A variety of beers by Odell Brewing, one of many breweries in RiNo

27 Best Things to Do in RiNo, Denver

We’re Denver locals and as many others would agree, the River North Art District is the city’s trendiest neighborhood. In this guide, we’ll point you to the absolute best things to do in RiNo. It features options for every interest, season, and budget, including: 

The former industrial area is now full of hip breweries, retailers, live music venues, and more, many of which are decked out in vibrant street art. Its diverse residents give RiNo a lively, friendly atmosphere where all feel welcome. Read on to discover the neighborhood’s top features and reasons to visit — like our highly-rated RiNo Food Tour!

Two pairs of chopsticks reaching for Osaka Ramen's chicken kara'age

Join our RiNo Arts District Food Tour to experience five of the neighborhood’s top restaurants. Drink pairings are optional on this three-hour experience, but the menu may tempt you to opt in. 

First, your local foodie guide will transport you to Italy. Savor a decadent sample of ricotta gnocchi served with traditional tomato sugo and fresh mozzarella, along with a bubbly pour of rosé lemonade. You’ll then be taken to an authentic Japanese eatery to sample fried chicken kara’age with spicy mayo. A locally brewed rice lager tones down the heat. 

New York-style pizza with sourdough crust follows, and then street tacos with a refreshing margarita. We head to a bakery for dessert, where you’ll taste every mochi donut flavor available — and there’s a lot of them! 

Expect to leave not only full but also more educated about the neighborhood’s past and present. The tour also highlights several of RiNo’s most iconic murals and street art.

A group toasts cocktails on the Red Barber rooftop

Given its booming culinary scene, it’s no surprise that some of Denver’s best rooftop restaurants are in RiNo. The neighborhood is set just north of downtown, which affords stunning views of the city skyline. To take in the scenery, head to the eighth floor of The Source Hotel. Here, you can dine al fresco at The Woods. Its menu features experimental New Belgium brews and elevated New American fare.  

The Red Barber is another solid choice, located on the CatBird Hotel rooftop. Its globally-inspired small plates pair perfectly with creative cocktails and good company.

A bartender places an ice cube into a glass, which rests next to a bottle of gin by The Block Distilling Co.

If you’re a fan of boozy beverages, you’ll also be delighted by RiNo’s small-batch distilleries. The Block Distilling Co. is loved for its housemade spirits, including vodka, bourbon, and seasonally-inspired gins. Each bottle is stylishly packaged and makes for a lovely gift. 

Down the road, Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse takes pride in its “farm to flask” spirits, which feature locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Various whiskeys, bourbons, gins, and rums are featured on its menu. Sip a glass on its relaxing and spacious backyard patio.

Or, if you’re looking for something more upbeat, check out Mile High Spirits. While technically in nearby Ballpark, this distillery’s dance club atmosphere is worth mentioning. Enjoy DJs and silent discos on Friday and Saturday nights, or indulge in a bit of day drinking on a distillery tour. Free whiskey samples are included!

Jessica, co-founder of Delicious Denver Food Tours, hosting a Denver Wine Walk tour

Perhaps wine is your palate’s preference. Lucky for you, you’ll find no shortage of incredible tasting rooms in this neighborhood. This includes Noble Riot, found just around the corner from Denver Central Market. When weather permits, opt to sit outdoors in its trendy, art-decorated alley. Its unique orange wines are oh-so refreshing on a summer afternoon. 

Colorado Sake Co. also takes a unique approach to winemaking. It specializes in traditional rice wines, as well as unique versions like horchata and lychee. For those who want to express their own creativity, join a wine blending class at Bigsby’s Folly.

Barcelona Wine Bar allows you to select one of several themed flights, including a biodynamic series and a collection of high-acid wines. It also offers one of the best Denver happy hours for wine drinkers.

Meanwhile, Infinite Monkey Theorem, the city’s first urban winery, is great for taking your drinks to-go. Its canned wines are a favorite among locals. And lastly, there’s Deep Roots Winery, which ages its wines in-house. To learn more about its process and philosophy, consider joining a tour. In fact, it’s sometimes a stop on our own Denver Wine Walk

A variety of beers by Odell Brewing, one of many breweries in RiNo

Brewery hopping is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in RiNo. There are more than twenty breweries in this neighborhood alone, each with unique pours and fun atmospheres. Ratio Beerworks was founded by a former punk band who learned to brew beer while touring in Germany. Similarly, Bierstadt Lagerhaus is known for its German beers — as well as giant lawn games and live pro wrestling! 

