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Crowded dining room
The scene at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips

The Ultimate Guide to Late-Night Dining in Denver

Where to go when the midnight munchies strike

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The scene at Barcelona Wine Bar.
| Jonathan Phillips

Perhaps because everybody has to rise and shine early enough to hit the slopes and trails, Denver never has been much of a haven for night owls, and the pandemic and the subsequent labor shortage have only further curtailed hours at many establishments; most close up shop at 9 or 10 p.m. The following 19 places, however, keep their kitchens open past 10:30 p.m., some much later, at least a few nights a week — serving up everything from burgers and pizza to shish kabobs and steamed snails. Check them out below, listed in geographical order from north to south.

Bonus picks: Though too new to be included here, much-anticipated RiNo arrivals The Greenwich and Redeemer Pizza both stay open late Friday and Saturday (until 11 a.m. and 12 a.m., respectively), while Revival Denver Public House in Uptown serves until midnight Tuesday–Saturday.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Atomic Cowboy

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Like its East Colfax and South Broadway siblings, this Tennyson Street go-to for biscuits by day, Fat Sully’s pizza by night, and cocktails anytime stays open until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 p.m. 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 glass of beer
A Fat Sully’s slice and a pint at Atomic Cowboy.
Atomic Cowboy

Occidental

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To call Occidental 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. Serving food until 1 a.m. and drinks until 2 a.m., the crackerjack crew whips up original drinks laced with everything from dill-infused aquavit to green bell pepper and celery bitters, which pair with an array of easygoing but well-made snacks: green-chile mac and three cheeses, say, or spiced chicken tenders with lemon-parsley tahini sauce.

Plate of tater tots with kimchi and mozzarella
Occidental’s kimchi tots.
Ruth Tobias

Barcelona Wine Bar

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With operating hours extending until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and to midnight 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.

Plate of tortilla española
Tortilla española at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips

Mizu Izakaya

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Be it a platter of sushi, a bowl of ramen, or a plethora of traditional drinking foods such as takoyaki and yakitori, this chic Japanese fixture in LoHi keeps it coming until 10:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; the bar, for its part, whips up signature cocktails like the sake-based Ichigo Sakura with egg white, strawberry, lemon, and black sesame until midnight.

Dish of pork belly and kimchi in cream sauce
Mizu Izakaya’s signature cream pork kimchi.
Ruth Tobias

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 cocktail make for a classic Cart-Driver combo.

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

Cherry Cricket | Ballpark

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The Ballpark sibling of this Cherry Creek institution tricks out its famous burgers with all the à la carte fixings — chicharrones, PB&J, cream cheese, Fritos, sauerkraut, and more — until 11:45 p.m. Throw in pretzel knots with queso, onion rings, and spiked milkshakes for a balanced meal.

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

Famous Original J's Pizza

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As with the bagels made 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- or thick-crust pie or slice at the walk-up window, then dig in at a picnic table on the patio until midnight on Friday and Saturday or 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday.

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

Băo Brewhouse

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Euclid Hall’s old space could now almost pass for some hip lounge in Shanghai, all red lanterns, neon, and street-style murals (plus QR code–driven service). Though closing time depends to some extent on business, both the upstairs Tea Room and downstairs Tap Room generally offer their funky Asian fusion fare — take the burger sliders on bao buns called In-n-Băouts, whiskey-spiked drunken noodles, or hamachi sashimi in truffle vinaigrette — until 10:45 or 11 p.m., while the bar pours cocktails like the Cognac- and Sherry-based Slums of Shaolin and the Trigger Warning with baijiu, Alpine herbal liqueur, pineapple, and ginger until midnight.

Lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls and two dipping sauces
Băo Brewhouse’s lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls.
Ruth Tobias

Ace Eat Serve

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On Fridays and Saturdays, Uptown’s favorite pan–Asian lounge and ping-pong hall serves up dumplings, stuffed bao, ramen, and more alongside sake flights and Volcano Bowls until 11 p.m. (Meanwhile, Ace’s retro diner–inspired sibling Steuben’s next door keeps its comfort-food staples — fried pickles, deviled eggs, meatloaf, BLTs, and so on — coming on the same clock.)

