Boulder  has become a foodie town, with menus at various restaurants that feature the bounty of local produce and meats from nearby farms and ranches.
y lunch favorite (though it’s also open for breakfast and dinner) is The Kitchen (1039 Pearl St., 303/544-5973, www.thekitchencafe.com , Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.–close, Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.–close, $12–30). The Kitchen made a name for itself by being “green” in a variety of ways—using wind power, recycling grease—and because of their delicious food. Check out the giant blackboard to see the list of local purveyors who grow the food you eat. The menu changes daily.
If the line is too long at The Kitchen, go right next door for a simple Mexican meal at Juanita’s (1043 Pearl St. 303/449-5273, www.juanitas-boulder.com , Sun.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., $9–15). Not much has changed at Juanita’s in 20 or so years and that’s part of the attraction. Juanita’s is great for a reasonably priced casual meal with the family or to meet a friend.
It’s a special night out to dine at Frasca (1738 Pearl St., 303/442-6966, www.frascafoodandwine.com , Mon.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–close, $18–25), where the menu is based on the cuisine of the Fruili region of Italy. Frasca also emphasizes using local sources for their Italian dishes. Reservations are recommended.
Black Cat Bistro (1964 Pearl St., 303/440-5500, www.blackcatboulder.com , Mon.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–close, $16–24) doesn’t have quite the same buzz as The Kitchen or Frasca, but it’s popular with locals who appreciate the simple, organic fare made into unexpected dishes like “Juxtaposition of Duck” with lavender honey or “Blue Crab, Hot and Cold.” Black Cat offers a few tasting menus, including a vegetarian or vegan one also paired with wines.
The ultimate in fine dining has long been the Flagstaff House (1138 Flagstaff Dr., 303/442-4640, www.flagstaffhouse.com , Mon.–Fri. and Sun. 6–10 p.m., Sat. 5–10 p.m., $32–76). Everything will make you swoon—the view, the food, the wine. This family-owned gem is one of the country’s premier dining experiences, and well worth the drive up the twisting mountain road.
On the other end of the spectrum is the casual Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (1535 Pearl St., 303/546-0886, www.mountainsunpub.com , Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m., Sun. noon–1 a.m., $5–7), just off the Pearl Street Mall  to the east. Mountain Sun has a groovy kind of reggae vibe with tasty burgers and lots of vegetarian options. Stacks of games for kids and adults make this a family-friendly place.
The Dushanbe Teahouse (1770 13th St., 303/442-4993, www.boulderteahouse.com , daily 8 a.m.–9 p.m., $12–18) is worth seeing in itself (see the Dushanbe Teahouse  description in the Sights section) but is also a great place for a meal. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are all fairly simple but with a strange mix of cultures—Tajikistan (the birthplace of the teahouse) plov, Indian tikka masala, and pizza are all offered.