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Cherry Cricket
A loaded burger at the Cherry Cricket.
The Cherry Cricket

The Ultimate Guide to Late-Night Dining in Denver

Where to go when the midnight munchies strike

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A loaded burger at the Cherry Cricket.
| The Cherry Cricket

Perhaps because everybody gets up with the sun to hit the slopes and trails, Denver has never been much of a haven for night owls. The pandemic and subsequent labor shortage only further curtailed hours at many establishments, which typically close up shop at 9 or 10 p.m. The following 20 places, however, keep their kitchens open until 11 p.m. or later at least three nights a week to serve up everything from burgers and pizza to shish kabobs and dumplings. Check them out below, listed in geographical order from north to south.

Bonus picks: On weekends only, both Redeemer Pizza in RiNo and vegan-friendly Everyday Pizza in Ballpark sling pies until midnight; the East Colfax location of 7 Leguas Mexican Grille keeps the comida coming until 1 a.m.; Now Pho doles out soup and more until 3 a.m. (note that it’s currently undergoing renovations; follow it on Instagram for updates); and classic diner Pete’s Kitchen keeps the lights on from Friday morning straight through Sunday evening. Also look out for the reopening of Kyu Ramen, which is relocating down the block on East Colfax; it operates until 3 a.m. nightly.

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Hey Kiddo

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Anyone familiar with the restless creativity of chef/restaurateur Kelly Whitaker will know to leave all expectations at the door of this third-floor newcomer to the Berkeley neighborhood, which serves food until midnight Tuesday–Saturday. While the current menu centers on oysters and Korean-style fried chicken, items as diverse as Caesar salad with pistachios and bucatini with fermented black beans indicate the kinds of things you might find among the specials-based late-night offerings. (Meanwhile, adjoining cocktail bar OK Yeah specializes in handrolls.)

Bar at Hey Kiddo
Inside Hey Kiddo.
Hey Kiddo

Occidental

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To dismiss Occidental as a punk-themed dive is to do a disservice to this little sibling of Williams & Graham, bartender Sean Kenyon’s celebrated cocktail destination next door. While it most certainly is that, it exudes a witty charm that elevates both its decor and its menu. The crackerjack crew whips up original drinks laced with everything from chocolate-infused bourbon and marshmallow simple syrup to chicory liqueur and tobacco bitters, all of which pair with an array of easygoing but well-made snacks on offer until 1 a.m.: cheeseburgers topped with crab dip, say, or tots loaded with chicken shawarma, mozz, and lemon-parsley tahini.

Plate of tater tots with kimchi and mozzarella
Loaded tots are a regular feature at Occidental.
Ruth Tobias

Barcelona Wine Bar

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With kitchen hours extending until midnight Monday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, the RiNo outpost of this popular East Coast–based tapería buzzes right up to closing time: Any reveler here will tell you there’s always one last sip of Cava or sangria to be had, one last bite of paella or flan.

Bustling bartenders
Amid the action at Barcelona.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

American Bonded

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Blessed with one of the best rooftops in RiNo, this casual, classic cocktail–centric watering hole recently reopened with a kitchen run by Soi Kowboi until 1 a.m. Wednesday–Saturday. Burgers, fries, tenders, and tots form the core of the short but sweet menu, perfect for soaking up the alcohol in a Boulevardier or Rattlesnake.

Burgers on a tray
Burgers at Soi Kowboi.
Soi Kowboi

Cart-Driver

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Nightly until midnight, this RiNo original shucks oysters, slings pizzas, and serves up spritzes and craft suds (among other things) in a 640-square-foot shipping container; chicken-liver mousse, clam pizza, and a Fernet-and-Coke highball make for a classic Cart-Driver combo. And talk about bonuses: It’s happy hour from 10 p.m. onward.

Seafood conserva with fresh-baked bread, butter, and sambal
Though pictured here at the LoHi location, seafood conserva with fresh-baked bread, butter, and sambal is also a feature at the RiNo flagship.
Ruth Tobias

Famous Original J's Pizza

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As with the bagels at its next-door sibling, Rosenberg’s Bagels & Deli, the pizza at this al fresco Five Points parlor is made with water from a system engineered to replicate the mineral content of New York City’s own water. Order it by the whole thin-crust pie or slice at the walk-up window, then dig in at a picnic table on the patio until midnight Tuesday through Sunday.

Two pizzas on a stand on a picnic table
Pies from the window at Famous Original J’s.
From the Hip Photo

Pony Up

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Fabulous French dips and killer cocktails are the bread and butter for this always-hopping LoDo hangout; service until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends is (not to mix metaphors) the cherry on top. To sweeten the pot even further, the kitchen turns out a mean chocolate-chip cookie.

Vietnamese-inspired French dip
The Saigon dip at Pony Up.
Pony Up

Băo Brewhouse

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Occupying a space that could almost pass for some hip lounge in Shanghai — all red lanterns, neon, and street-style murals — this modern Chinese spot off Larimer Square brings the wings, dumplings, and other dim sum–inspired nibbles until midnight Thursday–Saturday; the bar follows suit with cocktails featuring baijiu, umeshu, sake, and the like.

Shishito peppers and brussels sprouts with dipping sauce
Shishito peppers and brussels sprouts at Băo Brewhouse.
Ruth Tobias

Revival Denver Public House

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This easygoing successor to the long-lived Avenue Grill in Uptown remains a neighborhood magnet with a particularly eclectic menu featuring dishes like Maryland-style crab dip, bison gumbo, short-rib poutine, and sweet tea–poached chicken with braised greens. Open until 11 p.m.  Monday–Saturday.

Broiled oysters with chorizo butter
Broiled oysters with chorizo butter at Revival.
Ruth Tobias

Tom's Starlight

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In the historic Googie-era building that used to house Tom’s Diner, this self-styled “cocktail cabana” pays homage to its predecessor via midcentury decor. The menu, however, features decidedly modern drinks and eats until midnight Tuesday–Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday–Saturday. Think quesadillas with coffee-rubbed pulled pork, orange-jalapeño sour cream, and pineapple-cucumber pico de gallo or vegan flatbread with tofu spread, veggies, harissa tahini, and pistachios.

Sliders, fried calamari, and the pulled-pork quesadilla at Tom’s Starlight
Sliders, fried calamari, and the pulled-pork quesadilla at Tom’s Starlight.
Ruth Tobias

Voodoo Doughnut Mile High

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While South Broadway, where this Oregon-based chain’s second Denver outpost is located, has its share of nightlife, it’s East Colfax — where the first sits —that’s the king of the wee-hours notoriety. So you bet that, until 3 a.m., this place is mobbed with partiers who’ve got the munchies for the pink-sprinkled ring doughnut called The Homer; the vanilla-frosted, M&M-topped Marshall Mathers; and, of course, the cylindrical, weed-inspired Maple Blazer Blunt.

A photo of six tube doughnuts called Cannolos filled with either yellow, brown or pink creme cheese filling and arranged in a stack on a raised plate next to a pink Voodoo Doughnut box
The cannolo at Voodoo Doughnut.
Voodoo Doughnut

Vesper Lounge

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When Frank Bonanno took over this Cap Hill dive bar several years back, many expected him to make it fancy; instead, he preserved its low-key neighborhood soul (while improving its F&B service). Juicy Lucys and sloppy joes, pita sandwiches stuffed with shaved lamb and fattoush or saganaki and pesto, and snacks like breaded shrimp with honey-Sriracha sauce or fried artichokes with lemon-caper aioli elicit good cheer until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; the bar, for its part, keeps the classic cocktails on tap and Colorado craft drafts coming until 2 a.m.

Greek burger with cocktail
The Greek burger at Vesper Lounge.
Scottie Davison Photography

Forget Me Not

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This colorful yet white-hot cocktail lounge in Cherry Creek serves up soirée-worthy hors d’oeuvres until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Live large over caviar service and Wagyu tartare or keep it real with a Chicago dog and a soft pretzel.

Forget Me Not’s Chicago dog
Forget Me Not’s Chicago dog.
Kayla Jones

The Cherry Cricket

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This Cherry Creek institution tricks out its famous burgers with all the à la carte fixings imaginable — pork belly, corned beef, PB&J, Cheetos, green chile, ancho-apricot BBQ sauce, sauerkraut, and much more — until midnight (the same goes for its Ballpark sibling). Throw in pretzel knots with queso, onion rings, and spiked milkshakes for a balanced meal.

