Dating in Denver is admittedly tough these days, and it doesn't get any easier out in the suburbs either. At first glance, it seems like we are spoiled for choice in the Mile High City when it comes to finding attractive singles. However, the reality of meeting new people in Denver and having successful dates is still pretty tough in the post-pandemic dating scene.
Luckily, there’s some good news. With a little effort and planning on your part, finding a date in Denver can actually be a lot easier. Although, you might need to leave your cozy neighborhood and explore the Denver dating scene. Heading out to an unfamiliar bar or feeling comfortable in a cafe doesn't exactly sound like the start of a great romance, but you’ll be surprised at what’s possible!
In this in-depth guide, we'll provide some of the most proven suggestions on where to meet Denver singles, great Denver date ideas to help you find your bearings, and some of our favorite date spots around Denver that have been the setting of some pretty successful dates.
Table of Contents
What Dating in Denver Is Like Right Now
First, let's set some expectations about what the Denver dating scene is actually like:
In all honesty, the dating scene in Denver has always been pretty turbulent and the pandemic made things worse. Many young singles choose Denver for its proximity to great beaches, a diverse set of industries that make the city a great way to start a career, and a cost of living that’s below comparable cities in Colorado, like Orlando or Tampa. With so many big businesses here like Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Wells Fargo Bank, not to mention all the startups that call this place home, new people are constantly moving to Denver for its access to economic opportunities.
Also, you won’t have to worry about finding exactly what you want for a partner here, because Colorado has quite a diverse type of singles. But, as with anything else you will have to put in some effort.
Here’s a breakdown of what Denver’s single demographics look like:
- Total population: 719,116
- Percentage single: 34.50%
- Total singles: 248,095
- Single men: 126,061
- Single women: 122,034
With nearly 35% of the total population looking for a partner, you only need to find the right one to get the ball rolling.
Now, we know what you’re probably thinking:
If there are so many singles out there, why am I single?
Having plenty of dating options doesn't necessarily mean that dating in Denver is going to be easy. In fact, it might be even harder with all the competition. However, a realistic outlook is encouraged - you just need to be looking in the right places.
Where to Meet Someone to Date in Denver
To be frank, we believe in being as honest as possible to our readers - and honestly, it's near impossible to make a list of the best places to find someone to date in Denver! There’s simply too much to choose from on any given day.
Plus, depending on the type of person you're looking for (ie. artsy, academic, outdoorsy, etc.), your search will take you to different neighborhoods in Denver and venues geared towards those looking for similar types of people.
Instead, we’ll share some of the best places that make it much simpler to meet Denver singles that are looking for more than just casual fun (we have a comprehensive article on where to find Denver hookups if you’re into that sort of thing). These are places that tend to have the following criteria in common when you’re on the lookout for candidates for serious relationships:
- Lots of singles
- Lively atmosphere/ambiance
- Easy to mix and mingle with new people
- Quiet enough to actually have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively inexpensive
In my honest opinion, those six (6) characteristics are very useful when meeting up with other available Denver singles. Now, before we get into some specific recommendations, let's quickly turn our attention to apps:
Why you should be using at least one app
Are you using at least one dating app right now?
If the answer is “no”, then you're really missing out on who’s out there in Denver’s highly-competitive dating scene. With social distancing guidelines still in effect for many people, more singles are relying on apps to screen out those who don’t meet their standards. For better or worse, dating apps are here to stay.
Does this mean that dating apps in Denver are the only way to go? Of course not, but it can be a struggle if you lead a busy life, value your free time, and want to save on spending your hard-earned cash.
If you've struggled in the past with choosing which app works for you, check out our rankings of the best dating apps in Denver to find out which apps best fit the type of partner and relationship you’re looking for. From young professionals, religious types, and those looking for a quick hookup, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you're pressed for time and don’t want to read the full article, these apps are the best options:
- eHarmony is simply the best choice you can make for long-term relationships in Denver. eHarmony features the best track record among all Denver dating apps - try eHarmony today for a free trial! If you're looking for a long-term relationship there isn't a better option right now.
- AFF is the best dating apps in Denver for finding casual fun - free trial, too! There are a lot of apps out there that claim to make meeting someone for something casual or physical easy. Most of them are a total waste of time, especially for guys. AFF is the the best option we've found, especially for regular guys.
After trying out dozens of popular dating apps, we've got a pretty decent idea of what actually working out in the “real” world. Be sure to check out our rankings above for more info. Now, let's talk about our favorite spots around Denver.
