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Let's Celebrate Local Restaurants!

Category: Boulder Blog

Happy Independent Retailer Month! We are continuing the celebration with a highlight of downtown’s locally-owned restaurants. If you haven’t already read our first blog entry on local retailers downtown, go check it out! Our beautiful downtown district would not be where it is today without our incredible, locally-owned businesses and our beautiful community that keep these restaurants alive and well in the heart of Boulder! 

Now, let’s talk food! Downtown Boulder is home to some of the best restaurants, chefs and sommeliers that Colorado has to offer. The center of Boulder’s culinary scene lies, right here, within the amazing, walkable downtown district that we know and love! Many of our delicious spots to grab a bite to eat are locally-owned businesses that started right here in downtown Boulder.

West End Tavern

The West End Tavern has a rich history here in Boulder. Town records note that the building was originally a Boulder Police station in 1906. It was then transformed into an Italian restaurant in the 1950s and later turned into a Red Cross. And finally, in 1987, Steve “Beaver” Goren and Marc “Minnie” Minion opened the West End Tavern. This construction paved the way for the incredible West End retail district that we know and love. This historic business has thrived on its roots of Boulder tradition and since 1987, The West End Tavern has been Boulder's favorite spot for cold beer and good eats.

Falafel King

Falafel King is a favorite downtown to many and for good reason! Founded in 1980 with its flagship store on our very own Pearl Street Mall, Falafel King was part of a movement of businesses serving healthier, organic options. With healthy and delicious Mediterranean fast food, you can choose from falafels, gyros, shawarma plates, pita, salads, homemade baklava and so much more! They only serve the freshest ingredients and have become a very beloved spot for so many over the years.

Pasta Jays

Pasta Jay’s was opened in 1988 by Jay Elowsky and his parents! This family-owned restaurant has become a local favorite for its tradition of serving family recipes and delicious dishes to Boulder locals and visitors year-round. Jay Elowsky’s grandmother cooked for the first King of the United Countries of Italy, Victor Emmanuel the Second! Dine like a king and try out the same recipes passed down from Jay’s grandmother.

Foolish Craigs

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for a new amazing brunch spot. The next spot on your list should definitely be Foolish Craig’s Cafe. Established in 1998, Foolish Craigs is an owner-operated café that serves incredible breakfast, lunch and brunch. If you’re in the mood for something savory, definitely try their Foolish Craig, a plate full of bacon, mushrooms, onions, roasted bell peppers, potatoes, eggs and salsa! Known for always leaving you full and satisfied, we promise this traditional brunch spot will not disappoint! Does this place sound familiar? Celebrity, Guy Fieri can’t get enough of their warm toasted oatmeal stout bread and the 21-layer butter rum caramel crepe cake! The Food Network featured Foolish Craig’s in an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. 


Have you checked out the sophisticated ambiance downtown at Mateo? Chef and owner, Matthew Jansen opened Mateo in 2001 on Pearl Street’s East End. Mateo serves incredible dishes with local ingredients that highlight elements of the Provence Region in Europe. It has become a beautiful neighborhood restaurant supporting local farmers, ranchers and foragers through produce sourcing. 


Arabesque, a local favorite downtown, is the perfect spot for a lovingly crafted bite. Arabesque was opened by Manal and Saib Jarrar in 2009 with hopes to inspire and bring together family and friends through taste, smells and delicious food. This restaurant has created a beautiful array of savory dishes inspired by the gracefulness and form of ballet. Arabesque has become a familiar favorite over the years through its warm presence and inspiring cuisine. 

Looking for more locally-owned bites? Be sure to check out our recent blog post about our amazing downtown food carts! 

I hope you have learned more about all the incredible independent businesses that we are so lucky to have here in the downtown district. Be sure to head downtown and support these locally-owned restaurants this month more than ever! Here’s to the businesses who have been part of the dynamic downtown landscape, and thank you to the locals and visitors who have continuously supported them along the way. We can’t thank you all enough for making downtown so special!   

More to come! 


Got any questions? I’d be happy to help. Feel free to reach out to me, Rebecca, at! 

Mentioned in this Post: Arabesque, Falafel King, Foolish Craig's Cafe, Pasta Jay's, West End Tavern

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