Best of Boulder East County 2022 — Food

Andy Clark, owner of Moxie bread company


Moxie Bread Company

641 Main St., Louisville, 720-420-9616

Longmont Winner: Babette’s Artisan Bread

Lafayette Winner: Button Rock Bakery

Write-In Winner: Jeannot’s Patisserie & Bistro

The highly-awarded Moxie has been turning heads since 2015 with its impressive bread, pastries and breakfast and lunch plates. Challah, sourdough, baguettes and a range of ciabatta all showcase organic, heirloom grains and a slow fermentation process.


Moe’s Broadway Bagel

Multiple locations across Boulder County

Longmont Winner: Big Daddy Bagels

Broomfield Winner: First Watch

Write-In Winner: Woodgrain

With humble beginnings in a North Boulder strip mall, Moe’s Broadway Bagel has grown into a morning staple for bagel lovers across the front range. Six of the seven locations are in Boulder County, each one as cozy as the first. The presence of a dozen house-made cream cheeses is reason enough to visit.

Asian Fusion


133 McCaslin Blvd., Unit H, Louisville, 303-665-0330

Longmont Winner: East Moon Asian Bistro

Lafayette Winner: Pho Café

Write-In Winner: Jai Thai

With locations in both Boulder and Lafayette, Busaba has been serving inspired Thai classics since it opened in 2010. Feast on colorful curries, plenty of noodles and a thorough section of vegetarian entrees, though be sure to save room for the mango mousse cake.


Georgia Boys BBQ

250 Third Ave., Longmont, 720-999-4099

Lyons Winner: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brews

Louisville Winner: LuLu’s BBQ

East Boulder Winner: KT’s BBQ 

Georgia natives Nick Reckinger and Matt Alexander opened the doors of Georgia Boys BBQ in 2011 in a converted 100-year-old shack reminiscent of the kind of places they grew up scoring ’cue. Traditional meat combos share the menu with Korean BBQ fries, a cheesesteak and a barbecue salad.


LaMar’s Donuts & Coffee

133 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, 720-890-3875

Longmont Winner: Landline Donuts

Lafayette Winner: Nok’s Donuts

Broomfield Winner: 5280 Donuts

Write-In Winner: Winchell’s 

With locations in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado, LaMar’s has been peddling donuts since Ray Lamar opened his first shop in 1960. Over 50 donut flavors are joined by Bizmarks, knots, cinnamon twists, fritters and LaMar’s bars.

Fine Dining Restaurant


101 Pratt St., Longmont, 303-651-3330

Louisville Winner: 740 Front

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Niwot Winner: 1914 House

Write-In Winner: Martini’s Bistro

Sugarbeet’s intimate dining room provides a romantic backdrop for some the area’s finest New American fare. Dishes like Olathe corn fritters with black garlic aoli, roasted beet and chevre panna cotta and porchetta with mascarpone polenta are matched to a smart wine list that favors France and California.

Chinese Restaurant

East Moon Asian Bistro

2144 Main St., Longmont, 303-684-8383

Lafayette Winner: Ting’s Place

Louisville Winner: Ginza Sushi-Hibach (formerly Spice China)

East Moon Asian Bistro prepares a robust menu of Japanese, Thai and Chinese standards including basil-rich fried rice, Sriracha beef and a fine assortment of sashimi and nigiri. It’s a good place for an in-house feast and has all the take-out essentials.

Indian/Nepali Restaurant

Flavor of India

370 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9010

Lafayette Winner: Tandoori Kitchen 

Louisville Winner: Taj Mahal III

Write-In Winner: Zaika

There’s no chicer place to enjoy Indian standards than Longmont’s own Flavor of India. Curry, korma, masala, saag and vindaloo can all be washed down with one of nine different Indian beers.

Best New Restaurant: Swaylo’s Tiki Bar

1315 Dry Creek Drive, Longmont, 303-651-0527

Swaylo’s Tiki Bar — another restaurant from The Roost’s Sean and Rebecca Gafner — opened in March 2022 in southwest Longmont. 

“Swaylo’s is an intersection of three great loves of ours: seafood and other delicious food from the Pacific Islands, tropical vacations, and great rum,” says Sean. “Also, Tiki is such a fun and appropriate way to put tropical food and delicious rum on display.” 

