The 13 Best Denver Bars Around Union Station

As owners of a local food tour company, we’re highly familiar with the downtown dining scene. In this guide, we share our favorite bars around Union Station. These include iconic Denver cocktail bars with national acclaim, as well as lesser-known gems with great menus and atmospheres. 

This round-up also spotlights several happy hour specials, full restaurants serving global fare, and more in the Union Station neighborhood and Dairy Block micro-district.

Union Station

The red-lit interior of Cruise Room, one of the best bars around Union Station

Cruise Room is located within the historic Oxford Hotel and has operated since the day following prohibition’s repeal in 1933. Generations of locals and travelers have visited the establishment — and perhaps even a few ghosts. Said to be haunted, the wine bottle-shaped lounge is washed in red light and has a stylish Art Deco aesthetic. A jazz playlist adds to the ambiance while you sip on classic cocktails like its Manhattan or signature gin martini.

Three cocktails on Urban Farmer's white bar counter

Modern steakhouse Urban Farmer also resides within The Oxford Hotel and is one of our top recommended restaurants in Denver. Enjoy mimosas and weekend brunch plates on its sunny patio, or book dinner reservations for dry-aged bison ribeye, Colorado bass with blue cornbread stuffing, and other delicious entrées — all of which pair well with its beverage menu. 

Its old fashioned is our favorite in the city, made with butter pecan-washed, high rye bourbon. Sample it and several other beverages on our guided cocktail tour.

Two women holding cocktails at Terminal Bar

Terminal Bar lies within the Union Station Great Hall, a bustling hub with elevated ceilings, ornate chandeliers, and a historic ambiance. The bar mirrors this energy and offers one of the best Denver happy hours, making many light rail commuters pause for $7 well drinks. Small plates and full meals like its green chile burger and vegan black bean tacos add to the menu.

A staff member carrying a purple cocktail on a tray at The Cooper Lounge

Find The Cooper Lounge on the second floor of Union Station, directly above the more casual Terminal Bar. Here, you can expect marble counters, mid-century furnishings, and an elevated menu of small plates and signature cocktails. Favorites include its cocoa-infused espresso martini and The Last Train Home made with Jura ten-year single malt whiskey. Pair these with charcuterie, foie gras mousse, and baked brie served with apricot-lavender jam. 

Note that The Cooper Lounge is currently closed for restoration and will reopen later this summer.

The upscale interior of Ultreia, featuring a wine wall and red seating

One of the best restaurants inside Union Station, Ultreia is known for its Spanish and Portuguese fare. Olive oil pancakes and sangria appear on its brunch menu, while lunch and dinner spotlight various tapas, tinned fish, paella, and pastel de nata — a petite custard tart which we sample on our Downtown Food Tour. As far as beverages, we highly recommend its sherry flight and selection of gin and tonics which are oh-so refreshing while dining on its patio.

The red-lit interior of Ghost Donkey, featuring a piñata-like sculpture and strings of lights on the ceiling

Few bars around Union Station are as bold as Ghost Donkey, which recently opened on the lower level of a nearby luxury condo building. Unlike its modern surroundings, its space is a fever dream of neon, color-changing lights, and pumping music. The menu matches the atmosphere with tequila and mezcal-based cocktails, loaded nachos, and flavorful street tacos.

An orange-hued cocktail from The Wild, one of our favorite bars around Union Station

Tucked just off Wynkoop, The Wild is a hidden gem with a modern, yet warm ambiance. This is especially true of its intimate patio surrounded by brick façades and decorated with bistro lights. Take a seat inside or outdoors to enjoy an all-day menu featuring espresso beverages and flaky croissants, as well as savory snacks, charcuterie, and craft cocktails. This bar also offers one of the best happy hours for wine drinkers, as bottles are priced at just $30 per from 4-6 pm daily.

A negroni, marcona almonds, and other snacks from Tavernetta

Featuring a gorgeous fireplace lounge and shaded patio, upscale Italian eatery Tavernetta is one of the most romantic restaurants in Denver. Order handmade pastas like its popular lamb ragu rigatoni and flaky, perfectly roasted branzino, along with complex cocktails with an Italian twist. On our Cocktail Tasting Tour, we sample its brachetto spritz made with Cocchi Rosa and blood orange ginger beer, along with its unbelievably good focaccia with garlic conserva.

Dairy Block

The patio at Deviation Distilling, featuring lounge seating and a fire pit

Several bars around Union Station are set within Dairy Block, a trendy micro-district that we highly recommend visiting. Here, you’ll find entertainment, dining, and Deviation Distilling, an indoor-outdoor cocktail lounge with housemade spirits. Cozy up next to one of its firepits and sip on its chai old fashioned, our personal favorite, as well as its seasonal G&T. We also love its unique washed cocktails, like the Passion Mousse made with butter-washed citrus rosé gin.

Chips, caviar, crème fraîche, and a cocktail from Run For The Roses

Sneak down to this basement-level speakeasy to discover an incredible cocktail menu laid out on a custom deck of playing cards. This creative touch gives a nod to its imaginative beverages, which can be made with rare and vintage spirits. Bumps of caviar and elevated bar bites complete the experience at this swanky lounge, which features luck-inspired details throughout.

Dozens of whiskey labels on a wall at Seven Grand

Seven Grand is one of our favorite bars around Union Station. This West Coast-based whiskey bar stocks over seven hundred labels, which form the base of classic cocktails like its old fashioned, sazerac, and mint julep, as well as signature beverages. Sip your preference while playing rounds of billiards, a great pastime if you’re looking for things to do before a Rockies game; or settle into leather seating while listening to live bluegrass on Wednesday nights.

Five craft cocktails on a counter at Poka Lola Social Club

Poka Lola Social Club is a stylish bar within the Maven Hotel lobby. Here, an Art Deco aesthetic meets a classic soda shoppe vibe, creating an eclectic interior that opens up to a gorgeous patio. To match the ambiance, this bar serves stellar cocktails — many of which are bright and refreshing, but never overly sweet. For a guided overview and to sample some of its best creations, join us on our cocktail tasting tour!

A close-up of a bartender creating several cocktails at BRUTØ

Led by executive chef Byron Gomez, BRUTØ is one of only three Denver restaurants to have earned a prestigious Michelin star. Book reservations for a special occasion and enjoy chef’s counter seating while savoring multiple courses. Many are paired with craft cocktails that complement the intricate flavors of each dish. This fine dining experience will undoubtedly be one to remember.