Village Coffee Shop, 1605 Folsom St., Boulder, villagecoffeeshopboulder.com
Maybe the last restaurant holdout of Old Boulder, Village Coffee Shop is still worth the wait. And there may be a substantial wait — long lines tend to wrap around the storefront, especially when CU is in session. But once you get in, whether you’re posted up on a stool at the bar or cozily packed into a booth with dark brown wooden benches and a bright red table, you’re just in a different, better, older world. Dare we say, a trip to Village Coffee Shop makes Boulder great again? Its motto, “890 square feet of reality… surrounded by Boulder,” says as much, but in a much more charming way. Anyway, the food is still no-frills comfort breakfast and lunch specials. The Red Rooster — chicken fried steak with mayonnaise on toast — is crispy, salty and savory. Crinkle-cut fries feel archaic but make sense here. Coffee is topped off regularly, people are happy and conversations are abundant. It’s pure, unadulterated, simple greatness. $8.50.
Machaca con Huevos Burrito
Café Copan, 1515 Main St., Unit 5, Longmont, mycafecopan.com
The new-ish Café Copan brings Honduran coffee and food to Longmont. A small kitchen churns out dozens of Latin American staples, including the machaca con huevos burrito. Ridiculously tender beef is shredded, and biting into it reveals hints of fruit and deep earthy umami. Eggs are scrambled fluffy and light with a bit of flavor added in from salt, pepper and the skillet. Smothered in cheese and fiery green chile, it’s a stomach-stretching and delicious way to start your day. Pair it with Copan’s selection of imported Honduran coffee. $5.95.
Brooklyn Deli, 1515 Main St., Unit 6, Longmont, thebrooklyndeli.com
Whatever you want to say about New Jersey, go ahead. Because for all the stereotypes — which, really, are mostly smell-based — the Garden State has given the world great things: Bruce Springsteen, the light bulb and the pork-based roll of meat known as Taylor Ham (or pork roll). Thus, at Longmont’s Brooklyn Deli, the classic Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll is called The Jersey, and it’s as close to the real deal as you’ll find in Colorado. Two eggs are fried over hard, American cheese is gooped over and slices of Taylor Ham are fried to greasy and hot. The kaiser roll, chewy and soft, soaks it all up. $6.95.
Pepe e Nocciola Pizza
Pizzeria Locale, 1730 Pearl St., Boulder, localeboulder.com
Pizzeria Locale may be going national, but the Boulder outpost still stays true to its roots and treats locals well. With excellent service, top-notch wine and drinks, innovative meals and a sleek interior, the East Pearl pizza joint is still the upscale restaurant with a casual atmosphere we want it to be. But the thing at Locale is still the pizza, and its pepe e nocciola pizza is a creative feat. Mozzarella and tallegio cheeses top red pepper pesto. Hazelnuts and scorched basil are set on top. It’s all in good balance — the crust is chewy and slightly charred, the pesto is spicy and robust, the cheeses are cooling and sweet, the blackened basil is bright, and the hazelnut has an outsized starring role. $16.