Simple Cravings: Favorite Restaurants in Boulder, Colorado

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We honestly don’t eat out THAT much – Maybe twice a month? Sometimes more? All we really know at this moment is that we miss the crap out of our infrequent outings. We worry about the ability for restaurants to make it through this mess. I can’t bring myself to say the word anymore.

My brother in law owns a restaurant in Orange County, California and is wondering if his place will make it through. This breaks my heart for him as he’s had it for over 30 years. That’s a damn long-time for a restaurant to be in business. It’s such an institution, I am hopeful his community will pull him out of the abyss.

Sean and I put together some of our favorite eateries in Boulder, Colorado – we cannot wait to get back out there and support our local ‘friends’. We’ll most likely move forward slowly, but we WILL be back out there to help keep these folks in business. Local restaurants are the heart of our communities.

Here’s our list with images pulled from instagram. What restaurants do you all miss in your hometown? Anyone else craving anything??


Cured specializes in European-style sandwiches, fresh salads, house-made pastas and pates – all fantastic for a picnic, concert or tailgate. They also prepare some beautiful charcuterie boards. YUM. My mouth waters just thinking about this place!

Blackbelly is one of our go-to’s when we want a nice date-night out. We like to sit at the bar which has a direct line of sight to the kitchen. The food, atmosphere, wine and cocktails are always delish. They also sell take-home fresh meats, cheeses, soups, and a ramen kit (we’re trying it this weekend).

Sean held out on me on this one for a LONG time. We finally went last summer and I fell in love with this place. Yummy Chinese with a street food flare. There is a new location in Union Station in downtown Denver, which I have not tried yet. We also appreciate their commitment to sustainability per their website:

SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE: NO TIPPING! 15% is included to provide full-time living wage, renewable program, recycling program, more organics products, and more cage-free products. 

Pizzeria Locale Boulder is the brain-child of Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson – James Beard awarded restauranteurs who own some of the top rated restaurants in the Boulder/Denver area. They felt the best pizza in the world originated in Naples, Italy. So, in order to replicate the best pizza in the world, they sent their culinary director to Naples for half a year, to learn the art of making dough and traditional topping combinations from local pizzaiol. This full service restaurant also has an incredible wine list with some wonderful wines on tap.

This concept is so good, Chipotle came sniffing around and built a partnership with the founders. There are a handful of “fast casual” Pizzeria Locales throughout Denver, featuring classic 4-ingredient dough, a simplified menu, and custom-designed oven that cooks pizzas within minutes.

One of our favorite things to do on Sunday’s is to take a long hike and then get our Mexican food fix here at T/aco. T/aco is located in a quaint, rustic spot in downtown Boulder. The ‘street’ tacos and margaritas are a great post-hike/Sunday funday – enough said!

Jax has been a staple in the Denver/Boulder area for over 25 years. We love to come here and chow down on some fresh seafood – their oysters are the jewel on the menu. They partnered with Rappahannock River Oysters (RRO) in Virginia to develop their own proprietary oyster – Emersum Oyster. (As in ’em are some good oysters.’) The atmosphere in the Boulder location is always bustling with good vibes.

Rosetta Hall is a new concept to the Boulder area, but not new to cities like New York City or even Denver. The owners hand-picked up and coming chefs who run eight stalls with food from China to West Africa. There are two bars serving up some delicious drinks and, by night, the whole thing becomes a club. There is also a rooftop patio we are dying to try. From the looks of it, the views of the local flatirons is pretty sweet.

It’s a fun place to experience more ethnically diverse food options under one roof. The people watching is pretty great too.

Brasserie Ten Ten is a French inspired bistro in downtown Boulder. It is one of my favorite places for brunch. I’d say the bakery selection of fresh patisserie rivals what you experience in France. The patio is a great place to hang on a beautiful day. Hang in there BTT – we are coming soon!

We can’t wait to support our favorites and express gratitude for bringing us so much joy over the years.

…i choose this….



  1. These all look so good! You are lucky to have such a thriving and innovative food scene.

    My recent background was in the restaurant industry and my heart breaks for them all. Living outside NYC I have too many favorites to name!

