Look — just because the C/D lines make the most efficient bar crawl doesn’t mean you couldn’t make a nice time of the other lines. In fact, maybe you like a challenge. Maybe you need a challenge.
Here’s where we’d bend our elbows along the A, E/F/H and W lines.
Denver International Airport to Union Station
The train known as the University of Colorado Line has strong endpoints going for it. And while it’s one of three lines that go to Union Station, it’s the only one that goes to Denver International Airport, where you can have a meal at Root Down. This outpost of the popular LoHi restaurant is at the center of Terminal C. With a menu influenced by just about every region of the world, it’s a great culinary warm-up before your vacation. Or, you can welcome yourself home with a cup of Colorado green chili.
In between, you can hit the classically styled Moonlight Diner, 6250 Tower Road, near 61st & Peña Station. It has a morning happy hour, should you be making this journey after a early flight into town. Further on, don’t miss Black Shirt Brewing Co., 3719 Walnut St., which is just steps away from 38th & Blake Station and often has live music.
E Line: Lone Tree to Union Station, passing through Centennial, Greenwood Village and south Denver
F Line: Lone Tree to 18th & Stout Station, passing through Centennial, Greenwood Village and south Denver
H Line: Aurora to 18th & California Station, passing through Greenwood Village and south Denver
Here’s where the map above comes in handy. These three lines run parallel for long stretches, in various combinations.
On the E and F lines, you can start at Lincoln Station with Clock Tower Grill, 9360 Station St., #100. On the H Line, Start at Iliff Station with the Ajuua at 14150 E. Iliff Ave., which offers a variety of daily specials, including all-you-can-eat tacos for $7.99 on Tuesdays.
Where the three run together, there is a Dave & Buster’s at 2000 S. Colorado Blvd., near Colorado Station, and the dive-y Stadium Inn, otherwise known as “the Shadium,” is at 1701 E. Evans Ave. near the University of Denver stop. Hanson’s Grill & Tavern, 1301 S. Pearl St., is a somewhat classier, old fashioned option at the Louisiana – Pearl Station.
The F and H lines head toward the 16th Street Mall next. Highlights in the final stretch include the historic Tivoli Brewing Co. Tap House, 900 Auraria Parkway, at the Colfax at Auraria Station; The Corner Office, 1401 Curtis St., at the Theater District – Convention Center Station; Paramount Cafe, 519 16th St., at the 16th & Stout Station; and Shelby’s Bar & Grill, 519 18th St., at the 18th & Stout Station. (More on those below.)
The E Line loops around the University of Denver campus, giving you chances to hop off for a stop at Tivoli from the Auraria West, Sports Authority Field at Mile High and Pepsi Center – Elitch Gardens stops before the line ends at Union Station.
Golden to Union Station, passing through Lakewood and southwest Denver
The train into Denver from Golden makes the same final four stops. Up until then, this is probably the most difficult line to use for a bar crawl. Some suggestions are in the map above, but the far-and-away best stop is Lamar Station. What’s near this light rail stop? Casa Bonita, that’s what. But if that’s too much adventure, try WestFax Brewery instead. It’s right next door at 6733 W. Colfax Ave.