Kelly E. Kingsford, executive chef of the Walnut Restaurant Group


THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 %u2028

Second Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Third Place: The Kitchen Fourth Place: Aji Latin American Restaurant Fifth Place: Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a little something — or maybe lots of little somethings — and if so, everyone in Boulder knows the place to go for the tastiest tapas in town is The Mediterranean Restaurant. The Med, as its name suggests, keeps its focus on dishes from every corner of the Mediterranean basin — Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Morrocco and Lebanon. As such, you’ll find hot and cold tapas, with plenty of carnivorous and vegetarian options. The dátiles con tocino wraps juicy strips of bacon around sweet, fresh Medjool dates covered in garlic and lemon butter. And The Med doesn’t forget classics like tzatziki and baba ghanouj. Our mouths are watering just thinking about sitting down to a glass of wine and a spread of savory tapas.

Asian Fusion 

CHEZ THUY 2655 28th St., 303-442-1700 

Second Place: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar Third Place: Sushi Zanmai Fourth Place: Japango Fifth Place: Zoe Ma Ma

The menu at Chez Thuy is more like a box of chocolates than Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — it’s not that you never know what you’re going to get. It’s that it all looks amazing and is sure to please. The lengthy and varied menu shows a strong dose of Vietnamese influences but blends in hints of French, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian cuisine. Chez Thuy’s menu covers your go-to classics like pho, spring rolls and stir-fried noodles, before venturing into spice-heavy options dosed in lemongrass, cilantro or ginger and adventurous undertakings with rarely seen treats like Cornish game hens, duck and quail, and intriguing vegetarian offerings like stuffed tofu. Hungry yet?

American Restaurant 

THE KITCHEN 1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: OAK at fourteenth Fourth Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Fifth Place: SALT

Alot of restaurants hide under the moniker of being an “American restaurant.”

They stack their menu with fried, mediocre food served with a slimy pickle on the side. Real American food has fresh ingredients and ingenuity that makes you excited for every bite, which is why our readers voted The Kitchen as number one. The Kitchen has been serving up American classics for the past decade, livening up the Boulder culinary scene one plate at a time. With American food this good, you’ll be singing “The Star Spangled Banner” after you finish.


LUCILE’S CREOLE CAFE 2124 14th St., 303-442-4743 518 Kimbark St., Longmont, 303-774-9814 

Second Place: Snooze an A.M. Eatery Third Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Fourth Place: The Buff Resturant Fifth Place: Tangerine

Lucile’s Creole Cafe calls for importing an idea patented in Portland: competitive brunching. Here’s the plan: Give yourself a little lead time, since this extremely popular spot often has a wait for a table, especially on weekends. Order your coffee and beignets and start your meal with puffed pastries warm enough to soak up the powdered sugar that inevitably topples from them onto your plate, and likely other destinations as well. Prepare for a most amazing biscuit — picture moist crumbles of buttery goodness — to precede some meals as well. Save half to accompany your red beans and rice, and smother the other in the house-made jams on the table. Holy wow. You’re already winning. Whether you choose pecan-batter waffles drizzled with pecans and fruit, eggs Ponchartrain with pan-fried trout to bask in runny yolks or some of the most knockout biscuits and gravy around, served on that above-mentioned astoundingly tasty biscuit, to follow that opening, your lead is already so well set that you’ll be impossible to catch. Shoot, score and start another Saturday morning off right.


JAX FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR 928 Pearl St., 303-444-1811 

Second Place: Boulder Cork Third Place: Tortugas Fourth Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant Fifth Place: L’Atelier

When you think of Jax Fish House you can’t help but think of raw oysters. The Jax Raw Bar offers a dozen different varieties of oysters nightly along with clams, crab and other good things from the sea. When you’re done going raw, grab a table and enjoy the area’s best seafood cooked to perfection. Our readers love it, and with good reason.


PIZZERIA LOCALE 1730 Pearl St., 303-442-3003 

Second Place: Beau Jo’s Third Place: Backcountry Pizza & Tap House Fourth Place: Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse Fifth Place: Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Not all pizza is created equal. Good pizza is taken for granted under the guise of a quick, easy bite to eat. But a masterfully crafted pizza can be transformative, and the folks over at Pizzeria Locale rise to the challenge, which is why our readers chose it as the best. You don’t need much to make a good pizza, but Pizzeria Locale goes above and beyond with their fresh, flavorful ingredients. Plus, there’s nothing better than being able to customize your pizza right in front of you. After a visit to a lava hot oven, you get a delicious pizza topped just for you.

