Denver's five best patios to celebrate the arrival of spring (despite the snow)

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Lori Midson

The crew at Crimson & Gold, a bar near the University of Denver, apparently didn't venture outside yesterday, because while Denver's finest meteorologists had it all wrong when they predicted that the city would be snowballed by Snowzilla-Snowmageddon-Snowpocalypse, it was definitely not "patio weather," despite the bar's signage pointing to the contrary. Nonetheless, this is still a good time to start thinking about where to hang once the blizzard-that-wasn't slips away. As a starter set, here are our five best patios that are sweet on spring.

See also:
- Best of Denver 2013: The Readers' Poll Winners
- 2013 Best of: Food & Drink
- Best of Denver 2013 Readers' Poll: Meet the Food & Drink winners

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Lori Midson

5. Kaos
Renowned for its artisan pizza underscored by one of the best happy hours in the city, Kaos has also become a habitual tradition for its poetic garden, an intimate tangle of twisted vines and fragrant blossoms surrounding wrought iron tables and a trellised gazebo that sprays a light, refreshing mist that drifts through the breeze. It's dually canine-friendly and kid-friendly -- and romantic, too -- and on Thursday nights, there's live music to accompany the alfresco ambiance.

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4. Vita
The sky-facing terrace at Vita is best known for its perch overlooking the downtown skyline, and the platinum seats, shaded from the sun by licorice-red umbrellas, are in high demand, especially on weekends and during happy hour, when it's prime time for swanky people watching and clutching creative cocktails shaken and stirred at the bar just adjacent to your coveted chair. As the night wears on, and the air turns crisp, overhead heaters ensure that the convivial crowds carry on with their revelry, proving that life really is more fun on a roof.

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3. Bittersweet
How does your garden grow? Just ask Olav Peterson, the exec chef/owner of Bittersweet, who skillfully designed his fetching urban patio to ensure that his menu stays seasonal and fresh through much of the year. Strewn with shrubbery and shady trees that shimmer in the sun- and moonlight, as well as edible flowers, dozens of herbs and an abundance of vegetables, including squash and zucchini, numerous varieties of heirloom tomato plants, Swiss chard and collard greens, this is a gorgeous garden patio that makes eating in the great outdoors even greater.

Continue reading for our top spots.

Location Info

Potager

1109 Ogden St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Kaos

1439 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Bittersweet

500 E. Alameda Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Vita Restaurant

1575 Boulder St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Linger

2030 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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17 comments
re2107a
re2107a

Bittersweet? Really? With the noise, traffic, and smell of Alameda?

CDskisCO
CDskisCO

Bittersweet may have the best patio but they are pretentious a-holes!  If you do not appear "rich" or a "pretty person" you get treated like garbage...

AceRanchero
AceRanchero

Coohill's has potential: on the creek, west-facing for mountain sunsets, big railroad iron ambiance.  I can't speak to the drinks or food as it's been awhile. BTW: I am not a fan of menus on iPads. (Roger that, Old Major?) Too slow, too hard to share with a group, too worrisome about being clumsy. 

a94buff
a94buff

Linger not really that great anymore IMO now that the condos obliterated the view of the skyline (that pic above is pre-condos)

Chelly Serna
Chelly Serna

you forgot the Irish Rover's new rooftop patio. :)

Laura Saffioti
Laura Saffioti

the old Terrace Maya- felt like you were not in Boulder, felt good

Ramsey Lewis Flanagan
Ramsey Lewis Flanagan

Good choices but Lakeview Lounge is my choice for best patio. If you like ambiance, they have a great patio. It has picnic tables and old buckets fllled with sand for your cigarette butts and broken glass. Plus you get to people watch from a great vantage point. You can watch the sad, broken homeless men who fish in Sloan's Lake AND the people waiting for the bus. I dare you to find a more action-packed bar at 9:30 on a Monday morning.

mini-d
mini-d

I love the patio at Domo - like being whisked away to a Japanese garden.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

One with great potential (non-existent right now) is West End Tap House on Tennyson Street.

Jon_S
Jon_S

@a94buff Agreed. Linger still has a nice patio, but it is not longer the great patio it used to be since the condos went up. Plus I've noticed the quality of the drinks served on the patio has been much lower than those served inside lately.

PlasticCups
PlasticCups

Over Linger's patio as well. Lost the view and nothing like a $12 drink out of a plastic cup... Poor Form

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