Custom burger with peanut butter, smoked cheddar, grilled onions, and green chile strips
Burgers at The Cherry Cricket can be customized with nearly 40 toppings.
Ruth Tobias

Punch Bowl Social Denver

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Between the bowling alley, the arcade, and the karaoke rooms, there’s a lot to keep guests at this South Broadway entertainment emporium busy for hours on end. To fuel the nonstop activity, the kitchen stays open until 11 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday–Saturday, dishing up comfort food like bison chili–cheese fries, pulled-pork sandwiches with kettle chips, and chicken and waffles with chipotle-maple syrup.

Punch Bowl Social’s Sriracha fries
Punch Bowl Social’s Sriracha fries.
Amber Boutwell

Atomic Cowboy

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Like its East Colfax and Tennyson Street siblings, this South Broadway go-to for biscuits by day, Fat Sully’s pizza by night, and cocktails anytime stays open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight the rest of the week. Loaded garlic knots, pies by the slice or the 26-inch whole, craft drafts, and iced vodka lattes all patiently await.

Slice of pizza with a drink
“Big-ass slices” are Fat Sully’s stock in trade.
Atomic Cowboy

Jerusalem Restaurant

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For decades, this critic-proof University institution has curbed students’ cravings for traditional Middle Eastern specialties until 4 a.m. Monday–Thursday, 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 a.m. on Sundays. There’s no hangover that falafel, shish kabobs, and baklava can’t cure.

Middle Eastern combo platter with meats, spreads, and salads
Jerusalem’s Super Combo platter.
Jerusalem Restaurant

Thank Sool Pocha

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This absolute banger of a K-pub is open until 2 a.m. Tuesday–Sunday, which means nightcrawlers have got all the time in the world to get their fill of its fabulous anju (the Korean term for bar food). That includes army stew, a postwar dish of ramen noodles, kimchi, and American meats such as hot dogs; tteokbokki with dumplings or blood sausage; corn cheese, which is just what it sounds like; fried chicken with garlic-butter sauce; roe soup and DIY rice balls; and so much more — all tailor-made for washing down with banana-flavored makgeolli, black-raspberry soju, and other fermented and/or distilled rice beverages.

Korean rice cakes with fried dumplings
Spicy rice cakes with fried dumplings at Thank Sool Pocha.
Ruth Tobias

Piper Inn

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Serving food until 11 p.m. and drinks until midnight daily, this 50-plus-year-old Aurora biker bar is beloved for its wings on the one hand and its Cantonese-style cooking, of all charmingly incongruous things, on the other — wontons, egg rolls, shrimp fried rice, and all.

Stir-fried chicken and fried rice at a dive bar
Cantonese-style dishes are a menu staple at this Aurora biker bar.
Ruth Tobias

Funny Plus

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While the menu goes on and on, this usually-buzzing little Korean joint is best known for its fried chicken with or without sweet chili sauce, which it dishes up until around midnight. Come with a lively group — rest assured that everyone else does.

Korean fried chicken at Funny Plus
Korean fried chicken at Funny Plus.
Ruth Tobias

Hey Kiddo

Anyone familiar with the restless creativity of chef/restaurateur Kelly Whitaker will know to leave all expectations at the door of this third-floor newcomer to the Berkeley neighborhood, which serves food until midnight Tuesday–Saturday. While the current menu centers on oysters and Korean-style fried chicken, items as diverse as Caesar salad with pistachios and bucatini with fermented black beans indicate the kinds of things you might find among the specials-based late-night offerings. (Meanwhile, adjoining cocktail bar OK Yeah specializes in handrolls.)

Bar at Hey Kiddo
Inside Hey Kiddo.
Hey Kiddo

Occidental

To dismiss Occidental as a punk-themed dive is to do a disservice to this little sibling of Williams & Graham, bartender Sean Kenyon’s celebrated cocktail destination next door. While it most certainly is that, it exudes a witty charm that elevates both its decor and its menu. The crackerjack crew whips up original drinks laced with everything from chocolate-infused bourbon and marshmallow simple syrup to chicory liqueur and tobacco bitters, all of which pair with an array of easygoing but well-made snacks on offer until 1 a.m.: cheeseburgers topped with crab dip, say, or tots loaded with chicken shawarma, mozz, and lemon-parsley tahini.

