When on travel I try to find local place to enjoy my coffee. Big chains like Starbucks are fine, but they are the same everywhere. They do not carry the local flare and they don ‘t really let you feel the local atmosphere. Restaurants although they deal with the local crowds and cuisine are a bit more formal. Coffee shops allow for a more casual free-spirited atmosphere, and usually they have the air of the underground and alternative people. Sometimes these coffee shops are a treat. And that ‘s what the Backstage Coffee was.
I was visiting Denver and staying in the downtown really gave few options for food. But little I knew that the best was right across from my hotel. A little cafe located right under a huge parking lot “The Backstage Coffee”. It has a dual function. Coffee shop and Art Show promoter. It is located close to the “Denver Center for the Performing Arts”. It has all you expect from a coffee shop: Coffee, Pastries, Quick Food (which is a whole different thing from fast food) and some light alcohol like beer (not typical but welcome addition).
The store is very well decorated, lighted and quite. It has a character, and although it is not a classy old cafe, it has its own unique character. The posters of the upcoming shows, the funny signs on the walls and the occasional artwork that definitely paints the picture.
It has a descent porch, but being in the city it is not really offered for sitting since it can get noisy.
I and my buddy Vijay, visited that place randomly, just because there was no Starbucks around. We, later, found out that Starbucks was just across the street, but we never visited. It was morning and although the orderly manners were demanding a pastry, like croissant or cookie the special of the shop caught our attention. The breakfast burrito. A freshly made burrito with beans rice and an amazing super salsa, just made to dip it in. And we were in love… With the burrito that is.
Vijay trying the famous breakfast burrito…
Where it really shines though is the coffee itself. It is hard to find an honest to goodness coffee shop that makes good coffee. The espresso had the cream in a mahogany chestnut color full with flavor, not bitter. A great espresso… But most importantly the drinks like machiato, latte etc were correctly and superbly made. They also offer a wide range of pastries like the mouth-watering selection of filled croissants and bear claws from Buffalo Doughboy Bakery.
I looked it up to find more info, and it turns out that it mainly caters largely to an affluent clientele. However the prices at Backstage are cheaper than what expected in the downtown of a big city. In addition to the usual coffee drinks, they offer some house concoctions like the Florentine, one part drip coffee and one part hot chocolate and the signature “Backstage Latte,” a toasted almond-flavored latte with yummy espresso whipped cream.
Overall it is the ideal coffee shop to relax in a big city. Estetically right, quite, knowledgable, respectful, and inexpensive. What else can you ask for!