Five O’clock in the Flatirons

The BoulderBOULDER dubs Memorial Day the official start of summer, and therefore, rooftop Happy Hour season.

There’s something about 9pm sunsets that make every night feel like Friday, and with Flatiron views like these, why not treat yourself to good company, food, and brews no matter what evening it is? Here are our top picks for Boulder rooftops just in time for summer:

The Rio

Formally going by the name Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, this is the spot for rooftop margs. If you can snag your crew a spot on The Rio’s rooftop (only once was I so lucky but hey, don’t all good foodies say “go where it’s busy”?) you’ll be rewarded with bottomless chips and salty-rimmed margaritas. The vibe is casual and family friendly, but not Red Robin family friendly. It’s a fine choice for family dinner but still a great place to grab after work drinks. Here’s the menu rundown:

-Happy Hour’s from 3pm-6pm and special deals run Thursdays from 9pm-close

-$1 off Rio or Tex margaritas ($6-$7)

-$3 drafts

-$3 tacos

– $5 guacamole, chile con queso, and queso deluxe


West End

The West End Tavern oozes class. The vibe is slightly less casual than The Rio (no bottomless finger food) but you should leave your pocket square at home. A Big Red F protégé, you can count on incredible food to complement Colorado’s largest bourbon collection of 75+ varieties. The tavern keeps your favorite local brews on tap and mixes in some obscure ones to break up the expected.  This is a great place if you want to grab some sustainable grub with your happy hour, here’s the rundown:

-Happy Hour runs from 3-6pm Monday-Friday & 10-11pm Thursday-Saturday

-$1 off draught beers

-$3.5 PBR tallboys & $3 Avery IPA bottle

-$4 house wine

-$5 West End Coin & Sangria

-$3.5 wells

-Great eats that range from $3-$6 so you can order a few and make a meal out of it



Ok, so not exactly a rooftop but Sherpa’s Adventures Restaurant & Bar does have a gorgeous (huge) patio and a killer Happy Hour. The Traveler’s Lounge will spark the wanderlust in all of us, with ice axe door handles and a library of books on travel subjects from Thailand to Chile. Uber casual and family friendly, it’s usually relatively quiet and a great place to grab an IPA and catch up with an old friend over complimentary Papadums. The patio faces west and is just off the busy Pearl Street Mall, one block down on Walnut Street. Two-dollar draughts from 5-7pm!


Lazy Dog

This sports bar is home to Boulder’s largest full service rooftop deck! The colorful rooftop bar provokes a feeling of being on vacation and the game is always on. The menu is typical of any sports bar, with lots of wings and beer. Beyond casual, family friendly (menu includes a Lazy Pup section), and the perfect spot to cheer on the Buffs, Broncos, and Nuggets. Happy Hour’s from 3-6pm on weekdays:

-$2 macrobrews

-$3 wells

-$4 micros

-$3 apps


K’s China

Order your drinks at the downstairs bar and enjoy them on the sunny rooftop. You can infer from its location on The Hill that the scene is mainly college kids (quite possibly drawn to the place for its $5 triples). The Volcano comes in a ceramic volcano equipped with four straws, making it easy to bond with friends over a shared drink. The menu is priced for the college student budget and you can find American Chinese food staples like Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice.  Unobstructed Flatiron views make this the perfect summer spot to enjoy and extra long Happy Hour of from 3-8pm. Happy Hour specials include:

-$2 draughts

-$7 pitchers


Check the Boulder Relocation Guide for more on Boulder’s food & drink scene.


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