Courtesy of Bar Fausto
Food & Drink

The Best Bars in Denver Right Now

Updated On 12/06/2017 at 05:40PM EST
Courtesy of Hudson Hill

Hudson Hill

Capitol Hill

When you can’t decide between booze and caffeine
We are powerless to resist this spot that combines cocktails and coffee in one sleek package. The coffee, from local roastery Commonwealth, is served all day and night alongside creative cocktails like the Sesame-Chocolate Old Fashioned, as well as a small yet mighty selection of wine and beer. Order a few options from the cheese list and finally understand the joys of having all of your favorite things in one inviting package.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk

PS Lounge

Congress Park

A classic Colfax dive bar with free shots for ladies and an uncompromised juke
Opposite of Hudson Hill's modern, clean, bright, and airy atmosphere is this Colfax classic. Screw ambiance. You're here for the strong drinks (plus the free shot and rose for ladies), the jukebox that's likely had the same selection for the past 20 years, and the strangers who will soon become friends... if only for the night.

Palenque Mezcaleria

Palenque Mezcaleria

Platt Park

A mezcal-fueled adventure that’s much cheaper than a trip to Mexico
Tucked behind the popular Adelitas on Broadway, this semi-hidden gem will have you exploring the wide and wonderful world of mezcal. The staff is passionate about tequila's lesser-known, smoky cousin and won't hesitate to explain the nuances of the selections on the menu, as well as fill you to the brim with knowledge, booze, and tacos. The latter of which you’ll definitely need after sampling the diverse selections of liquid agave.

Courtesy of Cruise Room

The Cruise Room

LoDo

Denver’s most perfect martini
Bask in the red glow of this old-school Denver legend that's officially been open since the day after the repeal of Prohibition. With sleek, art deco decor and killer martinis, Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel can’t help but make you feel classy whilst you sip the night away. The bar itself was modeled after a bar on the Queen Mary and takes the shape of a wine bottle. It’s a hotspot, especially since it’s been the longest continually open bar in Denver.

Star Bar

Star Bar

LoDo

After the party, it’s the Star Bar
When a night out in Denver inevitably ends up at Star Bar, the next day is sure to be spent recovering. They've got a little of everything -- live music, rotating craft beers, Skee-Ball, video games, karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays -- and just the right amount of that dive bar temperament. Established in 1959 (and still going strong), it's the perfect escape from the typical dude-heavy LoDo/Ballpark bar scene.

Courtesy of Bar Fausto

Bar Fausto

Northwest

The ideal date night destination with small plates and tasty cocktails
You don’t need a full kitchen to crank out good bar food. Bar Fausto proves this. You can watch the staff plate food like seasonal bruschetta alongside fancy cocktails from behind the bar. And this is why a bar seat is what you want, so show up early to secure one and take advantage of happy hour. Drinks range from simple classics like gin with house-made tonics to a selection of more complex creations with descriptions that include mentions of William Tell, baseball bats, and grouse.

Lee Bresloeur/Thrillist

Williams & Graham

Highland

Mile High’s very own original speakeasy
Within a couple of years of opening, this spot won a ton of rewards and earned some serious recognition. Williams & Graham quickly made a name for itself, becoming a Denver must-visit. And though there are shinier, newer bars to play at these days, there's still something uniquely special about this speakeasy with a bookstore cover. With craft cocktails becoming almost ubiquitous around town, and new "secret" bars turning up on every corner, you can still count on this spot to impress -- especially if you're looking to entertain out-of-town guests or someone special.

Courtesy of The Truffle Table

The Truffle Table

LoHi

For anyone who could live on cheese and wine alone
Wine and cheese lovers... listen up. TT is a neighborhood favorite, namely for its friendly cheesemongers that will guide you to some truly memorable cheese tasting experiences. It also boasts a seasonal wine list that always features gems waiting to be discovered (if you’re unsure, just ask). If the typical bar scene just doesn't appeal to you, try here. Namely for the all-you-can-eat raclette on Wednesday, because a bottle of wine and never-ending melty cheese cut from a giant wheel might be the greatest night in Denver, ever.

