Ryan Tedder – front man of Colorado band OneRepublic – is one of my music idols. He writes catchy songs that are so much more than just catchy songs. His lyrics sink from the ear to the soul, stirring it up and drawing in listeners. He is a poet. And so when I heard him say in an interview that his favorite Denver coffee shop is Aviano, I knew it needed to be placed high on my list of places to try.
It quickly moved from high on the “try” list, to high on the “favorites” list.
Located in upscale Cherry Creek North, it stretches the mold. Breaking away from boutique shops, organic restaurants, and chain coffee, Aviano marks its space more humbly, tucked back from the main drag and situated behind an large tree that shades patrons who choose to enjoy the patio seating. However, its distinctive young personality does not dissuade visitors, but rather invites them. At any time of day it remains busy – from the morning rush of people getting a coffee and pastry (while they last), through the afternoon crowd who sits to people watch, work, or chat with a friend before the evening falls and the shop closes.
In addition to the friendly ambiance, Aviano boasts a range of seating options – inside or out, table or stool; something for everyone. Their menu follows suit, with a host of tea and coffee options that are delicious. They offer everything from warm foamy cappuccinos to the house espresso drink called an Angeleno – a shot of espresso mixed with whole milk and sweetened with agave, all shaken up in a martini glass over ice, creating a smooth and slightly sweet drink that is a perfect afternoon pick-me-up on a hot summer day in Denver. The extensive menu may at first appear intimidating, but you can always count on one of the friendly baristas to approach and patiently give recommendations and explanations until you’ve found just what you’re looking for.
Then all that’s left to do is pull up a chair under the big tree or grab a seat next to the open garage-style-doors at the front of the shop and enjoy the day, delicious drink in hand.