Where to Enjoy Coffee in Longmont

The thoughts and opinions are those of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the Longmont Observer.

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This is where to enjoy coffee in Longmont, from the longstanding Javastop to the brand-spanking new Dutch Bros Coffee. This is not a taster’s review of their coffee. Coffee shops have been a thing long enough in our culture that every place is persnickety enough to have lickity-split tasty quality caffeine. This is more of an informational piece on where to enjoy coffee, what type of atmosphere these places have, and what you can expect when you walk in or drive by.

There are notable quick coffee drive-thru huts like Ziggi’s north and south, Sol Mobile Coffee Bar, but those places have you provide your own seats—your car. Grocery stores with coffee shops are not solely a coffee shop because they are cramped in a grocery store. Fast-food drive-thrus, diners, and convenient stores are also outside the coffee ring of this piece.

Copan Café and Latin Food, Maldos Coffee & Boba, Longmont Bicycle Co. & Coffee, Einstein Bagels, Dunkin Donuts, and Big Daddy Bagel, places like these start to stray away from the traditional coffee shops—starting with their names—they are more than adequate places to get coffee but lie just on the outskirts of this coffee shop roundup.

Javastop

A historical Longmont landmark since 1990 and the furthest thing from a big corporate coffee shop, all comfortable and cozy in the heart of Old Town 3rd and Main. It’s physically impossible to put a drive-thru there and if you didn’t catch its minimal signage you may have passed it a thousand times without stopping by. Inside is a heaping handful of seating with a mix of comfy couches and chairs with tables. It feels more like a smoke-free hookah lounge than a coffeehouse with its artsy, alternative, and vividly colorful atmosphere. They have enough outlets to study and surf the internet but fashioned more for conversing and relaxing/reading. Music is chill overhead and at a lower reasonable volume than other coffee shops. Not nearly as many bus stop patrons as Luna Café, but certainly accessible from nearby bus stops.

Luna Café

A coffeehouse in every literal sense of the word, it’s housed in an old house from the 1920s located at the corner of 8th and Coffman, and it almost feels like you went over to your friend’s house for a cup. Luna Café has been near to the heart of Longmont for the past 26 years, full of longtime locals and plenty of bus-riding patrons waiting for the next bus. If you forgot to bring a book, they have plenty to choose from and buy, on large bookshelves bending at the center. With more seating outside than inside, it’s more for the serious relaxing lounger, reader, or conversationalist than a serious study or internet surf. This is the best place in Longmont to lounge around on a porch on a lazy afternoon and sip tea or coffee. They do provide internet but the few outlets they have don’t work.

Ziggi’s on Francis St.

When walking into this coffee shop, it has more of a small-town feel, with locals and high-school students bubbling in and out. Abundant with tables to chat it up, study, or surf, it could use a few more outlets. Ziggi’s closes in the evening, so more studying can happen if you’re a high-school rather than a college student. One nice lounge area in the back of the shop where reading can get done if you don’t mind a little music overhead. If you live in this hidden cove of a neighborhood, you’re missing out on all the latest local happenings if you don’t swing by and visit with your neighbors.

Ziggi’s on Main St.

This Ziggi’s feels more like a city coffee shop, being downtown and all, with professionals, chit-chatters, and professional chit-chatters mingling near a bustling Main St. A large number of meetings and meetups happen here. Weekend passersby shopping downtown always swing by for a quick pick-me-up. This location could use a few more outlets, and with no nice big comfy places to lounge like the Brewing Market or Red Frog, it’s mainly made to chat and get late evening studying done at tables. Other than Starbucks, this is open the latest, and is such a central location, many Longmonsters appease the caffeine beast here from morning to night, especially for a convenient bar-hop power-up.

Brewing Market Coffee

The perfect college coffee shop, with nearby Front Range Community College students studying and getting tutored throughout the day. Plenty of tables allow for tutoring or group chatter. They close at 7 p.m. so enough studying can happen, but more could happen if they would extend their hours. There are enough outlets, and a quick search to the left, right, and underneath will probably happen to find them. Nice big leather seats to lounge around in and read the paper. Similar to Starbucks just up the road, but more indoor seating and a number of regulars since it’s been around most of this century. Nearby intersection traffic has quick customers swinging through, in and out, but also has its fair share of patrons staying for a while.

