Boulder's Pearl Street Serves Up a Side of Local Yumminess

One of the most frequented and beloved spots in Boulder, Pearl Street is the city's center for arts, entertainment, shopping, and dining. That being said, it's not surprising that some of Boulder's finest, most local, and most notable restaurants make their home on Pearl Street and we're proud to bring you our list of the very best.

Whether you're in the mood for classic Americana style grub, Italian, a taste of the Mediterranean, or prefer something south of the border washed down with the best margarita in town, Pearl Street's got it in abundance.

Topping our list, Black Cat of Boulder brings you farm-to-table options in an atmosphere that is both elegant and earthy, with a focus on sustainability that is sure to impress even the most die-hard environmentalist. For seafood lovers, Wild Standard offers fresh, flavorful and sustainably sourced options with a twist: cart and tray service around their nautically inspired dining room. Prefer your delights from the ocean to be mostly raw? Boulder's favorite sushi restaurants, Japango, offers elegance and tasty morsels in the heart of Pearl Street. 

No matter what your tastes, Pearl Street can accommodate, so sit back and relax as we take you on a dining tour of Boulder's most famous and most unique street.


The Mediterranean Restaurant

If you're in the mood for variety, this locally owned gem is the place for you. Not only does The Med serve up a taste of Italy, but you can also take a tour of Spanish, French, and Greek cuisine having never left Boulder. Known for, but not limited to, its fresh, wood oven pizzas and hot-out-of-the bakery bread which is made fresh daily, this eclectic restaurant offers more than just carbs. Be sure to try their Kabob made with your choice of lamb, chicken, or shrimp and flavored to perfection with garlic hummus, tabouleh, basmati rice, seared greens, grilled flatbread & tzatziki. Stop by during happy hour to peruse a to-die-for wine list.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: The Med has one of the best tapas menus and happy hours in town along with an exceptional wine list.

Hope's expert tip: Try the Med's savory Greek Kabob and be sure to stop in for their well-known and frequented happy-hour.

Read more about The Mediterranean Restaurant →

This spacious, high-energy seafood restaurant features an extensive menu that includes an East Coast-style raw oyster bar and fresh fish flown in daily. Dine on Grilled Swordfish, Seared Albacore Tuna, Mississippi catfish, and Prince Edward Island mussel stew. Try the Dynamite Oysters, Salmon Roe, or the crispy calamari. Steak and vegetarian dishes are also featured. For those who want to know how their fish was sourced, Jax is known throughout Colorado as one of the most sustainable seafood restaurants, so you can rest assured that your meal isn't having a negative impact on the environment. Not to mention, with fresh options flown in daily, the Jax menu is ever evolving which allows returning guests to sample something new with each visit.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: Jax Fish House offers fresh and delicious seafood in the heart of downtown Boulder. Not to mention, they are known for their commitment to sustainability.

Hope's expert tip: Pair your seafood of choice with a local craft beer from their extensive menu.

Read more about Jax Fish House →


Providing delicious and unique brunch concoctions for over 34 years, Creole cuisine and old-fashioned Southern breakfasts top the menu at this popular restaurant. Start with a beignet pastry and a steaming cup of coffee. Enjoy eggs Benedict or the vegetarian version, eggs Jennifer. The Cajun Breakfast includes ham, kidney beans and eggs folded in a spicy sauce. Grits, along with biscuits smothered in jam, will satisfy the Southerner in everyone. If you're in the mood for a sugary treat, try Lucile's New Orleans style doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar and some fresh squeezed orange juice, both of which will put some pep in your morning step.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: It's charm, elegance, and dedication to serving some of the best breakfast and brunch dishes in town puts Lucille's on our list.

Hope's expert tip: The Cajun Breakfast is the best way to start out your day in Boulder.

Read more about Lucile's →


Boasting a seasonally inspired menu means guest will consistently be treated to new and innovative dishes when they return to Oak again and again. With its focus on locally grown vegetables and locally sourced meats, dishes are fresh and, with each bite, you can rest in the knowledge that you're supporting local farmers. Some current offerings include Wood Grilled Pork Belly, Poached Pear and Winter Greens, as well as the decadent Burgundy Black Truffle Pasta. For those who want to stay on the lighter side, Oak offers light and fresh mid-day eats, including the unique Chilled Beet & Peach soup. Guests who arrive on the late night will also find delicious soul-food options between 10 pm and midnight such as the House Made Ramen and the mouth-watering Lamb Sandwich.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: Oak's warm and radiant ambiance coupled with flavorful elevated food options makes it the perfect spot for a special occasion, date night, or a drink with colleagues.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to stop in for the Mid-Day Eats menu Monday-Saturday from 2:30 pm-5:30 pm.

Read more about Oak at fourteenth →

Pizzeria Locale

Located on enchanting Pearl Street, this pizzeria mixes traditional Italian elegance and charm with some American edge and swagger. Among their mouthwatering concoctions, you'll find the Vesuvius, a lite tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad that will leave you refreshed, and more than ready for a glass of one of Pizzeria Locale's ostentatious wines. And, for the main course, may we suggest the Filetto pizza, complete with sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy burrata cheese, pungent garlic, fresh basil, and Parmigiano Reggiano ( we could call it plain, old, Parmesan, but that wouldn't quite describe Pizzeria Locale's take on this well-known cheese). Salute!

