Things to do in Denver

Rooftop Restaurants Denver

What's a Mile High City without rooftop restaurants resting in the skyline? Take in panoramic views in these elite Denver offerings.

Colorado may be most famous for its majestic mountains and imposing wilderness. It's known as a land of cowboys and ranchers, adventurers and explorers, and extreme sports thrill-seekers. But in case you didn’t know, the state’s cultural offerings are growing in fame.

Denver, in particular, is one of the most celebrated hubs of culture in the American West. It’s the home of a kind of “mountain chic” that embraces everything from clothes and interior design to arts, entertainment, and culinary culture. The selection of excellent rooftop restaurants in Denver is, in a way, a logical progression of high-altitude high culture.

The adventurous and dreamy attitude of Denver’s scene has made it a destination for our groundbreaking artistry. Whenever we get a chance to visit, gorging ourselves in a rooftop restaurant is one of our favorite things to do in Denver.

Americana

Restaurants that base their menus on the staples of American cuisine can offer nostalgia and thrilling novelty. A couple of Denver’s rooftop restaurants serve up iconic American dishes combined with a vibrant atmosphere.

1. ViewHouse Ballpark

Viewhouse Ballpark’s rooftop is a sports bar overlooking Coors Field in Denver’s vibrant and bustling LoDo neighborhood. Full of exciting entertainment and a lively staff, ViewHouse Ballpark has a delicious and affordable menu.

It’s a rare item on a ViewHouse menu that doesn’t come with an innovative twist to make it stand out from the norm. Creativity is a key part of what makes it a favorite among Denver’s rooftop restaurants. It’s also a neighbor to Union Station square in Denver.

Favorite dishes include the crispy mahi-mahi taco, pork Green chili soup, the Cubano sandwich, and the shrimp and salmon pasta. The classic ballpark burger, served on a brioche bun with kosher dill pickles, is a perennial crowd pleaser. The brunch menu includes dishes like the slow-roast brisket skillet and a crunchy French toast with bourbon maple syrup.

2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Another great rooftop eatery in LoDo, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has a reputation for its diverse menu, including some excellent whiskeys and barrel-aged cocktails. The latter is a particular product of the 21st century’s lighting-fast cocktail culture. It involves aging not just liquors but limited batches of mixed cocktails in barrels.

The blend of ingredients and barrels, and the unique unfolding of the fermentation process makes every batch special. It creates an endless procession of new flavors for patrons to fall in love with.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot relies on fresh and local ingredients for its cuisine. The signature dish is Foxtrot fried chicken, made with 24-hour marinated Red Bird Farms chickens and served with battered pickles and a honey sriracha sauce. The details are different with every dish, but the spirit of the kitchen shows the same level of care and creativity across the board.

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Breweries

Rooftop restaurants and craft breweries are two trends that have grown together in the culinary landscape. Those trends come together in the pair of breweries that join the ranks of the best rooftop restaurants in Denver.

3. Briar Common Brewery + Eatery

Another destination for classic American fare, Briar Common offers up a stunning selection of craft brews that goes beyond its own operations to provide flavors from a variety of other local craft brewing superstars.

It also offers more than beer in terms of distinctive tastes and bar specials. It serves its own proprietary seltzer as well as bottomless mimosas for $20 during brunch.

The mimosas aren’t the only reason the Briar is a beloved rooftop brunch destination in Denver. The brunch menu offers favorites like pumpkin spice French toast, biscuits and gravy, and steak and eggs.

The lunch and dinner menus have their own dishes, such as seasonal salmon, Nashville hot chicken, and seared scallops. The Briar’s thick-cut and delicious house kettle fries draw universal praise.

4. O’Dell Brewing Sloan’s Lake

With a rooftop deck overlooking the scenic Sloan’s Lake, this O’Dell Brewing taproom, pizza kitchen, and 10-barrel brewhouse piloted rooftops for the brand. It has a casual vibe, a counter-ordering format, and televisions aplenty where patrons can watch the latest game.

What makes the Sloan’s Lake brewhouse one of the most popular rooftop dining destinations in Denver is its focus on a pair of simple things. Its pizza and beer are spectacular. The menu is dominated by innovative pizzas like the Truffle Shuffle and the Rock River BBQ (topped with bison).

And as you'd expect, there's a stunning selection of O’Dell beers on offer, with every imaginable kind of flavor profile.

Photographer: Peter Bravo de los Rios

5. Avanti Food & Beverage

Avanti Food & Beverage is a food hall with a pair of bars and over a half-dozen restaurant concepts that offer something to meet any taste.

  • The East Coast-inspired 22 Provisions
  • A modern vision of the traditional taqueria served up by Ama
  • Paleo, vegan and vegetarian bowl dishes from Bowls by KO
  • Neapolitan pizza with Colorado ingredients by Gorlami Pizza
  • Classic burgers made from naturally-raised beef and served by Knockabout Burgers
  • Vietnamese cuisine with multi-ethnic fusion influences from Pho King Rapidos
  • Traditional Venezuelan-style flatbread dishes from Quiero Arepas

Having all these food vendors together is a recipe for a delicious rooftop dinner in Denver, no matter which cuisine catches your eye. The collection of culinary traditions combines with a cool atmosphere and ambience.

6. El Five

Perched above LoHi and sporting dazzling views of the Denver skyline, El Five’s byline is “Tapas de Gibraltar,” and its menu pays tribute to Mediterranean cuisine. The bold flavors of dishes from the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain come together in El Five’s selection of small plate dishes, which includes plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

The menu can be pricey. Entrees can run to over $50 or $60, and even small plates can cost over $20 a piece. You can expect to pay over $250 for a full dinner for two. Though, if you love Mediterranean food, the eclectic and creative array of offerings justifies the cost. The serene ambience also marks El Five as one of the most romantic rooftop restaurants in Denver.

