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The best places to grab a drink in Denver

A photo of Red logo
by Linnea Covington
Updated May 23, 2023

Mile High City’s bar scene is enjoyable any time of year, thanks to the numerous craft breweries, distilleries, and urban wineries that fill this grand mountain town.

Greek bottles and Mediterranean-inspired small plates await at a cozy wine spot in Cherry Creek. A distinctly Polynesian vibe distinguishes a playful tiki bar in Baker. One of the city’s longest-running taverns serves a show-stopping martini—and red wine by the goblet—at a storied hotel downtown.

From luxe cocktail dens to classic watering holes to wine bars that come with a crash course on grapes, Denver has a place for every type of reveling. Read on for a guide to the city’s 9 best bars to visit now.

A photo of Room for Milly restaurant
4.7 (119)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
About the restaurant

Walking into this 30-seat bar, all colorful wallpaper and gold accents, is like stepping into a granny-chic oasis or an artist’s lounge. But co-owner Fiona Arnold is neither—she just possesses a great eye for style. The bar pays homage to a fictional muse, Milly Parker, a globe-trotting woman who came of age between the World Wars. The drinks are just as worldly and include the Bora-Bora (rum, falernum, almond-flavored creme liqueur, pineapple, ginger, and baking spices) and the zero-proof Avenue No. 3 (ginger, jasmine tea, honey, citrus, and an aromatic blend of allspice and cardamom). Pair your drinks with snacks including bottomless truffle popcorn, smoked trout dip, and miso pickles, and enjoy the eccentric but lovable escape.

Top review
Dined on Nov 21, 2023
We had a fun time sipping delicious cocktails and mocktails as well as yummy little bites. We will definitely be back!
A photo of Stem Ciders - RiNo restaurant
4.5 (70)
$30 and under
River North (Denver)
About the restaurant

Stem Ciders’ bubbly beginnings can be traced to Real Dry, a drink that was originally crafted in co-owner Eric Foster’s garage in 2013. A decade later, Foster and business partner Phil Kao opened a couple of tasting rooms and restaurants, including the RiNo location in 2022. With outdoor high-tops, casual indoor seats, and a bar, it’s an easygoing spot to sip on hard ciders, such as chile guava and the Crabby Neighbor, a dry cider made with local granny Smith and crab apples—the menu also includes cider flights. For those taking the non-alcoholic route, there’s Rin’s No Sin Fizz (housemade non-alcoholic gin, lemon juice, maple syrup, egg white, and soda water). Go for the drinks and stay for brunch or dinner, featuring fresh oysters, a green chile and pepper jack burger, and chamomile-roasted chicken.

Top review
Dined 2 days ago
A group of us painted ceramic ornaments and it wasn’t an issue at all. Food and drink were delicious and service was quiet and friendly. Great selection of drinks, too, with ciders, cider cocktails, beer and wine.
A photo of Campus Lounge restaurant
4.4 (91)
$30 and under
Cherry Creek
About the restaurant

This classy dive bar has garnered a loyal following in Washington Park and Bonnie Brae since opening in 1976. The Campus Lounge is loved for its 70s feel, achieved via heavy wood accents, neon signs, sports memorabilia, and other throwback knickknacks. Pool tables and a handful of televisions complete the dive-slash-sports bar feel. Unlike most dive bars, food is anything but an afterthought here. Choose from top-notch nachos, smoked chicken wings, and burgers, plus breakfast fare on weekends (there’s even a kids menu). But the bar scene—and the pitchers of local craft brews that flow freely—are the main reasons folks flock to this faithful Cherry Creek spot.

Top review
Dined on Oct 18, 2023
I sat outside, so it’s not fair for me to judge on the noise level. But when you go to a place called “lounge” you’re not expecting a quiet, romantic setting… Lol  Miranda did a great job taking care of me as well as the folks inside. It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to sit outside. I offered to come inside every time I needed something, but she dismissed that and said she would take care of me. And she did just that! Wonderful food (burger cooked to perfection) and drinks (keeping that private)…
A photo of Cretans restaurant
4.5 (84)
$30 and under
Cherry Creek
About the restaurant