Nederland Restaurant 

KATHMANDU RESTAURANT 110 N. Jefferson St., Nederland, 303-258-1169 

Second Place: Backcountry Pizza & Tap House Third Place: Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery Fourth Place: Sundance Cafe Fifth Place: Black Forest Restaurant

Nederland has a number of great restaurants, of course. The little mountain town with a big character has been home to delicious food and a great dining atmosphere for a while now. One place that continually stands as a paramount of good food is Kathmandu Restaurant. The Indian and Nepalese food slinger has been pleasing guests for years with their comforting and delicious meals. A favorite of locals and folks coming down from the slopes, Kathmandu acts as the true peak of a thriving Indian and Nepali dining scene in Boulder County.

Kid Friendly 

NOODLES & COMPANY Various locations around Boulder County 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/ Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse Fourth Place: Red Robin’s Burger Works Fifth Place: Turley’s Kitchen

When you’re a kid, going out to eat presents an adventure full of new possibilities — new tastes, smells, coloring menus and hopefully a giant rice crispy treat. Our readers voted Noodles and Company as the best place to take your little ones. They can slurp down noodles and practically swim in a big bowl of mac and cheese. It has a family-friendly restaurant vibe that provides a comfortable, casual environment and a modestly priced, diverse menu that’ll suit any age. Plus, it’s customizable for any picky eater’s palate, meaning no broccoli, or extra green stuff if there’s whining.

Restaurant Dessert 

THE KITCHEN 1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973 

Second Place: Boulder Cork Third Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant Fourth Place: SALT Fifth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant good dessert can be a masterpiece. It doesn’t need to be full of bells and whistles, piled

A high with whipped cream and hot fudge. The best desserts are derived from simple flavors and ingredients — an experiment that The Kitchen has mastered. From the rich cheeses to the creamy buttermilk pie to the sticky toffee pudding, you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose. And do not miss out on The Kitchen’s homemade gelato and sorbet. Also, the menu changes seasonally to reflect the most delicious dishes all year round. It’s so good, you’ll want to order dessert before the main course.

Organic Restaurant 

THE KITCHEN 1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973 %u2028 

Second Place: Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant Third Place: Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro Fourth Place: Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place Fifth Place: Modmarket

From the start, The Kitchen was envisioned as a “world-class neighborhood restaurant,” a restaurant that would be more like the kitchen in your own home, where you and your friends and family could chat around good food and good drinks. And so it is. From the locally sourced ingredients in their food and drinks, to environmentally friendly practices like composting, using wind power and eco-friendly packaging, The Kitchen is truly a communitycentric business. Drop in for brunch, lunch or dinner, or even just an after-work cocktail, and rest assured that you are supporting a local business that supports its community.


KT’S BBQ 2660 Broadway St., 303-442-3717 7464 Arapahoe Road, 303-786-7608 

Second Place: Georgia Boys BBQ Company Third Place: Lulu’s BBQ Fourth Place: Moe’s Original BBQ Fifth Place: West End Tavern

A good barbecue restaurant is an experience filled with smoky aromas, down-home atmosphere and a friendly familiarity. You know the food’s good when you’re knee-deep in meat, smothered in barbecue sauce and surrounded by sides that are each better than the last. KT’s BBQ gives you all this and more. The K and T belongs to Kirk and Tricia Jamison, who realized the only proper way to start a BBQ joint was to do their research — go to Memphis and scarf on barbecue. Luckily, they passed along the knowledge and gave us KT’s. With a lot of hard work and long days, the result is a plate of food made with love.

Take Out 

SNARF’S 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-3404 2128 Pearl St., 303-444-7766 

Second Place: Noodles and Company Third Place: Curry-N-Kebob Fourth Place: Chez Thuy Fifth Place: Buddha Thai Cuisine

We’ve all had a night where we don’t want to cook, but we don’t want to put on real pants and go to a sit-down restaurant. The restaurant that makes whatever dish you’re craving doesn’t deliver, or you don’t want to wait for it to get to your house, so you hop in the car and order up a take out item. For these moments, our readers like Snarf’s. They have a wide menu of options, all prepared quickly and packaged neatly so you can take it home and continue binge watching a series on Netflix and deepening that couch groove.

Frozen Yogurt 

RIPPLE PURE FROZEN YOGURT 1682 30th St., 303-444-0690 

Second Place: Boulder Chill Third Place: Two Spoons Gelato & Soup Fourth Place: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Fifth Place: Smooch Frozen Yogurt & Mochi

What a delicious treat frozen yogurt is.

