Drinking at DIA
There’s a lot you can do at the airport: shop, sleep, people watch, and of course, drink. It doesn’t matter the time of day or where you’re flying to, there’s no judgment about drinking about the airport (unless you’re drunk on your flight; don’t be that person). You can start your morning with a Bloody Mary or just go straight for the beer and there’s nothing strange about it. If your flight’s delayed and you’re looking to kill some time, the bar’s your friend. It’s a great place to pass the time, get your vacation started early, and even meet some very interesting people.
Fortunately for those who are flying in and out of Denver, the state’s love of alcohol is apparent throughout the airport. Whether you’re flying out of one of the three terminals or are looking for something outside of security, there are plenty of options to get your trip started on the right foot.
This week we’ve got two different perspectives about where to drink at the airport. Catherine and myself, Kimberly, both frequent the airport and have taken to the task of recommending some establishments we enjoy, both inside and outside of security.
Whether you’re waiting to pick somebody up or aren’t yet ready to go through security, there are a few options to choose from. Outside security, or the Jeppesen Terminal as it’s more formally known, boasts a number of different restaurants, but if you’re looking for a drink, these are some of the places you should seek out.
Boulder Beer Tap House
If you didn’t have time to make it out to Boulder on your trip, this is the next best option. Known for being Colorado’s first brewery, and with two locations in Boulder, the hub at DIA gives you a great sense of the Colorado beer scene. Not only do they offer their year-round brews, you can also choose from a selection of their seasonal and specialty beers. And if you simply can’t decide which beer to choose from, they also offer a flight (insert airport joke here). In addition to their wide selection of beer, they also offer a full menu, including breakfast.
Grill and Vine
While this restaurant is technically located outside security, it is located in the new Westin hotel attached to the airport. This is a perfect option if you’re staying the night, meeting quickly with visitors, or even if you have a longer layover and want to leave the airport without leaving the property. Their wine list is extensive, with plenty of options from around the world to choose from. They also have local beer such as Odell and Colorado Native. They are open all day with different breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus and has something everybody in your party can enjoy.
Sky Lounge Bar
Located in the Westin, and only open from the evening until the early hours of the morning, this is the perfect place to enjoy a good drink and even better views. Along with handcrafted and classic cocktails, they have a selection of beer and wine. If you’re looking to balance your alcohol with some food, their menu includes tacos, dips, and Panini’s. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the Denver skyline if you can’t make it into the city.
Red Rocks Bar & BBQ
If you’re at the airport earlier in the day, Red Rocks Bar & BBQ is the place to go for a classic mimosa, Bloody Mary, or even a Bloody Maria, which includes tequila. But fear not, if you’re ready to get your drink on, they have other cocktails, beer (including Boulder Beer if once just wasn’t enough) and of course wine. They also feature monthly cocktails and wine, so if you’re a frequent guest, this is a great way to mix things up. For food, they’ve got your standard bar-b-que fare including sandwiches, platters, salads, and those delicious sides. It’s a perfect place to enjoy good food, good drinks, and hopefully, some good company.
If it’s time to go through security, Catherine’s got you covered…
I have to admit I am usually running behind schedule for most things in my life, but when I head to the airport that is never the case! I travel a couple times a month for both business and pleasure and always ensure I arrive early enough to the airport so that I can get a drink before my flight. As I am a Southwest girl and you can always find me hanging out at one of the Terminal C bars.
It’s funny that I should frequent Root Down at DIA because I live about a block from the LoHi location in Denver, yet hardly go when I am home. Root Down is my go-to place when I have a morning flight. I typically plan to arrive at the airport early enough for a mimosa and breakfast tacos. Food and drink service is quick but delicious! The restaurant is usually pretty packed, but if you are travelling alone, or in a group of two, you can typically find a seat at the bar pretty quickly!
Tapas Sky Bar
Now this place is GREAT. With 16 wines, 12 craft beers, and craft cocktails to choose from your craving can easily be met. Located near C24, this bar provides flyers quick access to a beverage before boarding your flight. I recommend you try pairing the Malbec with their artisan cheese board for a tasty snack before your flight! And the best part: they’ll give you a to-go cup so you can hop on your flight with a glass of wine in hand!
I have spent many flight delays at the Timberline bar at DIA. Conveniently located at the core of the C gates, Timberline offers a wide variety of wines to choose from in addition to more than 40 beers. The log cabin setting is reminiscent of childhood vacations up in the woods. Their menu includes organic beef and buffalo burger options and a delicious assortment of starters if you are just looking for a quick bite!
Whether you’re just visiting or call Denver your final destination, join us for a tour to learn more about the local wine scene!