Best Patio With a View 2023 | City Park Tavern | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
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Kristin Pazulski

When City Park Tavern reopened in 2020 on the City Park Golf Course, it gave guests one of the best views of the city, period. Originally at the corner of York Street and 26th Avenue, the tavern-slash-clubhouse moved to a higher point on the slanted course, with a fifty-seat patio. While snacking on pub fare like nachos and burgers, diners can enjoy a nearly 180-degree view of the Rockies, the Denver skyline and the sweeping green golf course leading to the stately spires of Saint Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church. In rough weather, they can still take in the scene from inside the restaurant, which has floor-to-ceiling two-story windows that face west.

Mark Antonation

A piano bar that has been open since Prohibition ended, Charlie Brown's has hosted all sorts of colorful characters over the years. While you can't go wrong bellying up to the bar, it's the expansive patio that beckons those who are driven to scrawl prose into worn notebooks or type furiously in the glow of a laptop screen. Cigar and cigarette smoke wafts through the air, drinks are cheap, service is fast and friendly, and there are plenty of outlets to keep all your technology charged while you sip away afternoons that turn seamlessly into evenings at the longstanding landmark.

Molly Martin

David Right began making and delivering ice cream via Instagram with his business partner, Josh Siege, during the pandemic. The venture quickly gained a following for its creatively named concoctions, which are super-rich and creamy thanks to a housemade base and flavors that are loaded with mix-ins, most of which Right also makes himself, including Oreo toffee, "almost-too-salty" caramel and ooey-gooey butter cake. After a couple of moves, Right Cream made the right call, and now serves pints, scoops, cones and sundaes next to Denver Beer Company's Downing Street location.

In 2022, Jose Manuel Marquez opened the Churreria de Madrid stall at Stanley Marketplace, where you can pick up freshly fried, light and fluffy Spanish-style churros sugared to order. The best part, though, is the rich, thick drinking chocolate served alongside for dunking and sipping. It's made with 65 percent cacao and only a hint of sugar, for a treat that's light on sweetness while delivering a big dose of satisfaction.

Molly Martin

Spinelli's opened in Park Hill in 1994, and is a friendly neighborhood market stocked with essentials as well as some gourmet finds. For a varied assortment of hot and cold sandwiches, head directly to the deli counter in the back, and don't forget to grab a pickle once your order's up. In a nice twist, Jake Riederer, owner of the now-closed sandwich concept Open, is working at the market these days and has brought back its popular spin on a French dip, the Lee, which comes with a spicy Sichuan peppercorn dipping sauce. More Open throwbacks could make an appearance on the menu board in the future.

Kristin Pazulski

Tucked into a back patio at the end of a thin walkway and pinched between a couple of old Five Points buildings sits Duke's Good Sandwiches. Flanking the walk-up order window are old photos of famous Dukes of history, from jazz musicians to actresses, but the real stars are on the menu: a streamlined four-sandwich list of Italian sausage, meatball, Caprese and the main attraction, the Chopped Cheese. That last option is an old-school New York City delight consisting of griddle-cooked ground beef and white cheddar cheese melted into gooey harmony and folded into a soft hoagie roll. Here, though, it also comes topped with fresh onions and crunchy pepperoncini. "Good" is a massive understatement.

Linnea Covington

Denver is lucky to have a lot of great French dip sandwiches available, but for a stellar classic version, head downtown to Frank Bonanno's French 75. First, there's the hoagie roll itself, which comes from the restaurateur's nearby bakery, LoDough. On top of that soft, chewy bread sits a heap of shaved, mid-rare rotisserie-roasted sirloin. The final kicker is the umami-rich jus to dip it in, not to mention the pile of crispy fries. Bonus: The $21 sandwich is huge, and it could, if you have the willpower, last for two meals.

Kevin Kirshner

When the original Music City Hot Chicken opened in Fort Collins, there were no other restaurants in Colorado specializing in the regional dish from Nashville that's exploded in popularity since. Now hot chicken is everywhere, and Music City brought its version to Denver in 2021 with an outpost inside TRVE Brewing. These hefty sandwiches are available in varying spice levels, from heat-free classic Southern and a mildly hot green chile seasoning to "flammable solid." As a bonus, you can score one (plus a bag of chips) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays for just $6, with the option to add a 10-ounce beer from TRVE for $3 to cool your tastebuds.

Linnea Covington

There's a reason we were salivating for Eddie Renshaw and Evan Pierce's King of Wings to open up again after a December 2021 kitchen fire and permitting delays forced it to pivot to smashburger pop-ups to stay afloat. But while Snipeburger was a hit (and one the owners plan to bring back), the chicken wings are simply the best around. Each order gets grilled — adding a deep, smoky essence and a charred caramelization to the skin — before being doused in one of ten sauces, including Thai BBQ, bourbon Buffalo or tangy gold. Visit the now-reopened Wheat Ridge location, which doubles as a taphouse, and watch for a second location to open in Golden soon.

Noble Riot

Noble Riot in RiNo is one of Denver’s best wine bars, especially if you’re into sipping — and talking about — fun, funky fermented grapes with a bunch of equally enthusiastic vino lovers. That may not sound like the kind of place you’d also hit up for fried chicken, but Noble Riot serves up a seriously good take on the classic, with a thick, crackly crust that also happens to be gluten-free and pairs perfectly with a glass of sparkling Le Monde Ribolla or a light and airy Grüner Veltliner.

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