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Little Herbal Apothecary. Photograph by Sarah Boyum

5280 Neighborhood Guide: Lafayette

There has never been a more exciting time to visit this vibrant city in Boulder County.

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Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in our August 2018 issue. This version was fact-checked and updated (where possible) with current information for the 2019 edition of 5280 Traveler.


The 2014 opening of Big Red F’s Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette promised more than some of the state’s best fried chicken; it also touched off a flurry of commerce in the community. Other new businesses continue to sprout, but the town has also become a sanctuary city for shops and eateries fleeing pricey Denver and Boulder. “Lafayette is less expensive for housing and retail square footage, so lots of regional stores and restaurants are coming in,” says Debbie Wilmot, the city’s public information officer. Combine recent transplants like Boulder’s beloved Ras Kassa’s with longtime staples such as Eats & Sweets and the Taco Wagon, and you have one delicious daytrip—although you’ll want to take a spin around Waneka Lake Trail to work up an appetite first.

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Little Herbal Apothecary

New business, opened in 2015
Go For: Bespoke herbal bath soaks, medicinal tea blends, and beauty products like Rose & Carrot face cream, all dispensed by a staff of knowledgeable herbalists. 100 E. Cleveland St.

Acreage Ciderhouse & Eatery

Expanded from Denver in 2018
Go For: Stem Ciders on tap, wood-fired small plates from former Linger chef Eric Lee, and foothill views from the production facility, which will soon house a farm and apple orchard on its 12-acre plot. 1380 Horizon Ave.

Odd13 Brewing

New business, opened in 2013
Go For: A pint of hazy IPA called Codename: Superfan—a beer so popular it forced the brewery to open a second facility just down the street in January 2016. 301 E. Simpson St.

Due South

Due South. Phptograph by Dennae Hill/Courtesy of Due South

New business, opened in 2016
Go For: Home goods—from Sparkle & Stone jewelry to manager Brett Hill’s custom furniture—you can peruse with a latte from the shop’s coffee and tea bar. Pick up Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for DIY projects. 802 S. Public Road, Suite A

Tangerine

Second location (the first is in Boulder), opened in 2018
Go For: Poached eggs over green lentils with crispy pancetta, plus other fare from chef-owner Alec Schuler at his sunny breakfast and lunch restaurant. 300 S. Public Road

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The Collective Community Arts Center

New business, opened in 2017
Go For: Rotating exhibits from local and regional creatives as well as special events and maker-led talks in a city-run clearinghouse for all things artistic. 201 N. Public Road

Ras Kassa’s

Moved from Boulder in 2017
Go For: Chef-owner Tsehay Hailu’s Ethiopian dishes (like house-made farmer’s cheese) at the fourth iteration of her 31-year-old business, which was pushed out of Boulder to make way for the development of the Google campus. 802 S. Public Road

The Ginger Pig

Photograph by Sarah Boyum

New business, opened in 2016
Go For: Chinese smashed cucumber salad and other Asian street eats. This food truck is occasionally parked at Isabelle Farm; on those days, visit the farm store for fresh veggies you can take home. Isabelle Farm, 1640 W. Baseline Road

Romero’s K9 Club & Tap House

New business, opened in 2016
Go For: Two enclosed, off-leash dog parks for Fido and 30-plus smartly curated taps for you. 985 S. Public Road

Thalken

Moved from Louisville in 2018
Go For: California transplant and jewelry maker Hana Lash’s minimalist baubles and hand-poured soy candles, displayed in a cute converted house. 101 1/2 E. Chester St.

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At Last

For the longest time, Lafayette was missing one key destination: a distillery. That changed in June 2018 when On Point Distillery (originally 12 Point Distillery) debuted its spirits, many of which are flavored with real fruit. Try the blackberry vodka in the sleek tasting room. 802 S. Public Road, Suite E

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