AOL PICK from our Editors
Like many cities, Denver has a great nightlife scene. But there are a few things that really set it apart. First off, this is a beer town. Not only do Denverites like to drink it—we like to make it, too. More beer is brewed in Denver than any other American city. A lot of the best Denver nightlife revolves around brew-pubs, and they can be found all over the city—even up in the foothills—but the majority are in LoDo. For a taste of traditional Western nightlife try some two-stepping at the Grizzly Rose, or check out a salsa or rumba club. The best Denver nightlife covers it all though. If you're looking to dance to underground house music or Reggae on the Roof is more your style the Mile High City has that too.
Neighborhood: LoDo (LowerDowntown)
Denver is known for its brewpubs, and the Wynkoop Brewing Co. holds a special place in brewpub history. This is the brewpub that helped transform LoDo from waste town to cool town and it remains one of the best Denver bars around. This place is a local favorite, and for good reason. Try their beer sampler with your burger, and you'll understand this city's love affair with beer. They make stuff you definitely won’t find in your supermarket’s cooler: chile beer (with Anaheim chiles and smoked ancho) and year-round cask-conditioned India pale ale and ESB. The brewery is located in a 19th century department store that retains its impressive pillars and pressed-tin ceiling. Excellent pub-style foods with a Southwestern twist are on the menu and upstairs, there’s an expansive billiards area with 22 regulation tables, dart lanes and two private billiards rooms. The place is so popular that one of the founders, John Hickenlooper, is now mayor of Denver.
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Complete with Gothic arches and stained glass, this venerable dance club is housed in an actual 1865 church. It’s now given over to DJs and dancing. The music can vary depending on when you go—techno groove has been a mainstay—but it’s all about seeing and being seen as clubbers crowd up to the bars for refills on energy drinks infused with various kinds of alcohol. When you need to cool off, check the rooftop deck of The Church and scope the city’s sea of lights washing up against the eastern slope.
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Neighborhood: Golden Triangle
If you love salsa, then you'll want to shake it down at La Rumba. This place draws big crowds every week, and you can rumba, cha cha or merengue on a big dance floor inside. La Rumba is one of the best Denver clubs for salsa. Can't salsa? Well, join the crowd. There are free dance lessons on Thursday and Saturday nights.
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Neighborhood: North Denver
Chic as it may have become, Denver’s western roots still run deep. You can see that best at the Grizzly Rose, or “The Rose,” as locals call it. This western nightclub is always packed. Grizzly Rose is known to have the best Denver nightlife, attracting visitors and locals alike, and with good reason. The Rose books national country acts (and even a few vintage rockers) but the big attraction is dancing—line, Two-Step, Cotton Eyed Joe—on the 2,500 sq. ft. hardwood dance floor. There’s a menu of burgers and barbecue available, but consumption is more about beer. Line dancing classes are offered on Tuesdays. There’s also family night (Sunday) and ladies drink free from 8PM ‘til midnight on Thursdays.
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