DRINK

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Ozo Barista, Braden Webb
Jeremy Williams

Coffee Roaster 

OZO COFFEE CO. 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440- 0233 1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Suite 110, 303-396-0302 

Second Place: Boxcar Coffee Roasters Third Place: Brewing Market Coffee Fourth Place: The Unseen Bean Fifth Place: Conscious Coffees

Great black and white photography and coffee roasting have more than a few things in common. Both are art, and both involve two important stages. Taking the shot is only half the photographic process. Spending countless hours in the darkroom dodging and burning to create the masterful print is the other half. With coffee, great beans are the first half, while taking the time to perfectly roast each variety to its perfect flavor profile is the second stage. Lets just say that Ozo Coffee Co. knows how to create a perfect picture.

Coffee House 

OZO COFFEE CO.

5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233 1015 Pearl St.,303-645-4885 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Suite 110, 303-396-0302 

Second Place: The Laughing Goat Third Place: Boxcar Coffee Roasters Fourth Place: Brewing Market Coffee Fifth Place: The Cup

For centuries, coffee houses have been centers of discourse and debate, places to gossip, to learn, to negotiate business and to make new friends. Today, they continue to be destinations for writers, artists and musicians, alongside CEOs, politicians and scientists looking for a little invigoration poured out in cupfuls and an environment to be among friends (even if those friends are being reached through the Internet). Ozo Coffee was created with that sense of community in mind — but above all, with the goal of providing coffee sippers some of the best, most responsibly sourced coffees around. And when it comes to coffee shops, our readers tell us Ozo is the best.

Cup of Coffee 

OZO COFFEE CO. 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233 1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885 1898 S. Flatiron Ct., 303-396-0302 

Second Place: Boxcar Coffee Roasters Third Place: The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse Fourth Place: Brewing Market Coffee Fifth Place: The Cup Espresso Café

One of life’s small pleasures is skipping out of work in mid-afternoon to take a leisurely stroll to the nearby coffee shop and grab a cup of Joe. Coffee shops are a community asset, and people pick their favorites and latch onto them with passion. There are many reasons for why a person chooses a particular coffee shop, but there is one of those reasons that likely rises above all others; a great cup of coffee. A place can have a cool space and good service, but if the coffee is subpar, it won’t be around for long. That’s never going to be a problem for Ozo. Our readers tell us they make the best cup of coffee around, and we think that explains why they were also the pick for best coffee shop.

Juice/Smoothie 

JAMBA JUICE 1669 Euclid Ave., 303-449-5245 3053 Arapahoe Ave., 303-247-1170 3325 28th St., 303-938-1271 

Second Place: Whole Foods Market Third Place: Alfalfa’s Market Fourth Place: Nekter Juice Bar Fifth Place: Zeal

Unless you’ve gotten really good at putting an entire head of kale or six carrot sticks at a time into your mouth, you’re probably hard pressed to squeeze in the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables to keep your body healthy and ready to run that next marathon. Or half marathon. Or 5K. Jamba Juice bills their smoothies as a great way to pack in the servings of fruits and veggies that you need, without spending your entire day with your face in a bowl of salad that’s bigger than your head. Plus, in case you hadn’t heard, smoothies are really good.

Margarita 

RIO GRANDE MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1101 Walnut St., 303-444-3690 

Second Place: Zolo Southwestern Grill Third Place: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina Fourth Place: Tahona Tequila Bistro Fifth Place: Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace

Margaritas are like ecosystems: easy for people to mess up and incredibly important to the ongoing success of the human race. A well-made margarita is light, zesty and powerful. A poorly made margarita is syrupy, sugary and heavy. Lucky for us, Boulder County has way more quality margarita makers than poor ones, and our readers say none is better than Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. Known for a margarita that packs a walloping punch, Rio Grande’s margs are also delicious and come in several varieties. With dozens of tequilas on hand, you can craft your favorite variety with the help of the margarita experts at Rio Grande.

