Boulder Restaurants

Foodies rejoice! In addition to having one of the best farmer's markets in the country and a local culinary school, Boulder hosts a vibrant restaurant scene of over 115 establishments. How good are these dining choices? Well, Bon Appétit named Boulder the Foodiest Town of 2010.

Boulder restaurants feature cuisine choices that run the gamut, while emphasizing organic selections, locally-grown produce, and native Colorado beef and bison. Add to that charming outdoor cafes, rooftop dining, and local breweries, and you've got an amazing way to indulge after your day of outdoor fun.

Check out our reviews of Boulder restaurants, and features of local dining and imbibing hot spots. You may burn a lot of calories in Boulder, but you won't go hungry (or thirsty).

On Your Mark, Get Set, Cheers — The Boulder Passport is Back!

boulder passport 2016
We’re always excited to partner with our friends over at The Passport Program to let our fellow Boulderites know that happy hour is about to get a whole lot happier. The Boulder Passport is BACK, starting this morning at 10AM. Like years prior, Boulderites can snag one of the limited supply of Passports and score 2-for-1 drink specials all around town, all summer long.

Consider the Boulder Passport the ultimate libations guide for the curious. For a mere $20, you’ll take your passport to 44 (that’s FORTY-FOUR) hand-curated establishments in and around Boulder and enjoy a 2-for-1 drink special on one of the establishment’s signature drinks. This means you can treat a friend (or treat yourself) to some serious patio time while exploring a new venue or three during the not-so-hazy days of what’s been a pretty long winter.

Grab yours here starting at 10AM MT. But wait — we’ve got more to tell you.

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Redstone Meadery: From Lore to Local

redstone meadery boulder co
What do you envision when you hear the word “mead?” Do you think of castles and knights, medieval royalty sipping it out of goblets, ancient Greeks imbibing in it, perhaps reading about it being poured during a feast in Middle-earth, Vikings swigging it, or maybe the most appropriate beverage for your Game of Thrones binge-watch-a-thon?

It’s not surprising that your mind may linger on any of these things. Mead is considered an ancient drink and potentially the first ever fermented beverage, dating back prior to wine and beer according to archaeological discoveries. It’s also a drink steeped in lore, rumored to be the beverage of choice for Greek gods, one that makes appearances as a thirst quencher for literary heroes and in fictional, fantastical courts and halls.

In the present day, though, mead has grown in popularity as an incredibly diverse and unique beverage, and Boulder boasts an innovative, longstanding meadery that strives to both create delicious, creative products and educate people about why they should be imbibing in mead.

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Deviant Spirits: Toying with Tradition

deviant spirits boulder co
I’ve been sitting at the bar at Deviant Spirits for about 45 minutes when Rawley Gunnels, one of the three co-owners at Deviant Spirits, nonchalantly picks up a bottle of their vodka, pops the top, and starts loading some wonderful smelling Earl Grey tea into a funnel to begin infusing their vodka for what will result in one of the booziest cups (OK, shots) of tea I have ever had. Eat your heart out, Jean Luc Piccard.

It’s this level of dedication to experimentation and quality that’s evident in just about every aspect of the tasting room at Deviant Spirits. From the custom concrete bar top, loving polished with a whet stone for over a hundred hours to the rice vodka that’s distilled no fewer than 15 times before it ever goes into a bottle, there is time, attention, and craftsmanship evident in every corner of Deviant’s tasting room.

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Staples of Summer: Boulder’s Mexican Food and Fare

boulder mexican food
Forgive me — I’m looking for some heat since, well…SNOW.

Having lived in San Diego for four years, harbingers of summertime for me include enjoying fish tacos on the beach, snacking on tortilla chips with guacamole, indulging in Frisbee-sized margaritas, and savoring an ice cold Pacifico. Just because we love craft beer here in Boulder doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a Dos Equis or Corona from time to time (everyone’s got to hydrate!) and the return of summer is the perfect excuse to venture to Boulder’s Mexican restaurants to imbibe in great margaritas and the delicious food that comes along with them.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy street tacos, fresh salsa, a hearty burrito, a sit-down dinner, or that quintessential summer indulgence with a tart margarita, there are restaurants, patios, and rooftops galore in Boulder where you can enjoy the heat outside and the heat on your plate and in your glass.
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Farmer Girl Community Bistro: Showcasing Summer’s Best Seasonal Ingredients

farmer girl boulder co
There’s nothing like it. Enjoying a meal made with colorful and crisp ingredients just picked from the garden. Knowing where your food comes from and the love and care put into making it, makes eating it that much more enjoyable.

It’s that kind of food that people want to eat, and it’s the kind of dining experience that local restauranteur, Chef Tim Payne, strives to create in his recently opened restaurant in downtown Lyons. One step inside of Payne’s Farmer Girl Community Bistro reveals a chef that values locally-grown ingredients and close-knit partnerships with local farms. A chalkboard in the entryway is adorned with a list of farms that supply Payne and his team with ingredients at the peak of their growth. Dishes on Farmer Girl’s menu change with the season and the readiness of each farm’s crop.

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Via Perla Poised to Open in Boulder on March 21

via perla boulder co
The anticipation is over for curious diners in Boulder who have patiently watched the northwest corner of the intersection of Pearl and 9th transform from a flashy Tesla dealership, to a pile of rubble, to a brand new building that will house a handful of residential opportunities as well as one of Boulder’s newest additions to the city’s celebrated restaurant scene.

On March 21, Via Perla (which translates to “Pearl Street” in Italian) will officially open to the public for dinner at their new digs at 901 Pearl Street. The 4,000 square-foot restaurant is the third restaurant from Peg and Joe Romano, the culinary masterminds behind The Walnut Restaurant Group, which includes two of downtown Boulder’s most popular restaurants: The MED and Brasserie Ten Ten. The husband-and-wife team’s third restaurant was inspired by their love for Italian food and culture, and a phone call from the private developers of their new location who encouraged the Romanos to consider opening a new restaurant on the first floor of their new development.

