clock menu more-arrow no yes
The Bitter Bar
The Bitter Bar
Facebook

The Guide to Drinking in Boulder

Saloons to cocktail lounges, these are Boulder's best bars

View as Map
The Bitter Bar
| Facebook

Boulder may be known for its farm-to-table fare, Ralphie the Buffalo and Colorado University, but there are also many a watering hole for one to enjoy all around the small city set in the shadow of the Flatirons. From a 93-year-old bar to an underground pool hall, a cocktail lounge, and a prohibition-era speakeasy that boasts the first legal, liquor license in Boulder, we've put together 12 of the best bars in Boulder just in time for you to hunker down with a drink, for the winter season.

Whether you're looking for high end cocktails, wine, or a pitcher of cheap beer, there's a little something for everyone to kick back and enjoy libations at these Boulder favorites.

Note: The businesses listed here are organized in alphabetical order. If we missed your favorite, you have options: Leave a comment on the post or send us a tip down the tipline, explaining why a certain establishment deserves to be part of this list.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Kitchen Upstairs

Copy Link
1039 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 544-5973
Visit Website
The Kitchen Upstairs is a cocktail lounge, just upstairs from its sister restaurants, The Kitchen and Kitchen Next Door. Featuring high-end cocktails, craft beer, and a large wine list they also have cheese, charcuterie, and small plates of rustic food prepared in their wood-fired oven. Cozy up on one of the chez lounge chairs or sit at the community table if you're with a group. Try the Red Baron cocktail, made with Rittenhouse rye, black walnut liqueur, Campari and orange bitters.
The Kitchen

2. West End Tavern

Copy Link
926 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 444-3535
Visit Website
The West End Tavern has been open for over a decade in downtown Boulder featuring some of the area's best BBQ, beer, and bourbon. As night descends, the restaurant turns to a bar and features 21 taps (many of which are Colorado beers), 25 bottled beers, and 75 bourbons. The bar has one of the better views of the Flatirons with an indoor-outdoor space and shuffleboard.
West End Tavern

3. The Bitter Bar

Copy Link
835 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 442-3050
Visit Website
The Bitter Bar features creative, seasonal cocktails from a knowledgeable staff of bartenders who host Boulder's longest happy hour which is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, guests can get $6 cocktails, $4 draft beer, and $5 glasses of wine. The Bitter Bar features minimal, small bites menu of cheese, charcuterie, olives, and pretzel bites with mustard, if you're looking for finger food. The real draw is the cocktails on tap, pre-batched and made in house. Try the Birds and the Bees cocktail featuring Tanqueray gin, honey, lemon, hibiscus liqueur, and orange bitters.
Adam Larkey

4. Conor O'Neill's

Copy Link
1922 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 449-1922
Visit Website
Conor O'Neill's has been in downtown Boulder for over 17 years and after almost closing down recently, Boulder rejoiced as the traditional Irish pub was able to stay open. Offering Irish eats, and pints, the entire interior of the pub - from the fixtures, to the paintings, to the decor were made in Ireland and shipped over. They even have Irish bartenders come over to work for them. So settle into a booth and listen to the many evenings of live music they offer over a Guinness.
Facebook

5. World Famous Dark Horse Bar & Grill

Copy Link
2922 Baseline Rd
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 442-8162
Visit Website
Open since 1975, The Dark Horse is eclectic and decorated from top to bottom with Americana, antiques, and movie props. Featuring wings and fried grub, the bar offers 10 taps of beer, the majority being local to Colorado. Each night from the events-section, guests will find something different from trivia, to karaoke, to bingo. The dive is most well-known for the infamous tricycle race night every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. It's a race around the bar, on their trike, featuring beer prizes for the winners which you can't miss seeing. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Tripadvisor

6. The Sink

Copy Link
1165 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 444-7465
Visit Website
The Sink is Boulder's oldest bar, having been open for 93-years. Located on the university's Hill neighborhood they've become famous over the years having being featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, received visits from President Obama and Anthony Bourdain, and Robert Redford's was even an janitor there in his early days as a CU student. It's a stomping ground for University of Colorado students, families, and tourists as they enjoy the pub food alongside the full bar of drinks in the iconic building. Visit on Sunday for the infamous build your own bloody Mary bar, available all day.
The Sink

7. Bohemian Biergarten

Copy Link
2017 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302
(720) 328-8328
Visit Website
Open everyday from 11 a.m. until "late", the Biergarten is a traditional European-style gastropub featuring food and drinks from Germany, the Czech Republic, and Central Europe. They host 15 euro-centric taps, rotating local favorites in the German style like the Warsteiner Premium Dunkel. They also have spirits and wine and feature a set of unique drinks like the Berlin Mule, with Jaegermeister, ginger beer, muddled lime and simple syrup. The back room often features live music, 80's night on Thursday's or special events like the annual beer holding competition to see who can hold the most pint weight, for the longest time.
Adam Larkey