Microbrewery 

AVERY BREWING COMPANY 4910 Nautilus Court, 303-440-4324 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: Left Hand Brewing Company Fourth Place: Upslope Brewing Company Fifth Place: FATE Brewing Company

Boulder is a hotbed for microbreweries. We like our beers handmade for our individual preferences, not just off the assembly line. Sorry, big brand labels, when it comes to beer, we want every pint glass to have a personal touch — that’s why our readers voted Avery Brewing Company as the best microbrewery in Boulder. Drive up to their new location and be impressed by the humongous brewery sitting there like a beacon for beer lovers. Inside, there’s a rustic, friendly environment boasting a giant list of beers long enough to keep you intrigued and tasty enough to keep you coming back for more.

Wine Selection 

FRASCA FOOD AND WINE 1738 Pearl St., 303-442-6966 

Second Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant Third Place: Boulder Cork Fourth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Fifth Place: The Kitchen

A peek into the wine cellar at Frasca Food and Wine provides thick fodder for fantasies about ways to fill your wine glass. With more than 200 varieties to choose from, and trained wait staff and a sommelier on hand to serve as guide, you’ll be able to pair complementary wines and dining choices in ways to dazzle your palate. Their wine list is more than 60 pages long, organized by varietals, with four pages of pinot noir wines to choose from — and six on the illustrious Italian red grape nebbiolo, described as “mysteriously inviting.” All wines available by the glass can be served in the traditional northeastern Italian Friulian style, in three-ounce pours, or roughly a half glass of wine.

Cocktails 

THE BITTER BAR 835 Walnut St., 303-442-3050 %u2028 

Second Place: OAK at fourteenth Third Place: St Julien Hotel and Spa Fourth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant Fifth Place: Bramble & Hare

While you may think The Bitter Bar is named after bitters, the set of aromatic alcohols that lend botanical flavors to a number of cocktails, this is not the case. The bar’s name comes from the intensely bitter taste of the earliest spirits — so bitter, in fact, they had to be mixed with soda and juices, which is where the modern cocktail comes from.

The Bitter Bar lives up to its name by creating cocktails that delight the senses — beautifully presented, drinkable works of art. They serve the classics in style — Negroni, Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned — as well as lesser-known drinks like Kiss the Sky, Blue Velvet and Fire & Ice.

Feel free to let the bartender know what your favorite spirit is and how you like your drinks — spirit forward or perhaps with a bit more mixer — and they can create a drink just for you.

Happy Hour 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 %u2028 

Second Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Third Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Fourth Place: FATE Brewing Company Fifth Place: Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace

Not only is The Med our readers’ favorite place in town to grab tapas and appetizers, but also their favorite place to hunker down for happy hour (perhaps these two things go hand in hand… ?). Every day from 3-6:30 p.m., The Med offers special pricing on their beverages and tapas (ah, these two things do go hand in hand). With a dollar off draft beers, $4.50 red or white sangria, $4 house wine and well cocktails, and reduced prices on those delicious hot and cold tapas, it’s hard to beat what The Med has to offer for happy hour. And if the weather is fine, there’s an amazing patio from which to enjoy those tasty treats and do a little people watching.

Teahouse 

THE BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE 1770 13th St., 303-442-4993 %u2028 

Second Place: KuCha House of Tea Third Place: Celestial Seasonings Fourth Place: Pekoe Sip House Fifth Place: Trident Booksellers and Café

Tea is an amazing drink with a complex, rich history. On top of its numerous health benefits, tea provides a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with teahouses serving as gathering places where friends can converse and relax. One step into The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse and patrons know they have found a place to escape from the world for just a moment. Tajikistani (Tajikistan was formerly part of the Persian empire) artists crafted many elements of the teahouse, from the hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, to tables, stools, columns Pand Rceramic E Texterior Z E panels. L S Head , B over to Dushanbe for afternoon tea from 3-5 p.m., when tables are dressed with white linens and all the accoutrements for your tea.

