Ah, Denver. From the friendly folks to the epic views and abundance of options for drinking and dining, we can’t think of anything we don’t love about Denver. But don’t take our word for it. See what the locals have to say about where to drink up and chow down!
Park Burger – RiNo
“Park Burger is your classic burger joint. It’s an old trusty standby and its open late on the weekends. I love the El Chilango burger (hello, guacamole) and the lamb burger. The fries are perfectly crispy and they are generous with their serving sizes. The blue cheese kettle chips are amazing as is their milkshakes. You can’t wrong with this place.” – as recommended by Denver local Rachel Gold
Denver Bicycle Cafe – North Capitol Hill
“Facial hair? Yes. Tattoos? Definitely. You’ll find these coffeehouse staples, along with coffee, custom bikes, and craft beer at the Denver Bicycle Cafe. It serves as a cafe during the day, turns into a tap house after 5 p.m. and remains a bike shop until 6. Does this take skill? Yes, much skill, and DBC changes gears better than your newly lubricated bike chain. Not to mention they host trivia nights, talks with local brewers, and have a kickass patio. The staff are friendly, the Wi-Fi has no password, and the seating is mostly communal, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation. DBC will provide the rest.” – as recommended by Denver local Zach Taylor
The 1up – Uptown
“There are two arcade bars in Denver bearing the Mario Brothers-referenced name. The 1up’s newest location on Colfax Avenue is a few blocks from the downtown strip and houses a ton of old-school games to keep you busy while you listen to all sorts of live music. Jam bands, bluegrass, euro treks, hip hop, dubstep … whatever your pleasure is, there’s bound to be something swinging almost every night of the week. The cover charge is über-affordable, so don’t feel like you have to skip meals to dance your face off. The staff is chill and the drinks are made in fancy plastic cups. There’s no showboaters here, so you’re bound to get into some entertaining convos or Pac-Man battles in between sets!” – as recommended by Denver local Laura Grant
Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey – multiple locations
“Evolved from an elusive truck to a trusted brick-and-mortar outpost, this place serves a variety of inventive, overstuffed and delicious tacos. They have $1 chicken chicharones during happy hour, which helps me fulfill my lifelong quest to be served as many plates of fried chicken skin as possible. A nice tequila selection and an inviting interior make it a fun place to eat and drink.” – as recommended by Denver local Scott Sloan
Buckhorn Exchange – Lincoln Park
“You’ll see Colorado’s oldest restaurant as you pull up to the 10th and Osage station, accessible by all light rail lines except the W line. One of Buffalo Bill’s scouts opened the Buckhorn Exchange in 1893 as a place where railroaders would trade paychecks for gold – and get free lunch and beer in the process. These days, it’s part restaurant, part museum. Try delicious steaks or smoked rattlesnake while surrounded by hundreds of taxidermic animals and an antique gun collection.” – as recommended by Denver local Ashley Porter
Green Russell – Larimer Square
“Russell’s Smokehouse is a restaurant located underground in Larimer Square. Walking down the concrete steps towards the smokehouse and through the silver-swinging door, you’ll realize that you have entered the Green Russell, the restaurant’s hidden-in-plain-sight cocktail counterpart. This low-lit speakeasy offers a small menu of delightful snacks and handcrafted cocktails. Reservations here aren’t required, but they don’t hurt, either.” – as recommended by Denver local Michael Mantooth
Terminal Bar – Union Station
“The Terminal Bar in Union Station is a newly renovated part of downtown Denver, but one that could host a whole evening of entertainment. Don’t pass up a game of shuffleboard in the center concourse! Get a drink and hang out while playing in the center of all the hustle and bustle of the train station.” – as recommended by Denver local Katie S.