And how far it has come since its halcyon days where folks said, “Frozen what?” and scoffed and missed out on something delicious. Since then, frozen yogurt became a national trend, died and then sort of found a balance somewhere between “Uh, nope,” and “I’m going to cut my face off with an Exacto knife if I don’t have fro-yo.” The best frozen yogurt joint in Boulder County, according to our readers, is Ripple Pure Frozen Yogurt in Boulder. It has a bunch of selfserve nozzles with a ton of flavors and toppings. With easy access, affordable prices and delicious frozen yogurt with inventive flavors, Ripple earned the title of Best of Boulder from our readers.


A SPICE OF LIFE CATERING EVENTS 5541 Central Ave., Suite 272, 303-444-3452 %u2028 

Second Place: Three Leaf Catering Third Place: Dish Gourmet Fourth Place: Sage and Savory Catering Fifth Place: Savory Cuisines

When you have an event that needs to be catered, chances are it’s important to you that everything come off without a hitch — from weddings to corporate events and every special event in between, A Spice of Life Catering Events can guarantee you and your guests an exceptional experience. Run by two veterans of the food service industry with experience in hotel and restaurant management, A Spice of Life has been providing first-class service and quality food and beverage to events since 1987. And they don’t stop there — A Spice of Life values the wellbeing of their community and, as such, adopted a zero waste program in 2005. They offer compostable dishes and recyclable utensils.

Food Truck 

COMIDA Find current locations on Facebook and Twitter 

Second Place: Verde Third Place: Cheese Louise Fourth Place: McDevitt Taco Supply

The only thing better than going to a restaurant is having a restaurant come to you. Welcome to the world of the food truck. Best of all, these mobile kitchen’s cook up some of the best grub anywhere. Comida is our reader’s favorite because it happens to serve up some of the finest Mexican food in the county, wheels or no wheels. Check their website, Facebook or Twitter to find the truck’s current location and then get there quick. You’ll be glad you tracked them down.

Business Lunch 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 

Second Place: Boulder Cork Third Place: The Kitchen Fourth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Fifth Place: FATE Brewing Company

Selecting the perfect spot for a business lunch poses a lot of pressure. It needs to be quiet, but not creepily silent; friendly, but not too casual; hip to show you have impeccable taste yet not intimidating; and persuasive enough to sway the meeting in your favor. Oh, and of course it has to have great food. Our readers think The Mediterranean Restaurant fits the bill perfectly, with a unique vibe that sits right in that sweet spot and hits all the requirements. Order a plethora of tapas that will keep the conversation flowing and that will nicely complement the business chit chat.

Gluten-Free Menu 

SHINE RESTAURANT & GATHERING PLACE 2027 13th St., 303-449-0120 

Second Place: Modmarket Third Place: Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant Fourth Place: Fresh Thymes Eatery Fifth Place: Zeal

A few years ago, eating gluten-free limited you to a couple measly options on a menu.

Gluten-free eaters clung to those few options and were forced to continuously eat the same unimaginative dishes. But now, Boulder has become a safe haven full of menus loaded with delicious foods, sans gluten. For the most delicious option, our readers voted Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place as number one. The menu is stocked with options that are gluten-free and taste-full. And when a restaurant goes out of its way to consider the dietary restrictions of its patrons, the food tastes that much better.

Restaurant Ambiance 

THE BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE 1770 13th St., 303-442-4993 

Second Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant Third Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant Fourth Place: The Kitchen Fifth Place: Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro

Many would argue that the best part of going out to eat is the ambiance. Whether it’s the décor, the service, the location, the music or anything else, the feeling one gets from sitting in a restaurant is often what we crave. Sure, world-renowned chefs in Boulder County are serving meals we couldn’t make at home, but it’s the ritual of getting out of the house and sitting down for a proper meal that keeps us coming back for more. The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is of course a leader in ambiance. With a building shipped in from Tajikistan, a bright and verdant interior and exceptional service, the Dushanbe Teahouse is a justified winner of this year’s award.

Place to Eat Outdoors 

CHAUTAUQUA DINING HALL 900 W. Baseline Road, 303-440-3776 %u2028 

Second Place: Boulder County Farmers’ Market Third Place: Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant Fourth Place: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse Fifth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant

No matter the time of year, you can enjoy the beauty of Boulder’s landscape from the wraparound porch at Chautauqua Dining Hall. You can grab breakfast, lunch or dinner after a hike on one of the many surrounding trails, or perhaps before one of the concerts at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium. Enjoy hearty breakfast favorites like cinnamon French toast with a side of house-made sausage or lighter fare like yogurt and granola. At dinner time you can tuck into a Colorado BBQ blue plate with brisket, ribs, kielbasa, Swiss chard, mac and cheese and a biscuit. No matter what you get to eat, you get to do it surrounded by the splendor of the Rocky Mountains.

