Where: 2412 East Colfax Avenue
Pros: If you are looking for a place to go before you hit the bars in Cap Hill, the Plum Wine and Edamame pairing is perfect.
Cons: Meeting a friend for happy hour? Plan to arrive at Café Max at least 15 minutes early so you can find a place to park.
As you may know by now, Denver has plenty of coffee shops. Like other urban cities, each neighborhood in Denver has a spot that the locals go to for their coffee staples. Residents near Colfax and Josephine are lucky; they have Cafe Max. And it’s way more than just a coffee shop or a cafe. It’s a gathering place.
While it’s new customers may know it as being a late night coffee shop, co-owner Max Hopewell-Arizmendi is determined to make it more than that. With an expanded menu and special deals each week, Cafe Max is becoming a top contender for happy hour and late night hangouts. When we visited on a Saturday night, they were just starting their weekly movie showing (this week’s choice was Capote, to honor the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman). Cafe Max also offers ½ price bottles of wine on Sundays, making it a great place to meet up with friends to unwind for one last time before the workweek starts.
Cafe Max is not just a coffee shop, but that’s not to say that you can’t get a great cup of coffee or latte. Their Goat’s Milk Latte is a best seller because of its fresh taste and the obscurity of the drink. Most coffee shops don’t offer goat’s milk, let alone in a latte. They also have a large selection of coffee options, including French press and cold-pressed coffee, cafe con leche, espressos and machiattos. They’ve got the morning menu to get you through the day. And once happy hour comes around, Cafe Max becomes the perfect beer and wine dwelling. They have an eclectic menu of stouts, Belgian whites and red ales, as well as red and white wine options. I chose to pair the Plum Wine with a large, delicious bowl of Edamame based on Hopewell-Arizmendi’s recommendation. The Plum Wine was sweet and sparkling, and paired really well with the salty delicious Edamame.
Cafe Max’s food menu also has a variety that has something for everyone’s taste. They serve their morning breakfast items all day, making for a great place to have breakfast at night if that’s the mood you’re in. The Ridiculously Healthy Gluten Free Organic Cereal (their clever name, not mine), mixed with chia seeds, dried fruit and organic banana slices, is served on a silver serving tray with a milk of your choice. Cafe Max has a great selection of milk choices including almond, coconut, goat, and cow, making it a good place for people with dietary restrictions. The cereal was sweet and enjoyable and I loved the presentation.
If sweet isn’t your first choice for a meal, then you’re still in luck. Cafe Max has many savory choices as well. The Farm Fresh Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a side of organic tomato bisque soup was a great choice. The sandwich was a perfect portion, with an array of cheeses grilled perfectly on baguette slices. The soup was flavorful but not heavy. The entrée was definitely a favorite of mine.
Cafe Max brings together an attention to detail and relaxed environment that caters to many different people. It is a great place to go with friends or to work independently. The owners have made it a warm, friendly environment for any time of day and it’s one of the few upscale cafes with a reasonable priced menu and deals, so you don’t have to break the bank when you arrive. Check out their Facebook page to find out what movies are playing next or what events they are hosting for their fans. Believe me, you’ll become a fan in no time.
Photos by Jackie Collins for 303 Magazine.