Denver doesn't have a ton of Mediterranean restaurants and even fewer bars that fit the theme. Cretans is a bit of both and serves Greek wines with Mediterranean-inspired small plates in a charming indoor-outdoor space. Must-try combos include the signature caviar sliders, red snapper crudo, and a glass of sparkling Greek rose. The bar also serves stellar pour-over drinks, including a pepperoncini martini and spicy margarita. Enjoy it all in the sultry space inside the Clayton Hotel & Members Club. The cozy low-lit spot has a vibe inspired by 1960s Europe and is decked with two intimate bars, plus leather banquettes and high-top communal tables for when you want to bring a crowd—or meet someone new.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jan 1, 2023
Great people working there and great atmosphere
A photo of La Bouche restaurant
4.5 (46)
$30 and under
Wine Bar
About the restaurant

Owners Alex and Alexis Tréton opened this petite French American wine bar in late September 2021, and it’s become a solid neighborhood spot since. Lounge at one of the small tables, or take a seat on the relaxed patio. There’s also a corner bar inside—a perfect black-and-white rectangle that evokes a box of gourmet chocolates. Belly up and order a glass—flights are also an option—to sip with La Bouche’s simple but standout French fare, including charcuterie boards, a hearty Provence-inspired salad, and quiches.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on Oct 15, 2023
Excellent service with lots of wine and cocktail options. Cute decor that makes you feel you are on a little escape to Paris. French 75 is a great cocktail as is the Kir Royal.
A photo of Williams & Graham restaurant
4.9 (828)
$30 and under
About the restaurant

Williams & Graham, a distinguished 1920s-themed bar, has consistently poured a solid drink since 2011. At first glance, the LoHi bar doesn’t look like much: It’s simply a door leading to a waiting room with a wall of dusty old books. But once your reservation is confirmed, that same wall opens up into a comfortable speakeasy, complete with a sturdy wooden bar and cozy booths, plus a standing table for groups. The menu boasts over 60 classic cocktails, along with seasonal creations. Pick a drink to go with the dry-aged burger and a plate of deviled eggs, or ask the bartender to whip up something special.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jan 2, 2023
Went for our anniversary. The drinks were phenomenal and the service was spectacular. Got a flatbread and the Royals with cheese (cheeseburger). Definitely a must do in Denver.
A photo of Ship Tavern at the Brown Palace restaurant
4.1 (2059)
$30 and under
Downtown / LoDo
About the restaurant

This classy spot, nested inside the Brown Palace Hotel, claims a piece of Denver’s history: It opened in 1934 and is considered one of the city’s longest-running bars. As the name suggests, a nautical theme dominates the interiors, complete with a full mast and crow’s nest, Jamaican rum barrels, and a collection of model sailing ships. Take it all in by securing a seat at the solid oak bar, or in one of the blue or red leather chairs—perfect perches for enjoying live piano music on Friday and Saturday nights. Like the vintage tavern itself, the drinks, which include strong beers, red wine by the goblet, and a stellar martini, speak to simpler times.

Top review
Dined 2 days ago
We dined at the Ship Tavern twice during our weekend stay, and had the pleasure to be served both times by Anthony. He was simply outstanding on both occasions, and really made our weekend stay worth it. His food and wine recommendations were perfect. He was friendly, attentive, and did everything he could to ensure our experiences were great. He should be managing all of the food service at the Brown Palace.
A photo of Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant restaurant
4.6 (353)
$30 and under
River North (Denver)
About the restaurant

Though many of the grapes at this urban winery hail from California, they’re processed right here in RiNo. Order a flight and snack on tasty accompaniments such as truffle-laced popcorn, wild boar meatballs, and grilled Caesar salad. Plan ahead and reserve a tour of the space, along with a wine tasting. The industrial-chic vibe extends to the dining room, with sparkling chandeliers and polished steel accents. Sit at the bar for real hands-on wine talk, then take a bottle home.

Top review
Dined on Sep 30, 2023
Service was phenomenal! Meredith was so attentive, quick with a smile, and suggestion. The energy and atmosphere was electric. The food was good but the drinks were the star for sure. It was a great spot for a group gathering
A photo of Adrift restaurant
4.5 (489)
$30 and under
About the restaurant

Tiki bars should always feature tropical drinks and a bit of whimsy. Such is the case at Adrift on South Broadway. The rum-centric drinks at this playful Polynesian-style lair, served under the light of a glowing pufferfish, are dangerously good. Expect classic concoctions such as mai tais and hurricanes, as well as Adrift originals including the house Painkiller, sweetened with housemade coconut cream. Order at the bar or better yet, reserve a table so there’s enough room for plates of coconut shrimp, pele duck wings, poke nachos, and ice cream from the bar’s sibling shop, Little Man Ice Cream.

Top review
Dined 3 days ago
Had a lot of fun. Good seasonal food. Holiday music. 'Snowy' decor was fun and really enjoyable!
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