Best Outdoor Dining in Denver This Summer- Restaurants Near Me

By some remarkable feat, a vintage-y looking RV trailer has been dropped onto the massive rooftop of Linger, a favorite Highlands hot spot. Sidle up to the RV-turned-craft-cocktail-bar beneath the towering Olinger Mortuary sign (trust us, it’s somehow not at all creepy) and order a smooth bevie and some Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped dates). Then sit and marvel at the twinkling view of Lower Downtown (LoDo). You’ll see why Travel + Leisure named this one of “America’s Coolest Rooftop Bars.”

Another of the famed Richard Sandoval’s signature restaurants, Tamayo is hailed for its creative — yet authentic — adaptations of fine Mexican fare. The rooftop patio, partially enclosed, isexcelente for viewing the sunset over the Rockies amidst the lights of downtown’s skyline.

With a name like ViewHouse, your expectations are probably high. Good news: With a series of expansive patios and a panorama in nearly every direction, you won’t be disappointed. While the side patio is designed for lighthearted lounging with a green for yard games and cabana-like seating, the rooftop is seriously breathtaking. And with a location right next to Coors Field, the restaurant is a natural pre- and post-game stop.

Dining with a group of friends? Make everyone happy with a trip to Avanti F & B. This “modern day food hall” in the Highlands houses seven food truck-style restaurants under one roof, meaning you can satisfy your cravings for everything from pizza to arepas to tortas all in one place. And speaking of roofs, Avanti’s rooftop offers one of the most striking views in the city. Enjoy it with one of their 20 draft beers, a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Catering to baseball-game crowds, this LoDo joint’s three rooftop decks overlook Coors Field and won the Tavern Downtown a spot on none other than Playboy Magazine’s “Top 10 Best Rooftops in America,” as well as accolades from Sunset Magazine for “Best Rooftop Patio in the West.” Order up a Chicago dog, a volcano burger or a western favorite like bison chili.

Denver’s original steakhouse, The Buckhorn Exchange, is a National Historic Landmark located in the city’s oldest neighborhood. Just five minutes from downtown Denver, the restaurant has been serving Old West fare since 1893. A charming rooftop patio overlooks downtown and is open year-round, thanks to the patio heaters. Downstairs, you’ll dine with a wide assortment of mounted game heads. FYI, this is a spot for meat lovers — vegetarians, beware! Prime-grade beef steaks, buffalo prime rib, elk, salmon, quail, game hen and baby-back pork ribs are just some of the offerings on the menu. Exotic appetizers such as alligator tail, rattlesnake and buffalo sausage are also available, as is the house specialty, Rocky Mountain Oysters.

With a 4,000-square-foot patio overlooking Coors Field in the heart of Lower Downtown (LoDo), an exciting sports bar, a packed dance floor and an array of tasty American cuisine, Lodo’s is an extremely popular spot. The patio party goes on year-round, thanks to heaters brought out in the winter. The building has exposed brick walls, stainless steel accents, hardwood floors, 24 beers on tap (of which many are local microbrews) and over 50 high-definition TVs.

Atop the Jax Fish House Glendale is the cleverly named Hi^Jax. Enjoy a low-key patio with a bar at the heart of it, order a local beer and indulge in a fresh platter of oysters . This spot is perfect for toasting the sunset, with views of the mountains and the Cherry Creek Trail bike path below.

If you can tear your eyes away from the gorgeous creations coming from the kitchen, you’ll be dazzled by Izakaya Den’s décor and dazzling rooftop patio. A retractable roof means you can relax without fear of having to move inside in case of a summer storm, and a brothy bowl of lobster ramen or the inventive jalapeno sashimi just seals the deal.

In the hip and artsy RiNo (River North) district, Los Chingones truly elevates the humble taco. Start with a salsa flight and work your way up to the octopus or Kobe beef tacos. Wash it down with something from the strange but delightful cocktail menu. (Pop Rocks, anyone?) With a dazzling skyline view and a sprawling outdoor space, Los Chingones is an “it” spot for a reason. Los Chingones also has a Denver Tech Center location.

About 20 minutes from Denver on the outskirts of Golden near a creek, The Briarwood Inn provides an idyllic setting for weekend brunches and evening dinners. The garden terrace offers views of the mountains while gorgeous landscaping adds to the outdoor ambience.

Denver in the summer is a truly magical place to be. Not only the amazing restaurants that are on every corner but the atmosphere, the people, and who wouldn’t want to sit outside with the view of the great Rocky Mountains.


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~Jess Wood

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July 8, 2017