Welcome to Denver’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Denver. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
A small introduction to Denver, Colorado
Denver is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level.
Denver is ranked as a Beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. It is known widely for its tourists and cultural activities. It was named the best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
In the above context in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Denver, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Denver the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife of Denver
Once upon a time Denver closed up at 5 pm with the exception of a few pockets here and there. Today, that’s hard to believe. Denver is a vibrant city of color, characters, sophistication and extensive nightlife options down every street and in every neighborhood. There are lounges, dance clubs, breweries, wineries, speakeasies and a host of other gathering spots that come alive when the sun goes down. The Larimer Square area satisfies the sophisticated cocktail crowd. In Denver’s north quadrant, the country-western crowd still packs the Grizzly Rose to line dance, listen to music and challenge the mechanical bull. In short, Denver has it going on across all areas, ages, genres, and tastes. So check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Denver and all are ready to make you happy while you are enjoying your nightlife experience over there:
Great American Beer Festival
For four days each fall, Denver transforms into the center of the craft beer universe. The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the industry’s most prestigious confab, welcoming hundreds of top-flight craft breweries and boasting more than 4,000 beers on tap. There is a daily admission fee which includes a festival program, commemorative tasting cup, and most importantly unlimited one-ounce beer samples during a four-and-a-half-hour public session. If the price sounds steep, remember that many, if not most of these beers are not widely available, making GABF your only realistic chance to give them a try.
Colorado Symphony, Denver, CO
The Colorado Symphony is the City’s professional symphony orchestra, performing at the Boettcher Concert Hall, located in the Denver Performing Arts Center. Led by music director Andrew Litton, the orchestra presents a variety of concert series, symphonies, solo performances, and events throughout the year, as well as educational and community-based outreach programs. Performances are held at the magnificent Boettcher Concert Hall. Built-in 1978, the hall is the country’s first 360-degree concert hall and boasts more than 2,700 seats arranged in five seating areas, which allow for no audience member to be more than 85 feet from the stage. If you are looking for best romantic things to do in Denver at night, watch a performance by the Colorado Symphony.
Wynkoop Brewing Company Tours
Located on the corner of 18th and Wynkoop in the Lodo district, Wynkoop Brewing Company aims to bring together the community through excellent food and beer. Founded in 1988, Wynkoop serves a menu of delicious authentic public house fare and small-batch beers on tap in a relaxed, casual alehouse-style atmosphere. Wynkoop offers complimentary brewery tours and a behind-the-scenes look at how Wynkoop Brewing Company became a pioneer on the American beer landscape. Tours lead visitors through the historic J.S. Brown Mercantile building and the process of brewing, with fantastic samplings of favorites along the way. Reservations are not required, however, tour group sizes are limited to 20 guests per tour, so it is a good idea to get there early.
Make sure you visit the programs and festivals laid in the above section because it will not only help you to get entertained but will also let you understand and grasp the culture of the city.
Best Bars in Denver
Denver has grown up as a destination for beer and spirits, indeed the city is one of the foremost craft beer destinations in the nation, with a bar or speakeasy literally on nearly every corner. The city has a rich and varied bar scene spread across, and it is worth taking note of it. Nowadays, some of the classic bars live on while others are getting redeveloped. Behind bookshelves and art galleries and ice cream stores, there are now speakeasies. And if you are taking a trip to Denver very soon, here your recreation for the nightlife attraction is sorted with the list of best bars, pubs and cocktail lounges available in Denver.
So, after a whole long day exercise of experiencing the city’s wonderful attractions and other things to do, you probably deserve a drink to satisfy your thirst, so check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Denver and all are ready to make you happy and kill your liquor desire. Go out with your friends and loved-one out there to have a memorable experience on your vacation:
The Cruise Room
The Cruise Room is the best place if you want to catch a vintage vibe with its unique Red-glow light. With sleek, art deco decor and killer martinis, Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel can’t help but make you feel classy while you pass the night by drinking the drinks away. The bar itself was modeled after a bar on the Queen Mary and takes the shape of a wine bottle. It is indeed a hotspot, especially since it has been the longest continually open bar in Denver. Do check it out in order to catch a classy and vintage vibe of the bar and satisfy your drinking needs.
PS Lounge is another classic Colfax dive bar with free shots for ladies and an uncompromised juke. Opposite of Hudson Hill’s modern, clean, bright, and airy atmosphere is this Colfax classic. Make sure you here for the strong drinks only (plus the free shot and rose for ladies), the jukebox that is likely had the same selection for the past 20 years, and the strangers who will soon become friends. Overall, it’s a classic place to feel and is consistent with its menu.
When a night out in Denver without a doubt ends up at Star Bar, the next day is sure to be spent recovering. They have got a little of everything i.e. live music, rotating craft beers, Skee-Ball, video games, karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and just the right amount of that dive bar temperament. Established in 1959 and still going strong, it is the perfect escape from the typical dude-heavy bar scenes.