Pork dumplings steamed in bamboo basket
Xiao long bao at Ace Eat Serve.
Ruth Tobias

Goosetown Tavern

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OPEN, a stellar sandwich shop that launched in March at American Bonded, recently took over the kitchen in this Congress Park fixture, where it lives up to its name until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. With $1 going to a good cause (such as Project Angel Heart), each sandwich was created by a different local chef — from the Osaka with chicken karaage, ginger-sesame slaw, and oshinko on shokupan to the Lee, featuring Sichuan braised beef and provolone on a baguette with Sichuan-peppercorn dipping broth; also on the menu are smoked ribs, starters and sides like French onion dip with homemade potato chips, and sweets such as salted shortbread.

Asian-French dip with chips
OPEN’s Lee sandwich is an Asian-French dip created by Tommy Lee of Uncle and Hop Alley.
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 classic cocktails on tap along with Colorado craft drafts elicit good cheer 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 lobster rolls, or keep it (relatively) simple with fava bean hummus and crudités or a soft pretzel accompanied by Gouda fondue.

Lobster roll, chips, and a tropical cocktail
Forget Me Not’s signature lobster roll with chips.
Kayla Jones

The Breakfast King

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Come last call, locals know that all roads lead to this true-blue 24/7 diner. French dips and New York strips, pancakes and pork chops, black coffee and hot chocolate — it’s all here, all night (and day), in a picture-perfect setting of wood-paneled walls, orange vinyl booths, and stained-glass pendant lamps.

Burrito smothered with bean chili and cheese
Breakfast King’s Toro Pot, a burrito smothered with bean chili and cheese.
Jimmy Changa

The Brutal Poodle

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Also among Eater’s top picks for happy hour, this metal-themed Overland joint has earned a loyal following for its wide and well-priced selection of craft beers as well as over-the-top pub grub like the Southbound Defibrillator Signature Brutal Mac — cavatappi in four-cheese sauce beneath a pile of tater tots and bacon in pork green chile, plus a fried egg — and the Poodle Bites, skewers of smoked-sausage fritters in jalapeño-cheddar corn batter accompanied by mustard aioli and Sriracha maple syrup. It’s all available until 10:45 p.m. on weekends; the bar, for its part, stays open until 2 a.m. nightly.

Brisket sandwich with tater tots in basket
The Brutal Poodle’s brisket sandwich.
The Brutal Poodle

Jerusalem Restaurant

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For decades, this critic-proof University institution has curbed students’ cravings for traditional Middle Eastern specialties until 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 4 a.m. the rest of the week. 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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The first of two K-pubs listed here (see also DMZ below), this absolute banger 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 snail salad; and so much more — all tailor-made for washing down with banana-flavored makgeolli, pineapple-vinegar 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 53-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

DMZ Pub

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Open until 2 a.m., this dim-lit, family-run K-pub in an Aurora strip mall offers a menu and drink list similar to that of Thank Sool Pocha, but eagle-eyed eaters will spot a few new things to try, including addictive semi-dried squid with dipping sauce and a choice of either sweet-and-spicy or “very spicy” wings. Need still more pointers? Check out DMZ’s mouthwatering Instagram feed.

Plate of spicy Korean chicken wings
Spicy wings at DMZ Pub.
Ruth Tobias

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Atomic Cowboy

Slice of pizza with glass of beer
A Fat Sully’s slice and a pint at Atomic Cowboy.
Atomic Cowboy

Like its East Colfax and South Broadway siblings, this Tennyson Street go-to for biscuits by day, Fat Sully’s pizza by night, and cocktails anytime stays open until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 p.m. 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 glass of beer
A Fat Sully’s slice and a pint at Atomic Cowboy.
Atomic Cowboy

Occidental

Plate of tater tots with kimchi and mozzarella
Occidental’s kimchi tots.
Ruth Tobias

To call Occidental 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. Serving food until 1 a.m. and drinks until 2 a.m., the crackerjack crew whips up original drinks laced with everything from dill-infused aquavit to green bell pepper and celery bitters, which pair with an array of easygoing but well-made snacks: green-chile mac and three cheeses, say, or spiced chicken tenders with lemon-parsley tahini sauce.

