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Best of Boulder 2012
Boulder is one of the most famous little cities in the country. It’s one of the foodiest towns, one of the best destinations for an outdoors enthusiast and one of the best places to live for a local-food advocate. What makes it the best are the businesses and the people unique to this town.
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Best of Boulder: Food part 1
American food encompasses everything from burgers and pizza to pulled pork sandwiches and more elevated fare such as grilled Florida shrimp. The offerings from this year’s winners reflect the diversity of the national cuisine, and Chef Bradford Heap’s downtown Boulder venue, SALT,.
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There’s no better way to tap into your inner redneck than to hit a barbecue joint and plunge elbow deep into a rack of ribs. Wash it down with a cold beer and it’s like you never left the one-horse town from which you came. Boulder County might not have the barbecue cachet of Memphis, St.
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Best Big Breakfast for the Bucks
When you talk about breakfast foods, bacon is the pop star with the No. 1 hit on iTunes, the glitzy live show and the legions of adoring teenage fans tweeting “I LUV UR SONGZ OMG LOL!!!” Sausage is the indie band that always put out good albums but that never really made it onto the radio.
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If there’s such a thing as corporate jujitsu, one of the most vital skills is selecting an appropriate venue for that mystical ritual known as the business lunch. The ideal locale cannot be too extravagant, lest your colleagues mistake you for a free-spending Bernie Madoff sort, nor can it sink to the level of Mickey D’s.
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Reader Comment
You never know where the treasure is going to be — or at least not more than a few hours before you leave for your adventure — and you never know what obstacles you will have to face to get there. And you will likely be fighting off other crazed Boulderites to arrive before the treasure drives off into the horizon.
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Best of Boulder: Food part 2
The choices in our town are myriad. It’s like touring the old country without the cost of airline tickets. Northern cuisine one day, food from the southern provinces the next and a dose of Italian street food the day after that. Our readers picked Pasta Jay’s.
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Late Night Food COSMO’S PIZZA
For some reason, food just seems to taste better when you’re eating it after midnight. Whether you’ve been up all night cramming for that modern Chinese history final, stalking your ex-boyfriend (and planning revenge) on Facebook, or getting to the bottom of as many pint glasses as possible, chances are you’re hungry.
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Reader Comment
Third Place: Jax Fish House Fourth Place: SALT the Bistro Fifth Place: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.
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Mexican Restaurant EFRAIN’S
Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or a break-up, the beginning of your 20s or the end of your 30s, a great Mexican restaurant takes your usual shebang, gives it a swift kick in the piñata, dresses it in a vibrant poncho, and transforms it into a fiesta.
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Reader Comment
We’ve always wondered why more restaurants didn’t follow the McDonald’s model and have a play area for the kids to blow off some steam and leave the grownups to enjoy a semi-quiet meal in peace. Well, Noodles.
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Place To Eat Outdoors
Authentic Mediterranean tools introduce the unaffiliated to how Italians prepare pizza in Napoli, Italy. The Locale’s dedication abroad and specialized equipment make a statement as pronounced and unapologetic as its Pearl Street façade — Pizzeria Locale makes pizza, and they’re kind of a big deal.
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Reader Comment
This is one of the main destinations to bring out-of-town guests. But the Teahouse is not alone. We also recommend the second-place winner, the Flagstaff House, which has views, food and a wine list to die for..
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Sandwich SNARF’S
Wings should be spicy, sloppy and saucy. The more ranch and blue cheese to cool you down, the better. Fatty J’s Pizza.
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Best of Boulder 2012: Drink
Third Place: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Fourth Place: Old Chicago Fifth Place: Walnut Brewery.
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Reader Comment
Runner-up SALT has a mix-it-yourself menu that demystifies the cocktail mixology, but their flourish ensures that whatever select items you add to your local vodka or gin will dazzle you off your barstool..
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These babies are potent. (The margaritas, not the enchiladas.) The sign says “Limit 3,” and they mean it! The last time we had three of these bad boys and then went bar-hopping, we, um, prayed to the porcelain god. So take it easy on the chips and spicy salsa, because that will just make you want to suck the margs down even faster.
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Reader Comment
Ozo Coffee Company’s team likes to roll up their sleeves and deliver finely crafted private roasts. Proprietary flavors abound at Ozo, and the variety and foundational flavors have dazzled and possibly befuddled, but nevertheless pleased and impressed.
