DENVER’S COOLEST PATIOS AND ROOFTOPS
Where to eat and drink outside on Denver’s coolest patios and rooftops
It’s summertime, and the living is easy. As the weather warms up and Coloradans migrate from air-conditioned dining rooms to meals outdoors, metro-area residents will have a wide array of dining options in the open air.
Metro Denver has more than enough restaurant patios, rooftops, food trucks, sidewalk tables and backyard stops to last the dog days. We’ve assembled a list of alfresco gems to match your summer wish list.
A MEAL WITH A VIEW
El Five, Highland El Five is a Mediterranean tapas bar brought to you by the group behind Root Down and Linger. The new hot rooftop in town that opened in May features a tasty menu and amazing views of the skyline perched high up in the building behind Sushi Ronin. 2930 Umatilla St., fifth floor, 303-333-3256; Tues.-Sun., 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; elfivedenver.com. Los Chingones, RiNo Any spot on the rooftop patio of this tapas-based Mexican joint offers an urban vista with few rivals. Try the brussels sprouts for a rare combo of health and flavor. 2461 Larimer St., No. 102, 303-295-0686; Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; loschingonesmexican.com/
Avanti F&B, LoHi Open walls and a spacious side patio make Avanti a lively place to mingle with happy guests. Complementary valet parking gives you no excuse not to take the turn off Interstate 25 into this LoHi jewel. 3200 Pecos St., 720-269-4778; Sun.-Wed., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; avantifandb.com/
Ale House at Amato’s, Highland Owned by Breckenridge Brewery and Wynkoop Brewing Company, Ale House at Amato’s guarantees a top-quality craft brew with a top-quality view of downtown, the Highland Bridge, and Coors Field. The socially conscious can appreciate Ale House’s commitment to community development, including partnerships with local grocers, bakers and suppliers. 2501 16th St., 303-433-9734; Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; alehousedenver.com/
Izakaya Den, South Pearl The chic lights that warm modish outdoor patios make the popular Japanese gastro pub a surefire pick for dates. An extensive dinner menu brims with options: traditional Japanese, seafood, meats, salads, sushi and globally inspired plates from across the world. A guaranteed treat, if you can grab a seat. 1487A S. Pearl St., 303-777-0691; Lunch Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Dinner Tues.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; izakayaden.net/
The Populist, RiNo At The Populist, communal dining reigns supreme. Long, inclusive community tables and small New American dishes designed to be shared will let you and a significant other come together over food like you had cooked it yourself. Getting to know your fellow tablemates means you’ll have no need to worry about an awkward lull in conversation. 3163 Larimer St., 720-432-3163; Tues.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.; thepopulistdenver.com/ Tamayo, Larimer Square Chef Richard Sandoval has crafted an impressive menu of Mexican cuisine in an accessible and attractive venue in LoDo. The commodious outdoor patio has room for families that need an extra bit of space, with a view of the action close to the ground for kids who make a little noise. 1400 Larimer St., 720-946-1433; Brunch Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Lunch Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Dinner Sun.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5-11 p.m.; hrichardsandoval.com/tamayo/ The Thin Man Tavern, East Colfax There are no televisions in the Thin Man Tavern, where patrons are encouraged to put away distractions and engage earnestly with company. Red-purple mood lighting creates an ideal ambiance for a first date or a fledgling fling. 2015 E. 17th Ave., 303-320-7814; Mon.-Sun., 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Facebook.com/Thin-Man-Tavern-Denver
Postino, Lohi Postino’s spacious grand patio has a wide variety of seating choices for couples looking to eat face-to-face or in more comfortable outdoor couches. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, happy hour promises a bottle of wine and a bruschetta board for just $20. 2715 17th St., 303-433-6363; Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri., 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sat 9 a.m.-12 a.m., Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; postinowinecafe.com/
Bistro Vendome, Larimer Square While strolling through Denver’s popular Larimer Square, curious passers-by may peek down a mysterious archway and see a perfectly Parisian Patio staring back at them. That twinkly light escape belongs to French restaurant Bistro Vendome, a spot sure to get you that goodnight kiss. 1420 Larimer St. Mon.-Thu., 5 p.m.- 10 p.m., Fri., 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.- 11 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.; bistrovendome.com
DRINKS, DRINKS, DRINKS
Linger, Highland Wash down street foods from four continents with a ten-page drink menu or just hang out on the rooftop with drink from the old hippy-dippy van beneath the old Olinger sign. Must be OK with former mortuary vibes. 2030 W. 30th Ave.; 303-993-3120; Mon.-Thurs., Sun., 5:30-10:00 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30-11:00 p.m.; lingerdenver.com/ Historians Ale House, S. Broadway The scholars at Historians have put together an exhaustive library of more than 40 draft beers and 100 spirits in shop. Smart up and take advantage of all-day happy hour on Mondays. 24 S. Broadway, No. 102, 720-479-8505; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; historiansalehouse.com/
