Danielle's Visitor's Guide

Posted on February 23, 2015

The best part of loving where you live is showing it off. In a place like Boulder, the “showing off” is easy! This weekend, my wonderful, and coffee-loving, mother will be leaving the warm weather of San Francisco and coming to visit! In this post, you'll find an itinerary that I've created for us to help provide ideas and inspiration for when you have visitors from out-of-town. 


Friday: We'll start off our weekend at one of our favorite places downtown; ten20! This salon is absolutely adorable. While you're getting your mani/pedi on, they treat you with complimentary M&M's and Coca-Cola, while you catch up on the latest Ellen or Modern Family episodes. We'll head west on Pearl street after that and take care of some afternoon shopping; Free People, Peppercorn, and Pitaya, we're coming for you! 

As happy hour approaches, we'll pick one of many happy hour specials to indulge in. As a mexican-food lover, I'm a huge fan of Tahona's happy hour....if you haven't tried their queso, you're seriously missing out! Sticking to the Mexican theme, we'll probably dine at Tahona, Centro, or Rio. Lastly, we'll have dessert at Jill's and head up to our room at the St Julien to get a good night's sleep!

Saturday: Rise and shine, visitors! We will start our Saturday morning off with coffee from one of the amazing coffee shops downtown. If you missed my last blog post regarding the best of the best of Boulder's coffee, feel free to read it here.  I know my mom will enjoy a relaxing morning at The Cup, complete with a pastry and her favorite skinny vanilla latte (which they do make at other places besides Starbucks). If the sun is shining (which I hope it is because us California girls love our warm weather), we'll hike up Chautauqua and enjoy the beautiful views from the top. If the weather is chilly and snowy, we'll check out classes at either BOCO Fit or Amana Yoga by vpk. After all, Boulder was rated one of America's Most Active Cities.

After a workout (and a much needed nap), we'll head back downtown for another delicious meal. There's always so many events happening downtown on the weekends, I encourage you to check out our events calendar! My mom and I will visit POSHSplat on Saturday night where we will learn to  paint "Aspen Views" onto a canvas. What better way to end a great day than with delicious treat from Piece Love & Chocolate?! As a fellow chocolate-lover, I'm sure my mom will enjoy their decadent deserts just as much as I do!

Sunday: To conclude our wonderful weekend, we'll enjoy a delicious brunch at Snooze. It's always so sad to see my momma leave after such a fun weekend together, but summer is only a few months away, which means another visit is on the horizon! Until next time, mom! xoxo​

Stay tuned for my mom's review of her weekend in Boulder! 

-Danielle (intern) 

Related Tags: Boulder, Coffee, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants, Shopping

True Life: I'm a Caffeine Addict

Posted on February 13, 2015

Once upon a time, in a small town right outside of San Francisco, a young Danielle looked up at her coffee-loving mother and thought to herself, "there is no way I will ever drink that AND LIKE IT". A hop, skip, and a jump later, I'm now 20 years old and my day is not complete without a Starbucks run. I constantly find myself craving a skinny vanilla latte or iced vanilla coffee with soy (yes, my coffee orders are that complicated) regardless of the hour of the day! Now that I work downtown, I decided to make my way through the district, trying all sorts of new coffee shops and cafes...living the dream, am I right?! Fun Fact: Downtown Boulder has over 17 different places to get coffee! I'm dedicating this blog post to my five favorite unique coffee places in downtown Boulder. So listen up coffee-lovers...

1) The Cup: Located on the East End of Pearl, this is probably one of my favorite coffee shops downtown. It's a large cafe where you can hang out, do homework, and enjoy one of their delicious homemade sandwiches and pastries. Their garage door patio is the perfect setting to enjoy  the beautiful Boulder sunshine! From students to tourists to the "Lance Armstrong's" of Boulder, The Cup offers something for everyone to enjoy!

2) Unseen Bean: This tiny, but mighty coffee shop is absolutely worth checking out! Master coffee roaster, Gerry Leary, has been blind from birth, but that's never stood in his way. He attended the San Francisco Coffee Training Institute before opening his own restaurant. Their creme brulee latte paired with a tasty egg and cheese breakfast bagel is pretty much the key to my happiness on a Monday morning!

3) Boxcar Coffee Roasters: I honestly had never heard of this place until I started my coffee adventures! It's an adorable establishment with a rustic feel to it on the East End. They sell bags of their freshly roasted coffee along the walls, so you can't help but take in every scent of that delicious coffee smell. One thing I love about Boxcar Coffee Roasters is that they highlight the various coffee-connected countries. If you're feeling adventurous, try their Columbia El Pita

4) Laughing Goat: All you night-owls, look no further! The Laughing Goat has live music, poetry, and entertainment every night of the week. It's the perfect place to get a cup of joe with some good friends ad enjoy the many talents Boulder has to offer. My recommendation: try the Venetian Cream; it's smooth, creamy, and a little sweet. I promise you won't regret it!

5) Trident Booksellers Cafe: Trident is maybe one of the coolest and most unique places I've ever stumbled across during my experience in Boulder. Not only is the coffee tasty, they have an incredible new and used book selection! I spent over 45 minutes browsing through everything from health and cooking books to rare first edition journals. If you love literature and have time to spare, this is the place to be!

These are just a few of the many coffee shops downtown Boulder offers. Check out the extensive list here. Whether it's hot or iced coffee, sandwiches, pastries, or the ambience, the coffee options of Boulder really have it all! The hardest part is deciding where to go...I encourage you to try them all! 

Happy tasting!


Related Destinations: The Cup - Espresso Cafe, Starbucks Coffee
Related Tags: Boulder, Coffee, East End, Restaurants

It's Valentine's Day!

Posted on February 9, 2015

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to pull out your red sweaters, succumb to candy advertisements telling you "Yes, you NEED this box of chocolate", and scramble to find something to do this Saturday (so you're not couped up at home watching Netflix all day). It's Valentines day! A holiday full of love, sweet treats, and a half-naked baby mascot, what's not to love? Whether you're single, taken, anti-valentine's day, or a softy at heart, there's something for everyone to do in this wonderful downtown on the 14th! 

I plan on spending my favorite holiday with the one thing I know will never break my heart, food. There are some incredible dining options on the 14th that both couples and singles alike can enjoy! If you decide to go for that mouthwatering multi-course meal at places like The Kitchen, Jax Fish house, or any of the other restaurants serving up delicious food this Valentine's Day, I guarantee you'll be leaving with a full-belly and a good time. One thing I'm looking forward to is Cured's Truffle Tasting Event. Chocolate tasting on Valentine's day? It doesn't get much better than that. 

If the ooey-gooey, couples stuff isn't for you, not to fear! There's plenty for singles to do out there. Fun fact: in 2010, Forbes magazine listed Boulder as the "Best City for Singles". So call up your single galpals and head to the "Paint Wine Love" event POSHsplat for an evening of artistic endeavors, fun friends, and an in-store bar. After that, head up Pearl Street for Conor O' Neil's annual Anti-Valentine's Bash! Make sure to check out live music at The Laughing Goat and late-night dancing at  Absinthe House. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than having a great time with good friends! 

Personally, I've always loved Valentine's Day! Regardless of my relationship status, it's a day to remind my best friends, family, and loved ones how much they mean to me. Make sure to check out the Downtown Boulder Gift Guide for all your Valentine's Day gift shopping this year! Whether you hand-craft valentines or dance the night away, I hope your Valentine's Day is full of good times and even better company! Have a wonderful Valentines Day, Boulder <3 



Related Tags: Boulder, Coffee, Dining, Holidays, Restaurants

First Bite Boulder

Posted on November 1, 2012

It’s Time to Eat Cheap!

It is pretty clear that we live in one of the best towns for foodies!  From farm to table restaurants, to delicious sushi, Italian and steakhouses Boulder is a Mecca for quality food.  And, luckily we all have the chance to sample some of these restaurants for a low price during the 7th annual First Bite Boulder.  More than 40 of Boulder’s restaurants will open their doors starting November 9th, offering a three course prix fixe dinner menu for $26. Checkout the list of participating downtown restaurants!

Restaurants participating in the downtown area include:


Antica Roma

Bacaro Venetian Taverna


Boulder ChopHouse

Bramble and Hare

Brasserie Ten Ten

H Burger

Jill’s Restaurant

The Kitchen

The Kitchen [Upstairs]




The Mediterranean

Oak at Fourteenth


Q’s Restaurant

Riff Urban Fare

Rio Grande


Sushi Tora



Trattoria on Pearl

West Flander’s Brewing CO.


I have been dying to try Pastavino since its arrival on Pearl last spring.  And their menu looks incredible!

I recommend trying as many of these restaurants as you can because you won’t be able to eat three courses for $26 for long!  First Bite Boulder ends November 17th.