    Some have become friends though, and we pick up once a week, spreading the love across as many as we can. We are very careful, but I know how hard they all work and want to do all I can to help.

    Again – a wonderful article. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are super lucky. You are lucky being so close to NYC πŸ’•. I can hardly stand seeing what is happening. Years ago, my ex and I owned a restaurant in Houston and it was a tough business! What did u do in the industry?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I worked for The Chef’s Warehouse. As a matter of fact, the last region I opened up for them was Texas, with facilities in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. I agree – restaurants are HARD work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoyed visiting my son for the day when he lived in Boulder (CU days). Lots of good eateries. Yeah, things are tough for a lot of folks these days. I’m afraid we’re in for a 2 year roller coaster ride that will be challenging for all of us. I sure hope your brother-in-law can hang in there. Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with a failing biz due to no fault of our own. Heartbreaking!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We were a custom/semi-custom home builder in southern Colorado. Son graduated from CU with a biz degree and daughter from CSU with a biz degree. Rivals in our household πŸ˜ƒ


  3. Man oh man, this is a difficult post to read. LOOK AT THAT GOOD FOOD. Our favorite local restaurant seems to have given up already, couldn’t make it. I’m hoping the notice online is a mistake, but I fear it might not be. And suddenly I want a pear martini and their fabulous crab cakes. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like you’ve eaten out quite a lot and/or have some great restaurants. Like you we have been yearning for the time when we can wander along to our local eateries (& bars of course!). Though in Switzerland, from Monday, the restaurants are allowed to open – with restrictions – like tables 2 metres apart and a reduced number of total covers. I only hope they can still make ends meet. 🀞🀞

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So many wonderful places to eat in Boulder. There used to be a fantastic place along the Pearl Street Mall there called “Gondolier” I think? Had the best homemade pasta. I don’t know if they’re still open because I haven’t been to Boulder in awhile, which I really should remedy one of these days. I hope your brother-in-law’s place can stay open 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You know what I really do!! πŸ™‚ I actually love Boulder. My husband and I got married in Estes Park, but we almost chose that nice spot in Chautauqua Park right in front of the flatirons. Turns out we would have needed too many permits πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Now I’m hungry they all look and sound so good. I really miss dining out too, we have so many great places to eat near us too. Those that have been doing takeaway we are supporting and others we are hoping will get through this ok. Sadly many of them are quite small which makes them attractive but I’m worried with distancing that even when they can reopen will it be viable for them to have fewer customers. It makes me sad for what the other side of this will look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam, this is a tough for almost everyone especially travel and food industry. It is really difficult to survive. Here in India, some of the standalone restaurants closed and some on the verge. Some of them have started contactless delivery as well. Though we too go out less for restaurant food but yes as far as cravings is concerned, this lockdown has taught me to cook my favourite restaurant food at home! Haha… That is the positive side.😊😊

    All the recommendations by you looks good. Drooling images! πŸ™‚

    It’s a long time no see of you on my blog! It is always pleasure to read from you. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been cooking a LOT – and let me just say – that is a very new thing! I am whipping up some good stuff at least once a week! For some reason your posts aren’t showing up in my feed!! Will make sure I check on you at least once a week! I hope your favorite restaurants make it through the mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You cooking! That’s awesome. Would love to see your creations.

        You not able to see my posts on feed!!? That’s strange. Sure, dear. I will await your visit on my blog. Cheers!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. what a great post right now -(glad you chose it – ha)
    to highlight such great food and shout out to the industry many of us took for granted. We actually eat out less and less these days – but or eateries are more than just grabbing food- well they can be great for that – but they are an important part of the culture for meetings, events, celebrations, etc.
    And I hope too many do not close and that every one rebounds

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My mouth is absolutely watering, Pam, just looking at the photos. We are doing what we can to support the local restaurants. Many of them offer take -out. We try to take advantage of the offer once a week. Like you, we fear the devastation caused to restaurants by the pandemic. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? we cannot wait! I think it’s smart that some have embraced the take-out strategy – generally means they weren’t forgotten during this time and may bounce back a little faster. (at least I hope so)


  10. I too am looking forward to restaurants and cafΓ©s reopening in France so we can go back to our local favorites and support them the best way we can. Not saying that I’ll be eating out all the time, of course, but I will definitely be picky and choose whom I want to help growing back up: hopefully, everyone will learn from the crisis and keep on choosing eco-friendly, conscious, locally-provided restaurants and cafΓ©s that also try to mind their own ecological footprints.
    it’s not always easy but it is something we all need to start considering in order for them to change to the best and keep being appealing to all of us. As we’re making the same changes at home too.

