Coffee Shops, Wash Park, Denver, Harvard Gulch, Platt Park, Near DU, University Neighborhood

I love frequenting new coffee shops and I am always on the look out for a new place to caffeinate.  Here are a few of my favorites in our neighborhood!

Wash Perk

Two coffee shops occupied the space where Wash Park now resides - a converted home nestled into the neighborhood just a few blocks west of Wash Park. Why those coffee shops failed is anyone’s guess, but the reason Wash Perk has been a success is no mystery. This coffee shop feels like an old friend. Wash Perk’s slogan is “Coffee*Conversation*Community,” and it’s clear from the over-sized bulletin board tacked with snapshots of the locals and flyers for community events, that the cafe has succeeded in becoming one of the neighbors. The lush planter boxes that line the sidewalk outside are sponsored by community members who donate the produce grown to organizations that feed those in need. The cheerful interior, its bright, yellow walls adorned with local artwork, beckon you into the eclectic mix of seating areas or work spaces, but getting a seat can be challenge in this bustling neighborhood hub. Fortunately, Wash Perk has a spacious patio that has room for canine friends, or you can take your coffee to go and walk a few blocks to the park.

Located at 853 E. Ohio

Steam Espresso Bar 

This Platt Park establishment is the cool kid of coffee shops.  You will not find grunge here, but a light, airy, upscale environment boasting exposed brick walls, concrete floors and metal fixtures.  Even the bathrooms are awesome. This is a really fun place to meet friends. The patio is fantastic and it’s common to have live music in the summer. The patio has it’s own “walk up window” that looks into the coffee shop.  The coffee is excellent and the presentation is beautiful. Service can be a little slow, but it is well worth the wait.

Located at 1801 S. Pearl.



 Kaladi’s is named after the original sheepherder who discovered the power of coffee beans, which makes sense because Kaladi’s is all about the coffee. Unlike many roaster, Kaladi’s uses the air-roasting method. In air-roasting, the beans don’t touch a roaster surface, so they never develop a bitter or scorched taste, but are clean and aromatic.  The proof of how good their coffee is lies in the fact that many area coffee houses use and sell their beans. The shop is iconic and a mainstay of the DU and Harvard Gulch neighborhood. The owner's desire is to serve fabulous coffee and this Kaladi’s is the only one in Denver. Go early to get a good table, say hi to my favorite barista, Sami “Slamsonite” (Denver Roller Derby), and take a bag of beans home to enjoy throughout the week.  

Located at 1730 E. Evans


Keith’s Coffee Bar  

Formerly a Dazbog, Keith’s is now independent and locally owned.  This shop is cozy and inviting. It has a a large seating area and a wonderful patio.  The Saturday morning that I was in, there was a jazz trio playing, which set an artsy feel to everything.  This coffee shop is very relaxing and is a great place to study, work or meet friends. The coffee was excellent and Keith does a great job supporting the Harvard Gulch and University Neighborhood Associations by donating lots of free coffee!

Located at 2450 S. Downing


La Belle Rosette

I came for coffee and stayed for sangria!  This cute shop near DU is family owned and is super quaint.  A couple of things make this a favorite. Dessert! Wine! La Belle Rosette is an Espresso and Wine bar - but they also have delicious food and did I mention dessert?  If you are craving a sweet treat, this is a great place to go. Grab coffee or an adult beverage! You will not be disappointed. Parking can be a little challenging because of the campus.

Located at 2423 S. University



So I just found this place.  Beans is on campus at DU. The coolest  thing about Beans is that it was designed by the students in the entrepreneurship class in the Hospitality Management program and is run by and staffed by students in the Hospitality School and Business School.  It is a great space - airy and bright and the coffee is excellent. It was fun talking to the Barista about what he was learning about running a business through working at the coffee shop and I liked feeling like my coffee dollar was helping our future business leaders.  If you happen to be on campus and need a caffeine break, check out this cool shop.

Located inside the Knoebel School of Hospitality