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).

Dining Out on Thanksgiving in Boulder

boulder thanksgiving restaurants
Where will you be dining this holiday?

Is the pressure on to host, but you can’t muster the need to feed? Do you have a family bigger than your available table space? Perhaps you’re just not looking forward to the cleanup and want someone else to handle the cooking this year.

Whatever your motivation for seeking a meal out this Thanksgiving, there are plenty of Boulder restaurants ready to seat you, feed you, and tend to the cleaning up. This way, you and those you love can focus on catching up, filling up, and strategically planning that tryptophan nap.

Here’s a list of Boulder restaurants ready to feed your need — and be sure to call about reservations. Many of these destinations are long-time Boulder favorites and fill up fast!

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The Ghost BBQ & Spirits Brings Texas BBQ to Boulder

The Ghost Boulder
When Avery Brewing Co. closed up shop at their east Boulder location and relocated to a larger facility up the road earlier this year, local beer fans were pretty excited to witness the brewery’s  monumental growth. In fact, the only complaints really heard about the big move were on the loss of the food menu served at the brewery’s former taproom.

For months, Savory Cuisines—located (literally) a stones throw from Avery’s taproom entrance—had been serving food to patrons of Avery from a food service window added into the longtime catering company’s kitchen. Rain or shine, servers hustled plates of perfect taproom eats across the alley to hungry beer drinkers posted up at Avery.

Since the neighboring brewery’s big move, Savory Cuisines has continued to offer their popular catering services in Boulder County and beyond, but fans of owner Bob Sargent’s menus can once again enjoy his well-loved food in a restaurant setting in the bustling dining hub that is downtown Boulder.

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The Best of the Great American Beer Festival Right Here in Boulder

GABF 2015 Boulder
It’s pretty much the same story every year. Tickets for the Great American Beer Festival go on sale—and about a minute later, they’re gone—leaving a string of sad craft beer fans all along the Front Range.

Fortunately for Boulderites, our hometown breweries throw some pretty awesome events during the week of the fest, and we’ve put together a list of those events—just for you.

Cheers. Prost. Salud. And happy GABF week to all of you craft beer lovers!


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Wild Standard Opening Making Waves in Boulder

wild standard boulder co
Even though Chef Bradford Heap’s newest sea-inspired restaurant, Wild Standard, has yet to set an official opening date, that hasn’t stopped the place from making big waves in Boulder’s dining scene. Expected to open in mid-September, Heap’s newest venture promises patrons a voyage highlighting “responsibly-sourced fish and seafood dishes, influenced in culinary traditions which traverse the seven seas.”

Located along the Pearl Street Mall’s main drag, Wild Standard will bring new life and new flavors to a building that most recently housed Pasta Vino, a short-lived Italian restaurant that shuttered it’s doors in November of 2014. The restaurant’s interior will pay homage to the building’s historical past, with sea-inspired accents that reinforce the restaurant’s theme.

“This is an ambitious and exciting concept that compliments our other restaurants, SALT and Colterra,” said Heap in a press release from late August. “We’ll offer multi-cultural cuisine featuring both classic and innovate menus.”

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Café Aion: Style and Sustenance on The Hill

cafe aion boulder
As a longtime resident of Boulder, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing a lot of local change. Exceptional and delicious changes to the city’s restaurant scene. The dynamite-like boom of craft beer in the area. And the growth of neighborhoods like The Hill, which has always been known as the gathering place for late night partiers seeking cheap and hearty meals with magical powers of hang-over prevention.

While The Hill is still very much the after-party for students at the CU Boulder, somewhere in the past five years a dynamic dining shift occurred — thanks to a small but captivating eatery located in the historic brick building at 1235 Pennsylvania Avenue.

When Cafe Aion first entered The Hill’s dining scene in 2010, Boulderites couldn’t help but take notice of the bold move. Surrounded by burger, pizza, and burrito fast-casual joints, Cafe Aion offered up a cozy and welcoming dining room, with a delightful wine list, hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer, and a thoughtful tapas-based menu steeped in the flavors of Spain, Portugal, and North Africa.