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: Touted as an "elegantly casual setting" Pizzeria Locale allows guests to indulge in rich hand-crafted pizzas topped with fresh and inventive ingredients.

Hope's expert tip: Grab a patio seat and order up the Vesuvius salad for starters, then move onto the main event with the Filetto pizza.

Read more about Pizzeria Locale →

The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Rio Grande

Serving some of the best authentic Mexican cuisine for lunch including, their Lunch Combo-half a quesadilla and your choice of soup or salad. For something a bit more calorie packed, Rio's Custom nachos offer a concoction of cheese, your choice of meat, and guacamole. But what would a Mexican restaurant be without tacos? Rio's Tequilla Shrimp tacos are light, fresh, and filling while still packing a flavorful punch. But don't forget the margaritas: Rio Margs (as they're lovingly called by Boulderites) will have you singing, "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila...FLOOR!" These liquid desserts are consistently ranked #1 in the area by bloggers, beverage magazines, and locals alike.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: The Rio is known for its margaritas, unmatched roof-top seating, and fresh Mexican fare.

Hope's expert tip: Hands down, the best margaritas in town! These babies pack a powerful punch and, as such, the limit is 3 per person. But don't worry, after you drink your fill you can top it off with one of their delicious Tequila Shrimp Tacos.

Read more about The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant →

Responsibly-sourced, farm-to-table, seafood options await as guests dive into a food adventure at Wild Standard. From the nautical-themed dining room to the carts and trays whirling about with fresh fish overflowing, you'll feel as if you're bobbing along on the bottom of the sea. Feeling the desire to imbibe a bit? Wild Standard offers their Siren Call Libation Exploration, which encourages guests to learn about 3 different regions from which tasty drink concoctions hale and, from there, pick their proverbial poison. Items to pair with your drives include decadent oysters, Nut Encrusted Colorado Trout, the Mahi-Mahi complete with coconut green curry and Jasmine Rice, and much more.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: A new and fresh concept, Wild Standard introduces cart and tray service peddling sustainably sourced seafood delights in a nautically inspired atmosphere.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to order from the raw bar and indulge in shared plates.

Read more about Wild Standard →

Local Soul Patch Farm provides Salt with its amazing ingredients to bring guests fresh, organic, produce and meats at a reasonable price-point. For lunch, try the juicy Tom's Tavern Burger or, for something healthier, the Roasted Beet Salad. For dinner, indulge in the Pastured Flank Steak with pan roasted potatoes or the Wild Alaskan Salmon. Salt also boasts a killer Happy Hour menu featuring their Organic Blue Corn Tacos and other nibbles that can be washed down with a variety of local beers from Upslope Brewing Company or their Featured Cocktail which changes regularly. Salt's kitchen is also GMO-free, so guests can rest assured that their meals are healthy without any additives.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: This farm-to-table delight offers fresh eats, organic options, and an excellent happy hour menu.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to try the Roasted Beet Salad for a savory and healthy treat!

Read more about SALT - Boulder →

Enjoy fine sushi and Japanese cuisine in contemporary-styled Asian surroundings. Appetizers include black cod marinated in miso, green lip mussels, spicy calamari, and lobster pot stickers with a wasabi dressing. Entrees include beef, chicken and vegetable tempura, salmon teriyaki, sushi, and sashimi. Some of their more affordable and yummy lunch options include the Chicken Teriyaki, vegetable gyoza, or the hand rolls plate complete with tuna, yellow-tale, salmon, and California style. Also, be sure to try their light and fresh 4-piece California roll or Japanese lo-mein. For dessert, we highly recommend just a bit of Japango's plum wine. But don't go overboard, as it packs a sweet punch.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: Japango is Boulder's go-to for fresh and inventive sushi dishes. It's elegant vibe and exceptional service ensures that even the snobbiest of sushi-snobs leaves impressed.

Hope's expert tip: The 4-piece California roll is sure to satisfy.

Read more about Japango →

Black Cat is the epitome of a Farm-to-Table restaurant, in fact, that's what this Boulder favorite is known for. Pulling fresh, seasonal, ingredients from their 130-acre farm paradise situated just outside Boulder, Chef Eric Skokan and his wife, Jill, harvest their farm every day to bring from-the-vine delights. They also raise sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. One of our favorites, the Beet Potato Napoleon features quinoa cereal crust, elderberry gastrique,house-made ricotta, and spinach. Want to splurge a little? Try their Colorado Beef Ribeye complete with orange scented oats, carrots, and crispy capers. Keep in mind that this Farm-to-Table gem prepares seasonal delights, so their menu is ever-changing, meaning you can always find something new and fresh.

Recommended for Pearl Street's Best Restaurants because: Black Cat of Boulder offers inventive farm-to-table options. Not to mention, Chef Eric Skokan is always fine-tuning the menu for seasonal variety.

Hope's expert tip: In addition to its local fare, Black Cat also offers an impressive wine list. Be sure to have a glass, or two.

Read more about Black Cat →


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope