Best of Boulder East County 2017 — Food

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Sue France

Pancake/Waffle

THE HUCKLEBERRY

700 Main St., Louisville, 303-666-8020

Lafayette Winner: Super Mini Walnut Cafe

Honorable Mention: Le Peep (Longmont); Morning Glory Cafe (Lafayette); The Egg & I (Longmont, Broomfield)

At first, The Huckleberry was the Louisville post office, then it was a bank, then a pharmacy and two different restaurants before the current cafe and bakery settled in. Our readers are sure happy about that last turn of events, because where else could they possibly get such great pancakes served until 3 p.m.? Sit down on a Monday night and enjoy the chicken and waffle special. If you’d rather keep your waffle and pancake eating to pre-noontimes, the old fashioned buttermilk pancakes will make you glad you traded your cozy, warm bed for a table at The Huckleberry.

 

Bakery

MOXIE BREAD CO.

641 Main St., Louisville, 720-420-9616

Runner Up, East County: The Huckleberry

Longmont Winner: Great Harvest Bread Co.

Honorable Mention: Eats & Sweets (Lafayette); LaMar’s Donuts (Louisville)

The rustic, simple collection of baked goods at Moxie Bread Co. goes against the conventional grain. They’re all made exclusively with organic heirloom wheat flour, which most humans seem to digest easier with fewer reactions than other modern wheat varieties. Their wheat’s slow, long fermentation process breaks down many of the proteins and compounds, making it easier to digest. And our readers tell us it taste fantastic and that the folks at Moxie are kind and knowledgeable. You can’t beat that, and no other bakery did.

 

Seafood

REELFISH

2770 Arapahoe Road, Lafayette, 720-630-8053

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Longmont Winner: Tortuga’s

Fish and chips are a mainstay cuisine in other parts of the world, and when a place like Reelfish makes them this good, they should be a mainstay in Colorado as well. While fish and chips may be a favorite at Reelfish, they’re not the only offering. You can get fresh mahi mahi, salmon, shrimp, red snapper, grouper or ahi tuna grilled just the way you like it.  And just to keep things exciting, they also have an oyster night, taco night and cajun night. So put on your best English accent and head on over to Reelfish and join their seafood party.

 

Donuts

LAMAR’S DONUTS

133 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, 720-890-3875

Longmont Winner: Winchell’s Donut House

Honorable Mention: Daylight Donuts (Longmont); Dunkin’ Donuts (Longmont)

Do not, we repeat, do not take LaMar’s Donuts for granted. Between their 25 locations, they crank out 344,700 donuts each week, which for those of you who can’t do the math, is nearly 18 million donuts per year. With numerous national awards to its credit, it’s no wonder our readers agree these donuts cream the morning pastry competition. Just staring at the dozens of different varieties of doughy perfection (think thoughtful spins on the ultimate classics: red velvet cake, maple iced with coconut, cherry iced with sprinkles) make your eyes glaze over with desire.

 

Italian

PARMA TRATTORIA & MOZARELLA BAR

1132-1 W. Dillon Road, Louisville, 3030-284-2741

Runner Up, East County: Zucca Italian Ristorante

Honorable Mention: Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Louisville); Pinocchio Incredible Italian (Longmont); Via Toscana (Louisville)

The guiding philosophy at Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar has steered this beloved Italian restaurant well since the day it opened its doors. Parma pledges to use organic ingredients from local farmers, plus “green, unaltered products whenever possible,” meaning they care about the source and quality of the food just as much as they care about your tastebuds. Saluti! That’s something our readers are happy to get behind.

 

Niwot Restaurant

COLTERRA FOOD & WINE

210 Franklin St., Niwot, 303-652-0777

Runner Up, East County: Niwot Tavern

Honorable Mentions: 1914 House; Lefty Gourmet Pizza; Treppeda’s

Step into Niwot and you step back into a time when things were simpler, cozier, and just plain better than today’s fast-paced world. And what better way to escape a maddening world than a night at Colterra Food & Wine. You can sit back, relax and let one of the region’s best staffs deliver out-of-this-world American- and French-style cuisine. Known among foodies up and down the Front Range as a not-to-be-missed restaurant experience, our readers say you can’t go wrong with any choice on their rotating menu. So you might as well close your eyes, point your finger and let the universe decide.

 

Sandwich

SNARF’S

535340 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-444-3404 

6562 Lookout Road, Boulder, 720-622-0107

Lafayette Winner: Eats & Sweets

Louisville Winner: Moxie Bread Co.

Honorable Mention: Jersey Mike’s Subs (Longmont, Louisville); Your Butcher Frank (Longmont)

Let’s get a few things straight: a sandwich is more than just two slices of bread with a few items shoved in between. Sandwich making, like sushi preparation, is an artform when at its best. And at Snarf’s, it’s most certainly at its best. Crafting the perfect sandwich to meet your every desire is their singular mission. Their made-to-order creations let you pick and choose to your liking from their great selection of cheeses, meats and breads. And once those big decisions are made, you can play with your choices of toppings from sprouts to mushrooms to artichokes and more. Sure, you can get lettuce, tomato and a pickle — but why not make art instead?

 

Sue France

Place for Peruvian Food

ROSARIO’S PERUVIAN RESTAURANT

625 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-772-1026

One of the best parts of living in East County is the amount of unique restaurants that exist. Nearly every region in the world is represented in the County, and a good example is Longmont’s Rosario’s Peruvian Restaurant. This family-owned eatery will truly transport you to the South American country. You just can’t get ceviche, arroz con pollo, papa a la huancaina and more anywhere else. Best yet, you can wash it down with chicha morada, a dynamite drink made with Peruvian black corn.

Lyons Restaurant

OSKAR BLUES BREW & GRILL

303 Main St., Lyons, 303-823-6685

Runner Up, East County: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ

Honorable Mention: Barking Dog Cafe; Julie’s Thai Kitchen; Lyons Fork

There are some things that never get old in life. In this case, craft beer and good food. Lucky for our readers, Oskar Blues Brew & Grill is the perfect one-two punch that’ll deliver both in one fell swoop. This is the flagship restaurant that catapulted the brewery to fame, and the birthplace for their signature craft-beer-in-a-can. On the menu is everything you’d want paired with your cold one after a long ride, a hectic work day or en route home from Estes Park after a big adventure: burgers, wings, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, tacos and the best nachos around.

 

Japanese

SUSHI HANA

2065 Main St., Longmont, 303-485-1055

Runner Up, East County: East Moon Asian Bistro & Sushi

Honorable Mention: Bao Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar (Louisville); Sakura Japanese Cuisine (Longmont); Tokyo Joe’s (Longmont, Louisville)

The sushi at Sushi Hana is a must. It is always fresh and the preparation is in the hands of true masters. No matter your desires — sashimi, nigiri, tempura, teriyaki or yakisoba — let the best of the best take care of you at this Longmont treasure. And don’t forget to add a little something extra on the side. With a great assortment of soups and appetizers, the sushi never has to be lonely. And if you can get a seat at the bar, the mix of great conversation and culinary artistry makes for a great dining experience.

 

Food Truck

COMIDA

Wherever it’s parked

Runner up, East County: Verde

Lafayette Winner: El Mercado Taco Wagon

Honorable Mention: Burger Radio; Butcher and the Blonde

There’s a lot this spunky pink truck named Tina (as in, Tina the Taco Truck) can do, including cranking out a great selection of mean tacos. And tacos and food trucks are serious business around here in Colorado; our readers don’t take this category lightly. Order up a stella pork carnitas and a couple of sirloin situation tacos and you’re set. But don’t you dare forget about the sombra shroom tostada. The best part is you can also have Tina magically appear at your wedding or any other event. Restaurants on wheels; what a concept.

Pizza

LUCKY PIE PIZZA & TAPHOUSE

637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-5743

7916 Niwot Road, Niwot, 720-684-6888

Lafayette Winner: Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Longmont Winner: Rosalee’s Pizzeria

Honorable Mention: Abo’s Pizza (Erie, Longmont, Louisville, Niwot); Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar (Louisville)

We know the secret to Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse, or at least we think we do. The chefs working behind the scenes make the dough fresh every day from organic Colorado flour — that’s how they get that perfect crunch-to-chew ratio. In fact, all the ingredients our readers choose to be piled on top of their pizzas at Lucky Pie come from local farms and ranches. When you mix all that mouth-watering local goodness in with this restaurant’s great selection of beers on tap, you can start to understand why they call it Lucky.

 

Sue France

Way to Celebrate Food

BOULDER COUNTY FARMERS MARKETS

Throughout the County

For several years now, the Boulder County Farmers Markets in Lafayette, Longmont and Louisville have given locally produced, sustainably raised food their days in the sun. With rotating food-specific festivals, tons of vendors, local farms and more, the Longmont Farmers Market takes over the Boulder County Fairgrounds every summer weekend and welcomes hungry and curious families. The Louisville Farmers Market feels part of the town, hosting local farmers right downtown; and the Lafayette version brings fresh produce to town on Thursday nights.

 

Breakfast

LUCILE’S CREOLE CAFE

518 Kimbark St., Longmont,
303-774-9814

Lafayette Winner: Morning Glory Cafe

Louisville Winner: The Huckleberry

Honorable Mention: B.O.B.S. Diner (Louisville); Super Mini Walnut Cafe (Lafayette)

This isn’t the first time you’ve seen Lucile’s Creole Cafe among our pages, and it’s no wonder why. This creole breakfast, lunch and brunch restaurant is a Colorado legend. With its signature dishes like the cajun breakfast (red beans, grits, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and the world’s best biscuit) and Eggs New Orleans (poached eggs, fried eggplant, creole spice and more hollandaise), there’s something for everyone. And beignets. Lots of beignets.

 

Kid-Friendly Restaurant

LUCKY PIE PIZZA & TAPHOUSE

637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-5743

Lafayette Winner: Noodles & Company

Longmont Winner: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews

Honorable Mention: Eats & Sweets (Lafayette); The Huckleberry (Louisville)

Pizza and love: these are two of the items that make up Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House’s motto and also explain its kid friendliness. The other part of the motto is beer but that doesn’t make the place kid friendly although it likely helps if you know what we mean. Pizza for the kids, beer for the adults, love for all — that keeps everybody happy. The outdoor sun-filled lawn patio provides a place to let the little ones loose without fret. When the kids are happy, you’re happy, and that’s just how our readers like it.

 

Take Out

SANTIAGO’S

104 N. Public Road, Lafayette,

303-604-0715

215 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-1169

Runner Up, East County: Georgia Boys BBQ Company (Longmont)

Louisville Winner: Busaba

Honorable Mention: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (Longmont and Lafayette); Taj Mahal III (Louisville)

A gold-star, reliable take-out place is a truly underrated gem. To be able to call in your order and trust the team behind the mission to get your stuffed sopapilla and burrito order just right means a lot. Santiago’s shines among its competitors, offering a full array of Mexican classics for take out. Find the easy-to-read menu online and pick out a few tacos, some chips and guac or a full-on smothered burrito. Call ahead, order what you’d like, pick it up, take it home, eat it, love it. It’s really as simple as that.

BBQ

LULU’S BBQ

701 Main St., Louisville, 720-583-1789

Longmont Winner: Georgia Boys BBQ Company

Honorable Mention: KT’s BBQ (Boulder); Uturn BBQ (Lafayette); Wayne’s Smoke Shack (Superior)

There’s a rhyme to Lulu’s BBQ, and a there’s a reason: Make great BBQ, period. Whether it’s ribs, brisket, the hot mess sandwich or any other tasty Lulu’s dish, when you add a side of sweet potato tots or fried pickle chips, you’ve got yourself a winner. Bring the whole family down to Louisville’s Main Street for a great meal out. Hang out on the patio or hit the back grass where you can play a variety of lawn games while you wait for your mouth-watering, drip-off-the-bone specialities to arrive. Our readers tell us this is the best Texas-style BBQ you can get without buying a ticket to Austin.

 

Business Lunch

PARMA TRATTORIA & MOZZARELLA BAR

1132 W. Dillon Road, Louisville, 303-284-2741

Runner Up, East County: Colterra Food & Wine (Niwot)

Honorable Mention: 740 Front (Louisville); 95a Bistro and Sushi (Lafayette); Zucca Italian Ristorante (Louisville)

The only thing that could make a business lunch better is if you didn’t have to do any business. But since that’s not likely an option, you might as well take your client somewhere where they’ll be impressed by your good taste. Our readers tell us that place is Parma Trattoria-Mozzarella Bar. With its nice variety of quality traditional Italian dishes served up in a great environment, Parma Trattoria is the perfect place to make a good impression for your business

 

Brunch

LUCILE’S CREOLE CAFE

518 Kimbark St., Longmont, 303-774-9814

Lafayette Winner: Super Mini Walnut Cafe

Louisville Winner: The Huckleberry

Honorable Mention: 24 Carrot Bistro (Erie); Colterra Food & Wine (Niwot)

Say you’re more of a snoozer and don’t quite make it up in time for breakfast. Don’t worry, there’s always brunch. Lucile’s Creole Cafe keeps dishing out its award-winning creole breakfast offerings, mimosas and bloody Marys all the way till 2 p.m. Our readers tell us it’s the best brunch on the block. And, truly, if you think about it, the best part about brunch is you get a great breakfast and a few hours of extra sleep all rolled together to make an amazing start to any day. Thank you Lucile, your inspiration has kept our readers happy for decades.

 

Appetizers

95A BISTRO & SUSHI

1381 Forest Park Circle, Lafayette, 303-665-3080

Longmont Winner: The Roost

Louisville Winner: Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar

Honorable Mention: Empire Lounge and Restaurant (Louisville); Lulu’s BBQ (Louisville)

It’s truly a family affair at 95a Bistro & Sushi, which explains why our readers tell us they can taste the love in every dish at this American-Latin-Asian-Mediterranean restaurant, including in its wide variety of appetizers. 95A offers a diverse range of options, for instance its extensive array of tapas (think Brussel sprouts with poki sauce and bacon, wasabi shrimp cocktail or roasted beets with goat cheese). Yep, making up your mind with such choices would be way too hard, which is the whole point of appetizers. You can order them all.

Sue France

Catering

GEORGIA BOYS BBQ COMPANY

250 Third Ave., Longmont, 720-999-4099

Runner Up, East County: A Spice of Life (Boulder)

Honorable Mention: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (Lafayette); Lulu’s BBQ (Louisville); Snarf’s (Longmont)

There’s no denying that the most stressful part of hosting a party is making sure that everybody is well fed with great food. So it’s your choice, be a stress monkey working your tail off in the kitchen all day and throughout your gathering — aka having no fun — or call Georgia Boy’s BBQ Company and make it a party to remember wherein you too can enjoy yourself. Our readers tell us that’s what they do, and as everyone knows by now, our readers are always right.

 

Catering

GEORGIA BOYS BBQ COMPANY

250 Third Ave., Longmont, 720-999-4099

Runner Up, East County: A Spice of Life (Boulder)

Honorable Mention: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (Lafayette); Lulu’s BBQ (Louisville); Snarf’s (Longmont)

There’s no denying that the most stressful part of hosting a party is making sure that everybody is well fed with great food. So it’s your choice, be a stress monkey working your tail off in the kitchen all day and throughout your gathering — aka having no fun — or call Georgia Boy’s BBQ Company and make it a party to remember wherein you too can enjoy yourself. Our readers tell us that’s what they do, and as everyone knows by now, our readers are always right.

 

Sushi

SUSHI HANA

2065 Main St., Longmont,
303-485-1055

Lafayette Winner: 95a Bistro
& Sushi

Honorable Mention: East Moon Asian Bistro & Sushi (Longmont); Sakura Japanese Cuisine (Longmont); Sushi Yoshi (Louisville)

There’s a reason sushi is considered an artform. The training, refining, more training, history lessons, refining and more training that goes into perfecting the preparation of sushi is staggering. To fully appreciate this artform, sit at the bar at Sushi Hana, and let the master chefs whip up a creation straight from their own imaginations. They’re known to take their own inspirations of the day and craft a unique and personalized dish. When it comes to the art of sushi, our readers tell us Sushi Hana is the place for them.

 

Restaurant Dessert

THE HUCKLEBERRY

700 Main St., Louisville,

303-666-8020

Lafayette Winner:

Eats & Sweets

Honorable Mention: 24 Carrot Bistro (Erie); Cheese Importers (Longmont); The Melting Pot (Louisville)

Let’s go straight to the sweet spot just like The Huckleberry does with their dessert menu. Hot fudge brownie sundae, root beer float, brioche bread pudding, peach huckleberry pie, strawberry and cream layer cake… need we say more? Oh, wait, we do. Their after-dinner drinks are equally impressive, serving up cocktails like the classic hot toddy and Irish coffee, not to mention an array of teas and shakes. So don’t hurry off after the main course is done; you’re just getting to the good stuff at this Louisville gem.

 

Overall Restaurant

THE POST BREWING COMPANY

105 W. Emma St., Lafayette, 303-593-2066

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Louisville Winner: Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar

Honorable Mention: Colterra Food & Wine (Niwot); Oskar Blues Brew & Grill (Lyons)

It takes more than just good food to make a great restaurant. A truly great restaurant has good food and drink to be sure, but to be the best it has to have a unique atmosphere, a quality wait staff and a kitchen full of creative perfectionists as well. It’s a tall order but our readers say The Post Brewing Company hits it out of the park in every category. The Post claims to have the best fried chicken in the world and that it has brewed the perfect beer to go with that perfect chicken. Our readers apparently agree.

