Best restaurants in Louisville, Colorado – 2014

Lucky Pie Louisville beer sampler

Lucky Pie’s craft beer samplers… Why order one when you can order three?

Louisville, CO - Old Town Evening

Louisville, CO – Old Town Evening

 

“He’s proud of his town… that’s a damn rare thing these days.” – John Candy as Del Griffith

I’m a Michigan transplant, but I love dining in my surrogate cityOld Town Louisville, CO boasts unchained, local-fare, foodie gems. Here are a few of my favorites….


 

Kids’ play area + adult booze area:

Lulu’s BBQ
Sweet Cow Ice Cream
Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse

*Lucky Pie and Sweet Cow designed a large play yard/garden for kids next to the deck that doubles as a drinking yard for adults. Lulu’s is smaller, but it features cornhole and other “hard to hurt one’s self while drinking” games.

 

Comfort food/lounge:

The Empire Lounge

The Empire Lounge

The Empire Lounge – Try the mac’n’cheese.

 

Sports bar:

Mudrock’s Tap & Tavern

 

Pizza/beer:

Twelve Degree Brewing
Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse

Lucky Pie Pizza

Fresh Mozz’ Pie at Lucky Pie in Louisville

 

Mexican cuisine:

Casa Alegre

Casa Alegre - Louisville, CO

Casa Alegre – Louisville, CO

 

Breweries:

Twelve Degree Brewing

12 Degree Brewing - tasters

12 Degree Brewing – low-IBU tasters

Gravity Brewing
Crystal Springs Brewing

 

Breakfast:

The Huckleberry

The Huckleberry - Louisville, CO

The Huckleberry – Louisville, CO – Try the crepes!

 

East Asian/Tibetan cuisine:

Tibet’s Restaurant and Bar

Chicken kebab at Tibet's in Louisville, CO

Chicken kebab at Tibet’s

 

Indian cuisine:

Taj Mahal III

 

Neighborhood pub:

Waterloo Restaurant

The Waterloo Mule

The Waterloo Mule

 

Chinese cuisine:

Spice China

 

Live music:

Por Wine House
Waterloo Restaurant
The Louisville Street Faire (Friday nights in summertime)

 

Italian cuisine:

Zucca Italian Restaurant

 

Barbecue:

Lulu’s BBQ

 

Deli/sandwiches/lunch:

The Porch Deli & Market
Bittersweet Café & Confections
B.O.B.S. Diner

BOB's Diner, 12 Degree Brewing, and The Empire Lounge

BOB’s Diner, 12 Degree Brewing, and The Empire Lounge on Old Town Main Street

 

Dessert:

Sweet Cow Ice Cream

 

Wine bar:

Por Wine House

 

Leisurely rooftop drinks before or after eating elsewhere:

The Louisville Rex

 

Euro cafe:

Eclectic Café & Gallery

Wood-fired veggies and craft beer

Veggies always go down a bit easier with craft beer

Three brews that belong in every beer snob’s ‘fridge

Stone Levitation Ale, Ska's Modus Hoperandi IPA, and Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Go-to ales: Stone Levitation, Ska’s Modus Hoperandi IPA, and Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

These are three of my favorites. They may not be your favorites, but I’m not holding that against you. This beer trio varies from sessionable to serious. You can start and end with Levitation. You can drink Modus Hoperandi all night if you have no responsibilities the following morning. You can have two glasses of 90 Minute and sleep well. You can do whatever the H you want, because this is America, and we Americans, apparently, do whatever we want at all times. Here’s the west-to-east-coast scoop:

  • California Amber Stone’s Levitation Ale is the standard for non-stop drinking on weekend afternoons (4.4%)
  • Colorado IPASka’s Modus Hoperandi is a bitter, extremely hoppy India Pale Ale; it’s a perfect example of the near-west-coast style IPA (6.8%)
  • Delaware Imperial IPADogfish Head’s 90 Minute is a rich, hoppy, malty, complex sipper; it will knock you off your feet if you’re not paying attention (9.0%)

These beers are all readily available at most booze-y stores in Colorado; dive in and drink up.

Stone Levitation Ale

Stone Levitation Ale costs ~$1.67/bottle. You can find crappy beer for 3-4 times that price at a bar, but I’m not sure why you would choose to do that.

 

Ska Modus Hoperandi

Colorado has four stellar IPAs, IMHO, and Ska’s Modus Hoperandi is in the top two.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

If you haven’t experienced Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, you’re late to the yuppie party. Buck up, cough up $2.99/bottle, and enjoy your damn life.

Beer in a Scotch glass – Uncle Jacob’s Stout by Avery

Beer in a Scotch glass png

If you’re going to drink yuppie beer, you may as well drink it from a Scotch glass.

