As Coloradans, we love altitude. But why limit ourselves to 5,280 feet when we can be a mile high plus 27 floors up on a killer rooftop? With the weather becoming consistently warmer, it’s time to head up—way up—to the best eating and drinking destinations around. These 12 rooftop bars and restaurants are tip-top spots at which to cheers a Rocky Mountain sunset.
Starting with Denver’s highest open-air rooftop bar, 54thirty is perched atop the Le Méridien hotel. The 20th floor bar, which is named for its altitude at 5,430 feet, is popular (how could the city’s highest al fresco rooftop bar not be?) so get there early or be ready to wait. The space offers oodles of sun during the day, fire pits on chilly nights, and Instagram cred, well, always.
Drink this: There may be no drink more appropriately named than the #Thatviewthough, a mix of vodka, chamomile tea syrup, lemon, and Denver Beer Co.’s Princess Yum Yum raspberry Kölsch.
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. That’s a whole lot of greenery for an industrial stretch of Hampden Avenue. Note: Due to difficulty hiring, the rooftop is closed for the time being, but keep an eye out for a reopening later this summer.
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 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.
If you’re looking for a change in perspective, try the sky-high Peaks Lounge inside the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center. A favorite of local sophisticates and out-of-towners alike, this 27th floor enclosed (but well-windowed) bar offers one of the best vantage points in town. Note: Peaks is currently closed but is expected to emerge from its COVID-19 cocoon at the end of May.
Drink this: End your night with city views and the 27th Floor, a decaf coffee liqueur, crème de cocoa, espresso, vodka, and cream cocktail.
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.
When the Golden Mill opened in April, 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 two self-pour beverage walls serving 50 local craft beers, wines, cocktails, and more.
Drink this: Come on, you know you’ve got to try something off that tap wall.
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 cart stops at your table, you should probably drink something from it. After being sidelined during the pandemic, the cart will make its triumphant return this month.
Broadway’s the Fainting Goat Pub proves that sometimes the best rooftops aren’t always new and flashy. The Irish pub features a cozy rooftop patio overlooking the mountains and the street’s 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.
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 crispy crusted Naples-style pies (Gorlami) to sustainably sourced seafood (Del Mar by Rooted) are always top-notch.
Drink this: The seasonal margarita is always a hit; right now that’s the Cactus Licker, a prickly pear marg with Tajin rim.
It may not be the highest bar in town, but Death & Co.’s the Garden could be the most magical. The second-floor patio is filled with foliage and fairy lights, not to mention drinks with a more summery, tropical flair. Note: Death & Co.’s the Garden is reopening in June.
Drink this: You can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails, but the nonalcoholic drinks—like the pineapple- and lime-infused Fantastic Planet—are especially thoughtfully crafted.
Again, not the tallest rooftop in town, but what Ale House lacks in height, it makes up for in spicy bacon fat popcorn. The second-level LoHi bar, which can definitely attract a crowd, has great skyline views thanks to its positioning across I-25, and a food menu featuring everything from a peanut butter and jelly burger to a prime rib banh mi.
Drink this: A glass of sauvignon blanc. Just kidding, you should order a Colorado ale. (But they have the sauvignon blanc, too, if that’s your jam.)
Maybe the only place in town where you can eat beer-infused ice cream on a rooftop, Odell Brewing’s new Sloan’s Lake Brewhouse has a locally inspired menu, where the goal is to get as many ingredients as possible from within 63 miles of the brewery. (The 63 miles is a nod to the distance between the Sloan’s Lake outpost and the original Fort Collins brewery.) And then of course there’s the beer; the spot has 16 Odell taps and is brewing experimental beers you can only get at this location. Of note: The waiting list for a table can be long.
Drink this: The Perry Street Pilsner has been an early favorite since the brewhouse opened in April.