Even more than his other restaurants, which also include Jefes Taco and Tequila, Swaylo’s seems to channel some of Sean’s most near and dear cooking. 

“I spent 18 years as a chef in California so I love working with all of the rich, sustainable seafood of the Pacific Ocean,” says the chef. Hawaiian classics like Spam musubi and loco moco are joined by pan-Asian plates like beef and broccoli, Furikake-crusted salmon and shoyu ramen. Drink-wise, Tiki classics are rendered with quality spirits, including one that highlights a single-barrel exclusive rum from Longmont’s own Dry Land Distillers. The Vanillakilla — with Plantation original dark rum, orange, pineapple, coconut cream, vanilla and fresh nutmeg — goes down almost too easily.

Swaylo’s is most of all a community spot, driven as much by the jovial ambiance as it is by the food and cocktails. “Since we moved to Longmont eight years ago to open our first restaurant, The Roost, this community has been unbelievingly loving and generous with us and I will do as much as I can to show how much that means to me through everything I do here,” Sean says.

The Roost


The Roost

526 Main St., Longmont, 303-827-3380

Lafayette Winner: 95a Bistro & Sushi

Louisville Winner: /pôr/ wine house

Erie Winner: Piripi

Write-In Winner: Farow

Chef-owner Sean Gafner cut his teeth at restaurants across Sacramento, though it was his upbringing on a farm and cattle ranch that informs The Roost’s honest farm-to-table aesthetic. Healthy plates including a vegan falafel burger and a smoked quinoa bowl are joined by more decadent options like short rib poutine and beef totchos. 

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Cow Ice Cream

637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-4269

Lafayette Winner: Eats & Sweets

Longmont Winner: Scrumptious

Write-In Winner: Landline Donuts & Coffee

Sweet Cow first opened its doors at the original Louisville location in 2010 and has since added six additional shops in Denver, Boulder and Longmont. Ten year-round staple flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and mint chocolate chip are joined by a rotating cast of more adventurous options including Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Vegan Thai Iced Tea.


Georgia Boys BBQ

250 Third Ave., Longmont, 720-999-4099

Lafayette Winner: Efrain’s 

Louisville Winner: LuLu’s BBQ

East Boulder Winner: A Spice of Life 

Georgia Boys’ justifiably-lauded barbecue is some of the state’s best. Meats and sides by the pound can be ordered for in-store pickup or delivered to events and served by an on-site attendant.

Business Lunch

The Roost

526 Main St., Longmont, 303-827-3380

Lafayette Winner: Teocalli Cocina

Louisville Winner: 740 Front

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

A short rib sandwich, a kimchi burger and a mojo pork Cuban make chef-owner Sean Gafner’s hip Longmont haunt the perfect place for a quick and productive afternoon meal. Plus, there are lots of options for seating inside, on the patio, or on the roof, to give your business lunch just the kind of atmosphere it deserves. 

Best American Restaurant, Restaurant Service: 24 Carrot Bistro

578 Briggs St., Erie, 303-828-1392

For a restaurant to grace this list 10 separate times, it must be doing something right. 

The New American Bistro from Chef Kevin Kidd is indeed one of the more exciting locales in the area, serving up highly-creative and top-tier food and drink from its elegant Erie dining room. Dishes like crispy duck confit with goat cheese polenta and fresh fig and the house made gnocchi with summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomato, herbs de Provence, burrata and balsamic highlight Kidd’s continued desire to highlight the fresh, seasonal and local. The cocktails — like the Beija-Flor, with cachaca, apricot liqueur, lime and strawberry-mint shrub — are all equally forward-thinking.

Kidd, a Cape Cod native, has been cooking since he was 14. Since relocating to Colorado in 1999, he’s cut his teeth at local favorites including the Chautauqua Dining Hall, Carelli’s Italian Bistro and Jax Fish House. He and Bradford Heap opened Niwot’s pride and joy, Colterra Food and Wine, in 2005, before the duo opened Salt where he acted as executive chef. Before opening 24 Carrot Bistro in 2015, Kidd assumed the same role at the now-shuttered and oft-celebrated Alfalfa’s Market.

