Stella’s Coffee Haus is the pearl of South Pearl Street — and it offers way more than just a good latte

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for 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 shop.

Of course, with hundreds of coffee spots to choose from and more opening all the time, it’s obvious I have plenty more exploring to do before I can truly deem one coffee shop elite among all others. But in the meantime, I’ll be happily sipping away on a chai tea latte at Stella’s Coffee Haus on quaint South Pearl Street.

Opened in 1991, Stella’s is inside a compact, colorful house in Platt Park. It’s just a short bike ride away for me, and I’ve enjoyed the ability to lock my bike at the rack right out front, choose a cozy spot in one of the shop’s five rooms, and work or read the day away.

Or I’ll pick a table on the patio out front, which is not only dog-friendly, but also offers the perfect balance of sun and shade. And when the sun goes down? Stella’s has firepits outside for those who want to stick around all the way to closing time at 10 p.m.

The late-night hours make Stella’s a popular study spot for college students, but its summer crowd gets the additional luxury of enjoying the shop’s delicious summer menu drinks. (The iced peach green tea lemonade I tried easily rivaled Starbucks’ version — and Stella’s offers pup-cups for your furry friends, too.) Plus, new caffeinated concoctions are being invented by the baristas all the time.

Summers also bring the South Pearl Street Farmers Market right outside the coffee shop’s door, so you can grab a quick strawberry lemonade to go while perusing fresh vegetables, crafts and flowers.

Stella’s doesn’t serve lunch, but its pastry shelf is always full (try the pumpkin chocolate chip bread). And it’s a haven for plenty of other enjoyable things, like free (and more importantly, fast) WiFi, dogs and art. The artwork adorning the walls is all for sale by Colorado artists, and live musicians visit the coffee house often to perform. Last Tuesday, a jewelry artist set up a pop-up shop on the patio.

It’s hard to pinpoint what really drew me to keep visiting Stella’s. Maybe it’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 assortment of tables, chairs, or interior aesthetics is consistent, the quality of the drinks and baked goods always is.

Stella’s Coffee Haus, 1476 S. Pearl St., Denver; 303-777-5684. Open every day, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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