Denver Dive Bar Guide

Glimpses Of Old Denver In An Inundated City

It will likely come as no shock that people have flocked to Denver over the past few decades, putting some strain on the city’s dive bars as rent and redeveloped neighborhoods nudge out more established businesses. But that same dynamic of population movement over the years has produced a diverse set of Denver dive bars, many of them with roots in the city’s past that not too long ago catered to a smaller, hardier pool of residents.

If there is a ground zero for Denver dive bars, it is likely Colfax Avenue, one of the cities primary thoroughfares for decades, some of those decades a little rougher for the area than others. Though development has started to reclaim some pieces of the strip, the heritage here is the “rough part of town” reputation that spawned countless diners, dive bars and drive-in motels. The PS Lounge is one of Colfax’s best offerings, the name a reference to being the “Perfect Spot.” First-time visitors receive a free (not terribly strong) Alabama Slammer shot and women are given a rose at the door, adding a little theater to maybe the city’s best dive.

Elsewhere, Bar Bar, also officially known as Carioca Café, anchors the Five Points area of the city in a building erected in 1890 that has served as a saloon for nearly its entire history. Of course, that history includes a pesky little think called Prohibition, the space serving as a speakeasy that today hosts a regular rotation of punk and metal shows.

And then there’s Candlelight Tavern, where recent renovations have smoothed over a rough edge here and there, but the bones of the space remain the same. A 360-degree flow around a centrally-located bar in the center of the building creates a great dive bar, community atmosphere inside, the sign out front one of the best in the city.

In many ways, Denver is a new city every decade, a fresh influx of new residents inevitably changing the makeup of the people and places throughout the area. But there are some Denver dive bar anchors to resist some of those shifting tides, the best of them artifacts of a time in Denver’s history that was a little smaller, a little rougher and always appreciative of a drink.

Denver Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Bucksnort Saloon

A visit requires a trip into the mountains along a windy road or two but the dollar-laden interior is worth it.
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Nob Hill Inn

Colfax Avenue may be a bit nicer these days, but Nob Hill Inn offers a glimpse into what used to be.
Review Rating: 9 of 10

Denver Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Arvada

Twins Inn

5201 Ralston Rd
Arvada, CO 80002
Google Map

Broadway

Hi-Dive

7 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80223
Google Map

Capitol Hill

Bannock Street Garage

1015 Bannock St
Denver, CO 80204
Google Map

Central

Don's Club Tavern

723 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
Google Map

East Colfax

Lion's Lair

2022 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
Google Map

East Colfax

P S Lounge

3416 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
Google Map

East Colfax

Pete's Satire Lounge

1920 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
Google Map

Five Points

Carioca Café

2060 Champa St
Denver, CO 80205
Google Map

Five Points

Herb's Hideout

2057 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
Google Map

Golden

Ace-Hi Tavern

1216 Washington Ave
Golden, CO 80401
Google Map

River North

Embassy Tavern

3463 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
Google Map

Sloan's Lake

Lakeview Lounge

2375 Sheridan Boulevard
Edgewater, CO 80214
Google Map

Southeast

Sam's Bar & Lounge

6801 Leetsdale Dr
Denver, CO 80224
Google Map

University

Stadium Inn

1701 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80210
Google Map

University

The Dirty Duck Bar

4780 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80222
Google Map

Wash Park

Candlelight Tavern

383 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80209
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

12 Volt Tavern

7514 Grandview Ave
Arvada, CO 80002
Google Map

715 Club

715 E 26th Ave
Denver, CO 80205
Google Map

Badger's Pub

76 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
Google Map

Barry's on Broadway

58 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
Google Map

Berkeley Inn

3834 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
Google Map

Cleopatra's

6045 W Alameda Ave # 104
Lakewood, CO 80226
Google Map

Dive Inn

1380 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
Google Map

Dr. Proctor's Lounge

4201 E Mississippi Ave
Glendale, CO 80246
Google Map

Dubb's Pub

5301 S Broadway
Littleton, CO 80121
Google Map

Jake's Roadhouse

5980 N Lamar St
Arvada, CO 80003
Google Map

Kentucky Inn

890 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80209
Google Map

Lamp Post Inn

5370 W Mississippi Ave
Lakewood, CO 80226
Google Map

Lincoln's Roadhouse

1201 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80210
Google Map

Old Towne Tavern

2410 Main St
Littleton, CO 80120
Google Map

Piper Inn

2251 S Parker Rd
Denver, CO 80231
Google Map

Red Coach Inn

6560 W Colfax Ave
Lakewood, CO 80214
Google Map

Satellite

308 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80203
Google Map

Skylark Lounge

140 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
Google Map

Star Bar

2137 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
Google Map

Viking

4888 W Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80204
Google Map

Williams Tavern

423 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

10 + 2 =

Browse All City-By-City Listings

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This