With summer fast approaching and temperatures heating up, there’s really only one thing you need: a killer patio—OK, and maybe an equally killer drink. We rounded up 20 of the best patios and rooftops to sip on something delicious, slather on the SPF, and cheers the Rocky Mountain sunsets all summer long.

Editor’s Note: This is a living list that was last updated on May 23, 2022. Did we miss your favorite? Email us at dining@5280.com.

54thirty

Rooftop at 54thirty. Photo courtesy of 54thirty
Rooftop at 54thirty. Photo courtesy of 54thirty

Downtown
Denver’s highest open-air rooftop bar, 54thirty is perched atop the Le Meridien hotel on the 20th floor. Named for its altitude at 5,430 feet, this bar is popular—how could the city’s highest al fresco rooftop bar not be?—so get there early or be ready to wait. It offers oodles of sun during the day, fire pits during chilly nights, and Instagram cred during, well, always.
Drink this: The Colorado-ific Palisade Mule made with vodka, peach cordial, thyme, lime, and ginger beer.

Improper City

RiNo
The best part of Improper City’s humungous patio? It’s dog-friendly, which means you get a side of puppy adorableness with your beer. And with a rotating lineup of food trucks setting up shop at IC, you and little Luna will never go hungry.
Drink this: The blackberry-, lavender-, and gin-filled Purple Haze if you’re in the mood for something spiked, or a strawberry jalapeño soda if you’re not.

Forest Room 5

Forest Room 5. Photo by Brittany Anas

Highland
Forest Room 5’s patio is a Denver treasure. With tree stump seats, an almost-jungle setting, a bridge crossing a brook, and even a teepee, this hidden oasis should be on every Denverite’s must-visit list.
Drink this: The frozen Jack Torrance’s Maze, a mix of rum, nectarines, peaches, and lime.

Grow & Gather

Englewood
There’s already a lot going on at Englewood’s Grow & Gather: The former automotive shop now houses a hydroponic farm, urban garden, market, greenhouse, and a restaurant, the Feedery. But one of the best spots to enjoy all that hyper-locally grown produce is on the rooftop, at a table nestled between the greenhouse and grow bed retaining wall. (Note: The rooftop will open up for the season in June.)
Drink this: Grab an On the Fence kombucha or Huckleberry Roasters cortado for brunch, or one of the house cocktails made with Family Jones spirits for happy hour.

Tap Fourteen

Tap14
Enjoy a Ballpark burger and a beer on Tap Fourteen’s rooftop patio. Photo by Rachel Adams

Uptown
Don’t worry, beer geeks, there’s a rooftop for you, too. Tap Fourteen offers 70 Colorado draft beers (and more than 50 Colorado-made whiskeys, because whiskey geeks need love, too) on the rooftop of Hayter’s & Co. The south-facing rooftop beer garden is downright dripping in sunshine come summer, so bring the SPF.
Drink this: There are a lot of choices, but check out the Tap Fourteen–exclusive Platt Park Peach Guava Snowdance IPA.

Corrida

Corrida’s dining room and patio overlook the Flatirons. Photo by Raul Garcia, Courtesy of Corrida

Boulder
There is no bad seat at Boulder’s Corrida. The upscale Spanish restaurant is built inside the glassed-in fourth floor of the former Daily Camera building, and its views of the Flatirons are jaw dropping. Whether you’re toasting from the expansive patio or the elegant dining room, the mountains are right there, providing the perfect backdrop for selfies or staring, depending on how you roll.
Drink this: Good rule of thumb for life, if a gin-tonic cart stops at your table, you should probably drink something from it.

Reynard Social

Reynard Social’s sixth-floor bar leads to an open-air patio. Photo by Riane Menardi Morrison

LoDo
Reynard Social, the bar on the sixth floor of the Thompson Denver, isn’t technically a rooftop. But you’ll most definitely want to enjoy this stunner of a space that leads to an inviting patio overlooking 16th Street. When the summer breeze blows in, you’re not going to care about technicalities.
Drink this: Watch the sunset with a Peak Interest in hand, a mix of tequila, fig, raspberry, lime, and egg white.

Tamayo

Tamayo's patio is shady and welcoming. Image courtesy of Tamayo
Tamayo’s patio is shady and welcoming. Image courtesy of Tamayo

Larimer Square
Overlooking Larimer Square, Tamayo’s second-story patio is a prime perch for people watching. And it’s comfy to boot; the spacious terrace is dotted with couches, lounges, and wicker chairs from which you can sip one of the bar’s more than 100 tequilas.
Drink this: A fresh fruit margarita, preferably made with something tropical, like mango or pineapple.

The Woods

RiNo
The Source Hotel’s eighth-floor rooftop bar and restaurant, the Woods, is certainly one of our favorite spots to catch the unbeatable duo that is city skyline and mountain views. The wraparound terrace is our favorite perch, but even indoor tables share the views thanks to massive windowed garage doors. And when they’re flung open on nice days, it’s even better.
Drink this: Frosé all day.

