Home Dining Boulder County Favorites Dining and Restaurant Guide: Boulder County Favorites

Dining and Restaurant Guide: Boulder County Favorites

Welcome to the best dining guide in Boulder County.

In this section you will find the best of the best. Try one, try them all!

 

NEW AMERICAN
24 CARROT BISTRO
578 Briggs St. | Erie | 303-828-1392
24carrotbistro.com

The farm-to-table fare at this chef-owned, rustic-chic establishment is as elegant as it is charming. Start with a craft cocktail at the 25-foot-long antique bar and nosh on a fried calamari appetizer with greens, basil aioli and romesco, or dip house-made sweet-potato chips into a hot, bubbling Parmesan and kale dip served in a cast-iron crock. For dinner, urban meets country comfort in the crispy duck confit resting atop zucchini baba ganoush with a red pepper agrodolche and local mizuna. Find bold and fresh flavors in the local pork belly with Jimmy Red grits, plum BBQ sauce and green tomato relish. For dessert, indulge in a chocolate almond tart or try a piece of 24 Carrot Cake, layered with cardamom-cream-cheese icing, coconut coulis and fried basil. Open for lunch Tues- Fri 11am-2pm, brunch Sat-Sun 9am-2pm, and dinner Tues-Thurs 4:30-9pm, Fri-Sat 4:30-9:30pm and Sun 4:30-9pm. Closed Monday. Dine-in, takeout and outdoor seating available. Reservations recommended.

 

CONTINENTAL
THE BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE
1770 13th St. | Boulder | 303-442-4993 | boulderteahouse.com

Handcrafted in Tajikistan, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is an architectural marvel with vibrantly painted ceilings, carved cedar columns and a sculpture fountain. Begin with an appetizer such as Indian samosas with cucumber yogurt and mango chutney. Entrees include Persian chickpea kufteh (vegetarian chickpea croquettes), Peruvian chicken, and the Tajikistan Plov—a traditional dish of rice with veggies, spices and grilled beef, served with a tomato cucumber salad, dried fruit, and house-made naan bread. Finish with the English sticky toffee pudding or the honey mascarpone poached pear with pistachio, caramel and house-whipped cream. Enjoy a selection of more than 100 premium loose-leaf teas, gourmet coffees, chai, beer, wine and cocktails. Reservations required for traditional afternoon tea. In-house and off-site catering available. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily 8am-9pm. Serving brunch on weekends.

 

AMERICAN
BUSEY BREWS
70 E. First St. | Nederland | 1-855-NED-BREW | buseybrews.com

Locally owned and operated, Busey Brews is the perfect stop for house-brewed beer and barbecue in a picturesque mountain setting. The ambience is warm and family friendly, and conveniently located minutes from Eldora, ideal after a day on the snow. With 16 house-brewed beers ranging from crisp ales and IPAs, to rich, malty browns and stouts, there’s something for every palate. Pair your beverage with the one-of-a-kind smoked wings (never fried!) and house-made sauces. The St. Louis-style pork ribs are another favorite—dry rubbed with savory spices, glazed, smoked to perfection, and served with sides such as garlic mashed potatoes and creamy mac ‘n cheese. The on-site smokers run non-stop to make fresh batches of meats and tofu. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available, along with wine, cocktails and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy happy hour food and drink specials Mon-Fri from 3-6pm, and Sunday afternoon après-ski music during the ski season. Check Facebook and Instagram for specials and event listings. Open 7 days a week. Discounts for ski pass holders and first responders.

 

AMERICAN
CHAUTAUQUA DINING HALL
900 Baseline Road | Boulder | 303-440-3776
chautauqua.com/dining-hall

