A Coffee Lover's Guide to the Vail Valley
Sure, there's a string of Starbucks between Vail and Eagle to get your daily caffeine fix, but if you really want to savor the flavor of the valley, opt for one of the valley's locally owned coffeehouses for the perfect pour (or pull) of joe.
Loaded Joe's (loadedjoes.com) is a valley staple with two locales. The Vail shop—just over the covered bridge as you make your way down Bridge Street—has hole-in-the-wall type vibe that's often crammed with locals sipping Americanos and munching on egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. At the Avon eatery, guests can expect a more comprehensive breakfast and lunch menu (thanks to a full kitchen) boasting menu favorites like brioche french toast with berries and a Colorado grass-fed burger to pair with their pulls of espresso. Although, it's worth noting that both locations also serve booze all-day-long if you're looking for a different kind of buzz.
If you're more into taking in the view while you sip your morning cup of caffeine, opt for Yeti's Grind (yetisgrind.com), a Solaris-based Village staple, complete with patio views of Vail Mountain. Quick bites like daily-delivered baked goods and breakfast burritos (try the green chile) are locals' favorites for fueling up before hitting the mountain, and the shop's assortment of wine and beer make it a lesser-known happy hour favorite when the day is done. And if you find yourself downvalley, stop into Yeti's Grind in downtown Eagle, which boasts the same menu in a cozy, bicycle-themed coffeehouse setting.
The newest joint to join the ranks of the valley's coffee shops? Two Arrows Coffee Co. (twoarrowscoffee.com) which shares commercial space with Root & Flower, transforming the wine bar-by-night into a purist's coffee heaven (complete with coffee roasted in Eagle and small plates from valley-based business like Colorado Meat Company, Hovey & Harrison, and Green Elephant Juicery) by day.
Roastery + Cafés
If sampling the valley's best cups of joe means going straight to the source, spend a day touring the valley's two coffee roasteries. Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea (vailcoffee.com) off Highway 6 in Minturn is the valley's newest (having opened last winter), and features an expansive café perfect for lounging after hiking, biking, or snowshoeing on Meadow Mountain just across the street.
Eagle's Color Coffee Roasters (colorroasters.com) has been the buzz of the valley since it opened two years ago, and features small-batch roasts of beans made for a purist's palate—thanks to Color founder and head roaster Charlie Gundlach. Light café fare complements the drinks, which are served in a sun-drenched, former brewpub in Eagle Ranch.
While not a roastery, Edwards' Hovey & Harrison (hoveyandharrison.com) can't quite be termed a coffeeshop, either, considering it's more of an all-in-one café, bakery, bar and market. Make a point of stopping in for expertly pulled espresso drinks made from Eagle's Color Coffee Roasters, and don't forget to pair it with H&H's valley-renowned monkey bread.
And if you like to pair light reading with your latte ...
Head over to the Bookworm of Edwards (bookwormofedwards.com) at the Riverwalk, where you can peruse shelves full of New York Times best sellers and an eclectic gift shop before settling into one of the café's high-tops for artisan coffee drinks and crêpes (their speciality).