The Ten Best Blues Clubs in Denver — 2016 Edition

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5. Lincoln's Roadhouse
1201 South Pearl Street
A past Best of Denver winner, Lincoln's Roadhouse has a teeny-tiny stage and not a lot of space, but it's worth cramming in for the well-respected local and nationally known bands — which play mostly weekends and the occasional weekday worth celebrating, such as Fat Tuesday — and the killer Cajun-comfort fare. Happy hour is early and late, and features $5 Bloody Marys and some sweet chicken and waffles, but it's well worth diving into the menu for such goes-with-the-blues foods as "gumbolaya" and fried-catfish tacos.
4. Tasty Weasel Tap Room
1800 Pike Road, Longmont
Oskar Blues' brews seem ready-made for tasty tunes, and it's an added bonus that this noisy, bustling tap room in Longmont — attached to the actual brewery — releases two small batches each week that you won't find anywhere else. This is the place to start a night of club-crawling, because the bands play 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3-5 p.m. on Sundays. Skee-ball is a welcome diversion while you wait for the music to start, and blues-loving dogs are also welcome.
3. The Toad Tavern
5302 South Federal Circle, Littleton
The Toad's musical offerings run the gamut, but the large stage here hosts its fair share of blues acts, many local. Get there early to snag a stool at the highboy tables so you can see over the crowd. The standard bar food is not a big draw, but beer pong and pool tables add to the fun.
2. Walnut Room
3131 Walnut Street
A longtime RiNo go-to for thin-crust pizza and live music in an expansive space, the Walnut Room sports one of the best sound systems in the city. Look for local and national acts playing most nights, and a late-night happy hour worthy of the name, with half-price drafts that go well with the Walnut's spicy, crispy-skinned boneless Buffalo wings.
1. Zephyr Lounge
11940 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
A morning happy hour (9-11 a.m. daily) makes the Zephyr in Aurora a hotspot for that alone, but the cheap drinks all the time and two more happy hours each day (2-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-1 a.m.) make it even better. No cover ever to see the blues bands that play Friday and Saturday nights at this eclectic joint, which opened in this space in 1970 after the original 1947 building was torn down. Don't miss the excellent snacks, including chipotle wings and jalapeño poppers, or the $1.50 Jell-O shots.
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Kyle Wagner
Contact: Kyle Wagner