10 Best.com's Top 10 Denver Nightlife Bars to Kick Back and Relax
By Diana Rowe
Denver Local Expert
If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Denver guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Denver for hanging out and kicking back in. Our 10Best Nightlife bar gets a start with long-lived mainstays like Wynkoop Brewing Company that started the brew pub craze, and take to the streets for several more popular and busy brewpubs, including the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and the always fun Sport Column, all earning lots of 10Best reader approval. Get your groove on by dancing to DJs at the iconic Jackson’s.
Read on nightlife fans, as 10best presents the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Explore the Denver neighborhoods, like the popular Lodo (Lower Downtown). Do the beer crawl on the 16th Street Mall. Shimmy over to Larimer Square.
Wherever your socializing takes you in Denver, have no fear - we offer up tips and hot spots to make the most of your night on the town. Put on your walking shoes and be prepared for the best Mile High nightlife fun you can have without breaking the law.
9 The Cruise Room Bar
Step back in time at the Cruise Room Lounge, just off the main lobby of the Oxford Hotel. This 1933 Art Deco landmark successfully replicates one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, including original chrome and neon reflecting onto the wall panels. The Cruise Room celebrates a long history as downtown Denver's first bar opening the day after the 1933 repeal of prohibition. A free jukebox allows guests to choose their entertainment while ordering from their cocktail and libations menu. The menu includes classic cocktails, like a Manhattan, and old school hand-shaken martinis, such as the always popular dirty martini. You can also enjoy martinis and libations created by the Cruise Room bartenders when dining at the adjacent McCormick's Fish House. ((303) 825-1107)
8 Peaks Lounge
Whether a girl's night out or a romantic evening, Peaks Lounge is the perfect Denver bar to start your evening with the spectacular backdrop of Colorado's peaks and the city skyline. Located on the top floor of Grand Hyatt at the Colorado Convention Center. enjoy the best view in Denver, a unique mixology menu including top-notch martinis, and a creative appetizer menu. Pair your Colorado Cheese Tasting with a bottle of your favorite vino, or select one of their wine and cheese flights. Appetizers are another unique creation at Peaks Lounge, ranging traditional Shrimp Cocktail with a poblano remoulade twist. Create your own tapas by sharing the amazing sampler: beef tenderloin slider, warm bread stick with tomato gazpacho, grilled chicken satay, and shrimp cocktail. Sinful mini-desserts (Red Velvet Cupcake, Rum Cake Skewer and so much more) will make you want to dance the night away. (303-486-4811)
7 LoDo's Bar and Grill
With over 70 TVs, Jackson's is THE place to kick back, relax, and catch a game. A favorite of Rockies fans before and after the ballgame, Jackson's is located in the shadow of Coors Field, but it's not all about baseball. It also caters to lovers of football, hockey, soccer, and many other sports. When you get the munchies, take advantage of a menu that mixes traditional bar food with tasty appetizers. Keep in the spirit with a smothered beef burrito or barbecue chicken pizza and a glass of your favorite brew. Other possibilities include a burger or a sandwich from their large selection. (303-293-8555)
With over 70 TVs, Jackson's is THE place to kick back, relax, and catch a game. A favorite of Rockies fans before and after the ballgame, Jackson's is located in the shadow of Coors Field, but it's not all about baseball. It also caters to lovers of football, hockey, soccer, and many other sports. When you get the munchies, take advantage of a menu that mixes traditional bar food with tasty appetizers. Keep in the spirit with a smothered beef burrito or barbecue chicken pizza and a glass of your favorite brew. Other possibilities include a burger or a sandwich from their large selection. (303-298-7625)
5 Churchill Bar
An elegant hideaway, the Churchill Bar is an elegant, quiet, refined retreat in the historic Brown Palace Hotel. If you're seeking a subdued place in which to indulge in a drink and a smoke, then you'll feel like you've died and gone to cigar bar heaven. The liquor list is comprised of single malt scotches, blended scotches, wines, ports, brandies, and cognacs. The extensive customized humidor has something for every palate with over 60 cigars, guaranteeing a stogie to suit even the most discriminating smoker. Dimly lit, Churchill Bar's interior enjoys a library-like feel with bookshelves and red leather armchairs. (303-297-3111, 800-321-2599)
4 Funky Buddha
Atmospheric, dimly lit, and frequented by a contingent of Denver's most practiced nightlifers drift to Funky Buddha, a favorite destination. Patrons dress to the nines and take seriously their mission of drinking and socializing. Various DJs spin throughout the week and music tracks include house, salsa, trance, and hip-hop. Serving some of the city's best appetizers, choose from an addictive tapas menu and exceptional martinis, all adding to Buddha's already-strong appeal. Flat screen TVs let sports fans get a peek at Denver's popular sports teams. Two fung-shui rooftop patios let nightlifers take in the spectacular Mile High weather any time of the year. (303-832-5075)
3 Sports Column
On Colorado Rockies game days, the air at Sports Column is absolutely electric. And why wouldn't it be? Located a a stone's throw from Coors Field, not only will you find the place packed with dedicated baseball fans, but all sports fans' eyes stay glued to the many TV screens, willing their teams to victory. The menu offers traditional bar eats, including burgers, fried appetizers, and salads. Be sure to don your favorite team's colors, and you'll fit right into the lively scene and the sports memorabilia. The official Colorado Rockies bar, Sports Column was also named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 25 sports bars in the US. (303-296-1930)
2 Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
The downtown Denver location of Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery may be a chain restaurant, but step inside and you'll receive a Mile High welcome. Rock Bottom's focus is on the bottom line -- fresh beer brewed on-site. Control of the process ensures that patrons always get the best possible product, and the difference shows. Regulars know, too, that the bar is not only a great spot for microbrews but for sampling traditional American eats. The menu features beef and fish entrees, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and the like. Happy hour offers good deals, and it's continually lively ambiance makes this 16th Street Mall location a popular nightlife stop. (303-534-7616)
1 Wynkoop Brewing Company
Occupying one of Denver's oldest buildings, multi-level Wynkoop Brewing Company was the town's first genuine brewpub and remains its favorite. The ground floor is a family-friendly dining room with a menu of traditional pub grub and American regional favorites. Upstairs is a classy, often crowded pool hall with 22 tables. If all of them are occupied, you'll have time to enjoy a handcrafted brew -- the Railyard Ale and Sagebrush Stout are tried-and-true winners. Finally, in the basement, the Impulse Theater group presents wickedly funny improv to sold-out audiences. This is as "Denver" as it gets! (303-297-2700, 303-297-2111)
About Diana Rowe
Diana Rowe landed in Denver more than 25 years ago and has never tired of exploring the Mile High City with her family, her husband, or on her own. The nooks and crannies of Denver’s neighborhoods are as exciting as the tried-and-true attractions, and Denver is always an adventure waiting to happen. As a travel writer for more than 14 years, Diana has explored many local and international destinations. But home is where the heart is, and Denver is forever etched as one of Diana’s favorite destinations.
Read more about Diana Rowe here.