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).

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

BoCo Summer Craft Beer Seasonals to Drink This Summer

boulder summer beer
The warm weather is back in Boulder County, which means locals are trading out après drinks on the mountain for weekend afternoon bike rides to nearby tap rooms. Warm temps mean full brewery patios complete with cold beverages that typically land on the lighter side of the beer spectrum. It’s time for stouts and porters to get a much deserved rest, hibernating in shiny fermenters and oak barrels until the snow starts to fall once again. In the summer, anything goes when it comes to beer drinking, but brewers in the area have stepped up their seasonal beer list game, featuring light-bodied, low ABV beers along with barrel-aged sours and fruity wheat beers. Here’s a guide to limited release seasonal beers to add to your must-try list this spring/summer.
Continue Reading

A Wild Meal — Dine Out for Wildlife this Wednesday!

dine out for wildlife boulder
Boulder loves its wild friends. I mean, not so much the rowdy neighbors partying at 1:47 AM, but moreso the actual wild type — our area wildlife.

Well, this Wednesday, you can do what you always do (grab a bite to eat at one of our area’s splendid eateries) and help our wildlife friends at the same time.

This Wednesday, April 22, is Dine Out for Wildlife, benefiting the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Grab your office mates (or heck, your whole staff) and head out to one of these local eateries. When you dine at these locations on Wednesday, the restuarants will donate a portion of the proceeds to support the rehabilitation center. Make it a wild time with friends to support a wild cause!

Continue Reading

Colorado-Grown Grapes Fuel Boulder’s Emerging Wine Scene

boulder co wine settembre cellars
Colorado is often affectionately referred to as the “Napa of Craft Beer”—but in reality, the state actually has an established wine scene of it’s own. Grapevines were first introduced in Colorado in the 19th century by miners relocating to the southern part of the state in hopes of striking it rich.

Over the years, vineyards began appearing in and around the Palisade/Grand Junction area, producing world-class grapes with the help of southern Colorado’s warm climate and water from mountain runoff. Low humidity and plenty of sunshine create ideal conditions for growers, resulting in sought-after grapes used by wineries throughout Colorado and beyond.

Continue Reading

Meet Taco Junky & Tequila Bar on The Hill

taco junky boulder
There’s a new eatery on The Hill in Boulder, following suit in a recent trend of restaurants setting up shop in the neighborhood. These new eateries opt to serve an elevated menu instead of the usual cheap cuisine found near a college campus.

The shift from inexpensive munchie food and bottled 3.2 beer began in 2010 when Cafe Aion took over the former digs of Burnt Toast—a favorite breakfast joint of hungover students and poetry junkies. Cafe Aion introduced traditional Spanish tapas and a legit wine list to frequent customers of the Hill, whose previous idea of adventurous food was pouring Sriracha on their Illegal Pete’s burrito at 2 a.m.

Shortly after Cafe Aion’s opening, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe brought Conscious Coffee to the neighborhood, and the doors to The No Name Bar opened—revealing a prohibition era-themed bar and long list of craft cocktails.

Continue Reading