There is a good chance that you will hear Finn’s Manor before you find it in RiNo. Part bar, part live-music, part food-truck pod, it is hard to get a firm handle on Finn’s, but you don’t have to. With a tagline of “worldly libations,” you will find more than 800 spirits on offer. Head to the bar for an Inca Trail, with Leblon Cachaca, Cedilla Acai Liqueur, pineapple, and Bitter Truth Aromatic bitters, or whatever rotating rum punch they are pouring at the moment. It’s especially awesome to visit after midnight when you want a cozy nook and delicious cocktail to warm you up with your friend or date.
Union Lodge No. 1
This spot manages to pull off that pre-prohibition vibe while still coming off as cool. The classic dark wood and exposed brick walls give it refined class, and the focus on elevated craft cocktails gives it the sass. The drinks served here are taken very seriously by the staff, all of whom share a very real reverence for the history of cocktails, something you will learn a little more about too from their informative and fun menus. Overall, a pretty awesome place to hang out with friends and make memories on your vacation to Denver.
Falling Rock Tap House
When it comes to beer, there are countless options available in Denver. But Falling Rock remains a destination for beer nerds, thanks to its large, rotating selection of brews from near and far, including frequent releases of rare beers. Its central location makes it a convenient stop before or after a ballgame, or just a pit-stop on any Downtown bar crawl. If you are a person who wants to experience diversity, then definitely this place is made for you.
No visit to Denver is complete without stepping inside the gorgeous Union Station, located in the heart of LoDo. While you are there, you might as well stop and get a drink while you admire the architecture and furtively watch the people coming and going. If you are a planner, make reservations at Cooper Lounge, the swanky destination on the mezzanine level that offers dazzling views of downtown as well as a bird’s eye option of the Great Hall on the other, along with classy cocktails. For a more casual option, the Terminal Bar offers wine, cocktails and an impressive craft beer list with plenty of seating.
Williams & Graham
If you have heard of exactly one drinking destination in Denver, it is probably Williams & Graham, which is located behind what appears to be the world’s smallest bookstore. There is not a classic, on the menu or off, that the bar can’t make or a special request it won’t entertain, so don’t hesitate to ask. But the heart of the list resides in the seasonal cocktails. The odder the concoction sounds, the more likely it is to blow your mind sky-high. You must visit the place if you want to experience the true scene of drinking in Denver and when you like bars with changing menus.
The Arvada Tavern
An old-fashioned phone booth transports patrons of this longtime neighborhood haunt, dating back to 1933, to the upstairs Bernard Ballroom, where free live music happens Fridays and Saturdays. Back downstairs, Tuesday nights are tiki-themed and every evening brings great cocktails and small plates. Overall, a nice place to meet your drinking needs with some small plates on the go to kill your craving for some nice food.
My Brother’s Bar
This Denver institution was said to be a favorite of beat writers Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. Now, My Brother’s Bar is not a dive, but it caters to a diverse crowd of boozehounds, old-timers, families, locals, and out-of-towners. Alongside a traditionally well-stocked bar, the galley kitchen fries up American comfort food until 1 a.m. daily. Definitely check this place out because it has been associated with such big names and it provides good small plates along with awesome drinks.
On Denver’s historic Welton Street at the heart of Five Points, this sour beer taproom and the charcuterie-slicing kitchen is both a neighborhood staple and a city-wide destination. Drinkers can choose from an extensive menu of international wild ales paired with Colorado cheeses, meats, house-baked bread, and more surprising dishes for snacking.
Best Bar Restaurants in Denver
When you are out and about fulfilling your cocktail needs in Denver, chances are pretty high that at some point you’re going to crave for the food as well. With Denver’s drinking scene pretty high it’s no exception in the restaurants or culinary options, as they are continuing to grow and innovate. It’s no wonder that restaurant bar programs are a good choice. From posh concept and classy to solid neighborhood institutions, the city has some of the finest restaurants that serve deliciously exotic food along with freshly brewed boozes to become a perfect combination. And for a city that likes to drink a lot, it’s no surprise that they’re quickly becoming drinking spots in their own way. The best thing one could do is to select a bar that also serves delicious food. That way you’ll never even have to leave your bar stool whenever there is a hold off hunger on you. Therefore, to fulfill your extreme craving for delightful food and awesome booze, we’ve got you covered with a list of Denver’s best bar-restaurants, good enough to try on the go:
Located in Larimer Square in Denver, Tamayo’s chic, the stylish interior design complements the modern menu and impressive bar, which houses a collection of over 100 tequilas and agave-based spirits, as well as an array of handcrafted cocktails. It is a modern Mexican eatery that serves traditional Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist. Tamayo’s menu offers both classic Mexican dishes and introduces new concepts, such as the ‘Test Kitchen: Guadalajara’, which features dishes inspired by the culinary heritage and celebrated foods of Guadalajara. We recommended visiting there for Happy-Hour, known as La Biblioteca, which offers a menu of delicious tacos and tapas accompanied by half-price margaritas, sangria, wines and, of course, plenty of tequila.
