A Night Out in RiNo: Things to Do in Denver’s Creative Hub

Denver’s River North Art District, fondly known as RiNo, has become a focal point of creativity and culture in the Mile High City. What was once an industrial area has transformed into a hip neighborhood teeming with art galleries, craft breweries, eclectic eateries, and a lively nightlife scene. The neighborhood offers a unique blend of artistic expression and community spirit that’s worth exploring, so whether you’re a Denver native or a visitor, check out these great tips from our local experts on how to make the most of a night out in RiNo. 

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Wall Art 12x8 RiNo den NO jens peter olesen

Dive into RiNo’s art and culture scene

RiNo is synonymous with art, and the district is home to numerous galleries showcasing both local and international artists, making it a haven for art enthusiasts. Below our experts have highlighted some of the neighborhood’s best art-centric attractions:

One of our favorite things to do in RiNo, Denver, is exploring the vibrant street art. The district is home to countless murals and installations that transform the neighborhood into an open-air gallery. This is perfect for an evening stroll, especially around the Denver Central Market area, where you can admire the art while enjoying some delicious local food and drinks.”- Bradford McDevitt from McDevitt Taco Supply

Some of the first stops remain the best. fooLPRoof contemporary art gallery opened in response to the changes in the district in front of the founder’s studio. Laura has occupied 3240 Larimer since 2005 setting up her sculpture studio. The gallery is neighbor to Infinite Monkey Theorem winery and the open garden lots adjacent to the gallery.”- Laura Phelps Rogers from fooLPRoof contemporary art 

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I love to wander the streets and explore everything that catches my eye — the stores and art galleries are so unique, Denver Central Market offers amazing grab-and-go food, and of course the art is mind-blowing. It’s like an open-air museum, but one where you can find everything you need and never leave.” – Jana from Denver Graffiti Tour

Of course the best contemporary Ceramics gallery is Plinth Gallery at 3520 Brighton Blvd.”- Jonathan Kaplan from Plinth Gallery

Discovering RiNo’s street art scene is a must for new Denver residents. The neighborhood has murals by local and international artists at every turn. Pair that with craft breweries, cool restaurants, and local shops, and you’ve got the perfect spot to soak in Denver’s creative vibe.“- Noah Friedman from Vibemap

Whet your palette with top tier with food and a beverage 

RiNo’s culinary and beverage scene is as diverse as it is delicious. From trendy brunch spots to innovative fine dining, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Look no further for exemplary eats and drinks. Below are some of our experts’ top recommended places to wine and dine:

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Culinary delights: 

A must-visit is our rooftop restaurant, McDevitt Taco Supply, which offers a unique dining experience with stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a great spot to relax, enjoy eclectic tacos, and house-made margaritas, and take in the energetic atmosphere of RiNo.”- Bradford McDevitt from McDevitt Taco Supply

Smok Barbecue in Denver is a hidden gem that stands out even in a city known for its eclectic food scene. Nestled in the vibrant RiNo Arts District, this spot offers a cozy yet lively atmosphere perfect for enjoying some of the best barbecue in the area. Locals rave about the melt-in-your-mouth brisket and the perfectly seasoned ribs, but if you really want a treat, try the jalapeño cheddar sausage—it’s a game changer. Don’t skip the sides either; the smoked cheddar grits and brussels sprouts are must-tries!“- Ben & Janie from ForeverVacation

RiNo has great coffee at Crema Coffee (2862 Larimer St.), Zeppelin Station (3501 Wazee St.) features an expansive food court, and The Source (3350 Brighton Blvd) offers multiple food options. Black Shirt Brewing and Pizza- BSB (3719 Walnut St.)- is the place for craft beer and pizza.” – Jonathan Kaplan from Plinth Gallery

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Denver Central Market: Honestly, what’s not to love? Each of their 11 vendors offers something different and the cuisine is perfect for sharing, a plus for food halls so people can try more than one thing! We love that it still feels like you’re supporting small and local businesses (even being a market) and residing in the colorful, welcoming, and vibrant neighborhood of RiNo makes it even more intriguing. The DCM is a great place for families, friends, and people of all ages and backgrounds. To us, it genuinely feels like the quintessential food hall everyone looks for when exploring a new city!”- Lauren Cordova, Studio Manager at From The Hip Photo

