Thai Avenue Rice & Noodles
1310 College Ave., #220 Boulder 303-443-1737
Despite Thai Avenue Rice & Noodle’s humble appearance, quick service setup and rock-bottom prices, it unquestionably stands as one of Boulder’s top choices for Thai. Located in a basement food court on University Hill, this order-at-the-counter spot dishes out heaping portions of top-notch Pad Thai, with subtle hints of tamarind and egg. The red curry stands out for its winning complexity of flavor, punctuated by the perfume of fresh basil.
The West End Tavern
926 Pearl St., Boulder 303-444-3535
It’s easy to associate the West End Tavern with bar staples like chicken wings and beer, which are in fact available. But this association doesn’t acknowledge this eatery’s considerable acumen in replicating American cookout standards. Back-to-basics choices like the Tavern burger, with its unpretentious pairing of Colorado’s Best Beef meat and aged cheddar, illustrate how the simple can create great satisfaction. Barbecued items from the smoker, such as pulled pork, beef brisket and ribs, are also worthwhile selections evoking summer tastes.
450 Main St., Lyons 303-823-501
Fork provides a top-notch weekend brunch experience. Hospitable
service, a bright and comfortable familyfriendly ambience, and
skillfully prepared fare make for a lowkey but quality meal. Top choices
include the Haystack goat cheese and zucchini fritters with a spunky
aioli, and the hefty French toast, garnished with toasted almonds, sour
cream and a pleasantly complex apple compote.
StarLite Diner and Lounge
1750 29th St., Suite 1064, Boulder 303-443-1559
to the ’50s eatery theme, the StarLite Diner and Lounge features
burgers, sandwiches and pizza, as well as breakfast faves like French
toast and Denver omelets. There’s also an assortment of ice cream
treats, including milkshakes and hot fudge sundaes. New York pizza
adherents will enjoy the thincrusted pies, and burger fans will
appreciate the reasonably priced grass-fed offering.
191 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette 303-665-1713
in a Lafayette strip mall, Udon Kaisha offers Japanese noodles and
sushi of high quality at exceptional prices. Noodle items include thick
udon, as well as more svelte ramen, available in a variety of broths.
Sushi selections are simple, eschewing such exotica as sea urchin roe in
favor of crowd-pleasing staples like salmon and tuna. Can’t-miss
selections include the $5 yellowtail and scallion sushi roll, as well as
the shoyu (soy sauce) broth udon noodles.
South Mouth Memphis Hot Wings
1650 Broadway, Suite A Boulder 303-449-9464
new South Mouth Memphis Hot Wings offers its namesake poultry
appendages with a choice of 10 specific sauce varieties. Prices range
from $6.95 for five party wings to $72.95 for 16 pounds of Memphis
wings, which are trimmed differently from the party variety. Besides the
classic hot wings, other endearingly fiery choices include the
Asian-influenced sriracha and the fruit-and-fire combination of the
721 Confidence Dr. Longmont 720-204-6455
Comida Cantina, the bricks-and-mortar spinoff of its namesake Mexican
food truck, is a vibrant destination for South of the Border street
food. Diners can choose from a number of gorditas, tostadas and tacos
served in the traditional street style. Top choices include the pork,
slowcooked in Stella Artois beer; toothsome arrachera, a take on carne
asada; and the hefty chorizo gordita.
The Louisville Rex
817 Main St. Louisville 303-666-6224
of the main attractions of The Louisville Rex is its expansive yet
comfortable rooftop deck. This spot is reminiscent of a warm-weather
resort spot and makes for either a fine staycation venue or just a place
to knock back a few with friends after work. The bar food classics are
another strong suit, and these include Buffalo chicken wings and a
decidedly guilty pleasure, fried pickles.
Moe’s Original Bar B Que
675 30th St., Boulder 303-440-4BBQ
a stone’s throw from Williams Village, Moe’s Original Bar B Que is the
Boulder outpost of a ‘cue operation that originated in Alabama. It
spotlights sandwiches and platters featuring such classic choices as
brisket, pulled pork, hot links and fried catfish. One of the top
choices is a platter of falling-off-the-bone ribs with bright fried
green tomatoes and creamy banana pudding to finish.
Royal Clay Oven
5290 Arapahoe Road, Unit B, Boulder 303-444-1626
Located in East Boulder
on Arapahoe, the Royal Clay Oven dishes out a reasonably priced lunch
buffet with an emphasis on freshness and service. The lime-marinated
tandoori chicken has a lively citrus undertone, and vindi masala, spiced
okra, has a pleasant crisp-tender consistency. The staff constantly
replenishes such items as the hearty potatofilled samosa, ensuring that
diners enjoy fare fresh from the oven.
218 Coffman St., Longmont 303-772-6954
a hospitable, homey, Key West feel with a menu of fresh seafood
prepared in the manner of the Caribbean, Mexico and New Orleans,
Longmont’s Tortugas is an easy winner. Noteworthy dishes include the
Creole BBQ shrimp appetizer wrapped in bacon, and the bright-tasting
shrimp Mojo, with a Cuban citrus, garlic and olive oil sauce. Chocolate
bourbon bread pudding is an exquisite dessert, among the best endings
1047 Pearl St., Boulder 303-444-SALT
Boulder’s SALT Bistro, one of the newest entrants in the affordable
midday meal sweepstakes, now serves a “farm-to-table” lunch for $9.
choices include the Reuben, made with pork belly instead of corned
beef. The meatless eater will favor the quinoa and chickpea fritters.
Preferred sides include the tomato soup garnished with a tiny grilled
cheese wedge and the beet or apple salads, for $2 more.
Jai Ho Indian Kitchen, Bar and Lounge
1915 28th St., Boulder 303-444-5151
Jai Ho, the Boulder
spinoff of a popular Aurora restaurant, offers an intriguing blend of
Northern and Southern Indian food, ranging from street-style eats to the
ubiquitous lunchtime buffet. The buffet offers a fine opportunity to
appreciate the skilled spicing of such dishes as the creamy chicken
Tikka Masala and its fiery chile-based relation, Vindaloo. The dosa, a
crisp, cylindrical crepe, is also a winner, featuring hefty veggie
stuffing and subtle sourdough tang.