What: Happy hour deal starting at $4 every day of the week
Where: 2124 Larimer St., Denver
Neighborhood: LoDo (Ballpark)
When: 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. everyday
Pros: Happy hour selections include choices like beers and small plates to specialty cocktails and a big burger. The varied price points on both food and drink options means you can customize your experience and leave satisfied no matter how hungry (or thirsty) you are.
Cons: Both the drinks and food offerings for happy hour were hit-or-miss. Two items in particular to skip: the cloyingly sweet Bourbon Mule and the greasy Thai Calamari.
Going out for some cocktails in LoDo is something that everyone in Denver has probably done at least once, if not hundreds of times. With close proximity to just about everything downtown has to offer, this busy, centralized neighborhood is filled with expansive bars ready for crowds – including Ignite.
Its main room features an open, industrial look with exposed pipes and a brick wall where the restaurant’s logo is illuminated by a flame-red light. During the summer, the rooftop patio is a popular place to meet up with friends. And with happy hour available seven days a week, this is an ideal place to get your night started anytime of the year.
The happy hour menu is divided up by cost with options ranging from $4-$8. For the cheapest buzz, $4 options include a rotating selection of shots, Douglass Hill Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, or select Colorado craft beers.
Need some eats to go with those shots? Two of the most popular options come in at $5 each. Brussels sprouts seem to be on almost every menu around town right now, and Ignite’s got a version with truffle, pistachios and a chili soy sauce. But the best bet for a snack here are the jalapeño deviled eggs topped with pieces of “man candy”, a.k.a. Ignite’s famously addictive, sweet and spicy candied -bacon coated in crushed red pepper, black pepper, molasses, and brown sugar.
For something more substantial, check out the $8 options. Happy hour selections are often smaller versions of regular menu items, but Ignite offers a classic burger with a side. That means you can score a big burger and local craft beer for $12 – not a bad way to unwind after work and prep for whatever the rest of the evening has in store. This is definitely one happy hour deal you should be taking advantage of.
One dish to skip, however, is Ignite’s Thai Calamari ($8). The squid itself had a chewy texture and the dish overall was too greasy. It could have used more acidity to lighten it instead of the heavy mayo-based sauce it’s topped with. Instead, go for the Bourbon Buffalo Wings ($7), a solid choice for sharing.
When it comes to cocktails, there were two standouts. The Breckenridge Basil ($7) with Blue Sky Breckenridge Vodka, lime and fresh basil is simple but hits a great balance of tart, herbaceous and thirst-quenching elements. Tequila lovers should venture past the typical margarita and instead try the Manzanasada ($6) with reposado tequila, cider beer and honey-basil syrup. The spiced-cider flavor makes this drink feel comforting on a cold winter day.
The happy hour offerings at Ignite are definitely more crowd-pleasing than fine dining. But if you’re in the mood for deals on pizza, wings, burgers and boozy beverages, it’s got exactly what you’re looking for.
All photography by Delmy Gooch