Five Bakery-Cafes in Denver Where You'll Want to Sit for Hours

When I moved here ten years ago, I had a hard time finding a bakery-cafe like the one I used to spend weekends at back in New York. My husband and I would show up at our favorite spot on the Upper West Side and order baguettes with jam and bowls of café au lait as big as the Sunday paper. After we read the news, looked through the wedding announcements for folks we might know, and decided what galleries or shows were worth a visit, we'd go back to the counter and order a bowl of soup with homemade bread or an assortment of salads to eat as we did a bit of work.

Over the past decade, Denver's bakery-cafe scene has improved considerably, though not every part of town has a place to call its own. The area around Regis University was one such neighborhood -- until The Noshery opened this summer, that is. Founded by Colorado native Andrea Knight, The Noshery is proving to be a good addition to Denver -- whether or not you live near the Regis neighborhood. Find out more about the Noshery when my review of the place is posted here tomorrow, and in the meantime, keep reading for five more bakery-cafes that are worthy of your time. (They're presented in alphabetical order, and D Bar is noticeably absent from this list -- that's because the eatery won't open in its new new location until next month.)

See also: Best Pie 2014 -- bang!

5) Cake Crumbs

2216 Kearney Street

303-861-4912

Yes, cakes take the cake here, whether elaborate fondant creations or cupcakes with swirls of buttercream. But Cake Crumbs is far more than a bakery: It's a gathering place for residents of Park Hill, who are just as likely to walk or bike as drive here before settling in to drink coffee, eat and chat with the friend they're sure to bump into. In addition to sweet treats, look for chicken salad sandwiches, pulled pork and chickpea-tuna salads.

4) Mercantile Dining & Provision

1701 Wynkoop Street

720-460-3733

Okay, Mercantile Dining & Provision is more than a bakery-café. But Alex Seidel of Fruition has filled one corner of Union Station with a restaurant/market that beckons to anyone wanting to while away the time with good food and a paper. At night, the dining room fills with guests in search of this award-winning chef's take on petrale sole and chicken roulade cordon bleu. But during the day, it's a lovely place for housemade pastries, coffee from locally roasted Commonwealth Coffee and sandwiches.

3) Olive & Finch

1552 East 17th Avenue

303-832-8663

Given Mary Nguyen's other restaurants, including P17, her revamped European bistro down the street, you might not think of Olive & Finch as a place to pop in with your computer or something to read. But in addition to egg hashes, salads and an assortment of sandwiches, the kitchen bakes muffins, scones and coffee cake to pair with your java - or green juice, if that's more your style.

Keep reading for two more of our favorite bakery-cafes.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz

Latest Stories