Don's Club Tavern

Don's Club Tavern

Alamo Placita

Cheap drinks, Buck Hunter, no presumptions
If you love sparking conversations with strangers, you're sure to find a few at Don's. With a rotating cast of characters, this local favorite is by all definitions a dive. Let’s hit the checklist: cheap drinks ($3 wells), entertainment (Buck Hunter), and the unique ability to emulate a home you actually didn’t grow up in but feel effortlessly comfortable in nevertheless. Don's biggest downfall is that it masquerades as a Chiefs bar on Sundays, but we can forgive that based on their vending machine selection alone. It's stocked with the only food you'll find here: a random and ever-changing assortment of everything from frozen White Castle burgers (there's a microwave) to Spam.

Ruth Tobias/Thrillist

Union Lodge No. 1

CBD

The bar that defines “artisan cocktail” in Denver
This spot manages to pull off that pre-Prohibition vibe while still coming off as cool (read: not kitschy/overly hip). The classic dark wood and exposed brick walls give it refined class, and the focus on elevated craft cocktails gives it the sass. The drinks served here are taken very seriously by the staff, all of whom share a very real reverence for the history of cocktails -- something you'll learn a little more about too from their informative and fun menus.

Finn's Manor

Finn's Manor

RiNo

Where to take the party after you want everyone out of your house
Part funky bar with a robust beer list, part food truck haven, this spot's got a lot going on. Pop inside to take in the shrine-like decor and order a drink -- the bartenders are more than happy to help you find just the right cocktail from their creative offerings (including a nightly punch). Then take your party out to the large open air patio where the smell of food will entice you to stay even longer. On any given night you'll find choices like Mile High Thai and Puerto Rican eats from Dos Abuelas.

Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

Falling Rock Tap House

LoDo

Where to take your beer nerd friends
When it comes to beer, there are plenty of options in Denver. But Falling Rock remains a destination for beer nerds, thanks to its large, rotating selection of brews from near and far, including frequent releases of rare beers (check their website for offerings). Its central location makes it a convenient stop before or after a ballgame, or just a pitstop on any Downtown bar crawl.

Fort Greene

Fort Greene

Globeville

A hidden gem that will become your new go-to cocktail spot
From the outside, this spot’s got dive written all over it (read: a large, nondescript Budweiser sign). But inside, you won’t find any Buds on the menu. What you will find is one of the best Old Fashioneds in town, a small window serving up some amazing pie (and a small menu of savory eats), and decor that suddenly makes you have a better understanding of the phrase “quirky yet charming.”

Adrift

Adrift

South Broadway

Your best excuse to wear a Hawaiian shirt and sip tiki drinks
The cold days of winter in Denver melt away in no time when you step inside this bar where the mana (Polynesian for spiritual energy) is strong. Go classic with a mai tai or hurricane, or venture into uncharted territory with house favorites like the frozen Macadamia Nut Chi Chi or the Shark’s Tooth that has a piercing rum bite. And don’t skip the eats, especially when you can get an impressive serving of poke presented with billowing dry ice or a loco moco style burger complete with a fried egg.

SneekEazy

SneekEazy

Golden Triangle

The spot where you’re most likely to purchase expensive shoes while drinking
This bar above Element Kitchen & Cocktail is fronted by a fully functioning sneaker shop. And the sneakers are not your run-of-the-mill selection, but an expertly curated collection of highly sought-after kicks. And the same can be said for the drinks. Think mezcal sours with egg white and orange and cinnamon, as well as a gin cocktail named for Easy-E with melon bitters and ginger beer.

Millers and Rossi

Millers & Rossi

RiNo

A cultured speakeasy serving up high-end drinks and Frito pie
Tucked behind a hidden door in an art gallery featuring local talent, this is a speakeasy that embraces the modern. You’ll find Frito pie and chicken and waffles alongside some creative cocktail creations. Try the Smoked Old Fashioned for a twist on the classic or the Key Lime with a graham cracker rim for a dessert and drink in one.

Bar Helix

Bar Helix

RiNo

Only bar in Denver where you can order hot sex on a platter
Get your mind out of the gutter. That’s this slightly naughty spot’s name for a blueberry Pop-Tart and foie gras parfait. And it’s just one of the many unique menu items (Pringles + caviar service, anyone?) you’ll find alongside cocktails created by Kendra Anderson, the master sommelier behind this new addition to Denver. A bountiful wine list, beer, cider, and sake round out the offerings, but no matter what you choose, it’s tough to not feel a little sexier when you walk out the door.