  • Rebecca (intern)




Related Tags: Boulder, Dining, Restaurants

The Life of an Intern

Posted on October 19, 2012

Downtown Boulder’s Newest Model

When I first started working at Downtown Boulder I read through the previous intern’s blog posts to get a feel of how I should be writing blog posts.  When I read Madalyn’s comment about having to model for Fashion’s Night Out on her second day of work I immediately hoped I would not be asked to model.  But only three weeks into my internship Taylor turned to me and asked if I would model in dinning pictures for Downtown Boulder’s website.  Unfortunately I hadn’t escaped the job of modeling as I had hoped. 

But I am here to tell you that if you’re ever an intern and asked to be a model for Downtown Boulder do it! You will receive some great perks, learn some interesting things, and have a little fun. 

The best perk had to be getting to eat yummy food and drinking The Rio's Strawberry/Mango margaritas for free!  As a college student who wouldn’t love free food?

Next, among the snapshots I learned a lot about the other Downtown employees.  Such as the adorable stories of how they met their significant others.  Nothing like employees bonding!

Lastly, posing candidly and laughing on command can get a little awkward.  But doing it along side my fellow Downtown Boulder employees turned out to be an enjoyable experience full of a lot of genuine laughs.

So keep checking the Downtown Boulder website and look for my big debut as a model!

-           Rebecca (intern)

Related Tags: Bars, Dining, Restaurants

Fall Flavors

Posted on October 11, 2012


Finally Fall!


It is officially one of my favorite times in Boulder.  The leaves are changing, chilly weather is upon us, and the best part is, not a lot of snow, yet.   Another one of my favorite things about fall is the seasonal foods and drinks.  Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin bread are a classic favorite but Boulder has many more options as well. 

Mountain Sun Brewery is tapping two pumpkin ales this weekend and Walnut Brewery also has an Ocktoberfest menu and brew on tap!  Rueben’s Burger Bistro has begun Pumpkin Takeover featuring four seasonal brews on tap.  If you’re looking to stay in and cook on one of these chilly nights I recommend picking up ingredients from the Boulder Farmers’ Market (through November 17th).   The market is open on Saturdays and you can find fall favorites like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, winter squash and much more. 

Autumn isn’t only about food though.  The shops in Boulder are fully stocked with fall’s latest fashions like the adorable boots at Steve Madden, I can’t keep myself away from that store!

Halloween is the perfect way to cap off the beginning of the fall season and what better way to do that than with the Munchkin Masquerade on the 31st on Pearl.  You’ll be able to see adorable Boulder little ones dressed up in their finest costumes.

  • Rebecca (Intern)
Related Tags: Dining, Restaurants, Shopping

Wrangle Up the Nickels and Dimes

Posted on April 17, 2012

Eating on the cheap sometimes seems like an impossible task. You want to go out with your friends, but you’re tired of pretending that puny side salad with half a crouton filled you up. How do you combat this cry for a satisfying lunch at a price you can count on one hand? You let me handle it. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I do know of a myriad of cheap options that will prevent you from having to practice your “spot me?” look.

Soup is often underestimated. The Kitchen [Next Door], Two Spoons, Dish Gourmet, and Lindsay’s Boulder Deli offer a hearty soup selection that generally comes with bread. Mountain Sun takes hearty to the next level and has a vegetarian chili (served with chips) that fills up carnivores and herbivores alike.

Not a believer in the power of soup? How about a hot dog from Freddie’s Hot Dog cart or Mustard’s Last Stand? Maybe a slice of pizza from Nick-n-Willy’s or Pizza Colore? Sliders are great too and they’re available at Boulder Café and Rueben’s. Also sushi is quick and light which makes for a perfect lunch meal. Hapa and Japango have a wide variety of rolls for under $5 that make sharing a grand idea if you want a bit of everything.

As a connoisseur of the cheap and delicious, my top picks for the best food for your buck include: Zoe Ma Ma’s $4.95 cold noodle bowl, The Unseen Bean’s $4.98 veggie bagel, Chipotle’s $2.25 tacos, and $5 sandwiches at Atlas Purveyors.  Just because I can find these places when blinded by hunger pangs, there are not the only options. Take a look here for our full list and maybe introduce your date to something better than the $.99 menu.

Bon appetite!


Related Tags: Boulder, Dining, Restaurants

And The Winner Is...

Posted on March 8, 2012

The 2nd annual Boulder’s Best Mixologist competition is upon us! This Sunday at 4:30 p.m., eight mix masters from Aji, Hapa, The Kitchen, Oak at Fourteenth, Pinyon, Riff’s Urban Fare, SALT and West End Tavern will vie for your vote in a fierce (but fun) competition to earn the title of Boulder’s Best Mixologist. Their creative minds have prepared cocktails to be talked about for years to come and they want you to try them.

Let’s break it down:

8 bartenders

1 venue

1 night

1 winner

As downtown’s finest bartenders mix, crush, and pour their way to earning your vote, you will be sampling their original creations, munching on appetizers from Bacaro and Illegal Petes, strolling around the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and at the end of it all, you get presents. Since we understand you will be exhausted after making such tough decisions, we are also giving you one free drink from participating restaurants with your dinner purchase, as well as a commemorative shot glass. So on top of holding the power to determine who is crowned Boulder’s Best Mixologist, you will be able enjoy appetizers, art, good company, and gifts. Due to the increased popularity from last year, this event has grown in size, which means that the tickets won’t last long! Heed my advice and get them for a discounted price of $45 today, because there is no guarantee you will be able to get them at the door. Let the mixing begin!


Related Destinations: Aji, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar, The Kitchen, OAK at fourteenth, Riffs Urban Fare, SALT the Bistro, West End Tavern
Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Restaurants

Tuesday Finally Gets Justice

Posted on February 21, 2012

Commonly overlooked as just another day of the week that isn’t Friday, Tuesdays are put on the back burner of weekday fun. Mondays will never be fun, because...well, it’s Monday. Wednesdays merit some appreciation because it is the mid-week marker. Thursdays apparently are the new Fridays if you live in a college town. And Fridays are the golden beacon of light, summoning us from the dreaded Monday. But Friday has some competition this week, as Tuesday decides to have a bigger celebration of who-knows-what than all the Fridays combined.

Yes folks, Mardi Gras is here. I remember this being the one and only day of high school French class that Madame would put down the livres and let us party (if we brought all the goodies and spoke French the whole time, of course). It may have been a quiet party, but we looked forward to it more than the Spanish classes ever looked forward to Cinco de Mayo. Because Madame could never let us just have a party without learning something, we were taught a few fun facts that I will never forget:  1. If you find a small plastic baby inside your piece of cake, then you are a winner. 2. You can never have too many feathers on your mask. 3. If someone gives you beads, run away. 4. And Easter and Lent are approaching, so you should do gluttonous things before you have to give them up.

We all know that New Orleans is the place to be on this cake eating, feathery, bead giving, and gluttonous day, but Boulder can hold its own. Several restaurants are putting together incredible menus to make Tuesday your newest favorite day of the week. Allow me to get your mouth watering: Jax Fish House is going all out with fresh cuisine and drinks inspired by the Gulf side city of New Orleans. Fried oysters, crawfish boil, and the famous Louisiana king cake are a few delicious treats to be expected. The West End Tavern and Centro Latin Kitchen are also feeling the festivities by offering many drink and food specials. We’re talking red beans and dirty rice, gumbo, cornbread, crawfish, and blackened shrimp. And on the other side of Pearl Street, Foolish Craig’s is bringing their A-game with not only appropriately themed decor, but corn-fried catfish, Jambalaya, and blackened chicken and grits. Oh wow, I just got real hungry.  And since Mardi Gras isn’t really Mardi Gras without Hurricanes, be sure to make your way to the Walrus Saloon and Boulder Absinthe House for incredible drink specials.

While nothing says get crazy like finding a plastic baby in a piece of cake, Mardi Gras finally brings Tuesday the attention it deserves. So, if you choose to join the fun downtown tonight, I encourage you to run away from the beads, drink many Hurricanes, eat too much gumbo, and see if you can hold a believable Cajun accent the whole night.  Bon Appetite!


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Holidays, Restaurants

5 Things to Love About Downtown Boulder

Posted on February 10, 2012

In honor of the impending Valentine’s Day (five days away, gentlemen…), I have composed a list of five things to look forward to about this pink and red holiday.  Whether you are a couple of love birds looking to find a great spot to enjoy one another’s company, or a couple of friends out to bash the opposite sex over a cold brewskie, downtown Boulder could not be a more ideal location. Let’s get this list rolling shall we?

