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Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Emily Driskill

See Also:

- Boulder's five biggest hipster bars

- Five best midsize venues in LoDo and Ballpark

- Denver's ten best karaoke bars

- Denver's ten best dance clubs

- Denver's ten best jukeboxes

- Five best places to buy vinyl

What exactly is a hipster? The term lost all of the weight it had around, oh, 2008. Today, a "hipster" qualifies you as a young person and not much else. The youthful connotation has also been muddied. The term "oldster" has now fallen under the hipster umbrella as well. Sorry, Alejandro Escovedo and Bob Schneider fans, you too are now hipsters, despite your age and graying goatees.

The rise of "hipster" in Google searches, 2004 to present.
The rise of "hipster" in Google searches, 2004 to present.

Yes, the term has sailed onward and upward -- just look at these Google Insights for "hipster." Judging from its ubiquity, any bar or restaurant could likely be pegged as hipster -- mostly by people who are not hip, because those are the only people who use the term "hipster" with any seriousness. All of that said, here are the ten biggest hipster bars in Denver.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Britt Chester

10. Rooftop Cafe at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street

Coming in at number ten is the cafe at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, where you can sip a cappuccino or craft beer poured by an edgy bartender after checking out the latest exhibition. The rooftop atmosphere is a hidden downtown gem, plus they book live music most Sundays during the summer. Tell your friends about this one; your status will rise almost immediately.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.

9. Williams & Graham, 3160 Tejon Street

Williams & Graham comes in at number nine for the prowess and knowledge of its bartenders -- rather than its clientele. The imbibing elite show up not just for the best Prohibition-era cocktails in the city, but for the long, detailed history behind every single ingredient involved in its creation. If facial hair is your thing, you'll want to come here for the waxed mustaches and prize-worthy beards alone.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Jim Wills

8. The Matchbox, 2625 Larimer Street

Located in NoDo, a sparsely populated part of town that is slowly gaining momentum, Matchbox is home to many a jorts-wearer as well as an outdoor area in the back for vintage lawn games. (This bar was also one of our "Denver's ten best new bars" of 2011.)

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Christopher Morgan

7. Star Bar, 2137 Larimer Street

Star Bar: This is love. Built in 1959, it still manages to keep its vintage, dive-y feel without offering the same old buckets of cheap beer. With an ever-rotating and impressive draft selection of beers from breweries like Ska and Great Divide, plus live music, karaoke and a 50-cent jukebox, Star Bar is the most tolerable bar in the LoDo/Ballpark area and has the most eclectic mix of people you'll find in the neighborhood. (Star Bar was also named one of "Denver's ten best karaoke bars" in 2011.)

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Eric Gruneisen

6. Thin Man, 2015 East 17th Avenue

Thin Man, the hipster hangout of Uptown/City Park, is like the low-key vacation spot where celebrities go to avoid being noticed. Hipsters who are settled comfortably into their identities will enjoy the dark and sultry atmosphere, the mix of people and the dazzling selection of infused vodkas and serious cocktails.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Aaron Thackeray

5. Illegal Pete's, 1530 16th Street

Illegal Pete's on the 16th Street Mall (there are several locations) has emerged from the woodwork as one of the coolest places to drink downtown. Grab a cheap (or craft!) beer and some tacos and watch some live music: Pete's hosts up-and-coming local bands as well as more intimate sets with established artists coming through town. Plus, the owners have their own record label. I repeat: The owners have their own record label!

4. Lost Lake Lounge, 3602 East Colfax

Lost Lake can be a hike, but it's worth every inconvenience to get there: It's

arguably the best hipster dive bar in our fine city. Great bartenders, cheap, strong drinks and an incredibly curated rotation of bands, all crammed into a glorified log cabin basement. Try the $5 beer-and-shot special and make some terrible decisions for best results.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.
Emily Driskill

3. Meadowlark, 2701 Larimer Street

O, Meadowlark. The bartenders are full of angst and general indifference -- but who isn't these days? -- and the secluded back patio makes Meadowlark one of the best outdoor destinations and one of the most intimate live-music venues in Denver. The inside is cramped and dive-y, with old-school woodwork and art by local artists. Plus they have a free photo booth that posts to their website, so feel free to embarrass yourself.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.

2. City, O' City, 206 East 13th Avenue

If you like to get your hipster on sans animal products, City, O' City is part bustling vegetarian restaurant, part great bar and 100-percent grass-fed, Capitol Hill hipster. The staff is fun, friendly, tattooed and generally chest-hair bearing. Style statements run rampant, and often a resident DJ will spin the classics alongside something you've probably never heard.

Denver's ten hippest bars, or ten biggest hipster bars. Hipsters.

1. Sputnik, 7 South Broadway

Sputnik, Denver's original hipster bar, has everything a Denver hipster hangout needs: a prime South Broadway location, a neighboring music venue, cheap drinks, flannel, a sometimes intimidating staff, DJs, a bingo night and bowls of mac-and-cheese that will bring you to tears.

See Also:

- Denver's ten best karaoke bars

- Denver's ten best dance clubs




Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
MCA Denver

1485 Delgany St.
Denver, CO 80202

303-298-7554

www.mcadenver.org

miles
Williams & Graham
miles
The Matchbox

2625 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

720-437-9100

www.matchboxdenver.com

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Star Bar

2137 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

720-328-2420

www.starbardenver.com

miles
The Thin Man

2015 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80206

303-320-7814

www.thinmantavern.com

miles
Illegal Pete's
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Lost Lake Lounge

3602 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206

303-333-4345

www.lost-lake.com

miles
Meadowlark

2701 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

303-293-0251

www.meadowlarkbar.com

miles
City, O' City

206 E. 13th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

303-831-6443

www.cityocitydenver.com

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Sputnik

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