Food on the Hill 

THE SINK 1165 13th St., 303-444- 7465 

Second Place: Illegal Pete’s Third Place: Cafe Aion Fourth Place: Half Fast Subs Fifth Place: Cosmo’s Pizza

When you’d like to pretend that your life is one of those classic college-y movies, where the beer glasses are always full, the burgers are thick and juicy — because you watch movies for the menu items, right? No? Well of course, it’s also where the women are smart, the men are strong and the children are all adorably precocious, every rock band rocks and every professor is kind and full of enlightening one-liners and every semester begins with the chance for bold life changes. Are we good now? All right then. So you want to go the The Sink. This quintessential long-time Boulder establishment on the Hill, where college kids and — right, right, nevermind — is actually the choice destination for big names when they drop into town, including President Barack Obama and celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert of Good vs. Evil and Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.


ILLEGAL PETE’S 1447 Pearl St., 303-440-3955 1124 13th St., 303-444-3055 

Second Place: Chipotle Mexican Grill Third Place: Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina Fourth Place: Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant Fifth Place: Big City Burrito Boulder

What’s better than a well-made burrito? Not much. And considering the density of quality burritos in Boulder County, it is no small feat to win the honor of best burrito as voted by our readers. It takes broad shoulders to carry the weight of best burrito, and Illegal Pete’s is up for the challenge. With myriad options, quality ingredients, good beer on tap and low prices, Illegal Pete’s is a fitting winner. With two locations in Boulder, it’s a perfect stop-in when you have the kind of hunger that only a burrito can fill.

New Restaurant 

BLACKBELLY MARKET 1606 Conestoga St., 303-247-1000 %u2028 

Second Place: LYFE Kitchen Third Place: PMG Wine Bar Fourth Place: The Post Brewing Co. Fifth Place: Taco Junky & Tequila Bar

Award-winning chef Hosea Rosenberg (winner of season five of Top Chef) has built Blackbelly Market piece by piece since 2011, starting with Blackbelly Catering, then opening Blackbelly Farm soon after. For Rosenberg, the idea was not only to cut out the middleman, but also to allow patrons to know exactly where their food comes from. With a full butchering operation in house, a garden to select fresh veggies from, Rosenberg and his staff serve seasonal goodness all year at reasonable prices. From the cured meats to the smoked cheddar grits, when you leave Blackbelly, you’re gonna have a full belly.

Food Delivery 

SNARF’S 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-3404 2128 Pearl St., 303-444-7766 

Second Place: Abo’s Pizza Third Place: Cosmo’s Pizza Fourth Place: Boulder Baked Fifth Place: Jimmy John’s

Chances are, if you find yourself saying, “I just want to order delivery,” you’re probably tired, busy and/or both. But never fear, because a delicious sandwich is just a phone call or a mouse click away at Snarf’s. Don’t wait in line — hop online and have Snarf’s bring a scrumptious snack right to you. Whether you want a sandwich dripping with meat or one stuffed with veggies, Snarf’s has you covered. In the mood for corned beef? Snarf’s can scratch your sandwich itch. Have a hankering for pastrami and Swiss? Snarf’s won’t let you hanker for long. Watching that carb intake? Get a salad and skip the bread. So don’t go hungry, no matter how busy you are — let Snarf’s come to you.


SUSHI ZANMAI 1221 Spruce St., 303-440-0733 

Second Place: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar Third Place: Japango Fourth Place: Sushi Tora Fifth Place: Sakura Japanese Cuisine

Sushi is a traditional delicacy that dates back hundreds of years. Chefs take sushi preparation very seriously, from techniques passed down from generations to cuttingedge innovations to stay ahead of the pack.

The art of sushi is very serious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too, and that’s why our readers voted Sushi Zanmai as number one. With every bite of sushi you can taste the craftsmanship that went into each roll, from the classics to the experimental. And paired with a vibrant atmosphere, Sushi Zanmai delivers the ultimate sushi experience. Stop in when you need some fun and delicious food. You won’t be disappointed.


SUSHI ZANMAI 1221 Spruce St., 303-440-0733 

Second Place: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar Third Place: Japango Fourth Place: Sushi Tora Fifth Place: Sushi Hana on the Hill

Even though we live in a landlocked state, we have excellent sushi and seafood restaurants. Japanese cuisine, which offers both of those in abundance, may not be an outsider’s first choice for dining options, but they’d be wrong. Embarrassingly wrong. Take for example the winner of Best Japanese Restaurant, Sushi Zanmai, an awardwinning sushi bar and restaurant that offers world-class fare from a modest storefront downtown. Sushi Zanmai serves fresh and unique fare that delights folks of any culinary sensibility. Stop by for lunch or dinner and enjoy all that Sushi Zanmai has to offer, or walk down Pearl and pop into second place winner Hapa Sushi’s modern dining space.