Check out Black Shirt Brewing Co for its dog-friendly patios and amazing pizza. Or swing by Our Mutual Friend Brewing for tasty saisons. It also shares a parking lot with Pit Fiend Barbecue, where you’ll find some of our favorite dishes in RiNo

Odell’s Five Points Brewhouse is another Colorado original known for its limited-release batches. There are so many more great local breweries in this neighborhood, and the city as a whole. See our comprehensive guide for more fun activities in Denver!

The vibrant interior of Sushi-Rama

Sushi-Rama aims to make Japanese dining fun, approachable, and affordable. It features an English menu and a unique conveyor belt serving model which limits cost and allows guests to enjoy high-quality seafood at a lower rate than competing restaurants. 

Fresh nigiri and creative rolls wind their way around the bi-level eatery, each served on color-coded plates that indicate pricing. All dishes are a la carte and under $4.29, granting a quick budget bite or an all-out feast. Kitchen items like its furikake fries and beverages including Japanese and locally-sourced beer round out the menu.

A chef from Beckon plating a fine dining dish

At first glance, one may not expect fine dining establishments in laid-back RiNo. But the neighborhood appeals to all preferences, proven last year when Beckon earned one of Colorado’s first-ever Michelin stars. Dine from its chef’s counter or heated patio, and enjoy an eight-course prix fixe menu of seasonal dishes paired with sommelier-selected wine.

RiNo also boasts Koko Ni, a fine dining restaurant helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Paul Qui and chef de cuisine James Gnizak. Having Japanese and French influence, their ten-course tasting menus highlight seasonality and Colorado-sourced ingredients. Its cocktail pairings complete the meal, perfect for special occasions.

A busy day at Denver Central Market, one of the best RiNo activities

RiNo food halls offer an array of eats, all under one roof. At Denver Central Market, you’ll find eleven vendors with choices for every meal of the day. Pop in for breakfast pastries from Izzio Bakery or swing by Vero for one of the best lunch options in RiNo. We stop at this Italian eatery on our RiNo Arts District Food Tour and its ricotta gnocchi is sure to make you a fan. There’s also seafood from Tammen’s Fish Market, salads from Greenseed, cocktails from Curio, and confections from Temper Chocolate. 

Zeppelin Station is another food hall in RiNo, featuring six vendors. Dine on Japanese cuisine from Sushi Kuro, authentic Mexican plates from Purisima, Italian eats from Pesto, and globally-inspired fare from Uptown & Humboldt. As for beverages, head to Procession Coffee or order craft cocktails from Kiss + Ride. 

The Source Hotel provides even more delicious options, including modern Israeli food from Safta, flavorful barbecue from Smōk, sushi from Temaki Den, and artisanal pastries from Reunion Bread. Aforementioned rooftop restaurant The Woods is also located at The Source, offering an incredible ambiance and an elevated American menu.

The stylish interior of Death & Co

From dive bars to swanky lounges, RiNo promises a fun night on the town. Start your bar hopping at Death & Co, located within the sophisticated Ramble Hotel. This upscale bar has a reputation for its expertly crafted cocktails, which pair deliciously with its fancy small plates. 

Head to Curio Bar next and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Denver Central Market. If you need a break from the booze, swing by Honey Elixir Bar next. It’s well known for its non-alcoholic beverages and funky, vibrant atmosphere. American Bonded is just a half-block north and offers an extensive whiskey menu alongside Southern-inspired fare.

If you’re up for a walk, make your way a half-mile up Larimer Street to Gold Point, a buzzy bar with an outdoor patio, craft cocktails, and tasty charcuterie. About another half-mile north, you’ll find Millers & Rossi, a speakeasy-like spot set within an art gallery. Enjoy board games, Wednesday karaoke, and its signature smoked old fashioned before calling an Uber home.

A flight of beverages from Stem Cider

Stem Ciders RiNo taproom is loved for its hard cider flights that please every palate. The menu details dry ciders like its raspberry-infused bevvy and whiskey-aged option, as well as sweeter selections like its lavender cider made in partnership with the Denver Botanic Gardens. Select four drinks that speak to you or opt for the staff picks.

Alternatively, order one of its signature cocktails — the chile guava margarita comes highly recommended. Pair your beverage with snacks, shareables, or full entrees. Favorites on the food menu include its tempura deviled eggs, Colorado lamb croquettes, and braised bison short rib, plus sugar-dusted cider donuts for dessert.

