You’ve probably heard the claim to fame: Denver gets soaked in sunshine 300 days out of the year. Couple that with the gorgeous mountain views and requesting a table outside is a must-do.
A minor gripe, though: Many restaurants in this growing city are crunched for space and just have teeny-tiny patios or, worse, no outdoor seating at all.
In time for summer, we’re rounding up the best places where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy it in the outdoors. To make it on this list, though, the spots have to have menus just as stellar as their views.
Here are Denver's three best patios to add to your foodie bucket list.
Out-of-towners, we’ll let you in on a little secret. Linger, 2030 W. 30th Ave. in Denver, was once a mortuary (known as Olinger).
Now, it’s one of the hottest restaurants in Denver, with an expansive patio that will give you a peek at the Denver skyline. Views of the city from the Highlands (a trendy neighborhood in West Denver) are becoming endangered because of highrises, and Linger is one spot where you can still catch a good view.
This is our favorite spot for a progressive dinner because it’s located on one of our fave foodie blocks in Denver.
Start at Lola, a coastal Mexican restaurant, around the corner for some ceviche or guacamole that’s custom-made at your table or barstool. Try to score a table outside; Lola has an enclosed patio to sit out on.
Head to Linger for the main course. This restaurant is super popular, so brace for the crowds or a possible wait. Luckily, you just curbed your hunger with a mountain of guac. At Linger, a must-order: Wagyu sliders, which are topped with peppery bacon, curried sour cream, cheddar and served with a sweet potato waffle fries.
After your indulgent baby-burger feast, finish your night at Little Man Ice Cream, where the lines on the weekend are long — but totally worth it for a waffle cone full of Salted Oreo.
Despite the regular blue skies, Denver weather can be fickle. Thankfully, patios like Tamayo have you covered — literally and figuratively. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Larimer Street is a draw, with a hammock of lights draped over the block that’s dotted with restaurants and shops.
Tamayo, 1400 Larimer St. in Denver, gets our vote as the best spot for brunch because it has a beautiful patio that gives you views of the mountains and the city. Plus, it’s time to break from the Bloody Marys and mimosas. Tamayo does a $39 Bottomless Margarita Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tamayo knows how to do margaritas. It offers a selection of more than 100 different kinds of tequila.
Another bonus: Tamayo offers a free house margarita with every lunch order Monday through Friday. Because sometimes you need an extra boost to make it through the day. Sip that marg on Tamayo's cozy patio and feel like you're on a mini vacay in the middle of the day.
Taco Tuesdays are also a highlight here; get $2 tacos and fill up for cheap.
A must-order: The guacamole menu is delish. You can get a traditional order or go for something more adventurous like a spicy crab guac with wontons, roasted garlic, chile de arbol and cilantro.
Whether you work downtown or you’re a tourist visiting Denver, Civic Center Park, 144 W. Colfax Ave. in Denver, is the place to be for lunch during the week.
Certain hours and days during warmer weather (typically around early May through early October), a bunch of trucks gather in the park to serve up lunch. On any given day, you can expect about 20-something trucks. In all, about 70 food trucks typically take part in the food truck program, but they get alternating dates.
What this means for hungry bellies? A wide selection of options. So if your crew can't agree on a single type of food, you can all find something you like here. The weekly food truck festival usually includes everything from tacos to barbecue to pizza to sushi, as well as sweet treats like ice cream and cupcakes.
You can stay up to date on the latest Civic Center Eats food truck news on its Facebook page. You might want to check it out in advance so you don't spend your entire lunch hour trying to decide which truck to order from.
A must-order: This is a challenge to pin down given how many food trucks there are. But you've got to check out the Colorado Pig Rig. It has Pineapple Char Siu Pulled Pork Sliders that are served with grilled pineapple and an apple coleslaw on Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls.