The super-premium ice cream at Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato—which represented Colorado on Serious Eats’ list of America’s Best Ice Cream—is proof that less is more. Their chief concern is “overrun,” a term that refers to how much air is mixed into each batch of ice cream. Some less delicious ice creams can contain up to 50% air; however, Glacier’s flavors contain only 5%–7% air, yielding richer flavors and a creamier texture.
Also lauded by outlets such as the Denver Post and Colorado Daily, Glacier has a catalogue of more than 800 flavors, up to 60 of which are on hand and ready to scoop at all times. Their ice cream wizards create a new flavor every two weeks, resulting custom tastes such as chocolate raspberry truffle, caramel Oreo, and espresso chocolate buzz with a double-strength coffee base. They also craft premium Italian gelatos with skim milk, producing rich frozen treats with half the fat of ice cream in flavors such as chocolate hazelnut, peanut butter fudge, and pistachio.
No matter the flavor, Glacier uses fresh ingredients such as hand-squeezed limes, ripe strawberries, and homemade chocolate. They’ve also committed to staying Colorado-local whenever possible, receiving produce from local food producers in Penrose, Rocky Ford, Palisade, and even stocking local Umpire State Coffee, local Jerry's Nut House, imported Italian candy and using local produce like apples, melons, and peaches.
Paintings and other works by local artists festoon Cucuru Gallery Cafe, whose walls are painted with the rustic reds and deep greens of the Spanish countryside. Glasses of Spanish wines and specialty cocktails clink within the single-story house-turned-café, such as the Barista blended with espresso and brûlée liqueurs. Cucuru's drinks pair with tapas and other Hispanic-inspired dishes, such as crispy spiced patatas bravas with garlic-aioli dipping sauce and pollo oloroso, which tops a seared chicken breast, manchego cheese, and mashed potatoes with an oloroso-mushroom demi-glace. The café hosts live entertainment throughout the week, such as jazz, funk, and other genres, and opens on Tuesdays for sultry tango classes.
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.
Few cups of coffee have a purpose beyond waking up the person who sips them. Mission Coffee Roasters' piping hot mugs of fresh roasted coffee serve a higher calling. Part of the profits from every sale go to fund missions projects and local non profits including UpaDowna, an initiative of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. The staffers provide customers with more ways to contribute than picking up their morning coffee, though. They also serve all natural, fresh-baked pastries, sell bagged coffee and tea, and even flavored syrups from Monin to add a little extra flavor to any drink. Mission Coffee Roasters also offers a conference room for offsite meetings and a co-working space available by the hour.
Of course Good Karma Coffee Lounge & Deli has baristas. However, there aren’t too many coffee shops around that also employ executive chefs. That doesn't stop Kelly Myers from filling that role at Good Karma, where she whips up daily quiche varieties, hot gourmet sandwiches, and hearty soups. The aforementioned baristas follow up her good work with coffee and espresso drinks blended from medium- and dark-roast beans. While noshing on hot eats and sipping on hot drinks, guests can relax on wooden chairs and leather couches that typify the cozy coffee-shop setting and use the joint's free WiFi to conduct vital Internet research into exactly how hilarious cats can be.
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.