Higher Grounds is an excellent local coffee shop in Pagosa Springs. A cozy setting and great tasting espresso drinks provide the winning combination to start your morning off on a high note.
Higher Grounds offers both a light food menu and a full coffee bar. The Americano and mocha drinks were both pretty excellent, so good in fact that we chose this shop again the second morning of our trip. They use Allegro coffee, which is a decent brand that I often use myself at home.
In addition to a daily selection of bakery items, they also offer bagels, breakfast burritos, quiche, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. A few gluten-free selections are available, including pastries and quiche.
If there is one downside to Higher Grounds, it is the less-than-stellar service. We arrived early Saturday morning (the doors were open) and found no one working besides a cook, who informed us that the manager was late.
However, when the manager arrived a few minutes later, she refused to serve us for another half hour until the shop supposedly opened (although according to their listed website hours and unlocked doors they were already open).
In my opinion, if they had the doors open for business and we arrived according to their listed hours, then they should serve the customer. This was very inconvenient as we had a strict schedule for the day, and thus, our entire morning was rushed due to their incompetence.
The inside of Higher Grounds is very relaxed with an attractive cozy design theme. You will find magazines to read, books, board games, and cozy seating. It's the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing no-rush morning coffee break.
One inconvenience was the incredibly cold temperatures inside. For some reason, they left the doors open in the morning despite the brisk 50 degree weather outside - it was quite uncomfortable. Wearing a jacket inside a cafe is not my idea of relaxation!
The outdoor patio is a relaxing alternative on nice afternoons: a quiet way to soak in some extra sun while enjoying your drink.
Higher Grounds is a good choice for both Pagosa locals and visitors. Aside from the sub par service, the overall experience was pretty great. You can't go wrong when you combine a quaint setting with excellent espresso/coffee drinks.