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).

Tourist in Your Own Town: The Sink

the sink boulder

Once upon a time, I was a college student at the University of Colorado Boulder. During the day, I got my studies done on campus, but the night—the night belonged to places like The Sink on The Hill.

Cheap beer, a fun atmosphere, and a late-night menu saturated with every type of fried food that you could imagine. House-made pretzels with “I’m really bad for you but you’re going to eat me anyway” beer cheese sauce, jumbo chicken wings tossed in your choice of spicy “Buff” sauce, and $5 pig-in-a-blankets. Yes, you can still find that beloved childhood dish paired with a mind-blowing build-your-own menu devoted to mac and cheese at the oldest bar in Boulder.

The Sink as we know it started its journey in 1900 when its current location was constructed as the Sigma Nu house. The name hails from 1923, when the Summers family purchased the building and opened “Summer’s Sunken Gardens.” Along with adding a bar, the Summers’ also constructed a large sunken fountain in the middle of the dining room that soon affectionately became known as The Sink.

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Verde Food Truck Goes Brick-and-Mortar in Boulder

verde boulder

Work Hard. Be Nice. Eat Burritos.

It’s a simple enough mantra to live by, but T.J. Ingraham and Mike “Seth” Sethney, owners of the popular Verde Food Truck, are taking those words to a new level this year.

Their quest to bring authentic Sonoran-style Mexican food to Colorado began in 2011 when the duo hit the streets of Boulder in the bright green Verde Food Truck— delivering their hearty burritos and tasty street food to just about every office park, craft brewery, and festival in the area.

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Inside Avery Brewing: It’s All About the Beer

Avery Brewing Boulder
Whether you’re looking to sample wildly varied beers or gain a deeper knowledge of the process of brewing craft beer, Avery Brewing Company is the place you need to visit for a multifaceted beer experience in Boulder. Brewing beer in a small facility in an alley off of Arapahoe Avenue, Avery has a humble and unique backstory and outlook on brewing craft beer that will open your eyes to the art form that is craft beer brewing. A great place to bring a beer-loving out-of-towner or anyone who wants to learn more about craft beer in Boulder, spending an hour or a whole afternoon having a meal, tasting the beer, and going on the brewery tour at Avery will exhibit both the science behind brewing beer and the creative process responsible for the creation of some of the best craft beer in Boulder.

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Tourist in Your Own Town: Brewery Tour at Boulder Beer Company

Boulder Beer tour

It’s 2 p.m. on a typical Monday afternoon. I should be working, but instead, I’m enjoying a cold fRYEd Fresh-Hopped Rye Ale and chatting up the friendly bartender at the Pub at Boulder Beer Company. Even though it’s the middle of a weekday, the place is still buzzing with business. There are remnants of the well-dressed business lunch crowd, working to settle up tabs in time to make it back to the office for a 3 o’clock meeting. The loyal members of the regular happy hour crew are starting to mosey in to claim their favorite barstool and order up a pint of their usual beer, served in their personalized mug. There’s the table of rubber boot-clad brewers trying to sneak a meal in between brews. And discreetly mixed in throughout all of the hoopla in the place are the tourists, all branded with Boulder Beer’s logoed wristbands and eagerly waiting for the 2 p.m. brewery tour to begin.

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Pizza: Boulder-Style

boulder co pizza
Whether you’re eating it out of a delivery box, fresh out of a wood fire oven, or on a platter while sharing it with friends, pizza is flat out one of the most delicious foods out there. Versatile and open to regional interpretations and styles, pizza, especially in Boulder, can be simple and traditional or wildly experimental, and is perfect for nights around the holidays when you’re exhausted with cooking or when you are just flat out craving good pizza. While “Colorado-style” pizza might not have the same ring to it and well-known characteristics as the New York or Chicago styles, there are plenty of venues in Boulder that tout a breadth of options for pizza-lovers, the biggest consistent being the more ingredients and the more variations of them the better.
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Boulder Gets Squashed: The Ingredient of the Season

As we get deeper into the autumn and winter months, one food and flavor continues to invade the baked goods section of the grocery store, the front pages of cooking and baking magazines, the seasonal menu of your favorite coffee shop or café, and practically everything in between. That perpetrator is pumpkin. Personally, I’m a pumpkin supporter. I think that the day Dunkin’ Donuts makes its pumpkin coffee available to the public for the season should be a national holiday in and of itself, and I think pumpkin overload in lattes, cookies, scones, bread, and everything in between is one of the best and most delicious things about autumn and winter.