The best singles bars in Denver
Using the previously-mentioned criteria, we've narrowed down a list of the best singles bars in Denver. These bars offer the best chances for men and women to interact, have a few cocktails, and enjoy a comfortable ambiance.
This isn't a complete list of all top-rated singles bars in Denver, but it is a list of the ones that are likely to bring you closer to success:
- The Hideaway Lounge in East Ridge - 2627 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014
- The Bar Car in Montclair - 819 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80206
- Hoffbrau in Trendwood/Franklin Square - 9110 Wadsworth Pkwy, Westminster
- Blake Street Tavern in Downtown Denver - 2301 Blake St
- Vine Street Pub & Brewery in City Park West - 1700 Vine St
- Gaslamp in Union Station - 1437 Market St
It’s our goal to provide plenty of options from different neighborhoods throughout Denver’s gigantic metro area, but there are plenty of Denver singles bars that are also the best choice depending on the time of day (ie. happy hour), during live events, or just the favorite hangout spot of certain groups. If you have any suggestions about the best singles bars in Denver, drop a comment below.
A few other great places to find a date in Denver
Not everyone loves going out and getting inebriated at the local watering hole. Bars can be a great place to meet other Denver singles, but you should know that there are plenty of other options that don’t rely on alcohol so much. While Denver has a reputation for scrumptious mimosa brunches and drinking until closing time, you can still get great results outside of a bar setting - even during the hot summers and the snowier winter months.
Take a look at a few more options that have helped men and women in Denver meet. As with anything dating-related, it pays dividends to be open-minded. Don't take things too seriously, and just focus on having a good time. You just might find someone that you might not run into elsewhere in Denver:
- Huckleberry Roasters in Sunnyside - 4301 N Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211
- Method Coffee Roasters in LoHi - 2011 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
- Crema Bodega in RiNo - 2669 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
- Pablo’s Coffee in Capitol Hill - 1300 Pennsylvania St #102, Denver, CO 80203
- Whittier Cafe in Whittier - 1710 E 25th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
- Whole Foods, The Denver Central Market, or Trader Joe’s are great choices to find, attractive people shopping upscale and organic!
- Meetup groups - There are tons of groups throughout Denver that are full of eager singles looking to share their interests, including music, hobbies, tech, sports, and even mixer events for finding your next match
- Again, apps and sites are a good option for just about anyone (check out the best dating sites in Denver here)
What about speed dating in Denver
Ever tried speed dating in Denver? Speed dating has become more and more popular ever since the beginning of the pandemic - especially for virtual speed dating via streaming (better safe than sorry!).
If you're busy and have some spare cash (events usually cost about $40 - $80 to attend an event), speed dating in Denver can be a very effective way to meet between 15 to 20 other singles in the space of an hour or so.
Most speed dating events in Denver follow the same pattern with a few variations:
- First, you check in after preregistering.
- With everyone arriving, the host reads the rules and it starts the process of "mini-dates" lasting approximately 5 minutes, where participants make conversation. The idea is that first impressions tend to be good indicators of whether there’s a spark.
- Once 5 minutes is up, the men move to the next table where a woman remains seated (sometimes women swap just so they don’t get tired).
- This process repeats until the entire event elapses or until everyone gets a chance to meet one another.
As the event progresses, both participants make a list of the people they want to see again. If both singles want to see each other again, the speed dating organizer gives you the other match’s contact info (usually by the next day). Simple, no?
If this sounds like a fun and efficient way to meet new singles in Denver, the following are the best Denver speed dating groups worth checking out:
Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let's jump into how to have a great date in Denver!
Our Best Date Ideas in Denver - and Why They’re Great
Once you've met someone special, then it’s time to plan a date to develop a relationship (or discover why they’re a poor match!). Many people default to the “classic dinner and a movie” and that's a big mistake for modern dating in Denver! Here’s why:
- A dinner date between two strangers often turns into a pseudo-interview (unless you’re REALLY skilled at conversation). Plus, eating makes people lethargic
- A movie doesn’t involve any conversation, making it pretty bad if you’re stuck next to someone you don’t actually like that much.
Instead, we have a few rules that all of our date ideas in Denver generally follow. Or, you can use these to come up with new ideas - or at least avoid going on boring dates. A great date idea in Denver tends to be one that:
- Doesn’t require traveling far
- Focuses on new, fun, and interesting experiences
- Things are happening around you that make great conversation topics
- Doesn't involve sitting face-to-face for a long time
- Requires some physical activity or moving
- Isn't too expensive or requires expensive equipment to participate
- Doesn't last for hours (you can bail if you’re not feeling it)
- Allows both of you to feel comfortable
- Features a little friendly competition
It helps to know what your date likes beforehand. For example, if you’re studying in college and there’s a great art exhibit by your favorite artist, you can take your date there. Or, if you know that your date enjoys physical activity, choose an activity where you can show off your physical prowess. In other words, play to your strengths.
