Best of Denver

The Ten Best Rooftop Patios in Denver for Any and Every Occasion

The patio at Avanti F&B, located in Denver's Highland neighborhood.
The patio at Avanti F&B, located in Denver's Highland neighborhood. Avanti Food & Beverage
There are plenty of outdoor tables at Denver bars and restaurants where you can sit on a boring concrete slab with none of the eatery's indoor ambience and grab a bite and a drink in cramped quarters, with the noise of nearby traffic whizzing by. But this city's best rooftop decks and patios offer an outdoor version of what's going on inside as well as great grub and, more often than not, an equally great view.

It's time to get into the summer swing: Here are the ten best rooftop patios, bars and decks in Denver for every occasion, from upscale, romantic dinners to cool nights by the fire pit to hot summer days made cool with cheap beers and delicious bar snacks.

For more recent picks, see our list of Denver's best restaurant rooftop patios in 2019.
click to enlarge Choose from more than twenty housemade beers at 10 Barrel Brewing. - MARK ANTONATION
Choose from more than twenty housemade beers at 10 Barrel Brewing.
Mark Antonation
10 Barrel Brewing
2620 Walnut Street
This is the rooftop bar and patio for the beer lover, where you'll have your choice of more than twenty beers brewed on site, along with good grub made to complement the brews. If it's a little chilly out, you can sit inside with a view out the expansive bar windows, but on sunny days, you'll want to grab a stool outside so that you can take in unobstructed views of downtown and all the RiNo action on Walnut Street below.

Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
This is the patio to see and be seen on, where the young and hip sip colorful cocktails, munch on bites from the seven food vendors inside and gaze out on the Denver skyline. You may be too distracted by the people-watching to appreciate the views, whether from the main deck and its indoor/outdoor bar, the side patio with its shady pergola, or the bleacher seats that face Coors Field. But no matter where you sit, Avanti is the perfect place to kick back and watch LoHi slowly gentrify all around you.

click to enlarge Relax on the Halcyon rooftop in Cherry Creek. - DEPARTURE
Relax on the Halcyon rooftop in Cherry Creek.
Departure Elevated
249 Columbine Street

The rooftop extension of the pan-Asian eatery on the ground floor of the Halcyon hotel is where you'll want to be when the weather heats up. The reason? There's a swimming pool that, while intended only for hotel guests, is a great accompaniment to tropical drinks, dim sum and general lethargy. Hang out high and dry in Cherry Creek, content in the knowledge that you're only paying for food and booze and not one of the pricey rooms below.

click to enlarge A view from El Five's deck. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
A view from El Five's deck.
Danielle Lirette
El Five
2930 Umatilla Street
When El Five opened last month, the restaurant's fifth-floor deck instantly became the top outdoor dining destination in the city, where you can experience a little vertigo while taking in downtown's skyscrapers and construction cranes. Mediterranean small plates and unique cocktails, some afloat with an El Five-stamped ice cube, only enhance the splendor of this LoHi aerie.

Keep reading for more great restaurant rooftop patios...
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation