Soccer uniforms, cycling, wine, happy hour and gelato.
These are the things that immediately come to mind when I think of Amante, and the fact that coffee isn’t first on the list isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Amante bills itself as “an Italian experience”, and it works hard to fit the image of a modern, Italian style cafe. The result is a blend of bohemian coffee house and Euro-mod, with some Boulderite stylings to balance everything out. Amante is full of metal tables and chairs to go along with its sleek counters, coffee cups and baristas, but at the same time the local art hanging on the walls and mountain chic clientele gives the cafes a more community oriented feel. It’s undeniably a strange mix, but don’t let it scare you away; these places are good places to hang out with a cup of coffee, and definitely worth checking out for both their location relative to the outdoors and drink amenities.
With one location on Walnut, in downtown Boulder, and the other on North Broadway, the cafes provide great anchor points for cycling sorties into the foothills surrounding Boulder. The north location, with its larger location and huge outside patio area, is a great place to start, or end, a ride, as it is located near the beginning of the Ward/Jamestown/Lyons cycling corridor and can play host to a lot of parked bikes and their riders. The Walnut location is located near the Boulder Creek Path and the Canyon/Magnolia/4-Mile/Sugarloaf/Sunshine/Flagstaff routes, but with its smaller size and limited bike parking this location is not as well equipped to handle large cycling groups.
Coffee-wise, Amante is a decent spot to get your bean fix. Nothing spectacular, but higher quality than many other coffee shops in town. The Americano’s (our bellwether) are smooth, dark and slightly sweet; one of the best I’ve had East of Portland. The coffee is also good, dark and more bold than most house coffees. Amante is the exclusive distributor of Ghigo family coffee, “the most popular coffee and espresso in Northern Italy.” This doesn’t mean much to me, but if you’re into the Ghigo then this is the spot for you. The cafe shines with its happy hour deals; coffee derived cocktails and wine that are priced incredibly well for the amount of alcohol they provide you; a good place to check out between dinner and the bars on Pearl Street.
The Amante staff is haughtily attractive. There is not a lot of smiling from behind the counter, as most of them seem to be afraid to break from their Euro-hip, soccer jersey encased, style. The men generally sport long hair and fashionably scruffy faces, while the women are attractive in either a jockish or bohemian way. No swamp creatures to go along with your coffee here. They are all fast and competent, but don’t be surprised if your order elicits a slightly veiled look of contempt as your true yuppie nature is revealed.
Overall, the Amante cafes provide a relaxed environment to enjoy soccer and cycling on TnV and enjoy and pre or post ride cup of coffee or espresso. Although the cafes don’t appear to do too much on the community side of things beyond displaying local art, their locations near rides, attractive staff and high quality bean make Amante a coffee shop worth checking out, regardless of its odd Euro-chic stylings.
Amante Coffee: 2 locations
4580 Broadway. 303-448-9999
5:45am to 7:00 pm M-Sat. 5:45am to 6:00pm Sunday.
1035 Walnut St. 303-546-9999
5:45 am to 7:00 M-Th. 5:45am to 10:pm Fri
5:45am to 6:00pm Sun.