A mural of a rhino in the RiNo neighborhood, one of several sights on the Denver Graffiti Tour

Aptly named, the River North Art District features street art around every corner. Vibrant murals and graffiti speak to the history and culture of the area, which you can learn more about on one of the city’s best tours.

The two-hour, information-packed Denver Graffiti Tour celebrates local artists and their work. Both residents and tourists are known to attend, and this also happens to be one of the best things to do in Denver with kids. No matter your age or familiarity with the city, you’re sure to walk away with a greater appreciation of this storied neighborhood.

Guests admiring contemporary pottery at Plinth Gallery, one of many RiNo art galleries

RiNo may be known for its street art, but creativity lies inside its many galleries and studios, too. Plinth Gallery showcases contemporary artists’ pottery and sculptures. Alto Gallery is a block west, home to several rotating exhibitions. Various mediums decorate the walls and podiums, each celebrating local abstract artists. 

You’ll find a similar variety past the brick façade of Foolproof Contemporary Art Gallery. Its curated space rotates exhibits every two to three months. It also hosts special events, including opening receptions for new displays.

The exterior of Alto Gallery, which participates in First Fridays, one of the best RiNo events

First Fridays are an especially ideal time to visit RiNo’s various galleries. On the first Friday of June through November, locals make it a point to appreciate the neighborhood’s art community.

On these special evenings, several studios host openings, live music, and other engaging events. Local culinary businesses often double as galleries for the evening, too. If you’re looking for date ideas in Denver, few can compete with sipping wine and musing over art in all its forms.

New American fare from Nocturne, a jazz and supper club in RiNo

Here’s another great date idea: book a reservation at Nocturne, one of Denver’s most romantic restaurants. The incredible atmosphere, music, and food mean all can appreciate dinner and a show, regardless of their relationship status! 

Nocturne is loved for its eclectic, upscale fare, but its real draw is the live music. Every evening, jazz musicians fill the bi-level lounge with lively harmonies and rhythms. Visiting is a reason to dress up and indulge yourself in a bit of culture, which is easy to find in RiNo.

Two performers on stage at Number Thirty Eight, one of the top things to do in RiNo

Jazz isn’t the only genre that rings through RiNo. There are a variety of live music venues in the neighborhood. These include The Mission Ballroom, Larimer Lounge, and ReelWorks Denver.

One of our personal favorite stages can be found at Number Thirty Eight. It’s easy to fill an evening here with entertaining performances, tasty libations, and delicious pub grub. When visiting, make sure to order a burger from Split Lip — hands down, it’s one of the best foods to try in RiNo.

Dancers performing at Tracks, a popular Denver nightclub

If you’re looking to move to the music, Beacon welcomes you. Its funky aesthetic and neon lights set the scene for a dance party, and DJs spin electronic tracks into the early morning hours.

Speaking of, Tracks is another nightclub that will get you on your feet. Undeniably, this LGBTQ+ bar and dance hall is a vibe. Attend one of its events for the ultimate experience, like roller skate raves and celebrity drag shows.

A group attending an event at RiNo Art Park

Set along the South Platte River Trail, RiNo Art Park is a great addition to your neighborhood itinerary. Nearby landmarks include The Source Hotel, Great Divide Barrel Bar, and music venue Number Thirty Eight. 

Stop here for a breath of fresh air and to admire several art installations, including outdoor sculptures and murals, as well as indoor displays within Alto Gallery. The park also comprises the Denver Public Library’s RiNo branch, which often hosts live music and art showcase events.

Eyes on the Park, a mural at Mestizo-Curtis Park

Founded in 1868, Mestizo-Curtis Park is the oldest park in Denver. It was named such in honor of Samuel Curtis, one of the city’s founders. In 1987, “Mestizo,” which refers to someone of mixed heritage, was added to recognize the neighborhood’s diversity.

The Eyes on the Park mural, completed in 1971 by Emanuel Martinez, further highlights the multicultural community. In addition, the nine-acre green space features tennis courts, a pool, and a children’s playground. It’s a lovely place to have a picnic on a warm, summer afternoon.

A vintage vehicle and antique trolley at the Forney Museum of Transportation, a unique RiNo activity

The Forney Museum of Transportation is a local non-profit that displays all types of historic vehicles. Since 1921, it’s amassed more than eight hundred artifacts. Its collection ranges from antique automobiles and motorcycles to steam locomotives and aircrafts. 