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Lattes, frothy little cups of espresso and milk, are perfect for those seeking the caffeine high from an espresso shot without the strong and sometimes bitter taste of coffee. In fact, the milk tends to hide the flavor of the coffee, especially if flavoring or sugar is added as well.
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Third Place: Conor O’Neill’s Fourth Place: West End Tavern Fifth Place: Dark Horse Bar and Grill.
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Another no-brainer here. This is a Boulder jewel, one of those places you have to take Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Reginald when they come to town for a long weekend. And you may not be aware that, despite the amazingly carved, painted and decorated building, the real star here is the tea.
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Living in the Napa Valley of microbrews, it’s not tough to find a place to drink great beer. It’s tough to pick any one place to fill your pint glass over another. But once again this year, readers have spoken (as if the persistent hour-long wait to get a table even on a Tuesday night didn’t tell you): The Suns win it.
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All right, we admit it. We went to the Roundhouse Distillery because we heard the place was producing great gin, and it is. But somewhere along the way we became distracted by the small craft distillery’s Corretto Coffee Liqueur..
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Best of Boulder 2012: Entertainment
Contemporary, cutting-edge art tends to be within the purview of the crowded urban world. We think of such art as needing a large population to contain the diverse tastes required to properly support contemporary art and its challenging exhibitions. But the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
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Reader Comment
Possibly the only place better than Pearl Street to dance like a gypsy, go showerless, drink beer and pass out in a flower bed is a music festival. This year, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
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Reader Comment
regional favorites like the Boulder Ballet Company to international headliners like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Boulder Theater has been bringing performing arts to Boulder since 1906.
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Of course, the open bar and party atmosphere encourage your generosity, as evidenced by the bidding wars that break out during the night’s live auction. What really makes HSBV so doggone awesome is its unparalleled commitment to ­— and the joy with which it serves — the greater animal community.
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Classical Music
In the days of yore, long, long ago, when recessions were something that happened to other countries and people could get by with just one full-time job, people went back to school for fun. This was also when fun was possible. These days, continuing education is becoming a necessity as the workforce becomes more and more competitive.
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Reader Comment
Third Place: Friends School Fourth Place: September High School Fifth Place: Boulder Country Day School.
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Reader Comment
“I have never, EVER, been to as great a theater as the Bo at The Dairy Center when it comes to good, independent films. They have great local beer you can take into the theater, the sound is great, and the chairs are comfy. When they have ‘talkbacks’ after the film, it is a great shared experience.
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Reader Comment
Third place goes to DJ Petey, who holds down the fort at Absinthe House Thursday nights, and Dirtmonkey and Godlazer round out the field of winners..
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Place to Play Pool
Third Place: The Attic Bar & Bistro Fourth Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Fifth Place: Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill/Pearl Street Pub and Cellar (tie).
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Fundraising Event KBCO STUDIO C
Boulderites love supporting a good cause, and everyone seems to have their own issues for which their passions run high. There very well might be some kind of fundraiser for everything from conservation to canines every weekend, and that makes winning best fundraising event no small feat.
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Local Musician/Group
Legend has it that, as a boy, St. Julian the Hospitaller, patron saint of innkeepers, met a stag in the woods that foretold that Julian would murder his parents. Julian fled his home, thinking he could beat fate. And of course, by tragic plot twist, he ended up killing them anyway.
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Best of Boulder 2012: Fitness & Health
They’re testing out new ropes, and their route setters occasionally place totally wicked and absurd climbs that defy the standards of gym climbing and get you working on skills you’ll use when you’re climbing where you really want to be climbing: outside.
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Reader Comment
Best medical facility is a lot like having a best cop category. You’re not likely to be sitting around, wishing for an opportunity to see one, but when you need one, few things are more appreciated. The fact that Boulder Community Hospital.
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Climbing Gym
They’re testing out new ropes, and their route setters occasionally place totally wicked and absurd climbs that defy the standards of gym climbing and get you working on skills you’ll use when you’re climbing where you really want to be climbing: outside.
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Dental Care
The first written record of distilling Scotch Whiskey is appropriately found in Scotland and dated from 1494. It is equally fitting that shortly thereafter, drunken Scotsmen started playing a game wherein they used sticks to hit a rock across a field and into a small hole.
