Happy Place: Highland Tap and Burger, 2219 West Thirty Second Avenue, 720-287-4493.
The Hours: Monday through Saturday from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: $1 off draft beers; $3 house ale and cocktails; $4 wines by the glass and margaritas; $3-$7 food specials.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: Highland Tap and Burger is an auspicious and bustling LoHi watering hole that's perched between the insanity of places like Lola and Linger and the more laid back hangouts that dot 32nd Avenue. This highly functional sports-centric bar is capable of herding in crowds without making them feel like cattle, and the menu is certainly a step up from your average grease baskets. The main bar features a long top, lots of bar stools and bartenders busily filling orders, whole the dining room, a spacious area with square tables, attracts crowds who want to catch a game. But our favorite part of Highland Tap and Burger is the lively patio. Even when it's full -- and it usually is -- the hostesses always have a knack for seating patrons quickly, and it's easy to spend a few hours here knocking back craft beers and watching the world go by.
The Verdict:The beer taps at this wonderful little spot are utterly fantastic -- an eclectic mix of local pours and Belgian crafts -- and the staff is more than willing to tell you all about them, including their favorites. Once we had our brews, we scoured the menu -- and we liked what we saw.
The happy hour menu at Highland Tap and Burger is downright stellar, offering just about everything a hungry happy hour reveler could hope for. The grilled burgers are some of the best we've had in Denver; they're large and juicy, loaded with melted American cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, and served with hand cut French fries for a mere $7. Truth be told, the whole grilled artichoke disappeared just as quickly, and we highly recommend saving some of the accompanying truffled lemon aioli to pair with your fries. We also appreciated the mozzarella sticks, a fancy upgrade from what we're used to. And, in fact, we liked them so much that we opted for a second order of the tempura-fried planks.
Stuffed and slightly tipsy, we were relieved that our bike ride home was downhill. We can't wait to return.
Overall Grade: A
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.