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The Best Places in Denver to Watch the FIFA World Cup

Published On 06/08/2018
L et’s face it: The US men’s national team’s failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia is a big fat bummer. Still, that’s no reason not to jump on another country’s bandwagon -- the first-round matches kick off June 14 and run to the 24, so you have a solid 10 days to pick your new favorite team before the competition really heats up.
Most of the games will be in the morning and early afternoon hours, and there are a slew of soccer-friendly bars in Denver that are ready for your business. After all, there’s nothing quite like skipping work for a game and pulling up a barstool next to a dude who has no idea what the rules of soccer are -- all in the name of day drinking, bonding with a fellow citizen and, again, not working. Also, to help out ever more, we asked John Strong -- the lead Major League Soccer voice for FOX Sports -- to give us a couple of his favorite places to watch. Without further adieu, here are the most fun places to watch the 2018 World Cup in the Mile High City.
Three Lions Pub

The Three Lions

City Park West

Best for: Hardcore fans who wake up for the early games and want to see every match
This Colfax tavern bills itself as a “World Football Pub,” and on that front, it does not disappoint. The cavernous space plays host to all manner of soccer all year long, so you know they’re gonna bring the ruckus when the World Cup rolls around. Three Lions will be open for every game, “even the ones at 4am,” says a British bartender when reached by phone. There will be an emphasis on the English side, here (“The Three Lions” is the nickname of the squad), but the bar -- which serves pub grub standards like bangers & mash alongside Indian-style curries and Fuller’s drafts -- expects big crowds for Peruvian and Spanish matches, too. The bottom line: Every single match will be played, quite the boast with some of these start times.

Atomic Cowboy

City Park, Baker, Berkeley

Best for: Maybe seeing Jon Strong's dad and grabbing a big breakfast
John's Pick. The uninitiated may be somewhat confused by the assemblage that is the Atomic Cowboy, a bar that is quickly expanding throughout the Centennial State. (Colorado Springs: You’re next.) In the morning, an arm of the kitchen serves Denver Biscuit Company’s decadent, well, biscuits while the afternoons and evenings -- and late nights -- welcome the house’s other specialty: Fat Sully’s pizza slices that are bigger than those dogs annoying famous people carry around in their purses. Atomic Cowboy will open early (8am early). That’s great news for soccer fans and, while the bar probably won’t pop the sound on, the staff is always cool putting on any sports game a patron requests. Just one thing, though: Good luck making it through a whole match without having to take a nap after eating one of the aforementioned biscuits.

British Bulldog

The British Bulldog

Five Points

Best for: Soccer fanatics who like to be outside and party
The Bulldog, which is managed by the same group as the Three Lions, is the other big football (read: soccer) bar in the Mile High City. It will also be showing all of the World Cup matches, regardless of start time. They’re even decking out the, uh, deck with a slew of TVs for an outdoor beer garden vibe. The menu skews British, of course, but also boasts some Pakistani dishes. Best of all: The British Bulldog will host an outdoor, big screen, shut-down-the-street block party for the third-place and championship matches.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill Union Station

Thirsty Lion

Cherry Creek and Union Station

Best for: Grabbing a bite to eat while randomly watching a game
Thirsty Lion bills itself as a “gastropub,” and the food is pretty good! It’s a chain, so that’s what you’re dealing with here. The two locations are showing games during regular business hours and, considering that they open at 11am, that pretty much means the noon games. Russia is far away. These game times are not optimal.

The Abbey Tavern

South Park Hill

Best for: Drink specials, awesome apps, and England fans
The Abbey has been the longtime home of Liverpool Football Club watches, but that doesn’t mean the Irish pub doesn’t bask in the glow of all things soccer. Because of Liverpool’s big Champions League championship match, the Abbey was still developing a World Cup strategy at the time of publication. It’s likely the Colfax bar won’t be open early for knockout round matches but will do so as things get more interesting in later rounds. Bonus: The Abbey always has at least two drink specials happening, no matter the hour.

