Denver has emerged as a strong contender in the nightlife scene, with more and more fun and unique bars popping up every day. If you’re looking for a night out with friends and want to know the best places to visit in Denver’s neighborhoods, take a look at our guide!
Lower Downtown, or “LoDo”
The LoDo bar scene is perfect for the discerning mixologist who prizes ambiance.The neighborhood hosts a handful of closely-knit lounges with distinct themes and chic, hip vibes.
LoDo bars are great to explore the city, experience beautiful architecture or a perfect spot for a first date. There are many prominent bars to choose from, making for a fun night. Some of our favorite spots are the speakeasy style jazz lounges that evoke a different time. The underground Crimson Room features unique cocktails made from a bar cart table-side, and the moody Roosevelt lounge hides their restrooms behind bookcases.
Cooper Lounge is a uniquely designed portion of the Denver Union Station turned elegant bar. Soaring windows, pristine marble bars and gleaming white pillars create a lovely backdrop to the crafted cocktails and sumptuous menu..
River North, or “RiNo” District
The RiNo District features a ton of microbreweries and distilleries that take pride in channeling the industrial nature of the district with their unique craft. If you’ve had a hard day at work or just want to change things up, you can enjoy the casual-contemporary atmosphere while sampling some of the best beers in Colorado.
The RiNo Yacht Club is housed in a refurbished 1880 foundry-turned-farmers market and features seasonal cocktails, draft beers and unique wines.. The Black Shirt Brewing Company offers a casual brewpub with a large back patio and constant events, like food and beer pairings and live music. If you’re looking for a unique flavor of beer made onsite by this microbrewery, check out the BONZO- a pistachio and lavender rye pale ale that comes back seasonally in mid-April.
You’ll find at least 15 beers on tap when you visit the Great Divide Barrel Bar, the brainchild of the Great Divide Brewing Company. This relaxed beverage-only bar often has a taco truck or two outside when you get peckish. Visitors rave about the Yeti line of Stouts, a must-try when you visit this location.
If you’re looking for a real on-foot bar-hopping experience with a group that doesn’t take itself too seriously, South Broadway is a great spot to visit. Over 10 bars, dives, themed lounges and restaurants for your mid-crawl break line South Broadway from 1st Avenue to Alameda.
Historians Ale House is well-known by locals for its burgers and drafts. An unassuming location that celebrates the history of Colorado,, the major draw of Historians Ale House is the sweeping views from its rooftop deck that offer a panorama of the mountains and interesting people-watching on Broadway Street below.
One of Denver’s best-kept secrets has been around for a lot longer than most on this list. Skylark Lounge opened in 1943 and though the location may have changed, the kitschy retro decor has not. Posters and memorabilia line the walls from top to bottom and make for fascinating browsing. You can enjoy a drink at the giant horseshoe bar or head upstairs to a speakeasy-style room to play on one of the pool tables.
Denver’s resident tiki bar is also a big hit with locals and tourists alike. Adrift offers clever Polynesian theming, immaculate presentation and delicious twists on tropical cocktails. Your usual mai tais, daiquiris and rum punches all show up on the drink menu, and if you’re out with a group we dare you to share the flaming Baker Fire Bowl.
Capital Hill, in particular the stretch on Colfax street is a well-known bar-hopping location. With 8 bars in close proximity down the row, this is the best scene for you and the boys to take a load off and enjoy pizza and cheap beer in some of Denver’s most iconic dives.
1up Colfax makes its home on this stretch, and features more games than its other location in LoDo. A casual, fun barcade, you can find everything from Pac-Man, pinball, skee ball and even a giant Jenga set outside.
Quite possibly Denver’s favorite dive, Sancho’s Broken Arrow features cool artwork, dim lighting, pool and foosball tables and excellent bartenders always willing to chat about weird stuff. Live bands in the style of Grateful Dead (the bars resident theme) often play here, and the pours are very generous. Another famous Denver dive makes its home on Colfax in The Streets of London Pub. This bar caters pretty heavily to the punk scene. You definitely don’t come here for the cocktails as much as you do for cheap beer, good pizza, live music and punk rock burlesque shows on Sundays.
Lower Highlands, or “LoHi”
Bar-hopping down in LoHi is all about the experience bar. This is the scene you head down to when you’re in the mood for some culture and unique twists on the usual drinking scene. From canteria’s to romantic wine bars, LoHi has something to offer for everyone’s palate.
If you’re in the mood to be transported to another place — say, a Parisian cafe — The Truffle Table is the spot for you. Although the wine and charcuterie offered here are truly spectacular, the real gem at this wine bar is the cheese plate. The staff will customize it based on your likes and dislikes and the result is often mind-blowing. With attentive service and romantic ambiance, this is a fantastic date spot.
Another “experience” bar worth checking out is Forest Room 5. This spot is outdoors themed, with a large outdoor area out back. It features fire pits, logs and a large teepee. There’s a small nature trail to walk on, perfect for an after-dinner nightcap with friends or loved ones.
LOLA’s is a must-try for fans of tequila. This reimagined and upscale take on a Mexican cantina draws inspiration from Coastal Mexican dishes and houses over 200 tequila varieties with knowledgeable bartenders. We’ve even heard a rumor that the spicy margarita will bring tears to the eyes- we dare you to try it!
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