Few dishes are better suited to summer dining than the chilled soba noodle bowl. The variations are endless, and the final result is almost always refreshing, flavorful, and plentiful. Recent romps around town have turned up four cool favorites:

Find the most authentic soba at Domo, where the salad arrives as a pile of cold noodles and veggies with a shiitake dipping broth on the side. Season the sauce with goodies like chopped scallions, and dip away. Add chicken or salmon for a heartier meal, and make sure to sit outside in the Japanese garden.

Drop into XO for the soba shrimp salad, which combines black tiger prawns, noodles, bean sprouts, carrots,  spring onions, and cilantro with a spicy ponzu sauce. Ratchet up the freshness factor with a pressed celery-apple-mint juice.

Order the Zaru soba salad at Happy Noodle House in Boulder for a tangle of noodles tossed with cucumbers, carrots, leeks, and spinach, and drizzled with wasabi sauce. Sip on a cherry-lime fizz (muddled Colorado cherries, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and soda) for an extra cool-down.

Sit at the bar and request the soba bowl from Bones. The combination changes every so often, but the current pairing of seared rare ahi, summer squash, and grapefruit ponzu cools the senses. Don’t miss ordering a side of the house-pickled veggies.

Domo, 1365 Osage St., 303-595-3666

XO, 1612 Wazee St., 303-573-0234

Happy Noodle House, 835 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-442-3050

Bones, 701 Grant St., 303-860-2929

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.