Best of Boulder 2012: Food (continued)


Nederland Restaurant


110 North Jefferson St., Nederland, 303- 258-1169

Second Place: Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery

Third Place: Savory Cafe

Fourth Place: Backcountry Pizza

Fifth Place: Neopolitan’s Italian Restaurant

Whether you’re
limping off the Fourth of July trail or pulling in from a day at
Eldora, the array of spices, Colorado drafts, and casual color of the Kathmandu Restaurant makes
for a welcomed recovery meal in any season. Kathmandu shares a breadth
of Indian and Nepali cuisine during a daily lunch buffet from 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m., accompanied by a fresh naan bread basket at your table.
Browse the menu for a common selection of Indian and Nepali appetizers,
naans, parathas, saags and curries with a range of meat and vegetable
entrees to refuel famished adventurers. Entrees include
seeminglimitless curries, kormas, saags and masalas, and sauces are also
available with non-dairy ingredients.

Kid-Friendly Restaurant


Various locations around Boulder County

Second Place: Red Robin

Third Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun

Fourth Place: Walnut Cafe/Southside Walnut Cafe

Fifth Place: Wahoo’s Fish Taco

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 grown-ups to enjoy a
semi-quiet meal in peace. Well, Noodles doesn’t have a play area,
but pasta is one of the easiest kid-pleasers there is, and Noodles does
it well. We can safely say their food is way better than McDonald’s,
and healthier, too. You’ve got everything from a classic mac and cheese
to spaghetti and meatballs to Asian noodle bowls and Mediterranean
varieties. And the environment is casual, so you don’t have to worry
about your children disrupting some couple’s romantic
merlot-and-filet-mignon candlelight dinner. In addition, Noodles now
goes beyond its namesake dish, offering sandwiches, soups and salads.
Oh, and there are Rice Krispie treats and Snickerdoodle cookies for
dessert. Runner-up Red Robin is simply bright, colorful, good, clean
All-American fun.

Pizza Slice


1124 13th St., 303-443-3199

(and other locations in Boulder County)

Second Place: Cosmo’s Pizza

Third Place: Nick-N-Willy’s

Fourth Place: Beau Jo’s

Fifth Place: Pizza Colore

A big, honking,
floppy slice of pizza will taste good at any time of the day (don’t
pretend you haven’t had a slice of leftover pizza for breakfast). A
single, cheesy slice is often the perfect solution to your hankering
pang for pizza, and Boulder certainly has no shortage of options to
fulfill the pizza-popping addiction. But alas, there can only be one
slice that reigns supreme, and that, our pizza pals, is Abo’s Pizza.
With locations in virtually every town in Boulder County, you really
are never too far from a cheesy and gooey Abo’s slice, lathered with
only the finest tomatoes, vegetables and pepperonis the world has to
offer. And don’t forget to speak in a New York accent before and after
you consume your portion of the pie. Slice hopping? Go for a triangle at
runner-up Cosmo’s Pizza as well. Maybe put each piece on top of each
other and create a slice sandwich. Do it in public, in front of all your
friends. That wouldn’t be weird at all.

Place To Eat Outdoors


1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335

Second Place: Boulder Farmers’ Market

Third Place: Chautauqua Dining Hall

Fourth Place: Dushanbe Teahouse

Fifth Place: West End Tavern

Ah, the glorious season of rooftops and patios is upon us.
Nothing like being outside to make you feel OK justifying the copious
imbibing of fatty foods and caloric alcoholic beverages. The Mediterranean Restaurant
takes home this year’s prize for best place to eat outdoors. Combine
their colorful patio with the joyous, bustling atmosphere and a killer
happy hour, and you get a pretty rad place for a meal. If you’re looking
to support the little guy, try grabbing a lunch at the Boulder Farmers’
Market, where you can pick up locally grown produce or a meal from the
food carts. And if you want a beautiful, quintessential Boulder
experience, the Chautauqua Dining Hall and the Dushanbe Teahouse also
both fit the bill.



3073 Walnut St., 303-447-2315


673 S. Broadway St., 720-304-8118

Second Place: The Buff

Third Place: The Original Pancake House

Fourth Place: Dot’s Diner

Fifth Place: Turley’s

Not everyone can make a great pancake or waffle. It takes
care and precision to achieve the perfect balance between fluffy and
hearty. The Walnut Café has the science down. Have it any way you
want with unique pancake flavors like blueberry cornbread and Grananola
Chocolate, and classic waffle favorites like banana walnut. Smother
them with butter, drown them with syrup or top them with fruit and nuts.
Any way you have it, you won’t be disappointed. The staff is friendly,
and the Walnut and South Side cafes offer the perfect Boulder
atmosphere, packed full of happy people looking for a delicious meal.
And don’t worry about getting there in the morning, breakfast is served
all day.



1730 Pearl St., 303-442-3003

Second Place: Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Third Place: Pizzeria Da Lupo

Fourth Place: Pizzeria Basta

Fifth Place: Tossa

Pizzeria Locale takes the biggest slice out of this
year’s pizzeria contestants. 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. What else would you
expect from a shop that claims its pies are fired in an authentic
Stefano Ferraro oven and carries an imported prosciutto slicer? If the
outstanding menu makes a trick out of deciding final dinner choices, the
Aperitivo menu runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily for enjoying lighter
Mediterranean specials and wine on the way to the weekend.

Restaurant Service


1535 Pearl St., 303-546-0886


627 S. Broadway, 303-543-0886


3073 Walnut St., 303-447-2315


673 S. Broadway, 720-304-8118

Second Place: Flagstaff House

Third Place: Frasca

Fourth Place: The Kitchen

Fifth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant

Mountain Sun and Southern Sun are probably
best known for their beer, their relaxed atmosphere and the fact that
you can mail in your payment if you have no cash on hand, all of which
make for a high rating on the best service scale. And the co-op-style
management and collaborative serving efforts keep whichever staff member
visits your table looking fresh with every water refill. Walnut Café and Southside Walnut Café
have a similarly laid back environment with bench seating, creating a
fun and comfortable setting in which to enjoy a large variety of
sandwiches. Of course, we all still enjoy being fawned over by
clean-shaven waiters in dress shirts every now and then. But it’s hard
to beat a guy with dreadlocks handing you a beer and a messy burger with
a smile.

Romantic Dinner


1138 Flagstaff Road, 303-442-4640

Second Place: Frasca

Third Place: John’s Restaurant

Fourth Place: Black Cat

Fifth Place: L’Atalier

Attention, would-be Casanovas: Whether you’re planning on
popping the question, celebrating an anniversary or just looking for a
romantic evening out, the Flagstaff House is a sure bet for
ensuring that your evening is one to remember. The amazing view of
Boulder’s lights sets the stage for romance, not to mention the
award-winning wine list, impeccable service and the fresh daily menu. No
wonder it was recently named one of the “50 best restaurants in the
U.S.” by Open Table. Be sure to save room for the fantastic desserts,

Restaurant Ambience


1770 13th St., 303-442-4993

Second Place: Flagstaff House

Third Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant

Fourth Place: The Kitchen

Fifth Place: Black Cat

This contestant is a hard one to beat. Walk into the Dushanbe Teahouse,
and you enter another world. Intricately carved wooden columns,
hand-painted panels, a central pool surrounded by greenery and copper
sculptures — even the ceiling is a specimen of incredible craftsmanship.
The Dushanbe Teahouse was created by 40 artisans in Boulder’s sister
city of Tajikstan. No power tools here, Bubba. This is the real deal,
and took two years to create before it was shipped to Boulder in pieces
and then assembled. What did we give them? A cyber-café that is now in
sad shape. But we digress. 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.



Various locations in Boulder County

Second Place: Salvaggio’s Italian Deli

Third Place: Half Fast Subs

Fourth Place: Great Harvest Bread Co.

Fifth Place: Deli Zone

We know, we know. This is a real shocker. Not. Snarf’s
is a Boulder original, and it’s the place we turn to for original,
fresh sandwiches made with love. We’re kind of partial to the Italian,
but there are a host of other favorites, and the fact that this
establishment is crowned the champ is saying something, because there
are a host of other high-quality sandwich shops in Boulder County. The
franchise has expanded to the outer reaches of the county and the
greater Denver metro area. They’ve even opened shops in Golden and north
Longmont, on Mountain View. Whether you call in a to-go order, have it
delivered or eat it on site because you just can’t wait, it is always a
tastebud treat. Plus, in the true Boulder spirit, they faithfully
recycle and compost. We also recommend also-rans like Salvaggio’s, Half
Fast and Deli Zone.

Seafood Restaurant


928 Pearl St., 303-444-1811

Second Place: Hapa Sushi

Third Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant

Fourth Place: Sushi Zanmai

Fifth Place: Sushi Tora

Way back when, there was a PBS show called Numero Uno
that profiled athletes such as cyclist Eddy Merckx and skier
Jean-Claude Killy, at the pinnacle of their disciplines. If such a show
existed for local eateries, undoubtedly an episode would focus on
Boulder’s Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar. While it’s well known for having been the erstwhile home base of Top Chef
Hosea Rosenberg, it’s also noteworthy for great seafood specialties
from both coasts, including classic Maine lobster tail as well as a crab
trio composed of snow, Dungeness and Alaskan king crabs. Other
waterborne selections include crispy Colorado trout, blue crab cakes and
seared New England sea scallops. And of course, Boulder’s favorite
oyster bar.