1. Dining and Not Dashing, Because It Tastes THAT Good

Picking the perfect place to eat and make memories of this special day is a tough choice, and the restaurants of downtown have prepared their finest menus and pulled out all the stops to make sure your dining experience is nothing less than the best. Allow me to explain: Jax Fish House is offering a four course meal of chickory salad, sauteed Gulf shrimp, house-made linguini & clams and a mouth-watering sticky chocolate cake for only $55/person with $20 optional wine pairing. Centro Latin Kitchen is offering a five course prix fixie menu for only $40 per person with an optional $35 drink pairing. spicy lobster, braised duck, and red chile pork tenderloin are a few items to look forward to. And the ever fabulous Bitter Bar has a hand-selected $45 four course prix fixe menu with an optional $40 drink pairing to compliment the live jazz and Craigslist Missed Connections readings. Feel free to browse through our complete list of other dining options as well!

2. Let Your Artsy Side Out For A Night

An age-old trick to getting women to think you are sophisticated and cultured is to ask them to accompany you at an art gallery; and downtown has your back. The SmithKlein Gallery has graced the Pearl Street Mall for more than 26 years as a leading art gallery for both fine and contemporary art. Wander around and find paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and art glass. Art + Soul is a unique gallery as it is sophisticated, but not stuffy. You will find a welcoming atmosphere full of color and the spirit of fun which makes for quite the refreshing experience. Another great gallery is the artist cooperative Boulder Arts & Crafts. Separating itself from the rest as a distinguished place to view fine arts and contemporary American crafts from hundreds of artists from Colorado, Boulder Arts & Crafts is an ideal choice to bring your date and show off your art knowledge. Not enough options? Check out our art gallery listings and find the perfect one!

3. Is Someone Making You Nervous?

Even the most experienced Valentine’s Day go-getters sometimes need to start the night with a drink. Good thing there are a number of places ready to help you out. The West End Tavern is hosting their 7th Annual Avery Beer Lover’s Dinner which consists of a five course menu paired with the finest Avery beers, sure to make your Valentine swoon.  For only $100 per person, experience the tastes of West End’s great food and quality beers. Another annual event in downtown is Stout Month at Mountain Sun. “Hey welcome to Mountain Sun, which beer would you like to sample?” is definitely a smooth way to start your date. And if beer isn’t your thing, talk to Bryan Dayton at Oak and he will mix up one of his award winning creations; or take a look at the extensive list of premium liquors at The Attic. There are plenty of options to help calm your cupid love-struck nerves.

4. Snoozing

After a romantic night of drinking, dining and art gallery wandering with your Valentine, you will want a comfy place to crash. The Hotel Boulderado has been Boulder’s premier luxury hotel since 1909 and it continues to live up to its name today. With their romantic package deal, you will find yourself welcomed into your guest room or suite with chilled champagne and chocolates and a voucher for $25 off your meal ticket at Q’s Restaurant. The St. Julien is always an exceptional choice as they offer premium service and accommodations, and their location guarantees waking up to some of the best views of the Flatirons. Did I mention that they also have a spa and a full service restaurant? Another great place to end your night is at the Bradley Boulder Inn. Their all-inclusive room rates include a hot breakfast, access to One Boulder Fitness Health Club, wifi, complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the day, art galleries and their famous wine and cheese hour. The choices do not end here! Look over our lodging page and find the comfiest place to get some zzz’s.

5. The Gift of Love: Dessert

Everyone knows the real way to a girl’s heart is through chocolate. I mean, c’mon. And with stores like Piece, Love, & Chocolate, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Tee and Cakes, and Boulder Baked there is a plethora of choices to pick out the perfect melt in your mouth gift. Woo her with top notch chocolates from Colorado’s best chocolate factory. Say I love you with a heart-shaped made-to-order cookie from Boulder Baked. Cupcakes have been taken to a new level of decadence at Tee and Cakes, perfect for an end of the night sweets kick. And Piece, Love, & Chocolate just took buying flowers for your Valentine to new heights. They were recently featured in Sunset Magazine for their incredible long-stem chocolate roses. Flowers you can eat? I can think of nothing better. Check out our other sweet options downtown too!

Looks like Valentine’s Day is shaping up to be a sweet one. Go get ‘em Boulder! And be sure to flip through the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide to find more deals that will not help narrow down your choices, but will be sure you get all the best options.


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Restaurants

What’s new in Downtown Boulder?

Posted on January 25, 2012

Me! With a new semester comes a new intern, and this semester’s selection of Boulder blogging perspectives will be courtesy of me, Devon. I have some big shoes to fill, but I am very excited to be able to share my explorations, food outings, café trips, festival happenings, and busking discoveries with you.

Part of being new is getting into the swing of things and figuring out the way things work. For example, I have to put stamps on envelopes, which may seem mundane, but this is no lick ‘n stick situation. The envelopes are weighed on this grey device and then fed into a slot where the stamp is stamped electronically; but not before it makes a bunch of noise and lets you know how important it is that you give it your full attention.  However, I am not the only one who is still getting acquainted with a new environment. A few new restaurants and shops have opened their doors in downtown, providing excellent opportunities to make multiple dinner date plans:

Shine on 13th and Pearl opened in December with the ever-so-fitting slogan “Light up Your Life…Shine from Within.” The Emich sisters, previous owners of the wine-bar and music venue Trilogy, opened Shine as a “place for us all to nourish ourselves through food, community, dance, education and celebration. It is hub for us all to share our gifts, to explore, and to have fun doing it.” Putting their creativity to good use, the sisters have worked hard to utilize the space and give an intimate, yet versatile feel, perfect for the live music, private parties, or their Wednesday morning yoga class. Cheap menu items paired with their unique elixirs and potions adds up to a satisfying and delicious time. Sounds like a good place to me!

If you recall the heartbreak of the fire that devastated the new Oak at Fourteenth last March, then you would also recall their magnificent reopening this December. Seeing this as an opportunity to redesign what they previously created, co-owners Bryan Dayton and Steven Redzikowski went straight to work rebuilding their restaurant resulting in a simple and rustic, yet contemporary space. The delectable menu you remember from a year ago has only been improved upon, providing seasonal items made with house-made pastas, as well as local produce and meats. If that isn’t enough to make you “accidentally” leave your leftovers in the office frig, GQ Bombay Sapphire named Bryan Dayton the 2011 Best Bartender in the country, meaning the hand-crafted cocktails and select artisan wines and beers are designed to perfectly compliment your entrée. Fresh, local, and award-winning. See you at six?

And if you feel like having a glamorous night-in while wearing your finest sweatpants, then first stop by the brand new Oliverde and browse through their premium selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes from around the world. After co-owners Terry and Kathy Kulesa opened the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil store in Fort Collins, they decided to expand south and bring their knowledge (and oil) to Boulder. Italian dishes made with authentic Italian olive oil are sure to impress friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and neighbors alike.

So while I continue to get myself acquainted with the life of a Downtown Boulder intern, come on down and check out the other new kids on the block.


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Restaurants

'Tis the season for holiday parties...

Posted on December 9, 2011

As a kid, holiday parties were always such a riot.  Everyone was so happy…laughing and getting along. (It must be the magic of Christmas right?) But then you grow up, discover alcohol, and realize the magic of Christmas was really just being served in the “grown up drinks.”  Now that I’ll finally be enjoying the grown-up drinks at this year’s holiday parties, I have to wonder, how “happy” is acceptable at work and school functions?  This lovely diagram created by the nymag.com blog “Grub Street” is a clever resource that I suggest you crumple into your suit pocket and use for reference.   Unfortunately, I happen to fall in the toddler section where even if you work for a cool company, you’re still only allowed one glass of vino chased with some cheap beer (Interns can’t afford Corona yet). 

So whether you enjoy 1 tequila, 2 tequilas, 3 tequilas, or the floor at your staff mixer this year, at least do it in style at a hip Downtown Boulder venue.  Because, trust me, our business owners are just dying to host you and your office buddies, watch you play spin the bottle like a teenager and dance to some Snoop Dog with a lamp shade on your head.  So much so that we even had to make a webpage of the countless holiday party rental options. 

Last night one of my business school classes had a holiday party at Bacaro.  They have a bunch of different sized rooms available.  (My roommates and I are having our graduation party on their rooftop in May!)  Apparently the diagram above doesn’t apply to school functions where you’re taking tequila shots with your professor.   #ilovecollege

Some other boozy spots include Posh (paint and drink, so much fun!) and The Bitter Bar.  Check out all the deets here.

Happy Holidays!  Keep it classy Boulder…


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants

You Are What You Eat

Posted on October 12, 2011

Although this documentary came out in 2009, I saw it for the first time a couple weeks ago in my Corporate Social Responsibility class at CU.  I managed to hold back tears, but I couldn’t keep my jaw from dropping.  Could this really be true?!  I figured it had to be just one side of the story (as most documentaries are) and quickly consulted a family friend who works as a dietitian.  To my dismay, she confirmed that the information presented was absolutely true and how unfortunate it is that big business has done this to what we put in our bodies.  The healthiest way to go is to buy organic.  But what exactly does that mean? And what about going out to eat?  Can I expect restaurants to adopt the same views as me in regards to eating organic?

