April is National Jazz Month, which inspired us to link Denver's best jazz clubs with nearby restaurants. The result is a slew of perfect jazz bar pairings for your next music-lovin' date night.
Wazee Supper Club/El Chapultepec: Begin an old-school Denver outing with dinner at LoDo's "grandaddy," Wazee Supper Club. With classic black and white tiled floors and a bleached mahogany black bar -- a piece of a '30s-era history from downtown's long-ago demolished American Hotel -- you can enjoy a menu of pizzas, strombolis, burgers and sandwiches as locals (and internationals) have for four decades. After dinner make your way four blocks north to El Chapultepec, Denver's oldest and most unpretentious jazz venue. This LoDo dive bar -- virtually unchanged since mid-century -- packs the house with inexpensive drinks and seasoned musicians, from legends of yesteryear to today's up-and-comers. Get here early as locals quickly fill the tables in this small joint, leaving standing room only.
Wazee, 15th & Wazee; 303-623-9518
El Chapultepec, 1962 Market St.; 303-295-9126
Tavern Lowrey/Soiled Dove Underground: Casual and unique can describe both in this Lowrey neighborhood duo. The Tavern -- housed directly above Soiled Dove -- offers eclectic flavors of Asian, Latin and Mediterranean cuisine. Weather permitting, nab a seat on patio near the water feature while you enjoy the Tavern's twilight happy hour, which includes $4 Three Olive Vodka drinks -- perfect if you have a few minutes between dinner and the show. When you're ready for the music, head downstairs to this casual and extremely intimate underground venue (pictured) where you'll find an array of genres and big names a few days each week. Check the calendar for upcoming jazz acts.
Tavern, 7401 E. First Ave.; 303-366-0007
Soiled Dove, 7401 E. First Ave.; 303-830-9214
Vita: Don't worry about scarfing down dinner in time to dart to your next destination -- Vita can provide a palate-pleasing modern American dinner with a menu created by executive chef William Lavey and sous chef Michael Trones, followed up on Friday and Saturday evenings with an array of jazz bands, including local talents Chris Kroger Trio and Aakash Mittal Quartet. When the band takes a break, head to the rooftop bar and drink in the view of Denver's skyline.
Vita, 1575 Boulder Street, Suite A; 303-477-4600
Rialto Cafe/Jazz @ Jack's: Located on 16th Street Mall, Rialto Cafe caters to pre-show patrons with a pre fixe menu. It may be geared toward the theater crowd, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of this three course contemporary menu. Then jump on the free 16th Street shuttle to the Denver Pavilion's jazz hotspot, where you'll find live music seven days a week, whether catching a show hosted by Skip the Funktologist of KUVO Radio or Neo-Soul Thursday with Soul Expression. Check out the online calendar for info on cover-free performances.
Rialto, 934 16th St; 303-893-2233
Jazz @ Jack's, 500 16th St #320; 303-433-1000
Dazzle: Nestled in Capitol Hill, Dazzle is another pony with more than one trick. Offering both jazz and fine dining, you can get a Cajun Bleu burger, a portobello sandwich, sirloin steak, or grilled Norwegian salmon while enjoying an evening of music. Live jazz is featured in the DazzleJazz room as the primary focus, as well as in the Dizzy Room, where you can enjoy classic cocktails and martinis with the band a little less front-and-center.
Dazzle, 930 Lincoln St.; 303-839-5100