The Top 10 Happy Hours in Downtown Denver in 2024

I absolutely love a good happy hour. It’s the best time of day! In my 12 years in Denver, I’d like to think I’ve tried a majority of the options around town — especially downtown. So here are my top picks, updated for 2024 (since things are always changing)!

1. Jax Fish House

1539 17th St

I’ve been a regular at Jax for almost 12 years now. The atmosphere here is that of a great neighborhood spot — driven by the bar dominating the length of the cozy restaurant. The bartenders are my favorite in town: knowledgable and friendly, happy to chat (or not chat if you prefer), and with very little turnover in the years I’ve been coming here. If I’m not checking out a new spot downtown, I’ll usually post up at the bar at Jax and order a refreshing Cucumber Lemon Press (or glass of white wine) and some oysters. They have $2 oysters during happy hour, as well as some of the best gumbo in town (or gumbo fries).

Hours: 3:30-5pm every day / all night Monday

The deals: $8 cocktails, $9 wine, $1 off draft beers, $2 oysters, $7 cup of gumbo, and lots of other bites under $15

2. Blue Sushi Sake Grill

1616 16th St Mall

It’s pretty hard to beat the extensiveness of the menu and the prices of Blue Sushi. The happy hour menu itself is longer than most restaurants’ regular menus — and it also lasts all day on Sundays. The vibe here is pretty modern/funky, and the happy hour menu includes sake bombs and margaritas — so it’s that kind of place.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 2-5:30pm, Sunday all day

The deals: too long to list everything, but there are some great sakes under $10, $4.50 beers or sake bombs, $7.50 margaritas, $9.50 cocktails, and an entire menu of food between $3 and $14.

3. ChoLon

1555 Blake St

If you ask me for my top must-try “bites” in Denver, there’s one that always comes to mind: the French onion soup dumplings at ChoLon, which I’m pretty sure have been on the menu since I moved here 12 years ago. Today, you can also get “General Cho’s” soup dumplings with chicken, which showcase more typical Asian flavors. Both are on the HH menu, as well as pork belly bao buns and and wagyu beef skewers — both of which I also highly recommend. A little more background: ChoLon has been a downtown Denver institution since it opened in 2010, and Chef Lon was a James Beard finalist for Best New Restaurant in America the following year.

Hours: Mon-Sun 2-5:30

The deals: $5 select drafts, $6 wines, $6 wells, $3 off cocktails, $13 soup dumplings or bao buns

4. LeRoux

1510 16th St Mall

Right next door to ChoLon (mentioned above), is its French sister restaurant called LeRoux. And it’s also a great happy hour spot. The atmosphere is trendy and cute — and the food is top-notch and consists of both French classics, as well as more modern dishes. They recently brought back HH, and the options are pretty great!

Hours: Mon-Fri 4-5pm, Sat/Sun 3-5pm

The deals: $4 draft beers, $6 wine, $7 wells, $11 cocktails, $5-$9 small apps, $30 board & bottle, $30 oysters & bubbles

5. Tavernetta

1889 16th St Mall

Located right on the side of Union Station, this is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Denver — and happy hour is definitely the time to come here (both so you can get a seat, and because the regular menu gets pricy). The gluten-free focaccia bread and gluten-free pasta is made in house and amazing.

Hours: Daily 4-6pm

The deals: $8 select beers, $9 wines, $8-9 select cocktails, $6-12 apps

6. La Loma

1801 Broadway

La Loma has been in Denver for over 40 years, and I imagine its food tastes just as homey and delicious now, as it did when it first opened. The cocktails here are always top-notch, so get one of those house margaritas. Another must-try is the mini rellenos, which are perfectly crispy and cheesy and come with a bowl of pork green chile to dip into. Stay for dinner and try the succulent tequila-lime shrimp or my favorite steak fajitas in town.

Hours: M-F 3-6pm

The deals: $11 house margaritas, $5 pacificos, $9 wells, $6 chile con queso, $8 mini rellenos or other bites

7. Otra Vez Cantina

610 16th St Mall

This is a spot on the financial district side of downtown (closer South) — which has fewer and fewer options these days. I love the fun, Day of the Dead vibe here (and the occasional DJ), as well as all the Mexican bites on happy hour. However, the star is the bottomless margaritas during happy hour!

Hours: Mon-Fri 4-6:30pm

The deals: $8 margaritas (or $23 bottomless), $7 shot of the day, $6.50 drafts, $7 wines or drafts, $9-$15 plates of food

8. Rio Grande

1745 Wazee Street

The Rio has been slinging delicious, oversized, boozy margs in downtown Denver for as long as I can remember. They used to be on Blake Street — and man I loved that outdoor courtyard with the misters they had there — but have recently moved to 18th & Wazee (so they could buy instead of rent). Their manberry frozen margaritas (made with real manberries) are the best. Just kidding: it’s a mango/strawberry half-and-half margarita.

Hours: Mon-Fri 3-6pm

The deals: $2 off margs, $3 drafts, $4 cans, $5 wines, $1 off tacos

9. The Velvet Cellar

1500 Wynkoop Street

The Velvet Cellar just opened earlier this year downtown, and I love their wine selection here. They also have a great charcuterie board, marinated olives, as well as some other bites (like a great $32 steak entree). I recommend to check it out on Wednesday for the 50% off bottles — because the bottle selection really is fantastic!

Hours: Tue-Sat 4-6pm

The deals: $7 beer, $9 cocktails, $10 wine, $17 mini board

10. Guard & Grace

1801 California St

My favorite Denver steakhouse has finally brought back its happy hour! It had left the menu for quite awhile — starting with COVID, and then for a long time after. This is definitely the classiest spot to be after work — and my favorite option on the South side of downtown. Try the signature cocktails like an Old Fashioned, Lemon Drop Martini, or G&T — and pair with a variety of upscale light bites.

Hours: M-F 3-6pm

The deals: signature cocktails, select beers and wine by the glass, and light bites (crispy salmon sushi, charcuterie, kobe sliders, steak tartar, duck fat fries, carpaccio, caviar)