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5 Great Reasons to Become a Foodie in Boulder

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Boulder, Colorado, where outdoor recreation and a stellar food scene unite. Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious meal after an active day spent hiking, biking, river tubing, or skiing? Not the Boulderite foodies! According to Wikipedia, a foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and who eats not only out of hunger but also as a hobby. “Eating food as a hobby” is Boulder’s middle name! 

Welcome to the town that Bon Appétit magazine called “America’s Foodiest City” and where nine restaurants were recommended by the MICHELIN Guide! There’s no shortage of eateries in Boulder for foodies to enjoy; check out these five amazing restaurants that take gastronomy seriously while still having a good time!

1. Blackbelly

Blackbelly is “Top Chef Season 5” champion Hosea Rosenberg’s first restaurant, which focuses on sustainable, locally sourced foods, including the whole-animal artisan butcher shop attached to the restaurant. The MICHELIN Guide honored the restaurant with a green star for sustainability efforts and recognized butcher Kelly Kawachi as Colorado’s Best Young Chef in 2023. 

Blackbelly is a farmhouse-chic eatery where you can enjoy a full bar and menu items such as charcuterie, crispy pig ears, Koji Cured Heritage Pork, Alaskan Halibut in a saffron consommé, pasture-raised beef, and an assortment of veggies including hand-cut Kennebec fries. To satisfy your sweet tooth, ‘tis the season for pumpkin cheesecake with a graham crust, dulce chocolate, and pepita brittle.

Bonus: Order Thanksgiving turkeys and pies from Blackbelly Butcher Shop & Market for pick up November 20th-22nd.

Extra Special Bonus: Grab a Blackbelly breakfast burrito from Blackbelly Market or their sister restaurant, Santo (1265 Alpine Ave.), 7 am – 11 am. You’re welcome!

  • 1606 Conestoga St, Suite 3
  • Boulder, CO 80301
  • (303) 247-1000

2. Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

For the vegetarian foodies who don’t want to choose a pasta dish from an otherwise meat-heavy menu, there’s Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant. Leaf uses organic, seasonal ingredients in providing vegetarian global cuisine and health-conscious meals. They also offer a full bar highlighted by an enviro-friendly wine list, martinis, smoothies, and specialty loose teas and coffees. 

The menu has something for everyone. Even omnivores won’t miss anything with plates like Curried Samosa Cakes, Jamaican Jerk Tempeh, and Calamari-Style Oyster Mushrooms. Leaf’s passion for fresh, local ingredients led them to create Three Leaf Farm in Lafayette, CO, which allows them to provide organic, freshly harvested produce and herbs, free range eggs, all while strengthening their commitment to cultivating a more sustainably focused company.

  • 1710 Pearl Street
  • Boulder, CO 80302
  • 303-442-1485

3. Bramble & Hare

Bramble & Hare, the original Farmhouse Kitchen and Pub, was founded in 2012 by Jill and Chef Eric Skokan as the sister restaurant to their Black Cat Bistro. A variety of meats and certified organic produce is grown on their farm, allowing for a broad palate of flavors, colors, and textures to create award-winning cuisine. The Bramble & Hare team forages wild produce, like mushrooms, juniper, and wild plums, that root the restaurant’s cuisine in flavors unique to the Front Range region. Of course they do—that’s so Boulder!

The MICHELIN Guide honored Bramble & Hare with a green star for its sustainability efforts. The MICHELIN Guide noted, “Those impressive ingredients aren’t gussied up in this kitchen, where a smart but straightforward cooking style allows them to truly shine.” 

  • 1970 13th St. 
  • Boulder, CO
  • (303)444-9110

4. The Kitchen Bistro

The Kitchen, a.k.a, “the greenest restaurant in the West” was named the best farm-to-table restaurant in Colorado by Food & Wine. A Boulder classic with a cheery, hip vibe, The Kitchen offers elegant, relaxed meals with excellent service. Their cocktails are stylishly delicious, and the wine list leaves little to be desired.

The Kitchen’s farm-to-table menu changes seasonally, but you can always count on tasty combinations with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options like Cast Iron Roasted Chicken with hand-cut fries and black truffle cream or Ora Kind Salmon served with sorrel and gaufrettes (fancy waffle fries). Don’t be fooled by simple menu items like “Carrots” because what will show up on your plate are carrots cooked to perfection and topped with Urfa, whipped feta, pistachio, sesame, cilantro, and mint. 

Bonus: Kitchen Bistro will offer Thanksgiving dinner with in-restaurant reservations or the build-your-own-dinner package for pick-up on Wednesday, November 22nd.

  • 1039 Pearl Street
  • Boulder, CO 80302
  • (303) 544-5973

5. Zoe Ma Ma

Zoe Ma Ma’s  “non-Americanized” Chinese street food restaurant was founded by Edwin Zoe and features his mother’s fresh, tummy-satisfying cooking. Zoe Ma Ma is one of nine Boulder restaurants added to the MICHELIN Guide in 2023 for good (made from scratch) reason. 

This humble mother-and-son collaboration in a small space is counter-service only. Staples like Pork Belly Bao and Za Jiang Mian will become your faves, but the rotating daily specials like Roasted Duck Wonton Noodle Soup should not be passed up.

  • 2010 10th St.
  • Boulder, Colorado 80302
  • (303) 545-6262

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