After a little more research, (and some shopping changes!) I realized that Boulder is the best place to be if you’re searching for organic options.  In fact, there are tons of farm-to-table restaurants located here in downtown and even more that source their food locally and safely.  Here are just a few of the many dining options that you can feel great about enjoying downtown:

1. Black Cat Organic Restaurant and Farm
Chef Eric Stokan created an organic farm located just outside the city to supply his restaurant with “just picked” products.  Every day the staff harvests food that inspires an ever changing menu.  You can also visit the Black Cat tent at the Boulder County Farmers Market every Saturday!

2.  The Kitchen (Next Door, and Upstairs as well)
The Kitchen was featured in the September issue of Entrepreneur magazine for their efforts in the organic movement.  The idea behind the creation of The Kitchen “was to source food from people they knew and serve it to people they knew. ”  Most of The Kitchen’s suppliers are local (displayed on chalkboards in the restaurant).  See their full list here

3.  SALT
SALT uses product from Boulder County whenever possible.  They believe, “The philosophy at SALT is simple; a belief that the best food travels the shortest distance from farm to table, that menus should change with the seasons…”  Much of the produce you see at the Farmers Market you could go enjoy at SALT that night for dinner.  A full list of SALT’s farms is available here

4. Aji, Leaf and the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Owned by the same family, Lenny and Sara Martinelli purchased a 10-acre farm in Lafayette in Spring 2011.  They named it Three Leaf Farm, after their three children.  Three Leaf supplies product to all of their restaurants!

So, go out to eat in downtown Boulder and don’t worry about the nightmare that is Food Inc.  These are ONLY A FEW of the stops downtown that care about serving healthy, organic options.  Now, I can sleep at night. 

P.S. Local Table Tours offers a market-to-table dining tour of Downtown Boulder.  How perfect ;)


Related Tags: Dining, Restaurants

Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes!?

Posted on October 3, 2011

As if Boulder didn’t have enough great breakfast spots, the hippest place to enjoy a pancake in Denver has moved west.  Having spent last summer working in Denver, some locals introduced me to the only place anyone would be willing to wait 45 minutes for some morning deliciousness…Snooze!  And delicious it was!  Needless to say I was pleasantly stoked to hear a new Snooze branch was opening in Downtown Boulder.  Last Thursday, September 29th, Snooze opened a new location on Pearl Street’s east end nestled between Art & Soul Gallery and Momentum.  

Personally I find Snooze’s move to Boulder to be a perfect fit.  Snooze’s business model is as sustainable and innovative as Boulderites themselves.  They buy their eggs exclusively from Niman Ranch (free range, family owned…basically as organic as it gets) and the restaurants follow a list of sustainability principles including recycling, composting, and using chemical free cleaners.  But wait, there’s more!

I’m sure half of you will agree with me when I say that half the fun of eating out is the atmosphere.  The ambiance of Snooze makes the experience a lot of fun.  I want to call it retro 50’s, but it reminds me a lot of the Jetson’s.  Confused?  Well, after further research, I discovered what they were actually going for:  “The Snooze concept, beyond great food, was to create a comfortable and timeless setting.  Energy through design, from flow to the feelings invoked. This vibe is reflected in both the space, and the service. Snooze has the comfort of a neighborhood coffee shop, while evoking a retro-future spin.  It's fun. ”


But enough of this jibber jabber, let’s get down to business and discuss what’s really important here…THE FOOD!  Ladies and gentlemen, I have 4 words for you, Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes!  Not even mentioning Snooze’s plethora of breakfast options (including four different types of Eggs Benedict, my personal fav) I would have to say that Snooze’s pancakes are their specialty.  Walking a fine line between meal and dessert the pancakes are definitely worth a try (or two, or three).  Always ask what the pancake of the day is because it’s usually something especially decadent.  They even offer a “Pancake Flight” so if you can’t decide which flavor to try, just try a bunch!  Careful, I see a food coma in your future.    

They serve coffee while you wait…so courteous.  So let’s be courteous back!  Give our newest Boulder restaurant a try.  You won’t regret it :)


Related Destination: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Related Tags: Boulder, Coffee, Dining, Restaurants

Because it's Friday Night and I justtttt gotttt.....

Posted on September 23, 2011

Oh wait, I don’t get paid.  Yes that’s right; I’m the new intern, Lindsey.  Hi!  I am so excited to have the opportunity to write to you lovely Boulderites (and anyone else paying attention) for the entire fall semester.  The whole not getting paid thing is just collateral damage…part of being a starving college student living off ramen noodles.  Or in my case, the milk in the office fridge.  I think it gives me character? Thank God for free fun!   I joined the team at Downtown Boulder just in time for this weekends’ Fall Festival on the bricks of Pearl Street.  What kind of celebration could exemplify Boulder more perfectly?  Being from San Diego, this whole concept of seasons is slightly foreign to me.  (You mean to tell me that leaves aren’t always green?!)  Needless to say, I’m stoked. 

Festivities start tonight from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and continue Saturday, September 24 from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday the 25th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Activities include live music, a Coast 2 Coast Beer Garden featuring microbrews from Avery Brewing Co, food booths (Beans, Inc., Fast Eddie’s Hot Dogs, McDevitt Taco Supply, West End Tavern’s Rolling Smoke) or you can eat at any of the Downtown Boulder Restaurants (obvi) and of course, a carnival for the kiddos! (I wonder if they let 21 year olds on the giant bungee trampoline…I call first!)  Speaking of 21, I am a newly initiated member of the club, meaning this will be my first beer garden experience.  I’ve always wondered what mystical land lies behind those white ropes (or in our case green fences).  What is so special about where daddy disappears to after the Fourth of July parade that he can’t bring his favorite sidekick along?  This weekend, my friends, I shall discover!   There will also be an art show all day Saturday and Sunday.  Apparently, the artists on the 1200 Block of Pearl Street will have work that is completely recycled and/or re-purposed (so Boulder…) Plus, shops along the mall will have all kinds of sales and specials running for the festival so I can spend all that money that I do not have.  Hope to see you there!  I’ll be the awkward girl with the giant camera looking confused.  Smile for me!  And while your down here, make sure to check out Pearl Street’s newest (and extremely hip looking) “food bar” Riffs next to the Boulder Book Store!

Open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. the patio looks spectacular, as does the menu…Clam and bacon pizza with roasted garlic, oregano and parmesan?  Um, delish?  So Coloradoans, do enjoy those orange and yellow leaves in downtown Boulder this weekend.  Fall Fest is back! Oh and for you lucky souls that have a car, there's free parking on Saturday and Sunday.  Yes, free parking EVERYWHERE!  Don't get too excited ;)

Happy Bouldering!

P.S.  Say hi to this guy.. He's new too


Related Destinations: Boulder Book Store, Riffs Urban Fare, West End Tavern
Related Tags: Art, Festivals, Restaurants, Shopping

All good things come to an end...

Posted on August 26, 2011

Sadly, today is my last day as Downtown Boulder’s Communications and Marketing Intern. This summer has just flown by, and I can’t believe that I won’t be writing to you about my adventures downtown, good and bad, all the food I have consumed, envelopes I have stuffed, licked, mailed, and carried to the mailbox on 10th Street.  I finally must return to school for my senior year (yikes!). I will no longer be able to bug Eli with all my questions, usually involving this tricky little program they call Photoshop. This is a sad day indeed. I have enjoyed my time at DBI and appreciate the plethora of knowledge I gained and the patience Eli had for my Photoshop skills, or lack thereof. However, fear not, I won’t be gone for long I will be back for Fashion’s Night Out to help and to make sure the DBI office doesn’t miss me too much.

Top 5 things I learned and loved about Downtown Boulder…

1. Not labeling your layers in Photoshop is a death wish. Well not literally, but it is a massive headache to go back in and change every week. And yes, I know I will be utilizing this tool in the future seeing as I am a Marketing and Public Relations major, but it’s almost 2012, can’t a girl ask for such a technology called AUTO layer labeling, help a chica out Adobe!  But until that glorious day of auto layering, I have given myself a mental reminder to label, label, and label!

2. Downtown Boulder has so much going on everyday; whether it is the guy fitting himself into a box on 13th, Bands on the Bricks, or one of the delicious restaurants (I have become a professional restaurantee). I came to Boulder not knowing much other than Rio has killer margs and Urban Outfitters is a hazard to anyone’s wallet. After my summer here, I now feel a part of the Downtown Boulder family. All the merchants on Pearl Street work together to give you guys the best Downtown ever, whether it be Fashion’s Night Out, OpenArts Fest or Bands on the Bricks. Each week there are awesome events for all ages, Boulder is uniquely marvelous. Don’t forget it!

3.  People travel to Boulder from all over the world. You know those envelopes I stuff with Downtown Boulder’s lovely guidebooks? Well, each week there is at least one being mailed to the UK, The Netherlands, and even as far as Armenia for a steep cost of $3.91 per!

4. Downtown Boulder has phenomenal shopping for everything you need. Whether it be my awesome fringe bathing suit from Saavy, boots from Steve Madden, or the dangerous walk to work past Weekends where I realize I need/can’t live without 90% of the items in the window. I am officially a shopaholic and a casual clothes hoarder.

And last but not least…

5. DBI offers the best internship around. I have realized that all my skills I learned in class actually have a benefit and I can tackle (or tumble into) the real world next June. DBI has allowed me to be very hands on in almost every aspect of what they do. I had my freedom to rant, convey my excitement, and share my adventures with you on this lovely blog. I learned and experienced all the awesome events, happy hours, and happenings in Downtown Boulder. Downtown Boulder has so much going on, each week I found myself excited about a new upcoming event and with my tremendous boyfriend in tow, I got to experience it all (refer to my blogs 1-9). 

So all good things must come to an end (sigh), but DBI is looking for their next fall intern, so be sure to get in touch with Eli for this amazing opportunity. I know I have left some big (and cute) shoes to fill, but if you are wicked smart and want a fun and hands-on internship, this one is for you!

See you around Boulder,


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants, Shopping, Social Media

Get snow on your mind!

Posted on August 17, 2011

Now that summer is starting to come to a close, I really want to fast forward through autumn and jump right into ski season. Once I heard of the 6th annual Warren Miller Wednesdays, I could not have been more excited to have ski season on my mind, and watch movies of fresh powder over different mountains across the globe, and start dreaming of those first fluffy flakes.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Warren Miller is the best skier of all time. He is a revolutionary of the sport and an icon for the promotion of modern skiing for over 50 years. He is legendary; the Mick Jagger of music, Marilyn Monroe of ski films, and the Mickey Mouse of Disney. Yes, he is that awesome.

The West End Tavern is hosting Warren Miller films old and new every Wednesday from August 24th until November 2nd.  They will show Warren Miller films from across the globe, with amazing drink and food specials like the ultimate nacho platter. Does it get any better? (the correct answer is no).  On top of all this amazingness there will be fantastic door prizes from FlyLow, Patron, Moon Mountain Vodka, Christy Sports envision snowboards, FlyLow gear, drinks, and more!

On top of Warren Miller Wednesdays, be sure to catch the Art of Flight playing at the Boulder Theater on Wednesday September 28th.  The Art of Flight is a new breed of action sport film. In the film, Travis Rice and friends redefine what is possible in the mountains with new tricks, new zones, and new wrong turns. It should be EPIC!

Get snow on your mind and get down to West End Tavern next Wednesday to ring in the start of Warren Miller Wednesdays!

See you there!

Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Restaurants, Sports

The Kitchen

Posted on August 10, 2011

This small restaurant on the West End, right off the bricks, is absolutely wonderful. After unsuccessfully attempting to go for brunch without a wait time (who eats brunch at noon on a Sunday, come on) and being too hungry to wait, I decided to go back and check it out for dinner.

The Kitchen is very Boulderesque in that they serve all local food in an eco-friendly environment running on local wind power (don’t deny it, you’re impressed). The Kitchen has always popped up on my radar whether through various event listings or passing by on one of my endless stops to Holiday & Co. And after hearing from a friend about their awesome eco-friendly attitude and stellar reviews, I decided to try it and bring my friend along with me.

The ambience in the restaurant was awesome. There is a trend of clean simplicity with the décor, menu, and cocktails. I felt as if I were in a must be seen in, trendy restaurant in downtown Manhattan, but with the comforts of home cooking. We started with the Beet Bruchetta, not at all what I was expecting. I am a texture person so blue cheese with the combination of beets, just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, my friend’s sister LOVED it, so if beets and blue cheese is on your radar you should definitely try it! After my tastebuds and emotions settled (yes, textures freak me out that much) my amazing, delicious, mouth watering lobster entrée came. Being from the East Coast, I know my lobster, and this lobster was absolutely divine. It came with grilled corn and lime flavored fries (YUM!) and I ate every bite, and I’m not sorry about it.

If you’re a pork chop, duck, beet or lobster fan this place is a must! The Kitchen’s eccentric menu has something for everyone. You also have to be sure to check out The Kitchen’s other two sister restaurants The Kitchen [Next Door] and The Kitchen Upstairs. Literally upstairs and right next door so don’t fret about trying to find them! The Kitchen [Next Door] has a casual pub-like atmosphere while still serving farm-to-table food. The Kitchen Upstairs is wine, beer and cocktail lounge, with one of the best beer and wine lists in all Colorado! It’s perfect for a date night, night on the town with friends or for a relaxing cocktail (or two).

So check out The Kitchen, The Kitchen Upstairs, or the The Kitchen [Next Door] and let me know what you think!



Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Coffee, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants, Shopping

Fashion's Night Out

Posted on July 29, 2011

Attention all shopaholics, Fashion’s Night Out, the after-hours shopping extravaganza is coming to Downtown Boulder! On Thursday, September 8th, from 6-10 p.m., a selection of the amazing downtown clothing retailers will be joining forces to kick off the first Fashion’s Night Out, Boulder edition. So mark your calendars…and by mark I mean clear your evening plans, and sharpie in FNO (Fashion’s Night Out).

So before I go off into a ramble of how this event is amazing (and not conducive to reigning in my shopping addiction, sorry Mom!), let me give you a little background on FNO. FNO is an unprecedented global initiative created in 2009 in a partnership between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion, Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy, and put the fun back in shopping. Although when is it not fun? Being from the best coast, and only a short 30 minute train ride to FNO’s capital, NYC. I have firsthand experience with FNO.

My hometown in CT, has celebrated FNO for two years now. In high school, I worked for a retail participant of FNO and it was an amazing event. Picture Sex and the City meets small town, Woodstock for shopaholics, Christmas shopping done in September, yes, it’s that awesome. Our boutique hosted a Parisian theme; there was wine tasting and mini pastries, and a fabulous Jewelry trunk show, along with great new fall fashion necessities (yes, necessities).

All the great aspects of Erika’s hometown FNO edition are coming to Boulder, but bigger and better! There will be a surprise performance on the 1300 block of Pearl Street; organized by Alchemy Dance Studio (it’s going to be EPIC!). Some of our amazing retailers such as Savvy on Pearl, Lilli, and Buffalo Exchange will host in-store activities to even further enhance your after-hours shopping extravaganza. Check the FNO website for updates and happenings. Although FNO is focused on the fashion industry, Downtown Boulder’s great bars and restaurants will still be open! So channel your inner fashionista and shop til you drop…into your comfy seat at your local favorite, such as Lazy Dog, Hapa, or Tahona that is.

So make room in your closest and get excited, September 8th is right around the corner! I hope to see all you Boulderites there for the night’s many festivities!

Until next time,


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Restaurants, Shopping

Top 10 Places to Bring Your Dog in Downtown Boulder

Posted on July 27, 2011

by grace on July 27, 2011 on gracefullplate.com
(reposted with permission)

Post image for Top 10 Places to Bring Your Dog in Downtown Boulder

The man and I have a dog of our own (see above) and with this beautiful town, hate having to leave him at home while we’re out and about in the sunshine, especially in the Summer. Hopefully, this post is as useful to you, as it is to me.

I’m excited to be collaborating with my friend Eli with Downtown Boulder (http://www.boulderdowntown.com/) who helped with a large portion of the research on this post. You can find a full, complete list of dog friendly patios in downtown Boulder here (map included – great resource). I picked my favorite ten in downtown Boulder. The criteria/my opinion: delicious food and enough patio space.

Please note: Having a dog on the Pearl Street walking mall is not allowed. These locations are downtown off the walking mall.

Arabesque | 1634 Walnut Street

Arabesque’s outside red-brick patio sits under shady trees, covered with umbrellas. The authentic, made-with-love food from Manal Jarrar is Middle Eastern and honestly, one of my favorite spots for lunch. It sits on the corner of Walnut and 17th. Order the chicken shawarma plate with fresh greens and homemade hummus and order a side of Tabbouleh out on their sunny patio.

Boulder Creek Market | 1801 13th Street

Boulder Creek Market has gourmet sandwiches boasting ostrich, buffalo and even many vegetarian varieties including the veggie: avocado, cucumber, sprouts, provolone and roasted red pepper cream cheese. You can order a half or whole sandwich. Sitting in a courtyard next to a small bar and spa, there is plenty of space for your pup to lounge in the sun on the warm bricks.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse | 1770 13th Street

I recently wrote about Dushanbe and their annual tea festival they hold every year in July. Rooted in deep history and cultural significance, it sits along the Boulder Creek (and path) also along the Boulder Farmers Market (every Wednesday and Saturday ). There are two side patios, covered with hanging vines and the sound of the bubbling creek. Their food is International. Try one of their hundreds of loose-leaf teas (hand-picked) and try the Indian Masala Dosa: cumin, fennel crepe with curried potatoes, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, peas and dahl with raisin chutney, cucumber yogurt and an onion fritter.

