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The Best Outdoor Dining In Denver

The Best Outdoor Dining In Denver

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Summer is just around the corner. It’s time to enjoy concerts, picnics, and the patio at your favorite restaurant. Soak up the sun, enjoy the breeze, and eat something delicious at the best outdoor dining restaurants in Denver.

1. Linger

Linger is aptly named. Guests will be delighted to spend hours enjoying a meal and drinks on this comfortable, covered patio that has one of the best views in the city. The food at Linger is a little different, hitting areas like Africa and Southeast Asia that aren’t always well-represented at other Denver restaurants. Try the honey sriacha duck wings or the pho-real spring rolls. Linger is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

The enclosed patio at Linger (credit: Linger)

2. Domo

Domo is a traditional Japanese restaurant, garden, and museum that was ranked the fifth best Japanese restaurant in the United States by Zagat. Domo’s patio looks out on to a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. Chef Gaku Homma will delight you with sushi, noodles, and more.

3. Lola

Most of the table at the dining room, bar, and heated patio at Lola have a fantastic view of the Denver skyline. Lola is known for it’s selection of over 200 tequilas, but also has terrific modern Mexican-influenced dinner and brunch menus. Enjoy a Mexican Mimosa while dining on blueberry lemonade pancakes for breakfast or a margarita and lobster enchiladas for dinner.

4. Root

This little spot has an East-facing patio, and a view of the lovely Denver skyline. Root’s goal is to be as natural as possible, using sessional, local, and organic ingredients. Root offers a mixed up menu of globally-influenced cuisine. As the restaurant explains on its website, “We go where inspiration leads us. We’re not tied to one style or genre—we’re hoping to create one of our own.” Try the diver scallops, served with a plantain hash and asparagus.

5. Ignite!

Ignite! is a local favorite for outdoor dining. There is a side patio but, the rooftop seating is the place to be. Enjoy a view of the LoDo area as you sip on one of their terrific cocktails, like a modern take on the Moscow Mule, and a Mahalo burger, topped with bourbon-glazed pineapple, jalapeño cream cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

6. Bistro Vendome

Like everything else at Bistro Vendome, the little patio is charming. This classic French bistro serves a terrific brunch and dinner. Think about trying the quiche made with kale, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, and smoked goat cheese; or the duck a l’orange.

7. Zucca

The patio at Zucca, with its beautiful evening lighting, is the perfect place to dine in the summer. Zucca offers a broad range of Italian cuisine, from north to south. The restaurant is casual, and filled with local diners relaxing with a glass of wine from the wine list. The fettuccine alla vodka rustica, which features fresh pasta, locally made Italian sausage, and pancetta tossed in a vodka tomato cream sauce will delight any palate.

A summer salad from Cafe| Bar. (credit: Cafe | Bar)

8. Cafe | Bar

Enjoy a great view of the Wash Park area and a cocktail. Locals say Cafe | Bar has the best happy hour in the area. The food is worth stopping in for as well. On their website, Cafe | Bar’s self-proclaimed goal is to, “provide exceptional hospitality and creative cuisine in an affordable fashion.” This New American restaurant does a wonderful job with dishes like bone marrow, trout salad, or the duck breast with gnocchi.

9. LoDo’s Bar and Grill

Right in the middle of things in lower downtown, LoDo’s has a 4000 square foot patio overlooking Coors Field. This is the perfect place to hit after a Rockies game. Watch folks on the busy street hustle and bustle as you enjoy a burger and drinks.

10. Tamayo

Denver loves its Mexican food and Tamayo is a favorite place to find it. The enclosed patio is perfect for viewing the spectacular rocky mountain sunset along with a margarita. Enjoy a creative spin on Mexican dishes like the chile ancho fried calamari served in a blood orange reduction.

Click here for more on Denver.

The Best Patios for Social Distancing in Denver

Denver has been slow and smart about reopening but as we reach the height of summer, I know people are starting to feel a little stir crazy and want to get out! So, I have rounded up some of the best restaurants with patios, converted parking lots/ streets, and rooftops around town where you can feel comfortable going out for a drink, dinner, or brunch. Denver has approved 25 outdoor extensions for restaurants here is the full list

I highly suggest calling ahead or making a reservation online prior to visiting so you can ensure you get an outdoor seat, and let the restaurant know if you are only comfortable sitting outside.

As living with COVID becomes our “new normal” everyone is going to make their own choice about how comfortable they are “going out”. So please be respectful of everyone and their choices right now. And please respect those who are working at these restaurants and the rules they put in place to help keep you safe.

Update 2/7/2021

REMEMBER: Wear your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.

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And they may have to get very creative: Larger outdoor seating areas could end up being considered indoors for capacity purposes under recently released guidelines from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. According to those rules, open-sided tents are considered outdoors, as are tents with two opposite sides open the only limit on diners would be dictated by social distancing rules. But add a third or fourth side, and a tent becomes indoor space, subject to the same capacity limitations as a dining room.

