Drinks Travel

Best Denver Coffee Shops with Free WiFi

“Hey, so, do you mind if I come by your business and sit for a couple of hours, but I’ll buy a cup of coffee?”

Well, I am sure you also need an electrical outlet, WiFi, and a bathroom.

If that is you, and you work remotely, these places will not have a problem with you if you keep in mind that they are businesses. So, make sure you are here as a paying customer, and even better is if you can make it rain when tipping the staff, but if you can’t try to do that, try heading to the public library.

I’m not going even to pretend I have a discerning pallet for coffee, so I am unfortunately not able to tell you which businesses have the best coffee (if you do know your coffee, contact me because I’d like to be able to help steer people in the right direction).

LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

1. Aviano Coffee, Cherry Creek North

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I like this pic because of the dude on the right is dreaming of being on a yacht eating shrimp.

If there is a line, there is no hanging menu, so you’ll have to go up and get the menu if you don’t want to be that person who finally decides till they get to the front of the line.

I only went once, but the first time here, the staff didn’t seem as personable as all the other places I had been. So maybe this is where emo’s go to work as adults, or perhaps I just went on an off day.

  • Table Space: they have a shady patio with quite a bit of seating, and a community table with numerous 2-tops located along the wall which is why I’d say you’ll most be able to find a spot to sit and work while enjoying an espresso.
  • Electrical Outlets: Didn’t spot any on the patio, but in the back, along the wall they had a few electrical outlets.
  • Free WiFi: yup, 32 Mbps DL, and 8 Mbps UL.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: coffee and tea.
  • Hours: 6:30/7am till 6pm, and they are open 7 days a week.
  • Parking: metered parking to parking lots. The metered parking is up to 3 hours and costs about a $1 an hour, and I didn’t find one with a lot of issue.
  • Address: 244 Detroit St., Denver, CO 80206
  • Instagram: avianocoffee

2. Bellwether, South Park Hill

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I think this place might be the busiest in the evening as a bar.

To start with, the Bellwether is not your average place for a cup of joe because they not only do coffee, but beer, whisky, clothing, and in the back a full-fledged barbershop. With all that going, I won’t be surprised when they open a garage or iron works business too.

This is probably one of the more interesting businesses listed, and you’ll want to follow them on social media if you like whisky, or you want to compare beard sizes, or if you like art/photography.

  • Table Space: bar and about (4-5) 2-tops, and if you’re coming during the day, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a spot since this place probably gets busier in the evening.
  • Electrical Outlets: there’s a limited amount of outlets here.
  • Free WiFi: yup, and 38 Mbps DL, and 23 Mbps UL
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: yea all of it along with a haircut.
  • Hours: 7 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: street parking, so if you can’t parallel park, it’s a good time to learn.
  • Address: 5126 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220
  • Website: bellwetherdenver.com

3. Blue Sparrow Coffee, River North “Arts District” (yea arts, sure)

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Yup, this is what it looks like if you’re sitting inside.

Back in the day, this area was all industrial with a bunch of warehouses, but now they give the area the old school name the “RiNo”, some artsy graffiti, and sprinkle in some coffee shops to not scare off any of the newcomers to the hood.

UPDATE: the big developer, Mainspring that is behind this project says Blue Sparrow is supposed to have “European flair to it” which is how you do gentrification because the last half-century, this neighborhood was black (“Harlem of the West”), latin, and Japanese American (the Japanese buddhist temple is off of 19th and Larimer). Luckily, the developer has a partner on board that has done a lot of good developments under his belt that will give this spot some much-needed character.

  • Table Space: (6+) 2 tops, (5) stools and outdoor patio area. If you have a larger laptop and you utilize a mouse (like I do), you’ll need to turn the table horizontal.
  • Electrical Outlets: Only at the foot of the (6) boothed seating area although I hope you’re limber or good at guiding things in without seeing the hole.
  • Free WiFi: Almost non-existent or extremely slow (.04 Mbps). Testing my AT&T 4G cellular network in comparison resulted in a .22 Mbps and .31 upload speeds. Update (3/12/15): a little bird told me that they updated their WiFi services, and they now have blazingly fast 300+mpbs speeds (that’s good since even my carrier speeds sucked).
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: A curated and rotating coffee selection along with kombucha, CBD Nitro Cold Brew to blueberry soda on tap. Food is from local businesses.
  • Hours: Open 7 days a week, 6:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Parking: free street parking and a private lot if you can’t parallel park.
  • Address: 3070 Blake St #180, Denver, CO 80205
  • Website: bluesparrowcoffee.com

4. Carbon Beverage Cafe, Highlands

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Not a lot of windows although a framed pic of nothing is like most peoples souls.

