There are certain settings where good ideas simply come to life. Whether your best thinking happens at a comfy coffee shop, peaceful tea house or buzzing brewery, you’ll find Colorado Springs to be full of the perfect spaces for quiet introspection and creative conversation.
What’s more, as one of the most affordable, most desirable and all-around best cities in the nation, Colorado Springs boasts dozens of top-flight venues for cappuccino lovers and craft beer connoisseurs alike. Here are some of our favorite places to sip, chat, work and revel in the joys of living in Colorado Springs:
- Cerberus Brewing Company: Opened in September 2016, one of Colorado Springs’ newest businesses is already proving itself a local hotspot. After a year and a half of planning, demolition and rebuilding, Cerberus has given new life to a former veterinary hospital on Colorado Avenue. With beers of every style and delicious pub food, this is a perfect place to brainstorm your next idea alongside a buddy or two, or even your pup—the patio is dog-friendly!
- Story Coffee: Tucked behind the band shell at downtown Acacia Park is a little coffee house that found a perfect fit in the “tiny home capital of America.” Housed in a true tiny home, Story Coffee originated from two families who toured the country drinking coffee and finally settled in Colorado Springs. Grab a spot inside—or outside when it’s warm—and try a coffee flight (two coffees, side by side), and you won’t be disappointed.
- Yellow Mountain Tea House: In the historic district of Old Colorado City, Yellow Mountain is a must-visit for those looking for a piece of authentic culinary culture and a wide assortment of Chinese teas. You can enjoy everything from green and oolong styles to herbal and chai varieties, all inside a space as beautiful as the culture it celebrates. The tea house recently expanded and is also now serving dim sum plates, featuring bite-sized morsels such as rice balls and steamed dumplings.
- Wild Goose Meeting House (above): Whether it’s sitting down for morning coffee with a book in hand, enjoying happy hour with colleagues or an end-of-the-night glass of wine, Wild Goose has you covered. The spot is well-known locally for its live music, delectable cinnamon rolls, walls lined with literature, and when the garage doors roll up in the summer—a lovely view of both downtown and the mountains.
- Urban Steam: Espresso, waffles, whiskey and burgers? Maybe don’t try all of those at once, but this unique, hip spot on the south edge of downtown does all of them well. To complement your caffeine fix, you can get a waffle just about any way you like it—with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, cornmeal, or even a caprese basil pesto waffle.
- Ohana Kava Bar: For those looking to break out of their everyday coffee routine, Ohana offers a refreshing alternative: kava, a non-alcoholic drink that originated in the Pacific Islands. Kava is a natural sedative that, when used responsibly, can act as an herbal remedy for stress and anxiety while still keeping thoughts clear. Ohana offers multiple variations of the drink, as well as smoothies, coffee, tea and juice.
- Ivywild School: This former schoolhouse (built in 1916) is now home to multiple hangouts under one roof: The Principal’s Office and Axe and The Oak Whiskey feature quality cocktails and libations, and there’s no better spot for dinner and beers than Bristol Brewery. And you can’t leave without grabbing a pretzel, croissant, or sandwich from Old School Bakery. For music fans, Ivywild also hosts inexpensive concerts featuring up-and-coming and local artists.
- Red Leg Brewing Company (above): This veteran-owned brewery, whose name refers to the red stripe that artillery soldiers wore on their pant legs during the Civil War, is all about honoring those who serve in the military—while producing some internationally-renowned beer. Red Leg’s Blue Nose Brown and Devil Dog Stout have helped the brewery bring home medals from the World Beer Cup two of the past three years.
- Loyal Coffee: Promoting the slogan “Community by Way of Coffee,” Loyal is all about sharing the local love and pride of calling Colorado Springs home. The shop is collaboratively owned by a group of local baristas from some of Colorado Springs’ top cafes, including the aforementioned Principal’s Office and Wild Goose Meeting House. It’s also located right next door to Iron Bird Brewing, so you can enjoy your coffee…and then go have a local beer!
- Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.: A Colorado Springs stalwart, Phantom Canyon has been serving up its locally-famous craft brews since 1993 in the historic Cheyenne Building. With a rotating beer tap list along with barley wine, bottled Belgians and tasty grub, there’s a little something for everyone. Located right in the heart of downtown, Phantom Canyon is a perfect place to take a happy hour meeting—or to head after work to unwind with a local brew.