The restaurant is open for lunch, brunch and dinner with items like the eggplant tonkatsu sandwich — topped with plum hoisin, sesame-marinated cabbage and Japanese mayo and served on a brioche bun — illustrating Kidd’s diverse skillset. At brunch, guests can order beignets with lemon curd and calamari with basil aioli alongside a pork belly benedict and a quiche of the day. With a truly delightful menu that spans cuisines, it’s no wonder 24 Carrot Bistro excelled across so many categories.


American Restaurant

Longmont Winner: The Roost

Lafayette Winner: The Post Brewing Company

Louisville Winner: Waterloo

Write-In Winner: Piripi

Restaurant Service

Longmont Winner:

The Roost

Lafayette Winner: Community Supper Club

Susan France Teocalli

Louisville Winner: LuLu’s BBQ

Mexican Restaurant

Teocalli Cocina

103 N. Public Road, Unit C, Lafayette, 303-284-6597 

Longmont Winner: Jefes Taco & Tequila

Louisville Winner: Casa Alegre

Gunbarrel/East Boulder Winner: Pica’s Boulder Mexican Taqueria

Write-In Winner: Old Santa Fe

Head chef Julio Gaspar serves up inspired plates from across Mexican cooking. Tijuana-style birria shares the menu with hamachi ceviche and larger-format dishes like the pork shank pibil and the adobo tuna. 

Japanese Restaurant

Sakura Japanese Cuisine

600 S. Airport Road, Longmont, 303-485-9282

Lafayette Winner: Sushi Aji

Louisville Winner: Hana Japanese Bistro

Sakura Japanese Cuisine boasts a long list of sushi rolls, teriyaki, curry, katsu and tempura. Opened in 1998, the restaurant has continued to be one of the area’s most beloved purveyors of udon, ramen and a range of truly delightful donburi.

Restaurant Dessert

Eats and Sweets

401 S. Public Road, Lafayette, 303-665-3287

Longmont Winner: Cheese Importers

Louisville Winner: The Melting Pot

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Write-In Winner: Farow

Eats and Sweets is a true community institution. Over the years it has supported local schools, nonprofits and charities including WOW! Children’s Museum, Rise Against Suicide Colorado and the BVSD Garden-to-Table Program. It also has a knack for dessert, most notably the banana bread ice cream sandwich.



817 Main St., Louisville, 303-993-2094

Longmont Winner: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Write-In Winner: The Roost

Josh Karp named his restaurant as a tribute to his father’s record store in Austin, Texas, so it should come as no surprise that music at this neighborhood hangout is always on point. The Waterloo Burger — a classic half-pound burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles — nicely anchors the menu of American staples.

Place To Go on First Date

Acreage by Stem Ciders

1380 Horizon Ave., Lafayette, 303-227 3243

Longmont Winner: The Roost

Louisville Winner: The Melting Pot

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Write-In Winner: The Read Queen

With all the natural beauty, it should come as no surprise that Acreage is a great spot for a first date. Add in a few chile guava or salted cucumber ciders and some seasonal dishes like chilled gazpacho or Mexican-style Colorado corn and it’s hard to imagine sparks not flying.


Rosalee’s Pizzeria

461 Main St., Longmont, 303-485-5020

Erie Winner: Abo’s Pizza

Gunbarrel/East Boulder Winner: Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Louisville Winner: Lucky Pie Pizza

Write-In Winner: Ghost Box Pizza

Billed as an Old World East Coast-style pizzeria, Rosalee’s specializes in classic pies with rustic char. Here, it’s all about the ingredients, with sausage being ground in-house and the smell of fresh garlic and basil enchanting folks from down the block.

Overall Restaurant

The Roost

526 Main St., Longmont, 303-827-3380

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Lafayette Winner: The Post Brewing Company

Louisville Winner: Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar

Sean and Rebecca Gafner’s Longmont hotspot dominates this list for its sharply-executed California cuisine. That its Manhattan relies on the Antero Wheat whiskey from nearby Dry Land Distillers is also a good sign that the Gafners truly know what they’re doing.

Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Lucky Pie Pizza

637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-5743

Longmont Winner: Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse

Lafayette Winner: Noodles & Company

Kids love the taste of the organic Colorado flour used at Brendan McManus’ pizza restaurant and taphouse. Neighboring Speedwell Farm, Boulder’s Oxford Gardens and Buckner Family Farm supply much of the foundation for the vibrant pies. There’s also bacon peanut brittle.