7. Linger

Another member of the Edible Eats, Linger has a particularly unique story among LoHi’s eminent eateries. It was once a mortuary, and touches of its macabre past still linger under its upscale modern look.

This inviting lounge and restaurant boasts a rooftop terrace with quirky decor — including repurposed vehicles as a bar and rooftop food truck — and vibrant views of the city and the neighborhood below. The diverse menu is inspired by street food and sidewalk kiosks from all over the world, including Morocco, Turkey, Asia, America, India, and Italy.

The food truck’s selection of Bao buns, skewers, kebabs, and small plates is an irresistible draw that has established this as one of the best rooftop restaurants in Denver.

8. Ten Qoo (Izakaya Den)

One of the top choices among rooftop restaurants in Denver is the sky lounge above the award-winning Izakaya Den. Izakaya is known for its serene ambience created from a blend of Eastern and Western design elements.

Its rooftop destination Ten Qoo features a retractable glass ceiling. It provides access to the open sky in any season in a space bathed in natural light and offering spectacular views.

Ten Qoo’s menu showcases the signature “Izakaya style” of cuisine, including a curated collection of sake and a legendary sushi menu anchored in fresh daily shipments from a southern Japanese fish market.

This is a perfect place to discover traditional sushi and sashimi. The prices aren’t for patrons on a budget, but the freshness of the ingredients and the other-worldly skill level of the chefs makes the expense worthwhile.

Photographer: Andraz Lazic

Mexican Cuisine

Mexican dining spots have definitely staked their place among the best rooftop restaurants in Denver. The label “Mexican cuisine” actually embraces a kaleidoscope of delicious dishes and innovative fusion creations, like those offered by this selection of remarkable rooftops.

9. Tamayo

Tamayo by Chef Richard Sandoval is known for its menu that combines the flavors of Mexico with ingredients and cooking techniques from around the world. Designed by the acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval, Tamayo’s dishes embody classics from dozens of places on four continents.

Popular favorites among its delicious menu items include the chicken flautas, red snapper ceviche, and tamarind-marinated pork carnitas. The affordable “bottomless brunch” on weekends draws a loyal crowd.

10. Los Chingones Downtown RiNo

As the colorful choice of name hints, the Los Chingones family of restaurants is — despite boasting a kids’ menu — not necessarily intended for family consumption. These places, including the remarkable rooftop known as Los Chingones Downtown RiNo, serve up a party atmosphere along with delicious and affordable tacos, quesadillas, pizzas, and enchiladas.

The combination of bold, delectable flavors and pricing that’s easy on the wallet is difficult to beat. It explains the place of Downtown RiNo among the best rooftop restaurants in Denver. That said, anyone looking to spend a little extra will find plenty of reasons to do so with the impressive available selection of margaritas, wines, and tequilas on the drinks menu.

11. Palenque Cocina y Agaveria

Located in the Littleton neighborhood, Palenque Cocina y Agaveria is a beloved spot for locals who love top-shelf Mexican fare. It's also a destination for the cognoscenti of small-batch mezcals, tequilas, and other agave sipping spirits.

The homey atmosphere and delicious combination of authentic takes on Mexican cuisine — with particularly solid representation for Oaxaca — set Palenque apart from the competition. Dishes like the birria tacos and chiles rellenos are popular favorites. However, Palenque is known for high quality no matter what you order.

Photographer: Tai's Captures

Unique Restaurants

Some of the most unique restaurants in Denver are too distinctive in their concepts and execution to fit in a single category. These unique restaurants each march to their own drum and deliver experiences unlike any other eatery.

12. 54thirty Rooftop

This rooftop bar lays claim to being the highest open-air establishment of its kind in the Mile High City. 54thirty Rooftop is a seasonal source of velvety-smooth vibes, incredible views, and sophisticated cocktails. A selection of globally inspired shareable plates tantalizes guests’ palates, while the drink selection is superlative.

It’s pitched toward an audience for whom money isn’t a barrier, and that’s putting it mildly. For example, it’s possible to spend up to five grand on a bottle of bubbly here. That level of expense isn’t necessary, but customers looking for a glamorous experience worthy of a celebrity will especially love 54thirty Rooftop.

13. The Red Barber

One of Denver’s most spectacular rooftop bars, the Red Barber offers 360-degree views of the city skyline and the nearby mountains. This comes with an innovative schedule of happenings and a menu of handcrafted cocktails and beers.

The space features intimate fire pits and exciting live music with amphitheater seating. The signature feature of the Red Barber’s drinks menu is a set of inventive zodiac cocktails inspired by the full suite of astrological signs.

14. Pindustry Skydeck

An adult playground without peer among Denver’s rooftop restaurants, Pindustry Skydeck is a fun two-story phenomenon. Its delicious bar bites and impressive selection of craft beers accompany a vast array of diversions. Visitors enjoy arcade games, bowling, ping pong, ice skating, and live music. Astounding views complete the package.

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Satiate Your Taste Buds in the Mile High City

The creative flair and joyful energy of Denver’s culinary scene are traits that set the Mile High City high in our affections. The restaurants we’ve covered above are just a few of the city’s amazing food secrets. We think these are all places whose impacts are just as unforgettable — each in their own way — as one of our shows in Denver.

Explore the possibilities and get the most out of your next trip to Colorado's capital of cuisine and creativity.

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