Bars, breweries and beyond:

For an authentic taste of the RiNo district, Stem Ciders is a must-visit. Colorado’s reputation for craft beverages extends beyond beer, and Stem Ciders exemplifies this with their creative blends. Don’t miss their experimental tastings held on the first Monday of every month for a unique experience. But the exploration doesn’t have to end there! Nearby, you’ll find the Great Divide brewing company and the Blue Moon Brewing Company, both offering a range of seasonal selections for you to enjoy.” – Kelly Turk from Elevate Dnvr

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RiNo boasts at least ten of Denver’s 100-plus craft breweries, making it a right of passage for any Denverite. Here, art and science converge in some of the state’s finest breweries. Some of our highlights include River North Brewery’s robust selections and Our Mutual Friend Brewing’s vibrant community hub. Additionally, Finn’s Manor offers a unique blend of rare beers, whiskeys, and spirits, complemented by a food truck court. You can’t go wrong in RiNo when you start with good craft beer.” -Ken and April from Living a Stout Life

Lustre Pearl Denver brings Austin’s chill vibe and easy style to Denver’s River North Art District. Come sit a spell by the fire upstairs, grab some friends and a few drinks and play some ping pong and photograph yourself on our ‘naughty girl at Lustre Pearl’ chaise lounge or come shake your booty for the dance party that is sure to start.”- Heath Speakman, Creative Director at Dunlap ATX

My favorite place to grab a cold beer is Improper City on the corner of Walnut St. and 32nd. While the inside is great, the back patio is just perfect. There are often amazing food trucks here, live music, and fire pits once the sun goes down. It’s a perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy the cool vibe that RiNo offers.”-Yvonne Min from Yvonne Min Photography

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I love living in the RiNo Art District. More often than not, you will find me enjoying a margarita at my favorite Mexican restaurant in town (Los Chingones), or a glass of wine at my favorite Mediterranean restaurants (Barcelona Wine Bar or its sister restaurant, Corsica), or a cleverly crafted cocktail at my favorite bar (Goldpoint).”- Jana from Denver Graffiti Tour

Not a planner? Check out these recommendations for how to sequence an evening out in RiNo:

My favorite thing to do in RiNo is to go brewery hopping and check out all the murals in between. If you visit enough breweries eventually all the restaurants open and you end up discovering a new place or re-discovering an old favorite with delicious food.” — Nick from Denver Graffiti Tour

My idea of a perfect evening in Rino would be to start with a happy hour beer on the patio at Ratio Beerworks, get dinner at one of the amazing restaurants there like Dio Mio, Corsica or Major Tom. After dinner, get ice cream at High Point Creamery in Denver Central Market and walk through the alleys to view the ever-changing murals, then finish the night off with a nightcap at Death and Co.”- Libbie from Libbie Holmes Photography

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Some of our personal favorites in RiNo include the award-winning ramen at Osaka Ramen (a personal favorite of my wife and I’s!), ANYTHING Izzio Bakery has to offer, and some fresh threads over at Be A Good Person. However, art is one of the main things we love about the neighborhood. Being able to explore the alleys and find those smaller cocktail bars like Honey Elixir and Gerard’s Pool Hall while exploring new murals is such a treat, and really the best way to get to know the area. On your way out for the night, our neighbors at Lustre Pearl always keep the late-night vibes going!”- Pierce McKenna from First Draft Taproom and Kitchen

fooLPRoof contemporary art gallery is near Dio Mio which remains one of the most affordable chef-owned spaces. Now flanked by Greenwich and Partners in Crime, the latter offering a wine special on First Fridays. While these are a great few stops on any night, the block comes alive on First Fridays.”- Laura Phelps Rogers from fooLPRoof Contemporary Art

