Boulder has some amazing food options – I’m talking anything from Thai to Italian, Vietnamese to Mexican, Nepalese, Ethiopian, places for meat eaters, and places for vegans. It’s amazing. I love eating, so I’ve gone to a lot of the popular places around town, but I’ve missed so many of the cute, hidden, quiet restaurants. Places I’ve passed hundreds of times, but have never gone in for a meal. So that’s where Goal #20 comes in:

#5: Go to 5 new (never been to) restaurants in town.

It didn’t happen over night… in fact, I’ve been exploring and discovering these 5 restaurants since January 2010… but here they are. A review of 5 restaurants in town I had never gone to, until this year.

1.) Rincon del Sol (now called Fiesta MexItalian)

Rincon del Sol, Tostada

Located two blocks from campus, it’s your standard Mexican restaurant with tons of items on the menu. The restaurant decorations were colorful, the service was friendly/fast/great, and the food was delish. I had a tostada with beans, rice, and tons of toppings and it was yummy :) A tasty, filling, $6.50 meal? Yes please! Rating: 9/10

2.) VG Burgers

VG Burgers, Mac n' Meatballs

If you are looking for a heathy alternative to fast food and are willing to pay extra for it, this is your joint. VG Burgers serves 100% organic 100% vegan fast food. I’ve been there twice since and the people that work there are awesome and super friendly. The first thing I got there was the “Mac n’ Meatballs” made with veggie sausage. The sauce and meatballs were tasty but the noodles were kind of over cooked. The portion was just right. Not too much, not too little. Rating: 8/10

VG Burgers, Bacon Cheeseburger

The second time I went, I asked the guy working what their most popular item was and ordered it: the Bacon Cheeseburger. They use tempeh bacon and some sort of hearty veggie burger, covered with all the delicious works: pickles, tomatoes, onion rings, ketchup, mustard. I wasn’t super keen on the type of faux-meat burger they used, but that’s just my personal preference. I’m used to making burgers with the Morning Star patties (which I totally love/recommend). But the cheese and all the other toppings (especially the onion rings) were very yummy. The burger alone was crazy expensive ($10), so I’m not sure I’d get this again. Ranking: 5/10

3.) Pita Pit

Pita Pit, Falafel Pita

Apparently this place isn’t just a Boulder joint?! Who knew. I’d never heard of one of these until I moved to CO. Oh well. This place is fantastic. Fast food, reasonable prices ($5-8), and anything you could imagine jammed into a pita. I ordered the falafel pita and let me tell you, they don’t mess around. That thing was HUGE and stuffed with everything I wanted. I could have easily saved half for leftovers, but I’m a pig, and devoured the whole thing. Rating: 8/10

4.) The Rib House

The Rib House, Carol's Beef Rib Basket

This gem of a restaurant is located in downtown Boulder (just off the Pearl St mall), and holy cow, the food is in a league of its own. The Rib House has some of the best BBQ sauce I’ve had in a LONG time. My mouth is still watering just thinking about it. Since this isn’t your cheap run-of-the-mill BBQ joint, the prices are a little steep (for a poor grad student) but it’s totally worth it.

I ordered “Carol’s Beef Rib Basket”, and it came with a gorgeous salad. The boneless beef ribs were meltinyourmouth delicious, and the BBQ sauce? Heaven. If you’re looking for a fun date-type restaurant or a place to go with your family, this is it. They’ve got a cool bar, tons of drink choices, and trivia. I can’t wait to go back! Rating: 10/10

5.) The Leaf Restaurant

The Leaf Restaurant, Jamaican Jerk Tempeh

This place ROCKS. Hands down, my favorite new restaurant in town. This place is 100% vegetarian (and most of their dishes are vegan, too!) and 100% delicious. I ordered the Jamaican Jerk Tempeh and it was divine. Dinner entrees range from $10-16, but it’s totally worth it. This will be a go-to dinner spot for dates in the future :) Rating: 10/10

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