Rhein Haus Denver

Rhein Haus

Union Station

Best for: Fans of Germany and morning beers
Rhein Haus is a celebration of all things Teutonic, from sausages and steins to... uh... bocce ball. Anyways, this is a German bar. Rhein Haus (and its sister bar next door, Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern) will be home base for all the Germany matches. They’ll be showing all of the defending champs' matches, no matter the time. If you think 9am is too early for a liter of lager and a pretzel, then you will have your German ancestry revoked by lederhosen-clad staffer. Well, not really, but you get the point.

The Celtic on Market

Union Station

Best for: Horse betting... if the Cup is getting you down
The Celtic, recently enough, picked up stakes and moved on down the road to Market Street.  It’s an Irish pub with a twist: Off-track betting for the ponies. A staffer tells Thrillist that England and Iceland matches will be the main draw, here. Like many other bars, the Celtic will eschew some of the early morning early round matches before ramping into high gear for the later rounds. “Check Facebook” is a pretty good credo for most of these joints.

Stoney's Bar and Grill

Stoney's

Capitol Hill and Uptown

Best for: Grabbing a beer and burger and hanging out
A no-fuss sports bar with a chill vibe, Stoney’s shows just about every televised sporting match under the sun. The staff tells Thrillist that they probably will pick and choose some of the early-round matches and won’t show anything before 8am. The later rounds will be broadcast fully with Mexico being a big draw at the Broadway location. That’s right: A second Stoney’s now exists Uptown. Soccer will be televised there, too.

Falling Rock Tap House

Union Station

Best for: A more laid-back crowd of beer nerds
John's Pick. Here’s the deal: Falling Rock “No Crap On Tap” Tap House has over 75 beers on tap -- and a ton more in bottles. A LoDo institution, Falling Rock has long been known as the place to go for rare beer finds and a chiller vibe than most of the surrounding multi-leveled, bro-heavy sports havens. Just like most Rockies games, Falling Rock provides a beer nerd oasis in a sea of light beer-swigging tomfoolery. A staffer tells Thrillist that it’ll be airing many games that occur during regular business hours.

GB Fish & Chips

Arvada, Overland, Edgewater, and South Park Hill

Best for: Fish and chips with a side of soccer
The order of the day at this quartet of restaurants is readily apparent. “In Cod We Trust” is the motto for these battermen. That and... English football! Clearly the host’s faves, all locations will open early when David Beckham & Co. take the field. (Kidding. If you think David Beckham is still playing, heckuva job making it this far into a soccer article.) GB will play all other games during regular business hours.

irish snug

The Irish Snug

City Park West

Best for: Those looking for comfort about Ireland not making the Cup
Here we have another Irish pub that is lamenting the fact that Ireland didn’t qualify for the World Cup. (Or, ahem, the United States for that matter.) Pay no mind: The Snug will still be ramping into high gear for the Cup. The Guinness will be flowing and the TVs on both floors will be tuned to all the games during regular business hours. The Snug staff tells Thrillist that, as the World Cup progresses, they’ll determine whether or not to open for early matches. Stay tuned to its Facebook page for more.

Sports Column

Union Station

Best for: Sports fans who don't know much about soccer
This ginormous sports bar in LoDo can always be counted upon to broadcast major sporting events. A Sports Column manager tells Thrillist that they won’t anything before 7am, which means many of the bigger 8am and 9am games will get aired here. Because it’s not a soccer bar, per se, expect most of the action to be during the later rounds.

Highland Tap & Burger

Highland Tap and Burger

Highland

Best for: Watching giant TVs at a giant bar with giant burgers
John's Pick. HTB has a slew of ginormous TVs situated around its ginormous bar in its pretty ginormous, patio-featuring space. The burgers are -- you guessed it -- large. This 32nd Avenue spot reports that it’ll be featuring most of the games that are playing during regular business hours -- and some game replays, to boot. Check its Facebook page for a broadcast schedule.

Sobo 151

Baker

Best for: Fans of Czech sports, beers, and bites
A Czechia bar on South Broadway. Have you not been here before? Gotta see it to believe it. Even though the Czechs failed to qualify for the Cup, Europeans support each other and this European bar will be showing many European matches. It’s hard not to make a “Czech Facebook” joke, here, so that’s what’s up.