FIRE Lounge, Downtown Located atop the Art Hotel a block from the Capitol, FIRE is a chic urban bar with a view to boot. Craft cocktails and an attractive rooftop make the lounge a nobrainer for visitors looking for a convenient and attractive look at Denver. 1201 Broadway, 303-572-8000; Sun.-Thurs., 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; thearthotel.com/dine-drink/fire-lounge
Denver Beer Company, LoHi A pet-friendly patio makes this trendy microbrewery on Platte Street a perfect summer stomp. Pour out some signature suds in the name of the Mile High City. The pale ales are award-winning. 1695 Platte St., 303-433-2739; Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; denverbeerco.com/ Skyline Beer Garden, Downtown Until Oct. 7, Coloradans of all ages can enjoy food and drinks in a well-groomed urban park at the heart of downtown. Free live music plays Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons all summer long. Skyline Park, Arapahoe Street between 16th and 17th; Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; skylinebeergarden.com/
Plaza Beer Garden at Terminal Bar, Union Station, Downtown The newly opened Plaza Beer Garden, an outpost at the recently refurbished Union Station, offers a view of Wynkoop Plaza and 17th Street. Happy Hour lasts from 4-6 p.m. on weekdays, with Coloradobrewed ales as cheap as $4.25. 1701 Wynkoop Street, Union Station, 720460-3701; Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; terminalbardenver.com/ Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, River North “Local sources to brew local ales” describes the operating creed of this small microbrewery located in River North. Ingredients come sourced from in-state sellers, making OMF a locavore hot-spot. 2810 Larimer St., 303-296-3441; Tues.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 2 p.m.-12 a.m., Sun. 2-10 p.m.; omfbeer.com/ Recess Beer Garden, Highland At Recess, you can sample more than a dozen beers from in-state and twice as many from across the country and world. The giant outdoor beer garden with plenty of murals to make all your friends jealous on your Insta closes at 10 p.m. 2715 17th St., Suite 103, 720-638-0020; Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; recessbeergarden.com
FOR THE NON-BEER DRINKERS
OK, so you’re not a beer person. Contrary to popular belief, there are places for you in Denver.
Stem Ciders, RiNo If you find a crisp, sweet cider more up your alley than a hoppy beer, Stem Ciders may be you kind of place. The patio sits beneath some fabric for a little shade and there is often a food truck to pair with your Crabby Neighbor. 2811 Walnut St., 720-443-3007, Mon.-Thur.,4-10 p.m., Fri.,3-11p.m., Sat., noon-11 p.m.,Sun., noon-10 p.m.; stemciders.com
The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery, RiNo If you like your wine in adorable, totally Instagram-worthy cans, this is your place. Wines include Moscato, Red, Rose, White, Dry Hopped Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Hopped Pear Cider. Don’t forget about that popular Rose Wine Slushie on a hot, hot day. 3200 Larimer St., 303-736-8376, Mon.-Thur.,4-10 p.m., Fri.,3-10 p.m., Sat., 2-10 p.m., Sun., 2-8p.m.; theinfinitemonkeytheorem.com
PATIOS AND ROOFTOPS WITH GAMES
Ace, Uptown Ace offers a number or indoor and outdoor ping pong tables that make for one competitive night of drinking. if you want to work up an appetite, patrons can enjoy Asian-American cuisine with options for seated dining, appetizers, and buffets. 501 E. 17th St., 303-800-7705; Mon.-Wed., 4-11 p.m., Thurs.-Sun. 2-11 p.m.; aceeatserve.com/
ViewHouse, Downtown, Centennial and Littleton Stationed next door to Coors Field, this massive bar and grill mixes a casual sports vibe with tasteful decor. An extensive open-air patio gives diners a view of the ballpark and ample room to eat, drink or play summer games like cornhole and volleyball. An ideal stop before, during, or after the red-hot Rockies play. 2015 Market St. 720-282-1555; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; viewhouse.com/
Forest Room 5, Highland Park At this nature-themed tapas bar, you can take a seat on a tree stump out back and enjoy drinks around a live bonfire. A block west of Interstate 25, Forest Room 5 makes a bar feel like an authentic backyard. 2532 15th St., 303-433-7001; Mon.-Sun., 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; forestroom5.com/ Gibby’s Big Backyard, Aurora Who says the great outdoors can’t exist in the suburbs? Gibby’s big, big backyard has room for two full-size sand volleyball courts. Inside, billiards tables and TVs create an ideal refuge for sports lovers outside the city limits. 1555 S. Havana St., 303-755-5944; Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; gibbysbar.com/ Home
Topgolf, Centennial At Topgolf, golf is made fun for all ages, regardless of skill level. Share a drink with friends in the lush interior while working on your swing at this ideal spot for business or recreation. 10601 E. Easter Ave., 720-8803151; Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-12 a.m., Fri., 9 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat., 8 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun., 9 a.m.-12 a.m.; topgolf.com/us/centennial/
