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2 nights in Boulder in July

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My wife and I will be in Boulder for 2 nights in July. Any recommendations for a couple that enjoys great food? Both dinner and breakfast options are appreciated.

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  1. what price range? Cuisine is limited here as I think Boulder does a great job with farm to table but everything else is meh.

    1. so many choices. here's a few; not a comprehensive list but a starter.

      breakfast (note that many places do weekend brunch, and I'm not familiar with them; these are "breakfast places"):
      Lucile's
      Snooze
      Walnut Cafe

      Dinner (from more fancy/expensive to casual, roughly, though in Boulder even the expensive places are casual)
      Frasca
      Oak
      The Kitchen
      SALT
      Basta
      Riffs (never been but people say it's good)
      Centro
      Zolo
      Under the Sun
      Chez Thuy

      3 Replies
      1. re: LurkerDan

        I think Under the Sun is meh. The worst service ever. Waited over 40 min for our food then it came out at different times. it was the two of us so it made it even more awkward. I would not recommend it as a destination for out of towners. I do like Fate Brewing, The Kitchen upstairs, L'Atelier, and Aion for tapas.

        1. re: trolley

          Everyone who has lived here for years could describe a bad experience somewhere. For example, I recently ate at Fate and it was pretty bad (service was fine), bad enough that I didn't put it on my list. It was just an offhand list, and at the casual end (Fate or Under the Sun as 2 examples) you are definitely going to have more mixed experiences. It's not fine dining. I like both places, but my last experience at UtS was way better than my last experience at Fate. :shrug:

          I didn't list the 3 different "Kitchen" iterations separately, but I do think all of them are good. And forgot about L'Atelier. I have not been there in a few years but a couple of my best Boulder meals were had there. And I agree with Aion too, good call.

          1. re: LurkerDan

            Fate has very slooow service. and the food there can be weird. my brother in law ordered a grilled salmon and it came in a milky soup. it tasted ok, but not what one expects when ordering grilled fish. I stand by Under the Sun being a poor choice. It's off the beaten path unless you're staying in South Boulder. It's super crowded and frankly not worth the trip if you're staying closer to Pearl St. I would go to Mountain Sun and grab a beer.

      2. You could not pay me to eat at Snooze again. Seriously, I can't believe that people line up to eat brunch there. Dried out hash.... gummy pancakes. Blen. I also had a terrible breakfast at Luciles years ago and I've never been back.

        Our go-to breakfast place is either The Buff or one of the Walnut Cafes. The food at the Chautauqua Dining hall is mediocre, but it is nice to sit on the patio and watch the goings on. I had a nice brunch at Cafe Aion, but it is expensive for what you get.

        As far as dinner recs go, we will need to know more about your budget and what you hope to eat.

        8 Replies
        1. re: cbrand

          The Buff is good, I forgot to include it, and I obviously agree with the Walnut, but I have had very good meals at Snooze. And Lucile's is easily my favorite; sorry you had a bad experience there (as I noted above, live here long enough and you can have a bad experience everywhere), but that place is awesome and also very different than the standard breakfast fare.

          1. re: LurkerDan

            Fair comment about judging a restaurant based on one meal. Unfortunately, in this town there are so many good restaurants that when a meal or service is bad, it is hard to muster the enthusiasm to give them a second try. Also, when I eat out, it is usually with a group of people. I don't judge based only on what I get. When the majority of our table says: meh, I know that the restaurant has let us down.

            Based on your rec, I'll give Lucile's another try, though I'll note that their beignets bear no resemblance to those I've eaten in NOLA.

            1. re: cbrand

              I gave Under the Sun many tries as we live very close. I want it to be good, I do. I can walk there! It's a win win! But it gets very crowded and the service is consistently bad and the food is ok. Not great. The Mountain Sun has less refined food but I find the service there a bit better.

              1. re: trolley

                I have enjoyed my times at UtS, and the food is as you note more refined than the other Sun locations. The crowded part doesn't bother me as I view it as an extension of the Southern Sun, I just always expect crowds there! I haven't eaten enough at UtS to note consistently bad service, though I find that the Southern Sun is consistently good service, once you get used to the fact that you don't have one specific server.

                But your recommendation of Mt Sun is probably correct; go to any of the Sun establishments for the beer, not the food. And yeah, if they're staying near downtown UtS isn't worth the trip.

              2. re: cbrand

                "Based on your rec, I'll give Lucile's another try, though I'll note that their beignets bear no resemblance to those I've eaten in NOLA."

                Huh? How is this: http://jenyu.net/blog_pics/beignet.jpg significantly different than this: http://dallas.todaysmama.com/files/20...

                they look the same, and while I've obviously never done a side by side taste test (beignets are best eaten hot and don't travel), they taste darn similar too. What do your NOLA beignets look like?

                BTW, my favorite thing at Lucile's is the biscuit with some of their strawberry-rhubarb jam. I can't go there without eating that.

                1. re: LurkerDan

                  In "bearing no resemblance" I meant that they don't taste like the beignets in NOLA.

            2. re: cbrand

              I was just at Chautauqua yesterday and the place was packed. The food is meh but it's so lovely. It's the Boulder equivalent of eating seaside. The food is always "meh" along the water generally but the view is fantastic. I think it's worth it just for the views.

              1. re: cbrand

                For breakfast try Tangerine at Iris and 28th.

              2. Thank you for all of your thoughts so far. Regarding budget it is pretty flexible as long as the quality of the meal is commensurate with the price. Up to $50pp-$60pp before drinks is fine. Great meals don't always have to be expensive though - great little 'hole in the wall' places work too.

                Thanks in advance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mdg1376

                  Ok... for a real "hole in the wall" try the Yellow Deli. It is on west Pearl. It is run by folks from a religious commune...If you ever wondered what happened to the hippy Jesus freaks from the early 70's, they are alive and well and running this restaurant! The food is decent and the price is right but the experience is not to be missed.

                  They are open 24 hours, but they close Friday afternoon for their Sabbath and they don't reopen until Sunday at noon. I really like the lambwitch, but it is a heart stopper.