo cheesecake.”
526 S. Tejon St.
Rico’s Cafe and Wine Bar
Rico’s Cafe and Wine Bar is part of the eclectic block of North Tejon Street known as the Poor Richard’s Complex. There you’ll find an interconnected bookstore, gift shop, toy store, pizzeria, cafe and wine bar owned by community leader and former City Councilor Richard Skorman.
There’s a rich history within these walls, going back to the ’70s. Rico’s Café opened 17 years ago, and it has been a substantial staple of downtown culture, supporting community artisans and providing a venue for musicians, such as the local Latin songwriter Ryan Flores and the dynamic Bohemian duo Roma Ransom.
Many go to Rico’s Café to meet with a colleague, pick up an irreverent greeting card or write a potential screenplay. Come to Rico’s for loose-leaf tea, sip a variety of wines and applaud an artist — or simply enjoy good coffee.
322 N. Tejon St.
Stir Coffee & Cocktails
Serving the Patty Jewett and Old North End neighborhoods, Stir Coffee & Cocktails sits at the northeast corner of Bon Shopping Center. Stir’s interior is inspired by literature, and the signature cocktails allude to notable works.
“The barista-bartenders ace the test! They’re easy to talk to and happy to answer questions,” says local nutritionist Katie Miller. “Interacting with them is like shooting the breeze with friends around the kitchen counter, but with better drinks. Stir covers all the bases from breakfast to charcuterie to tapas. Come at sunrise for coffee and stay through cocktail hour — or shut the place down. No one will think twice. My favorite coffee drink is the Appalachian. However, their chai latte is the best in town.”
Watch for a second Stir, opening soon in the heart of downtown on the corner of Kiowa and Tejon. “We’re looking to open in three weeks,” says Stir’s owner and operator, Amber Stull. “Stir in ‘Bonneyville’ will always be there. We have no intention of closing, just opening another. We love our neighborhood too much to ever leave them!”
2330 N. Wahsatch Ave.
Wild Goose Meeting House
There’s always something happening on the corner of North Tejon and Boulder Street. Meeting House is an accurate name for the Goose, whether it’s a casual hangout, business meeting, meal or more. Sit outside on the corner and you’ll see passersby greeting patio-dwelling friends — or you’ll know a few yourself.
The Wild Goose has a traditional, eclectic coffeehouse vibe, blended with a full menu that features craft beer and cocktails as good as the coffee. The garage door walls are usually open, weather permitting. And with its full schedule of jazz nights and spoken word, the Goose is, in our opinion, one of the best coffee shops in Downtown for live music.
“Our chai latte, lavender latte and house-made ginger beer are our most popular specialty drinks at Wild Goose,” says Schaeffer Ware. As far as food goes, the nacho platter and Wild Goose Sandwich — turkey, ham, provolone, tomato, honey mustard and gooseberry relish on sourdough — are local favorites.
401 N. Tejon St.