The 80’s, the Smiths, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Front 242, and a dark viaduct loomed over what was once Paris on the Platte which is where Carbon is located nearby.

The element carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, and maybe that’s why they chose the name because “cafes and bars” have become just as abundant. Fortunately, what sets this place apart is the comfy and cozy atmosphere.

  • Table Space: bar space and several comfy areas to sit, along with an outdoor space which kind of seems on the worn side, but overall a great venue to be able to find a comfy place to sit.
  • Electrical Outlets: Several outlets scattered about, but most of the counters against the walls have clear access, along with the bar area.
  • Free WiFi: Good WiFi with 20+ Mbps
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: Coffee, tea, beer, and food (and donuts). They have it all, but the products that they have aren’t all that.
  • Hours: Open 7 days a week, 7 am – 12 am
  • Parking: free street parking and a private lot if you can’t parallel park.
  • Address: 1553 Platte St #130, Denver, CO 80202
  • Website: carbondenver.com

5. Common Grounds, Sunnyside

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Does the menu act as DMV eye chart test?

Old school granny Smith like atmosphere is where I can imagine gam gams hanging out or people playing hacky sack with their dogs tied up to the outdoor patio.

The interior is  made up of a hodgepodge of old chairs, wobbly tables, and anything you might see in a linoleum filled home, and if that is your thing, you’ll feel at home here. Although aesthetics does not matter because I am sure the coffee is what gets people coming back… with their dogs and hacky sacks.

  • Table Space: Moderate amount of larger tables and it can get a bit busy here, so you if you’re in dire need of an electrical outlet, I think only near the larger table did they have an outlet.
  • Electrical outlets: Minimal
  • Free WiFi: yes, coffee, tea, and ice cream.
  • Hours: 6:30 am – 9 pm (7 days a week)
  • Parking: street side, but you’re in a residential neighborhood, so you’ll be competing with residents for parking.
  • Address: 2139 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
  • Website: commongroundscoffeehouse.com

6. Crema Coffee House, Five Points

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Cool mural bro

Crema looks like they got into the Five Points neighborhood during its gentrification, so all they needed was the minimum interior/exterior enhancements which keeps the original building structure. All they had to do was throw on fresh coat of paint, a bunch of artsy murals, and the right typography to let people know that this business is now in a safe place.

I say that because even though the Five Points neighborhood has had a deep and rich history of German, Irish, Black (“Harlem of the West”), Jewish, to Mexican and Japanese American immigrants, this neighborhood was considered the hood back’n’the day.

  • Table Space: there’s seating in the front and the rear of the venue.
  • Electrical Outlets: Nope, bring your own portable generator.
  • Free WiFi: I tested speeds of 32/38 Mbps DL and 23/26 Mbps UL
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: sammiches, sides, granola, and coffee and tea.
  • Hours: 7 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: there’s parking on the street, but you might be able to park in the rear of the business.
  • Address: 2862 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Website: cremacoffeehouse.net

7. Nixon’s Coffee House, Wash Park (multiple locations)

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It only ever looks this empty when they are about to close.

Very cool and friendly staff here who really represent the brand well because this business has their hands not only on the service side, but in food production too. They are the people behind Share Good Foods which is a wholesale food company.

As for the coffee, they serve a locally owned, organically roasted, fair trade coffee by Kaladi coffee.

  • Table Space: one of the bigger places with a good amount of seating although this is one of the busier places and seating might be limited.
  • Electrical Outlets: most of the outlets are only up against the wall, including near the window.
  • Free WiFi: at least 30 Mbps speeds.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: Kaladi coffee, tea, and their food.
  • Hours: 6/7am – 7/8 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: a decent amount of street side parking, and I always find parking nearby.
  • Address: 695 E Louisiana Ave, Denver, CO 80210
  • Website: nixoncoffeehouse.com

8. Novo Coffee, West Highland (four locations)

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It is a smaller venue, but they do have multiple locations.