Located within the Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Park, the Chautauqua Dining Hall has been a Boulder tradition since 1898. Enjoy Boulder’s most scenic outdoor dining experience on the Dining Hall’s expansive wraparound porch with its timeless mountain and park views. Begin your meal with a charcuterie board of cured meats, local artisan cheese, pickled vegetables and grilled sourdough. Or try the very popular crispy Brussels sprouts with peppadew chile and preserved lemon tossed in an agrodolce sauce. For an entrée, choose from menu items such as the Big Country Salad with romaine heart, fried chicken, cornbread croutons, tomato, bacon and blue cheese with buttermilk ranch; lemon pepper salmon wild rice, butternut squash and beet salad with candied pecans; or the delicious Bison Bistro Burger with creamy Brie, caramelized onions, arugula and fig jam atop a brioche bun. Finish the meal with a seasonal cobbler from the Huckleberry bakery, served à la mode with housemade vanilla ice cream. Full espresso bar along with loose-leaf teas from the Boulder Tea Company are available. Full-service bar with local beer, wine and spirits. Open year-round Mon-Sun 8am-close. Brunch served daily 8am-3pm. Midday/happy hour 3pm-6pm. Dinner 5pm-close. For reservations call the Dining Hall at 303-440-3776 or email reservations@chautauquadininghall.com.

 

AMERICAN
THE CORNER BAR
2115 13th St. | inside Hotel Boulderado | Boulder | 303-442-4880
cornerbarboulderado.com

Friends, locals, travelers, professionals and more belly up to the bar at Boulder’s best people-watching corner. Located inside Hotel Boulderado on the corner of Spruce and 13th streets, The Corner Bar is the ideal location for a quick lunch, a lively happy hour, a great late-night meal or the perfectly poured martini. The Corner Bar is well-known throughout the city as the place to soak up the sun on its beautiful, sprawling patio in the prime of summer or cheer on the Buffs inside its warm, cordial pub in the throes of winter. A wide variety of local craft beers, including a rotating tap, plus an exclusive selection of local spirits guarantees guests will enjoy a truly Boulder experience. Open daily from 11am-midnight, with happy hour daily from 3-6pm.

 

AMERICAN
FRANK’S CHOPHOUSE
921 Walnut Street | Boulder | 303-444-1295
frankschophouseboulder.com

Frank Day started his restaurant career in the 1970s in Boulder. Together with his wife Gina, they have created dining experiences focused on bringing their guests together with fun and interesting food and drinks. In that same tradition, Frank’s Chophouse brings you classic fare with a twist. They source only the finest meats, produce and seafood available. Featuring one of Boulder’s best happy hours from 3-6pm daily. Frank’s Chophouse offers one restaurant with two dining experiences. The Tavern, open from 3-10pm daily, offers a refined-casual experience that everyone can enjoy. Perfect for a special occasion or night out in Boulder, The Chophouse, open from 5-10pm daily, offers a variety of chef-prepared steak and seafood dishes.

 

AMERICAN
THE GREENBRIAR INN
8735 N. Foothills Highway (U.S. Highway 36) at Lefthand Canyon Drive | Boulder | 303-440-7979 | greenbriarinn.com

Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, The Greenbriar Inn is an elegant restaurant, tavern and private event space located in the north Boulder countryside. The surrounding 20 acres feature two ponds, striking woodland and thriving produce, herb and flower gardens. The cuisine focuses on seasonal American classics and is complemented by a 900-label, award-winning wine cellar. Dinner menu items include chilled oysters on the half shell, seared sea scallops, Caesar salad, beef Wellington, pan-roasted halibut, seared duck breast, Colorado lamb chops, and house-made raviolis. On the bistro menu, enjoy the GBI deluxe burger, prosciutto and porcini pizza, lobster & shrimp mac n’ cheese or beef lettuce wraps. Decadent desserts include the freshly baked seasonal galette for two, tiramisu, pear almond tart, and crème brûlée. For brunch, try the butter poached crab eggs Benedict, Monte Cristo, bananas Foster Belgian waffle, or pan-seared salmon. The Greenbriar Inn offers two floors with four spacious dining rooms as well as three outdoor patios (seasonal) and is open for dinner Wed-Sun from 5-9pm with happy hour from 5-6pm, and for brunch every Sunday from 10am-1pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

 

JAPANESE
HAPA SUSHI GRILL & SAKE BAR
1117 Pearl St. | Boulder | 303-473-4730
hapasushi.com

Step into Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar and enter a distinctive atmosphere where Tokyo meets New York. Hapa is for sushi and non-sushi lovers alike. Appetizers include tuna taro poke (tuna, salmon, or yellowtail poke over a seared taro cake, with cucumbers and yuzu sour cream) and Wagyu bao buns (steamed bao buns, Wagyu beef, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, Sriracha hoisin, and kimchi). Entrees include the Bonfire Bowl (shrimp tempura, California mix, spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, tempura asparagus, Sriracha aioli, tempura crunch, slaw and sweet soy), and the Booty Call Roll (whole lobster tail over a roll filled with snow crab salad, tempura asparagus and shiso, drizzled with a garlic sake butter). More than 44 types of nigiri sushi—including vegetarian—and 50 types of sushi rolls are available. Luscious desserts, like mochi ice cream or banana bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce, complete your meal. Hapa features more than 40 different sakes, an extensive wine list and Hapa’s own rice beer. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.