Plate of tater tots with kimchi and mozzarella
Loaded tots are a regular feature at Occidental.
Ruth Tobias

Barcelona Wine Bar

With kitchen hours extending until midnight Monday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, the RiNo outpost of this popular East Coast–based tapería buzzes right up to closing time: Any reveler here will tell you there’s always one last sip of Cava or sangria to be had, one last bite of paella or flan.

Bustling bartenders
Amid the action at Barcelona.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

American Bonded

Blessed with one of the best rooftops in RiNo, this casual, classic cocktail–centric watering hole recently reopened with a kitchen run by Soi Kowboi until 1 a.m. Wednesday–Saturday. Burgers, fries, tenders, and tots form the core of the short but sweet menu, perfect for soaking up the alcohol in a Boulevardier or Rattlesnake.

Burgers on a tray
Burgers at Soi Kowboi.
Soi Kowboi

Cart-Driver

Nightly until midnight, this RiNo original shucks oysters, slings pizzas, and serves up spritzes and craft suds (among other things) in a 640-square-foot shipping container; chicken-liver mousse, clam pizza, and a Fernet-and-Coke highball make for a classic Cart-Driver combo. And talk about bonuses: It’s happy hour from 10 p.m. onward.

Seafood conserva with fresh-baked bread, butter, and sambal
Though pictured here at the LoHi location, seafood conserva with fresh-baked bread, butter, and sambal is also a feature at the RiNo flagship.
Ruth Tobias

Famous Original J's Pizza

As with the bagels at its next-door sibling, Rosenberg’s Bagels & Deli, the pizza at this al fresco Five Points parlor is made with water from a system engineered to replicate the mineral content of New York City’s own water. Order it by the whole thin-crust pie or slice at the walk-up window, then dig in at a picnic table on the patio until midnight Tuesday through Sunday.

Two pizzas on a stand on a picnic table
Pies from the window at Famous Original J’s.
From the Hip Photo

Pony Up

Fabulous French dips and killer cocktails are the bread and butter for this always-hopping LoDo hangout; service until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends is (not to mix metaphors) the cherry on top. To sweeten the pot even further, the kitchen turns out a mean chocolate-chip cookie.

Vietnamese-inspired French dip
The Saigon dip at Pony Up.
Pony Up

Băo Brewhouse

Occupying a space that could almost pass for some hip lounge in Shanghai — all red lanterns, neon, and street-style murals — this modern Chinese spot off Larimer Square brings the wings, dumplings, and other dim sum–inspired nibbles until midnight Thursday–Saturday; the bar follows suit with cocktails featuring baijiu, umeshu, sake, and the like.

Shishito peppers and brussels sprouts with dipping sauce
Shishito peppers and brussels sprouts at Băo Brewhouse.
Ruth Tobias

Revival Denver Public House

This easygoing successor to the long-lived Avenue Grill in Uptown remains a neighborhood magnet with a particularly eclectic menu featuring dishes like Maryland-style crab dip, bison gumbo, short-rib poutine, and sweet tea–poached chicken with braised greens. Open until 11 p.m.  Monday–Saturday.

Broiled oysters with chorizo butter
Broiled oysters with chorizo butter at Revival.
Ruth Tobias

Tom's Starlight

In the historic Googie-era building that used to house Tom’s Diner, this self-styled “cocktail cabana” pays homage to its predecessor via midcentury decor. The menu, however, features decidedly modern drinks and eats until midnight Tuesday–Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday–Saturday. Think quesadillas with coffee-rubbed pulled pork, orange-jalapeño sour cream, and pineapple-cucumber pico de gallo or vegan flatbread with tofu spread, veggies, harissa tahini, and pistachios.

Sliders, fried calamari, and the pulled-pork quesadilla at Tom’s Starlight
Sliders, fried calamari, and the pulled-pork quesadilla at Tom’s Starlight.
Ruth Tobias

Voodoo Doughnut Mile High

While South Broadway, where this Oregon-based chain’s second Denver outpost is located, has its share of nightlife, it’s East Colfax — where the first sits —that’s the king of the wee-hours notoriety. So you bet that, until 3 a.m., this place is mobbed with partiers who’ve got the munchies for the pink-sprinkled ring doughnut called The Homer; the vanilla-frosted, M&M-topped Marshall Mathers; and, of course, the cylindrical, weed-inspired Maple Blazer Blunt.

