Those who’ve never lived in Denver likely envision a bustling mountain town, with our grand white winters spent in the mountains and summers spent touring breweries and hiking 14ers. And you know what? Those people are kinda right. Just look at our comprehensive guide to Denver and you’ll see for yourself.
But did you know we’re also one of the sunniest cities in America? And what does one do when the sun in shining and the weather is perfect? Drink outside with a side of Rocky Mountain views of course. So spend some time getting high -- above the city, that is -- at these rooftop bars where the scenery is as good as the food and booze.
The hottest fireplace lounge in town (maybe literally!)
This hotel has a curated collection of local art that you should explore whether you're a guest or a local (guided tours are available to the public), but you don't need to have an art degree to appreciate the FIRE Terrace. Though it's only four floors up, you get views of bustling Broadway below and the Museum District while enjoying creative cocktails. Get there early to snag a semi-private lounge area of your own, complete with a bustling fire.
The best view from the 'burbs
For over 20 years, Jax's four Colorado locations have been bringing the coast a little closer with their fresh seafood. But it's the Glendale location you need to head to for views unlike any other in the area. Not only can you watch the sunset over the mountains, you can also order the entire full menu on the rooftop (including happy hour favorites like kimchi fish cake sliders and peel 'n' eat shrimp). Pair those bites with summer-ready cocktails like the vodka-spiked strawberry lemonade and you'll be glad you skipped the crowds downtown for this spot further south.
A destination for sake and Japanese-style tapas
The entire interior of this perennial favorite for fancy nights out is a work of art, including the top floor where you'll find the Ten Qoo sky bar with a retractable glass ceiling and the rooftop patio. The food and drinks are as impressive as the design details, with a large menu of small plates that are ideal for sampling and sharing. This place would also make a great date night spot.
A go-to for rooftop mimosas and brunch bites
Yes, Linger used to have a better view, which is now partially blocked due to new buildings that went up in 2015, but no, we aren't irate about that. Mostly because we still get access to a rooftop where we can order Linger's street food-inspired eats like lemongrass pork potstickers. And those cocktails that are served out of the retro RV-turned-bar that sits atop this former mortuary cum restaurant. Pro tip: Don't sleep on their brunch, which is served on the rooftop all summer long.
The best spot to cheer on the Rockies with a view
You can't get any closer to Coors Field than this. Inside the stadium, the Rooftop is a 38,000 square foot area in upper right field where you'll find Smashburger along with two bars. Despite the price of ballpark beers, enjoying them with panoramic views of Downtown and the mountains makes it worth it. Anyone with a ticket to the game can access The Rooftop, and Rooftop standing room only tickets are also available, so don't miss out next time you're cheering on the Rockies.
The top pick for margs in the sunshine
Salsa flights and sunshine? You'll find all that and more at this popular Mexican eatery that’s serving up things like fried Anaheim relleno with local goat cheese, apple salsa, pinto bean puree, tres pigs nachos, and a slew of tequila and mezcal-based cocktails that go way beyond the basic margarita. Oh, and the rooftop? It's basically a bonus at this point.
Denver's highest open-air rooftop bar
After opening last year, this bar on the 20th floor of the Le Méridien Denver Downtown is making it's 2019 comeback with some brand new upgrades. Along with the return of it's sweeping views of Downtown and the Rockies, the space now features two private cabanas, a DJ booth, a new roof system that will keep out those afternoon rain showers, more seating, and improved fire pits. So order a #Thatviewthough (aka a vodka cocktail with chamomile tea syrup, lemon, and some of Denver Beer Co.'s Princess Yum Yum) and soak up that Mile High sunshine.
A prime spot for high energy celebrations
On the main floor of this food incubator, you can eat your way through the current roster of up and coming culinary creators anytime. But it's the upper floor where you'll find a rooftop bar with unobstructed views of Downtown. On sunny days, it's packed with happy hour crowds and weekend revelers and the energy turns up even more on holiday weekends (note: this is an ideal spot for viewing Fourth of July fireworks). This spot is one instance where following the crowd is actually a pretty great idea.
Flatiron views best enjoyed with a G&T in hand
Fire pits and couches dot the open rooftop area of this fourth floor rooftop restaurant in Boulder. The view here is reason enough to visit, but it's the Spanish cuisine that will keep you coming back. From a lineup of traditional tapas to a selection of Colorado 7x wagyu steak cuts for a real indulgence, there are no wrong choices to be found -- bonus points if you pair your eats with one of the six G&Ts on the menu.
A beer lover's rooftop paradise
Atop the new Source Hotel sits this collab between the Source and Fort Collins' New Belgium Brewing. Along with a menu filled with truly craveable choices (think wings, soft pretzels, crispy chicken sandwiches, and pizza), this spot boats 45 beers on tap (including some brewed on site), beer cocktails, two fireplaces, and some of the very best views of both the Downtown skyline and the mountains to the west of town.
A secret garden where you can rosé all day
You probably knew that NYC's Death & Co opened up a Denver outpost inside the lobby of the Ramble Hotel last year. But did you also know that on the hotel's mezzanine level there's another open-air iteration of the bar with a menu and vibe all its own? The Garden is only open seasonally, but when it is you'll find a casual spot to work your way through their light snacks (including some simple but oh-so-refreshing frozen grapes), wine selections (featuring yup, rosé), and some of those craft cocktails that Death & Co is known for.
A modern spin on a Mediterranean escape
Right next door to its sister restaurant Linger -- but five stories higher -- is another rooftop go-to from the Edible Beats team. Inside, the space has pops of color and street art vibes, but on the open air patio it's all about the views of the Highlands and Downtown. Be sure to get here early to snag a good seat, then settle in for big, shareable servings of paella and picture perfect cocktails like the apricot frosé or a pineapple mint collins.
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