8. Sundown Saloon

Copy Link
1136 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 449-4987
The Sundown Saloon, also known as the "Sundowner" or "Downer" is a quintessential, grungy basement bar featuring pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, jukebox, and cheap pitchers of beer. Open since 1982, there are many longtime locals who frequent the downstairs joint and it's popular with CU students, as well. The spot is known for $1 Kamikaze shots and pitchers of PBR for just $6. We also recommend Whiskey Wednesday where you can buy a mug of PBR and a shot of whisky for $3.
Your Boulder

9. Pearl Street Pub & Cellar

Copy Link
1108 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 939-9900
"The Pub" is another dive bar on Pearl Street featuring foosball, pool tables, darts, a jukebox, late night grub, and live music. Although a bit dark inside, the space has an air of coziness to it and is always packed. With an upstairs and downstairs bar, they have ample drink options including happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 7 p.m. on weekends offering $3 wells, $2.50 Bud drafts, and select microbrews are $3 on tap. If you're feeling adventurous, it's a Boulder tradition to kiss the taxidermy Buffalo head on their entrance wall for good luck.
Boulder Downtown

10. The Attic Bar and Bistro

Copy Link
949 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 415-1300
Visit Website
The Attic Bar & Bistro on the second floor of their Walnut Street location is half restaurant, half bar and game room with pool tables, arcades, foosball tables, and comfy couches. With two bars, they boast nightly specials from their $5 Bourbon and PBR on Friday, to $3 wells on Monday from 9 p.m. until close. They also always feature $15 buckets of domestic bottles, everyday.

11. License No. 1

Copy Link
Spruce
Boulder, CO
(303) 443-0486
Visit Website
License No.1 is a prohibition-style speakeasy serving cocktails and light bites, underneath the historical Hotel Boulderado. The namesake comes from being the first legal license to serve hard liquor in 1969 in Boulder (although the location had been open since 1909 and was originally Catacombs Bar). Featuring the likes of old fashioned's, manhattans, and sazerac's you will be sure to find similar classic cocktails gracing the menu in the large space that seats 300. A selection of 26 craft beers on tap and a wine menu is also available daily from 5 p.m.
Adam Larkey

12. Outback Saloon

Copy Link
3141 28th St
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 444-0081
Visit Website
Open since 1990, The Outback Saloon is in North Boulder, off 28th street in a strip mall but they have all the right components to make for a dive bar, off the beaten path. It offers a dart league, poker tournaments, karaoke (Wednesday and Saturday), pool tables, shuffle board and live music. The claim to fame here? It opens at 7 a.m. everyday, 365 days a year and feature a dozen beers on tap. If you don't want to purchase something from the beverage and food menu, you can snack on free popcorn popped right in the bar.
Zomato

1. The Kitchen Upstairs

1039 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
The Kitchen
The Kitchen Upstairs is a cocktail lounge, just upstairs from its sister restaurants, The Kitchen and Kitchen Next Door. Featuring high-end cocktails, craft beer, and a large wine list they also have cheese, charcuterie, and small plates of rustic food prepared in their wood-fired oven. Cozy up on one of the chez lounge chairs or sit at the community table if you're with a group. Try the Red Baron cocktail, made with Rittenhouse rye, black walnut liqueur, Campari and orange bitters.
1039 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

2. West End Tavern

926 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
West End Tavern
The West End Tavern has been open for over a decade in downtown Boulder featuring some of the area's best BBQ, beer, and bourbon. As night descends, the restaurant turns to a bar and features 21 taps (many of which are Colorado beers), 25 bottled beers, and 75 bourbons. The bar has one of the better views of the Flatirons with an indoor-outdoor space and shuffleboard.
926 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

3. The Bitter Bar

835 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80302
Adam Larkey
The Bitter Bar features creative, seasonal cocktails from a knowledgeable staff of bartenders who host Boulder's longest happy hour which is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, guests can get $6 cocktails, $4 draft beer, and $5 glasses of wine. The Bitter Bar features minimal, small bites menu of cheese, charcuterie, olives, and pretzel bites with mustard, if you're looking for finger food. The real draw is the cocktails on tap, pre-batched and made in house. Try the Birds and the Bees cocktail featuring Tanqueray gin, honey, lemon, hibiscus liqueur, and orange bitters.
835 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302

