You’re going to kick your night off with a happy hour, because that's how any great night should start and you're a man who knows what he's doing. But to help you out, we’ve identified the eight best places to boozily start your evening, whether you're looking for the cheapest of brews or pork fat French fries.
With happy hour available all day Mondays, Tuesday-Friday from 4-6p, and weekends from 230-5p, there're plenty of chances to try all the food and drink specials. The discounted goodness to choose from includes margaritas, table-made guacamole (at your table, not from your table), and shrimp ceviche. When the weather permits, the patio is prime people watching territory.
Happy hour goes down daily in the lounge from 230-6p, making it an ideal spot when you want to get started early (and you do!). Their happy hour menu is massive, so bring some extra mouths with you. There are $3 beers, $4 wines, and $5 and $6 house cocktails to choose from, as well as munchie-sized plates of goodness like lamb ribs and veal scallopini.
The bar area and patio is the place to be for happy hour here, with times varying throughout the week (they double dip on weekdays and go all-day on Sundays). Brace yourself for glass after glass of sake sangria with some chicken pot stickers (not chicken pot pie stickers, though that's a hell of an idea) or avocado egg rolls.
The meat mecca reliably offers happy hour seven days a week from 3-6p, which means you can prep yourself for a big night out with their swine-centric menu -- enjoy discounts on pork-fat french fries ($4), or try a $2 pretzel bite paired with a $5 Old Old Fashioned. Actually, at $2 you should keep getting pretzels.
Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza
Marco's has already captured (and possibly clogged) Denver's hearts with their delicious, authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, but to tighten the grip, they have a pretty sweet happy hour. Get a 9" margherita pizza for only $5, or try out the meatball sliders and coal-fired limoncello chicken wings. Wash it all down with a Marco's Mule (a riff on the classic 'tail, not like, a mule with a tail) or a $5 specialty mojito.
Another spot that wants you to be happy ALL the time, Pinche's daily happy hour runs 3-6p, and if you aren't BNOYL-ing you should know they have drink specials available all day on Mondays, which could get manic. Get a $3 Paloma to complement the "Victory Club" Nachos or chicken chicharrones.
Jax Fish House
Their 4-6p daily happy hour discounts all drafts $1 and hooks you up with $1.25 East Coast oysters. If you explore the menu a little further you'll find the likes of gumbo fries or a Sea Dog, aka a seafood hotdog. Yep, it's the only place in Denver where you can get your hot dog covered in crabs... for just $8.
For a seriously flavorful happy hour experience, this is the place to be Monday-Saturday from 5-7p. Try things like wagyu beef albondigas, Korean fried chicken wings, or adobo chicken steamed buns. Latin-Asian fusion house cocktails are only $5, as well as select wines and sakes by the glass. Pro tip: On Mondays they do their $5 mojitos Lionel Richie-style. Yep, all night long. (All night!).
1. Pinche Taqueria1514 York St, Denver
2. Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria2129 Larimer St, Denver
3. Lola1575 Boulder St, Denver
4. Panzano909 17th St, Denver
5. Kona Grill3000 E 1st Ave, Denver
6. Jax Denver1539 17th St, Denver
7. Zengo1610 Little Raven St, Denver
8. Old Major3316 Tejon St, Denver
At Pinche Taqueria, great care is taken to create authentic Mexican food while injecting a modern spin that makes each bite memorable. And, on the outside chance that the food doesn't hook you, the small batch whiskey, tequila, and specialty cocktails will.
Hailed as one of the best pizza's in the Mile High City, stop by this Ballpark joint for a pre-game pie (and beer!), and choose from a huge selection of toppings and styles.
This go-to Mexican spot sports sweeping city views, table-side guac, and other traditional Mexican fare, and a daily 4-6p happy hour (Mondays are happy hour all night!) featuring $4 sangria. Step things up with a Fuego Verde cocktail (Corazon blanco, muddled jalapeno, agave).
Lauded as one of Denver's best Italian destinations, Panzano prepares artful plates of Northern Italian food inside Hotel Monaco. Its menu is a welcome break from the modern American fare that many hotel restaurants stray towards, featuring unique dishes like house-made pasta with lamb ragú and gluten-free options (a rarity at any carb-centric restaurant). The space, while eschewing the white tablecloth aesthetic, is polished and draws many a businessman, so brush up on your dressy casual dress before dining here.
Although the Kona Grill has more than 20 locations across the US, they still serve quality food and cocktails, and offer a terrific happy hour.
Jax's slinging fresh seafood dishes daily, specialty 'tails from "the best team of bartenders in Denver", and a solid selection of craft beers.
Zengo, Chef Richard Sandoval’s homage to pan-Asian cuisine, offers a tasteful yet accessible approach to sushi, sashimi, dim sum, tempura, curry, and grilled and wok-fried plates on its dinner menu, with staples like Sichuan beef and pumpkin curry with bok choy, coconut milk, and fried shallot. But Zengo is perhaps most infamous for its weekend bottomless brunch menu, which features waffles reimagined with sugary coconut flavoring, whipped brown butter, and mango and a would-be simple short rib hash brightened with kimchi sauce. It won’t be difficult to take advantage of the bottomless deal; the brunch cocktail program includes a zesty Bloody Mary and a trio of mimosas: traditional, passion fruit, and Zengo.
Located in a rustic, farmhouse-style space, Old Major -- named after the advising pig in George Orwell's Animal Farm -- is "dedicated to seafood, swine, and wine." Restaurateur Justin Brunson's Highland Park eatery sources sustainable seafood (read: not the farmed stuff from China), has in-house butchery and charcuterie programs, and an extensive wine list (note: every bottle is half-off on Sundays). The menu often changes, but one dish reigns throughout: the Nose to Tail. Let's just say it's a heaping pile of pork (of varying cuts, cures, and preparations) on a plate, and it's not to be missed.