Illegal Pete’s, South Broadway As the first Denver Illegal Pete’s, the South Broadway location is the place to enjoy your potato-filled burrito while people watching on the giant outdoor patio. This location offers water misters, a bar that serves the patio and, here’s where that gaming part comes in, a bocce court. (Honorable mention: The Colfax location also offers a giant patio.) 270 S. Broadway, 720-287-5233, Mon.-Wed., 7 a.m.-midnight, Thu.-Fri., 7 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Sat., 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Sun., 9 a.m.- midnight; Happy hour: 3 p.m.-8 p.m. daily, Thur.-Sat., 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
Mile High Spirits, LoDo With its own distillers and 4,000-squarefoot backyard full of picnic tables, cornhole, mini-Frisbee and plenty of liquor flowing, Mile High Spirits has become one of the hottest spots to be in Denver. And that doesn’t even include the inside, which hosts DJs on the weekend for some serious dance parties. 2201 Lawrence St., 303-296-2226, Mon.-Wed., 2 p.m.-midnight, Thu.-Fri. 2 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat., 11 a.m.- 2 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.- midnight
Agave Taco Bar, Washington Park Access is easy for families looking to share homemade tortillas on the front patio of this charming taco joint. Check the “niños” section of the menu for plates aimed at youngsters. 2217 E. Mississippi Ave., 303-425-6225; Mon.-Wed., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Thurs.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; agavetacobar.com/ Crafty Fox, River North Arts District No need for fuss: At Crafty Fox, the pickiest members of the family can customize their own pizza. Mom and dad can enjoy the 60 on-tap craft beers on the upstairs patio (not all in one visit, hopefully) — and it all comes with a skyline view for all ages. 3901 Fox St., 303-455-9666; Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; craftyfox.beer/
Kaos Pizzeria, Platt Park Denver’s premier pizza tastes delizioso alfresco. The perfect setting for parents, couples and friends looking for easy Italian in an atmosphere suitable for the whole family. 1439 South Pearl St., 303-733-5267; Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; kaospizzeria.com/ Odyssey Italian Restaurant, Capitol Hill In an old Capitol Hill home from the early 20th century, this Italian eatery has flourished with longtime loyalists and newcomers alike. Patrons can wine and dine on the small front patio, which captures the authentic neighborhood charm near the heart of the city. 603 E. 6th Ave., 303-318-0102; Mon.-Sun., 4-11 p.m.; odyssey-italian-restaurant.com/ index.html
THE URBAN OUTDOORS
LoDo’s Bar and Grill and Tavern Downtown, Downtown On the first and third Wednesdays of the month, kids eat free. Just a block from Coors Field, this American grill has simple outdoor seating with a vista on downtown for the whole family. Directly Who says good seafood has to stay on the coasts? The sidewalk patio at Jax brings the best of nautical cuisine to urban Denver. A deep commitment to sustainable fishing leaves a pleasant aftertaste for the conscientious eaters. 1539 17th St., 303-292-5767; Mon.-Sun., 4 p.m.-close; www.jaxfishhouse.com/lodo/
BRING YOUR FURRY FRIEND
Watering Bowl, Washington Virginia Vale
Man’s best friend has a best-bet bar in Watering Bowl, where dogs are welcome. Use the special dog gate on the side of the building to enter straight to the patio. 5411 Leetsdale Dr., 720-217-7838; Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun., 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; denverwateringbowl.com/ Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House, Curtis Park Opened in late 2014, Dunbar has become a neighborhood favorite in Curtis Park with a dog-friendly back patio and all-day Monday happy hours that make for a reliable place to kick off the week with your pup. 2844 Welton St., 720-630-7641; Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; dunbarkitchenandtaphouse.com/ Brazen, West Highland New American cuisine doesn’t have to be ostentatious. The cool, relaxed atmosphere at Brazen will calm even the most hyperactive dogs and please owners looking for a reliable bite to eat outdoors. 4450 W 38th Ave., 720-638-1242; Mon.-Weds., 4:30-10 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; brazendenver.com/
Racine’s, Speer Racine’s has been a favorite breakfast spot of locals and politicos for years, though the extensive lunch and dinner menu has options for every eater. And the patio is a great spot to dine with your pets. 650 Sherman St., 303-595-0418; Mon.-Thurs., 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri., 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; racinesrestaurant.com
FOR PRIVATE EVENTS
The Buckhorn Exchange, Lincoln Park Denver’s oldest restaurant has a private Roofgarten with a year-round patio — enclosed and covered in winter and opensided in summer. With a capacity for 60, the attractive rooftop space offers intimacy and comfort for events of various sizes. 1000 Osage St., 303-534-9505; Lunch Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Dinner Mon.-Thurs., 5-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 5-10 p.m., Sun., 5-9 p.m.; buckhorn.com Briarwood Inn, Golden An idyllic environment for a major gathering, the Briarwood Inn exemplifies the beauty of mountainous Colorado outside the major cities. Top-quality food pairs perfectly with a close-up view of the Rocky Mountains. 1630 8th St., Golden, 303-279-3121; Dinner Mon.-Sun. starting at 4:30 p.m., tavern and patio Mon.-Sun. starting at 4 p.m.; thebriarwoodinn.com/
Mandy Brown, left, and Marissa Vellone enjoy a drink together on the patio that overlooks downtown Denver and Coors Field at Avanti Food + Beverage on Aug. 4, 2016.
The patio is crowded at Denver Beer Company in Denver on Oct. 2, 2015. Patrick Traylor, Denver Post file