Food & Drink

30 Denver Bars Open on Christmas Day

Published On 12/17/2015 Published On 12/17/2015
Union Station (edited)
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Kristin Olson Photography
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Courtsy of The Corner Office
Courtesy of Degree Metropolitan Food + Drink
Courtesy of Four Seasons Denver
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Mortons
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Courtesy of Sage Restaurant Group
LBK Photography
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1. Atomic Cowboy 3237 E Colfax Ave, City Park West (& other locations), CO 80206 (City Park)

Pizza and beer have been Midwest staples since the dawn of time, and this City Park West haunt serves them both up with swagger. Saddle up onto a bar stool and knock back a brew from 20 plus on tap over a warm pepperoni pie.

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2. The Bar Car 819 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80206 (Congress Park)

The Bar Car has the winning combination of retro ambiance, laid-back attitude, a generous happy hour, and bar snacks nobody can deny. It has a railroad-era antique look but the jukebox is loaded with ’80s tunes -- so if you’re shy, you can let a power ballad express what you’re feeling. (Or just wait until the boilermakers kick in).

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3. The Horseshoe Lounge 414 E 20th Ave, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

Horseshoe's awesomely divey vibe includes a killer juke that runs from punk, to "country your grandpa listened to", to special bartender mixes (old-school rap, metal, etc.), all of which provides a perfect soundtrack to playing pinball, arcade games, and pool.

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4. Inga's Alpine Lounge 5151 Leetsdale Dr, Denver, CO 80246

Inga's will make you feel right at home in their retro mountain hangout-style digs. Reasonably priced drinks alongside comfort foods (like pizza, subs, and Jonesy's famous fries) will make the experience worth your while.

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5. The Nip And Sip Neighborhood Lounge 4395 Yates St, Denver, CO 80212

This retro-toned dive redux is a no-frills, take-it-or-leave-it, well-drink wonderland, right down to the $3 Mystery Shots. For now, the laidback spot offers cheap beer and a bowl of cashews, and you’re going to like it, son. (And really, why wouldn’t you?)

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6. Candlelight Tavern 383 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80209 (Southwest)

Despite the romantic name, Candlelight Tavern is not the spot to serenade your sweetie over soft mood lighting and wine-- it's an old school neighborhood dive that burns the candle at both ends with live cast sports games, pub fare and beer and shot specials.

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7. Carbon Beverage Cafe 1553 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202 (Highland)

This hip spot in the hip Central Platte Valley area is the beverage & munchie half of the sibling pair of Habit/Carbon -- the other half (Habit Doughnut Dispensary) will fill all your late night, lack of doughnut related woes. Wander into Carbon to find taps on taps on taps -- of coffee, kombucha, wine, beer, and batch cocktails. All can be customized with additional syrups, salts, and herbs, and go great with munchie-satisfying snacks like pizza in a cup.

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8. 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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9. Churchill Bar 321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202 (Capitol Hill)

Located in the old school elegance of the Brown Palace Hotel, Churchill's is the place you go with your dad when you want to wow him with your knowledge of single-malt Scotch, Cuban cigars, or just a general sense of getting your sh*t together-- this spot is top of the pops classy.

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10. The Corner Office 1401 Curtis St, Denver, CO 80202 (Cbd)

Tucked inside The Curtis Hotel, the Corner Office Restaurant & Martini Bar boasts an eclectic menu of small bites and large plates that globetrots from Brazilian manchego cheese and bread, Hungarian flatbread with Gouda and tender belly ham, and poutine, to chicken tikka masala and even bacon and egg ramen. Conveniently located adjacent to the Denver Performing Arts Center, the Corner Office is a destination for happy hour snacks and libations, like the Shift 7 with Ransom Old Tom Gin, bonded AppleJack Brandy, Cocchi Torino, and grapefruit oil.

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11. The Cruise Room 1659 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Located in the historic Oxford Hotel's lobby in downtown Denver, The Cruise Room appears almost exactly as it did in 1933. The whole place is styled after a lounge room on the Queen Mary and waitresses are dressed in the requiste flapper girl garb, which makes Cruise Room's legendary martinis and whiskey cocktails taste truly authentic. Order a Red Widow -- peach vodka, champagne, St. Germain, and jalapeño -- and be sure to ask your bartender about the hotel’s infamous ghost stories.

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12. DazzleJazz 930 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203

If you’ve never had bottomless brunch accompanied by live jazz, it’s time you start. Jazz club DazzleJazz gives Sunday brunch a makeover by gifting diners with a live soundtrack as they dive into the buffet of home-style comfort food, like French toast, deviled eggs, and grilled vegetables, and absorb endless mimosas or Bloody Marys. Not the brunch type? DazzleJazz also offers spinach-artichoke dip, grilled cheeses, and other bar bites, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Reservations are highly recommended, but don’t wait until the last minute, as they fill up faster than you can say jitterbug.

