When in my hometown of Aspen, my coffee haunt is ink! Coffee, the funky, local favorite that shares space with D&E Ski and Snowboard Shop. Occasionally, I’ll shelve my white-coffee addiction (black java stirred with ink!’s secret white powder) and head over a couple blocks to Parallel 15 Coffee and Tea Inc. for a perfectly smooth and creamy latte.

And now there’s a new spot to frequent: Dark Horse Alley. The coffee cart, which used to sit in a narrow alley across from Boogie’s Diner, moved to the atrium of the Ute City Building three weeks ago.

Here, owner Wendy Nanon Smith froths milk, pulls espresso shots, and dishes up a well-edited menu of tempting pastries (homemade brownies, bedazzled cupcakes), vegetarian soups, fresh salads, and inspired sandwiches. (I’ve got my eye on the Wild Sherpa with vegetable chutney and Brie on a sourdough baguette.)

Bonus: Kids love the decadent hot chocolate, topped with real whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Cafe Ink!, 520 E. Durant Ave., Aspen, 970-544-0588

Parallel 15 Coffee and Tea Inc., 400 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, 970-309-6883

Dark Horse Alley, 501 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, 970-319-2068

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.