East County Restaurant 

EFRAIN’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND CANTINA 4511 S. Pratt Pkwy., Longmont, 720-494-0777 101 E. Cleveland St., Lafayette, 303-666-7544 

Second Place: Colterra Third Place: The Post Brewing Co. Fourth Place: Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse Fifth Place: The Huckleberry

Best East County Restaurant is such a broad category with so many quality options. In East County we find vibrant ethnic menus, bustling brewpubs, casual burger joints and everything in between. But one restaurant stood out to readers above all others this year and that was Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. With several locations throughout Boulder County, the one thing consistent between them all is exceptional quality. The Boulder County landmark is always packed at all its locations, due to its many offerings. Excellent drinks, unique and delicious Mexican fare and a lively atmosphere make Efrain’s a great choice for the best restaurant in East County.


CARELLI’S OF BOULDER 645 30th St., 303-938-9300 

Second Place: Pasta Jay’s Third Place: Pizzeria Locale Fourth Place: Frasca Food and Wine Fifth Place: Il Pastaio

For the past 12 years, Carelli’s has been serving both traditional and contemporary cuisines of Northern and Southern Italy. The food by itself could easily account for why Carelli’s was chosen as our reader’s favorite Italian restaurant. But when you serve that food in a space with a 360-degree fireplace that has been cited for “Best Design” by the American Institute of Architects and then add an impressive wine list and great service, it’s just piling on.

Fine Dining 

FLAGSTAFF HOUSE RESTAURANT 1138 Flagstaff Road, 303-442-4640 

Second Place: Frasca Food and Wine Third Place: The Kitchen Fourth Place: Oak at fourteenth Fifth Place: Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro

When you’re sick of lounging on the couch washing down that bag of stale chips with a lukewarm soda, it’s time to treat yourself. You deserve a night out on the town full of magic down to the last detail. Flagstaff House has a reputation that precedes it, and it does not disappoint. Sitting at a 6,000 feet elevation, Flagstaff offers an unparalleled view of Boulder alongside an impressive menu filled with delicious plates, fancy cheeses and tasty wines. You can’t go wrong with any selection on the menu, and after you’ve stuffed yourself with fancy treats you’ll want to break up with your couch permanently.

Pizza Slice 

ABO’S PIZZA 2761 Iris Ave., 303-443-1921 637 S. Broadway, Unit S, 303-494-1274; (and other locations in Boulder County) 

Second Place: Cosmo’s Pizza Third Place: Pizza Colore Fourth Place: Beau Jo’s Fifth Place: Backcountry Pizza & Tap House

The slice of pizza is an American institution. It stands for everything that is wonderful about this country: ingenuity, earnestness, character, honor and bravery. It is at once so simple and yet so nuanced. It is born out of tradition and passion. It takes a bold person to open up shop and sell pizza by the slice because the slice is something for which we all have different expectations. To put yourself out there, at the mercy of a subjective public, takes guts. And yet, millions of slices are served every day because there is simply nothing better in the entire world than going to a fantastic pizzeria, picking up a crispy, thin slice on a paper plate, folding it up and walking down the street. It is a snack, a meal and a lifestyle.

According to Boulder County voters, Abo’s lives up to those ideals.


KHOW THAI CAFE 1600 Broadway St., 303-447-0273 

Second Place: Chez Thuy Third Place: Buddha Thai Cuisine Fourth Place: Aloy Thai Fifth Place: Thai Kitchen

When Toi Newman opened the doors of Khow Thai more than a decade ago, the odds were stacked against her and the obstacles were numerous, but the little Thai café that could quickly earned a reputation as home for some of the best Thai food in town. The restaurant has been bringing awards through the doors, along with many customers, and sending out many bellies filled with satay, papaya salad, Thai soups spiced with lemon grass, noodle dishes and curries. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure when it comes to spice — only the bravest daring the regions of “Thai hot” — and an all-you-can-eat when it comes time for lunch buffets.

Ice Cream 

SWEET COW 2628 Broadway, 303-447-3269 637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-4269 %u2028 

Second Place: Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato Third Place: Ben & Jerry’s Fourth Place: Boulder Organic Ice Cream Fifth Place: Cold Stone Creamery

The folks at Sweet Cow know the most important ingredient in ice cream is love, which is why they make their small batches on site with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to ensure customers get the freshest scoop (or two, or three) of ice cream possible. Sweet Cow has nine staple flavors: vanilla, Dutch chocolate, mint chocolate chip, butter pecan, strawberry, cookies and cream, Ozo coffee, chocolate Includes chip cookie dough and oatmeal cookies — and there are always two sorbets available. 

