Local Food Experiences for Groups
In Boulder, “sustainability” is not a mere buzzword; it is engrained in the city’s DNA, including its acclaimed culinary scene. Boulder is brimming with delicious, hyper-local fare that puts regenerative agriculture at the forefront. There are many opportunities here for your group to have an educational food experience or simply to indulge in the local harvest in unique ways — all while lowering your carbon footprint with low- or zero-mileage food sourcing at the same time.
Take a Hands-on Group Cooking Class
Boulder's esteemed culinary arts academy, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, offers farm-to-table classes that incorporate hands-on trips to the Boulder Farmers Market. Outside of these classes, the school emphasizes sustainability all around. The policy of the school's founder, Auguste Escoffier, was always "Do not spoil anything, recycle, enhance and magnify waste."
Across town at Food Lab, a community culinary school with a chic facility on Pearl Street, local chefs teach hands-on cooking classes using ingredients from Boulder farms whenever possible. They can also tailor a private event to your group that focuses on low-waste and hyper-local food and drink. Call 303-953-8364 to inquire.
Dine on the Farm
Talk about a zero-mileage meal. Imagine toasting while a family of farm ducks waddles by your table or a herd of sheep grazes in the distance. At Three Leaf Farm, an organic local farm that provides produce to multiple Boulder restaurants, you can reserve a large gazebo or “Lotus Tent” for groups of up to 8 during their seasonal farm dinners. At Growing Gardens, your group can enjoy a picnic lunch or end-of-work happy hour on the back porch of their barn with a spectacular view of the Flatirons, or take a group class on farm-to-table cooking, cheesemaking and more. And at the picturesque YA YA Farm & Orchard, a team is experienced in welcoming small and large groups for special events, catered by local chefs using on-site or local ingredients.
Tour a Colorado Grain Mill and Indulge in Fresh Pastries
Take a tour of a local artisan grain mill, located just a five-minute drive (or 10-minute bike ride) from their bakeshop, Dry Storage, on Arapahoe Avenue. By partnering with regional organic farms, all of Dry Storage’s flours are made from heirloom seed, which is better suited to the local climate and restores soil health, sequesters carbon and is better for people and the earth. The bakeshop also features a seasonal menu that centers around produce from local partner farms.
Support the Bees at St Julien
St Julien Hotel & Spa has an on-site garden that is home to two bee colonies. Each hive houses between 20,000-60,000 bees (depending on the season) and produces up to 100 pounds of honey each year that supplies the hotel's culinary creations at Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro. Smaller groups can rent space in their stylish T-Zero Lounge or on the outdoor terrace, and Jill’s Restaurant can accommodate up to 140 people.
The Kitchen Community Nights
On the last Sunday of every month, The Kitchen American Bistro features a multi-course, family-style dinner around a community table. Twenty percent of the proceeds are donated to help build gardens in local schools. Call ahead of time for group reservations: 303-544-5973.
The Boulder Farmers Market
Unlike many markets, everything at the Boulder Farmers Market is strictly local — grown or raised in Colorado. (Boulder County has more than 1,000 farms!) Your group can taste their way through the market’s abundance of produce stands and food court that features local restaurants. Open Saturdays 8am–2pm, April through November, and Wednesdays 4pm–8pm, May through October.
Volunteer on a Farm
Growing Gardens is a local farm located in downtown Boulder, with space dedicated to community gardens, a goat dairy, horticultural therapy, and teen and children's programs. They're focused on sustainable agriculture education and empowerment, and groups can support that mission by volunteering on the farm. Volunteer activities could include farm chores, gardening tasks, caring for animals and more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule. At MASA Seed Foundation, you can tour the farm, a bio-regional seed bank that is working hard to bring a sustainable and vibrant food system to the Front Range of Colorado. Volunteers can work in the nursery, fields or greenhouse. Call 303-444-9642 for more info. Or head to woman-owned and family-operated Cure Organic Farm, where they often are in need of greenhouse, harvesting, weeding, seeding, irrigation and construction assistance. Tours of the farm are available by reservation, too. Contact email@example.com.
True Farm-to-Table at Bramble & Hare
Bramble & Hare is the downtown restaurant of Black Cat Farm, and each week’s menu focuses on a vegetable at its peak flavor and freshness. Celebrate the arrival of artichokes in July. Savor perfect tomatoes in August. Indulge in rich pumpkin dishes in fall and sweet parsnips in winter. Groups can book a private room or the full restaurant. Call 303-444-9110 to inquire.