 

JAPANESE
JAPANGO SUSHI RESTAURANT
1136 Pearl St. | on Pearl Street Mall
Boulder | 303-938-0330
boulderjapango.com

Japango, located in a historic landmark building in the heart of downtown Boulder, has been the go-to destination for exceptional sushi and globally influenced Japanese food for more than 20 years. The popular restaurant includes an atmospheric bar and lounge area (with a mesmerizing jellyfish tank) and extended outdoor patio seating right on the Pearl Street Mall. A back patio bar with a fireplace welcomes the outdoor happy-hour crowd year-round. In addition to a thoughtfully curated menu of cocktails, mocktails and wine, Japango offers the largest selection of sake in Boulder and an extensive selection of Japanese whiskey and bourbons. With master chef Iwasa Yukiji at the helm, you’re guaranteed to find something delicious to eat. Japango is Boulder’s choice for a quick lunch, a relaxing dinner for two, a night out with family or friends, or all of the above. Open for lunch, afternoon happy hour and dinner every day from 11am-10pm.

 

MEXICAN
JEFES TACOS & TEQUILA
246 Main St. | Longmont | 303-827-3790 | jefeslongmont.com

With surfing competitions on the TVs and hip-hop on the sound system, Jefes is not your average taco joint. Embrace the unexpected, starting with carne asada fries—crispy, hand-cut fries smothered in Jefes’ famous queso blanco, grilled Buckner Family steak, guacamole, pico de gallo and Mexican crema. The ceviche appetizer features wild-caught Pacific snapper and shrimp “cooked” in lime juice and sweet red peppers with pico de gallo and guacamole, served with tostadas. Take your pick of award-winning tacos, like the Squashacado—diced butternut squash roasted in Mexican spices with fresh avocado, cilantro crema, pico de gallo and sunflower seeds, or the Jefes Discada with bacon, steak, chorizo and pork shoulder braised with jalapeño, onion and tomato, topped with sweet onion, cilantro and lime. Choose from more than 100 tequilas and mezcals, and desserts like churros and vegan ice cream sandwiches. One more reason to love Jefes: They donate 10% of all profits to Colorado Kids Belong, an organization that helps families in the process of adoption and fostering. Happy hour daily from 3-5pm with $1 tacos and $5 award-winning margaritas. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11am-10pm.

 

AMERICAN
JILL’S RESTAURANT
900 Walnut St. | Boulder | 720-406-7399
stjulien.com/dining

Located inside Boulder’s four-star, four-diamond St Julien Hotel & Spa, Jill’s Restaurant features an award-winning wine list complemented by a unique classic and contemporary blend of seasonal menu offerings with a local focus. Jill’s Restaurant is home to a full bar, an outdoor patio and one of the city’s most beautiful private dining rooms, the Honey Onyx room. The adjacent T-Zero Lounge, one of Boulder’s more upscale night spots, makes for a convenient after-dinner stop. Both locations also offer one of Boulder’s top happy hours, with many cocktails that feature liquors from local distillers and herbs from the hotel’s on-site garden. Check website for hours.

