#1) Brown Dog Coffee Co: Get the best on-site roasted coffee at this cozy, relaxing spot. It’s the perfect jolt for the day’s adventures like nearby hikes and hot springs. The coffee is sourced from family-owned farms in Central and South America. Also enjoy freshly baked goodies ranging from pastries to breakfast burritos to scones to breakfast sandwiches. As charming as it is convenient, find it on the main highway before you reach historic downtown. 713 US24. www.browndogcoffee.com
#2) Cool Beans and Collectibles: For a completely non-corporate coffee stop, try this eclectic place. They serve Allegro coffee, as well as some delicious coffee drinks like a killer Cappuccino. Their signature drink, ‘Rocket Man,’ is a buzzy mix of espresso, raspberry, chocolate and milk. Have a breakfast burrito, muffin, and biscotti to go with it. Sip and shop the gift shop, stocked with locally-produced items and all kinds of treasures including coffee gift baskets, antiques, collectibles, and t-shirts. 328 Charles St., www.buenavistacoolbeans.com
#3 The Midland Stop: Near the Arkansas River there’s a welcoming modern coffee shop specializing in authentic Espresso and Italian Gelato. They serve “third wave coffee,” a movement to make such high quality coffee that it’s considered artisanal, like wine or craft beer. There are only a few indoor seats, so sit outside for an awesome view of Collegiate Peaks. Try the Midland Mocha with a bacon breakfast burrito or a scone. 801 Front Loop in South Main. www.midlandstop.com
#4) Buena Vista Roastery Café: This small grassroots mom-and-pop company takes their coffee seriously. It’s seriously good but they’re not just concerned with the flavor. It’s also about its origins, how it is roasted and its environmental impact. This business started with “Bongo’s Coffee” and expanded into serving Altus Coffee. The organic coffee is specialty grade and certified Fair Trade. Both product lines are offered online too so you can get your coffee fix wherever you are. 409 E. Main St. www.bvroastery.com
Loback’s Bakery: This traditional family-owned bakery, the oldest in the valley, opened in 1936. They’ve got this donut-making business down. Not trendy, not fancy or frilly, just super sweetly satisfying. The ambiance retains that friendly, timeless Main Street charm. Try the classic glazed, cream-filled, cake or their ‘world famous’ apple sauce donuts (Saturdays only!). They also tempt with pastries from apple fritters to eclairs. Trust them with scratch-made and custom-made cakes – even the ultimate cake-of-all-cakes for weddings. 326 E. Main St. http://www.lobacksbakery.com/
#1) Jan’s Family Restaurant: No one leaves hungry from this local favorite. Breakfast portions are generous, all the better to fuel you up for a big day out there. Suggested items on their varied menu include the avocado omelet, shareable cinnamon rolls, craveable biscuits and gravy, and/or plate-size pancakes. It’s casual and homey with no-frills home-made goodness. 304 US HWY 24 N. https://www.facebook.com/JansInbuenavista/
#2) Roosters Crow Café: Breakfast lasts all day at this local diner-style restaurant. A diverse menu features favorites like the Jogger Skillet, the green chili, the garden omelet, eggs Florentine and bourbon honey roasted sausage. Getting up early to take a big hike or be first on the ski lift pays off too, as they offer an Early Bird Special from 6-8 am 527 US Hwy 24 N. https://www.yelp.com/biz/roosters-crow-cafe-buena-vista.
Wesley and Rose Restaurant: Located inside the gorgeous new Surf Hotel in South Main, this is the place to be for weekend brunch. Brunch choices include a wide variety of breads and beignets, salads and sandwiches, three different specialty ‘bennies,’ and eight main entrees. Popular items include their signature NOLA inspired BBQ shrimp breakfast. Quench the day with Bloody Mary’s or Bellini’s as well as coffee and juices. All items are served with a side dish of spectacular river views. 1012 Front Loop. www.surfhotel.com