When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, no one does it better than Denver. And 300+ days of sunshine a year certainly doesn't hurt. Skiing hiking, biking, rock climbing - the variety and options are pretty much endless. But there is one activity that brings everyone together - and that's lounging. Specifically, patio lounging. We've put together a guide to our all-time favorite places to do it below.
One of the classier patios in town with a solid happy hour ($5 glasses of wine and beer pitchers 11am - 5pm everyday). File this under perfect for: fancy day drinking, cheese & charcuterie, girls day out and impressing out-of-towners. If you fancy a cocktail hour without having to worry about the group next to you taking shots of Fireball, this is your spot. Grab a bottle of rosē and the bruschetta plate.
Avanti is supposed to be a food market, but you want to go here to hang and drink, not necessarily to eat. The food is fine, but overpriced. You're here for the huge patio space and the great location, and the multiple bar areas spread out enough to keep lines down on a busy day. Our advice is to make this your crew's early afternoon preparation stop before you hit up the city for the night. Throw back a few, and enjoy the sunset.
Local 46 is oddly situated far away from the more bustling/popular part of Tennyson St., but it's worth the trip. The wide-open patio out back features ample seating, ping pong (that's how beer pong started, kids), a few other lawn games and a smoke shack that serves burgers and a wicked sausage plate. There's also a small stage area for live music which makes 46 perfect for laid back summer eves. It's much more of a beer drinkers place, but this is Colorado... you pretty much have to like beer to get in.
Not as much a patio as it is an open lot with picnic tables and a few chairs, but we love it. A place to soak up the sun, without having to worry about busy crowds and creepy mingling-type folks. A nice low-key spot to start your drinking on a sunny day in RiNo.
The actual patio out front at Highland Tavern isn't that great, but since remodeling and expanding their interior, it doesn't matter. Most of the spaces both downstairs and up now include access to giant garage-like areas with open air seating and pretty spectacular views of the city. Grab some shots and a few orders of their famous tater tots. And maybe grab a cup of green chili on the side for dipping.
What's in a name? For Recess, pretty much everything. The backyard here spreads out like a school playground, and provides a great way to escape from the usual bar scene routine. Bring all your friends, bring your sunglasses... you can even bring your dog if he/she plays well with others. Just bring your appetite too - the food is legit.
Whiskey Tango looks a lot like the Coyote Ugly bars. And in some ways, acts a lot like them too. But just like a small town barkeep with dreams of fame and fortune, WTF has a lot more than just a pretty face to offer. Your chances of running into a rowdy, bro-y crowd will increase significantly when the sun goes down, but the rooftop patio and sophisticated food & drink menu make it worth the risk.
For all you work-from-homers & weekend spreadsheet warriors, this patio's for you. Huckleberry's picnic table area is the perfect spot to get some sun and whittle down your project checklist. We're pretty sure the majority of people on computers here are writing screenplays, but don't worry, they won't give you real workers any guff.
Buchi Cafe is our favorite spot for mid-week, extended-lunch "meetings". Grab a double Cortadito if you need to stay sharp, or a Caipirinha if you need to loosen up. Either way, also grab one of their awesome Cuban sandwiches and a table outside.
The atmosphere and food make The Plimoth our most recommended date night spot in Denver. Spend a long afternoon at the Zoo nearby, then head here for dinner. Everything about this place makes it hard not to fall in love, so don't be surprised if your date starts planning your wedding during the second course... or if you decide to propose after dessert. Just remember, it's The Plimoth causing that warm and fuzzy feeling in your belly - don't get crazy.
A standard go-to for us. Super laid back with great food, a great beer list, great people-watching, and probably your best chance to see Ben from the Bachelor out and about in Denver.
Root Down has Denver's patio brunch game locked down. If you want to hang here (and yes, you want to hang here), start making your reservations now. You can try to walk in, but maybe bring a snack to munch on while you wait - the patio crowd here tends to settle in to share stories from the previous night over bottomless mimosas.
