In this series, the DU Newsroom introduces readers to the world outside campus by exploring Denver and the near beyond

It’s summertime, the livin’ is easy and you’re looking to spend as much time as possible in this beautiful Colorado weather.

The best way to maximize your outdoor time? Al fresco dining. And the best kind of al fresco dining is the kind that takes place several stories up—on a rooftop. What better way to enjoy a meal than with a gorgeous view of the mountains or downtown Denver?

We’ve rounded up five of the best spots to get your rooftop dining fix in the Denver area, so grab some friends and head to one of these unique eateries for a meal you won’t soon forget.

We’ll start with two restaurants that are relatively close to DU’s campus.

Joy Hill Denver

1229 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210

People sitting on an outdoor patioThe pizzeria is known for its wood-fired pies and cozy indoor dining space—but its outdoor space really takes the cake, with a beautiful view of the mountains. Joy Hill is the perfect spot for anyone who may not be a big fan of heights, as the rooftop is more of an extended, half-covered patio. This South Broadway eatery is just a hop and a jump away from DU’s campus and a great place for a date or just getting together with friends.

Izakaya Den

1487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

Diners at long tables

Courtesy of Izakaya Den

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale—perhaps for a birthday or anniversary dinner—Izakaya Den should be at the top of your list. Self-described as a “Sake House with Tapas,” the eatery offers a zen Japanese-inspired upper level with expansive three seasons windows. This spot is also not too far from DU’s campus—try cheekily convincing your parents to foot the bill for dinner next time they’re in town!

Next up, let’s head north to eclectic Cap Hill.

FIRE Restaurant and Lounge

1201 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Diners under red umbrellas below Denver office buildings

Courtesy of ART

Located at the top of the ART Hotel, this unique spot is perfect for grabbing a quick bite after perusing the museums in the surrounding neighborhood. Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner, FIRE is a great place to play tourist in Denver. Scope out the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum or the History Colorado Center nearby before heading to this fourth-floor urban oasis.

Check out the iconic Larimer Square next.


1400 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202

An empty patio space with lots of flowers

Courtesy of Tamayo

“Carefully crafted, yet bold flavored. Rooted in tradition, yet adventuring into contemporary tastes,” proclaims Tamayo’s website. Tamayo Denver is where traditional Mexican food meets modern flavors. Located on Larimer Square, the rooftop offers a perfect plein air environment for chowing down on tacos, chips and salsa. 

Cross the highway and you’ll find yourself in swanky LoHi.

Avanti Food and Beverage

3200 N Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211

People eating and drinking on Avanti's patio

Photo courtesy of Avanti

This staple of the Lower Highlands neighborhood offers not only stunning views of downtown Denver but also a variety of ethnic cuisines in Avanti’s unique food hall-style eatery. With multiple bars and heated outdoor seating, Avanti is a casual, four-season spot with something to offer everyone. Bring your friends and try all the food offerings!