Thanks to a booming restaurant scene, Louisville has become more than Boulder’s quirky, small-town neighbor. Here are seven reasons to make reservations now.
1) Imperial Fez
The vibe: A one-room, traditional Moroccan restaurant with low seating, rich colors, and a belly dancer on the weekends.
Order this: Sweet honey bread, hearty lamb kebabs, or the Taste of Morocco five-course dinner (lentil soup, salad, bastila, choice of main, and dessert). 820 Main St., Louisville, 303-665-2310, imperialfezcolorado.com
The vibe: Neighborhood pub with worn-in booths, music posters, and old-school rock tunes.
Order this: The signature potato burger (shredded potato is mixed into the patty) topped with grilled mushrooms and a fried egg, or the house salad with warm, just-sweet-enough maple vinaigrette. 809 Main St., Louisville, 303-993-2094, waterloolouisville.com
3) The Empire Lounge & Restaurant
The vibe: Perfect date-night spot with local, organic eats, often with a mesquite twist.
Order this: The whiskey-based Mr. Right cocktail smoothes the spice in the crispy calamari salad with miso-balsamic dressing. (If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the swordfish special topped with pineapple salsa.) 816 Main St., Louisville, 303-665-2521, theempirerestaurant.com
4) The Huckleberry
The vibe: Originally built as the town’s post office and bank in 1894, this converted Victorian is now a breakfast hotspot (it also serves lunch and dinner).
Order this: Start with a huckleberry shake or the hibiscus mimosa (just $3.50 on the weekend)—then dig into a garden scramlette with a crumbly biscuit. 700 Main St., Louisville, 303-666-8020, thehuckleberry.com
5) Lulu’s BBQ
The vibe: Texas barbecue meets casual diner in a laid-back space with garage-door windows and a game of cornhole out back.
Order this: The juicy beer-can chicken (rubbed with a house-made barbecue sauce containing brown sugar, molasses, and honey) with sweet potato tots and cornbread. 701-B Main St., Louisville, 720-583-1789, lulus-bbq.com
6) The Porch Deli & Market
The vibe: Small deli counter (where the staff knows customers by name) with a chalkboard menu of traditional deli fare and a handful of tables.
Order this: The roast beef with Havarti-chive cheese on a hoagie with a side of curry chicken salad. 641 Main St., Louisville, 303-604-0999, theporchdeli.com
7) Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House
The vibe: The original Lucky Pie (the pizzeria recently opened a LoDo outpost) is the ultimate summer lunch spot with a big patio and a relaxed vibe.
Order this: Split an apple salad (mixed greens, cayenne walnuts, chévre, and maple vinaigrette) and the Alvin pizza, which swaps the red sauce for acorn squash purée and comes with maple walnuts, goat cheese, and fig gastrique. 637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-5743, luckypiepizza.com
Tip: Save room for Sweet Cow Ice Cream next door, which scoops creative house-made flavors such as Palisade peach or Pop-Tarts. 637 Front St., Barn Door B, Louisville, 303-666-4269, sweetcowicecream.com