Bars and pubs are the usual go-to for social interaction, but there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a nice cup of coffee—or, perhaps, a hot chocolate—and nibbling down a tasty pastry while passing the hours with friends or getting some work done.
And while the idea of a local bistro might make you think of a French cafe or your corner roastery, Denver is home to a particularly standout collection of coffee shops specializing in Latin American-style treats.
If you’re in the Berkeley neighborhood, be sure to stop by Convivio Cafe (pictured above), which is Denver’s first women-owned, Guatemalan-inspired bilingual café, and is based on the idea of a convivio—which in Guatemala, is a get-together where all are welcome. This bright, airy cafe partners with family-owned sustainable roasters, tea growers and more based in Guatemala and Colombia. While you’re there, check out the patio and enjoy their specialty drinks, cafe del dia (coffee of the day) or antojitos.
Cherry Bean Specialty Coffee
Simon Lagos, originally from Honduras, opened Cherry Bean in 2015 and it has become a favorite hangout in the Sunnyside neighborhood. (There is now a second location on Broadway near Capitol Hill.) The offerings are inspired by Central America and the Caribbean Islands such as the cortadito Cubano or horchata that comes iced or hot. You'll find other house specials like the salted caramel latte. While coffee is Cherry Bean's strong suit, you'll find a good tea selection, superfood lattes, international pastries, breakfast burritos and other goodies like chia pudding. It's a quiet place to get some work done or meet up with friends.
Tonantzin Casa de Cafe
Right in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, this cafe specializes in coffee and atole drinks inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Southwest and Latin America. Their food spans burritos, Chilean-style empanadas, tortas and sandwiches, but they truly excel at coffee. Be sure to try the mocha picante or horchata latte next time you pop. Best visited when the weather is great, so you can bask in the open-air courtyard.
Cultura Craft Chocolate
Located in Westwood, Cultura Chocolate is open in the evenings on Thursdays and Fridays, and during the day on weekends, and is also home to the Hecho en Westwood Collective. This unique spot is a Latina-owned bean-to-bar chocolate-making company with a mission to create truly amazing chocolate that has greater transparency, sustainability and accessibility—particularly notable given the chocolate industry. While you’re there, delight in a wide selection of coffees, chocolates and tasty treats.
On South Broadway, LaTinto stands out as a Colombian-style cafe. Colombia is known internationally for its coffee, which lacks the bitterness of other traditional brews. The cafe specializes in Colombian baked goods—many of which are gluten-free, along with other South American pastries. Not a coffee drinker? Fear not, LaTinto’s Colombian hot chocolate is a truly decadent treat you don’t want to miss.
Rounding out this list, if you find yourself in Englewood, stop at Home Cafe. This colorful Mexican-style brunch spot boasts churros, smothered burritos, skillets and more, as well as a really great cup of coffee. Highlights for us included the classic huevos rancheros, chilakiles and Mexican-style hot chocolate.
Until next time, happy exploring!