Visiting Pikes Peak? 5 Must Try Coffee Shops in Manitou Springs

Aug 01, 2023 • Leigh McDonald

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Manitou Springs, CO is known for its enchanting small-town charm, lush landscapes, and diverse culinary scene, but did you know it's also a mecca for coffee enthusiasts? Whether you're after a steaming cup of artisanal brew to kick-start your morning or a cozy spot to unwind with a book in one hand and an espresso in the other, this picturesque town has got you covered. Among the many gems that line its streets, five coffee shops stand out for their commitment to quality, uniqueness, and charm.

Blog Writer Leigh drawingin a coffeeshop that doesn't allow for wifi so people can talk to each other
Leigh enjoying no wifi at Loft Espresso

In this post, we'll be unveiling the 5 best coffee shops in Manitou Springs, CO – each boasting its own distinctive blend of flavors, atmosphere, and community spirit. From the homemade delights of Red Dog Coffee to the bustling environment of Good Karma Cafe, there's a coffee haven here for every taste and preference. Our top favorite was Loft Espresso - read on to learn why.

A Deeper Look at Our Picks

Loft Espresso

Loft EspressoLoft Espresso

The Loft Espresso is a community-driven café located in the heart of Manitou Springs, Colorado, right beside the well-known Penny Arcade. Known for their great atmosphere and 5-star rating, this coffee shop offers not only a delightful range of coffee but also some unique summer drinks like Hazelnut Rose Matcha and Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade. The neighborhood seems to love it, with customers like Kittie Kilner expressing her anticipation to try the watermelon lemonade. With its affordability and friendly environment, The Loft Espresso establishes itself as an integral part of the local Manitou Springs community. It's the kind of café locals cherish and tourists are delighted to discover, offering a warm and welcoming respite on 934 Manitou Ave.

Red Dog Coffee

Red Dog CoffeeRed Dog Coffee

Red Dog Coffee is a charming coffee spot located on Main Street in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The friendly spot offers a range of handmade espresso drinks and also serves breakfast all day. A standout feature of theirs is the breakfast burritos, with sandwiches that are said to be reminiscent of the ones your mom would make, and Josh and John's Ice Cream, which are all part of their comfy, nostalgic offerings. Not just limited to beverages and breakfast, they're also known for baking lots of delicious items. In fact, the staff is so diligent in maintaining quality, they take it upon themselves to repeatedly taste-test their products making sure they're up to the mark for their customers. Red Dog Coffee prides itself in serving the best locally roasted coffee and fresh baked goodies with a constant display of smiling faces doing the service. Simple, homely, and welcoming are vibes that this coffee shop radiates.

Good Karma Cafe

Good Karma CafeGood Karma Cafe

Good Karma Cafe, nestled in the heart of Manitou Springs, is not just your typical coffee shop. The quaint and cozy space serves as a haven where one can unwind, luxuriate in good food, stimulating cocktails, and freshly roasted coffee. They take pride in their scrumptious breakfast and lunch menu filled with healthy and flavorful options. For the sweet-toothed, their coffee goes wonderfully with mouth-watering pastries sourced from local bakeries, promoting freshness and quality in each bite. Besides their appetizing offerings, Good Karma Cafe is acclaimed for their vibrant environment filled with good vibes and good people. Not only that, but Good Karma Cafe hosts special events throughout the year, transforming the cozy cafe into a venue for music and art. To stay updated with what's new and upcoming, visitors are encouraged to follow their Facebook page or check out their website for the latest posts and events. It's a place that values its customers and takes immense pleasure in curating a wholesome experience for everyone who steps foot inside.

The Incline Base Camp

The Incline Base CampThe Incline Base Camp

The Manitou Incline, fondly referred to as The Incline, is a popular hiking trail in Manitou Springs, near Colorado Springs. It's an outdoor enthusiast's dream – the trail steeply gains 2,000ft of elevation in less than a mile, going as high as 68% in grade and giving a serious challenge even to the fittest hikers. Originally a funicular railway serving a hydroelectric plant in the early 1900s, it was converted into a tourist attraction, only to have its tracks removed after a rock slide in 1990s. Due to its location, it's open to the elements, so take note of the weather conditions or refer to the Incline's website for updates before you set out. You need a reservation to hike here, so plan accordingly. Enjoy the workout, but remember to take a breather and take in the incredible panoramic views. Adjacent trails, though long, offer a less daunting experience, while a free shuttle service is available from Manitou Springs. Please remember, it's uphill traffic only, and the trail requires respect for rules to ensure a smooth experience for everyone. Whether you're a local, a tourist, or just someone looking for a unique fitness challenge, The Incline is worth a visit!

