• CRITICS: Tavern Uptown, Uptown
There is now a Tavern Downtown, in Lowry and the Tech Center. None of them pass muster when measured against the original (that’s not a knock on the others as much as it is a testament to the Uptown location). Big leather couches surround a fireplace in the main room that make for the best seats on a cold winter night. But it’s summer now, so bypass that and head to the massive patio outside that has its own bar and grassy area. You can see the skyline in the background and are only steps from the mini bowling alley that eats dollars quicker than the Rockies can hit balls out of Coors Field just a mile away—and it’s soooo worth it.
• CRITICS: Gallop Café, Highlands
We never thought the best purveyors of the classic Sunday morning drink would be from Wisconsin. But the Midwestern touch added to their massive bloodies—a side of Pabst Blue Ribbon—pushes it over the edge. The funny thing is, it didn’t need a PBR kick with its spicy, housemade mix and forest of veggie accompaniments. This will no doubt cure any hangover or start a leisurely day on the right track.
• CRITICS: Rock Bar, East Colfax Avenue
Somehow, the bar inside the seedy “All In Motel” has become a hip place to libate on the weekends. Everyone from hipsters to yuppies to old school Colfax bar flies come to enjoy ’80s dance music, Mad Dog on tap and a beer list that tops out at $2 or so a can. It’s great people watching, especially from the vinyl booths in the corner, and be sure not to miss the Ms. Pacman. Please don’t order the wings, regardless if the price tag or drunken hunger pangs tempt you.
Hobnob with a martini
• CRITICS: Peaks Lounge, Hyatt at the Convention Center, Downtown
Located near the top of one of Denver’s newest high-rises, take in stunning views of the foothills and western side of downtown while sipping on a Ketel One martini, straight up. You’ll likely be lounging in the contemporary bar with some of Denver’s prettiest people—that is if you can take your eyes off the view through the near floor to ceiling windows.