5 Best Patios for Outdoor Dining and Drinking With a Group

BY Steph Wilson

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Soak in some sun with that meal, and indulge in a side of fresh air on patios as the warm season picks up. After all, on perfectly pleasant days, few things beat sitting outside with tasty bites and a cocktail. 

Luckily, Denver’s various restaurant patios offer a vibe for everyone, whether in search of a sweeping mountain view, a secret garden-inspired courtyard, or a no-frills hideaway with picnic tables to gather around while downing beer and tacos. Patio season in Denver is a too-brief but glorious time. With that in mind, here are five, huge alfresco destinations to get the season going with all your friends.

Yardbird

night time outside restaurant scene
Yardbird boasts one of the largest outdoor dining spots in town. | Photo by Yardbird RiNo

If you’re craving a dose of Southern charm with your cityscape, Yardbird in RiNo’s Lot 28 project is your go to. Not only is the restaurant massive, clocking in at a whopping 14,950-square-feet, it’s rumored to boast one of the biggest patios in town, with room to host you and 599 of your friends for the ultimate alfresco affair. On this expansive terrace you’ll find a stage and lawn, plus a bi-level patio where the grub is good and the drinks are strong. For a taste of summer, wash down a fried green tomato BLT with a Lemon Lavish, a smooth, citrusy, and herbaceous martini that tastes like it’s been hanging out at the farmer’s market. 2743 Blake St., Denver, runchickenrun.com/denver

BurnDown 

outdoor seating during sunset
BurnDown has an epic roof deck. | Photo by BurnDown

Head to the new kid on the open-air block, BurnDown, a South Broadway scene-stealer with a view that’s as vast as its interior’s square footage. The casual eatery is massive, some 24,000 square-feet over three floors, all centered around an atrium that resulted from a fire in 1978 that destroyed much of the building’s interior. 

But from those ashes rose a restaurant bathed in natural light. On the second level, an open-air sun deck collects spillover crowds from around the venue, which includes an all-day lounge and acoustic stages. But the jewel in BurnDown’s crown is the roof deck, accessed from the indoor-outdoor third floor. The visage from up there is an all-encompassing front row seat to the Front Range. Plus, the view of downtown’s skyline is the little cherry on top of the umbrella drink you’re using to wash down the gastropub’s signature dishes like the BurnDown Burger. 476 S. Broadway, burndowndenver.com 

Acova

outside patio
Lounge on the outside patio. | Photo by Acova

Hidden in Sunnyside, Acova’s patio is where verdant garden greenery provides a picture-perfect backdrop that’s so naturally inviting, it’s the antithesis of Instagram bait. The wine slushies, however, have proven to be social media stars. Whether or not you’re thirsty for likes or just plain old thirsty, order a red-white swirl with a floater of Leopold Bros. blackberry liqueur. Why? Because it tastes just like summer. If you’re hungry, the food is just what you hope to find in a friendly neighborhood gem like this one. The Diablo Eggs, Honey-Stung Fried Chicken, and Broadway Lobster Mac and Cheese are all standout dishes, but you really can’t go wrong with anything you order, especially when dining outside. 3651 Navajo St., acovarestaurant.com 

The Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery

farm house with sprawling lawn
There’s so much room at Breckenridge Brewery’s Farm House. | Photo by Breckenridge Brewery

Take a tube, a bike, or a car—just make sure you get to The Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery. It’s located just beside the banks of the Platte River, off the eponymous trail, about 10 miles south of Denver in Littleton. The rustic venue offers a charming blend of craft brews and hearty meals, all with a scenic view of the mountains from the cozy back porch, sprawling lawn, and beer garden surrounding it.

Lawn games, fire pits, and live music are also part of the experience when things are in full seasonal swing. Make sure to check out a brewery tour, hosted Thursday through Sunday year-round with a reservation. The full beer garden launches this year on May 24, and anticipation is high for the summer concert series, Bands in the Beer Garden. Last year, Shakey Graves, Big Hooray Bluegrass, Morsel, and more graced the Farm House’s open-air stage. We can’t wait to see who will play this year. 2990 Brewery Ln., Littleton, breckbrew.com 

Edgewater Public Market

open air market with tents
Dine alfresco in Edgwater. | Photo by Edgewater Public Market

Edgewater Public Market has all your alfresco dining needs covered. Upstairs, a 2,200-square-foot rooftop terrace offers amazing city views, and fire pits to keep you warm. Plus, the cocktails get served from a gleaming 28-foot Airstream trailer. On the ground floor, there’s indoor and outdoor seating, and no matter where you land, people watching proves fantastic. 

Best part, there’s enough food and drink options to please everyone. Try Konjo, the only Ethiopian restaurant on the west side of town. Or go to Happy Cones, which stakes its claim as America’s first New Zealand-style creamery. Arepas House offers a taste of Venezuela, and Barbed Wire has all the burgers. Barquentine is a family-owned brewery inspired by the beers of Belgium. Finally, Black Box Bakery brings out of this world laminated pastries to the mix. 5500 W. 20th Ave., Edgewater, edgewaterpublicmarket.com 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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