Sushi Restaurant


1117 Pearl St., 303-473-4730

1220 Pennsylvania Ave., 303-447-9883

Second Place: Sushi Zanmai

Third Place: Sushi Tora

Fourth Place: Japango

Fifth Place: Kasa Japanese Grill and Bar

Tradition,” Fiddler on the Roof lead
character Tevye sings in the show’s opening number, “Tradition!” That’s
the only word we remember from the song, but what Tevye later decides —
that traditions has its place and then there are places to let it go —
is something our voters may relate to. They’ve set tradition aside in
favor of experimentation and innovation in this category, picking Hapa Sushi
and its unique and creative sushi rolls over the more conventional
Sushi Zanmai and Sushi Tora, which still calls its rolls “maki.” Hapa
isn’t afraid to drop in creative ingredients like apples and honey, or
bake and fry their rolls. Poor old tradition gets a spell in the deep
fryer and a thick drizzling of sweet soy at Hapa, known for its
over-the-top creativity in both making and naming their sushi. Look for
their newest roll, the Laser Wolf, as soon as they catch on to the Fiddler theme.



2128 Pearl St., 303-444-7766

And other locations in Boulder County

Second Place: Noodles & Co.

Third Place: Khow Thai

Fourth Place: Nick-N-Willy’s

Fifth Place: China Gourmet

It’s Sunday evening, and you’re
at home, recovering from the night before, in sweatpants. Peeling off
the couch and putting on respectable clothes to pick up food feels like a
nightmare. But you’re starving. You already had pizza late last night,
so that’s out of the question, and the Chinese food menu is way too big
for you to make a dinner decision you feel good about. You’ve got to
find something delicious you can scarf. Scarf. Snarf. Snarf’s!
Perhaps the absolute best decision, for take-out or delivery. Pick up
your smartphone (just reach — it’s on the table), download Snarf’s
mobile app, choose one of their absolutely scrumdidlyumptious
sandwiches, and order away. But beware: once you order from Snarf’s,
prepare to get exponentially hungrier than you were right before you
placed the order. Can’t take the anticipation? Call up Noodles & Co. and slurp up their Wisconsin mac & cheese while you wait.

Thai Restaurant


1600 Broadway St., 303-447-0273

Second Place: Buddha Cafe

Third Place: Elephant Hut

Fourth Place: Thai Kitchen

Fifth Place: Busaba

In downtown Jackson Hole, there
are two Thai restaurants: Thai Me Up and Bon Appe Thai. Needless to say,
these places attract giggling tourists who are appreciative of both
good food and a witty owner. Though the Thai restaurants in Boulder have
yet to get that creative with their names, the food is still tasty. Khow Thai,
despite the difficult-to-pronounce name that doesn’t inspire any
juvenile giggles, has been the winner of this category for the past nine
years. The café offers a large variety of Thai cuisine at reasonable
prices on an easily navigable menu. Despite its growing fame, the
restaurant is clearly not resting on its laurels. Heck, it will probably
win again next year. For those Thai restaurants seeking to finally beat
Khow Thai, we suggest a name change, possibly something involving a
funny play on the word “Thai.” Really, there is so much for you to work

Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant


1701 Pearl St., 303-440-0220

Second Place: Mod Market

Third Place: Ras Kassa’s Ethiopian Restaurant

Fourth Place: Turley’s

Fifth Place: Walnut Café/South Side Walnut Café

Vegetarians used to have pretty
limited options for dinner. Most restaurants catered to the carnivores
and provided a vegetable pasta or a salad for the people who preferred
rabbit food. Now vegetarians have it easy, with faux “chicken” and
“pork” and every other “meat” you can name, and upscale restaurants
without a single animal byproduct on the menu. Leaf, for
instance, offers a menu filled with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free
delights. Sadly, for the meat eaters that find themselves either dating
or married to someone with the above-mentioned dietary restrictions, and
subsequently find themselves sitting at a candle-lit table at Leaf,
there will be no baby animals or fuzzy cows to chew on. If you’re a
smooth-talking carnivore, however, you may occasionally be able to
convince your significant other to try one of the other
vegetarian-friendly restaurants that won awards, all of which serve meat
in addition to meat-free meals.