Sue France

Restaurant Ambiance

THE MELTING POT

732 Main St., Louisville, 303-666-7777

Lafayette Winner: The Post Brewing Company

Longmont Winner: The Post Brewing Company

Niwot Winner: Colterra Food & Wine

Honorable Mention: Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar (Louisville); Cheese Importers (Longmont)

Everyone knows that to have a great dining experience you  have to set the tone just right — and nothing makes more difference than the right ambiance. So whether you’re looking for the right place for that perfect date or the best location for that important business meeting, our readers tell us that The Melting Pot can provide just the right setting. They understand that every situation is different and they adjust to the customer’s needs. That’s the true recipe for success when it comes to ambiance.

Place to Eat Outdoors

THE POST BREWING COMPANY

105 W. Emma St., Lafayette, 303-593-206

1258 S. Hover Rd., Longmont, 720-588-2883

Runner Up, East County: Colterra Food & Wine

Louisville Winner: Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse

Honorable Mention: Cheese Importers (Longmont); Lulu’s BBQ (Louisville)

Ah, the great outdoors. Funny how food always tastes better when you’re outside, but thanks to The Post Brewing Company’s stellar patio, that creates a problem. When you already serve up the best fried chicken in the world according to our readers, it’s hard to imagine how it can taste better outside, but it does so there.

 

Sue France

Best Late Night Snack

MIKE O’SHAY’S RESTAURANT
& ALE HOUSE

512 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-0252

Every now and again, 11 p.m. rolls around and you’re still out and about around town when the hunger strikes. It’s not the most convenient time for a quick bite to eat, but that’s where Mike O’Shay’s steps in to save the night — in other words, it’s where to go when the munchies hit. Between the savory ale-house bites, burgers, salads and soups, you’ll find just about anything to satisfy your late-night cravings. Open until midnight every day but Sunday, let the lights guide you in, straight to the booth.

Sue France

Bagel

MOE’S BROADWAY BAGEL

1057 Courtesy Road, Louisville, 303-665-2126

Lafayette Winner: Big Daddy Bagels

Longmont Winner: Big Daddy Bagels

Honorable Mention: Einstein Bros Bagels (Lafayette, Longmont)

A bagel from Moe’s Broadway Bagel is like a good friend: It won’t loan you money or watch your dog when you’re out of town, but it’s always there when you need it. It’s there for you when you’re running late for a meeting, and it’s got your back when you wake up to an empty fridge. A Moe’s bagel knows how to make you smile. Hey, for a round bread product with a hole in the middle, that’s pretty impressive. Way to go, Moe.

 

Ice Cream

SWEET COW ICE CREAM

637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-4269

Lafayette Winner: Eats & Sweets

Honorable Mention: Cold Stone Creamery (Longmont); Scrumptious (Longmont)

As our readers say, Sweet Cow Ice Cream is “simply moolicious.” That’s because it’s the real deal. Real milk, real cream, real sugar, real flavors. You won’t find any of that corner-cutting substitute stuff. If you’re going to eat ice cream, you might as well eat the real deal. Every scoop plopped onto your cone or into a compostable cup is made in small batches right at each store location. If Santa Claus, leprechauns and unicorns were going to eat ice cream, they’d go to Sweet Cow.

Sue France

Indian

TAJ MAHAL III

1075 E. South Boulder Road, Suite 145, Louisville, 303-926-0999

Runner Up, East County: Tibet’s Restaurant & Bar

Nederland Winner: Kathmandu

Honorable Mention: Flavor of India (Longmont); Gurkhas Restaurant & Bar (Gunbarrel)

Life really wouldn’t be complete without a stellar Indian food restaurant somewhere. Thankfully Taj Mahal III is that somewhere and delivers on that front. Oh, and they also deliver. Seven days of the week you can enjoy their masalas, kormas, curries, saags and vindaloos (not to mention the naan, baked in a clay oven over mesquite charcoal after marinating in yogurt, garlic, ginger, and an array of herbs and spices), all to your heart’s content. They have a fabulous buffet, and when that’s not available, they offer a stellar fine-dining experience as well. The deep gold and red colors transport you all the way to India from the moment you walk through the door. Not a bad way to squeeze in a vacation during your lunch break.

Sue France

Chinese

SPICE CHINA

269 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, 720-890-0999

Longmont Winner: East Moon Asian
Bistro & Sushi

Honorable Mention: China Gourmet (Longmont); Double Happy (Louisville); Ting’s Place (Lafayette)

Dine in, take out, delivery, online order… just a few of the ways you can get Spice China on your plate and in your belly. Whether you’re a vegetarian, craving something sweet, in the mood for a cozy soup, need to replenish your body’s minerals, love crunchy appetizers, or admit to being a General Tso’s addict, this one-stop shop has something for you. Don’t miss Chef Mok’s Pork Dumplings, and the fried caramel ice cream isn’t something to pass up.