Plate of tater tots with kimchi and mozzarella
Occidental’s kimchi tots.
Ruth Tobias

Barcelona Wine Bar

Plate of tortilla española
Tortilla española at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips

With operating hours extending until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and to midnight 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.

Plate of tortilla española
Tortilla española at Barcelona Wine Bar.
Jonathan Phillips

Mizu Izakaya

Dish of pork belly and kimchi in cream sauce
Mizu Izakaya’s signature cream pork kimchi.
Ruth Tobias

Be it a platter of sushi, a bowl of ramen, or a plethora of traditional drinking foods such as takoyaki and yakitori, this chic Japanese fixture in LoHi keeps it coming until 10:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; the bar, for its part, whips up signature cocktails like the sake-based Ichigo Sakura with egg white, strawberry, lemon, and black sesame until midnight.

Dish of pork belly and kimchi in cream sauce
Mizu Izakaya’s signature cream pork kimchi.
Ruth Tobias

Cart-Driver

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

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 cocktail make for a classic Cart-Driver combo.

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

Cherry Cricket | Ballpark

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

The Ballpark sibling of this Cherry Creek institution tricks out its famous burgers with all the à la carte fixings — chicharrones, PB&J, cream cheese, Fritos, sauerkraut, and more — until 11:45 p.m. Throw in pretzel knots with queso, onion rings, and spiked milkshakes for a balanced meal.

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

Famous Original J's Pizza

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

As with the bagels made 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- or thick-crust pie or slice at the walk-up window, then dig in at a picnic table on the patio until midnight on Friday and Saturday or 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday.

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

Băo Brewhouse

Lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls and two dipping sauces
Băo Brewhouse’s lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls.
Ruth Tobias

Euclid Hall’s old space could now almost pass for some hip lounge in Shanghai, all red lanterns, neon, and street-style murals (plus QR code–driven service). Though closing time depends to some extent on business, both the upstairs Tea Room and downstairs Tap Room generally offer their funky Asian fusion fare — take the burger sliders on bao buns called In-n-Băouts, whiskey-spiked drunken noodles, or hamachi sashimi in truffle vinaigrette — until 10:45 or 11 p.m., while the bar pours cocktails like the Cognac- and Sherry-based Slums of Shaolin and the Trigger Warning with baijiu, Alpine herbal liqueur, pineapple, and ginger until midnight.

Lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls and two dipping sauces
Băo Brewhouse’s lettuce wrap platter with veggie egg rolls.
Ruth Tobias

Ace Eat Serve

Pork dumplings steamed in bamboo basket
Xiao long bao at Ace Eat Serve.
Ruth Tobias

On Fridays and Saturdays, Uptown’s favorite pan–Asian lounge and ping-pong hall serves up dumplings, stuffed bao, ramen, and more alongside sake flights and Volcano Bowls until 11 p.m. (Meanwhile, Ace’s retro diner–inspired sibling Steuben’s next door keeps its comfort-food staples — fried pickles, deviled eggs, meatloaf, BLTs, and so on — coming on the same clock.)

Pork dumplings steamed in bamboo basket
Xiao long bao at Ace Eat Serve.
Ruth Tobias

Goosetown Tavern

Asian-French dip with chips
OPEN’s Lee sandwich is an Asian-French dip created by Tommy Lee of Uncle and Hop Alley.
Ruth Tobias

OPEN, a stellar sandwich shop that launched in March at American Bonded, recently took over the kitchen in this Congress Park fixture, where it lives up to its name until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. With $1 going to a good cause (such as Project Angel Heart), each sandwich was created by a different local chef — from the Osaka with chicken karaage, ginger-sesame slaw, and oshinko on shokupan to the Lee, featuring Sichuan braised beef and provolone on a baguette with Sichuan-peppercorn dipping broth; also on the menu are smoked ribs, starters and sides like French onion dip with homemade potato chips, and sweets such as salted shortbread.

Asian-French dip with chips
OPEN’s Lee sandwich is an Asian-French dip created by Tommy Lee of Uncle and Hop Alley.
Ruth Tobias

Voodoo Doughnut Mile High