As college students, we seek comfortable, productive, and delicious work spaces to get studying done in the most exciting way possible. For some, the library is enough, but even the new Tutt Library can occasionally feel a little conventional and claustrophobic. It seems college students are constantly in search of a coffee shop or café that has good food and drinks and a healthy work environment. Good Neighbors, taking the location of the former Dog Tooth Cafe, is a recently opened coffee shop on 505 Columbia with just that.
The café is L-shaped, stretching around a bar and kitchen area in the middle, where one can watch the preparation of coffee, smoothies, shakes, and other drinks. The fresh light wood, white tile, and long windows covering the sides of the space allow for a warm natural light to fill the restaurant.
From wooden tables of four, to smaller two-person tables, to a long bar with high stools, Good Neighbors offers a variety of seating for different dining circumstances. Although the café was mostly filled with people working while sipping on their mugs of Colorado Roasters Coffee, the atmosphere also calls for a quaint breakfast, brunch, or lunch date. Amongst the wide selection of fresh, organic coffee with homemade spirits, craft beers, and flavored syrups, Good Neighbors also offers a selection of fresh smoothies and shakes. From my bar stool, I watched a server put fresh banana, avocado, cucumber, mint, and coconut milk into a blender to create a smoothie with ideal thickness and fresh, vibrant flavor.
It is not only the drinks, however, that offer such diversity; the breakfast menu, too, has a unique array of flavor options. From “The Garden Waffle,” a savory green onion and white queso waffle topped with avocado, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, blackberry peppercorn dressing, and optional bacon, to homemade “Sunrise Burritos” that change consistently, and a traditional breakfast of egg, potato, bacon, and toast, Good Neighbors offers a wider selection than many larger restaurants.
The lunch menu offers a selection of fresh salads, soups, and sandwiches filled with fresh meats and vegetables, accompanied by salty potato chips, as well as shared meals, such as meat and cheese, hummus and veggie, and bruschetta plates. The server responded to every item on the menu that I considered with the comment, “That’s really good.”
Although the menu has many different types of food, it is concise, allowing the café to remain intentional with the preparation of every dish, and allowing the servers to know the flavor and quality well enough to form dialogue with customers.
Orders are registered and payed for at the coffee bar opposite the entrance to the café and brought fresh from the kitchen within 10 minutes of ordering. The food is light and natural, paired with the presence of a young and active staff, leaving one energized and ready to work.
“The environment of Good Neighbors immediately drew me to love it there,” junior Sara Turi said. “I like the coziness of Good Neighbors; it is in a cute little neighborhood, and I love the California-esque vibe it has. It can get busy, but never too distracting to lose focus. I don’t always buy the food since it is pretty expensive, but I get the coffee, which I love.”
The restaurant website states that they try to build an intentional, open community, even beyond those in their neighborhood. Good Neighbors offers a casual and familiar atmosphere, but their community engagement extends beyond café etiquette. Every Wednesday the café offers a unique event opportunity that is open to anyone and everyone. This Valentine’s Day, for example, Good Neighbors is hosting a “Galentines Day: Wine + Waffle Flight,” where, for the cost of $25, one is presented with four different types of wine paired with a sweet or savory quarter waffle offering.
Good Neighbors is only a short walk from campus, offering a delicious taste, comfortable space, and sweet escape from the stresses of work life within the confines of Colorado College.