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Dec 14, 2010 08:34 PM

Late night eats in Boulder?

I'm going to be in Boulder this week for a few days and will be working some pretty late shifts. I'd like to find a couple of places to grab dinner that are open until at least 12:30am. I'm open to any type of food except for seafood and east asian. Anywhere between Boulder and Longmont would work. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. A couple of Boulder's newest restaurants are offering late-night food service. You'd have to check on how late is late. Try Oak at 14th, which opened last month, and The Pinyon, which opened just last Friday. Both are along Pearl Street -- Oak right on the pedestrian mall and Pinyon a couple of blocks to the east. Boulder Organic Pizza, on Walnut (one block south of Pearl) is open until 2 a.m. Fri and Sat nights (with a DJ too) if that would work for you.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Oak at Fourteenth initially opened just for dinner (I went twice the first week and it is amazing!) and then added lunch and weekend brunch. Mixologist Extraordinaire Bryan Dayton indicated they would add late-nite service, but their website and Facebook page still have 10 pm listed as the closing time. I hope to be in again this weekend, so I will find out.

      Their website:


      Twitter: @oakatfourteenth

      Some good write-ups:

      1. re: rlm

        I just returned from lunch at Oak at Fourteenth, and was decidedly underwhelmed. Small portions couple with high prices, and the food just flat out wasn't that good. I had the tuna Nicoise salad, and it was unlike any nicoise salad I have had before. But not in a good way. It was mostly pieces of unremarkable and gray tuna atop beans, with some celery thrown in.

        I was hoping for so much more, and will give it another try, but considering how much I was looking forward to it, this was a disappointment.

        1. re: LurkerDan

          Sorry you had a bad experience. I know when I have been disappointed with a dish elsewhere, even if just comes down to an issue of personal preference, communicating with management about it results in their offering to bring you something else. Any good place will do that to win/keep your business, provided you haven't cleaned half of your plate before you send it back. :-) Sometimes I just want to get-in-and-get-out too and not wait on another dish to arrive (especially at lunch during the work week), so I'll just mentally file away the fact that I won't order a particular item again.

          I went with three different people over two nights and was able to sample a decent amount of the menu and definitely had things I preferred (lamb, rock shrimp appetizer, marrow with caviar, fried pickles, root beer float with brownies to name a few) over others (meatball sliders, rigatoni). I've been at other dinners where I've absolutely hated a dish and the person next to me adored it though, so taste is a very personal thing. Gray tuna doesn't sound appetizing, however, so I definitely would have sent that back.

          I haven't been for lunch yet, but the prices are $5 to $15 and that doesn't seem that high to me considering that even "value" combos at some fast food places these days cost 6 bucks or more. Chains like Olive Garden have lunch menus in the same price range even though they have volume purchase discounts and certainly aren't using Rancho Gordo beans and local produce.

          1. re: rlm

            I should clarify, it was not that the price was high, I'm willing to pay for good food, and a $15 lunch meal that is filling and delicious, made with good ingredients, is fine by me. It's when the $15 meal isn't that filling or particularly delicious that the price tag becomes high, if that makes any sense.

            And you're no doubt right, that the way to address things is by talking to management, but that just isn't my style. If there's something that seems terribly wrong, sure, but if I just don't like my meal, don't think it's good value, is visually unappealing, etc, I'm just not going to complain (except on the internet, of course ;-). I'll just chalk it up to a negative experience and try something else the next time. If the next time is good, I'll give it a third try.

            1. re: rlm

              I'll weigh in here since I was at lunch with Lurker Dan yesterday. I actually thought my dish was very tasty (salmon salad with soft-boiled egg and greens); the salmon was perfectly cooked, as was the egg (and they remembered to put a dash of sea salt on the egg for a little seasoning - very nice).

              But I absolutely agree that the portion was miserly; I don't expect to be "full," but I need to at least no longer be hungry after a $14 lunch entree (listed as a "Large Plate" on the menu). As it stood, I ended up running out for essentially a second lunch an hour later, something that's never happened to me after lunch at the Kitchen, Brasserie TenTen, Centro, SALT, or other comparably-priced restaurants in Boulder. And we're not talking expensive ingredients here - an egg and a very small amount of salmon (perhaps 3 oz, about three or four bites) along with a small pile of greens.

              I also saw the short-rib taco "Small Plate" going to a neighboring table, and wow - it looked like a parody of haute cuisine, with three tacos literally the size of half-dollars. I would be very disappointed to pay $13 for three bites of short ribs and corn tortillas.

              Perhaps portions are better at dinner; based on the quality of my entree, I'd give it another try then. But while I don't expect or want Cheesecake Factory portions, I do expect to be able to order a "Large Plate" entree and have that be enough for lunch, which wasn't the case.

              1. re: monopod

                Agree that you should expect to be sated after dropping 14 bucks for an item listed as a large plate. I haven't been for lunch, but the large plates at dinner were ample portions. Oak is a new place so I would expect they'd have a few things to iron out. I can't imagine that their real estate cost right off the Pearl Street Mall is all that reasonable though, so that may have factored into the price points. If no-one actually gives them feedback while at the restaurant though they will have a hard time reading the minds of their customers and making adjustments. :-)

          2. re: ClaireWalter

            Sounds like the key is to go at dinner for now. ;) Steve R. can cook his butt off and Bryan mixes a mean drink (and Annie seems like a very capable GM), but I am sure they can't be there for every meal service. I would imagine it takes time for the different crews to gel and for everything to fall into place the way they want. I have great respect for anyone willing to put their reputation and money on the line to open a restaurant. It's certainly much easier for us to carp about all these places online, yes? :-)

            1. re: rlm

              RLM, I think you're right. Still, when a restaurant opens quietly, under the radar, and allows word-of-mouth to do its magic, inevitable little flaws remain out of the spotlight until they're fixed. I still have great expectations, but lunch -- probably for precisely reasons you specified -- Oak still doesn't live up to them. Lurker Can and Monopod also were not completely happy w/ their lunches. Compare $14 for 3 tiny tacos with, say, Trattoria om Pearl's good and conistent $10 Power lunch with a choice of soup or salad, a choice or several sandwiches or pasts dishes and a choice of beverages, and you can see the price problem. I'd love for you to read my post and comment there (or here).

              1. re: ClaireWalter

                My feeling when I went with RLM was that the cocktails were (naturally) superb while the food was mostly good, and that they probably just need a little time to settle in...agreed, Claire, that early hype can work against a place as much as for it; we were there on the second night and the place was SLAMMED. Talk about pressure.

                Portion size was fine for dinner, at least.


        2. I am guessing that there would be some places on the Hill that would be open late. Cosmo's Pizza for sure. Probably a number of other choices. But it likely won't be "chowhound" food, it will be "college student late night" food. Doesn't mean it won't satisfy, of course!

          Cosmo's Pizza
          1325 Broadway St Ste 108, Boulder, CO 80302