To help restaurants survive a long winter, the State of Colorado and the Colorado Restaurant Association, along with several other organizations, have teamed up to support the creation of additional outdoor dining spaces to expand capacity. The Let's Take This Outside program has two parts: The first is a charrette/design workshop on October 19, kicked off by Governor Jared Polis, at which state and public officials, as well as architects, engineers, designers and restaurateurs, will be divided into teams and charged with coming up with new ideas for outdoor dining concepts. The second is a restaurant grants program that will help fund the buildout of approved designs. Xcel Energy has already pledged to donate $500,000 toward the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation, and up to another $250,000 (depending on matching donations) for the Colorado COVID Relief Fund.

So restaurants are working hard to make their outside areas look hot, hoping that diners will embrace the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv &mdash love of the outdoors, even (perhaps especially) in winter.


At My Brother's Bar (2376 15th Street), which has only been seating customers outdoors all summer, a few odd-looking structures have popped up in what was previously a parking lot. Wooden decks with clear-plastic geodesic bubbles each hold a cocktail table surrounded by four chairs. The bubbles may become a little steamy inside during warm weather, but built-in heating will keep them cozy in the winter. A bigger tent with room for four groups of four is reminiscent of a Rockwell-era Boy Scout campground, but it's furnished with full-sized tables, chairs and rugs, so at least you'll be able to enjoy your jalapeño cream-cheese burger with a pint or two of beer in comfort all winter.

Annette (at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora) has created a dozen or so greenhouse-type structures for outdoor dining. The greenhouses, made with clear plastic over metal frames, resemble oversized Monopoly houses and hold one table each, allowing for maximum comfort and minimum contact with other diners. They'll have portable heaters, too, for when temperatures start to dip. Annette closed for a few days at the start of the month to make final preparations before reopening on October 9 with the greenhouses ready for diners.

In the Ballpark neighborhood, ViewHouse (2015 Market Street) has erected a greenhouse-like structure on its street-level patio, complete with a high ceiling for good air circulation and a giant TV at one end for sports viewing. Reservations are recommended if you want to score one of the indoor-outdoor tables, and food is served until 11:30 p.m., thirty minutes after Denver's current last call. You can also do brunch in the tent starting at 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Just a few blocks away, the Denver Central Market (2669 Larimer Street) is getting ready to winterize the parking-lot seating that's been under open-sided tents all summer. Those will be replaced with a bigger tent with closable sides natural-gas heaters will keep the space warm. A stone hearth is also being brought in to add an alpine-lodge vibe, but it's not an actual working fireplace (which we'd love to see). This one turns out to be a stage prop, albeit a realistic one that only needs a bearskin rug to complete the look. Vintage chandeliers, carpets and holiday decor will also be added for a "winter wonderland" ambience, according to a spokesperson for the market.


Stephen Julia, co-owner of Curio Bar inside the Denver Central Market, also runs Roger's Liquid Oasis, the bar at Edgewater Public Market (5505 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater) with his partners. He says the rooftop bar, complete with an Airstream trailer, will remain open as much as possible for comedy and music events this winter. Heaters and a fire pit will help keep conditions comfortable.

And that's just the start of the creative options we'll soon see popping up all over town as restaurants prepare for the winter months ahead.

Don't leave Denver's hard-hit hospitality industry out in the cold in the coming days: Dine outside when you dine out.

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Boulder chef/restaurateur Hosea Rosenberg understands that grilling out is one of the best ways to experience Colorado-raised meats. So he's set up a swanky dining tent in the parking lot outside his flagship restaurant, Blackbelly, to turn dinner into a backyard-style gathering. Reserve a table for dinner at, or just stop by for a takeout lunch (a host will be happy to seat you outside based on available space). Most of the cooking is still happening inside Blackbelly's well-appointed kitchen, but Rosenberg is also hosting Sunday barbecues with smoky meats perfuming the air outside the restaurant. His other Boulder eatery, Santo, at 1265 Alpine Avenue, now has a dining tent, too, so you can dig into enchiladas, carne adovada tacos and other Southwestern fare while staying cool in the evening air. Call 303-442-6100 or visit for reservations.


Denver outdoor dining guide: Who’s got the best patio?

Linger's patio has one of the best views in the city. It fills up fast, though, so break away from home or cubicle early for global fare and creative cocktails.

Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post

Beast + Bottle's outdoor patio fronts East 17th Avenue, so in addition to hooved proteins and a way with produce and pasta, it boasts primo people-watching. Photographed May 9, 2013.

Metro area residents love the outdoors, and that passion extends to alfresco dining, too.

The recent stint of unseasonable rain notwithstanding, Denver is a prime spot for doing just that. Lucky for us, a growing number of restaurants are accommodating patio-seeking patrons.

