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A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink in Denver Now

The hot spots for a drink or two (or more)

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A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
| Lucy Beaugard/Eater

A cocktail can make or break an evening, and here in Denver, bartenders have worked hard to perfect their game. These days, they’re bringing back straightforward aperitifs and after-dinner bar carts, mixing their own spirits, and pairing cocktails with top dishes. Those drinks, meanwhile, are being served inside fancy hotels, cool lounges, stealth speakeasies, and sprawling restaurants. Here are 15 hot spots around town.

This month, Gold Point in Rino replaces Izakaya Ronin on the map following the latter’s closure in August.

Looking for an essential Denver bar? Check out this list of the classics. Don’t see your favorite new spot? Give it some love in the comments, or send us a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Way Back

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3963 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(970) 682-6888
Visit Website

This popular Berkeley bar returned last year after a brief hiatus. Drinkers will find a former Irish pub transformed into a sexy date-night spot at the new Tennyson Street digs, with playful touches everywhere from decor to cocktails. The Sweater Weather, which consists of Rittenhouse rye, apple brandy, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, and Benedictine, provides warmth in any season.

<span data-author="5845">The Way Back</span>
The Way Back
Adam Larkey/Eater

2. The Tatarian

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4024 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(303) 416-4496
Visit Website

By the owners of beloved Arvada Tavern and Union Lodge No. 1, Tatarian brings cocktails to a stylish little escape in the Berkeley neighborhood. The Golden Gate is made with amaretto, Fernet Branca, egg white, lemon juice, and orgeat; the Kapok features whiskey, Combier, orgeat, banana raspberry oleo, pineapple and lime juices, and Tiki bitters.

<span data-author="7916">The Tatarian</span>
The Tatarian
The Tatarian [Official Site]

3. Zeppelin Station

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3501 Wazee St Suite #100
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 460-1978
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With big talent behind them, both bars at Zeppelin Station are worth a visit. Kiss + Ride, on the main level, is a good bet for a quick, daytime drink or a glass of bubbly. Big Trouble, in a mezzanine lounge, is the place for late-night highballs, Mai Tais, and larger cocktails for sharing.

Adam Larkey/Eater

4. Bar Helix

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3440 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 449-8587
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Bar Helix is all about the flirtatious, from bar design to drink descriptions. And while it’s first and foremost a modern wine bar, cocktails too are seriously fun in this clubby RiNo room. The cocktail menu changes seasonally but will always include multiple versions of a Negroni.

<span data-author="7916">Bar Helix cocktail with herb and citrus garnish</span>
Bar Helix
Ryan Dearth/Eater

5. Improper City

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3201 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 666-0043
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Improper City brings a very Colorado mix of options for fun to RiNo. There’s a food truck park, concert venue, and all-day beer and cocktail bar, all located next door to a rock climbing gym. The 12,000-square-foot patio offers stadium seating, Astroturf, and fire pits.

<span data-author="3635139">Improper City </span>
Improper City
Nisa Sedaghat/Eater

6. Gold Point

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3126 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

When the Denver bar veterans behind the Squire Lounge and 715 Club took over the former Bar Fausto earlier this year, they decided to take the then-buttoned-up cocktail bar in a new, more casual direction. But even though the renamed bar now stocks cheap beer and shot combos, its cocktail game is as strong as ever. The extensive list of offerings is heavy on classics, including a sazerac, a negroni, and a paloma. But there are also several house originals. The #26 pairs yellow small-batch bourbon, yellow chartreuse, and cynar while the #109 consists of gin, camparino liquor, lemon juice, and sherry.

A view of wood seats facing the bar at Gold Point with three levels of shelves stocked with liquor bottles visible behind it
The bar at Gold Point
Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

7. Lady Jane

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2021 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
720-328-9288​
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Located in a new building but with an interior covered in palm fronds, cherry wood, and orb lights and serving up classic cocktails and “Pet Sounds,” this bar transport drinkers from Denver to the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. Lady Jane is Hudson Hill’s cool younger sister, and its coolest factor is an all-night happy hour for diners in the neighborhood waiting for dinner tables.

<span data-author="3635139">Lady Jane</span>
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth/Eater

8. American Bonded

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2706 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 942-1201
Visit Website

Denver barman Sean Kenyon (see also Williams & Graham and Occidental) opened his latest concept on Larimer Street along with a team of decorated local bar owners and bartenders last year. The relaxed setting serves up an easy-to-love $8 mint julep and Old Fashioned.

<span data-author="3635139">American Bonded </span>
American Bonded
Ryan Dearth/Eater

9. Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver

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1280 25th St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 330-2660
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New York City transplant Death & Co opened in 2018 inside the Ramble Hotel with all-day offerings from a cafe and lobby bar to a (summer) rooftop garden and new moody mezzanine lounge. The first floor provides plush seating and a very pretty bar for enjoying these famed cocktails. Upstairs, Suite 6A is an intimate 22-seat space that’s much more like the brand’s New York original.

<span data-author="3635139">Suite 6A at Death &amp; Co Denver </span>
Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver
Ryan Dearth/Eater

10. Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

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1855 Blake St #160
Denver, CO 80202

The whiskey bar in Denver’s Dairy Block boasts more than 700 bottles inside a lodge-like space that’s covered in tartan and taxidermy. Top options include the Sazerac, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned. For more fun, find pool tables and frequent live music along with lots of quiet nooks and crannies.

<span data-author="3635139">Seven Grand Whiskey Bar </span>
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Peter Stanislaus/Seven Grand

11. Pony Up

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1808 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 710-8144
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At this fun-loving downtown bar, French dip sandwiches are served with classic cocktails in a comfortable setting. The Crimson & Clover Club (pictured) is made with gin, raspberry, Fino sherry, and pink peppercorn. There is also shuffleboard and fireside couch seating.

<span data-author="3635139">Pony Up</span>
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

12. LeRoux

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1555 Blake St #102
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 845-1673
Visit Website

It’s time to drink on the 16th Street Mall again with the opening of LeRoux this season. The new Pan-European restaurant from chef Lon Symensma also features one of the prettiest bars in town now. The Bee Sting (pictured) is made with Leopold Bros. gin, honey, chamomile, and an absinthe foam.

LeRoux
LeRoux
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

13. Morin

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1600 15th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623-0534
Visit Website

From the owners of RiNo Yacht Club comes this new French restaurant’s next-level bar offerings, which spotlight natural wines, perfect martinis, and full-on tea, Chartreuse, and Génépy services. A spot at the bar here with a couple of drinks, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres is a fine way to spend an evening.

Morin
Morin
Ryan Dearth/Eater

14. Brass Tacks

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1526 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202

New to Blake Street, this all-day hangout set in a historical building offers bottled and tap cocktails, next-level (but reasonably priced) bar food, and a lofted lounge for late-night parties. The space reads like a sexy game lounge popped up in a grandmother’s basement. The house Paloma and a beef and noodle salad are a worthy combo.

Brass Tacks
Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

15. Middleman Bar

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3401 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 353-4207
Visit Website

Recently opened on East Colfax, Middleman has quickly become a new neighborhood staple. The warm wood bar serves New Mexican small plates and drinks such as the Estus, with mezcal, chartreuse, amaro, and lemon. The vibe here is hip but casual.

<span data-author="3635139">Middleman Bar </span>
Middleman Bar
Ryan Dearth/Eater

1. The Way Back

3963 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
<span data-author="5845">The Way Back</span>
The Way Back
Adam Larkey/Eater

This popular Berkeley bar returned last year after a brief hiatus. Drinkers will find a former Irish pub transformed into a sexy date-night spot at the new Tennyson Street digs, with playful touches everywhere from decor to cocktails. The Sweater Weather, which consists of Rittenhouse rye, apple brandy, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, and Benedictine, provides warmth in any season.

3963 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212

2. The Tatarian

4024 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
<span data-author="7916">The Tatarian</span>
The Tatarian
The Tatarian [Official Site]

By the owners of beloved Arvada Tavern and Union Lodge No. 1, Tatarian brings cocktails to a stylish little escape in the Berkeley neighborhood. The Golden Gate is made with amaretto, Fernet Branca, egg white, lemon juice, and orgeat; the Kapok features whiskey, Combier, orgeat, banana raspberry oleo, pineapple and lime juices, and Tiki bitters.

4024 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212

3. Zeppelin Station

3501 Wazee St Suite #100, Denver, CO 80216
Adam Larkey/Eater

With big talent behind them, both bars at Zeppelin Station are worth a visit. Kiss + Ride, on the main level, is a good bet for a quick, daytime drink or a glass of bubbly. Big Trouble, in a mezzanine lounge, is the place for late-night highballs, Mai Tais, and larger cocktails for sharing.

3501 Wazee St Suite #100
Denver, CO 80216

4. Bar Helix

3440 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
<span data-author="7916">Bar Helix cocktail with herb and citrus garnish</span>
Bar Helix
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Bar Helix is all about the flirtatious, from bar design to drink descriptions. And while it’s first and foremost a modern wine bar, cocktails too are seriously fun in this clubby RiNo room. The cocktail menu changes seasonally but will always include multiple versions of a Negroni.

3440 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

5. Improper City

3201 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
<span data-author="3635139">Improper City </span>
Improper City
Nisa Sedaghat/Eater

Improper City brings a very Colorado mix of options for fun to RiNo. There’s a food truck park, concert venue, and all-day beer and cocktail bar, all located next door to a rock climbing gym. The 12,000-square-foot patio offers stadium seating, Astroturf, and fire pits.

3201 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205

6. Gold Point

3126 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
A view of wood seats facing the bar at Gold Point with three levels of shelves stocked with liquor bottles visible behind it
The bar at Gold Point
Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

When the Denver bar veterans behind the Squire Lounge and 715 Club took over the former Bar Fausto earlier this year, they decided to take the then-buttoned-up cocktail bar in a new, more casual direction. But even though the renamed bar now stocks cheap beer and shot combos, its cocktail game is as strong as ever. The extensive list of offerings is heavy on classics, including a sazerac, a negroni, and a paloma. But there are also several house originals. The #26 pairs yellow small-batch bourbon, yellow chartreuse, and cynar while the #109 consists of gin, camparino liquor, lemon juice, and sherry.

3126 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

7. Lady Jane

2021 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
<span data-author="3635139">Lady Jane</span>
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Located in a new building but with an interior covered in palm fronds, cherry wood, and orb lights and serving up classic cocktails and “Pet Sounds,” this bar transport drinkers from Denver to the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. Lady Jane is Hudson Hill’s cool younger sister, and its coolest factor is an all-night happy hour for diners in the neighborhood waiting for dinner tables.

2021 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

8. American Bonded

2706 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
<span data-author="3635139">American Bonded </span>
American Bonded
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Denver barman Sean Kenyon (see also Williams & Graham and Occidental) opened his latest concept on Larimer Street along with a team of decorated local bar owners and bartenders last year. The relaxed setting serves up an easy-to-love $8 mint julep and Old Fashioned.

2706 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

9. Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver

1280 25th St, Denver, CO 80205
<span data-author="3635139">Suite 6A at Death &amp; Co Denver </span>
Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver
Ryan Dearth/Eater

New York City transplant Death & Co opened in 2018 inside the Ramble Hotel with all-day offerings from a cafe and lobby bar to a (summer) rooftop garden and new moody mezzanine lounge. The first floor provides plush seating and a very pretty bar for enjoying these famed cocktails. Upstairs, Suite 6A is an intimate 22-seat space that’s much more like the brand’s New York original.

1280 25th St
Denver, CO 80205

10. Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

1855 Blake St #160, Denver, CO 80202
<span data-author="3635139">Seven Grand Whiskey Bar </span>
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Peter Stanislaus/Seven Grand

The whiskey bar in Denver’s Dairy Block boasts more than 700 bottles inside a lodge-like space that’s covered in tartan and taxidermy. Top options include the Sazerac, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned. For more fun, find pool tables and frequent live music along with lots of quiet nooks and crannies.

1855 Blake St #160
Denver, CO 80202

11. Pony Up

1808 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
<span data-author="3635139">Pony Up</span>
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

At this fun-loving downtown bar, French dip sandwiches are served with classic cocktails in a comfortable setting. The Crimson & Clover Club (pictured) is made with gin, raspberry, Fino sherry, and pink peppercorn. There is also shuffleboard and fireside couch seating.

1808 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202

12. LeRoux

1555 Blake St #102, Denver, CO 80202
LeRoux
LeRoux
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

It’s time to drink on the 16th Street Mall again with the opening of LeRoux this season. The new Pan-European restaurant from chef Lon Symensma also features one of the prettiest bars in town now. The Bee Sting (pictured) is made with Leopold Bros. gin, honey, chamomile, and an absinthe foam.

1555 Blake St #102
Denver, CO 80202

13. Morin

1600 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
Morin
Morin
Ryan Dearth/Eater

From the owners of RiNo Yacht Club comes this new French restaurant’s next-level bar offerings, which spotlight natural wines, perfect martinis, and full-on tea, Chartreuse, and Génépy services. A spot at the bar here with a couple of drinks, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres is a fine way to spend an evening.

1600 15th St
Denver, CO 80202

14. Brass Tacks

1526 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Brass Tacks
Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

New to Blake Street, this all-day hangout set in a historical building offers bottled and tap cocktails, next-level (but reasonably priced) bar food, and a lofted lounge for late-night parties. The space reads like a sexy game lounge popped up in a grandmother’s basement. The house Paloma and a beef and noodle salad are a worthy combo.

1526 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202

15. Middleman Bar

3401 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
<span data-author="3635139">Middleman Bar </span>
Middleman Bar
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Recently opened on East Colfax, Middleman has quickly become a new neighborhood staple. The warm wood bar serves New Mexican small plates and drinks such as the Estus, with mezcal, chartreuse, amaro, and lemon. The vibe here is hip but casual.

3401 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206

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