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Josh Dinar has lived in Boulder with his wife Kate for 22 years. “In many ways, Golden feels like Boulder did 20 years ago,” he says. Each city has easy access to mountain trails, myriad wildlife, and laidback vibes. Where Coloradans might feel—or rather taste—a difference, though, is in the culinary scenes. “There’s a lot more going on in Boulder in terms of food,” Dinar says.
This disparity is what inspired Dinar and fellow restaurateur Daniel Asher (the pair co-owns Boulder’s River and Woods) to open Golden’s first food hall: Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery. Designed by Boulderite Alan Ortiz, the 3,000-square-foot space is located in the heart of the city’s thriving downtown area, adding a lively community hub that’s already taking Golden’s dining reputation up a notch. As for food and drink options, visitors can choose between eight different restaurant concepts, and wash it all down with a selection of beer, wine, and 10 cocktails on tap at the Bar at Tributary. Here’s our guide to the bites worth seeking out.
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Luckily, Golden native Alissa Mattson didn’t return empty handed from her six-year stint in Hawaii. The smoothie bowls from her surfboard-adorned stall are a riot of Pacific island flavors (think: pitaya and macadamia nuts) sweetened only with fresh fruit and local Colorado honey. We like the Blue Majik bowl: blue spirulina (vitamin-rich blue-green algae) blended with banana, pineapple, and almond milk; the sea-blue mixture is topped with blueberries, coconut flakes, granola, honey, and sliced bananas, pineapple, and kiwi. The broad menu also boasts oatmeal bowls, salads, and smoothies.
Working Title Kitchen & Raw Bar
Seafood and seasonal plates take center stage at Daniel Asher’s latest concept. The enticing shellfish-filled display showcases marine wonders like lobster, shrimp, and oysters that you can order at the counter or from servers while you sit at a patio high-top or at the sprawling community table. Not a seafood lover? Don’t fret: You’ll also find seasonal salads and plates, including Peking duck wings with a hoisin glaze. Choose between a strawberry-flavored tall cake decorated with berries or a flourless chocolate torte with a luxurious Amarena cherry topping for dessert.
This stall doubles as a mini marketplace where you can build the charcuterie board of your dreams. Brider’s Chase Devitt and his wife Melissa Bush supply cured meats and internationally sourced cheeses that you can pair with rich fixin’s like marinated olives, spiced nuts, and tinned seafood. There’s also a daily soup, two salads (avocado Caesar and Italian chopped), and a bevy of warm sandwiches like the roast beef with Swiss cheese, horseradish, arugula, and a side of au jus.
Former The Bachelor star Ben Higgins co-founded this charitable java brand last year, but Tributary hosts its first walk-up counter. The beans are purchased from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, and Rwanda and incorporated into drip coffee and other beverages like the Haitian latte, a sweet coconut-chocolate, malted milk sipper. We also recommend the Honduran latte, which contains an espresso shot with cinnamon and raw sugar and topped with honey.
Italian flour and a sourdough starter forms the base of owner Nate Rajotte’s Neapolitan pies (which can also be found in Boulder at the pizzeria’s first location). The result is a chewy, slightly bitter crust that cooks to perfection in under two minutes. The pizzas—sold by the pie—come in 10 classic topping combinations, in addition to a kids’ plain cheese option. Try the D.O.P., topped with melty mozzarella, thinly sliced prosciutto, arugula, garlic oil, and a dash of pecorino cheese.
Biju’s Golden Roll Company
Golden residents no longer have to hit the highway to seek out chef Biju Thomas’ Indian-style fare. Unlike the curry wizard’s Biju’s Little Curry Shop franchise, where diners build their own bowls, this iteration specializes in naan wraps, dubbed “golden rolls.” The “#3,” for instance, wraps tender chicken tikka masala and lettuce up in soft, pita-like naan bread. The stall also slings spicy chile-lime chips, which pair addictively with Thomas’ cilantro-mint house salsa, and cardamom sugar churros.
This Montreal-style bagel brand has found its fourth home inside Tributary. Pair bagels in flavors ranging from sesame to cinnamon raisin with schmears like poblano and smoked maple, or opt for one of the breakfast or deli sandwiches, brimming with your favorite fillings.
No food hall is complete without a dessert destination, and Amore Gelato delivers. Discover new ice cream flavors each week, such as tubs of sea salt Oreo, birthday cake, Stracciatella (a delightful, creamy concoction filled with chocolate shavings), and more. Bonus: Any of the selections can be added to made-to-order crepes filled with banana slices and Nutella.
701 12th St., Golden, 303-856-7225. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.