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Private greenhouses on a rooftop
Linger’s rooftop greenhouses.
Lucy Beaugard

16 Cozy, Warm Spaces to Dine Outdoors in Denver This Winter

Where to go to soak up the city’s famous sunshine

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Linger’s rooftop greenhouses.
| Lucy Beaugard

Denver’s not nearly as wintry as outsiders tend to assume — especially not this year, in which the city tied its 134-year record for consecutive days without snowfall — but it isn’t Miami either, so offering outdoor service year-round takes some effort.

Granted, that effort was aided by pandemic-era restrictions on dining-room capacity, which forced many restaurant and bar operators to invest in alternative seating options. So while many patios are weather-dependent throughout the season, many are now expressly built to withstand the cold. In some cases, that simply means they’re bedecked with propane heaters and fire pits for intrepid outdoorsy types to gather round; in others, it means there are tents, greenhouses, bungalows, yurts and other indoor-outdoor structures in place that may require reservations and even advance payment. TLDR: Call ahead to ensure that table in the sunshine is available.

Note: This map is ordered geographically from north to south. Have other suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Wolf's Tailor

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Make a special night of it with friends by booking a private tent at this Sunnyside retreat, in which four to eight guests are treated to eclectic multicourse tastings centered around donabe (Japanese clay pot) cooking. Complete with a fireplace and air purifier, it’s an experience unlike any other in town. (Heads up to Boulderites: private yurts are available for two to four people at Wolf’s sibling Basta.)

Tents on a restaurant patio Jeff Fierberg

Vital Root

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It’s the rare fast-casual eatery that’s up to the challenge of year-round outdoor dining, but Vital Root meets it in plant-centric style. Dig into a vegetarian Cobb salad or bánh mì–inspired tacos with edamame pâté beneath the retractable pergola among plenty of heaters.

Enclosed patio
Edible Beats

American Elm

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Decked out with heaters and Bluetooth speakers, the six greenhouses at this popular contemporary American spot in West Highland fill up fast, especially on weekends, so make a reservation to ensure you score a table beneath the namesake tree. Then make it a party with fun snacks like animal crackers (a sort of chicharrón mix), deviled eggs with pork belly, and bacon-cheddar potato skins.

Happy Camper

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Year-round, this LoHi pizzeria’s Astroturfed lawn — covered beneath an enormous tent — feels like an adult playground, with umbrellas and picnic tables, lawn chairs and lanterns, a disco ball, and a fire pit; right now, it also feels like a winter wonderland thanks to an explosion of holiday decorations.

Avanti Food and Beverage, Denver

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This LoHi food hall’s upstairs deck has been tented for the winter to ensure that exposure to the elements isn’t the price to be paid for stunning views of the skyline. Savor them alongside eats from an old favorite like Quiero Arepas or Avanti’s newest vendor, Vaca Gordo BBQ, run by well-known chefs Steve Redzikowski and Bill Espiricueta. (Note that, at the time of this writing, the space is doubling as Miracle Bar, a holiday-themed extravaganza with a cover charge.)

Ruth Tobias

Bar Dough

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In addition to patio heaters and fire pits, this Italian favorite in LoHi boasts four four-top greenhouses for lounging over white pizza with prosciutto and delicata squash; pappardelle with milk-braised rabbit and walnuts; and seasonal cocktails like the Smokey the Pear with mezcal, Madeira, and pear-ginger syrup. (Within a few blocks of Bar Dough, siblings Señor Bear, Tap & Burger, and Ash’Kara also have heated seating options.)

Restaurant patio with fire pits and greenhouses
There are diverse options for heated seating at Bar Dough.
Kayla Jones

Federales Denver

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Thanks to garage doors and a retractable roof, even the inside of this party place par excellence is sometimes partly outside. But the space is also flanked by a heater-lined patio (which may soon be tented) to keep the crowd warm no matter how many ice shots they take to lob at the bell, to reference Federales’ signature outdoor drinking game.