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13. Degree Metropolitan Food + Drink 1190 Auraria Pkwy Ste B, Denver, CO 80204 (Auraria)

Global cuisine meets neighborhood fare at this Auraria resto that serves up all the standards, but with international flair. Try the izakaya, Japanese-inspired brussel sprouts to start, and then move onto "Colorado style" Thai drunken noodles with whiskey sauce.

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14. Dive Inn 1380 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210 (South Broadway)

Wait way more than 20 minutes after eating to hit Dive Inn, because you'll want an empty stomach to better feast on the S Broadway booze shack's menu of Yucatecan-style eats and Mexican twists on bar food staples, all designed by an actual Cozumel...itan.

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15. EDGE Bar 1111 14th St, Denver, CO 80202 (Cbd)

Wake up early on Sat for real football paired with a real English breakfast cooked up by their real English chef: fried bread, bangers, rashers, blood pudding, fried eggs, baked beans, coffee, and a Guinness for just $20. With the conversion rate it's about 12 pounds, though you'll gain that back just by eating it.

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16. Elway's Downtown 1881 Curtis St, Denver, CO 80202 (Cbd)

Elway's Downtown location, nestled snugly into The Ritz-Carlton Denver, serves up a seasonally rotating menu and an extensive wine list in an atmosphere as chic and sophisticated as The Ritz Carlton itself. Their bone-in filet is the choicest plate, even if the meat isn't actually choice, because clearly Mr. Elway wouldn't accept anything less than all USDA Prime hand-cut steak. If you're worried that won't be enough protein, lamb chops dipped in green chili cheese fondue make for a fine start.

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17. Herb's Hideout 2057 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (Lodo)

A locals' favorite spot that embodies everything a good dive should. They have strong (cheap) drinks, live bands, cheese poofs, and PBR tallboys.

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18. Lucky Strike Denver 500 16th St #340, Denver, CO 80202 (Capitol Hill)

Score at this bowling and bar mini-chain downtown with an extensive handcrafted cocktail list (we're checking out the Blackberry Basil Mule). Go big with bottle serve and get two hours of play on the house.

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19. Morton's Steakhouse 1710 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Morton's is synonymous with OG American class in the form of perfectly cooked sirloins, vodka martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives, and jumbo shrimp cocktail. Treat yourself to one of their trademark dishes and turn your swag on.

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20. Nob Hill Inn 420 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203 (Northwest)

This tiny dive is a neighborhood favorite for good reason -- the jukebox is full of old favorites, the drinks are cheap and strong, and both the bartenders and clientele tend to be very friendly.

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21. PS Lounge 3416 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (Congress Park)

This Denver dive bar is a Mile High City institution that's know for handing out roses (!!) and free shots to neighborhood clientele and unsuspecting newcomers. Crank up the jukebox and get to know the locals over a Coors.

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22. The Retro Room 2034 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (Lodo)

Salon and spa by day (15$ men's haircuts!) and lounge by night, The Retro Room is covering alot of bases. Be sure to check out their awesome daily food specials, green chili cheese fries, and their famous Pickle Shot, made with infused vodka.

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23. Pete's Satire Restaurant & Lounge 1920 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (City Park)

This City Park West bar and restaurant's been a mainstay for years, and its storied past is no joke-- rumor has it Bob Dylan used to sleep on the floors of the lounge after close while first starting out and the Satire was the top spot in town for folk music. Bands no longer play at Pete's Satire but the delicious, diner style Greek cuisine that's served legions of starving artists past and present remains on the bill.

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24. Sobo 151 Czech Bar and Grill 151 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209-1524 (Baker)

Pound pilsen at this lively Baker area mainstay that offers traditional Czech food and drink, karaoke, and happy hour specials.

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25. Sputnik 3 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (South Broadway)

Sputnik's good to go for dinner (Cheez-It topped mac 'n cheese) as well as for a night out (local drafts and $2 PBRs & Lost Lakes during happy hour).

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26. The Squire Lounge 1801 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80218 (Capitol Hill)

Though renovated, the Squire remains a divey Denver institution with a heart of gold -- the spot is more than 75 years-old, but they're still slinging cheap drinks and hosting local musical and comedic talent.

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27. Terminal Bar 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Embedded comfortably in the lobby of the completely revamped Union Station, The Terminal Bar serves up drinks to many a weary traveler that passes its threshold. A bevy of local brews dot the menu from Great Divide, Black Shirt Brewing, Avery, and Left Hand -- but if you find yourself yearning for something stronger, TB will pour you a classic concoction from a Martinez to a Rusty Nail.

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28. ViewHouse 2015 Market St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

ViewHouse's roof deck overlooks Coors Field so you can take it 360 degree views of Denver, while taking down pub food like burgers or chicken and waffles, then wash it down with the craft beers on tap.

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29. Williams & Graham 3160 N Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

Williams & Graham, a bar styled to look like a Prohibition-era speakeasy, offers up an eclectic selection of specialty cocktails, liquors, beers and wines. Additionally, there's a food menu that includes a variety of sandwiches, snacks and small plate dishes. You'd be remiss to skip this spot that was recognized as the Best American Cocktail Bar in 2015 by the Spirited Awards (basically the Academy Awards of booze).