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Foodgasm: Boulder Eats

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One of the best features that Boulder had to offer, aside from the scenic views and warm people, was their vast array of delicious food. As a food lover (but who isn't, really?), only a separate blog post could do the wonderful gastronomic experience we've had in Boulder justice. Here are some of the restaurants we visited and my verdict:

Backcountry Pizza & Tap House
Given that this it was a couple of blocks away from our hotel, this was the first place we decided to get food from once we set food in Boulder. However, once we got there, the waitress informed us that the kitchen was already closed. We decided to try it for another day - that day being a Thursday.
Food: We got the cannoli to share and a couple of beers, both of which were good. They have a huge beer selections, and is touted to have the largest number of taps in all of Boulder.
Ambiance: Laidback atmosphere with booths, bar and middle tables to cater to your desired intimacy. You could also go al fresco if you want. Albeit well-lit, the place is still dim enough to rouse a relaxing ambiance.
Service: It was okay - nothing extraordinary.
Recommended? If you're out for a casual date or just relaxing with friends, this is the perfect bar to head to. They close earlier on weekdays though.

A couple more blocks down the street, this sports bar was where we ended up going on our first dinner in Boulder. It wasn't quite our kind of place, what with the ginormous televisions blaring sports and sports paraphernalia plastered all over the place, it definitely was not the perfect atmosphere for conversation. Sports bars have always seemed to me as too rowdy and loud but given that it was around 10 p.m., we didn't have much choice.
Food: We ordered the New England clam chowder and a couple of veggie burgers. They were...'eh'. I remember the croutons on the chowder being  good but other than that, the food did not leave much of an impression.
Ambiance: As good as a sports bar can get.
Service: Nothing remarkable
Recommended? If you're into sports bar, this is a good one, I guess.

T/ACO an Urban Taqueria
A favorite go-to place for tacos by my boyfriend's coworkers, gourmet tacos became the center of our appetites as I joined my boyfriend and his coworkers for lunch.
Food: A wide range of menu for the taco lovers out there, but being paescetarian, we opted for the red snapper, ahi and shrimp tacos. I loved the red snapper and ahi but found the shrimp tacos okay. We also ordered a couple of margaritas, which I found to be quite strong. I finished one and was already feeling a bit woozy.
Ambiance: Boisterous, casual and perfect for a Friday evening dinner after work. My boyfriend's coworkers seemed to be good friends with the owner so he conversed with us for a couple of minutes.
Service: Very good.
Recommended? Yes. They have good tacos but be prepared to pay $3+ for a taco.

Snooze, an AM Eatery
Located on the least gregarious side of Pearl St., Snooze, an AM Eatery was  a pleasant surprise. There was a long wait for a table, but since there was only two of us, we were seated almost immediately.
Food: We came here twice and had ordered the Caprese Benedict and Benny Goodman on the first try. On our second try, we got the Caprese Benedict, Huevos Rancheros and half of the OMG! French Toast. If it isn't already obvious, the Caprese Benedict, with its poached egg doused with cream cheese hollandaise. fresh mozzarella and balsamic glaze that came with a side of pesto-tossed heirloom tomatoes, was a personal favorite. The French Toast, which was a mascarpone-stuffed, brioche toast topped with salted caramel, fresh strawberries, toasted coconut and vanilla creme, was delicious as well
Ambiance: Bustling with energy and the typical diner feel. Perfect for brunch!
Service: We've had good service from this place though some Yelpers have alluded to otherwise. I say you come in and experience it for yourself.
Recommended? Highly, and rightly so.

Smooch Frozen Yogurt & Mochi
Food: My boyfriend does not like mochi ice cream (the travesty, I know). However, he loved the mochi ice creams I got from this place. There were a lot of wonderful flavors, all of which was delightful to the palate. My only criticism would be that the mochi was a bit too hard for my taste. I like my mochi a bit soft and easier to chew. My boyfriend, on the other hand, loved the chewiness and was actually one of the reasons why he likes the mochi ice cream I got from this place. It's pretty inexpensive too - I got 7 different mochi flavors for $14. What a steal!
Ambiance: Minimalist, tiny and cute. There aren't a lot of seating options.
Service: Self-service. Cashier was helpful and cordial.
Recommended? If you're into ice cream, sweets and mochi, this is the place for you.

Sushi Tora
As lovers of sushi, we couldn't let trying Sushi Tora pass. There are three best sushi restaurants in Boulder - Zanmai, Kasa & Sushi Tora. Zanmai was apparently where the prime minister of Japan dined when he was in Denver. Regardless, since Sushi Tora was closest and we were hungry after yet another attempt at a hike, we decided to go there instead.
Food: We ordered our usual, which my boyfriend usually orders for me nowadays since he knows exactly what and how many I want. We got salmon, yellowtail, uni, bluefin tuna, eel, a tuna handroll and red snapper, all of which were delicious and very satisfying. They had what might have been the best red snapper I've ever had in my life.
Ambiance: Typical of a sushi restaurant and as I've read, has a more fancy atmosphere in comparison to Zanmai.
Service: Splendid.
Recommended? Definitely.

