The Rio Grande rooftop gives you a view of the foxy Flatirons to enjoy along with your margaritas.
The Rio Grande rooftop gives you a view of the foxy Flatirons to enjoy along with your margaritas. (Cyrus McCrimmon / The Denver Post)

The higher the better. That's the motto of all us Colorado natives and residents who came for school and work.

So why settle for a meal in some dark restaurant, or even an outdoor patio along a bustling Boulder street?

When the sun's shining and breezes are blowing through, there's not much better than setting up at a restaurant rooftop. While you soak up local suds, you'll gaze out at the sun-soaked Flatirons and forget all those pesky deadlines and grown-up obligations.

Don't hide away in the shadows. Get your butt to one of these Boulder rooftops.

West End Tavern

926 Pearl St.

303-444-3535

Known for its beer taps, bourbons and colorful "Wing King" challenge, the West End's a good choice for any Saturday night (or hell, Tuesday afternoon). But when the Tavern opens its rooftop, all becomes right with the world. They're even kind enough to fire up the patio heaters for those from warmer climes. (Locals will be nearby, in their shorts, socks and sandals.)

Each month, new specials or weeklong deals give you a whole new excuse to visit. Stop by before your Red Rocks concerts for pre-show specials on burgers and canned beer. Enjoy game-day specials during football season. Brave snow-clogged streets for snow-day deals. There's always a good reason to head to the West End.

Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill


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1346 Pearl St.

303-440-3355

With the largest full-service rooftop in Boulder, there's plenty of room for all of us to laze about some Thursday afternoon. You'll sip on one of their daily drink deals, gaze out at Pearl Street and watch one oddball after another walk past. Not too shabby.

Of course, being uncovered, it's a bit more of a slave to weather — a real concern in as hormonal a state as Colorado. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't brave the elements for that rooftop view. There's even live music Thursday through Saturday, and an open jam night on Tuesdays. You'll want to sign up by 10 p.m. if you plan on belting one out.

The Rio Grande

1101 Walnut St.

303-444-3690

I could try to sell you on the Rio Grande rooftop, but I really don't have to. It'll speak for itself the moment you pop out from the stairwell. In its prime corner location, those on the Rio's rooftop have a perfect view of those foxy Flatirons and of the passersby on the street below. With a Manberry Margarita in hand (a strawberry-mango mix, of course), all you'll need is a good friend or four to soak up the sun with.

Uncovered, you run the risk of getting chilly. But never fear, their colored lights add festive flair, and their heat lamps keep you toasty until the liquor jacket kicks in. You have to head over early, though, to nab some of the limited seating. On the plus side, you can bring that under-21 friend — wristbands weed out the drinkers.

Boulder House

1109 Walnut St.

303-443-8600

Note the proximity. Boulder House is The Rio's more boisterous neighbor. Known for dance parties that'll rock your socks off and DJ guests bumping the tunes, it also has a grand rooftop to spend a little time at before busting a move.

It also has a great lineup of weekly specials and events to spice up even the most tedious week. (A note to my fellow ladies: There are two — count 'em, two — ladies nights, one Tuesday and one Thursday. Sweet.)

Harpo's Sports Grill

2860 Arapahoe Ave.

303-444-9464

Far from the Pearl Street pull, Harpo's is more the go-to for those looking for a relaxed night. Well, relaxed until the next game comes on. With its 27 TVs, it's a must for sports lovers yearning to drink and yell with fellow fans. They also have a rooftop that's just as good as any you'll find downtown.

You'll also find great daily deals — including Tuesday's Geeks Who Drink competitions, and Friday's karaoke and all-you-can-eat fish and chips. Sick of just watching the games on the big screens? On Wednesdays, Harpo's hosts a beer pong competition at 8 p.m. for those ready to toss their balls.

Sieh pens her China Monologues column every other Tuesday for the Colorado Daily. Read more here: coloradodaily.com/columnists. Stalk her: instagram.com/wildeyed_wandering.