 

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN
LEAF VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
1710 Pearl St. | Boulder | 303-442-1485
leafvegetarianrestaurant.com

Enjoy a variety of seasonal menu items prepared with fresh, local produce and served in a casual ambiance. Start off with an Avocado Tartare with marinated mushrooms, endive and cucumber, or our famous Cauliflower Tacos, battered in spicy buffalo sauce with housemade vegan blue cheese. For a main course, consider Jamaican Jerk Tempeh served with forbidden black rice, coconut-plantain sauce, sautéed greens and fruit salsa, or try a bowl of Udon Noodles, in a rich kombu & mushroom stock with seasonal veggies, and marinated tofu. Save room for the Vegan Carrot Cake or a rotating selection of locally made vegan ice creams. The wine and cocktail list features primarily eco-friendly producers and local liqueurs, inventive nonalcoholic beverages, a delicious espresso program with several non-dairy milk alternatives, fresh juices and full bar offerings. Open daily (during the week) for lunch beginning at 11:30am, happy hour from 3-6pm, with dinner beginning at 5pm. Open Sat-Sun at 10am for brunch. In-house and off-site catering available.

 

AMERICAN
LICENSE NO. 1
2115 13th St. | inside Hotel Boulderado | Boulder
303-442-4560 | license1boulderado.com

License No. 1 offers a unique experience, like no other. This underground speakeasy-style cocktail lounge, located inside Hotel Boulderado, is a tribute to the elegant charm of the early 20th century. Step back in time with classic, handcrafted libations, chef-prepared small plates, and a lively atmosphere when you enter this hidden gem in the heart of downtown Boulder. Open from 5pm-close, Thurs-Sun, with happy hour from 5-7pm. Enjoy live music every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday starting at 9pm.

 

AMERICAN/BBQ
LULU’S BBQ
701-B Main St. | Louisville | 720-583-1789
lulus-bbq.com

LuLu’s is a relaxed, casual and family-friendly gathering place, and if the weather is nice, open-air seating adds to the experience. Start with dry-rubbed smoked wings, fried pickles or sweet potato fries with cheese dipping sauce. Then get your smoked BBQ meat of choice in a sandwich on a homemade bun or on a platter with two of the 12 available sides, including beans, coleslaw, corn bread, fried okra and mac ‘n cheese. Meats include chicken, ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and smoked sausage. Be sure to try LuLu’s signature Texas Slush, which is half LuLu’s Mexican-style lager (made down the street at Crystal Springs Brewery) and half house-made frozen margarita. Finish your meal on a sweet note with a cornbread sundae with raspberry sauce, or a slice of homemade Key lime pie. With a full bar and eight TVs, it’s a great place to catch the big game. Catering available. Open noon-8pm daily or until sold out.

 

AMERICAN
NORTH END AT 4580
4580 Broadway, Unit #D-1 | Boulder | 303-448-1500
northendboulder.com

North End at 4580, with views of the foothills, is a contemporary American bistro focusing on the freshest ingredients, with simple preparations executed flawlessly. From burgers to grilled calamari to grilled lamb chops, North End at 4580 has added tantalizing new dishes while retaining old favorites like the bacon-wrapped dates. A rotating selection of original handcrafted cocktails complements a notable wine list and local craft beers, all at affordable prices. Known for providing exceptional food and service while accommodating diners with food sensitivities (especially gluten and dairy), North End is perfect for special occasions or for everyday dinners with family and friends. On sunny days, enjoy your meal out on the dog-friendly patio. Open Tues-Wed 4-9pm, Thursday 4-9:30pm and Fri-Sat 4-10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday except on special occasions.

 

AMERICAN
ORGANIC SANDWICH COMPANY
1500 Pearl St., Suite F | Boulder | 720-639-3986
459 S. McCaslin Blvd. | Louisville | 720-598-5931
organicsandwichco.com

Organic Sandwich Company’s two beautiful locations are open daily for guests in need of a quick, healthy bite. Stop in to check out their new menu which features hearty grilled sandwiches and more vegetarian and vegan options.  The Grilled Cheese and Peppers is sure to warm you up on a cold day as they grill white cheddar, smoked gouda, garlic roasted bell peppers, avocado, and sriracha aioli on French country bread. You will notice many local, Colorado companies represented in the form of drinks, sweets, snacks, meats, produce, and bread.  Any sandwich can be made gluten-free with their locally-baked gluten-free demi baguette. House-made salads, soups, and baked goods are not to be overlooked. Open daily at 10am. Delivery, catering and contactless pickup are available.

