Your Trip Planner

Click on a trip item for more information or click the 'X' to remove, or go directly to the Trip Planner

See Your Trip
    Pizzeria Locale

    Insider’s Guide to Top Chef Boulder

    Boulder’s been called America’s Foodiest Town by Bon Appétit magazine, and we were proud to play host city to an episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef" Season 15. We have a hunch Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi had a blast in Boulder, and we invite fans and foodies of all walks to come check out Boulder’s food scene for themselves.

    Here’s a sample itinerary for scouting around Boulder like you’re a contestant or judge on "Top Chef" (one can dream right?):

    Day One

    Snooze A.M. Eatery Start the day right: with pineapple upside down pancakes (OMG). A primo location on Pearl Street means you’ll have great people watching, especially if you score a seat on the patio.

    Snooze Boulder Sign

    Boxcar Coffee Here they have the perfect cup-a-joe down to a science (seriously, check out the lab beakers and heating elements behind the counter). Available to-go only right now.

    Cured Lucky for you, Boxcar shares a space with Cured, a cheese and cured meats shop that helped put Boulder’s Pearl Street on Food & Wine’s “10 best foodie streets in America” list. Choose some provisions for a picnic, or have Cured choose for you with their bespoke picnic service including a gorgeous keepsake basket. Available to-go only right now.

    Pearl Street Take a walk down this historic, pedestrian avenue. It’s the heartbeat of Boulder, and you’ll always find other folks out strolling, plus independent boutiques, weird and wacky street performers, more restaurants than you have available calories for and bookstores.

    People walking through Pearl Street

    East Boulder Community Park An episode of "Top Chef" Season 15 was filmed here, and it’s the perfect spot for a foodie picnic, with some of the best views of the Flatirons around. Spread out your gourmet provisions from Cured, and enjoy.

    Tundra Restaurant Supply This commercial restaurant supply company in Boulder was the shooting location for the Restaurant Wars episode of "Top Chef." Come gawk at all the pretty, shiny pots and pans, pick up an affordable knife or peruse tongs in every color. Snack on some popcorn and get a greeting from the resident office pups, too.

    Beer Tasting You’ll want to duck into at least a few of Boulder’s 22 craft breweries while you’re here. 

    Copy of Nightlife

    Blackbelly Market Boulder is home to Top Chef champion Hosea Rosenberg, whose restaurant-and-butcher-shop duo draws a loyal following. Head to the pleasant patio for happy hour and order up some charcuterie and oysters. Or try his second restaurant, Santo, inspired by Northern New Mexican cuisine. The margs are to die for.

    The Flatirons Time to get some fresh air, fresh views and amazing scenery — in Boulder, these are all right in the city limits. Bring your camera, and stop in the Ranger Cottage at Chautauqua Trailhead for suggested hikes (a network of trails of every level leave from here).

    Flatirons in autumn

    • Retire to the opulent St Julien Hotel and Spa, where the cast and crew bunked during filming. You'll find rooms with Flatirons views, the exceptional Jill's Restaurant, and a spa you'll never want to leave. If you aren’t spending the night in town (though you really should!), at least stop in for a cocktail or a meal. The lobby and patio are drop-dead gorgeous.

    Day Two

    Tangerine A fresh breakfast at this locals' favorite will have you fueled up for the day. Try the salmon caper benedict or the caprese omelet.

    Bike Boulder Creek Path Burn some calories on a leisurely bike ride. Bike shops all over town rent bikes or you can check one out from B-Cycle’s bike sharing stations. Cruise down the Boulder Creek Path. Up for more adventure? Go mountain biking like Gail Simmons did on her day off:

    Boulder Farmers Market If it’s a Saturday, park your bike and peruse what’s been called the No. 1 Farmers’ Market in the U.S. by readers of USA Today. It’s a festival atmosphere, right near Boulder Creek, with live music, samples, artisan goods and more. Open every Saturday 8am-2pm (April-November) and Wednesdays 4-8pm (May-October).

    Boulder Farmers Market Sandwiches

    Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse Unless you've been to Tajikistan, you've probably never seen a teahouse like this one. Stop by to admire the intricate, painted carvings and sample from some 80 teas. It’s located right in the middle of the farmers’ market.

    Rayback Collective Lunch at Boulder’s food truck park includes incredible views, a super-chill party-like vibe, indoor and outdoor seating, yard games and delish food from the region’s best food trucks.

    Patrons at Rayback Collective

    Panorama Point Drive up Flagstaff Road and stop at this scenic overlook to glimpse all of Boulder down below, Denver and the Eastern Plains beyond.

    Local Table Tours Take a culinary tour with guides who will let you in on Boulder’s best-kept culinary and mixology secrets, as you dine-around downtown or take a cocktail tour. Or opt for a cooking class at Food Lab’s super-hip Pearl Street digs. Tours are currently paused due to Covid-19 restrictions, but check the website for updates.

    People Dining at Food Lab Boulder

    Frasca Food and Wine Easily one of Boulder's top culinary landmarks, the James Beard award-winning Frasca is an all-evening affair, attended to by master sommelier Bobby Stucky, formerly of Napa Valley’s French Laundry. During Covid, they have an outdoor yurt village, where you can reserve a private cabana or a glass-and-wood Alpenglobe.

    Boulder Theater Big-name rock, pop and folk acts and jam bands love to stop by Boulder. See them in this art deco historic landmark. Check the Boulder Theater website for Covid-19 updates.

    Piece, Love and Chocolate Room for one more tiny bite? You can’t leave without a liquid caramel salted truffle from this charming chocolatier on East Pearl, filled to the rafters with sweet cocoa treats.

    Insider’s Tips
    • The presence of Boulder’s University of Colorado means there are lots of cheap eats, greasy spoons and hangover food (should you overindulge one evening). Try Village Coffee Shop, the Smelly Deli or Moe's Bagels.
    • Boulder chef Dakota Soifer took home top honors from Food Network's "Cutthroat Kitchen." Stop by his restaurant, Cafe Aion, for fragrant paella, roasted cauliflower or crispy potatoes.
    • Chef Chris Royster, of Flagstaff House, is a past recipient of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 award and was crowned one of Food Network’s “Chopped” champions in 2016.
    • See where your dinner is grown and produced. Boulder County has over 800 farms, many of which you can tour or visit. Explore our Farm Trail for u-pick opportunities, farm dinners and picnic spots.
    • A great time to sample restaurants all over town is during First Bite Boulder, the town’s restaurant week, every November.
    • Get two-for-one drinks all summer long with the Boulder Passport.
    • Seeds Library Cafe in the Boulder Public Library — an organic, locally sourced eatery on a bridge overlooking Boulder Creek — is the result of a partnership between the library and Boulder County Farmers Markets.