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We’ve pulled together the best speakeasies in Denver, so you don’t miss out.
There’s nothing more fun than having a secret, and that’s exactly what makes speakeasies so appealing. Combine the cloak-and-daggerness of the experience with a splash of nostalgia and an array of craft cocktails, and you have a wonderfully immersive experience.
Tucked away behind unassuming facades and concealed entrances, these speakeasies pay homage to the Prohibition era while offering a modern twist on classic libations.
These hidden gems are scattered throughout the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, from LoDo to RiNo and beyond; each of our top Denver speakeasies boasts its own distinct character and ambiance. Step back in time to one of these dimly lit spaces, and the troubles of the world will fade away as expert bartenders whip up their unique magic.
Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer to this enduring trend, we’re sure you will find a Denver speakeasy suited to your unique tastes.
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Best Speakeasies in Denver
Hidden in the back of Sweet Action, the Uptown ice cream hotspot formerly known as Frozen Matter is a space-themed bar you simply cannot miss. To get into Retrograde, bypass the ice cream counter and head towards the freezer door. Turn on the light switch and wait for the bartender to check your ID and admit you.
The cozy, dimly lit space, sporting a ceiling covered in constellation-shaped twinkle lights, provides the perfect reprieve after a long day of work.
Cult sci-fi films play, adding a certain quirkiness to the sleek, modern space. This is the place to be if you enjoy libations with unique ingredients – think brown-butter fat-washed weller, lavender-hibiscus foam, and charred rosemary smoke.
Fan favorites include The Wicker Man (herbs, gin, floral notes), The Stuff (fruit+rum), and Ice Sharks (Japanese whisky meets prickly pear). If you don’t see something you like on the menu, simply tell the bartender what liquor you like, along with any allergies and they will whip something up just for you!
It’s important to note that there is a one-drink-per-person minimum. Due to the small size of the space, there is a limit of six people per party.
Do you love tequila and mezcal? They say the lights swing, and the cócteles flow all night at this downtown Denver speakeasy. Serving up Mexican flavors and fiesta vibes, Ghost Donkey is tucked inside the Coloradan building directly behind Union Station.
The vibe is sparkly, frenetic, and playful – just the sort of place for a bachelorette party or a celebratory night with friends. Like its sister bars in New York and Las Vegas, it has quickly landed on shortlists of the best Denver speakeasies.
The space is both energizing and intimate – a ceiling covered with twinkling lights and Moroccan lanterns, cozy booths upholstered in rich colors, and the namesake donkey wearing a sombrero overseeing it all.
This particular watering hole is one of the best speakeasies in Denver, with delicious cocktails featuring playful garnishes such as donkey pinatas. Try a mezcal sun-risa if you are dreaming of sunning yourself beachside.
Looking for something outside the box? The mushroom margarita is the perfect choice. Finally, you can’t miss the Pistolero – an incredible concoction made with pineapple sherbert and a hint of poblano.
They have an open seating policy, so first come, first served! We love the diverse music selection, courtesy of the live DJ. If you get hungry, the nachos, street tacos, and ceviche are all excellent.
Holding an honorary position on our list of best speakeasies in Denver, Cooper Lounge is the place to go if you’re looking for an elevated, elegant cocktail experience. Perched atop the mezzanine of Denver Union Station, this swanky lounge is one of the best places to soak up 1920s vibes (speakeasy or not.)
Order a classic Manhattan, an Old Fashioned, or a Sazerac (which arrives served on a silver tray along with salted nuts) to maximize that feeling of old-school glamour.
This historic space, expertly renovated to restore it to its 1914 glory, is flooded with light – from the gleaming marble countertops to the sleek modern barstools, the vibe is upscale, and the food follows suit.
Unique craft cocktails, excellent service, and an amazing food menu make this the place to celebrate special occasions – think Mother’s Day, a pre-wedding brunch or a romantic outing.
Is nothing special coming up? No problem – Cooper Lounge is the perfect place for any evening unwind or a boozy brunch. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy dining on smoky Buratta Ala Panna while sipping mimosas in an airy, elegant space overlooking Union Station’s Great Hall?
Looking for a weekend hideaway? We have just the place! Cocktails and intrigue are on the menu at B&GC. Springing from the ruins of the former Cherry Creek Post Office, this clandestine charmer is located in the alley behind the hotel, Halcyon.
Walk down the alley until you see a door marked “Stair 3.” You’ll know you’re in the right place if you see an antique doorbell marked with the word private. Ring it and wait. Someone will come to collect you, though sometimes it takes a while. The wait is worth it.
Once you make it in, the only question is, what should you order? A martini seems to be the natural answer, given the sophisticated vibe.
There is nothing basic about B&GC – from the engraved glasses and the colorful art deco murals to the sprawling bar that looks like something straight out of The Great Gatsby, this place is unique -even the ice is branded! Settle into a comfy leather seat, and make sure to sample the marinated olives with your martini.
This speakeasy in Denver is cozy and upscale without being pretentious. If you want to indulge, order a Turndown Service – a creamy, sweet whisky-based cocktail with creme de menthe, topped with white egg foam. Their answer to the classic whisky sour, the Sakura Sour, is also an excellent choice.
Man in the Yellow Hat wins for the most creative name, and with its banana liquor, Aperol, and spiced orange flavors, it’s sure to delight the taste buds as well. Looking for a nibble with your drinks? We love the bacon-wrapped dates and the deviled eggs.
Williams & Graham
A fixture in the LoHi neighborhood and recipient of numerous awards, including America’s best cocktail bar and one of the world’s Top 50 cocktail bars, Williams & Graham is one of the best speakeasies in Denver.
Stop at 32nd and Tejon at what appears to be a corner bookstore. You’ll enter a small room with a vintage cash register and several walls flanked with books.