Lucile’s Creole Cafe

518 Kimbark St., Longmont, 303-774-9814

Lafayette Winner: Tangerine

Louisville Winner: The Huckleberry

Broomfield Winner: First Watch

Write-In Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

This is not the first time Lucile’s has topped our readers’ list for Best Breakfast/Brunch, and for good reason. Lucile’s has been cultivating its creole breakfast since opening its first location over four decades ago. Omelets, benedicts and shrimp and grits can and should be enjoyed with at least one plate of beignets.



218 Coffman St., Longmont, 303-772-6954

Lafayette Winner: REELFISH Fish & Chips

Louisville Winner: 740 Front

Erie Winner: 24 Carrot Bistro

Write-In Winner: Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant & Bar

This Caribbean-style fish house has been serving the Longmont community for nearly three decades. Guests can expect Creole barbecue shrimp and smoked salmon wontons ahead of the etouffee, shrimp callaloo and a jambalaya that have put Tortugas on the map.


Georgia Boys BBQ

250 Third Ave., Longmont, 720-999-4099

Lafayette Winner: Tip Top Savory Pies

Louisville Winner: Busaba

While Georgia Boys’ Longmont shack has all the trappings of a proper down-home Southern barbecue joint, the robust plates are just as good to-go. While folks can never go wrong with a combo plate, any one of the nine specialty sandwiches makes for particularly good eating while on the move.

Veggie Burger

Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse

600 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, 303-651-7886

Lafayette Winner: Morning Glory Cafe

Louisville Winner: Waterloo

The Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse, an extension of Boulder’s Mountain Sun empire, has much of the same menu as its older sister. The vegan Beyond Burger comes with lettuce, tomato and onion on a vegan ciabatta and is best washed down with one of the 75 lagers, ales and seasonal specialties that the company brews over the course of the year.

Sushi Restaurant

Sushi Hana

2065 Main St., Longmont, 303-485-1055

Lafayette Winner: Sushi Aji

Louisville Winner: Sushi Yoshi

Niwot Winner: Sachi Sushi

Sushi Hana has dominated this list, appearing time and time again since 2008. The assortment of big, sauce-heavy rolls is nicely balanced by plenty of more refined sushi, sashimi and temaki. The offerings make multiple visits key. Some of the best items — the bento box and the katsu don — are only available at lunch.

Lyons Restaurant

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

303 Main St., Lyons, 303-823-6685

Lyons Winner: La Mariposa

Lyons Winner: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brews

This has been the place to go for fresh Dale’s Pale Ale since Oskar Blues first opened its doors in 1997. Cajun-inspired dishes and classic barbecue fill out the menu beside beer-drinking staples like pizza, loaded nachos, burgers and an applewood-smoked turkey sandwich.


Snarf’s Sandwiches

645 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-774-1441

2130 Mountain View Ave., Longmont, 303-702-1111

Lafayette Winner: Eats and Sweets

Louisville Winner: Moxie Bread Company

Niwot Winner: Niwot Market

Snarf’s is yet another major institution with humble beginnings in Boulder. Since opening in 1996, it’s grown from a one-room shack on Pearl Street to a hoagie empire with stores across the Front Range, St. Louis, Missouri, and Austin, Texas. All sandwiches should be ordered with the house-made hot pepper blend.

Italian Restaurant

Parma Trattoria & Mozzarella Bar

1132 W. Dillon Road, Louisville, 303-284-2741

Longmont Winner: Caprese Trattoria

Lafayette Winner: Mici Handcrafted Italian

Gunbarrel/East Boulder Winner: Gondolier Italian Eatery

Since 2012, Parma Trattoria has been serving a range of pizzas, pastas and appetizers highlighting local and organic ingredients. Though the lead attraction may very well be the mozzarella bar, from which patrons can build elaborate boards from a variety of buffalo, cow and sheep cheeses.