Federales Denver

Barcelona Wine Bar

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Heavy-duty heaters, blankets by request, and, perhaps, an order of sizzling paella guarantee that the semi-secret patio at this always hopping tapas bar remains inviting year-round.

Barcelona Wine Bar

Great atmosphere is the common denominator of all Edible Beats properties (including Vital Root above); in this case, Linger’s fabulous rooftop has been decked with igloos that keep out the cold while keeping in the views. For added warmth, the menu’s rife with comforts such as devils on horseback, BBQ duck buns, and scallion pancake with short rib.

Dining igloos on a rooftop Lucy Beaugard

Tavernetta

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Here’s another way to splurge in the great (urban) outdoors: Reserve an Alpenglobe at Tavernetta for two to five people and prepare to be pampered in your own little bubble — all while exploring one of Denver’s most acclaimed wine programs and dining on the likes of bucatini with swordfish in squid ink and venison osso buco. There’s a $300 minimum to book, but that’s par for the experience: A couple could easily spend just as much celebrating in the dining room. (In Boulder, Tavernetta sibling Frasca Food and Wine also offers Alpenglobe reservations.)

Annette

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Boasting both private greenhouses and a yurt, this Stanley Marketplace destination has recreated its decidedly warm, intimate vibe outdoors, where hot toddies by the Thermos can accompany hearty signature dishes like grilled beef tongue with marrow toast and pork tenderloin with spaetzle.

Dining greenhouses in front of a yurt From the Hip Photo

Briar Common Brewery + Eatery

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At 4 p.m., one of the city’s loveliest rooftop bars turns on its fire pits for first-come, first-serve seating. ’Tis the season to sip a whiskey barrel–aged Imperial stout or American porter alongside fish and chips or beer-infused bacon mac and cheese.

Briar Common Briar Common

Bistro Vendôme

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While all of Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch’s restaurants (including Rioja, Ultreia, and Stoic & Genuine) have got their tents up and their propane heaters on, it’s the picturesque courtyard at Bistro Vendôme for the win. Savor the hideaway vibe over classic French fare like steak tartare, moules frites, and mushroom crêpes.

Ruth Tobias

Guests of Frank Bonanno’s fine-dining classic Mizuna have got their choice of tables in the firepit-dotted, flaps-down patio tent or in the four-table greenhouse hung with heat lamps; either way, splurging on seared foie gras, the signature beef Wellington, and warm chocolate cake is a must here.

Mizuna

Barolo Grill

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In response to the pandemic, owner Ryan Fletter installed private bungalows at this fine-dining fixture in Cherry Creek, where the contemporary Italian prix fixe menu — which is offered a la carte on weeknights — abounds in luxuries like goat cheese soufflé with fig-balsamic puree, lobster tajarin, and semolina-crusted veal tenderloin.

Bungalows at Barolo Grill Barolo Grill

A heated tent mimics the island ambiance of this South Broadway tiki bar, where tropical cocktails meet eats like Spam musubi and loco moco–inspired meatloaf to transport you to balmier climes in an instant.

Adrift

The Wolf's Tailor

Tents on a restaurant patio Jeff Fierberg

Make a special night of it with friends by booking a private tent at this Sunnyside retreat, in which four to eight guests are treated to eclectic multicourse tastings centered around donabe (Japanese clay pot) cooking. Complete with a fireplace and air purifier, it’s an experience unlike any other in town. (Heads up to Boulderites: private yurts are available for two to four people at Wolf’s sibling Basta.)

Tents on a restaurant patio Jeff Fierberg

Vital Root

Enclosed patio
Edible Beats

It’s the rare fast-casual eatery that’s up to the challenge of year-round outdoor dining, but Vital Root meets it in plant-centric style. Dig into a vegetarian Cobb salad or bánh mì–inspired tacos with edamame pâté beneath the retractable pergola among plenty of heaters.

Enclosed patio
Edible Beats

American Elm

Decked out with heaters and Bluetooth speakers, the six greenhouses at this popular contemporary American spot in West Highland fill up fast, especially on weekends, so make a reservation to ensure you score a table beneath the namesake tree. Then make it a party with fun snacks like animal crackers (a sort of chicharrón mix), deviled eggs with pork belly, and bacon-cheddar potato skins.