Over any given year, Sweet Cow will offer more than 140 different flavors, with obvious flavors like Nutella, and less obvious choices Must present coupon. Not valid with like Seventh Inning Stretch. Drop some candy any or other sprinkles offers. on Expire your 5/23/15 scoop (or two, or three) — maybe get it all in a waffle cone — to complete your perfect ice cream experience.


ZOE MA MA 2010 10th St., 303-545-6262 

Second Place: China Gourmet Third Place: Golden Lotus (in memoriam) Fourth Place: Spice China  Fifth Place: Moongate Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar 

Cozy little Chinese café Zoe Ma Ma gets right to the point with a punchy menu of noodle and rice dishes that are, as they joke, heart-stoppingly good. Order at the cash register, customize with your choice from the sauces available at the pick-up counter, and then take your steamy buns (ha, ha?) and noodles to one of the tables or the street-facing bar. Their dishes, sourced from natural and organic ingredients, bring an authentic sensibility to an often misunderstood ethnic food. It’s really, really not about eggrolls. It’s about potstickers and chicken noodle  soup ready to cure what ails you, perhaps especially if that’s a wanderlust-fueled want for an experience that feels like dining on an Asian street corner and tastes out of this world.

Pancake/ Waffle 

SNOOZE AN A.M. EATERY 1617 Pearl St., 303-225-7344 

Second Place: The Buff Restaurant Third Place: Tangerine Fourth Place: The Huckleberry Fifth Place: Le Peep

According to the folks at Snooze, or at least their website, they “believe life is for living and each person and each day is worth celebrating.” So how does a rockin’ breakfast joint celebrate life? At Snooze, one of the ways is to serve up the best, most interesting pancakes on the Front Range including their famous Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Candy Apple Pancakes and Blueberry Danish Pancakes. Sort of makes you look forward to the sound of your alarm clock.


SNARF’S 2128 Pearl St., 303- 444-7766 5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-3404 645 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-774- 1441 2130 Mountain View Ave., Longmont, 303- 702-1111 

Second Place: Salvaggio’s Italian Deli Third Place: Half Fast Subs Fourth Place: Cured Fifth Place: Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria

The search for the perfect sandwich led “Snarf” Jimmy Seidel to open Snarf’s almost 20 years ago, and now they’ve got a menu stacked full of perfection — perfection in the form of a layer of meat and cheese squeezabley positioned between two slides of bread. It was a revolutionary idea the first time someone needed a portable meal, we’re sure, and is still the ideal packet of a meal for those moments when the writers are driving you crazy, Tracy’s gone off his meds and Jack Donaghy wants another toast for a Republican-dominated black tie event to pop from your middle class liberal brain. As in, when you, like Liz Lemon, believe that all a person really needs in life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich, make  sure the route to that peaceful place takes a detour past Snarf’s.

Vegetarian Friendly 

LEAF VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT 2010 16th St., 303-442-1485 

Second Place: Modmarket Third Place: Native Foods Cafe Fourth Place: Arugula Bar e Ristorante Fifth Place: Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

We don’t have the numbers or anything, but we’re pretty sure we’re safe in saying there are a lot of vegetarians in Boulder. That being said, there are lots of vegetarian-friendly restaurant options around to cater to all those veggie-heads, so to stand out says a lot. And not only does Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant stand out in Boulder, it’s been named among the 25 best vegetarian restaurants in the world by The Daily Mail. Not only does Leaf provide vegetarian and vegan fare, a number of options are gluten-free and raw. Even the most inflexible omnivore won’t miss the meat at Leaf, with Jamaican jerk tempeh, zucchini pad Thai and black pepper gnocchi. And don’t pass up the vegan carrot cake… we beg of you.

Overall Restaurant 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 

Second Place: The Kitchen Third Place: Oak at fourteenth Fourth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten Fifth Place: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

Finding that The Mediterranean Restaurant (or, as it is known to its friends, The Med) at the top of the list for overall restaurant again this year is no surprise. This Boulder classic has been a choice destination for lunches with coworkers, dinners with parents and happy hours with friends for years. Their tapas menu is legendary, their wine list worth that second glass and their pizzas, pastas and paellas packed with the charm of the Old World, Roman holidays and Tuscan sunshine. Start with a chunk of crusty Italian bread and olive oil, don’t miss the bacon-wrapped dates and meander through the rest of the menu in the manner befitting a cruise through the Mediterranean, whether the boat has docked in Greece, Italy or Spain.