Acorn anchors The Source – an epicurean marketplace in the revamped 1880s Foundry building in River North (RiNo) – with eclectic New American oak-fired cuisine. Not to get all cliché, but there is a little something for everyone in the small plate lineup, from the exotic Moroccan monkfish to the unexpected (wood oven-roasted clams) to the elevated comfort food. The large plate serves 2; mix and match for a true culinary adventure. Overall, it is a nice place to experience unique cuisines with great and exotic drinks.
Tucked behind the popular Adelitas on Broadway, this semi-hidden gem will have you exploring the wide and wonderful world of mezcal. The staff is passionate about tequila’s lesser-known, smoky cousin and won’t hesitate to explain the nuances of the selections on the menu, as well as fill you to the brim with knowledge, booze, and tacos.
One of Denver’s most lauded chefs, Alex Seidel, opened this seasonally-inspired “elevated comfort food” neighborhood restaurant just over 10 years ago, and it remains a coveted upscale favorite today.
Eating at Fruition is the purest form of culinary pleasure. With ingredients and cheeses sourced right from Seidel’s own farm, dishes are flavorful and unpretentious in true farm-to-fork fashion, from heirloom tomatoes with burrata, melon, and basil to red snapper with Colorado grits, squash succotash, and grape tomato vinaigrette.
White tablecloths, twinkling lights, thoughtful wine pairings and French sophistication in Governor’s Park, all at the hands of Frank Bonanno – arguably the top chef-restaurateur in the city. For a special occasion that warrants Burgundian escargot, Tarte Flambée, beef Wellington and pheasant breast. The menu changes monthly at the chefs’ discretion, but thankfully, the butter-poached lobster mac-n-cheese, an indulgent bite of beurre-blanc heaven and “Food Network Challenge” winner is a staple.
Nocturne is an elegant, double-story jazz club and restaurant in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. The rustic, unadorned space with exposed pipes and brick walls contrasts beautifully with the sophistication of elegant cream banquettes and the baby grand piano. The food is eclectic and international. You can choose between shareable small plates, such as Cubano sliders, fresh oysters, and duck croquettes, or go for the constantly changing five-course Renditions Tasting Menu, influenced by timeless recordings of such jazz greats as the Ah Um album by Charles Mingus. The bar shares center stage with the musicians and the shakers fly while blending your cocktail of choice. The wine list is dreamy and the bar is stocked with just about any drink you can think of.
Guard & Grace
This downtown steakhouse, courtesy of renowned restaurateur and chef-about-town Troy Guard, eschews the stilted dark-leather ambiance of its same-old counterparts in favor of an inviting light-and-glass vibe. With subtle modern twists on classic steakhouse fare, like chipotle-lime smashed potatoes and Wagyu bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, the menu is refreshing, but the steaks really are the star of the show.
The Edible Beats team behind El Five is responsible for some of Denver’s whackiest and coolest food and beverage restaurants (see Linger, Root Down, Vital Root, and Ophelia’s). Go to this latest penthouse playground for the pan-Mediterranean fare and unmatched views of the downtown skyline or mountains. The bar side of the restaurant comes with the best ambiance for enjoying tapas from patatas bravas to crispy cauliflower yufka.
Executed by the same decorated team behind Boulder’s legendary Frasca, this more approachable spinoff showcases Italian cuisine with a wider focus in an inviting space overlooking the tracks at Union Station.
Casual but exemplary service, an exciting location, and a versatile vibe make this eatery appealing to the everyman. Fireplace lounge cocktails, Seating by the open kitchen, Chef’s table dining, what more. . . . It is the perfect place to tuck into a plate of handmade lobster tagliatelle or rabbit leg tortelloni.
This airy, contemporary, pan-Asian hotspot in Lower Downtown (LoDo) is a favorite for power lunches and grown-up nights out, with beautifully executed small and sharable plates that hit both Southeast Asian and Coloradan notes flawlessly. Soup dumplings, the brothy French onion filling surrounded by perfect little pouches that burst in your mouth are what made this place a perennial favorite.
To The Wind
The restaurant is featuring a four-person chef’s counter and just 16 seats, is effortlessly warm and elegant without being fussy, dishing up succulent bites like roast quail over miso cucumber and trio of duck with udon noodles. Fancy yourself in a quaint bistro in Paris ? Or perhaps at an intimate dinner party? This is your place, the kind of place you want to go on a chilly evening for gracious conversation and a soulful dining experience.