4. Conor O'Neill's

1922 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302
Facebook
Conor O'Neill's has been in downtown Boulder for over 17 years and after almost closing down recently, Boulder rejoiced as the traditional Irish pub was able to stay open. Offering Irish eats, and pints, the entire interior of the pub - from the fixtures, to the paintings, to the decor were made in Ireland and shipped over. They even have Irish bartenders come over to work for them. So settle into a booth and listen to the many evenings of live music they offer over a Guinness.
1922 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302

5. World Famous Dark Horse Bar & Grill

2922 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO 80303
Tripadvisor
Open since 1975, The Dark Horse is eclectic and decorated from top to bottom with Americana, antiques, and movie props. Featuring wings and fried grub, the bar offers 10 taps of beer, the majority being local to Colorado. Each night from the events-section, guests will find something different from trivia, to karaoke, to bingo. The dive is most well-known for the infamous tricycle race night every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. It's a race around the bar, on their trike, featuring beer prizes for the winners which you can't miss seeing. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
2922 Baseline Rd
Boulder, CO 80303

6. The Sink

1165 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302
The Sink
The Sink is Boulder's oldest bar, having been open for 93-years. Located on the university's Hill neighborhood they've become famous over the years having being featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, received visits from President Obama and Anthony Bourdain, and Robert Redford's was even an janitor there in his early days as a CU student. It's a stomping ground for University of Colorado students, families, and tourists as they enjoy the pub food alongside the full bar of drinks in the iconic building. Visit on Sunday for the infamous build your own bloody Mary bar, available all day.
1165 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302

7. Bohemian Biergarten

2017 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302
Adam Larkey
Open everyday from 11 a.m. until "late", the Biergarten is a traditional European-style gastropub featuring food and drinks from Germany, the Czech Republic, and Central Europe. They host 15 euro-centric taps, rotating local favorites in the German style like the Warsteiner Premium Dunkel. They also have spirits and wine and feature a set of unique drinks like the Berlin Mule, with Jaegermeister, ginger beer, muddled lime and simple syrup. The back room often features live music, 80's night on Thursday's or special events like the annual beer holding competition to see who can hold the most pint weight, for the longest time.
2017 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302

8. Sundown Saloon

1136 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Your Boulder
The Sundown Saloon, also known as the "Sundowner" or "Downer" is a quintessential, grungy basement bar featuring pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, jukebox, and cheap pitchers of beer. Open since 1982, there are many longtime locals who frequent the downstairs joint and it's popular with CU students, as well. The spot is known for $1 Kamikaze shots and pitchers of PBR for just $6. We also recommend Whiskey Wednesday where you can buy a mug of PBR and a shot of whisky for $3.
1136 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

9. Pearl Street Pub & Cellar

1108 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Boulder Downtown
"The Pub" is another dive bar on Pearl Street featuring foosball, pool tables, darts, a jukebox, late night grub, and live music. Although a bit dark inside, the space has an air of coziness to it and is always packed. With an upstairs and downstairs bar, they have ample drink options including happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 7 p.m. on weekends offering $3 wells, $2.50 Bud drafts, and select microbrews are $3 on tap. If you're feeling adventurous, it's a Boulder tradition to kiss the taxidermy Buffalo head on their entrance wall for good luck.
1108 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

10. The Attic Bar and Bistro

949 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80302
The Attic Bar & Bistro on the second floor of their Walnut Street location is half restaurant, half bar and game room with pool tables, arcades, foosball tables, and comfy couches. With two bars, they boast nightly specials from their $5 Bourbon and PBR on Friday, to $3 wells on Monday from 9 p.m. until close. They also always feature $15 buckets of domestic bottles, everyday.
949 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302

11. License No. 1

Spruce, Boulder, CO
Adam Larkey
License No.1 is a prohibition-style speakeasy serving cocktails and light bites, underneath the historical Hotel Boulderado. The namesake comes from being the first legal license to serve hard liquor in 1969 in Boulder (although the location had been open since 1909 and was originally Catacombs Bar). Featuring the likes of old fashioned's, manhattans, and sazerac's you will be sure to find similar classic cocktails gracing the menu in the large space that seats 300. A selection of 26 craft beers on tap and a wine menu is also available daily from 5 p.m.
Spruce
Boulder, CO

12. Outback Saloon

3141 28th St, Boulder, CO 80301
Zomato
Open since 1990, The Outback Saloon is in North Boulder, off 28th street in a strip mall but they have all the right components to make for a dive bar, off the beaten path. It offers a dart league, poker tournaments, karaoke (Wednesday and Saturday), pool tables, shuffle board and live music. The claim to fame here? It opens at 7 a.m. everyday, 365 days a year and feature a dozen beers on tap. If you don't want to purchase something from the beverage and food menu, you can snack on free popcorn popped right in the bar.
3141 28th St
Boulder, CO 80301

Related Maps