Welcome to the Lower Highlands district or, as the locals call it, LoHi. A part of the Highlands neighborhood that’s known for Victorian and modern architecture, views of Downtown Denver, and its vibrant, innovative restaurants and bar. In this quick guide, we’ve highlighted 11 of our favorite bars and restaurants in the LoHi district for you to make your way through (with plenty of happy hours available). Here’s our guide to the 11 best restaurants and bars in LoHi.
1. Avanti F&B
A collective eatery that has different vendors to choose from, Avanti is a perfect Saturday evening stop. From Meta Asian Kitchen to Knockabout Burgers, Vaca Gordo BBQ, and their upstairs rooftop patio, this is the perfect drink + drinks combo.
The Post Chicken and Beer has got a few locations, but their LoHi one is our favorite. What was once a taco spot has been transformed into an amazing place to chill out with some friends over America’s favorite combo, fried chicken and cold beer. If there’s one thing we like about them, it’s their variety, from their swanky indoor dining to their cozy patio seating, to their top shelf and cost-effective alcohol, to their family-style meals with chicken, slaw, and fries. No matter what you choose, just know their chicken is always fried to perfection.
3. Mizu Izakaya
One of the best sushi restaurants in town just happens to be here in LoHi. Mizu Izakaya offers fresh sushi in a swanky, beautiful interior, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re all for show. Their sushi is what you’d expect, handcrafted, perfectly made, and fresh. They’ve also got great mains like short ribs and chicken karage, plus fried rice and ramen, so if you want to go and try a little of everything, might we suggest heading there at happy hour from 4-6pm and 9-close on weekdays.
4. Cantina Loca
From the woman who will be bringing Casa Bonita’s new reinvented menu to Denver, is Cantina Loca, Dana Rodriguez’s Mexican restaurant that has gotten quite the reputation since it’s open. Dana got her start in the Denver hospitality industry in 1988 and worked her way up through different roles at different restaurants and opened Cantina Loca nearly a year ago. From their doraditos to their pollo adobado. Rodriguez has also got her own brand of tequila so don’t forget to get a tequila or mezcal signature cocktail.
A small, local restaurant that does tapas, small plates, and even fondue. They’ve got an incredible selection of wines, signature cocktails, and quality meets and cheeses that they place on charcuterie boards alongside fruit and nuts. On Wednesdays, they even have raclette cheese perfect for fondue.
A Pan-Mexican eatery that has food from all seven regions of Mexico. It’s quite a popular place so expect a wait, especially if you’re going for their happy hour which is daily from 3-6pm. They often like to have a little fun with their decorations during Halloween and Christmas, so make sure to head over during the holidays for fun decor and surprises.
Another local wine bar with a hip and contemporary feel to it. Postino is colorful and bright in the interior and cozy in the outdoor string-lit patio. On 8pm they’ve got a $25 special that has a bottle of wine and a board of bruschetta with different toppings that’s perfect for sharing. A tip in case there’s a long wait, grab a table in the alley and order a bottle of wine. Once you’re seated, the waiters will help you move to the main table to keep the evening going.
If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food, you can’t miss Ash’Kara, a colorful and contemporary restaurant that brings “ancient food” from the Middle East and Mesopotamia to Denver. We recommend going with a party to get the full range of food they offer, from their variety of dips served with house-made, wood-fired pita, to their chicken tagine platters, sides like spiced rice, and much more. For small bites at a cheaper price, head there during happy hour from 3-5pm Monday through Sunday.
9. Bar Dough
Established in 2015, Bar Dough takes the neighborhood bar experience and elevates it by creating a wonderful menu of delicious, Italian classics like pizza and pasta. To get the most bang for your buck, we’d recommend going for happy hour from 3-5pm daily and indulging in their pizzas, from Margherita to Diavolo for only $10. If you come during dinner time, we’d highly recommend the cacio e pepe, a pasta from Rome that’s simply pecorino and freshly cracked pepper, but is delicious.
10. Root Down
A super cool, modern and healthy eatery that we’d recommend for brunch. The menu tries to highlight local ingredients and the seasons, so it changes up frequently, but for their fall menu, you can try Carrot Cake French Toast, their Fried Chicken and Goat Cheese Biscuit, a Colorado Lamb Burger, or Burrata Toast.
11. Cart Driver
A Denver favorite that’s posted in both RiNo and LoHi, Cart Driver is the city’s resident “not just a pizza place.” Known for fresh off-the-coast oysters and w0od-fired pizza, we’d highly recommend trying something that combines both seafood and pizza, like their Clam Pizza for the true Cart Driver experience. We even gave them a shout out on our Denver Foodie Bucket List, so we’d definitely recommend grabbing lunch here if you happen to be in the area.