Fall begins on Sunday, so there's no time to waste: Get out and enjoy one of the town's great outdoor eating/drinking areas this weekend. We've been profiling some of our favorite patios this summer, extolling the joys of al fresco beers and sun on our shoulders. Now, in honor of the changing seasons, we're saluting the ten best places to say goodbye to summer. And as an added bonus, most have firepits, so you can enjoy them long into the autumn chill.
Here, in no particular order, are our picks.
10) Adrift 218 South Broadway Whatever the Colorado sky decides to throw at us this fall, you'll find safe harbor at Adrift, a traditional tiki bar that has the ability to take you back to balmy summer nights, whether you're inside the vibrant, tropical bar or outside on one of the two patios. The tiny oasis out back comes complete with a fire pit, perfect for enjoying a shareable, rum-heavy punch bowl or a Trader Vic's-inspired classic Mai Tai.
9) Forest Room 5 2532 15th Street Forest Room 5's woodland feel translates well to the changing seasons -- the birch bark wallpaper and expansive rustic tables of the interior are a welcome invitation to come in and keep warm, while outside, a sheltered patio glows with an ever-blazing fire pit and the occasional movie screening. An ample beer and wine list complement an inventive lineup of cocktails, including the Kubrick Manhattan, which blends Stranahan's, maple syrup, sweet vermouth, bitters and a cherry.
8) Domo 1365 Osage Street Domo, the hidden gem that serves up country-style Japanese comfort food in a traditional (and very tranquil) Japanese garden, is an ideal setting for pondering the changing seasons over a steaming bowl of noodles, a plate of the Wanko sushi speciality and an array of pastoral side dishes. And sake, of course. Weatherpermitting, the garden stays open for lunch and dinner throughout the fall.
7) Roostercat Coffee House 1045 Lincoln Street Although Roostercat's skyline-facing rooftop patio can only be enjoyed for so much longer, the coffeehouse boasts a cozy front patio with two blazing fire pits that are perfect for enjoying warm fall days (and nights, this place is open late!). Added bonuses: coffee from local Coda roasters, plenty of wifi, a generous gluten-free menu and those popular waffle sandwiches.
6) Ale House at Amato's 2501 16th Street Ale House at Amato's was built for perpetual, season-defying enjoyment: The Breckenridge/Wynkoop establishments boasts two patios with awe-inspiring views of downtown Denver, and the rooftop patio stays comfortable for imbibers with a welcoming fire pit. Regardless of the time of year, this Highland staple attracts a crowd with its Breckenridge beer list, weekend brunches, and reliable roster of pub food.
5) Linger 2030 West 30th Avenue This summer, Linger was touted as one of the best destinations for outdoor dining by Travel + Leisure. And the magazine had it right: The expansive rooftop is one of the best skyline viewing points in the city (even if some of that view is now obstructed), and its globally-inspired fare and sky-high food truck (that pumps out $5 crafted cocktails during happy hour) make it a perfect spot to linger, especially as the summer days close out and the cooler nights come in.
4) Hi^Jax 650 South Colorado Boulevard The topper of Glendale's CitySet project is the roofttop bar at Jax Fish House. Hi^Jax has its own kitchen (with its own menu, although you can also get any of the downstairs items here, too), its own bar, and both tables and lounge seating. There's also a fireplace, so that you can toast the high-life here for months to come,
3) Comida Cantina 3350 Brighton Boulevard The second brick-and-mortar incarnation of the cult-favorite Comida food truck opened last month at The Source, a beautifully renovated artisan market on re-developing Brighton Boulevard. Although even the inside of this expansive Comida feels like an open-air spot, the patio seating is particularly coveted as a spot to hang out over great tacos and strong margs.
2) Black Pearl 1529 South Pearl Street The ever-changing new American offerings at Black Pearl are a constant draw for both casual strollers along Old South Pearl and residents of the Platt Park area. The intimate patio with its blazing firepit draws people in; the impeccable wine service inspires them to stay. If the weather permits, guests can settle outside by the fire to enjoy a warming glass of wine and the kitchen's many fresh twists on comfort food.
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1) Second Home Kitchen & Bar 150 Clayton Lane Second Home, the JW Marriott's in-house bar and restaurant nestled in the heart of Cherry Creek, has an incredible covert courtyard with several cozy firepits. This is an ideal place to wait out winter and dream of spring, all while inhaling well-executed cocktails and whatever nostalgic, home-cooked dish -- whether it's lobster pot pie or meatloaf -- that hits your sweet spot.