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  3. Where to find Denver’s best outdoor dining

Where to find Denver’s best outdoor dining

A photo of Red logo
by Linnea Covington
Updated May 11, 2023

Denver is sprinkled with sunshine for nearly 300 days of the year, making it especially suited for memorable outdoor meals. And eating alfresco 5,280 miles above sea level comes in many captivating forms.

Indulge in some of the city’s best people-watching on the sprawling patio at a standout Mexican spot in RiNo. Get globally inspired street fare from a food truck on a lively LoHi rooftop. In Lafayette, a family-friendly cider house known for stellar pub grub also boasts a playground and a massive lawn for little ones.

Take in the Mile High City’s invigorating side at these charming open-air setups. Read on for a guide to 10 can’t-miss outdoor dining experiences in Denver to book right now.

A photo of Briar Common Brewery restaurant
4.8
4.8 (602)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Jefferson Park
About the restaurant

Head to this Jefferson Park brewpub for a craft beer, burger, and a top-notch view from the rooftop patio and you’ll see why it’s remained a local favorite since 2013. The beer list is extensive, with rotating options such as stout made with Denver-roasted coffee and raspberry blonde ale with local honey. Pair a pint with buffalo cauliflower, a green chile black bean burger, or a Reuben sandwich. On warmer days, there’s partial covering to keep the sun from bearing down on diners. Go downstairs for a more casual outdoor biergarten experience where you order food and drinks from a walk-up window—it gets bonus points for being dog friendly.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Lovely food, lovely staff, always have a fantastic experience. Been going for the last 2 years and love it!
A photo of Happy Camper Pizza restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2046)
$30 and under
Pizzeria
Downtown / LoDo
About the restaurant

This playful LoHi hotspot in an airy lot is ideal for alfresco dining, complete with twinkle lights, picnic tables, and faux grass. The convivial beer, cocktail, and comfort food joint comes from Chicago, where the two original locations are going strong. Given its Windy City roots, it’s no surprise pizza is a big deal here, as are Happytizers including pulled pork nachos, elote dip, and breadsticks served with a goat cheese dip, plus soups and salads. Bonus points for the full canopy and outdoor heaters that give diners full access to alfresco dining, even when it's snowing.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Great for groups. We had brunch here to celebrate a birthday with 14 ppl - kids and adults. The waiter was friendly and helpful. The food and drinks were good and the price was reasonable. We arrived around 11am and it wasn’t too busy, but it was starting to pick up quite a bit by the time we left around 2:30pm. Everyone had a good time.
A photo of Mizu Izakaya and Sushi restaurant
4.6
4.6 (702)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Highlands
About the restaurant

Mizu Izakaya has dished up flavorful Japanese food in LoHi since 2016. A roomy outdoor seating area surrounds the restaurant and can be curtained off when the Denver sun shines a little too brightly. In the warmer months, the windows open onto the patio, making part of the interiors feel breezy as well. Come winter, portable heaters—and steamy bowls of pork kimchi ramen—keep things toasty. While sushi is the house specialty, the bustling izakaya also serves sizzling skewers, furikake fries, uni carbonara, Kobe beef bao buns, and more. Wash it all down with a drink from the large sake and cocktail selection.


Top review
JeremyMvip
Dined 7 days ago
The vibe here is the best and the sushi and staff are amazing. Johnny always kills it as the manager. My go to.
A photo of Ace Eat Serve restaurant
4.6
4.6 (878)
$30 and under
Asian
Uptown
About the restaurant

Play a couple of rounds of ping pong before digging into ramen bowls and spicy tiger wings at this high-energy Uptown restaurant. Ace Eat Serve (often referred to as just “Ace”) graced the neighborhood in 2012 and brought modern Asian fusion to the area. Housed in what used to be a mechanic’s garage, this large open space is ideal for a casual night out, raucous parties, and year-round outdoor dining on the partially covered and heated patio. Ping pong tables abound, but even if you don’t play, executive chef Thach Tran’s creative plates—and an eclectic mix of sake and craft cocktails—are reasons enough to book a table here. Choose from Thai fried rice with jumbo shrimp and poached egg, confit Peking duck ramen, and more. Sit by the heaters if it’s a bit nippy outside.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Apr 6, 2024
Ace is always awesome , we love their environment and the food is a killer . Even with kids servers are very patient and helpful.
A photo of Linger restaurant
4.6
4.6 (7353)
$30 and under
Global, International
Highlands
About the restaurant

Sweeping downtown views await on the roof of this LoHi eatery, best experienced during sunset. LoHi is all about global street fare and the outdoor menu is a more compact version of what’s served inside, dished out from a food truck perched on the rooftop. Graze on wagyu sliders, chile garlic edamame, and sweet potato waffle fries. Wash it all down with warm-weather drinks such as frozen rosé and rum-forward Painkillers.


