Food Lab Boulder
1825 Pearl A, Boulder
Boulder has steadily grown to become a foodie destination, in-part because of its long history of serving farm-to-table fare, but also due to its high concentration of talented chefs. A newer addition to the city’s culinary scene, Food Lab makes itself at home as a community-driven cooking school. Founder and owner Casey Easton describes the space as “inviting and not-intimidating,” offering a place for couples, friends, families, and companies to bond over the communal act of cooking. The three-hour-long classes are totally hands-on, and range from pasta-making to paella with the last thirty minutes or so reserved for dining together. Easton’s taste for interior design is evident in the chic, industrial, bright space, which makes coming here for a cooking lesson even more fun.
1738 Pearl St., Boulder
Founded by French Laundry alums Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (chef) and Bobby Stuckey (MS), Frasca has been Boulder’s culinary gem for more than a decade. It’s no secret, either: Frasca has been lauded since its opening and was a James Beard finalist in 2016 (for Outstanding Restaurant, in good company with places like Momofuku Noodle Bar and The Spotted Pig). While you can opt for a customizable four-course menu, we recommend choosing the seven-course chef’s tasting option, which showcases the Friulian cuisine they’re known for. Stuckey's wine list, which includes more than 200 varieties, is a major part of the appeal here.
3070 28th St., Boulder
The Verde kitchen got its start in 2010 on wheels, when some friends from Arizona wanted to bring the Sonoran-style Mexican food they missed to Boulder in the form of a food truck. (Around this time, they adopted the motto “Work Hard. Be Nice. Eat Burritos.”) After years of success, they finally expanded to a brick and mortar location, which sells the same great tacos and burritos, plus chile rellenos, fajitas, and best of all, a menu of margaritas.
West End Tavern
926 Pearl St., Boulder
Truly a neighborhood bar, West End Tavern has been around for decades—though you wouldn't know it from the updated décor. Everything about the place is as inviting and warm as you might hope: The menu is full of genuinely delicious comfort food, from sautéed greens and deviled eggs to burgers to roast-pork sandwiches and shrimp po’ boys, plus some seriously good barbecue. Of course, the bar has craft cocktails, more than seventy-five bourbons to choose from, and a draft and bottled beer line-up that really showcases Colorado’s craft beer culture. There’s indoor and outdoor rooftop seating with some of the best views in the area, and this is also a great place to watch a Buffs game.
1651 Broadway, Boulder
Boulder's original natural foods store has an extensive selection of organic produce, premium versions of just about every item you can think of, a great selection of vegetarian- and vegan-friendly products, plus a slew of gluten-free products (including a whole case dedicated to gluten-free pastry). Locals and out-of-towners alike come for the shop's deli and sushi stand at lunchtime; and their wine shop is a must-stop (they offer happy-hour tastings, 5pm to 7pm, on Tuesdays and Fridays).
Cedar & Hyde
2015 10th St., Boulder
Cedar & Hyde is a one-stop shop for modern-mountain-chic giftables for everyone on your list—from minimalist jewelry, clean perfume oil, and aromatic candles for her, to denim, henleys, leather accessories, and grooming provisions for him. Sisters Christie and Poss Lambert own and curate this charming his-and-hers lifestyle shop, keeping it stocked with a dreamy array of small/indie/artisanal designers like Lauren Manoogian, Amo Denim, Baserange, Hope, Jessie Kamm, and Hansel from Basel; plus, hand-picked home goods, of-the-moment cookbooks, quarterlies, and magazines (i.e. Gather Journal); hand-made wooden and ceramic plates, bowls, and pottery, hand-woven turkish towels; and even camping gear. Good luck leaving here without a few gifts for yourself on top of a slew of souvenirs for your loved ones.
1048 Pearl St., Boulder
Husband and wife Lon and Lauren McGowan founded this hand-curated design shop in 2013 in downtown Boulder, where they provide gifts and décor that perfectly suit cozy mountain life. The array of artisan-made gifts and goods here truly runs the gamut, from Donna Wilson’s adorable lambswool plush toys she hand-knits in Scotland, to super-soft hats, scarves, and throws, to more practical items like survival knives and study/desk necessities. Don't miss Alpine Modern’s in-house line of candles, made with essential oils that evoke the Colorado wilderness (think: fresh-cut fir and fragrant cedar). The Pearl Street shop’s interior, replete with beautiful, natural-wood wrought in refined, geometric designs, is a sight to see in itself.
The St. Julien
900 Walnut St., Boulder
Incredibly well-situated with views of downtown Boulder and the mountains, St. Julien is the best of both worlds one typically comes to Denver for: the great outdoors and luxuriously cozy accommodations. On offer are both outdoor adventure packages and ski escapes (thanks to a partnership with Eldora Mountain), full-service on-site spa, and afternoon tea in The Onyx Room—a stunningly gorgeous, private dining room—of the hotel’s modern, organic-and-sustainable-centric restaurant and bistro, Jill’s. In addition to the spa, a lap pool, whirlpool, and fitness center are available to guests; and (if you feel compelled to leave this has-it-all haven) it’s just a five-minute walk to the Pearl Street Mall.
946 Pearl St., Boulder
Started by three Boulder natives and childhood friends with a passion for cold-pressed juice and nut milk, it takes just a glance at Wonder Press’s menu to see why we love it: You can get a standard latte with nut milk, or you can get one of their made-to-order “magic” concoctions like cacao, raw coconut sugar and nut milk spiced with cinnamon and cayenne, or a lemon mate tea with maple and cayenne, or a dandelion root and chicory latte. Their juice is the real deal—never pasteurized, never pressure-processed, served in a glass bottle and packed with several pounds of nutritive produce. Even better, they’re committed to producing as little waste as possible, which means they have a bottle exchange program and residual pulp from juices is either donated or used in their house-made muffins. Lots of natural light, abundant pillows (and free wifi) add to Wonder Press’s charm.
1521 Pearl St., Boulder
The Dragontree is a veritable sanctuary centrally located in Boulder, offering transporting, therapeutic massages—perfect for an escape, even if you’re already on vacation here. Their spa services extend to acupuncture, Ayurveda, and cosmetic waxing; they also provide luxurious head-to-toe treatments in the Sangha Room—from foot baths to head/neck/shoulder treatments to combination packages that literally work on you from head to toe—which can be enjoyed by groups at a time (Sangha is Sanskrit for “a group of like-minded people who join together for mutual enlightenment”). They also have their own inside-and-out body care line, Dragontree Apothecary.
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