Best of Denver

The Ten Best Hidden Restaurant Patios in Denver

Denver's a sunny city, according to weather statistics, but sometimes you want to have it (dinner, that is) made in the shade. Eats and drinks on a secluded, quiet patio can be nourishing for both the belly and the soul. Here's our list of the ten best hidden patios in the metro area, in alphabetical order:
10. Brazen
4450 West 38th Avenue
720-638-1242

Brazen's patio isn't exactly hidden; after all, it's in the front of the West Highland restaurant. But Brazen faces away from busy West 38th Avenue, so the patio is set far from traffic and overlooks a piney greenbelt and the historic Elitch Gardens Theatre. Leash your dog to a nearby tree and settle in by the fire pit for drinks and small plates from Brazen's talented kitchen.

9. Cheese Importers/ Bistrot des Artistes
103 Main Street, Longmont
303-772-9599

The White family moved its venerable cheese company, founded in 1976, to an abandoned power station on Longmont's Main Street in 2012; the new space had plenty of room for a refrigerated cheese shop, a kitchen-supply store and a très jolie French bistro that spills out the back door onto an elevated patio. Colorful umbrellas, painted iron tables and chairs, and a plethora of potted plants lend the spacious seating area a country-cottage feel, even in its industrial setting. Relax with a glass of beer or wine and a plate of imported cheeses, and you'll feel like you're in Provence, not Longmont.  8. Chili Verde
2311 Federal Boulevard
720-287-2296

Federal Boulevard is more about authentic eats than sophisticated ambience, but Chili Verde manages to capture a little of both: delicious Mexican food in the style of Puebla, and an upscale atmosphere that's far from hole-in-the-wall. And Chile Verde's walled-in patio takes guests even farther from Federal, with overhanging vines, potted plants and enough shade to beat the heat on sunny summer days.

7. Domo
1365 Osage Street
303-595-3666
This traditional Japanese restaurant has an equally traditional botanic garden set with dark-wood tables among carefully manicured trees and shrubs. It's no secret: Most food-loving Denverites will say the name Domo when asked about great food in a great outdoor space. But every visit feels like a journey to a hidden land, even with Colfax Avenue and I-25 just beyond the ivy-covered fences.

6. The Hornet
76 Broadway
303-777-7676

The Hornet is almost always packed inside, but not many people know about the fenced-in patio in the back. The little square is bigger than it feels, with six or seven tables and a cozy bench. Strings of lights add a warm glow after dark, making for an intimate escape from bustling Broadway out front.


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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