The Golden Mill

Golden
When the Golden Mill opened last year, it didn’t just bring west siders more food options, it also added a great rooftop to the Front Range’s already stellar lineup. Boasting views of Table Mountain and the equally iconic Coors brewery, the rooftop is the best seat in, or should we say on, the house. Besides the very on-trend food (Hot chicken sandwiches! Birria gorditas! Poke!), there’s a huge self-pour tap wall serving 50 local craft beers.
Drink this: Come on, you know you’ve got to try something off that tap wall.

The Fainting Goat Pub

Capitol Hill
Broadway’s the Fainting Goat Pub proves that sometimes the best rooftops aren’t always new and flashy. The nearly 15-year-old Irish pub features a cozy rooftop patio overlooking the mountains and South Broadway’s—which makes for excellent people-watching. The beer list is also pretty solid, but the grub is worth checking out, too (try the Spicyaki wings).
Drink this: You’re on a rooftop on Broadway. Opt for a Pickle Shot.

Death & Co.

RiNo
The Garden at Death & Co. is one of the most magical open-air bars in town. The second-floor patio is filled with foliage and fairy lights, not to mention drinks with a more summery, tropical flair.
Drink this: You can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails, but the nonalcoholic drinks are especially thoughtfully crafted.

Avanti Food & Beverage

LoHi
On summer nights (and afternoons and, well, non-summer nights and afternoons), Avanti’s rooftop is one of the hippest hangouts in town. And for good reason: Three bars make it so you can order another round without much delay, and the seven rotating food stalls serving everything from arepas to pizza are always top-notch.
Drink this: Anything from the Big Chill, their new rooftop bar mixing up frozen drinks, complete with souvenir cups.

Odell Brewing Sloan’s Lake Brewhouse

Sloan’s Lake
This rooftop overlooking both Sloan’s Lake and the Rockies fills up fast, so get there early to nab a sky-high spot. Besides the views and the locally-inspired menu, you’re probably there for the beer, which includes 16 Odell taps and experimental beers you can only get at this location.
Drink this: The Perry Street Pilsner is a house favorite.

Acreage

Lafayette
There may be no better place to catch the sunset than at Lafayette’s Acreage by Stem Ciders. Its wraparound deck and patio offer panoramic views of the mountains, and with a solid food menu—plus all those ciders and cider slushies (yes, we said cider slushies)—there’s really no reason to be anywhere else.
Drink this: A cider flight, so you can pit Stem Cider’s chile guava flavor against the salted cucumber.

The Red Barber

RiNo
Yard games? Check. Amazing views from a rooftop? Definitely. Fire pits for chilly summer evenings? The Red Barber’s got three. Frozé on the menu? You know it. This rooftop patio atop the Catbird Hotel meets even the highest patio standards, making all your al fresco drinking dreams come true.
Drink this: The super-refreshing Millennial Falcon, with cucumber mint vodka, strawberry syrup, watermelon seltzer, and lemon.

Postino

Various locations
It seems like it’s a core part of Postino’s business model to have a killer patio, and the three Denver locations—LoHi, Broadway, and 9+Co—are no exception. You’ll find plenty of outdoor seating at all three, but the Broadway Postino is especially charming with its indoor/outdoor bar, foliage-covered pergola, and cozy fireplace.
Drink this: The Sherry Mary, Postino’s take on the Bloody Mary, for weekend brunch.

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not’s hip patio. Photo courtesy of Forget Me Not.

Cherry Creek
Whether you’re a part of Cherry Creek’s see-and-be-seen crowd or you just appreciate a really well-made cocktail, Forget Me Not is your place. Sip on one of mixology wizard Nicole Lebedevitch’s stunning creations on the hot spot’s chic, black-and-white patio, and take a mental victory lap for your day’s choices.
Drink this: Go with a group and get one of the mega-size (and mega-garnished) large-batch cocktails.

Sky Bar

Sky Bar at sunset. Photo courtesy of Sky Bar
Sky Bar at sunset. Photo courtesy of Sky Bar

Aurora
While the Sky Bar, which just opened earlier this month on the third level of the Stanley Marketplace, may not be open-air, the well-windowed bar offers one of the best vantage points for east siders. Bonus: The drink menu for the 28-seat lounge was created by the talented team behind Yacht Club.
Drink this: The Hawaii, a tropical vacation in a glass made with vodka, rum, green tea, pineapple, creole shrub, and clarified milk.

Breckenridge Brewery

Littleton
Sitting on a picnic table outside of the Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery feels like sitting in a park that also happens to have really good beer. It’s just that big. And if you hit it on the right summer afternoon or evening, you could catch a concert, a lawn game tournament, or even a barre class.
Drink this: When the sun is shining, you’re drinking the Summer Pils Shandy.

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Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy

Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.