Boulder has some really wonderful restaurants. Our top picks include:
Frasca Food and Wine, 173 Pearl: I had a great meal at Frasca, which is a neighborhood restaurant that they say is inspired by the cuisine and culture of Friuli Italy. It has been featured in many publications. The chef, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, having worked at the famous French Laundry in Yountville CA, moved to Boulder in 2003. In July 2005, he was named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs and in 2008, Lachlan was again nominated and named by the James Beard Foundation as the Best Chef in the Southwest Region of the United States. Frasca received the James Beard Foundation award in 2013 for Best Wine Program.
The Kitchen: Had a great brunch at The Kitchen, a community bistro, located at 1039 Pearl Street, just west of the pedestrian mall. It has a great farm-to-table menu and an attractive décor! I recommend the Kedgeree – curried rice with smoked salmon, hard boiled egg and parsley. Next to The Kitchen is the Kitchen Next Door, a community pub with a farm-to-table inspired menu featuring pub food served in a casual atmosphere.
Cafe Aion: At 1235 Pennsylvania Ave. in The Hill neighborhood near the University of Colorado, this a fun tapas restaurant serving some great dishes. I really enjoyed the gazpacho and a tasty vegetarian tagine. They had a good wine list including some great summer rosé wines.
Oak at Fourteenth: Always near the top of Boulder’s contemporary restaurants, this was a great dinner choice with friends. It was very busy on a Saturday night. I loved the shaved apple and kale salad and the pan seared scallops.
Jax Fish House, 928 Pearl Street: Recommended as a good seafood restaurant.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th St.: One of my favorite finds, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art, was this authentic Asian teahouse. The Teahouse was given to Boulder by its sister city, Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. It was taken down, crated, and shipped to Boulder where it was reassembled. It has a beautifully carved and painted ceiling, colorful ceramic tiles on the exterior and a central pool and fountain. The restaurant serves great teas and has an innovative menu often with tea as an ingredient. They are open for brunch.
Trident Booksellers & Café, 940 Pearl Street: A fun coffee house and café, with bookstore and concert series at the SandBox Theater.
Two Spoons at 1021 Pearl St. has some great gelato to try as you walk around town. In the winter their focus is on soup. Fior di Latte has excellent gelato at 1433 Pearl St. and Ozo Coffee Co. is a great latte spot at 1015 Pearl St.
Other options that have recently received good press include Pizzeria Locale which was a Bon Appetit Best new Restaurant Nominee in 2012, SALT Bistro, Flagstaff House for its excellent wine selection and Dot’s Diner for its great breakfasts. A local friend also likes l’Atelier at 1739 Pearl St. for French food. The Walnut Cafe is highly recommended for it excellent breakfasts at 3073 Walnut St.; there is another location at 673 S. Broadway. The Mediterranean Restaurant at 1002 Walnut St. has received great reviews also. Black Cat Farm Table Bistro is also recommended as the chef raises many of the vegetables plus ducks, pigs and beef cattle for his meats on his 130 acres of organic fields and pastures.
I just read that Top Chef Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg just opened Blackbelly Market at 1606 Conestoga St. #3. I am excited to try it on my next visit. It is in East Boulder and features a farm to table plus a Butcher Shop and Grab and Go Market.