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On Denver’s sun-smooched days—of which there are hundreds—locals and visitors alike descend outdoors to enjoy the scintillating scenery. And there’s no better way to soak up summer than on one of The Mile High City’s splendid patios. From skyward rooftop terraces to lushly landscaped gardens, these are the ultimate spots to eat and drink alfresco in Denver. For the hottest new restaurants, check out our Must-Try Restaurants page.
At Ace Eat Serve, a jovial Uptown hangout popular with all age groups, the sidewalk patio grandstands a pair of Ping-Pong tables that inspires playful competition. But even if Ping-Pong isn’t your pastime, the patio is still a fantastic place to park yourself for an afternoon of eating, imbibing and, if it’s Sunday and summertime, energetic DJs spinning cool tunes. The menu revolves around Asian dishes (get the justifiably lauded Tiger wings glazed with a sweet, salty and spicy sauce), and the drink roster follows suit, delving into Asian-inspired beers and cocktails, including the Singapore slushy, a frozen sipper made with Damrak gin.
Acova arguably has one of the best patios in the city, tucked in the Highland neighborhood. The wide-ranging global menu has comfort food favorites like fish and chips along with Italian-inspired fare. But there's a lot more here than great food. Acova also offers signature wine slushies, perfect for those warm-weather afternoons and evenings. Let's not forget about the giant patio that keeps kids engaged with a play area that includes a Lego wall and spoon chimes.
Leave it to restaurateur and design genius Justin Cucci (Linger, Vital Root and Root Down) to erect an epic rooftop patio with equally glorious skyline views. An elevator whisks you up to the fifth floor of El Five, where Mediterranean tapas and creative cocktails timed for the seasons intersect, and while both the food and libations are noteworthy, we wouldn’t fault Cucci if he charged an entrance fee just for the opportunity to behold the bright lights of the big city from the sky-high deck, which, at the moment, eclipses all others.
By some remarkable feat, a vintage lime-green airstream trailer was dropped onto the massive rooftop of Linger, a hip Highland hotspot for soaking up the sun, imbibing cocktails and grazing on globe-trotting small plates dispensed from the kitchen of owner Justin Cucci’s “eatuary,” a play on words that stems from its former occupant: a mortuary. But Linger is anything but morbid. The terrace channels a midcentury-mod vibe, and the food, much like the infectious energy that radiates on the rooftop, is full of verve (think: Korean-barbecue tacos, beet falafels and cheddar cheese curds with shishito peppers). Gaze and marvel at the twinkling lights that illuminate both the sky and the city skyline, and you'll see why Travel + Leisure named this one of "America's Coolest Rooftop Bars."