Denver

The Absolute Best Rooftop Bars in Denver

Beer tastes better up there.

All around Denver, it’s happening. We’re leaving our houses and venturing out into the world to meet up with friends (gasp!) once again. But if you’re not quite ready to pack into a dark, stuffy bar, take your socializing to the outdoors, ‘cause in a city that gets as much sunshine as Denver, drinking with a view is the far superior way to imbibe. And to get the best views, you’ve gotta get high—in the air, that is. So head to these rooftop bars for food, drinks, and Rocky Mountain vistas galore.

If sipping experimental brews with a lakeside view sounds like an ideal afternoon, then this new Odell Brewing location is the place for you. The brewhouse is home to a 10-barrel R&D system, which means they get to have some fun playing around with new beers and you get exclusive access to them. Pair your beer with their scratch made pizza and a seat on the expansive rooftop patio where you can ponder the meaning of life, or just, you know, order another beer. 

This new food hall housed in a historic mill built in 1864 is also home to Golden’s first and (so far) only rooftop bar. And it’s totally worth the trek from Denver to check it out. Mostly for the views of Clear Creek, North Table Mountain, South Table Mountain, and Mt. Zion. And for the self-pour wall where you can fill up glass after glass of cocktails, local beers, wine, and sake. And the sushi bar. And… yeah, just go get a drink already. 

This hotel has a curated collection of local art that you should explore whether you're a guest or a local, 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 flickering fire.

Jax Fish House Denver
Courtesy of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

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 gumbo fries 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.

Izakaya Den

Pearl Street

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 Japanese small plates that are ideal for sampling and sharing. This place would also make a great date night spot.

Los Chingones
Courtesy of Los Chingones

Salsa flights and sunshine? You'll find all that and more at this popular Mexican eatery that’s serving up eats like pig nachos, jalapeno popper tacos, and a slew of tequila and mezcal-based cocktails that go way beyond the basic margarita. Oh, and the 90-seat rooftop? It's basically a bonus at this point.

54Thirty Rooftop
Courtesy of 54Thirty

54Thirty Rooftop

Central Business District

This bar on the 20th floor of the Le Méridien Denver Downtown boasts sweeping views of downtown and the Rockies, a roof system that will keep out those afternoon rain showers, and fire pits. How good is the view? Well, one of their featured craft cocktails is literally named #Thatviewthough. 

Avanti F&B, a collective eatery
Courtesy of Avanti Food & Beverage

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.

Corrida
Courtesy of Corrida

Corrida

Boulder

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. They’re currently offering a tasting menu along with a tapas menu with shareable bites that are as simple as a skewer of olive, anchovy, and pepper to more indulgent options like a 16-ounce American waygu NY striploin. Bonus points if you pair your eats with a glass of wine from their extensive list. 

Atop the 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 burgers, and pizza), this spot boasts over 20 beers on tap (including some brewed on site), cocktails, two fireplaces, and some of the very best views of both the Downtown skyline and the mountains to the west of town.

El Five

Highlands

Take an elevator up five stories to find this Mediterranean escape from the Edible Beats (Root Down, Linger) 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.

Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.
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