We used to be a little uncomfortable with community table eating, but The patio at The Populist changed all that in a hurry. Their small plate offerings are perfect on a nice summer night, especially during happy hour. Grab a seat at one of the long tables out back, and you'll be making friends in no time.
The Source offers a nice two-for-one option on the patio front. Want a casual hang and some cheap, delicious street tacos? Head to Comida. Looking for a more classy, upscale afternoon or evening? Head next door to Acorn. Or just do lunch at one, and dinner at the other.
We're spoiled with breweries around here. So much so that it takes a lot for a new one to impress us. That being said, Ratio impresses us. Their beer game is ridiculous, and once the giant garage door window up front cranks open, the entire place basically becomes one big patio. Shade with a nice breeze on the inside, sun and a few yard games on the outside. Plenty of beer available at both.
If you're feeling artsy but don't want to make the trek South to the Santa Fe art district, make a move to RiNo. Gallery openings are happening pretty much every other week around there. Once you're good and cultured, step your way to the roof at Los Chingones for food and drinks. The Tres Pigs Nachos alone are a masterpiece unto themselves.
This ale house is all about giving you a "unique Colorado experience". Which basically means they have a ton of locally brewed beers (30-ish out of the 40 on tap), and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. The patio up top offers great views of the mountains, and a strong happy hour that you should definitely check out; especially on Wednesday's when they have 1/2 off bottles of wine.
The Ale House has been serving as the unofficial drinking hub in LoHi for quite some time, and for good reason. The patio up top provides nice, far away cityscape views, and the patio downstairs provides nice, close-by sidewalk people views. You should experience both.
Self-serve beer taps mean you hold the reins on pours here, which sounds awesome, but can get a little dangerous. Don't get us wrong, you'll have a lot of fun at First Draft, but when visiting just remember that they charge by the ounce. Take your role as bartender seriously and know when it's time to escort yourself out before things get out of hand.
This patio still holds a special place in our hearts, despite all the nearby highrise developments progressively killing its amazing downtown view. What can we say, Linger has a way of dealing with loss, and it comes in the form of great food and drink.
This patio has everything - canned wine, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, sangria slushies, rotating food trucks... and that thing where they do yoga and drink wine on the last Wednesday of every month, all summer long. The only downfall is no real monkeys, and they close at 10 pm.
Finn's is too cool for us, but in a really good way. Mostly because they don't act like they're too cool, they just are. We love the Cajun vibe, and the fact that they have a food truck pod. We love the beer variety and fancy cocktails. We 💛 Finn's. We also own t-shirt rights to that slogan.
Kaos is a pizza place housed in a cottage, with a comfy little patio area out front. It has the feel of a Southern bed & breakfast, and damn, we really wish that was the case. You'll see what we mean when you go, because you won't want to leave, and you won't want to stop eating. You'll probably have to wait a bit for a table, but killing time taking a stroll down S. Pearl isn't the worst thing in the world.
Sushi Den on South Pearl has the best sushi in town, but it's really hard to get a table. Izakaya Den, right next door however, is a little easier to get into, and guess where Izakaya Den gets the fish for its sushi? Right next door at Sushi Den. We're basically saying Izakaya Den is Sushi Den on casual Friday. Izakaya's interior is a huge, two-story machine, but the patio (has a glass roof) up top is way calmer, and dare we say, zen-like? Yes. Another great date night spot if you're looking to impress.
If you're in the mood for a bike ride around town, and some cold craft beer, this is where you need to go. Partly because you can't really park a car anywhere near the brewery, but mostly because they have delicious beer and the staff is awesome. One of the best outdoor spots in the city.
Of course. Not much to say here except Little Man owns the neighborhood and is bar none one of Denver's must hit spots. Their ice cream is dreamy, and their work in the neighborhood around philanthropy and seasonal fun is even dreamier. If you're new in town, just look for the giant milk can, or ask anyone on the street - they'll know where to go.