The Top 10 Happy Hours in Downtown Denver

I absolutely love a good happy hour. It really is the best time of day — and Denver offers so many good options. And in my 12 years in Denver, have tried most of the available options — at least around downtown — so I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on this topic. I only recommend the best! So here are my top recommendations all around downtown, as well as a special nod to a spot in RiNo at the end, because it’s just too good not to mention.

1. Jax Fish House

1539 17th St

I’ve been a regular at Jax for almost 12 years now. The atmosphere here is fantastic — driven by the bar dominating the length of the entire downtown restaurant. The bartenders are my favorite in town: knowledgable and friendly, happy to chat (or not chat if you prefer), and with almost no 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 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

The deals: $6 cocktails, $8 wine, $1 off draft beers, $4 Odell Colorado Lager, $2 oysters, $5 cup of gumbo, and lots of other bites under $14

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. Plus, it’s a really cool vibe in the sake bomber’s lounge — complete with enormous fish tank, neon lights, retro Japanese ads lighting up the walls, etc. Some thing I love on the HH menu include: blue kani, itchy salmon, chicken lettuce wraps, ceviche-style hirame, yellowtail serrano.

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

The deals: too long to list everything, but there is $3 sake, $4 beers or sake bombs, $6 margaritas, $8 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. Chef Lon was a James Beard finalist for Best New Restaurant in America the following year — and before this, he spent a decade in NYC, working as Executive Chef at New York’s famous Buddakan and opening Jean-Georges’ Spice Market.

Hours: Mon 4-5:30pm, Tue–Sat 2-5:30pm

The deals: $5 beers, $6 wines, $6 wells, $3 off cocktails, $4-12 bites

4. LeRoux

1510 16th St Mall

Right next door to ChoLon (mentioned above), is its French sister restaurant called LeRoux. While I recommend ChoLon just for happy hour, I’d recommend LeRoux for HH and/or dinner any day. The atmosphere is trendy, but classy — 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 fantastic! Everything listed below is something I’ve had and recommend.

Hours: Wed-Sun 4-5:30pm

The deals: $5 draft wines/beers, $6 wells, $11 cocktails; a charcuterie board and a bottle of white, red, or rosé for $25; a half dozen oysters and a bottle of cava for $22; $5 french onion soup; $5 mussels with sausage, $5 steak tartar; $5 chicken liver mousse a variety of other small plates for $3-5.

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 I’m also a fan of their happy hour. Come sit at the bar or in the lounge and grab some wine and delicious little bites. The gluten-free focaccia bread is amazing, by the way. Stay for dinner and try their gluten-free pasta.

Hours: Daily 4-6pm

The deals: $6 select beers, $7 wines, $7 select cocktails, $5 olives or almonds, $10 arancino, $8 select cheeses or meats, $15 cacio e pepe, $16 burrata, and more.

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 fajitas in town: the entire mesquite-grilled steak.

Hours: M-F 3-6pm

The deals: $8 house margaritas, $4 pacificos, $7 wells, $6 chile con queso, $8 tacos dorados, $8 mini rellenos, $7 mini flautas

7. Woodie Fisher

1999 Chestnut Pl #100

It’s hard to beat Woodie Fisher in terms of atmosphere. The refurbished historic fire station has been beautifully decorated with brick, metal chandeliers, large garage doors, a glass ceiling, and the famous olive tree right in the middle of the dining room. It’s always bright and full of light here, with almost an outdoors-brought-inside feel. The happy hour menu doesn’t offer much in terms of small bites, but it does have discounted entrees.

Hours: Daily 4-6pm

The deals: $2 off drafts, $2 off signature cocktails, $6 house wines, $11-$16 full dishes

8. 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 $15 bottomless margaritas during happy hour!

Hours: Mon-Fri 4-6:30pm; Sun-Thu 10pm-close; Taco Tuesday 4pm-close ($1 off street tacos, $5 margaritas, $3 tequila shots)

The deals: $4 wells and wines, $4 select drafts, $6 margaritas, $15 bottomless margaritas, $3 chef’s street taco, $5 chicharrones, $6 queso dip, $7 taquitos, and more.

9. Three Saints Revival

1801 Wewatta St

Three Saints Revival is a more recently-opened restaurant behind Union Station on Wewatta Street — and it’s a great place for wine and tapas. I mean, who doesn’t love small plates and wine for happy hour? The charcuterie, crispy pork belly, and meatballs are my favorites on happy hour. The roasted pepper salad, fish crudo, and steak & chimichurri (done right with parsley) are my favorites off happy hour.

Hours: M–F 2:30pm–5:30 pm, Sat/Sun 3pm–5:30

The deals: $6 cocktails, $28 board & bottle, $7-$10 tapas

10. Uchi

2500 Lawrence St

This is SLIGHTLY outside of downtown, but it’s close enough and absolutely a must to include. Originally located in Austin, award-winning Uchi (Japanese for “home”) was opened in Denver by James Beard Award winner Chef Tyson Cole. Since the day it opened, Uchi has remained my favorite sushi spot in town, and happy hour is a fantastic way to get some sample bites here without breaking the bank. Definitely try anything with foie gras on their happy hour menu! Also love the walu walu, which is always on happy hour (shown).

Hours: Daily 4-6:30pm

The deals: $5 Sapporo, sake starting at $5.50, wine starting at $7.50, $9 specialty cocktails, an all sorts of food for $5-12

Nearby in LoHi

I feel like I’ve given you enough to think about above, but there are also tons of amazing places North right across I-25 in LoHi: My Neighbor Felix, Mizu, The Post Chicken & BeerBamboo Sushi, and more.