Boulder City Guide
Boulder, Colorado is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. You get the good parts of city life but you are still living right next to the mountains. It still blows my mind that you can have brunch at Spruce, then go for a walk and end up in the mountains after less than a mile. I had the privilege of living there for 2 years, and am still getting over the fact that that chapter my life is closed.
One of my favorite hobbies, no matter where I am, is finding good local spots for food, coffee, boutiques, and more. Here are some of my favorites that I am already missing so much.
This one is definitely the most pricey on my list, but is literally the best meal I have ever had. From the customer service to the quality of food, Frasca gives their guests an experience they will never forget. I went to Frasca a few months ago with a friend and ended up being there for about four hours. We made friends with our server (Chris) who helped educate us on each course and the wine that it was paired with. We were able to ask any question that we wanted without feeling like we were being an imposition, and were encouraged to take our time with each course and enjoy our night. At the end of our meal Chris gave us a tour of the restaurant, kitchen, and wine cellar. It was a night that I’ll never forget and totally worth the splurge.
Pizzeria servers unique pizzas, salads and appetizers that you can’t find anywhere else. My personal favorites are the Mais and Maile pizzas. They also have a really good happy hour with some of their best wine and pizzas on it.
In my opinion, Southern Sun has the best burger in Boulder. Although there are tons of good burgers my all time favorite is the Date Night Burger (it’s made with goat cheese and dates).
My favorite brunch in Boulder is Spruce Fish & Farm inside Hotel Boulderado. Spruce serves all kinds of unique dishes like their Soft Shell Crab Benedict and their Cinnamon roll pancakes. Spruce serves local & organic breakfasts that are affordable.
I’m not a huge sandwich person but Cured makes organic sandwiches that you can grab and take on a hike or picnic. My favorite is the Spicy Frenchman made with Brie, Ham & Peaches. On hot summer days, I would grab a sandwich at Cured and take it up to Brainard Lake as a mid-hike lunch. Nothing is better than a gourmet sandwich after a tough hike.
Rapha will always have a special place in my heart. I probably spent more time at this coffee shop than any other place in Boulder. Rapha is a high end bike apparel shop & cycling club as well as minimalist cafe. They offer a membership for their cyclists where you pay $200 a year and you can get two drinks a day. If you do the math, you won’t find a better deal anywhere else and they serve local Boxcar coffee. Although Rapha is intended for cyclists, it has become a co-working space for some people since they offer such great food, coffee and free wifi. Rapha became my community because I spent so much time there and I met some awesome people there.
This tiny little hidden gem is a little bit outside of Boulder but is totally worth the drive. They bake fresh bread & pastries inside and serve high quality coffee. The baristas are very knowledgeable & friendly.
Ampersand has an adorable little shop in Gunbarrel and they serve the best pour overs and nitro cold brew around. The staff are extremely friendly and you can see them roasting their coffee beans right there if you come at the right time. I always bought Ampersand coffee beans for the pour overs that I would make at home.
Boxcar is right next door to Rapha and shares a building with Cured. They are on of my favorite local coffee roasters in the area and they make pour-overs and serve amazing pastries. Boxcar can get a little but crowded but I love the vibe.
In my opinion the Hotel Boulderado is the best way to experience the culture of Boulder while staying in a luxurious space. It’s conviently located one block from Pearl street and you can walk to pretty much all of the places I have on my travel guide, as well as the downtown transit station. I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Boulderado and get a tour of their facility. Hotel Boulderado has been Boulder’s top hotel for over a hundred years. If you are visiting Boulder, take a peek in the lobby to see the beautiful interior and stop by Spruce or License No. 1 for brunch or drinks. This spot truly is one of the gems of Boulder.
Shops & More
Cedar & Hyde is the most aesthetically pleasing shop ever. They have an apparel shop and homeware shop on the same block, but like their homeware shop best. Every time I went I would be greeted by the most adorable dog at the front before I looked through all of their kitchen, bathroom and bedroom decor. I was always so tempted by their ceramic dinnerware and linen napkins. Even though I never bought anything from this shop, I would always take my friends there who were exploring Boulder!
I love this little boutique off of Pearl Street. Its small but there is beautiful jewelry, vintage clothes from Found Shop and home decor.
Alchemy was my favorite place to get facials on days when I wanted to treat myself or a friend. The decor inside is absolutely beautiful and the staff do their best to make every visit a relaxing experience. They also do eyelash extensions and makeovers that I heard are amazing.
Cured has little gift shop inside Boxcar Coffee Roasters with gourmet chocolate, food and unique houseware gifts. I love the curated selection in this little gem.
**This article was written in partnership with Fresca Food & Wine and Hotel Boulderado.