SaltoAs mountain towns go, Nederland isn’t the smallest (Gold Hill or Jamestown probably wins that award), but for its population, it does win the award for most coffee houses per capita.  There are at least five coffee houses, and for a town of 1300 people, that’s saying something.  But they all come with their own unique twist.

Maybe it’s something about the cooler weather in the mountains that makes coffee such a popular purchase — who knows?  But coffee houses in various forms abound throughout Nederland.  There’s the Blue Owl Coffee House that also serves up some pretty darned good ice cream, and has music on the weekends.  The Blue Owl is also a great place to find local books about the mountains and Nederland.

There’s the Happy Trails coffee house, which will set you up with a burrito and even some snowshoes to rent during winter in addition to a mean cup of java.

train carThere’s the old train car next to our famed Carousel of Happiness. Yes, it’s really a vintage train car where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a latte.  But the best thing about the train car is it’s homemade mini donuts, that you can get with cinnamon and powdered sugar.  When my friend Kate moved away last month, I bought her a baker’s dozen of the mini-donuts, and she said it was her favorite thing about Nederland.

Not to be outdone, there is also the New Moon Cafe and Bakery serving their very own “Ned-roast” coffee roasted right in Nederland proper.  They also bake their own scones, muffins and croissants that make a wonderful breakfast or mid-afternoon treat.

The above-mentioned coffee places are modest-looking establishments in old western wooden buildings (or train cars) that you would expect to find in the unassuming town of Nederland.  But the one thing you won’t find is a Starbucks, because Nederland doesn’t do chain restaurants of any kind.

However, having said this leads me to the newest coffee house establishment, Salto.  Of all the coffee places, this most feels like one that could be found in downtown Boulder.  It feels newer (because it is) and is tied to a sports shop (Tin Shed Sports) that sells and services bicycles in summer and skis in winter.  And the interior is much of what city folks expect — the comfy chairs situated near the fireplace, the designer coffee drinks, etc.  Having said all of that, it’s a nice place and they do have some yummy breakfast items to choose from.

So there you have it — hankering for some coffee?  Head for the mountains of Nederland where you options abound for a mug of your favorite cup of Joe done in a multitude of ways.