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Sep 8, 2008 08:04 AM

Visiting Boulder, CO - Lunch Recommendations Needed

I will be passing through Boulder later this week and wanted to stop for a good lunch on my way to the Rocky Mountains. I will be visiting from the Midwest and am looking for a good area to shop and grab lunch. Looking for good quality food in a casual setting.


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  1. Any preference on cuisine? Boulder has a lot of choices but off the top of my head Dushnabe Tea house and Central Latin Kitchen both came to mind. Both are either on Pearl Street or just a couple of blocks off and Pearl has some interesting shopping.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RobynS

      No particular cuisine... just some place with a local feel.

      I did read further on a few threads and found some additional information as well.

      Thanks for the recommendations as well!

    2. We loved the Sunflower Cafe (1701 Pearl St.)... Pearl St. is a must for local flavor/shopping. Cool bookstore on that street, too. Sunflower specializes in organic, American Cafe fare (we only ate breakfast there but it was so incredible, I wanted to return for lunch but ran out of time). We also like The Kitchen... a little more urban/loft feel, but quite excellent, fresh American food (the curry chicken salad with hazelnuts is delicious).

      1 Reply
      1. re: girlgourmet

        The Pearl Street Mall is a beauitfully landscaped pedestrian-only mall between 11th and 15th Streets. Sunflower is a couple blocks east of the Street Mall. The Kitchen is just West of the Mall. The Boulder Bookstore is on the Mall. If you are strolling and also are a home cook, don't miss Peppercorn at #1235. GFreat kitchenware, kitchen gadgets, tabletop stuff, linens, gourmet foods. On Broadway between Pearl and Spruce, you will fine OlyvYou & Me and Savory Spice Shop, both must-stop-at retail stores for visiting foodies.

      2. The Pearl Street pedestrian mall downtown fills the bill for both food & shopping. A couple of lunch suggestions:

        Q's or the Corner Bar in the Hotel Boulderado.
        The West End Tavern
        The Med
        Brasserie 1010
        14th Street Bar & Grill

        Whatever you do, stay away, far far away from Pasta Jay's! The people waiting outside for a table are all recent lobotomy patients.

        1. Thank you for all the recommendations, I'm sure that area is where we'll hit!

          I have never been to the region and wondered if it was worth the drive up through Nederland and then to take the Peak to Peak road through Lyons for a more scenic route to Estes Park, versus just going straight up 36.

          Thanks again!

          4 Replies
          1. re: amb222

            Salvadoran/Mexican: Pupusas Sabor Hispano on North Broadway or Efrain’s at 63rd and Arapahoe

            Sandwiches at Snarf’s: or Dish Gourmet

            The Kitchen on Pearl:

            L’Atelier on Pearl:

            Proto’s Pizza on North Broadway:

            Q’s at 13th & Spruce in the Hotel Boulderado:

            In Nederland, I have been pleasantly surprised by Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery:

            1. re: rlm

              Yay, rlm's back on the board!

              How does Wild Mountain compare to some of the other cue joints around?

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Wild Mtn is not the best 'cue in the world (give me the name of a place in Colorado that is), but then it doesn't really have the vibe of a traditional BBQ joint to me. It's a nice place to stop off for a beer after a drive in the mountains. They have a Brewski sampler where the tasting glasses are set into holes punched into part of a ski.

                We tried all the sauces, and the Thai one was the most disappointing. The Carolina Mustard was our favorite.

            2. re: amb222

              amb222 - I hope the Chowhound Team does not ax this because it does not relate to directly food, but it does answer your question on driving to Estes Park from Boulder. US 36 goes north from Boulder, then west through Lyons up through Middle St. Vrain Canyon into Estes Park and into Rocky Mountain National Park.

              CO 119 goes west from Boulder through Boulder Canyon into Nederland, where it connects with the Peak-to-Peak Highway. From Nederland, you would take CO 72 and then CO 7 northward into Estes Park.

              Peak-to-Peak Highway is more scenic if the aspens have turned, but US 36 is considerably faster. Be sure to stop at the Rocky Mt Natl Park visitor center and ask whether the elk are bugling yet. Don't miss that.

              Re. Chowmix's lunch recommendations, I do not believe that Jax (seafood) is open for lunch. All the others are.