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Jun 11, 2012 06:30 AM

Lunch in Boulder on a Thursday

Hi, I am going to be meeting some friends in Boulder this Thursday, but I may be in town a bit earlier than most of the group. I am looking for somewhere to get lunch. I have never been to Boulder before, or Colorado for that matter, so I am not sure what it is known for in a culinary sense. Can anyone suggest a few options that may be worth checking out? I suppose my only real criteria would be:

-that it be delicious
-potentially unique to the area/or something I am less likely to find at home (I am from Boston)
-I am not particularly worried about price (it is lunch, how expensive could it be?)
-I am staying in downtown Boulder without a car, so something that is accessible

So, if someone asked you "What do I need to try on my first trip to Boulder?", what would your answer be?

I realize this is broad, but I like to eat and would like to see what Boulder has to offer.


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  1. I don't know that you'll truly find something you can't find in Boston, but here are some options:
    Pizzeria Locale (authentic neapolitan pizza)
    The Kitchen (farm to table)
    Salt (same)
    Mt. Sun (hippie brewpub, food is just ok pub grub but the beer is great and it's very "Boulder")

    9 Replies
    1. re: LurkerDan

      Thank you for the suggestions, some of those names I have seen in other searches and I will likely hit one or two if I can.

      I know what you mean about it not being too different than what you can find in Boston, but is there any wrinkle for local food traditions? When people come to Boston they want to try clam chowder and clam rolls/lobster rolls, that type of local offering. Are they doing anything in Boulder that may be a bit more unique to the region?

      1. re: ebone

        well, beer, we have an amazing beer culture here. and there's a big farm to table, local foods, component. But I don't think Colorado truly has a regional cuisine or specialty (unless you're considering Rocky Mt. Oysters ;-).

        Another good option might be Lucile's. It isn't CO cuisine, it's cajun, but it's darned good and something you probably don't see much in Boston.

      2. re: LurkerDan

        I'd second Pizzeria Locale but probably would say the Kitchen if you're coming from Boston. You could always grab a beer (or 3) at Mt. Sun later. . .

        1. re: ivandwu

          The Kitchen is looking to be the leader in the clubhouse right now, if anyone has any specific dish recommendations those are certainly welcome. Sampling of the local malt and barley will be aplenty on this trip as well, so Mt. Sun will likely see us.

          I will take local beer recs as well. I have seen a bunch of Avery around Boston lately, anything I shouldn't miss beer-wise?

          1. re: ebone

            The Kitchen is a good choice, as they exemplify the "farm to table" thing that's very Boulder and they're very tasty. They also have a cheaper cafe next door, KItchen [Next Door], which is not as upscale but still good. SALT an also be very good (though it's a little more hit-or-miss). I probably wouldn't go to Mountain Sun for lunch if you're posting on this site looking for good food - go for a beer, and maybe get some fries or wings while you're there.

            Also, you might try some Mexican, since that's probably harder to get in Boston. T|ACO over on Walnut and Broadway is a new place with fantastic street-style tacos. And Centro does great upscale Mexican (I love their shrimp torta).

            Beers to try (in no particular order): Upslope, Avery, Mountain Sun, Lefthand, Ska, New Belgium, Oskar Blues. Hard to go wrong with any of them, really. Mountain Sun, Avery, Upslope and Oskar Blues all have local taphouses as well.

            1. re: monopod

              I love Mexican and you are right, Boston is not the greatest place for that particular cuisine (although there are a couple spots that do it well). Thanks for those recs.

              Avery, Lefthand and Oskar Blues are all well represented in the Boston beer scene, but I have never tried the others you mentioned.

              Thanks for the Bitter Bar rec too, cocktails will be consumed on this trip as well.

              To be clear, I will be in town all weekend. I was just asking about Thursday lunch because I knew it to be a time I would have free. The rest of the time I will be with a bigger group with a lot of the time spoken for.

            2. re: ebone

              Oh, and if you're at all into cocktails, you should check out the Bitter Bar. One of the best cocktail bars in the country, bar none. Plus it's got a cool, speakeasy vibe and great bar snacks (I could live for days on the fried brussels sprout leaves).

              1. re: ebone

                I personally would not choose The Kitchen if I had one meal. The mais pizza at Pizzeria Locale is quite different and spectacular. The retooled (post-fire) Oak a few blocks away at Pearl and 14th has great cocktails, house made root beer and other sodas, and a great burger at lunch. If Bitter Bar is open for lunch now, they also have great cocktails. Definitely get some craft beer like Avery.