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Gym/Fitness Center
The salon is dedicated to not only teasing out your natural beauty, but also to preserving the natural beauty of the planet. They offset their energy use, recycle all their color tubes and foils, and are a zero-waste paper salon. In fact, it seems like the only thing that travels from this salon to a landfill is your hair.
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Martial Arts
Martial arts classes are great for learning patience, control, respect and how to break a board in half with your forehead. Punching and blocking its way to the top spot for martial arts classes is Boulder Karate. Youngsters and older folks alike head to Boulder Karate.
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Reader Comment
The traditional barbershop isn’t quite in danger of going the way of the dodo, but it’s in the same category as the Couch’s Spadefoot — threatened.
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Nail Salon
Joseph Pilates should have set up shop in years ago when he first created the core-strengthening exercises that share his name. In Boulder, where there is an emphasis on staying fit, Pilates is a favorite of those who want a great core workout, and this year Boulder Bodyworks.
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In only two places in the world is it just naturally assumed that a yoga practice will fit into your lifecycle at some point: Boulder and yoga’s home country of India.
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Best of Boulder 2012: Retail
Any quality arts and crafts endeavor requires a whole plethora of goodies –– paint, glitter, construction paper, glue, glitter, markers, colored pencils, glitter, glitter, glitter –– you get the picture.
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Musical Instruments
Maybe you’re finally ready to live out your rock star dreams. Or maybe you’re just sick of Boulder’s music scene and are ready to start your own band. Or maybe, just maybe, you want to get your kid any and every instrument to see what sticks, with the hopes of being able to mooch off their fame and fortune for decades to come.
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Bicycle Shop
For advanced riders needing attention to detail, University Bicycles offers performance mountain and road rigs with service packages that include custom fitting and assembly for your next project. Which is why once again, University Bicycles has climbed the podium as Best of Boulder’s.
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Hardware Store
McGuckin smokes the competition in this category every year. We like to say that if you can’t find it at McGuckin, it doesn’t exist. This place is that comprehensive. And it’s way more than hardware. They throw in a bunch of other stuff, too, like outdoor gear and, at Christmas time, those little ceramic houses with moving parts and lighted windows.
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Clothing Men’s
Whoever said your clothing can’t be functional and stylish? Boulder is consistently listed as one the fittest cities in the nation, so it’s no surprise then that readers have voted Recreational Equipment, Inc.,.
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CD/Record Store
What’s better than the best costume shop in Boulder carrying the best, most outrageous costumes? Well, that same shop carrying super funky and fashionable everyday jewelry, boutique clothing, nutty party supplies and fun little gifts. It’s things like this that provide the perfect excuse to visit The Ritz.
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Dry Cleaner
Driving on U.S. 36, with a cell phone nudged between shoulder and ear, and a piping hot caramel macchiato in hand, the last thing the early morning commuter thinks about when there’s a sudden stop on the highway is balancing a drink.
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Grocery Store
Boulder is noted for being a foodie’s town, but our obsession with good food is not limited to the restaurants we dine in. The many at-home chefs, health-conscious parents and on-the-go students have a couple of things in common: They like good food and don’t have a lot of time to find it.
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Gift Shop
With hard-to-find kitchen gadgets, spices, trinkets, linens and flatware crowding their shelves, chances are you’ll be leaving with a gift for yourself. Runner-up Bliss, located farther east on Pearl, is a chic boutique offering both new and vintage wares.
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Best of Boulder 2012: Retail part II
This is not how it works. What you are missing is being able to relax beyond your wildest dreams. While your body heats, your head can be enjoying the gently falling snow, and it’s this temperature duality that makes hot tubbing such a unique experience.
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Home Furnishings
This is not how it works. What you are missing is being able to relax beyond your wildest dreams. While your body heats, your head can be enjoying the gently falling snow, and it’s this temperature duality that makes hot tubbing such a unique experience.
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Reader Comment
The celebrity-worthy luxury of the St Julien sets these posh digs apart once again. Even for Boulder locals, it’s hard not to drool when walking by the St Julien’s tinted windows, tuxedoed valets and stone façade.
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Reader Comment
Underwear is always so much cooler than over-wear — but there’s only one sweltering lingerie store that makes underwear hot. Piping hot. Christina’s.
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Liquor Store
Now our mattresses bend, fold, form to our bodies, adjust to our individual preferences for soft or firm, and even allow us to jump up and down on our beds without spilling wine. We’re not sure how that last one improves our lives, but it’s pretty cool.
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