Happy Camper

Year-round, this LoHi pizzeria’s Astroturfed lawn — covered beneath an enormous tent — feels like an adult playground, with umbrellas and picnic tables, lawn chairs and lanterns, a disco ball, and a fire pit; right now, it also feels like a winter wonderland thanks to an explosion of holiday decorations.

Avanti Food and Beverage, Denver

Ruth Tobias

This LoHi food hall’s upstairs deck has been tented for the winter to ensure that exposure to the elements isn’t the price to be paid for stunning views of the skyline. Savor them alongside eats from an old favorite like Quiero Arepas or Avanti’s newest vendor, Vaca Gordo BBQ, run by well-known chefs Steve Redzikowski and Bill Espiricueta. (Note that, at the time of this writing, the space is doubling as Miracle Bar, a holiday-themed extravaganza with a cover charge.)

Ruth Tobias

Bar Dough

Restaurant patio with fire pits and greenhouses
There are diverse options for heated seating at Bar Dough.
Kayla Jones

In addition to patio heaters and fire pits, this Italian favorite in LoHi boasts four four-top greenhouses for lounging over white pizza with prosciutto and delicata squash; pappardelle with milk-braised rabbit and walnuts; and seasonal cocktails like the Smokey the Pear with mezcal, Madeira, and pear-ginger syrup. (Within a few blocks of Bar Dough, siblings Señor Bear, Tap & Burger, and Ash’Kara also have heated seating options.)

Restaurant patio with fire pits and greenhouses
There are diverse options for heated seating at Bar Dough.
Kayla Jones

Federales Denver

Federales Denver

Thanks to garage doors and a retractable roof, even the inside of this party place par excellence is sometimes partly outside. But the space is also flanked by a heater-lined patio (which may soon be tented) to keep the crowd warm no matter how many ice shots they take to lob at the bell, to reference Federales’ signature outdoor drinking game.

Federales Denver

Barcelona Wine Bar

Barcelona Wine Bar

Heavy-duty heaters, blankets by request, and, perhaps, an order of sizzling paella guarantee that the semi-secret patio at this always hopping tapas bar remains inviting year-round.

Barcelona Wine Bar

Linger

Dining igloos on a rooftop Lucy Beaugard

Great atmosphere is the common denominator of all Edible Beats properties (including Vital Root above); in this case, Linger’s fabulous rooftop has been decked with igloos that keep out the cold while keeping in the views. For added warmth, the menu’s rife with comforts such as devils on horseback, BBQ duck buns, and scallion pancake with short rib.

Dining igloos on a rooftop Lucy Beaugard

Tavernetta

Here’s another way to splurge in the great (urban) outdoors: Reserve an Alpenglobe at Tavernetta for two to five people and prepare to be pampered in your own little bubble — all while exploring one of Denver’s most acclaimed wine programs and dining on the likes of bucatini with swordfish in squid ink and venison osso buco. There’s a $300 minimum to book, but that’s par for the experience: A couple could easily spend just as much celebrating in the dining room. (In Boulder, Tavernetta sibling Frasca Food and Wine also offers Alpenglobe reservations.)

Annette

Dining greenhouses in front of a yurt From the Hip Photo

Boasting both private greenhouses and a yurt, this Stanley Marketplace destination has recreated its decidedly warm, intimate vibe outdoors, where hot toddies by the Thermos can accompany hearty signature dishes like grilled beef tongue with marrow toast and pork tenderloin with spaetzle.

Dining greenhouses in front of a yurt From the Hip Photo

Briar Common Brewery + Eatery

Briar Common Briar Common

At 4 p.m., one of the city’s loveliest rooftop bars turns on its fire pits for first-come, first-serve seating. ’Tis the season to sip a whiskey barrel–aged Imperial stout or American porter alongside fish and chips or beer-infused bacon mac and cheese.

Briar Common Briar Common

Bistro Vendôme