    You had me drooling here… I’ll head straight into my own kitchen right now, to try and cope with the envy… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Juls on selecting the locally provided restaurants. Thank goodness we have a lot of those. I would say each of these on my list hold up to your standards :-). I just pulled some banana bread out of the oven. OMG. and I wonder why I have gained 10 lbs. haha. Have a great weekend Juls!


      1. Your standards are great! Thanks for doing your part on your side too! πŸ˜‰ Definitely more people joining us!

        We’ve gained weight so as to have a good excuse to go back hiking! Hahaha.
        And a lovely weekend to you too! Xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Italian Pizza. Last summer, visiting Chamonix, we drove an hour and through an expensive tunnel so we could get get italian pizza for lunch. It was excellent, but no better than the walk-up pizza trailer right next door to our French apartment. The restaurants in Gettysburg just aren’t good enough to pine over. We’ve (infrequently) gotten carryout Thai and Pizza. I’m certain half our restaurants will be gone a year from now. They are all independents and I get the impression they are somewhat hurting financially most of the time anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My wife is a phenomenal cook. Things are tricky right now. Three of us just became vegetarians. I think there will be a lot of empty storefronts after this. I know we’ve made some online shopping habits we’re unlikely to break.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. oh, I hope you post about the vegetarian experience with your athletic pursuits. I don’t know if I have the willpower :-(.

          Online shopping – is the devil! I have the same issue – you are not alone. lol

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Being a vegetarian doesn’t seem to be causing any problems with exercise. I’d love to know what it’s doing for my cholesterol. After giving up alcohol and meat over the last five years, I ought to live forever.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Yum! Yum! Yum! We have a Chinese restaurant that we love. We usually have lunch there a few times a month. We always get their tuna sushi and hot & sour soup along with a dish, but I’ve craved those two and we’ve ordered from them a few times.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh my God, do you have some awesome places! I tell people that as soon as restaurants open I’m going for the biggest Mexican meal I can find and the biggest skinny margarita! I miss trying new restaurants with my girlfriends, but hopefully one day. I know I stay healthier and thinner by eating at home.

    Thanks for sharing all these fabulous spots!

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You have given voice to our concern for our Food Service folks in Singapore – we have a few friends and favourite places we frequent, and they have been on our minds.

    Like you, we don’t eat out that much – or so we thought. I guess when you can’t, you realise how much you miss it. We have been fortunate in Singapore – most restaurants & food courts have remained opened for take-out. I think ours is a culture which doesn’t cook at home, so the decision to allow takeout and food deliveries was made.

    But we are still keeping fingers crossed that they will come out of this ok. We have already heard many sad stories of age-old institutions shutting as they do not think they can hold any longer. Hope your brother-in-law makes it through ok.

    On a happier note, thank you for this fabulous buffet of beautiful photos! I am particularly taken by Blackbelly’s long wooden table – it looks so inviting and artistic! But of course, my favourite image is from Taco Boulder. I love love love Fish Tacos but we don’t have a taco place here that I really care for, so I feast with my eyes! – but I don’t spot a fish taco in their photo spread … 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see a business opportunity for you to open a taco shop in Singapore. :-). Glad to hear your restaurants have been open for takeout – ours have been as well, but not all have taken the opportunity to do so. Sad to hear some of your oldies but goodies are closing :-(. Thanks for the sweet support on my BNL.

      We are slowly opening up here in Colorado – hoping to get to that long table in the coming weeks :-).

      Cheers Ju-Lyn – always love your visits!


      1. Sigh – I am afraid the discipline of running a food joint will be too much for me!!!!

        Hope the easing of restrictions proceeds smoothly – and that you get to enjoy your favourite dining places again soon!

        Keep safe & well, Pam!

        Liked by 1 person

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