Here, in alphabetical order, are the ten best new restaurant patios, beer gardens and rooftop bars in metro Denver, all of which have opened since last summer. Grab a seat at one this Memorial Day weekend to start off this summer right.
For updated picks, see our list of the best Denver restaurant rooftop patios in 2019.
1475 California Street
You may have had a drink at Denver's highest rooftop bar at the tail end of last year; 54Thirty opened on the roof of Le Méridien hotel in September 2017, but it just kicked off its first full patio season this month. Take in the views of downtown around you, backed by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Enjoy snacks and craft cocktails — and maybe just a touch of vertigo, since the deck is surrounded by nothing but a low glass wall.
1380 Horizon Avenue, Lafayette
How do you get the best 360-degree view of any bar and restaurant around? You build on a hilltop in the middle of Boulder County countryside. Stem Ciders opened its new cider-making facility and eatery in January, when snow still blanketed the surrounding hills and valleys. But now that things are greening up, the views of the mountains, the prairies, Boulder Valley and everything in between are spectacular — and made even better by a glass of cider in hand.
2706 Larimer Street
The rooftop patio at this new RiNo cocktail bar is a great perch for observing the Larimer Street action while staying above the fray. With a martini or some other house concoction in hand, you can count the number of bicycle-messenger near misses, watch the stragglers prowl for parking spots and calmly observe neighboring bars fill to overflowing as the hour grows late. There's no better seat for views of the street art, people and pace of Denver's hottest neighborhood.
2715 17th Street
Entering through Bamboo Sushi's semi-hidden alley entrance makes you feel like you've discovered a secret. The dimly lit front bar is intimate and inviting, but the izakaya opens up to a sushi bar and spacious dining room, and beyond that, a second-story deck looks out onto one of LoHi's few quiet streets. The patio is zen-like in its minimalist tranquility, with a fireplace on one end and a pergola up above adding dappled light. It's a peaceful retreat for contemplating each bite of seafood or sip of sake.
1023 Walnut Street, Boulder
Boulder's hot new Spanish steakhouse looks down on the Pearl Street Mall from its fourth-story space. The patio extends the experience outdoors with a fire pit and views of the Flatirons, adding drama to an evening already filled with stunningly presented Spanish tapas and flame-kissed beef.