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Boulder is beloved for its post-hike beers and noshes, and the city’s food scene is only continuing to grow. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or a fast-casual joint for a quick bite, these new restaurants—which have all opened their doors in the past year—have you covered.
Avanti Food & Beverage Boulder is bringing the best of Costa Rican cuisine to Pearl Street with its new food stall, Pollo Tico. Top Chef season 18 alum Byron Gomez is the owner and chef behind the concept, which opened in October 2022. He decided to bring the flavors of Costa Rica, where he grew up, to Boulder after noticing a lack of knowledge about the country’s cuisine.
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“There’s other amazing food in Latin America besides what [Americans] have been exposed to, which is typically Mexican cuisine here, especially in Colorado,” he says. “So one of my main goals is to educate the guests by introducing them to a new food option, to a delicious food option.”
The menu is heavy on roasted chicken, creamy salsas, and fried plantains. One must-try: his mother’s arroz con pollo recipe flavored with Lizano sauce, a classic Costa Rican condiment. 1401 Pearl St., Boulder
Last week, Pizzeria Alberico debuted on Boulder’s Pearl Street. Formerly Pizzeria Locale, the concept, which is owned by Frasca Hospitality Group, is a love letter to the cuisine of Naples and the comfort of sharing meals with friends and family. If you adored Pizzeria Locale’s pies, don’t fret—all of the classics are still on the menu, too. But the new lineup also sports new pizzas (try the anchovy-pesto-topped Broccolini Finocchiona), small plates such as the funghi fritti (fried maitake mushrooms with black olive and anchovy aïoli) and arancini (mozzarella-stuffed fried risotto balls); and an expanded beverage program. 1730 Pearl St., Boulder
The food is just one part of the experience at Stella’s Cucina, which opened in Walnut Brewery’s former space in January. Owner Stella Spanu says the restaurant is all about providing a dining experience that “stimulates all senses” through its contemporary Italian dishes, Art Deco–inspired interior design, live music, and a dance floor that opens up after dinner service Thursdays to Saturdays. Try the house-made tagliolini pasta with Colorado lamb ragu, paired with a red wine sourced from Sardinia, Italy. 1123 Walnut St., Boulder
After serving up à la carte tacos and agave-centric cocktails in RiNo since late 2020, Bellota expanded to the North Boulder neighborhood in June 2022. The restaurant is operated by Half Eaten Cookie Hospitality, the same creative entity behind Denver’s BriDer and Oak at Fourteenth and Corrida in Boulder. The new location offers the same elevated Mexican fare—like the beef barbacoa taco with Oaxacan pasilla salsa—that makes the RiNo location a hotspot for Taco Tuesday enthusiasts. 4580 Broadway, Boulder
Concept Restaurants has an impressive roster of spaces throughout Colorado—Spruce Farm & Fish, Humboldt Kitchen and Bar, and Fillmore Pizza Kitchen, just to name a few must-visits. Now comes its latest launch: Boulder Social.
As the sister restaurant to Stout Street Social, Boulder Social serves sushi, salads, and bar staples like fish and chips, green chile mac and cheese, and burgers. The space opened last September and houses a 10-barrel, three-vessel brewhouse—ample space for a rotating tap of house beers to sip on. 1600 38th St., Boulder
After opening in 2019, followed by a year-long closure, Gaku Ramen opened again at a new Pearl Street location in April 2022. Gaku Ramen was founded by three friends with the goal of bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to U.S. college towns, and Boulder is the second location of the Burlington, Vermont–based restaurant, with a third spot opening in Fort Collins later in 2023. Once you slurp down your ramen, ask to fill your remaining pork tonkotsu, chicken, or veggie shoyu broth with extra noodles for $3. 1035 Pearl St., Suite 102, Boulder
At three-month-old Pasta Press, on-the-go Italian has never tasted quite so good. This new downtown Boulder restaurant has limited seating and prioritizes takeaway scratch-made pasta dishes, including personal lasagne and cacio e pepe (fresh fettuccine or casarecce coated in black pepper and Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses). Customers can purchase Pasta Press’s pasta—all made with 10 ingredients or less sourced directly from Italy—by the pound for $10. 1911 11th St., Boulder