Denver's five best rooftop patios

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We usually have long Indian summers here in Colorado, but yesterday's temperature plunge, while welcome, was still a warning shot that summer is on its way out. Translation: you've got a dwindling number of chances to drink on a deck.

This weekend, though, the forecast for the city is back in the mid-eighties and sunny -- so get out there and embrace one of Denver's rooftop patios before you're stuck complaining that it's no longer patio weather. Here are the five best:

5. The West End Tavern There are two sides to this Boulder spot's rooftop deck: One is a sunny, open space for diners that features views of the Flatirons. The other is a shaded -- but breezy -- bar area where you can grab a high table, order up wings and a beer and catch sports on TV. And when the bar side is enclosed during the colder months, it makes a cozy spot for football watching later in the fall. 4. Vita Rooftop patios have proliferated in Highland this year, but Vita gets the prize for doing it first. The large deck, outfitted with umbrellas and glittering lights at night, looks over the city, offering panoramic views of the skyline. Bonus: Vita offers a killer happy hour, with cheap drinks, two-for-one wines by the glass and a list of $5 appetizers you could easily build a meal from. 3. Fainting Goat When we're seeking a rooftop without pomp and circumstance, we head to the Fainting Goat, which is one of the most low-key places we know. This multi-leveled dive's roof, which features its own bar, is often inhabited by a rather eclectic crowd; it's a place where you could easily while away several hours with a cold beer and a good conversation. 2. Tamayo When the crush of Larimer Square becomes too overwhelming -- as it sometimes does on weekend nights -- we rise above it on Tamayo's rooftop, where we down margaritas, chips and salsa and maybe an entire Mexican feast. This spot also has not just an urban but a mountain view, which means a great glimpse of the sunset if we're there at the right time. 1. Linger Justin Cucci's redesign of the old Olinger Mortuary is stunning, and the views from inside Linger, which I review this week, are lovely. But the views of the cityscape from the rooftop deck, high above everything else in the area and just below the old Olinger sign, are so stunning that they're actually breath-taking. Enjoy them over a pitcher full of cocktails poured specially for this part of the restaurant. This is only phase one of the patio; we can't wait to see what comes next, when Linger adds a bar and kitchen up there.

Honorable mentions go to The Tavern Downtown, LoDo's Bar & Grill, Jackson's LoDo and Sports Column.

Know of others? Tell us about them in the comments.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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