Experience one of the best food scenes in the nation, with a unique focus on healthy and sustainable eating
Boulder was named America’s Foodiest Town by legendary food magazine Bon Appetit, and the city’s reputation as a haven for food-and-drink lovers with distinguished tastes has only grown since.
Boulder is perhaps best known as Colorado’s thriving hub for health-minded professionals who want to spend their free time hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful landscape while keeping active and fit. Naturally, with active lifestyles come strong appetites, and the city’s food scene has become a shining example of how to blend ecologically sustainable, healthy eating with delicious flavors and cuisines from around the globe.
Whether you’re just considering a visit or looking to make a move to the city, the array of excellent markets, cafés, restaurants, bars, and food experiences in Boulder attracts the interest of foodies all over the country. We’ve assembled five reasons Boulder still reigns supreme as one of America’s foodiest towns, along with recommendations for the spots that locals love and visitors flock to.
Boulder’s focus on healthy and sustainable eating isn’t just found at its restaurants, but also at the excellent markets and grocers where residents stock up on necessities, farm-fresh produce, delicious baked goods, and more. Find ingredients for your next great recipe, pick up some locally-made products, and bring Boulder’s foodie culture home.
- The Boulder Farmers Market is a must-visit Boulder destination for food lovers. This bustling market, which has been serving the community for over 30 years, was named the best farmers market in the nation by USA Today. Its festival-like atmosphere draws lively crowds of families and neighbors every Saturday to buy fresh, 100% local goods from 150 farmers and other food vendors. You can try a sample of ripe, delicious fruits and vegetables, grab a fresh-brewed tea or coffee, bring home some organic, handmade cheeses, and enjoy a selection of prepared foods like tamales, dumplings, and more. Altogether, the market is Boulder’s undisputed foodie paradise—with so many options to explore, you can try something new each week and never get tired of what you’ll find.
- Natural Grocers has local roots as a Colorado-based company, providing a true eco-conscious shopping experience. Excess packaging is avoided whenever possible, and the store provides recycled boxes rather than wasteful bags. Of any grocery store or market in Boulder, Natural Grocers has one of the best selections of local produce, organic meats, and a huge array of vitamins/supplements in stock.
- Whole Foods is a national grocery chain known for its wide selection of organic and natural items. Its Boulder location is one of the most popular grocery stores in the city, featuring fresh produce, organic and ethically-raised meat products, as well as a prepared foods section with everything from a mouthwatering pizza counter to a vibrant, colorful salad bar.
Sustainable Fine Dining
Boulder has led the way in bringing healthy, sustainable eating into the world of fine dining. The city’s many high-end restaurants reflect a local feel that celebrates farm-to-table ingredients, craft beer and wine, and friendly service.
- Blackbelly was founded by Chef Hosea Rosenberg, who is known as the winner of Top Chef Season 5. Blackbelly is fine dining with rustic roots, and its original menu was inspired by the fresh produce from Chef Rosenberg’s own farm near Boulder. The farm also humanely raises a variety of animals to be served at the restaurant, including pigs, ducks, and chickens. The restaurant remains inspired by these early farm-to-table roots and is notable as one of the only independent butcheries in the city. Today, you’ll find a menu of fresh, seasonally-inspired dishes that satisfy Boulderites year-round.
- Frasca Food and Wine is one of Boulder’s absolute best culinary destinations. It has been the recipient of several James Beard Awards—the most prestigious award in the food world—including Best Chef in the Southwest, Outstanding Service, Outstanding Wine Service, and many nominations in other categories. With menus inspired by the cuisine of Northern Italy and wine service overseen by master sommelier Bobby Stuckey, Frasca provides a unique, high-end dining experience that draws visitors from around the nation. Be sure to try the Monday night wine tasting and dinners, where the chef and a rotating selection of winemakers present a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
- Cafe Aion is a Spanish and Moroccan fusion experience where delicious meals are served tapas-style on shareable platters made for groups to sample alongside wine and beer. It’s an ideal, relaxed environment for special occasions and gatherings, and is a favorite dinner spot for locals.