It’s best to keep an open mind and do things that would create a memorable experience that you both share (even if it goes poorly and you both get embarrassed). To get started, here are some great dating ideas in Denver:
- Ice skating
- Minature golf
- Take a dance class together
- Shoot some arrows at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Hit up the zoo or wildlife refuge
- Check out a street fair (Denver has tons)
- Going to a farmer’s market
- Axe throwing
- Escape rooms
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with some adult beverages)
- Botanical garden
This is just a short list but should give you an idea of where to start in Denver. Each of the aforementioned activities is active, fun, and doesn't require any athletic skill to enjoy, so there’s little to no pressure to be good at any of them. Set your expectations ahead of time that the goal is just to have a fun time together. Who doesn’t love to have a good time!?
The first date idea that we always recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in Denver is we always tell them the same thing, meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well you can always extend the date to one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in Denver (Especially for Fun First Dates)
Going out to bars is a great way for people to drop their inhibitions and relax. With a generally “neutral” atmosphere, bars can be good places for dates.
That being said, finding a great date bar in the Denver metro area is pretty simple when you know that you have so many to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a dive bar that’s been around for years, an adult-friendly arcade bar, or an elegant cocktail lounge where you might spot some local politicians, Denver has no shortage of great settings for your next date.
To help you find these bars, we’ll feature a collection of bars that have great drink specials, feature a lively crowd, and won’t make you go bankrupt. After all, no one wants to spend money on drinks when you’re not even sure if you like your date yet!
Here are a handful of the best date bars around Denver:
- The 1UP Arcade Bar in LoDo - 1925 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
- 54thirty Rooftop in Central Business District - 1475 California St
- Dazzle in Central Business District - 1512 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202
- Deep Roots Winery in RiNo - 2875 Blake St Ste C, Denver, CO 80205
- Tap Fourteen in Union Station - 1920 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
- D Bar Denver in North Capitol Hill - 494 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
- Bar Max in Congress Park - 2412 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Remember that Denver has plenty of neighborhoods that have the best bars that only locals really know about. Therefore, don’t be afraid to barhop if the vibe isn’t right, take an Uber to the other side of town, or be ready to walk to another venue to keep the energy of the date going.
Best Date Night Restaurants in Denver that Should Be Your First Choice
Here’s a little-known secret for dating in Denver: Do yourself a favor and skip the traditional dinner date.
Why do we say this? It’s been our experience that dinner dates tend to be pretty dull and formulaic, even among all of Denver’s thrilling food options. You’ll also have a tough time trying to make a connection with someone who is still a relative stranger over drinks, dessert, and plenty of refills from the waitstaff. Even if you're an expert conversationalist, dinner dates can get a bit stale (pun intended).
However, if you’ve become acquainted with your date or just want a date night restaurant in Denver to eat at before doing something more fun, we've got some solid choices for you that won't cost you an arm and a leg:
- Work & Class in Five Points - 2500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
- Hop Alley in River North Arts District - 3500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
- Bacon Social House in Sunnyside - 2434 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
- Tap & Burger Sloan’s Lake in West Colfax - 1565 N, Raleigh St #100, Denver, CO 80204
- Angelo’s Taverna in Central Denver - 620 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
- Steuben’s Uptown - 523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
More Date Spots in Denver We Love
Ultimately, the quality of a successful date comes down to more than just having a meal or cocktails in a bar or restaurant. With all that the Denver metro area has to offer, there’s no shortage of activities to build chemistry and create memories with your date. Plenty of people have great dates at the following places in Denver and we're confident you can do the same.
- Go ice skating at Big Bear Ice Arena
- Watch the Rockies play at Coors Field
- Visit Meow Wolf and the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art for one-of-a-kind exhibits and events
- Check out some fascinating wildlife at the Denver Zoo
- Try a group dance lesson at Denver Turnverein Dance Center
- Shoot some targets together at Archery Games Denver
- Stroll through vendor booths at the many art fairs throughout Denver
- Shop for fresh groceries and taste homemade food at the Denver Farmers Market
- Solve a puzzle at EscapeWorks Denver
- Catch live music, ballet, and more at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Bear in mind that the time of year will make a difference with some of these recommendations (being outside for hours in Denver’s blistering summer heat and the frigid winter months doesn't always make for a great date), so you've been warned!