Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more.
Outdoor dining is so 2021. Now that the sun has set on most dining restrictions, though, I’m excited to eat outside for the sake of it, not because I’m required to. These three restaurant patios are ones I’d recommend to friends and visitors. They show off views from the Denver skyline to the Flatirons and the entire Front Range. And they’re great for family, friends or dates.
Three outdoor dining areas give you 360-degree views of the Front Range from this hilltop cider house located between Boulder and Denver. The deck (pictured) offers a roof overhead, with direct access to the bar and restaurant; the cider garden provides dog-friendly seating; and the “back forty” has space for the whole family to run around, with drinks (ciders starting at $6) served casually from two bars.
1380 Horizon Ave., Lafayette, acreageco.com
This downtown Boulder Spanish spot faces a perfect backdrop for a tapas date or celebratory dinner. The Flatirons are so close you could practically touch them from the rooftop. You can sit around a fire pit and toast with oversized gin tonics ($16), order small plates ($3-$32), happy-hour style, in the afternoon or stick around for dinner during sunset.
1023 Walnut St., Boulder, corridaboulder.com
Red Barber (Denver)
Like a backyard party leveled up, the Catbird hotel’s rooftop lounge combines an indoor-outdoor bar with amphitheater seating, a lawn area, fire pits and an open deck overlooking downtown Denver. Revelers can order cocktails, beer or wine with a small selection of snacks. Groups will go for the “bucket o’ cocktails” (6 for $60) or “party pack” (4 each of beer, wine and cocktails for $100).
3770 Walnut St., Denver, theredbarber.com
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