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Xiao long bao, a.k.a. soup dumplings, are just one of three types of dumplings made at Boulder's Flower Pepper. —Jessica and Lon Binder / Flickr via Creative Commons

Go Now: Flower Pepper

Head to Boulder to indulge in comforting, homestyle Chinese fare.

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As the weather grows colder (incrementally at least), I find myself yearning for warming fare: hearty soups, carb-y noodle bowls, the deep flavors of long-cooked braises. The homestyle food at Flower Pepper Restaurant, a not-yet-two-years-old Chinese restaurant in Boulder, is my current solution for these comfort food cravings.

Flower Pepper’s menu (be forewarned: the online version isn’t always current) highlights favorites from across China: fried sauce noodles from Beijing; chicken sesame noodles from the Shandong province; wonton noodle soup from Hong Kong; stewed pork belly over rice from Taiwan. There’s no gloopy sesame chicken or crab-and-cheese wontons here. Rather, these homespun dishes, redolent with the aromas of ginger, scallion, and soy, offer flavors that are at once soothing and bold.

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The Sour and Spicy Sweet Potato Noodles are a delicious example. A bowl of pork broth, lightly soured with vinegar, arrives piping hot and chock full of ground pork, leaves of baby bok choy, translucent sweet potato glass noodles, dots of red chile oil, and a sprinkle of roasted peanuts and soybeans. This dish—a popular street food snack in Sichuan—is a joy to eat thanks to the crunchy texture of the garnish and the perfectly balanced, tangy spice of the broth.

Or, if you’re a dumpling fanatic (like I am), you can simply make a meal out of those. Flower Pepper has three types on offer—pork and cabbage, leek and egg, and meaty xiao long bao (soup dumplings)—all of which are delicate, juicy, and steamed to order.

One visit, and you’ll quickly understand why this small space on Broadway draws such a consistent crowd.

2655 Broadway, Boulder, 720-381-1594

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor

Callie Sumlin creates stories for 5280's Eat & Drink section, manages the dining guide, and oversees 5280.com's digital food-related coverage and weekly e-newsletter, Table Talk.

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