SHERPA’S ADVENTURERS RESTAURANT & BAR 825 Walnut St., 303-440-7151 

Second Place: Curry-N-Kebob Third Place: Tandoori Grill Fourth Place: Taj Indian Cuisine Fifth Place: Kathmandu Restaurant

When you’re seeking out spices and curries like only the Indian subcontinent can make, turn your nose toward Sherpa’s, where freshly baked naan, housemade sauces and a charcoal-fired Tandoor clay oven await the opportunities to transport you to far away lands. Entrees made fresh to order include lentil dall, curries, roasted tandoori meats, cashew sauce-based kormas, and vegetables with cumin and lemon and a tomato cream sauce. Wash it all down with a Sherpa Ale, brewed for Sherpa’s by Odell Brewery.

In addition to a menu loaded with Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan food, the restaurant has a lounge stocked with books for eager travelers to peruse and is home to relics from the travels of the full staff of Sherpa’s from the Mount Everest region, including chef Jangbu Sherpa, who has been to the top of the world’s tallest peak 10 times.

Restaurant Service 

MOUNTAIN SUN/SOUTHERN SUN PUB & BREWERY 1535 Pearl St., 303-546-0886 %u2028 627 South Broadway, 303-543-0886 

Second Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant Third Place: Frasca Food and Wine Fourth Place: The Kitchen Fifth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten

With their team approach to serving, it’s easy to see why our reader’s voted Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery best restaurant service around. Your drink is never empty, and your food is just right. And with no televisions in any of the Sun Pubs and Breweries, your server can focus on you, and you can focus on the people you’re with, whether that’s playing a game of Scrabble or just catching up. No matter if you’re at the Mountain Sun or Southern Sun for a business lunch, a casual dinner with friends or a beer or three after a long hike, you’ll get great service, tasty food and delicious beer.

Place To Go on a First Date 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 

Second Place: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse Third Place: The Kitchen Fourth Place: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar Fifth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten

The Med has a great bar, great waiting area, great tapas, beautiful tile, a Euro-style courtyard, fun and efficient wait staff, and a diverse menu with great choices at reasonable prices. This all adds up to a great first impression, which explains why The Med is our readers favorite place for a first date. As a bonus, The Med is such a great place for an evening out that even if that first date turns out to be a bust, the food and atmosphere will still salvage the evening.

Place to Eat on a Budget 

ILLEGAL PETE’S 1124 13th St., 303-444-3055 1447 Pearl St., 303-440-3955 

Second Place: Zoe Ma Ma Third Place: Snarf’s Fourth Place: Noodles and Company Fifth Place: Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant

Anna Newell Jones started 2010 with more than $23K in debt. In 15 months, she’d paid off all of it. She coined, and now trademarked, the terms “spending fast” and “spending diet” for the massive overhaul of her financial situation, which saw her paying hundreds of dollars a month toward credit cards and college loans. She made a strict list of needs and wants and found a lot of ways to prune her spending.

Whether you’re looking to get out or stay out of debt, it can be healthy to take a smart detour to a budget-friendly spot for dinner. At Illegal Pete’s, you can grab a burrito and a beer, pull up a seat and either people watch the Pearl Street Mall or perhaps catch some live music, and feel like you’re living large without taking a big hit to your bank account.


EFRAIN’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT & CANTINA 1630 N. 63rd St., 303-440-4045 451 S. Pratt Parkway, Longmont, 720-494-0777 101 E. Cleveland St., Lafayette, 303-666-7544 

Second Place: Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant Third Place: Zolo Grill Fourth Place: Agave Mexican Bistro and Tequila House Fifth Place: Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace

Efrain has been cooking up his renowned Northern Mexican cuisine in Boulder County for more than 30 years, which explains why our readers keep choosing his restaurants as their favorite place for Mexican food year after year after year. This restaurant’s Northern Chihuahua style dishes are big, fiery hot and delicious. With several locations to choose from, there is no excuse for not introducing yourself to the friendly folks at Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, who just might hand you one of their famous margaritas if you ask real nice.


LARKBURGER 2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-1487 

Second Place: Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery Third Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Fourth Place: Smashburger Fifth Place: Reuben’s Burger Bistro

On average, Americans eat three burgers a week. That means we eat more than 50 billion burgers a year as a nation. And that means when it comes to the best burger category, everyone is an expert. So it’s a big deal that Larkburger is our reader’s favorite because our readers knock back like 300,000 burgers a week. Larkburgers are no ordinary creation; they were invented by famed chef Thomas Salamunovich at one of his Vail restaurants. These gourmet creations are something to behold and even better to eat. We’re pretty sure if all burgers were larkburgers, we’d be eating more like 100 billion a year.


