Al fresco dining (and drinking) is an essential part of summer. The sun on your shoulders, the breeze in your hair and an icy-cold beverage is the best way to experience a warm afternoon or even a hot summer night. Almost every restaurant in denver has some version of outdoor seating but my friends, they do not all rank supreme. A killer view, an intimate courtyard or an energetic patio can take your ho-hum outdoor experience into a monumental memory.
Here are my favorite outdoor patios in denver… now get out there + make the most of our last few weeks of summer.
the populist: an intimate and cozy vine-covered patio in the rino district of denver. this is one of my favorite places to spend a warm summer evening with great company. friendly staff, communal seating + of course delicious food + drink.
linger: arguably some of the best views of the city skyline can be taken in from this killer patio while you nosh on globally-inspired small plates. this patio is ridiculously hard to get into so if you snag a seat, consider yourself lucky.
jax glendale: fresh shucked oysters + delicious cocktails are my weakness, pair it with a bustling rooftop patio and I am in heaven. while I love all the jax locations, the outpost in glendale is supreme to catch a denver sunset.
izakaya den: upscale, energetic, exclusive + sexy would be my descriptive words for izakaya’s upstairs patio. the best sushi in denver somehow tastes even better when dining under the strung lights while moody music + lively chatter fill the air.
avanti food + beverage: 1 massive space, 7 restaurants, all serving up killer food from kitchens retro-fitted into old shipping crates and 2 expansive full-service bars set this place apart. however, the real show-stoppers are the giant patios with incredible views in every direction.
the pioneer: a neighborhood spot that mixes college undergrads with young families and lovers of well-priced drinks; the pio is one of the only expansive outdoor patios in the university hills area… with a great bloody mary too.
postino: a wine bar with tasty food (get any or all of the bruschetta options) in the heart of lower highland. the views of the city are quite nice from the long patio, adorned with bright yellow umbrellas and tons of outdoor seating.
tavern uptown: no-frills but always fun, the huge courtyard at the original tavern restaurant is a great place to catch a game or spend a few hours on a sunny afternoon. there are tvs everywhere you look+ this place is open year-round.
los chingones: boozy cocktails, awesome modern mexican food + a giant rooftop… in addition to a large open-patio on the main floor; los chingones has some of the best outdoor space in the bustling ballpark neighborhood..
historian’s ale house: bar hopping on south broadway is not complete without a (long) visit to this rooftop patio. sip a couple local brews , rub elbows with some hipsters + stare off towards the mountains with the sun on your shoulders.
museum of contemporary art: want to impress a date or bring your friends somewhere truly memorable? the rooftop deck above the mca is like a urban oasis in the middle of lodo. come for the rooftop but make sure you also check out the latest art installation downstairs too.
el noa noa: when I am in the mood for traditional mexican + an ice-cold margarita, el noa noa, in the heart of the santa fe art district, serves up both on their colorful patio.
cart driver: while this space might be tiny, it is the best place to slurp down fresh-shucked oysters + stuff your face with the best wood-fired pizza in denver. oh, and did I mention they have prosecco on tap?
uncle: eating ramen in the summer might be controversial but there is no better place to fill your belly with the deeply-flavorful japanese staple than this highland’s patio. you might have to wait a while but trust me, it’s worth it. also, do yourself a favor and order the fried green tomato steam buns, you’re welcome.
ophelia’s electric soap box: while this place might be known for its killer music scene, the back courtyard patio is what I love about ophelia’s. snack on gastro-pub small plates, sip some rosé + enjoy this shaded outdoor space that is full of energy + funk.
work + class: yes this is more of an open-air covered patio, but you will be eating latin + american food in one of the hottest (and best) restaurants in denver. this place is hard to get into as they don’t take reservations so, either come early or enjoy a $4 cocktail while you patiently wait for a standout meal in a killer space.
Where do you like to eat + drink outside? Is there a great patio that I need to know about?
all photos via my instagram.