Chautauqua Dining Hall
After a short-lived hike on the Chautauqua trail due to the drizzle, we went to this restaurant for two reasons: 1.) It was close to the trailhead 2.) It was built in 1898 and is considered a historical building in Boulder.
Food: We ordered clam chowder, chai tea, Sockeye salmon and their Market Fish, which was, at that time, a dish with halibut. My boyfriend liked the food but I found it lackluster and wanting of flavor. It was okay to say the least, but definitely not worth what we paid for.
Ambiance: I've heard and read people say you pay for the ambiance. That part is on point. The building itself reminded me of a city hall but the interior seemed to me like what Gatsby's mansion would look like if he lived in Boulder. We opted to be seated on the patio, and while it would have been a better experience had the weather been better, it was a lovely view nonetheless.
Service: Pleasant
Recommended? If you're all for being a part of history, then by all means. Otherwise, I'd say skip it.

The Mediterranean Restaurant
Also lovingly known as 'The Med', this restaurant is owned by the same wonderful person who owns Brasserie Ten Ten. In fact, it is situated adjacent to the Brasserie.
Food: They have a LOT variety but what drew us the most were their reasonably priced tapas plates. You'd be hard-pressed to find tapas plates for less than $7 in LA so we engorged ourselves. We ordered the Gambas La Plancha, Polenta con Funghi, Calamari Fritti, Truite Fumee, & Burrata Caprese. My favorites were the calamari, the burrata & the polenta, which were all fantastic to the palate.
Ambiance: It's somewhat fancy yet casual at the same time. It seems good for a first date or catching up with friends.
Service: Good.
Recommended? Yes

Avery Brewing Company
We went to Avery on their 23rd Anniversary celebration, and had an amazing time! Tickets were $60/person, which included one lunch and 9 glasses of beers from tap. I barely got to finish three glasses, but was quite impressed by the quality of the beer I did end up getting.
Food: We got a salmon burger and a vegan sloppy joe (I've never liked vegan sloppy joes or just sloppy joes in general). Obviously, I didn't like the sloppy joe but found the salmon burger delicious!
Ambiance: The whole place was ginormous! There are also some spots where you could see their brewing plant. It was a cool sight.
Service: Fantastic! Everyone was so nice.
Recommended? You gotta, man.

A block away from our hotel, this awesome vegan restaurant wouldn't have been on our list of restaurants to try had I not done my due diligence in researching it on yelp. We decided to try it on our last day in Boulder.
Food: We ordered the the kombucha on tap, the Tropical Sunshine smoothie (made from Sprouted Cashew milk, pineapple, papaya, banana, chamomile, coconut oil, camu camu, mangosteen, hemp protein and coconut crystals), Elevated cheesecake (don't ask me why it's elevated), the cheezy broccoli soup and a sandwich (I forgot the name - you'll know why in a minute!). Between everything we've ordered, we definitely loved the elevated cheesecake and smoothie the most. They were just bursting with flavor! We also liked the kombucha on tap as well as the soup. The least praiseworthy and was honestly just 'eh' for me, was the sandwich. Except for the texture and the nutrients, nothing about the sandwich was memorable.
Ambiance: Aside from the food choices, one of the most interesting things about Thrive was their ambiance. We sat on the countertop tables and was mildly enthused with stones embedded onto it.
Service: People here were so chill albeit the food took quite a while.
Recommended? Yes!

Tibet Kitchen
Coming highly recommended by a couple of acquaintances, both of whom have been residing in Boulder for quite some time, we decided to give it a try for lunch.
Food: We ordered the Tsel Vegetarian Momo (Tibetan/Nepalese version of dumplings), Gyathuk Long Noodle soup with vegetables and Gyathuk Ngopa. We both loved the Momos and found the Gyathuk Long Noodle Soup just okay. I liked the Gyathuk Ngopa a lot but my boyfriend didn't like it as much as the other two items we got. They also gave us free chai tea, which we both enjoyed.
Service: It was self-service but the cashier who greeted us was nice. She also recommended the food that we ordered.
Ambiance: What it lacked in fanciness and glamour, it made up for in coziness and warmth.
Recommended? Yes, but only if you lived in or near the area. Don't drive an hour for this.

Brasserie Ten Ten
Granted, I haven't been to a lot, which is weird given that my boyfriend is Belgian. Regardless, this place blew all the LA French restaurants we've been to out of the water. Yes, it's THAT good.
Food: We ordered oysters, Moules a la Mariniere (which was my boyfriend's mom's favorite dish) and Bouillabaisse. My boyfriend also got their IPA for the day. The Moules a la Mariniere was probably my favorite dish though the Bouillabaisse came a close second. The mussels were cooked to perfection and I think my tongue high-fived me a little.
Ambiance: Exuding a classy and modern vibe, Brasserie encouraged high expectations and enjoyed the rewards of gracefully exceeding them. We had such an amazing time, notwithstanding the ambiance. Everything just seemed perfect.
Service: Phenomenal. Our server was efficient and friendly without being intrusive.
Recommended? 101%. I wish there was a branch in LA. I'd be a regular for sure.

A big part of the reason why I travel is because of the food, and Boulder definitely did not disappoint. I can't wait for more adventures - both food and places - in the future!

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