This is so long overdue I’m actually quite embarrassed! It’s not like I haven’t had time to write this post, but I actually just forgot that I hadn’t shared my Boulder, CO travels with you all yet, so here, finally, is post one of many! Vacationing and experiencing new things go hand-in-hand for me. When traveling I always struggle with whether to travel to a destination I’ve already been to and really loved, or to go somewhere new. And of course I always lean towards the latter. So when I actually arrive at a destination I typically continue with this mindset as often as possible, testing out new spots and new adventures rather than frequenting the same places, like restaurants, bars, beaches, you get it!
But then Boulder kind of breaks the mold with everything I just said, seeing as this was my second time in Boulder (visiting friends), and to be honest, I completely broke my mental agreement I had with myself! I kept going back to the same smoothie/juice press place day after day because it was just THAT good! I’m usually so good with disciplining myself to branch out and try new places, but gosh, this one just checked off all the boxes for me, so you know what I did? I just accepted it. And for the second of the two weeks I was in Boulder, I didn’t feel bad for a moment about going back to Wonder Juice Press each morning for breakfast. Does all of this sound crazy to you? Am I alone here or do you get what I’m saying?
Now that I’ve probably completely lost you with my rambling (but hopefully not!), I’m going to dive into a few of my favorite Pearl Street spots, and of course I’m going to start off with my absolute favorite:
This place doesn’t just do juice, although it does juices veryyyy well. Their menu branches from coffees, specialty drinks, smoothies, avocado toast (which was delish!), healthier baked goods, and of course, juices! Be warned, the juices are a bit pricey because they come in very photogenic, very enticing, and very high quality glass bottles! If you save your bottle, clean it, and bring it back to Wonder you’ll get a discount on your next juice purchase, but honestly, I just wanted to keep the glass bottle to reuse as a water bottle or maybe even as a flower vase?
High on my list of ideal places on Pearl Street is having outdoor seating. Wonder has two little tables that seat two people each outside of their storefront. Unless you come early (before 10:00am, the tables will probably be taken, but actually they turn over pretty quickly, so just grab a table inside or sit at the bar and wait until one becomes free. On days when it was raining I had no problem sitting inside, enjoying the bustling, yet tranquil atmosphere. I am NOT a coffee shop girl, or at least I wasn’t until I found this place. I really can’t remember a time I ever sought out a coffee shop to do work in, but there’s just something about Wonder, and their extensive menu that caters to Paleo needs, that got me hooked!
What to order on the menu? Everything!! Ha, I love the avocado toast for a heavier meal, or grab a few of their breakfast bites (like the Morning Glory muffins!), and definitely don’t leave without trying their energy balls and prepackaged baked goods by Daydream Dessert Co (a company in Boulder!). No I haven’t tried their coffee, but the hot coco was pretty darn good.
This. place. is. addicting! I hit Le Pops up the last time I was in Boulder and on my first day back during this trip I was counting down the minutes until this place opened so I could run in and get my first pop! They have a selection that changes each month of dairy pops and ice pops (yay for dairy free options!). You can get your pop naked, or with a covering (chocolate or caramel options), and/or toppings (like Oreos, sprinkles, coconut shavings, you get the point!).
Sure it’s a little messier than an ice cream (if that’s really your thing I have a place for you below), but you really have to give Le Pops a shot! Unless it is extremely hot out I can usually finish the pop with minimal dripping, and most of the times I don’t even get it on myself! (But being honest I definitely have gotten it on myself a few times. Oops!).
This stuff is pretty darn good too! Well, anything is if it made my blog post here. Duh! I remember the people working here to be very nice and extremely helpful! A fun detail about this place was how they use stainless steel sampler spoons to be more environmentally friendly! And again, they have plenty of vegan options along with plenty of dairy-packed gelato! So everyone will be happy! I’m of course a huge fan of the vegan chocolate. Keep it classic! You can sit and enjoy your gelato inside, but why would you when you can stroll around Pearl Street with a tasty treat instead?
Moving into lunch/happy hour spots…I treated myself to a healthy, light, yummy lunch here and it didn’t even break the bank! (But I’m used to NYC restaurants prices, so maybe I’m biased?) Again with the outdoor seating, I kind of just walked up and down Pearl Street one day and chose a restaurant with a nice little outdoor area and also based it off of how many people were currently eating at the restaurants and if they looked like they were happy with their food. By the way- PRO tip here people! If you have your pickings of a bunch of restaurants lining a main street (like here in Boulder), then use some common sense. I can already tell you you’re not going to love the burger at restaurant X that looks like a ghost town, and I can also tell you you’re probably going to have a great time at restaurant Y that has a lively atmosphere and lots of customers!
I ordered a fish special which was delish! I usually stick to salmon, but hey, when I Boulder why not go with whatever the special is of the day, right? This is me living in the moment people! As you can tell by the pictures, I chose well! This was still during my 40 day sugar-detox (and no alcohol detox), so I didn’t even glance at their wine list. Just water for me! If you don’t want to sit outside, but still want to enjoy Pearl Street, Riffs had plenty of tables right by the windows.
Has anyone ever told you, if you’ve got it, flaunt it? Nope? Well…me neither! But I’m guessing Boulder, CO has been let in on a little secret. Everyone just wants to be outside! Again, I’m sharing another place that I loved and the number one reason why is because it has a spacious outdoor seating area! In fact, Salt probably has the largest outdoor seating (non-roof top) space on Pearl Street. It’s location right on the corner of Pearl and Broadway and lined up nicely next to a bunch of other very enticing brunch/lunch/dinner spots! Salt definitely has the most seating, by far though (at least 15 tables outside, while the other restaurants boast 2-3).
Our waiter was super nice and if I’d written this post in a timely manner I would have even remembered his name! I think Salt has one of the best happy hour deals, such an extensive happy hour menu, and a great variety of specially-priced drinks! I went for Prosecco, but sorry, no photos to show our amazing meal!
Okay, getting past the most important part (that was the alcohol, which we just covered), I ordered fries (they have a yummy house-made ketchup!) and the quinoa burger! You can’t beat these happy hour prices on Pearl Street! But Actually….you can and that’s at:
Umm can you say $4 tapas and $5 wine? Yes, hello, meeee, I can! The chickpea pancake (pictured bellow) was only $4 (incredible!), and it was actually a decent size to the point where I was kind of getting full towards the end…but that of course is also in part to the fact that this place brings you out not only house-made potato chips, but then a basket of fresh bread! I mean, if you’re really on a tight budget, come here for drinks and you’ve got plenty of free carbs! Even after our waitress saw that we only ordered a glass of wine and the $4 pizza, she still offered to bring us more bread and chips! That is hospitality at its finest!
There were so many other small plates on the menu that I wanted to order, but was pretty full since this was the third stop on a happy hour crawl that took up one late-afternoon in Boulder. By the way, I highly suggest doing a happy hour crawl on Pearl Street if you have the chance! It’s tons of fun and affordable! If I were to do it again, I would start at Riff, move to Salt, then end at Via Pearla and then debate whether I had room for Le Pops!