Like clockwork, Stephen's Bakery’s bakers arrive at 5 a.m. six days a week to begin mixing dough for fresh bread, pastries, and their signature rounded kolacky pastries. They fill the kolacky, an Eastern European specialty dating to the 1700s, with a traditional fruit filling as well as more modern flavors, such as barbecue chicken, bacon-wrapped jalapeños, and sautéed microchips. Customers can smother morning hunger with other sweet treats including donuts, cinnamon rolls, danishes, and muffins, whereas at lunchtime, the bakery serves up Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs inside of pillowy housemade buns.
For the Reinecke family, coffee has always been more than a beverage—it's been a means for bringing them together for casual conversations and serious heart-to-hearts. Now, coffee has pulled the elder Reineckes out of retirement and son John back to Colorado for the founding of Loco Bean Coffee. Here, visitors savor a cranberry scone or blueberry muffin between sips of lattes, cappuccinos, and specialty drinks such as the Salty Caramel Hipster, with white chocolate, caramel, and sea salt. Along with premium coffee, baristas can prepare teas ranging from Ginger Peach to Madagascar Coconut and whip up smoothies and shakes.
Inspired by their daughter's nickname on the softball field, Don and Linda Eckles named Scooter's Coffee & Yogurt for both their young player's speed and their shop's speedy service. Today, across more than 90 locations in seven states, Scooter's pours custom-roasted coffees and blends espresso into white-mocha frappes. Each highly trained barista also blends fruit smoothies and dishes out cups and top hats for self-serve frozen yogurt. To add signature flair, the baristas label each cup with one of three happy-face stickers designed by a children's book illustrator.
Cupcake connoisseurs flock to Sweet Daphne Confections, grabbers grasping for the bakery's handheld indulgences. Today's Groupon gets you four of these gourmet cup-based treats, letting you choose from a wide variety of classic and creative cake flavors that cradle creamy centers. In addition to being smothered in butter-cream frosting, each expertly baked edible is infused with a sweet filling, such as peanut butter, chocolate mousse, cream cheese, pastry cream, and caramel, making them fun to eat, easy to talk to, and respectable models for cross-section drawing class. Due to their fresh-baked nature, selections change daily, but a statistically sound segment of the population is always represented.
Those who live, breathe, and snort coffee will find a fine selection of both classic blends and little-known beans at Pikes Perk. Percolate perkiness with the medium-bodied Tanzanian Peaberry, or the bitter-less Jamaican Blue Mountain. Black-coffee purists can grab a 20-ounce cup of joe ($1.99), whereas those who spruce up beloved brews can order a white mocha ($4.19 for 16 ounces), or enliven their aromatic medley with a shot from one of the 50 syrups available. Hoard a pot of hot Pikes' peach tea, with chunks of fruit from Austria ($3.59), or soothe your stomach with something from Pikes' food menu of pastries, sandwiches, and breakfast items.
Her Story Cafe trucks gallivant around Colorado Springs, enlivening lunch breaks with a rotating menu of hearty soups and sandwiches named for influential women and crafted from local ingredients. A selection of soups might include the Greta Garbonzo Bang!, Annie Moore potato soup, or the Marie Curie chicken gumbo, a gluten-free concoction that pays homage to the French woman’s famous discovery of chicken gumbo. Like Frank Lloyd Wright during his underappreciated sandwich period, chefs construct towering stacks of deli meats and vegetables on foundations of pumpernickel, rye, French, and wheat breads, flush with ingredients straight from local farms, ranches, and bakeries. Made from scratch, sides range from tangy German potato salad to banana pudding sweetened with cream and Nilla wafers. Fans of the food truck can now frequent a non-mobile café that also offers breakfast, and where Her Story classics are served up with the same frequently-rotating selection of soups and specials.