Signage throughout the museum educates visitors on each mode of transportation’s significance. Enthusiasts can also attend its monthly lecture series. It overviews industry pioneers, local history, and more fascinating topics.

A woman on horseback carrying an American flag and riding past a crowd at the National Western Complex

The National Western Complex is one of Denver’s largest venues. It encompasses 600,000 square feet and can accommodate more than 10,000 visitors at a time. Year-round, it hosts a variety of public events, industry conventions, concert series, and more.

It’s most known as the annual location of the National Western Stock Show, which occurs in mid-January. Other noteworthy events include the Denver Home Show and the Mile High Showdown Car Show. The Denver Mineral, Fossil, Gem & Jewelry Show is another recurring favorite.

The elevated walkway at Arkins Promenade

Found along the South Platte River Trail, Arkins Promenade is just a quarter-mile north of RiNo Art Park. Similarly, this urban attraction is set near several local businesses including Number Thirty Eight and Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse. 

This park features an elevated walkway and modern wood benches where you can take in views of the river and neighborhood. Pack a picnic lunch or bring a book to Arkins Promenade to enjoy a slower pace in the city.

The exterior of Callie's Cannabis Shoppe, one of several dispensaries in RiNo

Recreational cannabis has been available in Denver for more than a decade. But as one of the first states to legalize adult use, Colorado’s reputation and comparatively affordable pricing continue to drive cannabis tourism. Of course, plenty of RiNo locals imbibe, too.

Neighborhood dispensaries include RiNo Supply Company, Callie’s Cannabis Shoppe, and chain dispensary LivWell. After purchasing your goods, head to Tetra Lounge, a chill indoor-outdoor space that allows legal consumption. Enjoy smoking accessories, video and board games, and engaging events, plus a selection of tasty munchies.

The exterior of Topo Designs, a popular outdoor apparel brand based in Denver

Founded in Denver in 2008, Topo Designs has grown into a household name in the outdoor industry. Its backpacks, apparel, and accessories are available in large retailers like REI and Nordstrom. But to really connect with the brand, you’ll want to pay a visit to its flagship store in RiNo. 

Its passionate crew will be happy to walk you through its colorful product lines, much of which hangs on pegboard walls. Gear up for your next outdoor adventure and leave looking like a true Denver local. From the office to the brewery, Topo Designs’ flannels and fleece can easily serve as your everyday uniform.

The putt-putt course at RiNo Country Club, a new dive bar in Denver

For a low-key evening, head to RiNo Country Club. Its name is more a pun than an indicator of pretension. Locals gather at this dive bar for burgers, beer, and its patio — complete with outdoor putt-putt. 

It’s a great place to hang out with friends, and where else can you officially join a country club for just $10? Membership grants you lifetime access to its 9-hole mini golf course.

A man bouldering at Movement, a climbing gym collective with a location in RiNo

Looking for a more challenging physical activity? Movement is sure to make you sweat. With 15-foot walls, this indoor climbing gym specializes in bouldering — no ropes or harnesses required. It features nearly 200 bouldering problems for all skill levels, as well as intro classes and lessons for those looking to hone their skills. Fitness and yoga classes are also available.

Food trucks and crowds gathered at Improper City's spacious patio

Next door to Movement, you’ll find Improper City, a food truck park and taproom. Depending on the day and season, one to five vendors post up in its large outdoor space. Expect eclectic fare from tacos and sushi to burgers and gyros. 

Regardless of the day’s specials, you’ll have no trouble finding a beverage to pair with your meal. A full bar and 36 taps lie inside Improper City, which has a trendy warehouse aesthetic and caters to year-round visitors. However, on warm afternoons, most guests head out to the patio where lawn games like cornhole and jumbo Connect Four provide entertainment.

A bike locked to a mountain-shaped rack in RiNo

According to ApartmentList.com, RiNo has a bike score of 89 out of 100. Two-way bike lanes appear on the neighborhood’s two main corridors, Blake Street and Larimer Street. Bikeways also run along Lawrence Street, 26th Street, and 30th Street, as well as Brighton Boulevard and 38th Street further north. Use these designed paths to visit several RiNo attractions. 

Alternatively, avoid vehicle traffic and go for a scenic ride along the South Platte River Trail, which passes through RiNo Art Park and Arkins Promenade. For a detailed look at available bike paths, see the official Denver Bike Map.