Red Frog Coffee

Has a similar atmosphere to Brewing Market but less busy. You’d think it would be busier being on Ken Pratt Blvd. (headed for 119) and in a large shopping plaza, but Red Frog crouches in a nice little cozy nook in the corner of the lot. It’s busy in the mornings, but not super hectic. Three-fourths or more of the customers are neighborhood regulars, and the rest shoppers. Very chill and relaxing atmosphere to get work done in or read the paper, with a nice comfy lounge area for book reading. More than enough tables and outlets. Set up for a family visit, it has toys, games, and children’s books, but patrons are mostly older adults and a few neighborhood high-school patrons.

Que’s Espresso

This coffee shop has an upbeat family feel to it, like a yogurt/ice cream parlor but with coffee instead. Plenty of tables and outlets to study, but it closes by the time dinner rolls around. There is one large nice couch to lounge on. Not much reading would get done here, but conversations would easily happen. It feels more like a small-town coffee shop (like Ziggi’s on Francis), but more upbeat and really yellow. Its walls are really yellow, and the couch is really green. The eye of the tiger comes out and upbeat chit-chats will surely happen with music hopping out from overhead speakers.

Starbucks

What more can we say, it’s Starbucks. They all have the same Starbucks-y atmospheres, but we don’t want to hate on them too much. Guilty as charged when in need of a quick pick-up drive-thru pick-me-up to and from work, and they are very good at that.

South Hover – The only Starbucks in town without a drive-thru. Hard to concentrate in there with way too many passersby going through because it has no drive-thru.

17th and Main – Drive-thru gets insanely busy in the mornings, as busy as the north Taco Bell on a Friday or Saturday night. Currently under major construction until November 14, reopening on November 15.

Where Pratt meets Pratt – Drive-thru gets so busy in the morning it blocks up the right turn lane on Ken Pratt Blvd.

17th and Hover – Many patrons here are in and out faster than an oil change done by the Valvoline close by.

17th and Pace – Least busy of the drive-thrus with plenty of neighborhood patrons like Ziggi’s on Francis and Red Frog, but it’s still a Starbucks.

Ozo Coffee

A modern Boulder incarnate, with plenty of plastic chairs more suitable for preschoolers than adults, in an atmosphere which is chic and far from a family-fun feel like Que’s Espresso. It has seating upstairs, (yeah, not a misprint, that’s right, upstairs) which is nice in the evening when the sun is setting because the windows have no shades or blinds. How many places are there to eat and drink in Longmont where you can sit upstairs? Zero. Well, one now. Shoppers and moviegoers usually swing by for a quick cup, or to waste time chit-chatting before their movie starts. Some Hover drivers swing by like Brewing Market and Starbucks across the street, but not as many since it’s not exactly street side. Perfect for surfing the internet and getting work done. Not much reading would get done here with no places to lounge about and an abundance of people-watching outside.

Cavegirl Coffeehouse

Undoubtedly similar to Ozo Coffee but only one floor with adequate chairs, more tables, and comfy chairs to lounge in. Probably the biggest square footage for a coffee shop in Longmont. No drive-thru, but easily accessible if you’re headed south on Main St. out of town. Sleepy and chill like Red Frog, a great place to chat, sip, read, surf, and work. No studying late here, since it closes at 5 p.m. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Very much a neighborhood coffee shop like Ziggi’s on Francis and Red Frog, hidden down in the spiderweb of streets in Prospect. Its lime green building is hard to miss, although it is surrounded by many colorful buildings.

Dutch Bros Coffee (Photo by Matt Steininger/ Longmont Observer)

Dutch Bros. Coffee

Similar drive-thru hours should surely compete with Starbucks on 17th and Main. Might mean trouble for Luna Cafe, but it’s a completely different experience. Luna certainly has its regulars and there are less places to sit and chill at Dutch Bros. Way more upbeat and youthful, its sole purpose is to caffeinate you. Perfect place for a chit-chat or surf, but it would be hard to conduct a meeting here. Open late enough to get some studying done, but too loud for the quiet studier, and not that many outlets. Limited places to sit and lounge, its main function is to serve drive-thru customers. A fitting place to swing by before hitting the bars and, being on Main St., business should surely be good, especially in the mornings. They opened just in time to caffeinate residents through this holiday season.


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Adam received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. He’s written for such publications as the Westword, his own weight loss blog, Big Pig’s Feet, and the former CU Denver student-ran weekly, The Advocate. Adam moved to Longmont in 1994 as a bumbling daydreaming teenager and has now made it to adulthood in the upright position. He rendezvoused abroad in Denver for several years only to return to good ol’ Longtown to make waves as a volunteer writer for the Longmont Observer. He’s also a filthy penny-rich fiction writer, general information hound, barely related to Ed McMahon, and loves to name drop.

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