Brasserie TenTen | 1011 Walnut Street

Brasserie has one of the best happy hours in Boulder. Small plates from $2-5 with the likes of olive tapenade, salman tartare with minced peppers, sesame oil, kennebec chips and truffle citrus tossed arugula and frites with truffle aioli. You can sample wines and beers for under $4 from 3-6:30 PM everyday. Their side patio is small (about 5 tables) but if you snag a spot for brunch, happy hour, lunch or dinner your dog is welcome. Also, great spot for people watching.

Foolish Craig’s | 1611 Pearl Street

Featured on Diner, Drive-ins and Dives, Foolish Craig’s is one of those places that has something for everyone. It’s unpretentious and lining outside the restaurant, is a similarly long patio to Brasserie TenTen’s with 5 or so tables that welcome dogs. I personally love Foolish Craig’s lengthy breakfast menu peppered with crepes and diesel omelettes. Try the Boulder omelette with broccoli, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar and your choice of pesto or salsa. A killer crepe is their Fahgeddaboudit (Think Brooklyn) with breaded eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella and crushed walnuts topped with marinara and parmesan.

The Kitchen / The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR] | 1039 Pearl Street

I included these two together, as two separate restaurants (same ownership) they’re right next to each other and each offer a small patio for dogs. The Kitchen (fine dining) has two spots out front where dogs can comfortably hang and people watch on the Western end of Pearl Street. The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR] has a larger patio with about 3-5 tables for dogs. Their food is farm fresh, organic and a top five place to eat (period) for me in Boulder. At The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR], try their garlic smashers (roasted potatoes) and beet burger. I covered them here when they recently opened in June 2011.

Walnut Brewery |1123 Walnut Street

Just South of the Pearl Street walking mall, The Walnut Brewery sits between Broadway and 11th Street. For pub food and beers brewed in house, it’s a casual establishment with an outside patio where I always see dogs. They have pizza, nachos, steaks, tacos and spaghetti. Try their handcrafted beer as you sit in the sun. The St. James Irish Red Ale was a 2006 Bronze Medal and 2003 Silver Medal Winner at Great American Beer Festival.

Saxy’s Cafe | 2018 10th Street

Saxy’s is a coffee shop, that has delicious, robust salads. On any given day, you will find entrepreneurs or students gathered around their computers or studying. Their patio outside offers a handful of tables for your dog to relax, while you sample their fare. It’s a great spot to get some work done, relax and read or have a meeting. My favorite salad is their Insalata di Spinaci with turkey, fresh spinach, gorgonzola cheese, sun-dried cranberries, pine nuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette.

The West End Tavern | 926 Pearl Street

The patio is small (2-3 tables) but those tables often have dogs lounging. I love their West End Coin Margarita with a splash of cranberry – if you order at happy hour (3-6 PM Mon-Fri) it’s $5. Try their housemade yam chips with fresh guacamole and buffalo wings. It’s a hopping place, where anyone can find something to enjoy.

VG Burgers |1650 Broadway

I include this on my list because whenever we bring our dog there, they ensure there’s fresh water in the dog bowl out front and give Cerna (the pup) a big pet and hug. Their patio isn’t much to call home about, it’s on the side of their restaurant but there are 5 patio tables that are comfortable to sit on while you enjoy their entirely vegetarian/vegan menu. The Man, a seriously meat-loving kind of guy, loves their ‘Bacon Cheeseburger’ (remember, all faux meat) and craves it. Also order their tempeh ‘hot wings’. You need not be a vegetarian, I see all kinds of people in there who often muse how they love meat and VG Burger. Try it. Seriously.

Honorable noteworthy mentions: Boulder Farmer’s Market, Farfel’s Farm a pet store on Pearl Street that always leaves a bowl of water out front and has dogs milling around inside and Alfalfa’s Market, a natural grocery store (blocks from my house) that has ‘dog parking’ out front where you can tie up your dog with fresh water bowls.

Please check out Downtown Boulder’s complete dog-friendly list (all spots have been confirmed to be dog-friendly) and has 27 spots! There are many spots that are great whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, bar or shop.

-reposted with permission from gracefullplate.com

Click here to see original article or to comment.

Related Tags: Bars, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants

Pasta Jay's

Posted on July 20, 2011

I set out on a restaurant exploration in Downtown Boulder recently. Craving some Italian, my first stop was last Friday night at Pasta Jay’s. I chose this restaurant because it attracted all my senses, the most irresistible being the smell (mm garlic). Pasta Jay’s has an open layout with red and white checkered tablecloths that adds to the family-like atmosphere. The floor to ceiling windows surrounding the restaurant were all open, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful Boulder weather as well as the comfort of the a/c , and a little people watching too. If the smells and the inviting family atmosphere didn’t have me and my boyfriend hooked from the start, one glance at the menu sure did. Let me tell you I couldn’t have been happier to put the carb-free diet on hold. Pasta Jay’s menu embodies authentic homemade Italian food.  I ordered the Veggie Cappelloni, basically manicotti with veggies and my boyfriend got the tortellini with chicken baked in alfredo sauce (hate to admit it but I wish I got his!). It was all delicious from the first to the last bite! With family size portions it’s perfect for sharing. However, the menu has so many choices we couldn’t narrow it down to one. And with sauce choices ranging from Alfredo, to pesto, to red sauce, the possibilities seemed endless. With all entrees they serve garlic bread so make sure to save a lot of room, you don’t want to miss out, trust me. It’s easy to see how Pasta Jay’s has resided and thrived in Boulder for over two decades.

Pasta Jay’s is up on the West End so it is easily located right off the bricks. So easily located and delicious my best friend Monica and my boyfriend and I sought our hungover refuge there late Saturday afternoon (yes, we were there twice in 48 hours). I am speaking for all three of us, but I think it’s safe to say we are all still full from our Pasta Jay’s binge. If you’re not in Boulder, Pasta Jay’s also has two other locations, Moab and Lone Tree.

Rain, shine, or even hungover, Pasta Jays’s is a must if you are craving some great family style Italian food and pizza. They also have a dog friendly outdoor patio, so if date night ends up dateless bring your four legged furry friend! I know my dog Grahm (aka granimal the party animal) would not put up a fight to lounge on the patio.

So check it out, enjoy some over-indulgence and great food and happy hour specials, featuring sangria, wines, and drafts! Be sure to join Pasta Jay’s for their World Famous Monday Night Spaghetti Night. It’s summer, you gotta live a little once and a while, or shall I say; eat a lot once and a while.

Until next time,


Related Tags: Boulder, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants


Posted on July 13, 2011


So,  as I have told you guys I have a huge sweet tooth. This makes eating and maintaining a summer bod clash a little bit. But look no further than fro-yo (frozen yogurt, duh) for the answer, Smooch in Downtown Boulder has four different flavors of delicious fro-yo and so many toppings, from strawberries to Captain Crunch to sprinkles.

Easily located right off the bricks on 14th street,  it is hard to resist. Recently, it has been ridiculously hot and casually humid outside, to the point where I don’t want to leave the comfort of my fans and AC during the day for very long. Smooch will cure any further over-heating guaranteed. And since it is low-calorie and low-fat you can justify a large...or even two! I got a dark chocolate with strawberries and white yogurt chips, on my first visit and  YUM (okay maybe I over justified a large,  but I couldn’t resist!). If you’re feeling a little bit braver then give Mochi a try. These are yogurt balls covered in rice confections. Both the yogurt and Mochi are gluten-free and kosher certified!

So get off the bricks for a few minutes and cool down at Smooch! I pinky promise all the ice cream lovers out there that you will not be disappointed! And if I try the Mochi before you do I promise,  to promptly report back to you guys!

Fear not, you will hear more about my food adventures soon!


Related Tags: Boulder, Restaurants

Not so bitter about Bitter Bar

Posted on July 6, 2011

Yesterday, as I was updating the happy hour page, my love for a good happier hour grew (it’s five o’clock somewhere right?).  My overwhelming love for great food and eating out while on a college budget can be pretty hard to balance at times, so I found a compromise, happy hour (okay not that big of a compromise, but I’m sticking to it).  In honor of this compromise I decided to put one of these happy hours to the test.

Happy and The Bitter Bar stood out right away. Bitter Bar is tucked away right off Pearl Street’s West End.  I have to admit I didn’t  know much about the cuisine, but, the name was so enticing I decided to just figure out the food when I got there (very out of character seeing as I can be a picky eater). My first glance went to the amazing cocktail choices,  all at just $4. I decided on the “42 Pink Party”, seeing as my favorite color is pink , I was sold on the name alone. It was a delicious mix of pomegranate and fresh mint (yum). It was  an absolutely divine, fabulous cocktail, perfect for a happy hour!

