Denver’s bar scene is buzzing and vibrant, from craft cocktails in fashionable speakeasies to beer halls with hundreds of beers to choose from. Here, we pick our 10 favorite places you should try.
Williams and Graham
Bar, American, Dessert, Fast Food, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
Chris Bartle | Flickr
Prohibition has been over for almost 100 years. But don’t let the folks at Williams and Graham know that, or Denver may lose one of its most authentic prohibition-style bars. With generous pours, real knife-cut ice, and a lack of pretentiousness, Williams and Graham is unlike any other speakeasy you’ll find. Warning: though Williams and Graham is inviting, it is very popular. So, be prepared to wait for a while to get in.
If you’re looking to impress someone, The Cruise Room is your best bet. The art-deco style and smooth jazz quietly playing will bring you back to the day the bar opened – specifically, one day after prohibition was repealed. Be sure to ask the bartenders a bit about the history of the bar and The Oxford Hotel that houses it, as the service is outstanding at The Cruise Room.
Remember heading to an arcade as a kid and spending hours trying to get your name on the high score list? Now as an adult, you can enjoy a cool draft beer as you play The Addams Family pinball, or battle your friend in Mortal Kombat. The 1Up bar is a great spot for friends to drink and play. But don’t miss out on the tasty apps and burgers. Order a crisp IPA, a basket of onion rings, and let the nostalgia take over.
Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Dessert, $$$
Most city views highlight skyscraper skylines, but the Peaks Lounge on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency provides guest with a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. This swanky bar may seem like a late night spot, but we recommend you get there earlier in the day so you can watch the sun set over the Rockies. Customers with a sweet tooth will love the chocolate strawberry martini. Wine connoisseurs will delight in the bar’s extensive list.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
A Creative Commons Image, Roman Boed | Flickr
Union Lodge No. 1 should be billed as a bar and a show, given how exciting it is to watch the bartender make a drink. Don’t be surprised if the bartender sets orange peels on fire – it’s all part of the show and the quality of the drink. Some say their Ramos Fizz is what you might imagine a cloud to taste like. If the diverse and original menu doesn’t pique your interest, just tell the bartender what you like. He’ll make a one-of-a-kind cocktail tailored to your tastes.
Bar, Market, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
To be fair, Mercantile is much more than a bar, but if you are going there for a drink you probably won’t mind perusing the market or ordering a few small plates as well. The drinks alone are worth your trip. Try the Humbleberry Pie or the Read Headed Stranger, all made with handpicked ingredients. Mercantile is located inside of the trendy Union Station. So, before (or after) your drink you can explore the boutique shops and artisan vendors.
Bar, Wine Bar, American, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
A creative commons image, Mohamed Aymen Bettaieb | Flickr
If you don’t fall in love at the Cana Wine Bar, you’ll at least fall in love with the Cana Wine Bar. The quaint bar is run by husband and wife Kristian and Amy Greiger. They are more than happy to assist you in choosing a wine from their varied and extensive selection. If you can’t choose, don’t worry – for $19, you can enjoy three half pours of your choice. Cana is perfect for dates but also can be rented out for parties.
Craft cocktails take on a new meaning at Upstairs Circus. The drinks are creative and whimsical, and you can choose to create while you imbibe. Apart from the cocktail, beer, and wine menus, Upstairs Circus has a project menu, made up of necklaces, cork boards, and beer koozies. Choose a project, buy a drink, and go home with a souvenir you make yourself.
Bar, American, Fast Food, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
Denver’s craft cocktail scene has taken off, but Euclid Hall stands as a haven for beer lovers in the Mile High City. With more than 20 beers on draft and almost four times as many bottles, you’ll have a hard time picking your poison. To help you out, Euclid’s beer list is divided into sections corresponding to math disciplines – the harder the math, the more complex the beer. A simple pale ale is in the arithmetic list, but a complex porter falls under trigonometry.
La Cour is your friendly neighborhood art bar. It hosts musicians nightly, and the vivacious crowd tends to draw newcomers in for a dance or two. Check the La Cour’s website for updates on art openings and special events.