Pro tip No. 1 when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park: Enter at Grand Lake on the west side of the park and move clockwise against the traffic. Pro tip No. 2: Before heading in, fuel up at Lion Head Coffee in Granby, CO, a third-wave oasis in a sea of burnt dark roasts. Opened in fall 2015 by the dreadlocked Lucas Harville (hence the name Lion Head), the cafe is a floor-to-ceiling overhaul of Grand River Coffee, a shop run by Jill Miles for nearly 20 years. Her signature drive-thru window remains, but Harville brought in top-shelf Sweet Bloom beans, made-from-scratch scones, artisanal ice cream, and the serious La Marzocca espresso machine shown above. Barista Jacob Jerome Magee is bear hugging it because he’s psyched about its back story. The treasured machine was purchased from Corvus Coffee Roasters in Denver, less than one year after it was featured in a Sprudge story about the popular cafe. Nerdy? Well, yeah. But the best coffee places usually are.
100 E. Agate Ave., Granby, CO; 970-614-5466.