We’re smack dab in the middle of WinterSpring or SpringWinter or whatever you want to call that crazy unpredictable weather that engulfs Boulder during the Ides of March (which is tomorrow, in case you were wondering). This is the time when people, sick to death of being cooped up for several months, flood the parks, patios and any other open space outdoors any time there’s a sunny, warm day. You can actually hear the collective Ahhh of the city’s inhabitants when the temperatures hit 60 degrees.
My favorite way to soak in the Boulder Spring sunshine is on a rooftop. Preferably on said rooftop with a nice frosty drink in my hand or snacks in front of me. While most of the killer rooftop bars and restaurants in Boulder are in downtown Boulder, there are a few that step outside those boundaries. Read on to see if your favorites are included and maybe you can find a new rooftop bar in Boulder to catch some rays.
Rio Grande Restaurant
I can’t think of a better drink than a margarita to go with my sunshine. It’s sweet and refreshing, plus, with a limit of four margs per customer (they pack a punch), you’re not going to spend too much either. The Rio is located right downtown on Walnut and has been a fixture in Boulder for as long as I can remember.
Lazy Dog Sports Bar
Located on the corner of 14th and Pearl, this is the one place I’ve included that’s truly on the Pearl Street Mall. The Lazy Dog’s rooftop is impressive. It’s spacious with plenty of tables and some shaded spots for the fair-skinned bunch. The food here is acceptable, but I would suggest using this place as meeting point for friends to grab a pitcher of beer and soak up the sun before heading on to other venues as day turns into night. Or, just drink until the food is more sustenance than substance and catch a cab or walk back to your abode.
West End Tavern
When I turned 21, this was my first choice for rooftop drinking and the West End will always hold a special place in my heart for that. Plus, with a menu that makes your mouth water, the West End rooftop is a great place for drinks and dinner (or lunch).
Southern Sun Brewery
Located at Table Mesa and Broadway, the Southern Sun is in a completely different area and has a more mellow vibe from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The area is more family oriented and so you’ll likely find an older crowd here. The rooftop here gets full quickly so be sure to stake a claim early. Remember, none of the Mountain Sun businesses take credit, so be sure to bring your cash.
I haven’t had a chance to visit this place yet, but every time I look at their menu, I start to drool. This place has Merlot Burgers. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but if it’s meat and wine, I fail to see how you can go wrong. Plus, they have a beautiful rooftop patio with some spectacular unobstructed views of the mountains and it’s also another bar off the downtown strip.
I’m sure I’ve missed some other great rooftops in Boulder, so if you have a recommendation, be sure to mention it in the comments. Perhaps you have a favorite park or secret spot that can’t be beat; if you feel like sharing, you can give us those details as well. Happy sunning!
photo courtesy of Susmit Shannighrati