Denver is home to thousands of college students who often need to take some time to relax, spend time with friends and let loose. Home to campuses such as DU and Metro, the Mile High City offers a multitude of bars that cater to co-eds. You don’t have to look too far to find a good bar with great discounts for food, drinks, shows and games. Just stroll along University Boulevard and nearby neighborhoods to find a multitude of bars overflowing with students having the time of their lives. Below are a few places in town where you can have a great college night out on a budget.
1135 E Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
Run by Pour Kids’ owner Rob Lanphier who broke away from the B.U.F.F. Brothers group of popular bars in 2011, Boone’s Tavern has gained a steady group of regulars since its opening last fall. The mantra here is local––”local beers, local spirits, local owners.” Located just blocks from campus in the building that used to house Fagan’s, Boone’s namesake comes from DU’s old mascot from the 60s-late 90s, Denver Boone. In keeping with the college theme, drinks are cheap, food is affordable, yet delicious, and the craft beers abound. The spacious bar packs in the college kids during Rockies and Broncos games, and offers skeeball, pub trivia, video bingo and Sunday drink specials.
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1701 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
Any bar that offers specials on Jager Bombs is bound to be a college hotspot. A popular college hangout/sports bar, Stadium Inn has been a staple in the Denver bar scene for 29 years. Students can find money-saving specials daily, with Wednesday’s College Night offering up $2 PBRs. The drinks are cheap (Jim Beam is always $2––day or night) and the bar offers plenty of TVs for sports games and free pool every Sunday for entertainment during halftime. Just steps away from the DU campus, you’ll always find Stadium Inn populated by college students.
13020 20th St.
Denver, CO 80202
For those looking for cheap drinks, games and an eclectic mix of patrons closer to downtown, the Giggling Grizzly is your spot. Located about a mile from Metro’s Auraria campus, this bar is a great place to chill after a weekday class. It gets pretty packed on weekend nights, but the set up has the bar centered in the middle, allowing bartenders to serve thirsty patrons in a 360 degree fashion. There are specials running every night with everything from $1 tacos and beer on Tuesdays to 25 cent weeks on Thursdays to flip quarter for shots on Fridays and a happy hour until 8 p.m. on Saturdays. If it’s not too busy, you can also set up beer pong at the long table in the corner where the giant Jenga is housed. The other end of the bar offers pool and a photo booth to capture those collegiate memories.
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701 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80209
The Campus Lounge is a regular hangout for many college students looking for a casual dive bar in which to pass the time. Its location near the University of Colorado at Denver in the Wash Park area makes it a good place to hit up after a game of frisbee golf or hours studying in the park. The drinks are cheap, the drink specials are unrivaled and the neighborhood vibe of the place is welcoming and unpretentious. The menu offers some regular bar fare and Mexican dishes––opt for the quesadillas if you go that direction. There are big screen TVs so you can watch your favorite sport and unwind down after spending hours in the library.
The Pioneer Bar
2401 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80210
The Pioneer Bar is another University Boulevard locale and is known for housing some great college hockey memorabilia (hence, the bar’s name). Newer to the DU nightlife scene than some of the other bars on this list, The Pioneer’s Mexican dinner specials and Saturday and Sunday brunch offerings are sure to solidify its place among the college crowds’ go-to nighttime spots. Find burrito specials for just $5 on Monday and Tuesdays from 5–10 p.m. and weekend brunches with $5 cucumber bloodys and mimosas until 2 p.m. This is a great spot to re-fuel on the cheap so you can drag yourself to that 9 a.m. class in the morning.
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Michelle Humphrey is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found here.