Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Machete Tequilas + Tacos
June Cochran Photography
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Bonanno Concepts
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Homegrown Tap & Dough
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1. Adrift Tiki Bar and Grill 218 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (South Broadway)

Say "aloha" to Mile High's lone true tiki bar. Adrift serves up "Prohibition-era tropical libations" and island-worthy small plates amidst a sea of bamboo, a scattering of carved heads large and small, and red leather booths sitting under portraits of tropical girls with ukeleles.

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2. Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill 980 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203

Charlie Brown's offers up traditional American fare, a smoking patio, and one of the best happy hours in Denver -- plus, it has a free pig roast every Friday in summer (replaced by free wings the rest of the year). Oh, and the aura of onetime patron Jack Kerouac. This place may be old-school, but it never gets old.

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3. Hasu Asian Bistro & Sushi 250 Steele St, Denver, CO (Cherry Creek)

You could hit this slick basement-level lair just to fill up on sesame chicken and salmon rolls. But you’d get zero stars for bravery, and you deserve better. Hasu happens to be run by the family behind the former East Asia Garden. At Hasu, they’ve expanded their selection to offer colorful clay pots bobbing with spicy chunks of fish or eggplant and gingko nuts, succulent "mashed garlic white meat" (spoiler alert — it’s fatty pork), and still other discoveries like "the chicken braise a mushroom".

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4. Machete Tequila + Tacos 2817 E 3rd Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (Cherry Creek)

Machete's mixing up seriously strong margaritas from one of the largest tequila menus in Denver, as well as slinging quesadillas, nachos, ceviches, and street-style tacos that are all totally delicious.

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5. Linger 2030 W 30th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

If you think an ex-mortuary can't serve up some killer apothecary-esque cocktails, you're dead wrong. Ok, ok, but seriously, the views at Root Down's fancy sister spot are spectacular, and with a rooftop patio and dinner menu featuring gourmet dishes from around the world, you will definitely be tempted to linger.

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6. Dunbar Kitchen & Taphouse 2844 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

Historically speaking, Dunbar has one of the best happy hours in Denver -- all afternoon, the ever-changing, mostly local taps flow for $3.50 a pint, while surprisingly decent wines by the glass are half or nearly half off. As for the snack selection, it’s really just an extension of the equally well-priced appetizer section on the regular menu, so feel free to mix and match.

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7. Lou's Food Bar 1851 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Sunnyside)

Lou's Food Bar serves up a menu of French-inspired American comfort food, ranging from burgers and sandwiches to fried organic chicken and fresh fish. This family-centric eatery also offers occasional cocktail classes and charcuterie lessons.

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8. Humboldt 1700 Humboldt St, Denver, CO 80218 (City Park)

Farm fresh ingredients, impressive wine and beer lists, and a menu of land and sea based dishes like a Friday & Saturday-only lobster risotto or a red-wine demi'd filet mignon leaden with Moody Blue cheese.

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9. Homegrown Tap and Dough 1001 S Gaylord St, Denver, CO 80209

This pizza place calls itself an "Italian restaurant with a little Colorado flair", which means good food with a great beer selection. The kitchen has a blast rolling out featured special pizza's topped with chicken, candied bacon, and ranch dressing one day, and gorgonzola, pears, and balsamic the next. There are plenty of salads, pasta's, and delicious appetizers like chicken parmesan sliders and sausage stuffed olives choose from as well. The beer and wine list is also impressive, with a selection that will satisfy everyone.

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10. Cafe Brazil 4408 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80211

The staff of this much-adored South American fixture couldn’t be more gracious, even during Saturday night happy hour (a rarity in itself). Also at happy hour, your first round comes with free tapas -- and they’re fantastic, especially the textbook tortilla española. Finally, on Tuesdays, you can even score a free caipirinha -- that is, if you’re willing to do a one-minute dance for the bartender.

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