Patio seats aren’t hard to come by in sunny Denver. But slightly harder to find are the patios that are serving up pleasant views with top-notch drinks and food.
These 15 spots offer that rare combination of special surroundings and memorable meals. Whether it’s just a coffee break you’re after, a multicourse tasting menu or something in between, we’ve got just the place to sit down and stay awhile this summer.
A view of the patio through open garage doors at American Elm on 38th Avenue. The restaurant is named for its century-old tree that shades the outdoor space in the summer.
American Elm (Highland)
Go for a morning meal of shrimp and grits or deviled egg toast before the day’s heat sets in. The restaurant is named for the century-old tree that shades its patio along 38th Avenue.
4132 W. 38th Ave., amelm.com
The patio at Annette in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace will be updated for the 2022 summer season with a roof and louvered windows to protect it from inclement Colorado weather.
Annette (Aurora/Central Park)
A new roof enclosure on this romantic patio keeps it well populated even in inclement summer weather. Happy hour and dinner are the meals to enjoy here. You’ll forget that you’re just outside a bustling food hall.
2501 Dallas St., Aurora, annettescratchtotable.com
Bistro Vendome has a patio tucked away at Larimer Square, almost like you’re transported to France. (Provided by Bistro Vendome)
Bistro Vendome (Lower Downtown)
A Larimer Street institution that’s separate from the crowds, this bistro is the stuff that dinner dates are made for. Go for French wines and moules frites on the garden patio.
1420 Larimer St., bistrovendome.com
A combo taco plate with house-made tortillas from Comal Heritage Food Incubator.
Comal Heritage Food Incubator (River North)
A lunch counter with a purpose, Comal serves regional specialties from local immigrant and refugee chefs who are training to start their own food businesses. Onsite growing beds flank its parking-lot patio.
3455 Ringsby Court, comaldenver.com
Copper Door (Cheesman Park)
House-brewed coffee drinks like the honeycomb espresso are best enjoyed outside, where there are always neighborhood pups to pet and Denver Botanic Gardens blooms to admire.
1085 York St., copperdoorcoffee.com
The Corner Beet continues its pandemic-era street dining with planter-lined tables surrounded by raised garden beds in the heart of Cap Hill. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)
The Corner Beet (Capitol Hill)
Superfood lattes, acaí bowls and vegetarian toasts and sandwiches make this very urban cafe feel like a garden-sourced oasis, especially when you’re sitting on the street-side patio.
1401 N. Ogden St., cornerbeet.com
Outside Dang soft serve during the ice cream shop’s opening weekend in Park Hill, on Sept. 22, 2019. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)
Dang (Park Hill)
Soft-serve and lawn games are on special at this funky Oneida Park dessert shop. We recommend a side “pint” of fries for sneaky dipping.
2211 Oneida St., dangsoftserve.com
Shucked Oyster Wulff oysters outside of Forget Me Not bar in Cherry Creek on Friday, March 11.
Forget Me Not (Cherry Creek)
People-watching at this cocktail bar is second to none. Enjoy it with lavish cocktails like the four-person Firebird, plus snacks such as oysters, caviar and lobster crunch wraps.
227 Clayton St., forgetmenotdenver.com
Joy Hill (Overland)
This South Broadway bar and pizza parlor sets the new standard for rooftop decks. Inside, a ’70s-era lounge sets the mood. Upstairs and out back, there’s not a bad seat to take in the sunset views.
1229 S. Broadway, joyhilldenver.com
Little Man Ice Cream is famous for its cream-can patio in Denver’s LoHi. We also love the patio at its Constellation location in Central Park.
Little Man (LoHi)
The giant Little Man cream can still sits at the center of what has become a bustling neighborhood of dining options and outdoor patios galore. Go during off-hours to enjoy a cone without the crowds.
2620 16th St., littlemanicecream.com
El Noa Noa (Lincoln Park)
Along Denver’s artsy Santa Fe Drive, El Noa Noa offers the best patio refuge for margaritas and heaping platters of Mexican food. The restaurant started in 1980 but somehow continues to feel like a local secret.
722 Santa Fe Drive, denvermexicanrestaurants.net
Some street art, some wine and an alleyway-turned-dining space at Noble Riot in RiNo.
Noble Riot (RiNo)
For the ultimate River North alleyway experience, head to Noble Riot, a wine bar that’s been named one of the best in the country for its selection of natural bottles. You can admire the street art as your somm breaks down some flavor profiles.
1336 27th St., nobleriot.com
Wine and popcorn in the back garden at Potager, a Capitol Hill staple for 25 years. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)
Potager (Capitol Hill)
If there were ever a candidate for favorite little patio in Denver, this would be it. The teensy backyard garden at Cap Hill’s original farm-to-table restaurant flanks a covered outdoor dining room. Either is a great place to enjoy the seasonal fare — even if just a snack — and wine list.
1109 N. Ogden St., potagerrestaurant.com
The patio at The Wild across from Union Station feels like an oasis in the heart of Lower Downtown.
The Wild (Union Station)
Out of all of the patios surrounding Denver’s Union Station, this one is our favorite latest find. It feels worlds away from the LoDo hustle, and the cocktails and wine list are equally a pleasant surprise.
1660 Wynkoop St., thewilddenver.com
The Wolf’s Tailor’s outdoor seating area on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
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The Wolf’s Tailor (Sunnyside)
For special occasions, the “entrust” menu served in the backyard, garden-side, or from a cozy tent, feels like the ultimate treat. Menus are always changing, but expect house ferments and breads, wood-fired meats and foraged produce.
4058 Tejon St., thewolfstailor.com