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Cheers to Colorado’s Craft Beer Beginnings: Remembering David Hummer

david hummer boulder beer

The craft beer scene in Colorado looks a lot different today than it did in 1979 when David Hummer and a fellow CU professor left the classroom behind to fulfill every passionate homebrewer’s dream of opening a brewery. Together, the two opened Boulder Beer Company—receiving only the forty-third brewing license in the United States and the first in the state of Colorado.

According to the Brewers Association, Colorado is now home to roughly 235 craft breweries that together, are producing nearly two million barrels of beer each year. And it all started with a couple of beer nuts whose forward thinking set Colorado on an explosive craft course embraced throughout the state.

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What’s on Tap For Stout Month 2016

Stout Month boulder 2016
February kicks off Stout Month in the craft beer world. Nobody celebrates harder then the malt-lovin’ crew at Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries—which isn’t much of a surprise—since the Colorado-based chain of brewpubs created the event years ago in an attempt to drum up some extra business during one of the slowest months in the beer year.

What began at the original downtown Boulder location with a few taps devoted to Stout beers throughout the month, has developed into a spectacle of a celebration complete with a cult-like following of craft beer drinkers that the count down the days until Stout Month, like kids countdown the days to Christmas. As Stout Month continues to flourish and grow, so do the dark and roasty offerings from local breweries that are in on the action. Check out these five Boulder breweries that are doing stout month right, and if you’re not generally a fan of darker, malty beers, now’s the time to give ‘em another try.
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Boulder’s Historic Train Depot Has New Life Once Again

roadhouse boulder depot
It’s been more than fifty years since the last train departed from the original Boulder Railroad Depot, but thanks to a Colorado-based restaurant company with Boulder roots, the hustle and bustle of a busy depot has once returned to the historic stone building.

It’s a story literally written on the walls of the Roadhouse Boulder Depot restaurant—the former train depot’s current inhabitant. It begins on 14th Street and Canyon Boulevard (then Water Street), where the Union Pacific Railroad began construction on the depot using locally-sourced stone from Boulder County quarries. The project cost a cool $16,000 and was the talk of the town by many Boulder residents who gushed over the building’s excellent stonework designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture popular in the United States in the late 1800s.

The Boulder Railroad Depot would go on to serve as the city’s only depot until 1957, at which time it was out with the old and in with a new depot built just east of town. But instead of tearing the beautiful building down, it would continue on as a hub for transportation in the city, converting from a train depot to a bus terminal operated by the Denver-Boulder Bus Company. For sixteen years, the original train depot would operate as a revolving door for people departing from and entering the city of Boulder, until 1973, when the last travelers passed through the building, and the depot shuttered its doors.

Today, the train depot is the centerpiece of the city’s up-and-coming Boulder Junction neighborhood, a 160-acre redevelopment area that is home to a handful of contemporary affordable apartment complexes, a newly built Hyatt hotel, and fittingly—an underground RTD bus station. The building retains many elements of its historical past, but also sports a modern new look, thanks to the folks at the Roadhouse Hospitality Group—the company behind Colorado restaurants like the Wazee Lounge & Supper Club, Kickapoo Tavern, and several Dusty Boot restaurants.

Founded by three brothers and former University of Colorado Boulder alums, the old train depot now goes by the Roadhouse Boulder Depot, a name that reflects the tasteful combination of past and present that defines the building today. The walls of the restaurant are filled with black and white photographs depicting the depot’s journey through time. Steel panels and railroad tracks are subtly used as decorative touches in the dining room, community seating area, and bar of the restaurant, which officially celebrated its grand opening last week. An ode to the Boulder Jaycees (a chapter of the United States Junior Chamber) is painted on the wall above the restaurant’s open kitchen, paying homage to the organization credited with saving the depot from demolition in the early 1970s. With the help of the Historic Boulder, the Jaycees were able to orchestrate the relocation of the depot to it’s current address at 2366 Junction Pl.

On the menu at the Roadhouse Boulder Depot, diners will find a hearty selection of elevated pub fare featuring a blend of Southwestern, Asian, and All-American cuisines. Gluten-free diners can select menu items from a large section of the restaurant’s menu that is solely dedicated to gluten-free dishes. Locally produced craft beers, wines, and other spirits can be found on the drink menu, which can be sipped on the large outdoor patio which will open once the Boulder weather warms up.

Ready to head out? Check out their guide to getting there, including a handy embedded map. It’s an easy find, too. Just go past the Whole Foods Parking lot (yeah, you know it well) and keep heading east towards Foothills and bam. Bon appetit!

Photo credit: Roadhouse Boulder Depot 

Per La Gente Brings Life to One of Boulder’s Iconic Downtown Buildings

per la gente riverside boulder

The City of Boulder dates back well over a century, which makes it easy to grasp that nearly every historic building in the city’s downtown area has played host to a variety of business ventures. Some ventures did well. Some fizzled out. But each and every one of those buildings garnered a history—none more so than the colorful past of the brick building located at 1724 Broadway Street.

The 100 year-old building with the mysterious facade initially housed a candy store. In the 30s, the building was transformed into a photography studio complete with some modifications to play up Colorado’s infamous dependable sunshine.

In the 70s, the building was used as office space, and in 1980, it was converted into a groovy disco. When bell bottoms and the word groovy finally phased out of Boulder, the charming building that sits adjacent to the rolling waters of Boulder Creek went through several ownership crisis—mostly striving without avail to become a reliable part of Boulder’s respected dining scene.

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