300 S. Public Road, Lafayette, 303-443-5100

Longmont Winner: First Watch

Louisville Winner: The Huckleberry

Niwot Winner: The Garden Gate Cafe

Bright, made-from-scratch breakfast fare is the name of the game at this North Boulder, Old Town Lafayette and downtown Longmont staple. The thorough pancake list features an all-star lineup including a strawberry and caramel stack and the BLR, with blueberry sauce, blueberries and lemon ricotta.

Juice/Smoothie Bar

Inta Juice

1067 S. Hover St., Unit A, Longmont, 303-774-0094

Lafayette Winner: Tropical Smoothie Cafe

The Colorado and Wyoming-based Inta Juice serves a long list of smoothies, bowls, freshly-juiced veggies and health shots. Fruit-based concoctions fill out the menu alongside caffeinated options like the Green Tea and the Java Lava.

Best Food Truck: Biscuits @Mikes


Chef Mike Simuns’ popular truck Biscuits @Mikes is a relative newcomer, having only opened in June 2020. “We wanted something that was good, hot, filling and easy to eat. The biscuit sandwiches was the perfect choice,” says Simuns, noting that much of the inspiration came from trying to provide top-quality breakfast during a particularly frought time in the early days of the pandemic. “People still wanted a great breakfast, but also wanted to be safe.  Stopping at the truck where they could be spaced out, and not inside was comfortable for everyone,” he continued.

Standards — like the sausage or bacon, egg and cheese — are joined by a dripping fried chicken and honey and seasonal specials like the pork melt an over-medium egg. “There have been some changes since we opened. We added melts which is a grilled biscuit with cheese and your choice of protein. The melts are like a morning grilled cheese and have been extremely popular. We also added a vegetarian option with a marinated portobello biscuit.  But one of the most popular things we do is a “Biscuit of the Day” which can range from savory to sweet. It changes daily on a 30 day rotation and our customers all have favorites that bring them out,” says Simuns.

Simuns has suggested the possibility of opening a brick-and-mortar location in the coming years, though for now he just plans on continuing to make great breakfast for a growing legion of loyal customers.


Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse

600 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, 303-651-7886

Broomfield Winner: Outlaw Wings

Louisville Winner: LuLu’s BBQ

Louisville Winner: Mudrock’s Tap & Tavern

The Mountain Sun World Famous Wings live up to the bold title. They come in buffalo, BBQ and sweet chili sauce with an option to substitute the bird for an equally delicious cauliflower rendition.

Thai Restaurant


133 McCaslin Blvd., Unit H, Louisville, 303-665-0330

Longmont Winner: Jai Thai

Lafayette WInner: Panang Thai Cuisine

Lyons Winner: Julie’s Thai Kitchen

Busaba excels at many things, though it’s the curries that truly showcase the restaurant’s mastery of Thai classics. The green, red and yellow are all strong contenders, though it’s the pumpkin and pineapple curries that really up the ante.

Gluten-Free Menu

Morning Glory Cafe

1377 Forest Park Circle, #101, Lafayette, 303-604-6351

Longmont Winner: The Post Brewing Company

Louisville Winner: Parma Trattoria

Erie Winner: Piripi

Beautiful and plentiful dishes fill the health-conscious menu at Morning Glory Cafe. There’s a possibility that their gluten-free pancakes are actually better than traditional pancakes. With most dishes being naturally grain-free, the breakfast burrito and breakfast quesadilla are both offered on a gluten-free wrap.

Niwot Restaurant

Niwot Tavern

7960 Niwot Road, Unit D12, Niwot, 303-652-0200

First Runner-Up: 1914 House 

Second Runner-Up: Farow

Niwot Tavern is a tried-and-true hub for the town’s locals and anyone looking to enjoy a strong list of rotating kegs and thoughtful bar fare. Irish nachos, chicken eggrolls, a cowboy burger and made-to-order mac and cheese make up the diverse menu.

Place to Eat Outdoors

Acreage by Stem Ciders

1380 Horizon Ave., Lafayette, 303-227-3243

Longmont Winner: The Roost

Louisville Winner: Lucky Pie Pizza

Gunbarrel/East Boulder Winner: Avery Brewing

There are few views that can outshine the one found at Stem’s outstanding Lafayette campus. Situated atop a plateau overlooking all of Boulder County, this is the place to go to enjoy outdoor cider and farm-to-table cooking even as the weather starts slipping toward winter.