Fine Dining in Boulder
Boulder hasn't always been known for its fine dining options. However, in recent years a number of award-winning restaurants have planted roots. Below are some local favorites.
1039 Pearl Street (map)
The Kitchen made a splash on the Boulder dining scene with its fresh "farm to table" approach – and it quickly found a following. Even the New York Times was impressed, claiming that The Kitchen "is creating a culinary community." Known for its organic ingredients and creative spins on old favorites, The Kitchen is one of Boulder's most laid-back fine dining spots. But be warned: prime time weekend waits can be an hour long, and start as early as 6 pm. So plan ahead or visit during off-times. Ascend to the neighboring "Kitchen Upstairs" for a cozy bar experience – or the "Kitchen Next Door" for more casual fair. If you are lucky, you may get a window seat with a view of Pearl Street and the Flatirons.
1738 Pearl Street (map)
Inspired by the Friuli region of northern Italy, Frasca offers some of the best Italian fare in Colorado. Since its launch in 2004, Frasca has piled up awards and glowing reviews. Gourmet magazine named Frasca one of America's "top 50 restaurants," and 5280 magazine claimed that, "Frasca rivals some of the best dining experiences in the country." Frasca is frequently rated the top restaurant in Boulder. Get reservations in advance (read: weeks in advance) if you can.
1964 13th Street (map)
Small, intimate, and quiet, Black Cat doesn't quite garner the national publicity like Frasca and The Kitchen. However, many locals love this spot. Black Cat's owner is passionate about organic, local food, and creates meals from the restaurant's own organic farm. The menu changes daily, and the offerings are creative and seasonal. Perfect for an intimate conversation and attracts a "grown up" crowd. Small groups will enjoy the semi-private booth in back.
Brasserie Ten Ten
1011 Walnut Street (map)
Paris in Boulder: romantic, elegant, and delectable. Tucked away on Walnut street, Brasserie Ten Ten is often filled to capacity. The bistro cuisine includes French favorites from onion soup and escargots to bouillabaisse and coq au vin. A classy spot for a dinner date. Brunch on the sidewalk patio is also a delight. You can also visit Brasserie Ten Ten's sister restaurant across the street, The Med. (See our casual dining page for details.)
1739 Pearl Street (map)
More boisterous (and bold) than Brasserie Ten Ten, L'Atelier offers another Boulder bistro experience. However, Prague-born chef Radek Cerney moves far beyond traditional French fare. The food at L'Atelier is served with creativity and flair; you'll find tastes spanning Europe and beyond. Note that the place can be loud at times. Make sure to leave room for dessert.
1138 Flagstaff Road (map)
The granddaddy of fine dining in Boulder, Flagstaff House has been around for nearly forty years. Perched atop the Boulder foothills, Flagstaff offers sweeping views with your meal. The place isn't cheap, and some might find it overly formal. But for an elegant dining experience, Flagstaff can't be beat. (Hint: try a glass of wine at sunset for an affordable intro.)