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The Cruise Room near Union Station is a Denver classic
The Oxford Hotel

Head to One of These 10 Neighborhood Bars

They’re great for grabbing a drink with old friends or finding some friendly bartenders

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The Cruise Room near Union Station is a Denver classic
| The Oxford Hotel

Not at all stuffy and not dives either, these Denver neighborhood bars offer a mix of locations, styles, and surroundings. At some, the cocktails are exceptional. At others, drinks are secondary to space and company. A few will be easier for catching up over a beer, while a couple might be better for drowning out sorrows with music and dancing. From Bonnie Brae to Arvada, here are 10 easy stops for the barflies, groups, or couples.

Have another favorite neighborhood hangout? Leave it in the comments below or send a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Arvada Tavern

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It’s tiki night every Tuesday at the Arvada Tavern, where serious themed cocktails are prepared in a historical and festive Olde Town setting. On any night of the week, though, go for the mixed drinks and small plates, and step inside the phone booth to be transported upstairs for (weekend) live music.

Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern [Official Site]

Local 46

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This sprawling Berkeley beer garden and tavern provides fireside nooks for intimate conversations, and bocce, ping-pong, and cornhole for the rest of them. Check ahead for live nightly bands and weekly (Thursdays) karaoke.

Lady Jane

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LoHi’s newest bar is an instant classic, with Mid-century modern decor and an all-night happy hour for diners waiting on nearby restaurant tables. Try the Haunted by Waters made with tequila, Strega, lime, and cinnamon.

Lady Jane
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth

Pon Pon

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Part art gallery, part hipster haven, Pon Pon is an escape from the raucous scene that is Larimer Street. Go for an inconspicuous drink on a vintage couch with vinyl playing in the background. Best for a bottle of beer, or cocktails such as The Keef (double Grey Goose, Orangina) and some sparkling conversation.

Pony Up

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Drinkers can cozy up by the “fireplace” at this new Ballpark bar that prepares classic cocktails to pair with addictive French dips, including the Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Day with roasted turkey, Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry mayo, and gravy.

A comfy lounge section just inside the front entrance at Pony Up.
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips

The Cruise Room

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With its new and improved drinks menu, the classic Cruise Room at The Oxford Hotel is worth a stopover this season. The downtown bar that officially opened in 1933 (the day after Prohibition ended) is back to its roots with a tour of classic cocktails made from straightforward ingredients. It’s all served in an unmatched and historically-registered setting.

A photo of a view into The Cruise room with a long bar with stools and a line of tables with soft two-person seats extending to the back of the bar
The Cruise Room
The Oxford Hotel [Official Site]

Wally's Wisconsin Tavern

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From the owners of Rhein Haus, this Larimer Square-adjacent tavern will transport Midwesterners right back home with cheese curds, brats, and a fish fry on Fridays. Order a pint from Bell’s brewery, a Riverwest Stein tall boy or an old fashioned.

<span data-author="5845">Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern </span>
Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern
Adam Larkey

The Thin Man

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Religious paintings and paraphernalia pack this quirky 17th Street hole-in-the-wall that infuses its own vodka and hides a performance space in the basement. Hide out under the hanging lights and squeeze up to the full bar at this busy neighborhood favorite.

<span data-author="5845">The Thin Man </span>
The Thin Man
The Thin Man [Official Site]

Syntax Physic Opera

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While South Broadway’s neighborhood haunts are numerous (see also Skylark Lounge and Sputnik), Syntax stands out for its unique space and knack for throwing a good party. Find DJs, poets, and comedians performing alongside a strong cocktail and food program.

<span data-author="5845">Syntax Physic Opera </span>
Syntax Physic Opera
Syntax Physic Opera/Facebook

Campus Lounge

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The second revamp of this 40-year-old former hockey bar is worth the trip back to Bonnie Brae. Customers can still slide into a vinyl booth, order green chile or burgers, and watch a game on the reinstalled televisions.

<span data-author="5845">The exterior of the Campus Lounge in Bonnie Brae, including the iconic yellow and brown “Campus Lounge” sign </span>
Campus Lounge
Adam Larkey/Eater

The Arvada Tavern

Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern [Official Site]

It’s tiki night every Tuesday at the Arvada Tavern, where serious themed cocktails are prepared in a historical and festive Olde Town setting. On any night of the week, though, go for the mixed drinks and small plates, and step inside the phone booth to be transported upstairs for (weekend) live music.

Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern [Official Site]

Local 46

This sprawling Berkeley beer garden and tavern provides fireside nooks for intimate conversations, and bocce, ping-pong, and cornhole for the rest of them. Check ahead for live nightly bands and weekly (Thursdays) karaoke.

Lady Jane

Lady Jane
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth

LoHi’s newest bar is an instant classic, with Mid-century modern decor and an all-night happy hour for diners waiting on nearby restaurant tables. Try the Haunted by Waters made with tequila, Strega, lime, and cinnamon.

Lady Jane
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth

Pon Pon

Part art gallery, part hipster haven, Pon Pon is an escape from the raucous scene that is Larimer Street. Go for an inconspicuous drink on a vintage couch with vinyl playing in the background. Best for a bottle of beer, or cocktails such as The Keef (double Grey Goose, Orangina) and some sparkling conversation.

Pony Up

A comfy lounge section just inside the front entrance at Pony Up.
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips

Drinkers can cozy up by the “fireplace” at this new Ballpark bar that prepares classic cocktails to pair with addictive French dips, including the Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Day with roasted turkey, Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry mayo, and gravy.

A comfy lounge section just inside the front entrance at Pony Up.
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips

The Cruise Room

A photo of a view into The Cruise room with a long bar with stools and a line of tables with soft two-person seats extending to the back of the bar
The Cruise Room
The Oxford Hotel [Official Site]

With its new and improved drinks menu, the classic Cruise Room at The Oxford Hotel is worth a stopover this season. The downtown bar that officially opened in 1933 (the day after Prohibition ended) is back to its roots with a tour of classic cocktails made from straightforward ingredients. It’s all served in an unmatched and historically-registered setting.

A photo of a view into The Cruise room with a long bar with stools and a line of tables with soft two-person seats extending to the back of the bar
The Cruise Room
The Oxford Hotel [Official Site]

Wally's Wisconsin Tavern

<span data-author="5845">Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern </span>
Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern
Adam Larkey

From the owners of Rhein Haus, this Larimer Square-adjacent tavern will transport Midwesterners right back home with cheese curds, brats, and a fish fry on Fridays. Order a pint from Bell’s brewery, a Riverwest Stein tall boy or an old fashioned.

<span data-author="5845">Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern </span>
Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern
Adam Larkey

The Thin Man

<span data-author="5845">The Thin Man </span>
The Thin Man
The Thin Man [Official Site]

Religious paintings and paraphernalia pack this quirky 17th Street hole-in-the-wall that infuses its own vodka and hides a performance space in the basement. Hide out under the hanging lights and squeeze up to the full bar at this busy neighborhood favorite.

<span data-author="5845">The Thin Man </span>
The Thin Man
The Thin Man [Official Site]

Syntax Physic Opera

<span data-author="5845">Syntax Physic Opera </span>
Syntax Physic Opera
Syntax Physic Opera/Facebook

While South Broadway’s neighborhood haunts are numerous (see also Skylark Lounge and Sputnik), Syntax stands out for its unique space and knack for throwing a good party. Find DJs, poets, and comedians performing alongside a strong cocktail and food program.

<span data-author="5845">Syntax Physic Opera </span>
Syntax Physic Opera
Syntax Physic Opera/Facebook

Campus Lounge

<span data-author="5845">The exterior of the Campus Lounge in Bonnie Brae, including the iconic yellow and brown “Campus Lounge” sign </span>
Campus Lounge
Adam Larkey/Eater

The second revamp of this 40-year-old former hockey bar is worth the trip back to Bonnie Brae. Customers can still slide into a vinyl booth, order green chile or burgers, and watch a game on the reinstalled televisions.

<span data-author="5845">The exterior of the Campus Lounge in Bonnie Brae, including the iconic yellow and brown “Campus Lounge” sign </span>
Campus Lounge
Adam Larkey/Eater

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