Chefs Max MacKissock and Blake Edmunds traversed Mexico and South America before opening their pan-Latin hotspot. More recently, they brought on board Puerto Rican chef Sebastian Ramirez to take the reins. The whole team’s research plus star talent shows in dishes from pigeon pea escabeche with plantains to mole negro and churros. Sunday brunch is a bonus with the frita Cubana burger and mofongo.
Best Nightclub in Denver
The Denver music and nightlife scene is continuously scorching to provide the premium nightlife entertainment to the tourists. On any given night, you will find local and national artists playing a vast array of genres in night clubs throughout the metro area. From the chic lounges and happening hotspots in Larimer Square and LoDo to the pulsating dance floors of the South of Colfax Nightlife District, The Mile High City knows how to let its hair down and party in style. Check out our recommendations here, grab a group of friends or special someone and explore Denver’s glamorous nightlife activities going on at the optimum best night clubs in Denver:
Located on the north of Denver, since 1989, the Grizzly Rose has served up country western funnot that you have to be the die-hard country to have a great night here. Unlike the traditional clubs, The Grizz doesn’t have a long list of things you can’t wear which means you that you don’t have to choose especially in order to visit this place. The Grizzly Rose is engaged to provide the people with live music six nights a week, from regional acts to nationally known performers, and a 2,500-square-foot dance floor. Most evenings start with free or nearly free dance lessons, and there’s a full kitchen cooking up the barbeque. Did we mention the dueling mechanical bulls? Here’s a tip: some aficionados say it’s more important to hang on with your legs than with your hands.
Denver may be a long way from Argentina, but the Mercury Café is the place in the city to learn the tango or to dance the tango if you are already know-how. It’s also the place to learn the swing or how to dance to the blues. In fact, Mercury Café has dancing of one kind or many nights a week. The lesson schedule is typically blues dancing on Tuesdays, swing on Thursdays and Sundays and tango most Fridays. The lessons are always followed by music and dancing just for the love of it. Most often there’s a DJ, but on the first Tuesday of the month a live blues band takes the stage, and there’s a live swing band every Sunday. About once a month, tango lovers gather at the Mercury to practice their sultry moves and precise footwork as musicians play. If you want to experience new dances and good drinks do visit the place to really feel the best spots in the city.
Guests here atBeta move to a wide spectrum of music played on the main floor and in the Beatport Lounge house, techno, dubstep, trance, hip-hop, trap and everything in between. The owners firmly believe that if you haven’t been to Beta you have not experienced music as it’s meant to be heard. “With our system processors constantly adjusted, acoustic treatment fully dialed and every aspect down to the wiring and placement fine-tuned, you can expect the best sound in Denver with the best artists.” While there’s no food served at the club, there are street vendors and food trucks all night long to meet your food needs and cater your cravings.
This ultra-cozy arrangement features four levels, four dance floors and four types of music. As if all that weren’t enough, the rooftop indoor/outdoor patio offers a year-round place to relax with heaters, fire pits, hookahs, and sweeping city and mountain views. The spectacular Function-One sound system is just part of the experience, which also includes LED video design, multiple screens, and large, open dance spaces. Depending on the night and floor, the music ranges from salsa, reggaeton, Latin or hip-hop to 1980s and ’90s faves and Top 40 tunes to trap, dubstep and future bass music to underground house and techno artists. Overall, it’s an excellent place to hit up because of ultra-rich cozy and great ambiance.
Latin dance. That’s what La Rumba this traditional looking nightclub is all about. The club for ages 21 and up appeals to a diverse crowd spanning multiple generations, cultures, and ethnicities, and plays diverse styles of Latin music, from salsa, bachata and Cumbria to merengue and cha cha. Channeling South Beach and Havana, La Rumba transports dancers to a sultry Latin hot spot, even if Denver is just outside the doors. That means no sports apparel, ball caps, tank tops, shorts or flip-flops. On Saturday nights, La Rumba showcases some of Denver’s top salsa orchestras, while Friday night is ladies night. In addition to free lessons, guests can signup for paid dance workshops, which take place before the doors open.
Let us conclude the topic, here in this article we had a brief introduction of Denver along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife features. We also went through different places to enjoy the nightlife of the city, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
As already elaborated, the nightlife attraction of Denver is scattered throughout the city. There are several streets / bustling areas of the city where cafes, concert and dance venues, galleries and restaurants offer something special to everyone who loves the culture and nightlife attraction. There are plenty of pubs & bars throughout the City areas and they are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktails with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted beers and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip, that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in Denver that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of nightclubs of the city that offers great music and fun with some delightfully exotic choices of drinks and cocktail that will delight your overall experience of charming nightlife during your stay at Denver.
All of the experiences as mentioned above will work together to make your journey to Denver absolutely a memorable one. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip extremely unforgettable.