They seem to be hardcore about their coffee, and I’m sure they are, but I like their “About” section. Knowing about the three owners and their team, I think always heightens a brand when you know that they’re all passionate about what they do.

From my sole experience here, they have a good staff, and I’d definitely go back if I’m back in the neighborhood again (I was checking out the fusion ramen place).

  • Table Space: a minimal amount of seating although the counter seating is usually available.
  • Electrical outlets yea, I think they had a few. I’ll have to re-confirm this.
  • Free WiFi: Yes, but I don’t have the current speeds.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: 
  • Hours: 6:30 am – 8 pm
  • Parking: I think it was 2-hour metered parking, but I’ll have to confirm that.
  • Address: 3617 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
  • Website: NovoCoffee.com

9. Platform T (CLOSED), Glendale

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Damn it, they went out of business at the end of 2017 (I unfortunately saw that coming).

I think I was told a couple of doctors had invested into this business, and this is one of my favorite spots to hit up because I’m a bloody yank who drinks tea.

Unfortunately, this business as a whole has a poorly defined brand, so it is hard to say what sort of business this is since they oddly do tea, wine, and liquor although they only stay open till 7 pm? Are they looking for tea drinking day drinkers (so maybe lonely housewives married to surgeons and doctors)?

  • Table Space: Ample amount of space because they have a back room, a side area with comfy bench seating, a long table up front, and a front patio.
  • Electrical Outlets: One up front near the long table, a couple in the rear, and several along the bench seating.
  • Free WiFi: a measly 4 Mbps, but they do have neighbors where you can get a good 20 Mbps speeds.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: tea, coffee, wine, sake, cocktails, and a small menu of sandwiches.
  • Hours: CLOSED
  • Parking: CLOSED
  • Address: CLOSED

10. Sonder Coffee & Tea, South East Denver

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In this area, this place sure does beat having to go to Starbucks.

Located on the corner of the ground floor of a suburban apartment complex you might drive past it if you’re not careful.

Once inside, the service from the girl (Ukrainian American), or a number of the other friendly staff working the counter, to the comfortable and bright interior will make your time here, a sonder (“special” in German) one.

  • Table Space: based amount of traffic and how busy it gets, you will typically be able to find a space.
  • Electrical outlets: a couple are located up against the booth area although the electrical outlet is right up against your back.
  • Free WiFi: 30+ Mbps
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: Coffee, tea and croissants, and this is one of the only places where they have, and that I like their matcha latte.
  • Hours: 6:30 am – 6:30 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: ample amount of parking because they’re located in an apartment development with businesses located on the ground floor.
  • Address: 9731 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO 80231
  • Website: sondercoffee.co

11. The Source Hotel, River North (Boxcar coffee)

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This was an ironworks in the 1880’s, now it’s filled with bearded men with soft hands.

These sort of places are opening up a lot in major cities, and they are design-forward spaces moving into abandoned or shuttered businesses like an old Barnes & Noble, or in the case of the Source, an old iron works. Yea that is way cooler than an old B&N in Irvine, CA, but add in that it is also a hotel, rooftop bar with several vendors, and you have a winning combo.

  • Table Space: a lot, and majority of the time there’s a decent amount of available seating.
  • Electrical outlets: They’re located up against the bottom of the booths.
  • Free WiFi: a whopping 3.68 Mbps DL and 3.91 UL.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: not only coffee and tea, but there are several other restaurants located in the Source like the bar (Yacht Club), deli, and two other restaurants.
  • Hours: 8 am – 11 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: Ample parking because they have a parking garage although they have the absolute worst coordination during their construction. The lack of signage almost had a couple of drivers take a plunge off a half-story header into their parking garage because of the poor signage.
  • Address: 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
  • Website: thesourcehotel.com

12. Steam Espresso Bar, Platt Park

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Another spot with a friendly staff and a unique atmosphere.