Whether you’re just stopping for a quick latte on your way to the office or want to meet friends over a calming cup of tea, Boulder has some excellent spots to enjoy a handcrafted beverage and light café fare.
- The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House is a truly unique fixture in Boulder’s food scene. This traditional tea house is housed in a stunning work of architectural and artistic beauty, with an intricate, hand-painted ceiling, panels on the walls carved by Tajikistani artisans, and an interior reflecting pool with a small garden. On the menu, you’ll find an impressive array of Asian dishes spanning multiple types of cuisine, and, of course, a range of high-end teas from around the world that are brewed to perfection.
- Boxcar Coffee Roasters is a casual coffee shop and roastery serving delicious drinks and baked goods. It’s a favorite choice for its friendly service, inviting indoor and outdoor seating, as well as its great merchandise and selection of fresh-roasted coffee beans for at-home brewing.
- Pekoe Sip House is a Boulder-based local business and another great spot for tea-lovers. In addition to their selection of fresh-brewed teas, you’ll find coffee, a range of specialty drinks, tea-making accessories, pastries, and more.
- The Point, a small café located near the University of Colorado campus, is a popular study spot for students that serves coffee, tea, and a limited menu of delicious breakfast sandwiches.
When it’s the end of the night and those sweet tooth cravings kick in, Boulder has plenty of options to keep you satisfied.
- Piece, Love & Chocolate was created by Boulder pastry chef and chocolatier, Sarah Amorese. At the shop, you’ll find a variety of delicious chocolate confections, including expertly-crafted truffles, custom cakes, and more.
- Crumbl Cookies offers moist, delectable cookies and fresh ice cream in a variety of creative flavors. Try their classic milk chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookie flavors, or branch out to their rotating selection, which includes red velvet, cookies and cream, lemon chiffon, and more. Their cookie and ice cream pairings are an unbeatable favorite for those with a serious sweet tooth.
- Spruce Confections is a go-to for all kinds of incredible baked goods. Their famous oat cookies make a great gift, and you’ll also find cakes, handmade pastries, scones, and much more that have made Spruce Confections a staple for locals and a must-visit for tourists.
Exciting Food Tours
When a city is home to so many great dining establishments, markets, and cafés, it can be hard to nail down which places to try first. Thankfully, Boulder’s foodie culture has led to an increase in food tours and experiences that help guide both residents and visitors to the best spots and most delicious menu items to be found around town.
- The Boulder County Farm Trail is an informal guide to over 850 farms throughout the Boulder area, many of which are open to visitors at certain times throughout the year. Take a scenic drive through Boulder’s more rural outskirts and find opportunities to meet and learn from local farmers, pick and eat fresh produce, bring the kids along to family-friendly petting zoos, and more.
- Boulder’s Top Chef-inspired food guide takes you on a self-guided experience to enjoy some of the great restaurants featured on Top Chef’s Boulder-centric episode as well as must-see local sights.
- The Taste of Boulder Food Tour takes you through some of Downtown Boulder’s most delicious restaurants and dessert spots near the bustling hub of Pearl Street. A local guide will bring your group to great local establishments, where chefs and bartenders will craft unique food and drink pairings that will give you a taste of Boulder’s best dining. It’s a fun and easy way to explore the wealth of options the city provides for foodies with the help of an experienced guide.
Want to Enjoy Boulder’s Foodie Culture Year-Round?
Boulder’s health-focused culture, delicious food, thriving art scene, and environmentally conscious lifestyle makes it a one-of-a-kind place to call home. If you’re interested in buying property in Boulder, Burgess Group’s team of experienced Colorado real estate agents can help you find the right home at the right price. Our team is composed of expert Denver and Boulder, Colorado real estate agents ready to help make finding your next home a streamlined, worry-free process. Whether you’re interested in buying Denver real estate or want to learn more about luxury Boulder homes for sale, Burgess Group has proven skills and an excellent track record that clients of all kinds can trust.
You can explore our site to learn more about real estate in the excellent Colorado communities we serve and contact us to get all the information and assistance you need to purchase your new home with confidence.