Along with a pot of tea of your choice, you can enjoy a tiered tower of sweet and savory pastries, scones, artichoke purses and, of course, cucumber sandwiches.

Distillery BOULDER DISTILLERY (HOME OF 303 VODKA AND 303 WHISKEY) 2500 47th St., Suite 10, 303-442-1244 

Second Place: Vapor Distillery Third Place: Spirit Hound Distillers Fourth Place: J&L Distilling Company Fifth Place: Black Canyon Distillery

Bad liquor leads to bad nights, which lead to bad mornings. But good liquor is a present to the taste buds and leads to a fuzzy, happy haze around the world. It’s no wonder our readers chose Boulder Distillery as the best. Housing 303 Vodka and 303 Whiskey, Boulder Distillery has a long list of cocktails that pack a punch and make you want to linger to the last drop. With drinks so tasty and potent, you’ll be getting your money’s worth without sacrificing taste. And with liquor so smooth, you can even sip it straight up with no frills or distraction.

BAR 

THE BITTER BAR 835 Walnut St., 303-442-3050 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: Bohemian Biergarton Fourth Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Fifth Place: Rueben’s Burger Bistro

This is without question the single most important category in Best of Boulder.

Okay, maybe we’re a bit biased, but we can’t help it. Journalists and bars go together like bacon and eggs, Bogey and Bacall, an obnoxious little dog and your leg. But don’t just trust our opinion that the The Bitter Bar is a good place to drink. Our readers chose this amazing drinking establishment as their favorite, so hats off to every great bar on this list and in particular, our very own Bitter Bar, where cucumbers become the stuff of cocktail legends.

Chai 

BHAKTI CHAI 939 Pearl St., 303-484-8770 

Second Place: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse Third Place: Brewing Market Coffee Fourth Place: Third Street Chai Fifth Place: Pekoe Sip House

The right cup of chai can take you on an adventure. The drink has a rich history and is filled 3. with Stacked: stories in every OZO sip. Coffee While the Co. reader’s favorite chai, Bhakti Chai, is based in Boulder, every drink instantly transports you to the colorful world of India. That’s no surprise, since founder Brook Eddy was inspired to start Bhakti after she traveled to India in 2002 and fell in love with the spicy, black tea and ginger drink. And it doesn’t hurt that behind the drink, the business is dedicated to social consciousness, meaning their product has no preservatives, is fair trade, gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO.

Latte/Mocha 

OZO COFFEE CO. 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233 1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Suite 110, 303-396-0302 

Second Place: The Laughing Goat Third Place: Starbucks Fourth Place: Boxcar Coffee Roasters Fifth Place: The Cup Espresso Cafe

There is coffee, and then there is coffee. One is a hot brown drink, the other is art, love and passion in a cup. The folks at Ozo Coffee aren’t interested in hot, brown drinks. They roast each bean variety for just the right flavor profile before turning the process over to their highly trained baristas who then turn those perfect beans into perfect coffee drinks including Boulder’s best lattes and mochas. 5. Vertical: OZO Coffee Co 6. Vertical:

Beer Selection — Restaurant 

BACKCOUNTRY PIZZA & TAP HOUSE 2319 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-4285 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Fourth Place: Bohemian Biergarten Fifth Place: Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

We in Boulder County hold our beer in the highest regard. It is necessary, then, that local restaurants have the capacity and variety of beer to meet the county’s insatiable need. Our readers say that Backcountry Pizza & Tap House in Boulder has the best selection of beer around. Backcountry has a continually rotating cadre of beer for patrons to enjoy. And if you stop in at the restaurant, you’re likely to hear the cackle of esoteric beer conversations with terms you may or may not have ever heard before. But no matter your level of beer expertise, you’re almost guaranteed a good pint and a fun time.