These local favorites are the perfect spots to spend a warm afternoon. 

There's something about a summer lunch break that makes nine-to-fivers feel invigorated and refreshed after returning to the office to crank out the rest of the workday. Perhaps it's a shaded patio, friendly service, great food, or an excellent source of people watching that has us looking forward to these midday outings, but I think we can all agree that taking an hour to enjoy a summer afternoon in Colorado takes the cake.

The restaurants below not only provide an excellent meal for your lunch hour, but they also possess a laid-back setting that everyone could use to break up the day.

The Piper Inn

piper inn chicken wings
Image courtesy The Piper Inn's Facebook page

Biker bar + best wings in Denver + yummy Chinese food = yes, I will be dragging my coworkers here for a pint and a flirt session with a tatted-up Harley rider. 

Pizza Republica

pizza republica
Image courtesy Pizza Republica's Facebook page

Get under one of their patio umbrellas, order up a delicious pizza and some bubbly Aperol Spritz, and be glad you chose to leave the brown bag at home.   

20 Mile Tap House

20 mile tap house burger and salads
Image courtesy 20 Mile Tap House's Facebook page

This sports bar with a made-from-scratch menu to suit every taste bud was recently featured in a previous OCN Eats visit. For those working in the Parker/DTC area, this is one restaurant you must swing by -- and trust us, you'll be glad you did!

Hapa Sushi

hapa sushi
Image courtesy Hapa Sushi's Facebook page

A cool bite of sushi on a hot summer day? 'Nuff said.

MidiCi

midici pizza
Image courtesy MidiCi

This brand-spankin' new Neapolitan pizzeria is the perfect place to enjoy some good burrata and charcuterie. Fair warning, you may be tempted to spend a two-hour lunch break. (Don't say we didn't warn ya!)

El Noa Noa

el noa noa taco plate

Image courtesy El Noa Noa's Facebook page

For all you worker bees on Santa Fe, swing by El Noa Noa for a menu stocked with a variety of Mexican dishes and refreshing margaritas to enjoy out on their patio. With over 30 years in business, these folks know how to serve up the best Mexico has to offer.

Sazza Pizza + Salads

sazza pizza
Image courtesy Sazza Pizza + Salads' Facebook page

If you're sticking to a strict diet of clean, organic eating, Sazza is one place you need to put on your list of go-to lunch spots. Sazza only uses locally-sourced ingredients, so you can feel good about supporting Colorado-based growers on your lunch hour. 

Need a reason to get out and about this summer? These organizations can help!