Best coffeehouse: Cool River Coffee House |

Best coffeehouse: Cool River Coffee House

Cool River Coffee House owner Diane Burris, left, and general manager Sara Juenger work each day to cultivate a homey, community feel at the Breckenridge coffee shop known for its high-quality coffee and expansive and creative lunch menu.
Antonio Olivero /

BRECKENRIDGE — Owning and operating the Cool River Coffee Coffee House & Bakery in Breckenridge has been the dream come true longtime Summit County local Diane Burris hoped it would be.

Burris purchased Cool River from its previous owners three years ago in November. In the time since, the former manager of the Inxpot coffee shop in Keystone has made the place her own. The visual touchups have been minor — some new painting and lighting, taking out a drop ceiling and a change to the logo and signage. It’s Cool River’s menu that has seen more change.

Inheriting a shop with a collection of local regulars, a shop known for its quality baked goods, Burris started out by bringing on small batch local roasters, such as the shop’s main roaster, Huckleberry Roasters of Denver. Cool River also has a rotating tap that features a different roaster every few weeks.

“That’s been my focus,” Burris said. “Really, really good coffee.”

On the food side, Burris put out a new menu earlier this summer after months of preparation. Featuring homemade dishes made from scratch by Burris and the Cool River cooks, Burris said she thinks their homemade pork green chili is the best around. Between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, early or late risers can eat breakfast or lunch at any time. The options range widely and cater to various dietary preferences, from homemade chili, to sweet potato bacon breakfast tacos to quinoa porridge.

“There’s a lot of coffee shops, a lot of restaurants in Breckenridge, so I wanted to find a niche,” Buris said “‘What is somebody else not doing?’ Here, there’s something for everyone, from the vegan to someone looking for comfort food to the meat eater.”

Since launching the new menu, Burris said lunch has taken off at Cool River. If you happen to stop by, Burris said she’s confident you’ll find a coffee house experience that feels like home, with friendly service in prompt fashion.

“Every place I’ve ever been, I want it to feel like home,” Burris said. “I want you to be able to come in by yourself and sit at the bar and feel comfortable. I want it to feel like community.”

Cool River Coffee House is at 325 S. Main St. in Breckenridge.

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