Editor’s note: This is part of The Know, Staff Favorites series. Each week, we’ll give our take on the best Colorado has to offer when it comes to dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more.
As a brand new Denverite, my first mission at the start of the summer was clear: find the perfect coffee.
Of course, with hundreds of cafes to choose from and more open all the time, it’s obvious that I still have a lot to explore before I can truly consider one cafe to be the elite among all others. But in the meantime, I’d love to sip a chai latte at Stella’s Coffee Haus on quaint South Pearl Street.
Opened in 1991, Stella’s is housed in a colorful little house in Platt Park. It’s only a short bike ride for me, and I appreciated the ability to lock my bike to the rack right out front, pick a comfortable spot in one of the five store rooms, and work or to read all day.
Or I’ll choose a table on the front patio, which is not only dog-friendly, but also provides the perfect balance of sun and shade. And when the sun goes down? Stella’s has fire pits outside for those who want to stay until closing time at 10 p.m.
Late-night hours make Stella a popular study spot for students, but its summer clientele has the added luxury of enjoying delicious drinks from the boutique’s summer menu. (The peach green tea iced lemonade I tried easily rivaled Starbucks’ version — and Stella also offers puppy cups for your furry friends.) Plus, new caffeinated concoctions are being invented. by baristas all the time.
Summers also bring the South Pearl Street Farmers Market right outside the cafe’s door, so you can grab a quick strawberry lemonade to go while browsing fresh vegetables, crafts, and flowers.
Stella’s doesn’t serve lunch, but its baking rack is always full (try the pumpkin chocolate chip bread). And it’s a haven for lots of other nice things, like free (and especially fast) WiFi, dogs, and art. The artwork that adorns the walls is all for sale by Colorado artists, and live musicians often visit the cafe to perform. Last Tuesday, a jeweler set up a pop-up shop on the patio.
It’s hard to pinpoint what really drove me to keep visiting Stella. Maybe that’s because its pastel-painted walls and welcoming fences lining the patio remind me of the house from “Up.” Maybe it’s that while none of its table, chair, or interior aesthetic matches are consistent, the quality of the drinks and baked goods always are.
Stella’s Coffee Haus, 1476 S. Pearl St., Denver; 303-777-5684. Open every day, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. stellascoffee.com