Sometimes they accommodate walk-ins, usually only if it is a single person, but hopefully, you secured reservations. When it’s your turn, the hostess will (gasp) open one of the bookcases to reveal a secret passage that takes you to the bar.
In a very down-the-rabbit hole experience, you’ll be led to a beautiful dimly-lit room with booths, a charming wooden bar, and a long counter with a standing room.
This Denver speakeasy has an extensive menu, and with only two hours to drink (timed reservations are required due to high demand), it will be a hard choice. We’ll try to help you narrow it down.
For a unique treat, check out the Blind Tiger – with coconut, lime, and cucumber flavors. Power, Corruption & Lies tastes like heaven if heaven were made up of Hendrick’s Gin, cherry-infused Cocchi Rosa, and lavender.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with the Vieux Carre, a blend of Pierre Ferrand Ambré, Rittenhouse Rye, Carpano Antica, Bénédictine, Peychaud’s, and Angostura bitters.
At the conclusion of your reservation, you’ll be shown out the back door, which deposits you into an alley – the perfectly authentic ending for an evening at a Denver speakeasy.
Millers & Rossi
Venture to 35th and Walnut in RiNo, and you’ll find a Denver speakeasy called Millers & Rossie that you can’t miss at the North end of the Tracks/EXDO building. Masquerading as a simple art gallery, this building houses three unique experiences. In addition to the local art on display in the gallery, there are not one but two bars!
The first space is one of Denver’s hidden gems – The Ohana room, a fabulous tiki bar. This funky, tropical space delivers flavors from the Caribbean in a laid-back space. If you want to enjoy a little flash, try the Zombie. It’s served in a tiki glass and lit on fire right in front of you!
Finish the evening off at one of the best speakeasies in Denver, hidden right behind The Ohana Room. Edison bulbs, exposed brick, and a general aura of mystery prevail in the inviting cocktail bar and lounge that is known to host fun-themed events, such as Harry Potter Night and Motown Monday.
Offering bar snacks and pizzas during the week and a more extensive menu on weekends, you’ll find just the right pairing for whatever cocktail you enjoy. With drinks like the Razzle Dazzle and the White Lotus, you’re sure to find the perfect refreshing beverage to finish off your week.
Run for the Roses
Cocktail culture thrives at Run for the Roses, a Downtown Denver speakeasy catering to a chic and well-groomed crowd. Located in Dairy Block, a vibrant, mixed-use development built on the site of the former Windsor dairy, this subterranean cocktail lounge is the place to people-watch.
Enter through the alley, and you’ll see a door with a four over it and a neon “cocktails” sign. Follow the roses, and take the elevator down one floor. At the end of the hallway, you’ll enter and find a vintage gold ticket window, just like the ones where you place bets at the racetrack.
Etched glass, fun wallpaper, and lots of sleek white make up the interior. We love the luxe, jewel-toned upholstery, the funky mirrors behind the bar, and the eccentric flourishes on the bookshelves – old vinyl and other interesting items.
One of the most unique aspects of the experience is picking your drinks from a 52-card deck of cards that serves as their standard cocktail menu. You can also select from a specialty cocktail menu or choose something from the well-curated wine list.
Try the Good Magic with vodka and sage-infused melon liqueur, the tequila and sheep-milk skyr-laced Shoulda Coulda or a classic dry martini. There are light bites to pair with your drinks – make sure not to miss the banana split!
Luci’s Shambles & Provisions
Eclectic, intimate, and brimming with alcohol and intrigue, Luci’s Shambles & Provisions is located on Platte St. and is just the place to go if you feel like taking a walk on the dark side. This Downtown Denver speakeasy shares space with Modis in the City. Go through the glass door to the right of Modis’ entrance and take the stairs down to the basement.
From the moment you descend the staircase, passing under a medieval chandelier and the goat head mounted on the wall, the devilish decor makes quite an impression. We love the seductive atmosphere and cocktails to boot.
From the flickering candles and sinful shades of red to the funky greenery and neon flourishes, it’s very Garden of Eden meets the serpent. Skull-shaped ice cubes, dry ice performance art, and libations poured from crystal skulls are staples at this subterranean speakeasy.
Duck thighs, beef tartare, and charcuterie are the perfect accompaniment for your cocktail.
Alongside classic prohibition-era staples, you’ll find irreverent potions with names like Lucifer’s Wakeup Call (vodka + coffee & toasted syrup), Curse Mark (mezcal, campari & grapefruit), and Brimstone Flip (rye, allspice, cardamaro & tiki bitters with an egg white foam.)
If you’re there on the right night, you might find yourself watching one of the regular burlesque shows, complete with a fire eater.
The Cruise Room
For authenticity, you can’t get much closer than The Cruise Room, which is the longest-running bar in Denver, opening just one day after prohibition ended (or so they say.) From the luxe, art-deco interior to the delightful jazz notes filtering through the space, this is a great spot to unwind after a long day.
They don’t take reservations, so drop in close to the opening to ensure you can grab a seat. We love the wine-bottle-shaped layout and the vintage decor inspired by the RMS Queen Mary.
Did you know the gorgeous paneled walls are the originals from 1933? Perfect lighting is the icing on the cake – the soft, warm orange glow will have you snapping selfies all night.
Known for serving up what some say is the best martini in Denver, you can’t go wrong with that, or another classic like a Tom Collins or an Old Fashioned. Make sure to check out the working jukebox and select from an array of prohibition-era favorites!
Final Thoughts: Denver Speakeasies
From the space-themed Retrograde to the energetic Ghost Donkey, each speakeasy boasts its own unique ambiance and character. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, Denver’s speakeasies cater to a variety of tastes.
So, grab a friend or two and embark on a journey through time and flavor, exploring the best speakeasies in Denver.
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