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The Spirits of Boulder, Colorado: A Boulder Distillery Tour

boulder co distillery

Boulder has spirits. There’s the ghost that haunts Macky Auditorium. Then the ghostly, avid music lover that’s been seen catching shows at the Boulder Theater for decades. There’s the long-time residents of Boulder that roam the Columbia Cemetery at night. But Boulder is home to more than just the spirits of resident ghosts. Boulder is also home to spirits of a much more welcoming variety.

Spirits like vodka, and gin, and rum. And the best (and also possibly worst) thing about these spirits, is they’re all located in the same location.

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Some Like It Hot: Boulder Restaurant’s Signature Cocktails Are Heating Up

boulder co signature cocktails
Boulder is in the middle of a mini heat wave this week, but that hasn’t stopped the city’s mixologists from heating up their cocktail lists. Fresh, locally-grown herbs like basil and rosemary have always been the shining star ingredients featured on drink menus all across the city, but this summer, the pepper is the reigning star.

The beautiful thing about living in a place with such an incredible dining scene is everyone infusing this spicy ingredient in their cocktail list is mixing it up in a different way. Check out some the most popular drinks spicing up Boulder bar patron’s palates this summer.

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The Boulder Passport is Almost SOLD OUT! Grab Yours Today

boulder passport
Hey there, Boulder friends. Not so long ago, we dropped a little buzz in your ear about the Boulder Passport — your ticket to 2-for-1 drink specials all summer long at some of Boulder’s hottest drinkeries (yes, a word) and eateries (a confirmed word).

Well, the folks at The Passport Program have let us know that they’re almost sold out. WOWZA. And while the price has gone up from $15 from the presale to $20 for the regular sale period, we’ve scored you a discount code to get you that Boulder Passport for $15 still. Hold tight — that info is coming ASAP.

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Basta: A Boulder Culinary Favorite

basta boulder
Basta. It’s the Italian word for “enough”.

It’s also the name of one of Boulder’s most-talked about restaurants, and a mission statement of sorts for Chef Kelly Whitaker, the man behind the busy eatery located at 3601 Arapahoe Avenue. For Chef Kelly, it’s all about creating flavorful and tasty dishes using fresh, locally-made ingredients and simple cooking methods.

Since 2010, Basta has been a culinary mecca in Boulder, serving up Italian-inspired cuisine for diners that take on the challenge of tracking down its location. It isn’t uncommon for first-time Basta diners to break out the GPS to find this restaurant, which is located at the base of The Lofts at Peleton Boulder.

Much like the chef behind the restaurant, Basta’s location isn’t flashy, or pretentious. It’s inviting and comfortable. Warm hues and wooden tables make up the interior of the place, and delicious and smoky smells waft throughout the small space from the wood-fired pizza oven and the kitchen. With a 1000-degree oven in the back, it’s no surprise that Basta’s speciality is pizza. Pizza options range from classic pizzas like the Daisy (tomato sauce, mozz, basil, olive oil) to the Clam— a salty and spicy but mildly sweet combination of clams, chili, panna, and herbs.

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A Bold Boulder Brunch: Lucile’s Creole Café

brunch boulder luciles
When I think about breakfast in Boulder, I think of a runner munching on a protein bar as he or she laces up their shoes, egg whites with spinach, something inevitably involving kale, and, of course, I think of granola. Yes, Boulder is all about health, but it’s also all about eating. What I’d argue Boulder is all about most of all is keeping people guessing, and Lucile’s Creole Café has been serving up the Boulder breakfast scene with things it most certainly was not expecting since it first opened 35 years ago.

In 1980, the city of Boulder had never seen a Creole-themed breakfast and lunch restaurant. Neither, in fact, had the state of Colorado. Lucile’s opened as the first of its kind in the state in 1980 with a flagship location in Boulder. Lucile’s aspired to not only provide the region with a new style of brunch, but to also offer a friendly, cozy, unique atmosphere for families to dine in while simultaneously serving up nationally recognized breakfast and lunch items. In a little yellow Victorian-style house on 14th Street between Pine and Spruce, Lucile’s began to grow and took off with a Southern Louisiana-style Chicory coffee in one hand and a piled-high-with-powdered-sugar beignet in the other.

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