 

AMERICAN
THE ROOST
526 Main St. | Longmont | 303-827-3380 | theroostlongmont.com

The Roost is a local favorite with its fun atmosphere, two seasonal rooftop patios and seven big-screen TVs to ensure you’ll catch all the games. Start with the Bangin’ Cauliflower (highlighted on Food Network) fried in crispy rice flour tempura and tossed in a citrus-Sriracha sauce. The beef totchos feature Rooster Tots smothered in chipotle queso, Buckner Family beef, guacamole and pico de gallo. For your entrée, try steak frites with candied bacon and brown butter sauce or the grilled ahi torta—grill-seared rare tuna with guacamole, roasted green chile, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli and fresh cabbage with cilantro-lime crema on talera bread. For dessert, indulge in the bourbon s’mores mousse or a slice of warm carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, candied pecans, house caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Your delicious meal will also support a great cause, as The Roost donates 10% of all profits to Colorado Kids Belong, an organization that helps families in the process of adoption and fostering. Enjoy BOGO deals on Whiskey Wednesday with more than 100 whiskey options, and happy hour Sun-Thurs 3-6pm. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11am-10pm.

 

INTERNATIONAL
SMOKIN BOWLS
449 Main St. | Longmont | 720-815-2875
smokinbowlsrestaurant.com

Find fast, fresh fare from around the world at Smokin Bowls, a recently reopened eatery with an emphasis on high-quality, local ingredients. Signature Bowls start with a base of rice, red quinoa, lettuce, rice noodles, cauliflower rice or fries.  Featured flavor combinations include the Hawaiian, with seaweed salad, edamame, basil, cucumber, jalapeño, tobiko, sesame seeds and a tamari-ginger poke sauce; the Italian, with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts, cucumber, roasted garlic, croutons and vegan basil pesto; and the Mexican, with avocado, pico de gallo, black beans, cotija, jicama, roasted corn, jalapeño and cilantro-lime crema. Each bowl is topped with a choice of ahi sashimi, braised beef, smoked pork, roasted shrimp, grilled chicken or tofu. Smokin Bowls’ ramen is the perfect choice for a chilly day, and their mac & cheese is a rich and savory treat—both can be customized with added protein and toppings. Most of the menu is gluten-free, and every dish can be made vegan upon request. Feel great about your meal because Smokin Bowls donates 10% of all profits directly to local nonprofit organizations. Signature bowls only $5 on Fridays. Open Tues-Sat 11am-2pm.

 

AMERICAN
SPRUCE FARM & FISH
2115 13th St. | inside Hotel Boulderado | Boulder | 303-442-4880
spruceboulderado.com

Fresh, straightforward, honest, approachable and inspired food every time. Always keeping with the seasons, Spruce Farm & Fish showcases the best our region and nature have to offer. From creative cuisine to familiar flavors, they strive to provide nothing but the freshest and most interesting dishes with exceptional service. An extensive wine and beer selection from near and far and exquisite craft cocktails are also sure to please. Open for brunch from 7am-2pm and dinner from 5-10pm daily.

 

PACIFIC ISLAND
SWAYLO’S TIKI RESTAURANT & BAR
1315 Dry Creek Drive | Longmont | swaylostiki.com

As of press time, Swaylo’s is set to sail into southwest Longmont by February 2022. Be one of the first to escape into this tropical paradise, bedecked with Polynesian and nautical ambiance, from blowfish lights and tiki statues to a bar that is built inside a 1,000-square-foot pirate ship. Colorful and delicious cocktails will be the star of the bar, and the cuisine represents delicious nuances from various Pacific Island: Start with the pu-pu platter, which includes pork grio sliders, smoked octopus tostadas, poisson cru, fried calamari, pacific crab rangoon, fried plantains, coconut jasmine rice, mango-cucumber salad, furikake fries, taro chips and gochujang aioli. Entrée platters include the Opakapaka—a crispy-skinned Hawaiian pink snapper with edamame and vanilla bean puree, papaya rice fritters, mango-cucumber salad and fried mung bean threads. Or try the Hawaiian fried rice with wok-fried spam, pineapple, chilies, carrot, scallions, basil, smashed egg and steamed rice with tamari. Your meal will support the community too, as Swaylo’s will donate 10 percent of profits to local fundraisers. Don’t miss the big annual luau in July! After opening, hours will be Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.

Previous articleRecipe of the Month: Cacio e Pepe
Next articleTheater Review: Julius Caesar