On to the food:  As I quickly learned, the cuisine is Asian fusion with a little bit of everything. My boyfriend and I split this phenomenal spicy chicken rice bowl special and the sesame flat bread with pesto and fresh mozzarella (I wouldn’t complain if I had that in front of me right now despite it being breakfast hour). Everything just got better from there. This Restaurant/Bar is one of my new top ten favs, hands down. There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and everything exceeded all expectations. The whole “Happy” part in the name was really kicking in right about then.

If you’re looking for a great happy hour, with an array of food ranging from small to large plates, and a cocktail list that is near to impossible to narrow down,  this is the place. I promise you whether you’re a well whiskey drinker, or a world renowned wine connoisseur,  Bitter Bar’s Mixologists will not disappoint. In fact he gave me just the amount of liquid courage to attempt a ride on the famous bull at Shooters later that night (flop). So if my love for this restaurant bar isn’t convincing enough, put your taste buds to the test and check it out.

Stay tuned for more of my Happy Hour discoveries as I get to know the rest of Downtown Boulder’s marvelous foodie culture.  Cheers!


Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Coffee, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants

Shopping, Pop Jet Fountain, and Wings Oh My!

Posted on June 15, 2011

Greetings Downtown Boulder!

I just wanted to introduce myself to you guys. My name is Erika and I am the new communications and marketing intern at Downtown Boulder Inc. I am responsible for adding all the glorious events to the calendar that Downtown Boulder has to offer. Whether it is Bands on the Bricks or events for the young Boulder crowd such as Young Artists at Work held at Boulders Museum of Contemporary Art. I also am in charge of the less glamorous task of stuffing, licking, and mailing out the Downtown Boulder guidebooks to people across the globe (even to Sweden!).

I go to school at the University of Denver and have to admit I am quite blown away by all that Downtown Boulder has to offer, and by blown away,  I mean jealous. To make up for the 2 years in Colorado I lost by not exploring Boulder, I have begun to self-indulge in all it has to offer. I will take any opportunity to invigorate my senses and fill my stomach like thanksgiving at a new restaurant. I love to cook but I have to admit I love to eat more, so restaurants were the first area of exploration. Downtown Boulder restaurants challenge the saying that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. In this case my eyes won. This past weekend I had the difficult choice of either trying West End Taverns 50 different famous Buffalo wings for lunch or tapas and pasta or pizza from The Med for dinner. I don’t know how I am going to survive a summer with such tough choices; so in this life or death decision I choose both, live a little, right?

Downtown Boulder already feels like a home away from home. I grew up in a small town on the coast. (um... the East Coast). So I have been enjoying the familiarness of quaint shops and all the children running around Pearl for their family weekend outings. My weekend wanderings throughout the Pearl Street Mall have been nothing short of awesome (even though the Pop Jet fountain caught me by surprise on Saturday, not my finest moment).  I am already anticipating growth in my closet after my 3 months in Boulder. Whether it is the comfortable yet cute clothes from American Apparel or channeling my outdoor apparel fashionista at Divas. I blame my impending financial debt on the convenience of all the local shops and the friendliness of everyone in them, it would be rude not to stop in say hi and shop a little right? DBI’s location is impossible for me to walk to without getting a coffee from Paradise Café and try and execute serious self control (which was broken on day two on the job) to not to go into Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and relive my childhood cravings and buy bags of candy (I have the biggest sweet tooth for a Dentist’s daughter!). What more could a shopaholic and foodaholic ask for than Pearl Street? Incase you started thinking about that question, the answer is nothing, downtown Boulder has it all!

So after long days of adding amazing events, stuffing licking and stamping envelopes, and trying to use my photoshop knowledge with Eli (debatably successful). I decided I deserve a casual happy hour a few times a week. Being a girl who loves tequila, I have come to love Rio’s happy hour drinks and food selections all on my college budget (which I am anticipating will be dwindling soon due to all my new findings). Who wouldn’t want to kick back and relax with a margarita and tacos and pretend to be back on the spring break that our bodies and bank accounts are all still recovering from?

I can’t wait to share all my summer experiences, good and bad, with you guys.  And make those who aren’t in Boulder to enjoy all the events, food, shopping, and street performers on Pearl St jealous, and come visit and explore what the good life is all about.  

It was a pleasure meeting you Downtown Boulder and you will be hearing from me again soon!


Related Destinations: American Apparel, The Mediterranean, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, West End Tavern, Woody Creek Bakery & Cafe
Related Tags: Bars, Boulder, Dining, Happy Hour, Restaurants, Shopping

Fairies, Flowers & Food

Posted on April 6, 2011

Open-toe shoes. I wore open-toe shoes last weekend, and it was awesome! Springtime and happy weather have finally found Boulder, and not a moment too soon. Last weekend kicked off the Boulder County Farmers' Market, bringing in the "cream of crop" to Downtown Boulder. Over 100 vendors set up their vibrant colored, delicious smelling booths in Downtown Boulder, selling everything from fresh veggies, to umm... fresh meat, wine and various other products that Boulderite's pack their pantries and fridges with. While the first Saturday of the Farmers' Market is one of the most favorite outdoor events in Boulder, spring also kicks off a slew of popular, outdoor events, hosted by Downtown Boulder Inc.

The Tulip Fairy makes her grand entrance during the Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade, on April 23rd -- leading a parade of fairies and elves around Pearl St. to spread a little fairy love, welcome spring to Boulder, and most importantly, wake up the tulips. After all, tulips are the official flower of Pearl St. On this day, Pearl St. fills up with tiny little fairies and elves with tiny little wings and tiny, little pointy ears. And it's not just the half-pints that are getting in on the dress-up action-- turns out, it's also appropriate for adults to dress up in tights, and don the glittery garb for the afternoon too. (No joke. I don't make the rules people, I just write about the people that are brave enough to create them.) Check out these awesome event pics from last years parade, and be sure to have all of the sequins sewn on your costume by the 23rd.

May 1st is the date to mark on your calendars for the Taste of Pearl event, featuring food provided by some of Boulder's top restaurants. Attendees will spend the afternoon strolling in and out of participating retail shops in Downtown Boulder while sampling tasty creations from restaurants such as: The Black Cat, Frasca Food and Wine, Salt Bistro, Brasserie Ten Ten, The Med, and several other Downtown restaurants that give Boulder the top-notch, foodie status that we hold today. Tickets are on sale now, and a portion of the proceeds from the events will benefit The Emergency Family Assistance Association. (Note: This is not a time to procrastinate people. Tickets for this event are only $52.80, which is a steal for this event. Purchase your tickets now, and don't miss this event).

June 15th kicks off the 14th year of DBI's Bands on Bricks series. If you've strolled down Pearl St. on a Wednesday night, chances are you've seen the white tent, and the stage set up with music notes floating in the summer breeze from the likes of some of the best musicians along the Front Range. What could make a beautiful Saturday afternoon better than crusin' Pearl St., and listening to some tunes by some amazing local artist? What's that? Did someone in the back say a cold, frosty beer? Fair enough. This year, the typically "dry" event is allowing beer, and local craft beer to boot. Now you can enjoy an adult beverage while doing all that other fun stuff that I just mentioned. Sound like a fantastic Saturday afternoon in Downtown Boulder to me. Check BandsontheBricks.com on April 15 to see this year's musical line-up.

I know, I know-- I don't even have to tell you be sure to spend some time in Downtown this spring.. You already know. :)


Related Destinations: Black Cat, Brasserie Ten Ten, Frasca Food & Wine, The Mediterranean, SALT the Bistro
Related Tags: Boulder, Dining, Restaurants, Shopping

Shamrocks, Leprechauns and Green Beer, Oh My!

Posted on March 15, 2011


Oh St. Patrick's Day. What a wonderful holiday you are. You taunt us to be bad, even though you're on a weekday this year. You encourage us to believe in things like rich, tiny little men, running around the end of rainbows in green top hats and pointy shoes. You entice little baseball and softball outfielders everywhere to search for the mythical three-leaf clover amongst the thousands of deformed imposters. You make it acceptable for grown men to: get drunk, wear "skirts" in public and admit to liking the sound of bagpipes. And most importantly, you create a "safe" day for red-heads, people with freckles, people whose last names contain an apostrophe,  and people that don't quite hit the average height mark. Very cool.

Word on the street is that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, wasn't even born Irish... and look at him now!  People drink beer infiltrated with drops of green food coloring, drink shots of Irish whiskey and cream liqueur dropped into pints of Gunniess, and boil just about every vegetable they can get their hands on... all in honor of the Saint. So don't worry if you aren't Irish, St. Patrick wasn't either.

