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10 Hottest Dive Bars in Denver you Have to Try 

Denver dive bars

These days, sippin’ a $15 craft cocktail on a crowded rooftop patio is out. Denver dive bars are in. Winter nights call for stiff drinks, low ceilings, a crowd of regulars, and untimely Christmas decor. Speaking of Christmas, if the holidays left you strapped for cash, then welcome to dive bar season. Of course, the allure of your friendly neighborhood dive goes beyond the cheap drinks with their drunken histories and imperfect appearance. These bars are an oasis from the fraudulent, judgment-free zones. So, grab your friends, dress casually, let your hair down and get ready to indulge in a purely authentic night out as yourselves at one of these incredible Denver dive bars. 

Campus Lounge:

Located on University just a few doors down from Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, Campus Lounge is your quintessential neighborhood sports bar with eclectic offerings like shuffleboard and a salad bar. Their food menu offers slightly elevated bar options like their smoked brisket french dip. Head there on Monday for 50-cent wings and don’t miss their “All City Happy Hour” Monday-Friday 2-6 pm with deals for $3.03, $7.20, and $9.38. 

Candlelight Tavern:

Just a stone’s throw away from the Campus Lounge in the West Wash park neighborhood sits another favorite of the Denver dive bars, the Candlelight Tavern. As a truly classic dive, the food menu consists of burgers, cheeseburgers, chili, and wings. Head in for happy hour drinks from 4-6 pm Monday-Friday, you won’t spend more than $6 on a drink. Burgers are just $6 from 6:30-11:30 Monday-Friday. In addition to their happy hour, they feature daily specials like a $4.50 bloody mary on Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. An important note, they’re a Detroit Lions bar. 

Star Bar:

Star Bar is located just around the corner from Coors Field making it the perfect stop before or after a Rockies game. The bar was established in 1959 and pays tribute to the wild west and…Texas cowboys? Tuesdays & Thursdays are karaoke nights while the weekends often feature live music. You can also try your hand at ski ball and hang out on their back patio. Despite being a dive, at Star Bar’s core, is their passion for alcohol. With craft beer and spirit selections from breweries and distilleries all over the state and country, you can drink fancy while feeling the divey energy at Thursday night karaoke. 

Highland Tavern:

On the corner of Navajo and W 34th in the Highlands sits this neighborhood gem. You don’t want to miss this spot with their famous tavern tots and a feature on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Highland Tavern serves brunch on the weekends from 10 am-2 pm and has a lunch/dinner menu featuring classic deli sandwiches and burgers. Check out their daily happy hour from 4-7 pm with $5 wells and house wine, $4 domestic bottles, $3 PBR, and $1 off most drafts. Not to mention their weekend brunch specials featuring a $6 award-winning bloody mary. 

Berkeley Inn:

The Berkeley inn prides itself on a “no frills” aesthetic, but its entertainment and drink specials prove otherwise. Established in 1934, Berkeley Inn is a staple establishment on the ever-evolving Tennyson Street. The dive features karaoke on Thursday and Saturday nights, live music on Sundays, and open mic nights on Tuesdays. Specials include weekly happy hour from 4-7 pm, Tequila Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, and $5 Fridays. 

Don’s Club Tavern:

Otherwise known as “Don’s”, this Denver dive bar in Cap Hill has been around since 1947. My favorite feature at Don’s is their vending machine, of course, but other patrons prefer their classic vinyl booths, pool table, and loyalty to the Kansas City Chiefs. Seriously, they love the Chiefs and even open early on Sunday mornings for them. In vintage dive fashion, Don’s prides itself on “specials” all day, every day. Specials range from Mimosa pitchers for $15 to a beer and shot combo for just $7.

Dive Inn:

On South Broadway in the Platt Park neighborhood lies this iconic Denver dive bar. Their claim to fame? A speedboat in the middle of the bar. A giant boat equals a giant space filled with complimentary nautical decors, ping pong, and a patio with cornhole. Their space allows a lot of room for events like cornhole tournaments and the “QB Challenge”. While Dive Inn doesn’t have a menu of its own, it’s partnered with Taki Takos and Cluck Chicken to curb your bar food cravings. 

PS Lounge:

As it is likely the street with the most Denver dive bars, this list wouldn’t be complete without mention of Colfax. The PS Lounge established its roots on in the 80s and hasn’t changed a bit since then. Step back in time as you peruse the jukebox, toss back a ~complimentary~ Alabama Slammer shot, and enjoy cheap spirits. In cheesy 80s fashion, every woman that enters the bar receives a rose. Hey, maybe chivalry isn’t dead after all. Also very 80s of the Lounge, it’s a cash-only establishment. So you can spend that cash from your grandma this Christmas here. 

Dr. Proctor’s Lounge:

Dr. Proctor’s Lounge is an unassuming spot located in a strip mall in the Glendale neighborhood. Just look for the “Lounge” sign and beat-up blue door and you’ve found the spot. With several pool tables, brunch offerings, and TVs abound Dr. Proctor’s provides that perfect setting for a Sunday Funday full of football. While Sunday football is great and all, you also can’t miss their Thursday night Karaoke. The food menu consists of your pub classics like sammies, burgers, and burritos. Happy hour pretty much happens all day here, and specials vary. They’re active on social media accounts so check there for updates! Toss ‘em a like and a follow while you’re at it. 

Lion’s Lair:

Another Colfax classic, Lion’s Lair adds a twist to this list of Denver dive bars with their jam-packed live entertainment schedule each and every night. It was established way back in the 1930s as a music venue and has kept up with that tradition ever since. Drink prices top off at around $6 and you can save $1 on that from 3-8 pm Thursday-Sunday during happy hour. Specials include $3 Rootbeer Barrels (PBR drop shot), $6 popsicle shot, $10 The Tony (White Claw tallboy, fruit juice & vodka), and $13 Colfax Lunch (PBR tallboy, shot of Jim Beam, & chips).

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