MOE’S BROADWAY BAGELS 3075 Araphoe Ave., 303-442-4427 2650 Broadway, 303-444-3252 3267 28th St., 720-406-9000 

Second Place: Einstein Bros Bagels Third Place: Big Daddy Bagels Fourth Place: Panera Bread Fifth Place: Mickey C’s Bagels

People have been making bagels since at least the 16th century. You’d think by now bagel makers would have pretty much perfected the process for creating these little round rings of bread, and they’d all taste the same, but nothing could be further from reality. Every shop’s bagel is unique and few foods spark such debate and loyalty as the humble bagel. If you’re a Moe’s Broadway Bagels’ customer, no other bagel will do. And so with that, we are proud to report that more of our readers are loyal to Moe’s than any other bagel shop.


BOULDER BAKED 1911 Broadway, 303-444-4999 

Second Place: Breadworks Bakery and Cafe Third Place: Spruce Confections Fourth Place: Great Harvest Bread Co. Fifth Place: Lucky’s Bakehouse & Creamery

The baker is an integral part of any community. We “break bread” to signify the making of amends and the start of new friendships. Sweets, cookies, pastries and cakes signify happy occasions and allow us to take a second out of the day to make time for happiness. Bakeries provide access to previous generations, families and heritages on a casual level that you can’t really get anywhere else. That said, our voters said Boulder Baked provides these qualities better than any other in Boulder County. And it’s no wonder why — Boulder Baked makes a wide variety of desserts and comfort food for all types of eaters including those on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. And they deliver!


LUCILE’S CREOLE CAFE 2124 14th St., 303-442-4743 %u2028 

Second Place: Snooze an A.M. Eatery Third Place: The Buff Restaurant Fourth Place: Tangerine Fifth Place: The Walnut Cafe/Southside Walnut Cafe/ Super Mini Walnut Cafe

Do you have those days when you wake up and wish you could run off to New Orleans for a Cajun breakfast, complete with red beans, fluffy beignets and hot, fresh chicory coffee? Yeah, we have those days too. And since escaping to Nola on the average morning isn’t a possibility, we head down to Lucile’s Creole Cafe and warm our souls with a Cajun breakfast that makes us forget we’re 1,300 miles from The Big Easy. There’s nothing like pan-fried mountain trout, poached eggs and creamy grits to put a smile on your face that will last the whole day. Everything is served in a warm, welcoming atmosphere, with real cloth napkins and lots of windows to let that Colorado sunshine add to your experience.


PIECE, LOVE & CHOCOLATE 805 Pearl St., 303-449-4804 

Second Place: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Third Place: Chocolove Fourth Place: Robin Chocolates Fifth Place: JJ’s Sweets

We love chocolate. You love chocolate. All of our readers love chocolate and according to thousands of them, the best chocolate in these parts can be found at Piece, Love & Chocolate. So what makes this chocolatier so beloved? Their website suggests it’s because they offer “professional knowledge, excellent service and an eclectic array of exceptional-quality chocolate gifts and novelties — which will be as much of a joy to give as they are to receive.” We think it’s because everything tastes so darn good.

Late Night 

COSMO’S PIZZA 659 30th St., 303-447-3278 1325 Broadway, Suite 108, 303-447-1133 %u2028 

Second Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Third Place: Abo’s Pizza Fourth Place: Boulder Baked Fifth Place: Bramble & Hare

We’ve all been awake at one in the morning, starving. Well, never fear, because Cosmo’s Pizza is here! Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Cosmo’s has giant New York slices of pie, calzones stuffed to capacity, breadsticks and even salads that will satisfy your late night hunger pangs (or maybe help round out that late night revelry). Perhaps there was a little too much revelry… well, Cosmo’s offers free delivery all the way to 2 a.m.

Lyons Restaurant 

OSKAR BLUES GRILL & BREW 303 Main St., Lyons, 303-823-6685 

Second Place: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Taphouse Third Place: Lyons Fork Fourth Place: Barking Dog Cafe Fifth Place: Black Bear Inn (relocating to Firestone)

Go with family and friends to Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. It’s the kind of place that begs partners in crime when you’re diving into a mountain of nachos, a basket teeming with wings or a beer that’s too tasty not to share just a tiny bit. You’ll also want a friendly hand around to pass you extra napkins when you’re elbow-deep in barbeque pork or up to your eyeballs in seafood gumbo loaded with shrimp and andouille sausage or slicing up the official food of friends and family gatherings everywhere: pizza. Oskar Blues makes custom pies with their Mama’s Little Yella Pils, leaving just a hint of hops in the crust.

The Southern-style restaurant has been bringing Creole and Cajun dishes to the Front Range since 1997, and Lyons is their original home. Meaning: It’s much loved, beloved and loveable. Longmont has great Oskar Blues additions, but don’t miss the original.