For your convenience I've put together the 5 ways for you to celebrate St. Patty's Day Downtown!

1.) If you need some green threads: Head to The Ritz for all of your green, shamrocky, top hatty and green and gold bead needs.

2.) If you LIVE for St. Patrick's Day: Conor O'neil's is the place for you. The Irish Pub opens at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday (awesome!), will have their full, Irish-inspired menu available along with bag pipers, Irish dancers, green beer and lots o' Irish whiskey on hand. You'll feel like you're in Ireland. Or drunk before noon.

3.) If you dig irish food: Head to the St. Julien. An entrée plate of traditional Irish fare is only $9.99 from  5:00-10:00 p.m. Enjoy authentic Irish menu items, such as Corned Beef Brisket, Irish Stew, Dubliner Cheese Pie and Sticky Pudding.

4.) If you're looking for entertainment: The Boulderado Hotel has a St. Patrick's Day celebration from 5:00-9:30 p.m. that includes live music by The Green Party starting at 5:30 p.m., and an Irish Step Dancing performance by the McTeggert Dancers starting at 6:30 p.m. (The Boulderado is also offering a variety of Irish menu items including Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake. O.M.G.).

5.) If you seek drink specials: The West End Tavern has a ton. From car bomb slushies and $3 dirty girl scout cookies to $3 Shillelagh's & Black Velvets to $5 car bombs and $4 Irish beer specials... the West End has it all-- including food specials such as corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash.

So Happy St. Patty's Day Downtown Boulder! Make the luck of the Irish be with you, and may scrubbing with baking soda remove all of the green food coloring in your mouth.



Related Destinations: Conor O'Neill's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Hotel Boulderado, The Ritz, St Julien Hotel and Spa, West End Tavern
Related Tags: Bars, Dining, Restaurants

Sunny with a Chance of: Rain, Snow, Wind and (Turkey) Meatballs

Posted on February 18, 2011

Happy Friday Boulder!


I love Fridays! Friday justifies having to sally through every other day of the week. I'm spending this Friday sipping Chai, writing and people-watching from my window seat at the Bookend Espresso Cafe. (I feel very Carrie Bradshaw-ish!). It's currently 45 degrees and sunny, and Pearl St. is a-hopping with festival goers, DiMe attendees and Boulderites. The weather is perfect for a little window shopping on the mall, a bike ride to Lyons or for stalking James Franco. (Disclaimer: I have not, nor am I currently stalking the actor. It's one of those things that sounds like a good idea, until you're sitting in a jail cell, explaining to a large woman dressed in flannel that it was purely coincidental that you happened to be in the men's bathroom at the Boulder Theater at the same time as Mr. Franco).

But as we all know, Colorado weather is pretty indecisive and though it's beautiful outside this afternoon, my sources tell me that it's just a teaser, and snow showers will be moving in over the weekend. (Note: My main source for weather information is the tingling that I get in my right knee when the weather is changing. It started after I had my ACL repaired, and it's been a pretty reliable source of information. And by pretty reliable, I'd say I have about a 58% success rate at predicting the weather-- not too shabby). Weather reports show that Saturday will be like the poor kid whose parents are getting divorced and can't decide which one to live with. The morning/afternoon weather will be sunny,  with a high of 55 degrees, and night will bring a 30% chance of waterworks. So,  with all of that information, and everything going on Downtown over the next three days, I've put together a few ideas for things to do this weekend:

1.) First of all, there are still seats available for the Wine Dinner at Frasca Food and Wine tonight. Four course dinner menu, paired with Zidarich wines. Super classy, super delicious. Check it out. Say to Hi to Bobby S. for me.

2.) The Indulgers, a Celtic Rock band from Boulder,  will be playing at Connor O'Neils on Friday night @ 10:00 p.m. Hear them out.

3.) BIFF. Saturday night has a pretty awesome film line-up, including, "Hand Held"-- A film that a great friend of mine, and the Community Outreach Coordinator at BCAP will be introducing. Also, "The Labyrinth" and "One-Thousand Pictures" both look like pretty awesome documentaries. Check them out.

4.) Downtown Boulder's Mid-Winter Sidewalk Sale is happening February 19 - 21(also known as Saturday through Monday). This year, DBI has partnered with BIFF and just showing your BIFF pass, or ticket stub will get you some awesome discounts and freebies at over twenty different Downtown Boulder retailers and restaurants. For instance,  Antica Roma is offering a complimentary glass of Prosecco or tiramisu with any entree purchase. The Rio has a free $5.00 marg and a cup of green chile soup for BIFF attendees. Take 40% off all winter accessories and 30% of selected clothing at Blue Skies. Receive 15% off your purchase at Weekends... the list goes on. Definitely check it out.

5.) Cheer yourself up from Sunday's gray skies by catching a movie at the St. Julien. This Sunday's movie is Breakfast at Tiffanys. If Audrey Hepburn doesn't make you smile, then the cocktails you'll be sippin' on while you're watching... will. Smile it out.

If you don't spend at least one day Downtown this weekend-- you'd better have a pretty good reason.

Acceptable reasons: You're hitting the slopes. You don't live in Colorado. You got busted stalking James Franco, and are sitting in a BoCo jail cell-- in which case I can offer you about twenty dollars towards your bail.

So come to Downtown this weekend, Boulder. Drinks are on me. :)

- Tyra

Related Destinations: Boulder County AIDS Project, Boulder Theater, Conor O'Neill's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Frasca Food & Wine, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, St Julien Hotel and Spa, Weekends
Related Tags: Boulder, Restaurants, Shopping

Prayer flags and incense

Posted on November 12, 2010

I'll admit it.  I'm a TERRIBLE gift giver.  I've known my best friends for years.  I know some of their deepest darkest secrets, I've seen them take part in terrible fashion fads (don't get me started about one of my friends who wore a Paul Frank shirt everyday for years), I feel like I've seen it all with them.  I can tell you what their drink is at Starbucks and what they will most likely order at any given restaurant.

But when it comes to buying my friends gifts, I'm usually stumped.  I don't know how it's possible to know someone so well, but not be able to pick out a gift for them. I frequently cop out of the whole gift giving situation by getting them a gift card. I drop the line, "this way you can get what you want."  But everyone knows that just means you are too lazy to physically pick out an item. The few times I have ventured into a store and actually purchased a gift it has turned out terribly.  I once gave my friend a snow globe.  A SNOW GLOBE, does anyone actually have use for that!?  The answer is no, but I thought it was brilliant at the time. More......

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Destinations: Frasca Food & Wine, Jax Fish House, Old Tibet
Related Tags: Boulder, Restaurants

Apps are promoting my laziness

Posted on October 9, 2010

My couch is one of my favorite places. It has one too many pillows and is well worn from being owned by a college student for the past two years.  And of course it is located right in front of my TV. The middle of the couch is clearly the most popular part, its once white fabric now has a bluish hue from spending countless hours lounging on it in my fabulous dark wash jeans.  Once I plop myself down on this soft piece of heaven, it becomes extremely difficult to pry myself off of it.  I do everything on my couch, I eat, sleep, do homework, browse the web, stalk people of Facebook, and of course download a seemingly endless array of apps to my phone. 

I love the horoscope app.  If my fortune is particularly terrible, I can use it as an excuse not to go to class and remain on my couch reading about the key traits of Cancer.  I can look up movie times on Fandango, while reading tweets from Kanye all while finding out which Starbucks is actually closer to my house (thus minimizing my walking distance for my skinny hazelnut latte).  Before I know it I have spent an hour staring at the little 2" x 4" screen on my phone, and I have worked up quite an appetite.

But since I have spent the better part of my morning nestled comfortably on my couch (aka still in sweats and unshowered),  I'm not about to go walk to a restaurant, wait in line, order, pay, wait for my food and then walk home.  Snarf's is mere steps from my house, and they have an app for my ordering convenience.  I can order my sandwich and pay for it, then pop in like a ninja and grab my sandwich without anyone having to look at my crazy kinked hair and high school hoodie for more than 15 seconds. This would be great, except I don't want a sandwich, I scour Yelp for restaurants near me and read some reviews and look for something that sounds delicious.  Then I find what I have been searching for--Mexican food. 

I want Chipotle, I need Chipotle. I'm craving that corn salsa and chicken, I imagine peeling back the foil to expose the delicious 1 pound of burrito goodness. I quickly type Chipotle into the search bar on my phone and SCORE there is an app.  First it determines which location is closest to me then I can build my own burrito.  I am scrolling through options I have never even considered before...1/2 pinto 1/2 black beans, yes please!  I pay for my customized burrito and save my selection for next time. I think about the cilantro infused rice one more time and the slowly stand up and leave the comfort of my couch and walk the few blocks to Chipotle and hurry back home to play with my new Mad Men app.


Related Destinations: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Starbucks Coffee
Related Tags: Boulder, Restaurants, Social Media

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