However, there are plenty of members of pumpkin’s squash family that can be painfully overshadowed at this time of year. Butternut squash, acorn squash, carnival squash, and spaghetti squash, amongst others, are more than just funny-shaped gourds in a bin in the produce section of your local grocery store. Winter squash in its many other varieties is just as much a staple of the fall and winter as pumpkin is, perhaps even more so. Versatile, delicious, and luckily not being ignored by plenty of pro-squash Boulderites, squash is being used in both traditional comfort food recipes as well as in some unique variations all around Boulder.

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Zeal: Food for Food-Conscious People

zeal boulder

Years ago, it was a grocery store. In 2009, it was the Asian restaurant, Bimbamboo. In 2011, it was the home of the Pinyon, and the best fried chicken in Boulder. By 2012, H Burger Co. had moved in. The digs at 1710 Pearl Street have been a revolving door of culinary dreams, cuisines, and menus, but the current tenants are hoping to put an end to years of restaurant turnover at this East End address by giving the people of Boulder what they want: healthy, organic, full-flavored menu items at a reasonable price.

As their one-year anniversary approaches, the folks behind Zeal – Food For Enthusiasts, don’t show any signs of slowing down. Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, this Paleo-friendly establishment offers everything from in-house cold-pressed juices, to build-your-own bowls filled with protein, veggies, and Asian-inspired flavors ($10-$18). Other Zeal offerings include healthy grab-and-go meals, house-made kombucha, and “retox/detox” cocktails. And the cocktails aren’t the lackluster cocktails you would expect to sip on at your typical health-conscious restaurant. You want tequila? You got it. Add in freshly-squeezed juices and other fresh produce, and it’s almost like you didn’t splurge on a margarita at all.

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Chowing Down and Throwing Back in SoBo

4 south boulder restaurants

In my nearly two decades of calling Boulder home, I have lived in just about every neighborhood west of Broadway. They all have their unique character and I’ve loved them all in equal measure. But sweet ginger brown and a giant gluten free cakeSoBo is slowly creeping up to the top of my list.

With its super chill vibe, miles of trails, friendly and welcoming school communities, and within walking distance grocery, yoga, pharmacy, coffee and restaurant spots, SoBo is easy to love.

In case it’s been a while since you’ve ventured South, here’s a quick lowdown on where to chowdown, throw back a few, and meet some new friends along the way.

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Boulder Wine Studios: Fermentation and Collaboration

Boulder Wine StudiosBoulder wine — we love it nearly as much as we love our craft beer. And there’s a new game for wine in town.

For most cities, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Hostile takeovers, nepotism and hyper-competitive account reps are all too common in the workplace, making it a rather abysmal environment for those of us who would rather have our coworker’s back rather than stab it.

Boulder, on the other hand, is collaboration station when it comes to companies working together to create startup greatness throughout the city. Seasoned professionals and newcomers are all encouraged to get together and help one another in the spirit of entrepreneurialship. It’s one of the things that make Boulder such a great place for startups.

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Cold Coffee On Tap at The Cup

boulder coffee the cup

I take my coffee hot, like the sun. It would scald most tongues.

I also take it decaf.

And if truth be told, my preferred cup is a whole lot of heavy whipping cream with just a splash of coffee.

But when I heard The Cup had Boulder’s first coffee on tap, completely cold brewed and dispensed with tiny little nitrogen bubbles, I had to try it.

It deserves the hype.

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