Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).
In September 2020, the Denver Botanic gardens unveiled the final result of $116 million in renovations and upgrades. The gardens expanded with a new gift shop, welcome center, children’s garden, art galleries and an outdoor bistro. But one of its greatest additions is accessible without having to spend $15 to enter the gardens.
Copper Door Coffee Roasters, which has a separate entrance at the corner of York Street and 11th Avenue, is an independently run, woman-owned cafe that has become a vibrant gathering place for the neighborhood (and some of its cutest dogs, which you can often meet on the front patio). Floor-to-ceiling windows give an incredible view of the foliage surrounding the gardens, and the shop is filled with plants you can purchase along with your matcha latte or espresso.
Copper Door started in 2006 as a wholesale roaster here in Denver. In 2014, Hannah Ulbrich took over the business and expanded with several coffee shops over the next several years — in Lowry (7581 E. Academy Blvd.), Baker (900 W. First Ave.), Aspen Grove (7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton) and at Denver Botanic Gardens.
But it’s that garden-adjacent location that truly made us fall in love. It’s our favorite place in Denver to watch the leaves change each fall, and the vibe inside the shop shifts with the changing season.
The cafe serves classic Denver coffee shop fare — breakfast burritos, scones and croissants — but we fell even more in love the first time we tried a drink from their eclectic specialty menu. The maple-orange latte has surpassed the pumpkin spice latte — by far — to become our favorite warm, comforting taste of fall and winter.
Of course, our favorite way to sip this coffee is while strolling the gardens or walking around Cheesman Park. But coffee this good is worth traveling for even without a garden stroll.
Copper Door Coffee Roasters at Denver Botanic Gardens, 1085 York St., copperdoorcoffee.com.
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