Kick off with a cocktail at one of the city’s best: Death and Co. In summer, their upper back patio features live music and lounge-style seating. Grab dinner at Osaka Ramen (2023 People’s Choice for Best Ramen) and don’t sleep on their Karaage Fried Chicken (served on our RiNo food tour). For dessert head to one of the city’s best food markets: the Denver Central Market. Sweet options abound from incredible pastries at Izzio’s and award-winning ice cream at High Point Creamery. Head around the corner to Nocturne for live jazz and more amazing cocktails before heading to Beacon for Instagram worthy decor and dancing. Late night can be hard to find in Denver, but Redeemer Pizza serves NY slices til 12am on weekends and Gold Point is open til 2am if you want a nightcap.”- Nate Baumgart from Delicious Denver Food Tours

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Beyond food and drink: More things to do in RiNo, Denver

Want to mark your night out in RiNo with more than just food and drink? Below experts share some elevated events and experiences to add extra spice to your night on the town:

In RiNo, one of my favorite pastimes is exploring the vibrant street art in the alleyways. Additionally, I relish my time at Movement Climbing and Fitness; having a bouldering venue in the heart of the city provides a fantastic and invigorating outlet.”- Rebecca Sloan Blanton from Rebecca Sloan Photography

Blue Moon RiNo has way more than just Belgian White at our brewery. We have over 25 beers on tap, a from-scratch kitchen with a full menu, and an engaging tour with a VIP tasting experience at the end that features beers only available on the tour. Our large building has two full patios, which are great for summer nights or time with your dog,” shared the Blue Moon RiNo team.

The Source Entrance

The Source Hotel + Market Hall, part of the Curator Hotel & Resort collection, is home to a boutique hotel and artisan market hall offering an eclectic mix of top Denver restaurants, local shops, an art gallery, and artisan bakery. The red-brick Market Hall was built in the 1870s as the Colorado Iron Works plant, with the iron foundry being reborn as a food hall in 2013. The Source offers amazing access to popular music venues like Mission Ballroom and Nocturne and incredible art destinations within walking distance like the RiNo Art Park and Plinth Gallery, along with Coors Field, Ball Arena and Denver Center for the Performing Arts all within a mile and half from the hotel.”- The Source Hotel + Market Hall

Love original art? Love talking about art? fooLPRoof always has an event with a small bite or dessert every First Friday.”- Laura Phelps Rogers from fooLPRoof Contemporary Art

One of my favorite boutiques in all of Denver is Recital in RiNo – they stock a curated group of ultra-hip designers that are hard to find anywhere outside of NYC and LA.  The owner’s eye is truly unique.  They also happen to stock my jewelry, Talisman, but I promise that’s not the only reason I love these guys!”- Vanessa Baracus from Talisman Fine Jewelry

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When visiting RiNo, I recommend checking out Pit Fiend Barbeque or Redeemer Pizza for food. If you have time, stop by the Novo Coffee roastery to learn about how their coffee is roasted locally. And if you’re out late, my favorite place to end up is Meadowlark Bar, where there is either live music or a DJ most nights. Great atmosphere and drinks!Jason Gold from Pioneer Property Management

A delicious dinner pairs best with live jazz at RiNo’s Nocturne! Eliciting the feeling of entering a dive bar, its entrance is fairly unassuming from the outside. Once you pass through the curtain, Nocturne hosts an elevated elegance with romantic lighting & ambiance. The two levels provide two perspectives on which to dine, though the center of attention always comes back to the circular stage in the middle of it all. Whether you happen upon a jazzy cover of the entire album of Radiohead’s OK Computer or a more classical evening of jazz, your experience at Nocturne is bound to be delightfully memorable and unlike any other!”- Meg & Kevin from Run Wild With Me Photography

Wrapping up: Things to do in RiNo, Denver for a memorable night out

From its prolific street art to its delectable culinary scene and lively nightlife, RiNo heavily contributes to the creative spirit of Denver. Whether you spend an evening exploring galleries and savoring gourmet bites or a night hopping between breweries and music venues, RiNo promises an unforgettable experience and plenty of things to do. Embrace the artistic energy, savor the flavors, and discover why RiNo remains one of Denver’s most dynamic and beloved neighborhoods. Plan your visit today and see why RiNo truly is the heart of Denver’s cultural renaissance.

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