With the amount of sunshine that Denver gets, it’s no surprise that there are so many options for alfresco dining. For a city rife with people-watching and an ever-expanding culinary scene, we’ve put together a list of the best patios and outdoor eating spaces for your easy reference. So… call some friends and don’t forget your Ray-Bans and sunscreen.
Ace Eat Serve (Uptown)
If Ping-Pong is your jam, Ace is the place. You can rent tables by the hour, or just relax and watch the paddle battle while noshing on their Asian-inspired menu. Whole Peking duck is available for pre-order if you want to make a party of it, or do it Dim-Sum style by choosing some small plates like Korean-fried wings, Sichuan shrimp wontons, and brussels sprouts with shishito peppers.
Avanti Food & Beverage (LoHi)
With 7 mini restaurants housed in shipping containers in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, even the picky eaters can find something that strikes their fancy at this culinarily-diverse food hall. From Phở to Arepas, there’s something for everyone. Avanti also has 2 bars cranking out craft beers, varied wines, and classic cocktails, one of which is located on their rooftop terrace with a stunning view of the Denver skyline.
Dos Santos (City Park)
This Yucatan-inspired spot (with other locations in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock) is all about the tacos and margs. Grab yourself a margarita flight and come on Taco Tuesday for some special deals on top of a tortilla or Wu-Tang Wednesday for some old-school hip-hop all day long.
Elevated Rooftop Bar (Cherry Creek)
At the top of the Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek, sits a posh and elegant spot for rooftop drinks and eats with unparalleled views of the Rocky Mountains. Get yourself a private cabana and sip on one of their many craft cocktails or some bubbles and snack on shrimp cocktail and deviled eggs.
Forget Me Not (Cherry Creek)
This luxurious cocktail bar in Cherry Creek is perfect for those sweltering summer nights. Cool off with champagne, caviar, and oysters. Don’t miss the several creative libations including large format cocktails that quench the thirst of four or more, like the “Prospector’s Payoff” featuring bourbon, honey, and pineapple.
Happy Camper (LoHi)
This casual eatery that started in the Chicago area specializes in a bevy of specialty pizza options as well as plenty of small plates and salads. The kicker is the feeling of dining like you’ve backed up your teardrop camper to a spot at the local KOA with picnic tables, artificial turf, and string lights. The only thing missing is the campfire.
This former mortuary (yes, you read that correctly) has one of the coolest rooftop bars in Denver, if not the entire country. The 1975 GMC RV, which somehow made it up on the roof, doubles as a bar and food truck. Both the food and drink menus, as well as the surroundings, lean toward the eclectic. Think a mélange of bao buns, sweet potato waffle fries, and chili relleno tamale alongside their Sangria Rosa.
Mercantile dining and provision (Union Station)
This restaurant and marketplace by James Beard award-winning chef Alex Seidel is the spot for tourist watching outside the Union Station entrance right along Wynkoop. Smack dab in between Ball Arena and Coors Field, enjoy open-air dining before walking to your game of choice. Start with a market & provision board (a selection of meats and cheeses and house accompaniments) and move on to one of the seasonally changing house-made pasta like casarecce with duck confit and chanterelles.
Ratio Beerworks (RiNo)
A creative craft brewery with a cult following whose owners come from a punk rock background, Ratio’s location on Larimer in RiNo (there’s another in Overland) boasts a relaxed urban patio where you can relax over a pint or two. Be sure to try the “King of Carrot Flowers”, their elderflower carrot saison.
Chef Richard Sandoval’s modern Mexican at Tamayo boasts not only a spacious patio but a killer everyday happy hour and a bottomless brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Not just bottomless cocktails but bottomless small brunch plates with bright flavors, combining Latin ingredients with modern culinary techniques.