First of all: apologies to those of you who may not be able to find this particular ¾ pint in a state near you… I feel for ya. I have a similar issue with Founders Centennial IPA, which is nowhere to be found in Colorado – although I’d love for someone to prove me wrong…

Here are three things to know about Uncle Jacob’s Bourbon Barrel Stout:

1. It’s a bottle of dessert. You can probably wash it down with chocolate cake, but the cake isn’t necessary.
2. This is likely the only 12 ounces of beer you’ll need to drink all night. And @ 14.83%, do not use a bong… not a beer bong, anyway, (Colorado + Washington, I’m looking at you.).
3. It pairs well with cheese. Really well. Grab some 24-36 month aged cheddar, and no one will doubt your yuppieness. You’re in!

Many thanks to Avery for this one! It’s one thick stout.

Uncle Jacob's Stout

Uncle Jacob’s Bourbon Barrel Stout… It’s “Chris Christie” thick.

BRU handbuilt ales & eats

Ian Clark, formerly of Centro and Jax Fish House, has officially nailed it with Bru handbuilt ales & eats in Boulder.

He could have stopped at unfiltered ales and sourdough pizza. That would have clinched it for me, but he took it to eleven. Here’s what to try at Bru:

- Citrum IPA: this is one of my favorite Colorado IPAs (the others being Odell, Avery, and Ska’s Modus Hoperandi).
– Sourdough basil (margherita) pizza… they’ll substitute locally available spinach if basil is not in season.
Beer mustard butter – are you kidding me? This is the peak of culinary creativity. Do I bathe in it or eat it? Hey, I can bathe in it *and* eat it! (thanks, Gaffigan)

Bru should top your list of Boulder brewery destinations, and happy hour is a steal. Check out special Bru beer events here.

Drool factor follows…

Bru's 5-beer sampler

Bru’s 5-beer sampler is whatever you want it to be. You choose, they serve, everyone wins.

Bru trail mix

At Bru, trail mix means almonds, caramel corn, pecans, and spice. Order from the happy hour menu, and a huge portion is $2.

Citrum from Bru in Boulder

Bru’s Citrum is Colorado’s finest unfiltered IPA, IMHO.

Bru sourdough pizza

Why isn’t all pizza made of sourdough? I just ate a ‘Merican-size dinner, and this still makes me hungry.

Bru salad with poached egg

Sometimes you have to pass on pizza and eat salad, so your salad should at least have a healthy damn poached egg on it.

Bru bread and beer mustard butter

Slather your loaf with Bru’s tasty beer mustard butter.

Bru wood-roasted veggies

Wood-roasted veggies w/beer vinegar. Beta carotene, anyone?

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Boulder Beer Company – Colorado’s first craft brewery

Boulder Beer IPA sampler

IPA sampler – Why drink one when you can try four? The Mojo IPA and Mojo Risin’ are Boulder Beer staples.

Best veggie patty in Boulder

The Barley Burger Betasso – it’s one of Boulder’s best veggie patties, and I order it with bacon on top and a side of mashed potatoes, because why not? Keep Boulder weird.

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Azitra Restaurant – Indian Culinary Nirvana

Chana Masala

Chana Masala… Chickpeas + Diced Potatoes Cooked In Punjabi Style Sauce

I’ve been told, in no uncertain terms – by multiple folks, that the Indian food available in Boulder is nothing to write home about. Generally, people point to a few rough diamonds here and there, but for the most part, I’ve heard little aside from faint praise. So I went to Broomfield.

You’d be hard pressed to overhear, “Oh yeah… you want authentic Indian food? Head to Broomfield, Colorado!”

You’ve probably never heard that. Until now! 

Azitra is solid. The staff is awesome, the food is delish, and they have a decent selection of craft brews on tap and by the bottle. And I’m not kidding about the staff – we’ve received nothing but high-end service in five or six trips to Azitra.

Azitra lies just south of Flatiron Crossing. They have stunning views of the Front Range… and Walmart.

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Beer in a Scotch glass – Green Flash’s Green Bullet

Beer in a Scotch glass png

If you’re going to drink yuppie beer, you may as well drink it from a Scotch glass.

Holy cows, I love this brew! Another of the seemingly “unfiltered” variety, it looks like there’s a tiny universe of tasty particles floating about in every glass. Green Flash classifies this as a Triple IPA. I’m the last person to know what that means, except for the following:

- IPAs typically weigh in around 6-7% alcohol
DIPAs tend to hover between 7.2-9-ish%
– The Green Bullet – a TIPA – registers 10.1%, which means I’m starting to get super chatty. Apologies to my increasingly patient girlfriend.

I’ll spare you the verbosity and simply note that Green Bullet brims with flavor, character, and West Coast style – on steroids. Yet another staple in our fridge.

Green Flash Green Bullet

You, too, can get a bit tipsy after a couple of Green Bullet TIPAs from Green Flash Brewing.

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