Welcome to bountiful Boulder, where farmland is aplenty and local food trumps chain eats any day of the week. Boulder has received numerous accolades from the likes of Bon Appetite Magazine and Livability.com for its exceptional variety of local restaurants, which feature fresh and unique dishes, spot-on service and comprehensive wine, beer and liquor collections.
But what sets Boulder apart from cities and towns that typically rank on food critics' lists - such a Chicago, New York and Austin - you might ask? Three words: farm to plate.
Many Boulder restaurants pride themselves on partnering with local farmers to provide seasonal, fresh and organically grown items for their guests year-round. That being said, this list of fine Boulder restaurants features quirky diners and cafes, elegant five-star cuisine and the best brunch in the West, so prepare to read as your mouth waters.
Boulder Cork's grilled organic watermelon salad — Photo courtesy of Boulder Cork
Diners and Dives
To start off your mountain morning the right way, stop off for breakfast or brunch at one of Boulder's signature local joints. The Buff and Walnut Cafe are known for their funky, feel-good food. Both of these dives do their best to feature local produce and accommodate food allergies and preferences.
You'd be remiss not to try a slice (or two) of Walnut's decadent pie. Don't worry: you can work it off on one of your long mountain hikes.
Cherry lattice at Walnut Cafe in Boulder — Photo courtesy of Walnut Cafe
Light, Fresh and Fabulous
Both are downtown, so you'll be able to take in all of the sights and sounds of Pearl Street as you weave your way from place to place.
The Finer Things in Life
If you desire fine dining with an international flair, Boulder offers much. For an affordable yet still delicious happy hour, stellar service and one of the most elegant and colorful atmospheres in town, The Mediterranean is your spot.
After you've had appetizers and sangria, you'll want to head over to Boulder Cork for a five-star dining experience, with the best wine list in town to boot.
Sip on the righteous Reverend at Avery Brewing Company — Photo courtesy of Avery Brewing Company
Cheap, Funky and Yummy
If you're content just to wander and would rather skip a sit-down dinner for something more on-the-go without sacrificing quality, we highly recommend Mustard's Last Stand for the best brats in town or Snarf's, where you'll find to-die-for-delicious sandwiches.
At Avery, local microbrews and the lamb gyros will make you wanna change your zip code to Boulder County and your clock to mountain time. May we humbly suggest The Reverend; this beer will have you changing your religion, too.
There's no end to your options in Boulder and, with all of the beer, eats and hiking, you're sure to leave not-so-fat, but oh-so-happy.