When the sun is shining and the warm weather hits, you’ll see Coloradans looking for a sunny patio to even out their well-earned goggle tans. What’s better than enjoying a crisp, citrusy beer or a salt-lined margarita on a charming patio after a long day of hiking? If al fresco dining and drinking sounds like something you need to be a part of (which it should, especially right now), here are some of the places we find ourselves.
Poppy's Pizza & Grill
Poppy’s is in the heart of downtown and its picturesque patio backs up to the riverwalk. From pizza to burgers to sandwiches, it should be no surprise that their extensive food menu (perfect for the whole family) carries over to their sweeping beer selection (perfect for you).
Our pick: A Poppy’s favorite is the Trappist Ale - a beautiful combination of fruity accents, light hop bitterness and a dry finish.
Do you prefer coffee over cocktails? Or maybe it’s 9 am, which some may say could be too early for a drink. Kind Coffee has a relaxing patio along the riverwalk where you can enjoy your choice of chai latte, americano or smoothie (to name a few) while you watch the water happily hop over the rocks. Contrary to their name, they make a mean breakfast burrito to pair perfectly with your refreshing drink. Backing up their mission of promoting a sustainable environment, they sell certified organic and fairly traded coffees, which is a mission we LOVE to support.
Our pick: The KIND latte is a must this spring with its sweet and unique undertones. They toss some magic (aka cinnamon and sugar) into the espresso before making the latte and voila! The perfect springtime drink.
On those "chillier" summer patio days, Elkins is the perfect place to let the whisky warm you back up. Plus, with a whisky or two under your belt, you’d be a natural at all the yard games Elkins has to offer, including bags. Your dog can even tag along.
Our pick: The Longs Peak Lemonade is spring in a drink with its lemon, lavender, basil, cane sugar and the most important ingredient – whisky!
The Barrel is set up like a beer garden with long picnic table indoor/outdoor seating and tons of beer on tap. If hops aren’t your thing, they also have a fun selection of sodas, spirits, and wine to quench your thirst. The Barrel makes sure you’re entertained while you sip with weekly live music, yard games, and a delicious food truck – someone might even let you pet their dog! Fun fact: This is the only place in town where you can get kombucha on tap!
Our pick: With fresh citrus fruit notes and hazy orange color, Rock Cut Brewery Galactic Portal New England-style IPA is an ideal go-to beer for Spring. If hazy isn’t your jam, then cracking River North Colorado IPA will remind you of fresh cut lawns and fields of wildflowers.
La Cabana Mexican Bar & Grill
While La Cabana is more of a rooftop deck type of patio, it still has to be included because you just can’t beat these views. Overlooking town and the Estes Valley, sipping a massive salt-lined margarita, enjoying your favorite Mexican dish – there’s nothing better.
Our pick: The Milagro Margarita is a definite thirst-quencher made with Milagro silver, fresh lime juice & agave nectar.
The Grubsteak Restaurant
We all know firsthand about the powerful Colorado sun. Located right on Elkhorn Avenue, Grubsteak’s covered back patio gives you a secluded feel and lets you escape the sun while still enjoying the crisp spring air. Pair your wild game steak or your piled-high burger with your choice from a multitude of local beers and microbrews.
Our pick: the Mountain Mary. Their version of a Sunday classic, served every day. Vodka (try their fresh jalapeno infused vodka!), mesquite rimmed pint glass and house-spiced bloody blend. Garnished with pepperoncini, blue cheese stuffed olive and smoked elk sausage.
Claire's Restaurant & Bar
Locally known as Claire’s on the Park, the patio here gives you the best cozy mountain town feel and will have you feeling as though you were just invited into someone’s quaint home. Overlooking Bond Park, it’s easy to relax while enjoying your breakfast, lunch or dinner and sipping on a refreshing mimosa or one of your other favorite drinks.
Our pick: The best deal every season is the 2 for 1 mimosas Claire’s serves every day (until 2 pm)! You have your choice from orange, cranberry and pineapple juices, which are all fit for the spring!
A restorative patio drink feels like the best well-earned reward after a day spent hiking around town or on the trails.