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The ten best rooftop patios in Denver

A skyline view from Amato's rooftop patio.
A skyline view from Amato's rooftop patio.

Even though we're past the summer solstice and the days are getting shorter again (depressing, isn't it?), the best days of July and August are upon us and should not be wasted. With drink in hand is the surest way to toast the sunset -- ideally from one of Denver's many rooftop bars. And if a drink's not your thing, there's still plenty of great food -- whether sliders, nachos, oysters or fancy tacos -- to enjoy in the cool Front Range evening air. To help guide you on your quest for the best party atmosphere or quiet loft among the trees, here's our list -- in no particular order -- of our favorite metro-area rooftops.

See also: Ten best new restaurants of 2014 -- so far

Linger's rooftop.
Linger's rooftop.

10) Linger 2030 West 30th Avenue 303-993-3120 For a stunning view high above the parking madness of LoHi and the noise of nearby I-25, the rooftop deck at Linger -- shaded by the original Olinger's Mortuary sign -- is the place to go, even with construction blocking some of the scenery. Whether you just want to sip brunchtime cocktails on the weekend or enjoy chef-owner Justin Cucci's globe-trotting menu on a breezy post-thunderstorm evening, you'll find plenty of hip and contented company doing the same thing. Divide your time between enjoying the panorama, observing the trendsetters ordering drinks at the big green RV that's been converted into a full bar, and digging into happy-hour favorites like achiote shrimp and grits or a cleverly concocted bowl of fried cheese curds with shishito peppers.

Umbrellas bedeck the terrace at Vita.
Umbrellas bedeck the terrace at Vita.

9) Vita 1575 Boulder Street 303-477-4600 With the proliferation of great patios in Highland, Vita makes the list for sporting a rooftop deck before there was a LoHi scene. The large deck -- big enough to merit the word terrace -- outfitted with umbrella-ed bar tables and featuring plenty of space to spread out, is still a great way to cool off with a well-crafted cocktail, even if the view, partially blocked by condos across the street, isn't what it used to be.

The upper bar at Los Chingones with garage doors that open to the rooftop patio.
The upper bar at Los Chingones with garage doors that open to the rooftop patio.

8) Los Chingones 2463 Larimer Street 303-295-0686 The view from the top at Los Chingones may not be breathtaking, but as you munch through a menu of both traditional and creative tacos -- ranging from pork shoulder or chicken on one end to the "wild card" on the other (camel hump or scorpion, perhaps?) -- you'll be able to look down on the teeming masses of Larimer and Ballpark wanderers who got there just a little too late to score a seat in the sun or just inside the garage doors at the bar. As you sip a house margarita or a spicy michelada, don't feel sorry for those below you. There are plenty of other new and hip joints nearby for the latecomers to grab a bite and a drink. It's just that none of them are Los Chingones.

7) Shells and Sauce 2600 East 12th Avenue 303-377-2091 Shells and Sauce lounges peacefully on a quiet corner in Congress Park, unbothered by the buzz and trends of other hot restaurant neighborhoods. Its rooftop deck is a bit of a neighborhood secret -- so secret, in fact, that it's only open on weekends. But amidst the rustle of leaves from towering trees and the broken, slanting late afternoon sun, sipping a glass of wine in a serene environment can be the perfect foil for hurriedly chasing the hippest or hottest new spot.

Keep reading for more of our favorites...



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