Top review
Williamvip
Dined 3 days ago
You will be resetting your bar for dining excellence when you come here.
A photo of Acreage by Stem Ciders restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1323)
$31 to $50
Farm-to-table
Lafayette
About the restaurant

This orchard-side cider house restaurant is about 30 minutes from Denver and has one of the best mountain views around. Snag a reservation on the outdoor deck for the full foothills effect, or grab a seat in the dog-friendly cider garden. The menu changes with the seasons, though you might find tasty cider-friendly fare such as pimento cheese with housemade pickles, watermelon panzanella, white fish ceviche, and a Colorado lamb burger. Bonus points for the playground and large kid-friendly lawn.


Top review
CorrinaM
Dined 3 days ago
We had a great time at our corporate happy hour gathering! Looking forward to coming back
A photo of the plimoth restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2319)
$50 and over
American
Central
About the restaurant

The plimoth was one of the first restaurants in Denver to go all-in on farm-to-table dining when it opened in 2014. Chef-owner Peter Ryan works with local farms to source the freshest and best produce for dishes such as grilled artichoke heart with romesco, greek olives, and citrus supremes and cracklin’ chicken with Napa cabbage and honey yams. Sit along the street on the plimoth’s brick-laden patio under soft lights when the weather permits. Outside tables are limited, so secure an alfresco spot by reserving well in advance.


Top review
Mcdoc7vip
Dined 7 days ago
We had an awesome meal!! My wife had a vegetarian entree and I had the cod. We both had excellent meals. The cod was amazing. The fish came to the table perfectly cooked!! It was flaky in the best possible way!!! This is an excellent restaurant and we plan to return many times!
A photo of Acova restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1912)
$30 and under
Comfort Food
Highlands
About the restaurant

This Italian-inspired spot has one of Denver’s most sought-after patios, equipped with sturdy wooden tables, ample space, and plants galore. Kick off your Acova experience with a tomatillo beer cheese dip with roasted pretzel bites, calamari with capers, garlic, shallots, and Calabrian chiles, or smoke-brined flash-fried chicken wings. Mains include heartier dishes such as lobster macaroni and cheese, plus burgers and sandwiches (bonus points for the many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options). On chillier evenings, order a bowl of pork posole green chili and huddle under the heater. Note that while reservations can be made for Acova’s inside section, all outdoor seating is first-come, first-served.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great experience! Staff extremely nice. High recommend Acova and will continue going back!!!
A photo of Corrida restaurant
4.8
4.8 (832)
$50 and over
Northwest Spain
Boulder
About the restaurant

One of the prettiest Flatiron Mountain views can be found on the outdoor patio at Corrida, restaurateur Bryan Dayton's Spanish-influenced chophouse. Take a seat outside on warmer days (preferably during sunset) while digging into chef Samuel McCandless’s Mediterranean-accented creations such as tinned mussels with white balsamic and black garlic and local greens with herb pesto and marcona almond. Beef is also a Corrida specialty—the restaurant sources Hokkaido wagyu and American beef from places practicing regenerative ranching. Enhance your alfresco feast with a drink from the roving gin and tonic cart.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Apr 9, 2024
If you’re in Boulder and looking for a fantastic restaurant in the pricier range, don’t miss Corrida. Everything we ordered was excellent. The location is the cherry on top - fourth floor all glass with views of the mountains. Jimi Hendrix is also burning his guitar floor to ceiling on the bathroom wall, so that’s worth a visit to freshen up with one of the greats.
A photo of Tom Starlight restaurant
$30 and under
American
Whittier
About the restaurant

Tom's Starlight is the glammed-up version of its predecessor, Tom's Diner, housed in a Googie-style historic building in Capitol Hill. Owner Tom Messina treated the longstanding diner to an overhaul in 2022, giving it a 1970s Palm Springs vibe. With its loungey tables and faux-grass lawn, the reimagined outdoor area isn’t just fun to hang out in—it’s one of the largest alfresco spaces in the area. Linger over signature cocktails such as the Jeweler’s Hammer (vodka, white Concord grape, simple syrup, lemon, prosecco, and rosemary) and feast on well-executed sandwiches, including the elk burger, layered with cipollini onion, goat cheese, blueberry jam, beets, and garlic aioli.


Top review
Colette
Dined on Nov 11, 2023
What a bummer they are closing - great staff and food!
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