Friendly staff nestled in the Platt Park neighborhood make this a nice cozy spot which was started by twin brothers in 2013.

At Steam, they only brew coffee that is ethically sourced and they only buy coffee from micro-roasters, so based upon that, I’d say they’re twinning.

  • Table Space: A decent amount of seating, but they get taken up quick. The (1 large) 10 top is my go to vs. the (5 or 6) 2 tops in the rear. They also have a nice outdoor area.
  • Electrical outlets: yea, a couple located near the big table near the front entrance.
  • Free WiFi: yes, in the 15-30 Mbps range.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: I’ve had their tea, espresso and macarons.
  • Hours: 7 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: all street parking although there’s no meters.
  • Address: 1801 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
  • Website: steamespressobar.com

13. Stella’s, Washington Park

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Located across the street from the three Sushi Den restaurants… yea three.

Stella’s is one of the iconic businesses located on Pearl St. It’s a house converted into a business, and this “coffee haus” has been here forever. Anybody from Colorado or the area has heard of or been to Stella’s because they have been here for decades.

No longer is the Pearl Street Grille located across the street because this area has been under constant development although Stella’s has remained almost the same (that’s a good thing, well until it’s turned in to a Sushi Den cafe).

  • Table Space: A house load of space.
  • Electrical outlets: I sat outside, and there is an electrical outlet up against the wall, but I had a surge block to allow mutliple plugs.
  • Free WiFi: 28.8 Mbps DL and 11.04 Mbps UL
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: 
  • Hours: 6:30/7 am – 11/12 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: there’s street parking and Sushi Den’s parking garage that charges by the hour or a flat rate.
  • Address: 1476 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
  • Website: stellascoffee.com

14. Thump Coffee, Capitol Hill

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Probably one of the top three places I go to….. wash my hands with girls.

“Thump, not Trump” is their tagline if you would get the two confused. If you do, that is very, very, very sad because Thump is well-known for their coffee, the service, the uni-sex washroom to wash your hands with the opposite sex (oh my, I do declare), and ample seating with a comfy couch in the back.

Thump sources their coffee from all over, and they sell their coffee on a wholesale level too although if you’re not a coffee drinker they also do tea and beer. Not just your typical beers, and just like their wide variety of coffee, they also have a rotating tap although they’re only open until 7, so start your day drinking early.

  • Table Space: Ample and a designated handicap space, but this place gets really busy on the weekends. Typically all the seating will be taken up.
  • Electrical outlets: none at the 3 large, 6-8 person tables, and only along the windows with the tall stools.
  • Free WiFi: 30-40 Mbps
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: beer is on a rotating tap. Coffee, tea, and food (spotted hard-boiled eggs chillaxing in their fridge).
  • Hours: 6 am – 7 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: 2-hour free street parking or a number of spots in the back allocated for Thump and the neighboring pizza shop (the parking lot fills up, but usually there’s at least 1 to 2 available).
  • Address: 1201 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
  • Website: thumpcoffee.com

15. Union Station, Lower Downtown (LoDo)

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Multi-use area: Amtrak, hotel, and multiple vendors.

Union Station has got to be one of the best spots in all of Denver. Not only are you in one of Denver’s oldest and most iconic buildings (that once had a club inside), but they have an ample amount of worthwhile businesses within or directly outside of Union Station.

Just keep in mind that this space acts as an RTD, Amtrak, and lobby for the bar, restaurant, hotel (the hotel front-desk is very underwhelming, so you probably won’t notice it).

  • Table Space: Ample seating. Even though this is popular and busy spot, there is a decent amount of seating available. From the community tables to couches are all available here although keep in mind this area doubles as an area for several of the surrounding businesses such as the hotel and deli’s.
  • Electrical Outlets: located throughout the lobby area, but the main tables have outlets.
  • Free WiFi: 100+ Mbps, definitely one of the fastest WiFi connections.
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Food: You can have it all here. From the Terminal bar, Snooze, to the Mercantile.
  • Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:30 am – 5:30 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Parking: paid parking is in the range of $7+ to $10+ day rates or metered parking which is only a buck an hour although keep in mind rates and parking availability will vary on game days (Rockies).
  • Address: 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
  • Website: rtd-denver.com

 

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