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 cake, SoBo is slowly creeping up to the top of my list.
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.
Murphy’s – 657 S. Broadway Boulder, CO 80305
This was one of my favorite places even before I claimed a SoBo address. Primarily because of their “World’s Smallest Dessert.” Initially this dessert was aptly named. Meaning, any self-respecting dessert eater could not and would not share it under any circumstance. Over time the dessert started gaining weight and it became, sadly, shareable. When I was there last week however, it was back to its “smallest” glory and life was good. It’s a thick and dense chocolate cake with a half-inch of white sugary chocolate chip frosting coupled with a mini scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfection.
Murphy’s has great food, a comfortable atmosphere, and fabulous service. Plus, on Tuesdays they have table side magic. Their resident magician will come to your table and put giant smiles of wonder on your kids’ faces. And here’s a tip – if you get there early, he’ll probably come to your table twice.
Southern Sun Pub & Brewery – 627 S. Broadway Boulder, CO 80305
A SoBo staple since 2002, Southern Sun is like a giant indoor park. Community tables, huge booths, nachos galore, and lively conversations are always the order of the day. It’s the kind of place that’s worth the wait. And wait you probably will. But it’s also one of the most family friendly restaurants in all of Boulder so there will be plenty of friends to drink with while you’re waiting for your table.
The picnic tables outside make it a great place to share some beers after work or after a long outdoor adventure on the weekends. And, with 60+ beers on the menu, even your most discerning beer drinking friends will find something to love.
Here are a few more reasons to meet up at Southern Sun with family and friends:
- Monday – Friday — Happy Hour (2-6pm)
- Mondays — Live, free music (10pm)
- Tuesdays & Fridays — Fish & Chips
- Thursdays – Dollar Tacos (10pm)
- Saturdays & Sundays — Brunch with bottomless mimosas (11am-2pm)
Tandoori Grill – 619 S. Broadway Boulder, CO 80305
Consistently rated as one of Boulder’s best Indian restaurants, Tandoori Grill is affordable, comfortable, and just plain good.
Between their generous lunch buffet (every day from 11:30am-2:30pm), long raved about samosas, extra flavorful vegetarian dishes, and curries offered in varying levels of hotness, there is something for everyone. It’s a great place to take out of town guests, hang with your family, or meet a client for lunch. They also have a giant catering menu that’s worth checking out if you’re planning a party.
And, once you’ve licked your plate clean, head over to the South Boulder Social Club for some after dinner cocktails.
Under the Sun Eatery & Taphouse – 627A S. Broadway Boulder, CO 80305
Sausages, “Porky’s Revenge”, a Hummingbird Ale, and a stout float. Yes. I just ordered for you. You’re welcome.
Under the Sun is like Southern Sun, just a shade more refined. I go there multiple times a month and I always feel smart afterward.
Like its sister spot upstairs, they have a huge selection of beers and they’ll let you taste as many as you want until you find one that meets your standards. Their menu is interesting but not overwhelming, and it just may be home to the friendliest staff in town. They seem genuinely happy to see you and maybe even happier that they landed such a great gig. That, plus the food, always makes the whole experience a 10 in my book. Here are plenty of other reasons to put it on the top of your list:
- Mondays — Happy hour (ALL Day)
- Thursdays — Open Blue Grass Pick. Each picker gets a free pint. (8:30pm-12am)
- Saturdays — Live music (9:30pm-12am)
- Saturdays and Sundays — Breakfast, brunch & lunch-a-palooza (9am-2pm)
- Sundays — Kids eat free (ALL day)
- Monday – Sunday — 4 inch cheese pizzas and $3.50 pints (9am-2pm)
And, no SoBo restaurant round up would be complete without mentioning South Side Walnut Cafe.
I’m sort of embarrassed by how many times I eat breakfast here on a monthly basis. Whenever I walk through the doors I feel like I’m walking in to my old dorm room cafeteria. The food is way better, naturally, but it’s usually filled with more people I do know than don’t. You always know what you’re going to get, their service is spot on, and they will honor whatever strange requests you dare bring to the table. Eat there soon.
If I’ve missed any of your favorite spots, feel free to let me know in the comments. Or, better yet, share your favorite memory of chowing down in SoBo.