The first real cup of coffee I ever had was at the Trident Cafe and Book Store on Pearl Street in Boulder. I was staying with my aunt and uncle, who were the very first (and the very best) kind of hippies I ever knew. Every day we’d drive down to the shop, order our drinks and settle in to a few hours of reading, talking, and playing checkers. Despite the very real and very unfortunate bout of caffeine withdrawal I had after returning back home, my love for coffee has only grown.
In my teens, out of both desperation and convenience, I began to frequent the drive-thru Starbucks on my way to school — grabbing a large frappucino or whatever had the most sugar/calories in it and head through the security gates of the Air Force Academy. Back then, Colorado Springs really didn’t have very many locally owned coffee shops to frequent. Especially drive thrus. And especially on any side of town that wasn’t downtown.
Since then, life has dramatically changed for both me and Colorado Springs. We’ve gotten a little older, a little bigger, and a little wiser. In addition, we’ve become better coffee connoisseurs and more passionate about investing in our local community. Look, I know Starbucks has the Pumpkin Spice Latte and I know it has a drive thru — but I promise, there are so many other options out there that will quench your thirst. I know that you don’t always have the time to pop into a shop that’s really pretty on the inside, but less than kid friendly. You especially don’t always have the time to wait for a carefully crafted cup of coffee. I get it. But that doesn’t mean you have to exchange taste for convenience. You can enjoy locally owned coffee, even in this season of your life. So without further ado, here are my top five mom and kid friendly coffee shops in Colorado Springs.
This is one of my personal favorites. Located near Academy and Vickers, Third Space offers TONS of space. Sometimes, it’s hard taking kids to tiny places where everything (laughter, behavior, screams of joy, etc.) are amplified. At Third Space, there’s a lot of breathing room. In addition, they offer a separate play area for you and your kids to enjoy. Not only are there trucks, dolls, and the like; they also have comfy chairs, couches and tables for you and your friends. Typically, I like to treat my kids to their amazing waffles while I indulge in a cappuccino and a breakfast sandwich. One other reason I love Third Space? Every month or so they feature a local non-profit who’s doing incredible work in our community. That’s something I can get behind.
Strictly a drive-thru, Humble serves up incredible coffee and is conveniently located on the Powers Corridor (they also have a location off of Templeton Gap). I’ll grab a large americano with cream and two pumps of brown sugar and then head on over to Costco. I try to keep it simple when it comes to coffee, but Humble does have a wide variety of unique drinks and a large selection of syrups. My friends rave about the Melody and the Debonair. Regardless of what you’re a fan of, I encourage you to also try their white espresso. It’s incredible. And, if you’re lucky, Juice will be the one serving you. He’s one of the best, and kindest, baristas around. In fact, all of Humble’s staff are friendly. I always leave with a smile on my face, and that always makes my coffee taste that much better.
Building Three Coffee resides in an adorable renovated elementary school building on North Cascade. I actually enjoy bringing my kids here because after we stop to get coffee and treats, we’ll walk the school halls. If you are an avid fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Building Three Coffee is the place to be. Not because they make one, but because they have created something better: the Sweet Potato Latte. Obviously, you’d have to have a little more time on your hands to visit Building Three—but it’s the perfect place to hang as a family on a Saturday morning, or even for quick date with your kids. Bring your son’s cars and your daughter’s coloring book and you might find yourself at peace mid-week.
The Pop, another locally owned drive-thru, actually just popped up this year. Located off of Academy and Dublin, I’m still learning their menu and deciding on what I like, don’t like, and what’s recommendable. Regardless, they have already made a big impression on me with their Nutella Frosted Sugar Cookies and their quick and friendly service. They have something for everyone and aren’t just limited to coffee. They also serve specialty soda drinks mixing Dr. Pepper with Coconut and Diet Coke with Coconut and Lime. On those days when you are craving something sweet, they are the place to go. And, take it from me… if you order any sugar cookies, either make sure you get one for the husband too or plan on eating that whole thing before you get home.
Now, depending on where you live, R&R might be a bit far for your liking. However, it’s just too good of a place not to mention. Located deep in Black Forest, R&R has the perfect touch of small town feel. During the summer, we love stopping here for breakfast before taking our kids over to Fox Run Regional Park to hang out as a family. During the winter, it’s worth it to call this place a home away from home or even vacation from the city. And I’m not kidding when I say everything they make and brew is delicious. If you have the chance, try their coffee beans first. Then, you can go all in.