A photo of six tube doughnuts called Cannolos filled with either yellow, brown or pink creme cheese filling and arranged in a stack on a raised plate next to a pink Voodoo Doughnut box
The cannolo at Voodoo Doughnut.
Voodoo Doughnut

Vesper Lounge

When Frank Bonanno took over this Cap Hill dive bar several years back, many expected him to make it fancy; instead, he preserved its low-key neighborhood soul (while improving its F&B service). Juicy Lucys and sloppy joes, pita sandwiches stuffed with shaved lamb and fattoush or saganaki and pesto, and snacks like breaded shrimp with honey-Sriracha sauce or fried artichokes with lemon-caper aioli elicit good cheer until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; the bar, for its part, keeps the classic cocktails on tap and Colorado craft drafts coming until 2 a.m.

Greek burger with cocktail
The Greek burger at Vesper Lounge.
Scottie Davison Photography

Forget Me Not

This colorful yet white-hot cocktail lounge in Cherry Creek serves up soirée-worthy hors d’oeuvres until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Live large over caviar service and Wagyu tartare or keep it real with a Chicago dog and a soft pretzel.

Forget Me Not’s Chicago dog
Forget Me Not’s Chicago dog.
Kayla Jones

The Cherry Cricket

This Cherry Creek institution tricks out its famous burgers with all the à la carte fixings imaginable — pork belly, corned beef, PB&J, Cheetos, green chile, ancho-apricot BBQ sauce, sauerkraut, and much more — until midnight (the same goes for its Ballpark sibling). Throw in pretzel knots with queso, onion rings, and spiked milkshakes for a balanced meal.

Custom burger with peanut butter, smoked cheddar, grilled onions, and green chile strips
Burgers at The Cherry Cricket can be customized with nearly 40 toppings.
Ruth Tobias

Punch Bowl Social Denver

Between the bowling alley, the arcade, and the karaoke rooms, there’s a lot to keep guests at this South Broadway entertainment emporium busy for hours on end. To fuel the nonstop activity, the kitchen stays open until 11 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday–Saturday, dishing up comfort food like bison chili–cheese fries, pulled-pork sandwiches with kettle chips, and chicken and waffles with chipotle-maple syrup.

Punch Bowl Social’s Sriracha fries
Punch Bowl Social’s Sriracha fries.
Amber Boutwell

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Atomic Cowboy

Like its East Colfax and Tennyson Street siblings, this South Broadway go-to for biscuits by day, Fat Sully’s pizza by night, and cocktails anytime stays open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight the rest of the week. Loaded garlic knots, pies by the slice or the 26-inch whole, craft drafts, and iced vodka lattes all patiently await.

Slice of pizza with a drink
“Big-ass slices” are Fat Sully’s stock in trade.
Atomic Cowboy

Jerusalem Restaurant

For decades, this critic-proof University institution has curbed students’ cravings for traditional Middle Eastern specialties until 4 a.m. Monday–Thursday, 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 a.m. on Sundays. There’s no hangover that falafel, shish kabobs, and baklava can’t cure.

Middle Eastern combo platter with meats, spreads, and salads
Jerusalem’s Super Combo platter.
Jerusalem Restaurant

Thank Sool Pocha

This absolute banger of a K-pub is open until 2 a.m. Tuesday–Sunday, which means nightcrawlers have got all the time in the world to get their fill of its fabulous anju (the Korean term for bar food). That includes army stew, a postwar dish of ramen noodles, kimchi, and American meats such as hot dogs; tteokbokki with dumplings or blood sausage; corn cheese, which is just what it sounds like; fried chicken with garlic-butter sauce; roe soup and DIY rice balls; and so much more — all tailor-made for washing down with banana-flavored makgeolli, black-raspberry soju, and other fermented and/or distilled rice beverages.

Korean rice cakes with fried dumplings
Spicy rice cakes with fried dumplings at Thank Sool Pocha.
Ruth Tobias

Piper Inn

Serving food until 11 p.m. and drinks until midnight daily, this 50-plus-year-old Aurora biker bar is beloved for its wings on the one hand and its Cantonese-style cooking, of all charmingly incongruous things, on the other — wontons, egg rolls, shrimp fried rice, and all.