Nothing marks the arrival of spring in Denver more than the Rockies' home opener. The cheers of the crowd, the overpriced yet completely toothsome stadium foods, and the delightful combo of cold beer and hot sun — these are what spring days are made for. On Friday, April 8, the Rockies will step up to the plate and take the first swing of the season in Coors Field, taking on the San Diego Padres at 2:10 p.m. Opening Day is much more than just a sports event in Denver; it's a cultural celebration, and a big part of that culture is the food and drinks that go along with watching the game. It's hard to beat the atmosphere in Coors Field, but there are plenty of spots outside the ballpark where you can party and maybe even watch the game, too. So throw on your favorite Rockies gear and get ready to dive into that sea of purple at one of these ten great spots for Opening Day. Play ball!
10. Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
Just a stone's throw across I-25 from Coors Field, Avanti's eclectic assortment of restaurants will offer a variety of food and drink specials for Opening Day, including the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" cocktail, $9. Made with Old Forester whiskey, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, angostura bitters and ginger beer, the drink is a throwback to Avanti's opening cocktail list. The collective eatery, which boasts our Best Rooftop Patio, will be opening early at 10 a.m. and extending happy hour from open till 6 p.m. For those who overindulge on Friday, Avanti will be launching brunch service on Saturday, April 9, so you can refuel and re-tox. For more information, contact Avanti at 720-269-4778.
9. Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs
2148 Larimer Street
Few foods are as iconic in the baseball stadium as hot dogs, and Biker Jim's has the best hot dogs around, netting the place Best Hot Dog and Best Vegan Dog in the Best of Denver 2016. "Biker Jim" Pittenger started slinging wieners from his cart long ago, and in 2011, he opened a brick-and-mortar establishment just blocks from Coors Field. The menu ranges from mild to wild (think elk-jalapeño-cheddar, wild boar, rattlesnake and reindeer dogs) and the doors are open late so you can get your fix after a night of heavy baseball watching. And this year you can grab a Biker Jim's dog at the game, too. Fans who head to the third level of Coors Field will find Biker Jim's available right behind home plate. For more information, visit bikerjimsdogs.com.
1520 20th Street
Jump high enough, and you can almost see into Coors Field from Jackson's rooftop. The sports bar across the street from the stadium is celebrating its twentieth Opening Day on Friday, and will be opening early, at 9 a.m. Jackson's serves up a sizable menu of standard bar fare, including burgers, sandwiches, wings and more — and, of course, plenty of drinks to wash it all down. While you dine and drink, you can watch the game on any of the bar's forty flat-screen TVs. For more information, visit jacksonsdenver.com, or call the bar at 605-366-7433.
7. Lucky Pie Pizza
1610 16th Street
Lucky Pie is throwing down a truly Epic party for opening day: The pizza joint and tap house has teamed up with Epic Brewing for a full weekend of patio partying. Epic will have a tent outside with a beer tub stocked with $5 beers; several Epic beers will be on tap. To fill that sausage-shaped hole in your heart, Lucky Pie will be cooking up several varieties of the restaurant's homemade sausages, including Texas hot links, boudin blanc, andouille and bratwurst.
6. Park Burger RiNo
2615 Walnut Street
Park Burger is celebrating the Rockies' home opener with a tap takeover by Melvin Brewing, which will tap six beers at noon, so you can load up before you head to Coors Field. Or stay and watch the game on Park Burger's 110-inch TV. For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
Keep reading for more places to celebrate opening day:
5. Sheraton Denver Downtown
1550 Court Place
The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel is taking a swing at elevated ballpark food this season. Starting today and running through the entire baseball season, guests in the hotel lobby and at 16 Mix, the hotel's bar with a patio on the 16th Street Mall, can dig into a baseball-inspired menu featuring new takes on old classics. Try the Triple Dog Dare, a trio of mini bacon-wrapped beef hot dogs with sport peppers, pickle, spicy brown mustard and tomatoes; Buffaloaf Slider, a bison meatloaf slider with smoked house ketchup and caramelized onions; or Cronut Burgers, a duo of fresh fried cronuts, beef patties, bacon, and Brie and American cheeses. For more information, contact the hotel at 303-893-3333.
2461 Larimer Street
If you're looking to get all your snacks and an alcoholic drink in one glass, Sugarmill has just the thing for you. The RiNo restaurant's Opening Day specials include the Rockies “Opener” Bloody Maria, a bloody Maria featuring Arta tequila topped with a pile of popcorn and sided by a skewered mini pretzel with a shot of jalapeño cheese sauce. For details, call Sugarmill at 303-297-3540.
3. The Tavern Downtown
1949 Market Street
The Tavern Downtown will swing its doors open at 9 a.m. on Opening Day, and the festivities will be spilling out of the bar and into a special beer garden in an adjacent parking lot. If you're going to the game, be sure to stop by the Tavern after the seventh inning: If you purchase a beer and show a same-day ticket stub, you'll get a second beer for free. The Tavern has outposts all over Denver, including one in Coors Field, and all locations will have specials and ticket giveaways all season long. The Tavern Ballpark, which opened on the rooftop deck of Coors Field two seasons ago, will even hand $1,000 to a lucky patron in the bar if the Rockies hit a home run during the first inning of a home game. Get all the details on The Tavern's Facebook page.
2015 Market Street
ViewHouse occupies some prime real estate, and its huge rooftop has some pretty great views of downtown. The bar will open at 9 a.m. on Opening Day and serving up elevated bar food and drinks all day while guests watch the game on a 120-inch outdoor screen or on any one of dozens of flat-screens around the bar. There will also be DJs all day, drink specials, ticket giveaways and more. Get all the details at viewhouse.com.
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1. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
2907 Huron Street
Our pick for the Best Sports Bar for Food and Drink in this year's Best of Denver, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will open at 9 a.m. on game day and serve up plenty of cheap beer before and during the game. From three hours prior to the first pitch through the end of the game, the bar will offer $15 buckets of beer, $4 PBR tallboys and $4 shots of fireball, as well as serving from its menu of burgers, fried chicken and shrimp and grits. It's a short walk to Coors Field, or stay and watch the game on one of the big TVs. WTF will also be giving away tickets to Rockies' games every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. all season long. Swing by whiskeytf.com for more info.
For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.