These days, when people say they’re out on Larimer Street, they’re just as likely to be in burgeoning RiNo as LoDo’s Larimer Square. In fact, you could spend an entire evening crawling the happening thoroughfare—though not literally (we hope), thanks to the shareable bites many of the street’s best new bars offer to help offset your consumption.

Death & Co Denver

Photograph by Elliott Clark

It makes sense for the most elegant bar to be the first you visit. Sloppiness has no place at this cocktail temple inside the Ramble Hotel, a first-time expansion of the acclaimed New York City watering hole. It’s been open since May, but you should still expect a wait to get through the doors and into the chandelier-lit lobby. Celebrate scoring a sofa in the lounge area or a stool at the mirror-backed bar with any of Death & Co’s 36 beguiling drink options, which are broken down into easy-to-navigate categories like Boozy & Honest and Light & Playful. Pad your stomach for the night ahead with a plate or two from the eclectic menu, which spans everything from hamachi crudo to bison steak. The Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th St., 720-330-2660
Drink This: The refreshing Discordia spritz (Calvados apple brandy, white vermouth, sour apple and celery juices, seltzer)
Eat This: Japanese eggplant with miso and crispy rice

American Bonded

What do you get when the minds behind some of Denver’s best bars open their own place? Answer: the approachable, impeccable American Bonded from Sean Kenyon (Williams & Graham) and Justin Anthony and Lisa Vedovelli (the Matchbox). The three-month-old joint toggles comfortably between quality classics and sublime original drinks, such as the Coconut Telegram with coconut-infused corn whiskey, Falernum, lemon, mint, and bitters. 2706 Larimer St., 303-942-1201

Photo courtesy of J Street Kitchen

Drink This: The old fashioned (one of the city’s best)
Eat This: Smoked-then-fried chicken wings and supersize cheesy tots from the J Street Kitchen walk-up window in the back of the bar

Barcelona Wine Bar

The patio at this four-month-old tapas bar (the chain’s first location west of the Mississippi) is perpetually packed. And no wonder—the wine list runs deep with interesting bottles from Spain and South America, and the roster of reasonably priced tapas is perfect for sharing with a group. If you can’t get a coveted al fresco seat, don’t worry: The interior, with its horseshoe-shaped bar and industrial vibe, is an equally stunning setting. 2900 Larimer St., 303-816-3300
Drink This: Guns and Rosés (sparkling rosé, Lillet Rosé, Woody Creek vodka, peach nectar, grapefruit bitters)
Eat This: Roasted fennel with tomatoesand olive tapenade

Odell Brewing RiNo Brewhouse

Photo courtesy of Odell Brewing

Colorado’s third-largest craft brewer, Fort Collins’ Odell, made its Denver debut in June with this 4,000-square-foot, two-story taphouse and 10-barrel pilot (read: experimental) brewery. The new outpost features two bars, two outdoor spaces, fire pits, and 16 Odell taps. Eight of those spigots pour brews unique to RiNo, including the hazy Milkshake IPA and a series of cocktail-inspired beers. 2945 Larimer St., 720-795-7862
Drink This: The Margarita Crossover Ale
Eat This: Crinkle fries carried in from Shake Shack next door

No bar crawl is complete without a late-night slice. Three-month-old Famous Original J’s, which serves from a walk-up window outside the 715 Club until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, is worth the stroll from Odell. The New York City–style pizza joint comes from the Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen team, so you know its pies are legit. 715 E. 26th Ave., 720-420-9102

Photograph by Kevin Gabala

This article was originally published in 5280 August 2018.
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.