Rocky Mountain Beignets

Rocky Mountain BeignetsRocky Mountain Beignets

Rocky Mountain Beignets (RMB) is a family-run cafe located in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Founded by the Chism Family in 2019 as a food truck in Woodland Park, the business has evolved to have its own physical location. Billy and Brandi Chism started this venture not only to serve delicious beignets and a wide range of coffees including lattes, cappuccinos, and café au laits but also to teach their children, Morgan, Lauren, and Andrew, about running a business.

Every beignet served at RMB is freshly made with in-house dough upon order. They also sell a variety of unique gifts, certified Louisiana products, and local Colorado products. Looking towards the future, RMB is planning to offer franchising opportunities. This step is driven by their ambition to bring their beignets to every event, market, and community across the country. However, the Chism family's motivation for going into business was quite diverse and centered around the concept of freedom - freedom to chart their own path, to engage fruitfully with chosen individuals, to pursue their values, and most importantly, to impart valuable business skills to their children.

Where To Go For Coffee?

When it comes to the best communities in Manitou Springs, CO for coffee shops, downtown and Old Colorado City are your top contenders. These two areas are abuzz with activity, filled with unique local shops, beautiful historic architecture, and, of course, a great selection of coffee shops. Each offers a different ambiance.


Downtown is more quaint and compact, making it ideal for leisurely coffee dates and people-watching.

Old Colorado City

Old Colorado City offers a slightly more urban feel with its larger, bustling coffee shops and cafes.

Loft Espresso in Manitou Springs - chandeliers on ceilings, barista making coffee
Loft Espresso

The History of Manitou Springs and Coffee

The history of Manitou Springs intertwines beautifully with coffee. The town, known for its natural mineral springs, became a bustling resort community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors would flock to Manitou Springs to drink and bathe in the mineral waters, believed to have healing properties. Many would enjoy a cup of coffee at the local shops as part of their day. This love for coffee has remained a constant in the town's culture, surviving through its evolution from a resort town to a thriving art community.

Manitou Springs old architecture: Miramont Castle Museum
Miramont Castle Museum

Explore Manitou Springs

Being nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs offers plenty of activities to engage in before or after your caffeine fix. Here are some popular things to see and do:

  1. Manitou Cliff Dwellings: Explore these fascinating historic structures, then relax in the museum's cafe with a hot cup of coffee.
  2. Pikes Peak Cog Railway: Take a scenic ride up to the top of Pikes Peak. The summit house serves delicious donuts that pair perfectly with coffee!
  3. Garden of the Gods: Hike or drive through this stunning park. And yes, there's a cafe serving coffee to fuel your adventures.
  4. Miramont Castle Museum: Step back in time in this Victorian-era castle. Their tea room also serves a nice selection of coffee.
Manitou Spring Hike by the train

Coffee and Culture in Manitou Springs

There's also a vibrant art scene in Manitou Springs, reflected in the local coffee shops. Many double as art galleries or host live music, offering a unique blend of coffee and culture. The town's annual events like the Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival and the Emma Crawford Coffin Races (yes, you read that right!) are also something to look forward to while savoring your brew.

At the end of the day, the charm of Manitou Springs isn't just in its coffee shops. It’s the perfect combination of small-town charm, natural beauty, cultural richness, and of course, a warm, welcoming cup of artisanal coffee that make this town a must-visit for coffee lovers everywhere. So, take the time to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the town's unique coffee culture. You'll be glad you did.

A cactus growing inside a coffee cup


My coffee journey spans 15 years of diverse experiences. Starting from those first sips, my passion for the industry has grown steadily. I've enjoyed working at a local coffee shop, exploring cultures worldwide, meeting incredible farmers on plantation tours, and helping launch a family member's coffee roasting venture. Throughout this journey, discovering and buying coffee from local roasters to support community businesses has been a pleasure. Through Roast Love, I aim to create content that informs, raises awareness, and helps you, the reader, buy and brew that perfect cup of coffee.

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