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May 13, 2007 04:16 PM

Craft Beer in Boulder (+ Sunday dinner)

Hey, guys—

I'll be in Boulder in a couple of weeks to visit my sis. We already have reservations at Frasca, the Kitchen and Mateo, but I'm having a really hard time finding something for dinner Sunday night (Kitchen was booked solid). I imagine it may be tough at this point because of the crazy race on Memorial Day, but I thought I would check here for extra suggestions. Anyone know of good bets that would be open on Sunday night? We already have our top-notch spots booked, so it doesn't need to be spectacular or even accept reservations, but I'd love some good grub; something SW-oriented would be especially nice since we don't have much of that on the East Coast.
Also, my boyfriend and I are freaks for great microbrew, so I wanted to solicit feedback on where to go for the best selections of craft beers from Colo. and all over.
Thanks in advance—

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  1. The Mountain Sun is a cheap, local spot on Pear Street and 17th...a block or two away from Frasca. It's a burger and beer place, but all of their beer selections are local, so you might want to check that out. It's very informal, no reservations required...

    1. The most extensive collection of beer in Boulder, craft & othewise, is at Old Chicago on the Pearl Street Mall. Pizza is their signature food but I haven't had it for many years so I can't speak to the grub.

      If you want to stay focused, I'd suggest a drive to Lyons for dinner at Oskar Blues. Their beer is fantastic - especially Dale's Pale Ale and Old Chub, their tow standards.

      4 Replies
      1. re: IslayMan

        The food is pretty bad at Old Chicago these days. For decent brewery food in Boulder, I like the Walnut Brewery. It's definitely pub food, but they do a good job with it.

        I'd also recommend that you go to the Boulder's farmers market on Saturday. The tamale stand does terrific tamales.

        1. re: Megiac

          The market is a fantastic idea, thanks. We're getting in early Sat. morning, so we'll go straight there. I am a farmers market zealot.
          Mountain Sun sounds right up my alley, so we'll definitely try that. Many thanks for all the suggestions!

          1. re: greens

            greens- I'm not a huge beer person, but I just love the Mountain Sun. They have a great on tap selection- and they have a Nitro Tap- I usually get whatever's on that. It was the IPA last week. A friend and I go about once a week and play cards and drink beer during happy hour. They also have excellent fries- from real honest to god potatoes, with skins and everything.

          2. re: Megiac

            One warning about Walnut Brewery-- the portions are preposterously huge. As you said, decent pub grub and definitely better than Old Chicago's.

        2. Ironically, Old Chicago and Walnut Brewery, Boulder Chophouse and Boulder Beer are all owned by Rock Bottom. I agree that the food at Walnut is better but Old Chicago has a bigger choice for beer. I also like Mountain Sun (or their other location Southern Sun) and have had awesome grilled cheese there as well.

          1. Because they are hotel restaurants, Jills at the St. Julien and Q's at the Boulderado (both downtown) are open seven days a week, three meals a day. Both happen to be very good -- and often overlooked in the Frasca/Mateo/Kitchen frenzy. I also like Black Cat Bistro, just off the Pearl Street Mall but can't remember whether or not it's open on Sunday (dinner only, in any case).

            2 Replies
            1. re: ClaireWalter

              I second Q's in the Boulerado. The company I work for always sends the bigwigs there for dinner when they are in town. L'Atelier ( is also very tasty although the service sucked last time I was there for lunch. It might be better for dinner though.

              1. re: PhoenixAscending

                Thanks again to y'all for the recs.
                Little report:
                We hit Mountain Sun not one, but three times, once for the food and beer (not too bad, but nothing I would head for in itself), twice just for drinks. We were amazed at how many different brews they keep on tap, and really fell for a few: the Illusion Dweller IPA, the FYIPA, and a porter I've already forgotten the name of. It was marvelous on the nitro tap. I also love that they serve 8 oz. glasses as an option.
                We had intended to hit Avery and Great Divide in Denver, but the dates they were open clashed with our schedules, so we made an accidental trip to Oscar Blues when we got caught in a hailstorm on the way to Rocky Mt. Nat'l. Park. That was a really pleasant surprise, with unbelievable service and a menu that's really not half bad at all. My sister and I had a great green hatch chile soup and helped my boyfriend with his pulled pork sandwich, which also got two thumbs up. Great beer, of course. Love Dale's, and the cans are always hilarious.
                We also had some seriously stellar sandwiches at Dish (every town needs a joint like this—I would eat here at least once a week were it not halfway across the country)—creative combinations, excellent ingredients, super-friendly people.
                And then, despite a few disappointments per meal, we really enjoyed dinners at Mateo, the Kitchen and Leaf. All worthy of repeat visits, though I'm definitely hitting Frasca first next trip—we fell in love with some artwork and killed our budget before our last night's dinner . Oops.
                And can I just say that I have never experienced such consistently friendly, accommodating and laid-back service anywhere else? With the exception of one especially aloof and borderline-rude server at the Kitchen, the service we got in this town was top-notch.
                Can't wait to visit again next year.