Livability.com ranks Boulder seventh on its list of Top 10 Foodie Cities in America

Lachlan2producethumb.jpg
Lori Midson
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, exec chef of Frasca Food and Wine.

Livability.com, a website that takes readers on a sojourn of America's Best Places to Live and Visit, just released its list of the "Top 10 Foodie Cities" of 2014 -- a roster of allegedly restaurant-strong cities that "strongly support local farmers, showcase regional cuisine and provide residents with bountiful opportunities to discover new flavors, textures, cooking techniques and healthy foods." Omaha, Nebraska is on that list, as is Burlington, Vermont and Traverse City, Michigan. And coming in seventh on that list a city that often finds itself in familiar territory: Boulder, Colorado.

See also: Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton names America's top 50 new restaurants, including Linger, Pinche Taqueria and Pizzeria Locale

In 2010, Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor of Bon Appétit, called Boulder the "Foodiest Town" in the country. In 2012, Livability.com ranked Boulder third on its scroll of the country's foodiest cities. It took Forbes Travel Guide another four years to jump on the bandwagon, and when it did, earlier this year, the website named the college mecca one of the "Five Secret Foodie Cities" in the United States. Except, you know, the secret was already out.

Nonetheless, the national press loves Boulder, bestowing far more lofty praise on that city's food climate than on Denver's culinary scene, which strikes me as surprising (and what about Fort Collins?). Yes, Frasca Food and Wine, a restaurant that's ballyhooed in this year's Livability.com list, is brilliant, but come on: It's been around for nearly a decade, and it begs the question: If it weren't for Frasca, would Boulder make any top food list? My guess is not. True, Boulder lays claim to other culinary wonderments, including Zoe Ma Ma, Black Cat, BRU, and, most notably, Oak at Fourteenth, all of which are restaurants that we justifiably brag about, but here's the reality: It's old news. It's been at least two years since a new restaurant opened in Boulder that really made headlines, save for BRU. I'm not dissing Boulder, and I'm all for the accolades, but is the ongoing worship really deserved?

If you read the verbiage that Livability.com extols upon Boulder's restaurants, the hard truth is no. And the fact that it names four restaurants -- Frasca, Brasserie Ten Ten, the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House and Amu -- not one of which is remotely new, is even more telling. And not one word, either, about Boulder's craft beer scene.

Here's the shout-out in its entirety. You be the judge.


Known for its array of outdoor adventures, the mountain town of Boulder, Colo., contains an equally impressive collection of restaurants, markets and food purveyors. Boulder made our first Top 10 Foodie Cities list back in 2012. You'll find residents here get just as excited about the opening weekend of the neighborhood farmers market as they do the opening of surrounding ski resorts. They take pride in knowing where their food comes from and patronize restaurants that use local, sustainable ingredients. Boulderites eat out and spend more on meals than average Americans, proving they love their city's restaurants.

The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House offers one of the most unique dining experiences in the city. International dishes like Indonesian peanut noodles, Caribbean trout and North African harissa chicken are served in a house originally constructed in Tajikistan and rebuilt in Boulder. Brasserie Ten Ten provides diners with a true taste of France and a vast assortment of handcrafted cocktails. Dishes like the Provencal seafood stew, potato crusted salmon and gruyere crepes please sophisticated palates. With the feel of an authentic Japanese sushi bar, Amu delights with exquisitely made sushi rolls, sashimi and more than 40 types of sake to taste. The winner of a 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for "Outstanding Wine Program," Frasca Food and Wine dishes out Italian meals prepared with locally sourced produce and meats. Inside the restaurant's cellar are more than 200 varieties of wine ranging from acclaimed European vineyards to smaller winemakers. Frasca's chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson won the JBF's "Best Chef: Southwest" award in 2008.






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11 comments
bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

When I lived in Boulder I found all the insecurity about not being Denver irritating. Now that I live in Denver I find all the insecurity about not being Boulder irritating. Two cities can coexist in the same state.

IsBoulderBetter
IsBoulderBetter

Amu is reminiscent of a Japanese izakaya, not a sushi bar. Contrary to their claim, they don't even serve sushi rolls. I'm doubtful they even visited (or went to Zanmai instead, accidentally).


Their description of Frasca is a generic descriptions that seems to have come from a publicist, with no indication they ever set foot inside.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

Since when do restaurants have to be new in order to qualify as "foodie"?  At a certain point, it's a zero sum game, a population can only support so many places. It seems absurd that in order to be "foodie", a place has to turn over those restaurants frequently.  Nobody ignores the French Laundry simply because it's been around a while.

Of course, it's just a magazine article trying to get traction, and I disagree with all of these lists or the places they put on there (for ex, the teahouse is a spectacular place but their food is hit or miss, and Brasserie is a fun place, but not really a special place).  But there are other places not mentioned that make Boulder a foodie place: Kitchen, Basta, Locale, Cured, Zolo.


Of course, Denver has adopted some of those (Locale and the Kitchen), and of course Denver has greater numbers of places deserving of mention, but Jacob may be right, per capita Boulder might be a better food "city".

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Lori has a bad case of SOUR Grapes, too bad you are stuck chasing "new" fads, when Boulder has consistently world-class "old" restaurants.



Jacob Edward
Jacob Edward

Of course Boulder deserves to be on the list. Pound for pound Boulder is a much better food city than Denver. The fact they have two JBF winners and Denver only has one is very telling. Criticizing Boulder because their restaurants have longevity is asinine. Most great food cities have a good mix of new innovative restaurants as well as old standbys that become institutions over time. 10 years ago there were no good restaurants in Denver, don't hate on Frasca because they continue to be successful. I'm sure the Boulder County Farmers Market played a big role too. There is really nothing else like it in the state.

Adam Hinkel
Adam Hinkel

No. The people in Boulder suck! No real good restaurants either. At least not for this list.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

I can only hope they're joking.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bondadprevalece ... so you admit, that Boulder has way more Top Notch foodie restaurants per capita / per sq. mile than Denver.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Bagwhan "Since when do restaurants have to be new in order to qualify as "foodie"?"


Since Wasteword's puerile inane infatuation with primacy -- it's all about being FIRST ... or NEW ... which to low-information imbeciles equates with Hipness, and the false pretense that "popularity" equates with quality.



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