Some of these spots feature table-studded sidewalks. Others move the action to rooftops with vistas. Others seat people in appealing gardens &mdash some right by the basil plants that are used to garnish the caprese salads that guests dine on.

Here at alfresco central, we’ve rounded up some metro restaurants that offer terrific patios for outdoor dining. They let you nosh in the sun or evening air while enjoying skylines, streetscapes and strolling fellow citizens.

The Best Outdoor Dining In Denver - Recipes

We are operating with the following hours:

Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:30pm

Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm

Takeout/Delivery: Tuesday - Friday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Saturday - Sunday 12pm - 9pm


Acova is a contemporary American restaurant serving dishes from cilantro rice and tomatillo-beer-cheese-stuffed poblano peppers to buttermilk-battered chicken with a honey-cayenne drizzle. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11am-11pm, Friday from 11-12am, Saturday from 10am-12am. and Sunday from 10am-11pm. The brunch menu, though, is only available Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm. Acova does not accept reservations for patio seating - it is on a first-come, first-served basis.

6. Cucina Colore

Cucina Colore was established in 1994 in the Cheery Creek North neighborhood of Denver. It presents a modernized version of Italian cuisine in a casual-chic ambiance and redefines Italian cuisine with a bold, creative, and contemporary menu.

Guests should expect only the freshest ingredients in a variety of salads, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and traditional main dishes with a twist. The atmosphere is bright and lively thanks to their wood-burning pizza oven and open kitchen concept. Menu favorites include the sautéed mussels appetizer, any of their wood-fired pizzas (which you can order gluten free), and the garganelli. Buon appetito!

3041 E Third Avenue, Cherry Creek North, Denver, CO, Phone: 303-393-6917

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Is Denver on your radar? With amazing views, it’s no surprise that there are some great outdoor dining options in and around the city. As you make your plans for a visit, consider adding some of these spots to your list.

1. Ace Eat Serve

What’s better than a view of the skyline, porch lights, and patio umbrellas? Ace Eat Serve has all three. This Asian-inspired eatery even has ping pong tables and a DJ on the weekends.

Where: 501 E. 17th Ave.

2. Acova

The outdoor space at Acova is perfect for families with little ones. They offer a lego wall that will keep your kids entertained throughout your meal. Coming without kids? No problem, the wine slushies will keep you entertained.

Where: 3651 Navajo St.

3. Linger

The rooftop of this Denver restaurant has been named ‘America’s Coolest Rooftop Bar’ by Travel and Leisure. Take in views of downtown as you indulge in Korean BBQ tacos and craft cocktails.

Where: 2030 W. 30th Ave.

4. Lowry Beer Garden

This 350-seat outdoor area comes complete with firepits, for those chilly Denver nights. Chow down on your favorite bar foods such as hot dogs, chicken wings, and burgers.

Where: 7577 East Academy Blvd.

5. Tamayo

What’s a trip to Denver without getting a glimpse of mountain peaks? Tamayo Denver delivers post card-worthy views plus delicious Mexican food. Now that’s a win win.

El Five

2930 Umatilla, Fifth Floor

Five floors up in the Lower Highlands, El Five’s patio has a beautiful panorama view of the downtown skyline and a tapas and cocktail menu that’s just as good as the sights. Seats on the patio are hard to come by without a reservation, so plan ahead. The Mediterranean food is a bit pricey, but it’s definitely worth the extra dollars for a nice night out. Make sure to get the shawarma-spiced lamb ribs.


Postino is one of the nicer patios in town and has with a solid Happy Hour ($5 glasses of wine and beer pitchers, 11am-5pm daily). It’s perfect for day drinking, cheese and charcuterie snacking, and impressing out-of-towners. If you want a cocktail without having to worry about the group next to you taking shots of Fireball, this is your spot. Grab a bottle of rosé and the bruschetta plate.


Working lunches are a necessary evil during the week, but Brider makes them a little more bearable. The menu is big with everything from kale salads to meatball sandwiches and pizza and the covered patio is great. And if you’re actually here post-workday instead of during, the full bar will help you and your colleagues blow off some steam.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

A burger and a few beers near Union Station is the perfect warm-up before heading to a Rockies game. And for unwinding after work. Actually, it’s pretty ideal for most situations - and Hopdoddy provides the perfect venue. Their wrap-around patio has plenty of seating, and plenty of umbrellas to keep you from getting sunburned while you take bets on whether the people rolling by planning to catch the A-Line train will actually make their flights.

Briar Commons Brewery

Briar Commons is a brewery/restaurant type of place, and it’s a great spot for a night with friend or day drinking. The food is decent, but you want to turn your attention to the brewed-on-site beer and the roof deck that looks over Jefferson Park. If you do get hungry while taking in the views, go for the burger.


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