Visiting Boulder Colorado

Casual Restaurants in Boulder

Quite a bit more relaxed than Boulder's fine dining selections, these restaurants offer excellent food in a comfortable setting. This is where many Boulder locals dine out.

Rosetta Hall

1109 Walnut Street (map)

The first of Boulder's two popular food hall concepts, Rosetta Hall features eight food kitchens in a shared space. You'll find Peruvian Chameleon, Middle Eastern Amira, Italian Amalfi, Thai Chiang Mai, American Flatiron, Chinese Shanghai Moon, Tierra Mexican, and patisserie Petite Fleur. A full bar and the Gracia coffee shop in front round out the space. The rooftop offers nice views of the flatirons.

Avanti Food and Beverage

1401 Pearl Street (map)
(720) 343.7757

Avanti food hall is a similar setup to Rosetta Hall, though slightly less international and a bit more of a party scene. The wrap-around rooftop eating and drinking area is quite large, and offers fantastic views of the Pearl Street mall and the surrounding foothills. Food offerings include Middle Eastern Boychik, New Yorkese pizza, Taiwanese Pig and Tiger, Venezuelan Quiero Arepas, Rooted Craft American, and Rye Society Jewish cuisine. Lost City coffee and two bars offer an abundance of drinks.

Bar Taco

1048 Pearl Street (map)
(719) 249-8226

Here we have tacos, tacos, tacos — and a few "not tacos" as well. The mushroom with queso fresco is a favorite. But Bar Taco also offers tuna tatako tacos, chile-lime shrimp tacos, and tacos with spiced chicken verde, seared chorizo, and even falafel. Its "not tacos" offerings include ceviche, green papaya salad, and rustic chicken soup. The drinks are made with fresh squeezed-at-the-bar juice. Most tacos are under $4, which keeps the bill reasonable. Be prepared to scan the menu and order your meal using your phone.

Jax Fish House

928 Pearl Street (map)
(303) 444-1811

For casual seafood in Boulder, Jax offers everything from oysters to lobster rolls to Alaskan wild salmon. The place is small and often packed; a tiny outdoor patio is quieter, though it may be tough to get a seat. The happy hour menu includes $2 oysters, gumbo, and a generous portion of peel n' eat shrimp with mustard sauce. Visitors who miss their coastal cuisine should pay Jax a visit.

Hapa Sushi

2014 10th Street (map)
(303) 444-2280

Sushi in Colorado via Hawaii? It can be done — and with fun. There are three things to know about Hapa Sushi: (1) Its happy hour specials can't be beat; (2) the tables on the Pearl Street mall provide a lovely setting; and (3) the food and drink menu is huge. Try some of the Hawaiian-themed starters for a change of pace. Other sushi options within a block or two include Sushi Zanmai (1221 Spruce Street), a fun and sometimes ebullient place; and Japango (1136 Pearl Street), with its mesmerizing jellyfish aquarium column. Pop in to take a look.

ND streetBAR

1035 Pearl Street (map)
(720) 542-8159

Originally an offshoot of The Kitchen (see fine dining page), "The Kitchen Next Door" became "Next Door Eatery" and then finally "ND streetBAR." Name changes aside, the food has always been interesting and affordable. The menu samples the world's street food cuisines, and features samosas, empanadas, shrimp Thai salads, and Peruvian chicken bowls. Most entrees are in the $10-$15 range, and there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating on the newly expanded Pearl Street walking mall area.


950 Pearl Street (map)
(303) 442-7771

Right next door to Bar Taco, Centro bills itself as a Mexican kitchen — with competing taco selections, and a fairly large selection of seafood and other entrees. Slightly more gourmet than Bar Taco, Centro features a nice enclosed patio with fire pits for cold weather. The mojitos are wonderful.

Chez Thuy

2655 28th Street (map)
(303) 442-1700

Boulder's best Vietnamese restaurant, Chez Thuy blends classical southeast Asian food with creative French influences. The portions are generous, the seasonings are delicious, and the price is reasonable. Chez Thuy is a popular local spot; thankfully, because of its efficient kitchen, there is rarely a long wait for a table. Try the delicious curries for a treat. Vegetarians will appreciate the variety of available options. Note that Chez Thuy is about a mile and a half northeast of the Pearl Street mall area. Takeout is available.

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