Boulder’s Best Brunches

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Breakfast is the most important meal, yet experts agree it’s also vital to get enough sleep. The perfect combo: Sleep in and go to brunch.

Boulder knows how to brunch — and in unique ways, too. Here, you’ll find everything from bottomless brunches to elegant oyster means to fun bloody Mary bars. Here’s a look at some of our favorite ways to brunch big in Boulder.

Greenbriar Inn, 8735 N. Foothills Highway

Greenbriar’s elegant Sunday brunch is nothing short of epic. It’s ideal for a special occasion that necessitates oysters, prime rib and multiple glasses of champagne. Brunch here used to be served buffet-style, but because of COVID-19, it is now a la carte. Enjoy eggs benedict, bagels and lox, Caesar salad, salmon and shrimp — with unlimited champagne. Bonus: Greenbriar Inn is a destination in and of itself, located at the base of the foothills with stunning views.

Photo by Aimee Heckel

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th St.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a bucket-list destination in Boulder. Enjoy a lengthy weekend brunch (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) in one of Boulder’s most colorful buildings. The teahouse itself has a rich history; it was crafted by Boulder’s sister city, Tajikistan. Sip some house chai with whole wheat chai pancakes. Try a new kind of omelet, the Kookoo Sabzi, a Persian herb omelette with baba ganoush, crispy rice, walnuts and naan. Or if you’d rather stick to a familiar comfort breakfast, you can also find eggs, potatoes, buttermilk pancakes and granola.

Centro Mexican Kitchen, 950 Pearl St.

This innovative Latin restaurant on the west end of Pearl Street expanded its brunch menu in 2021 with creative options, like build-your-own taco boards and a bacon Bloody Maria with housemade chili-infused tequila. A fun one to try this fall or winter is the new Birra Burrito, made with slow-braised beef and stuffed with eggs, potatoes, Chihuahua cheese and onions, finished with a pour of consommé from beef bone stock. Vegans can enjoy the Crispy Cauliflower Taco Board and Grilled Squash and Tofu Bowl.

Photo by Aimee Heckel

Lucile’s Creole Cafe, 2124 14th St.

Lucile’s, a long-time Boulder staple, has long been known for its Creole and Cajun brunch. This year, it’s just as tasty but looks a little different than in the past. Lucile’s offers brunch kits that you can take home for the ultimate brunch with no cooking. There are a variety of different kits to choose from, such as a biscuits and gravy kit that serves four to six (mmm, buttermilk biscuits and tasty hot sauce) and the Cajun Lunch Kit, complete with gumbo, rice, red beans, French bread and (of course) that hot sauce.

The Pain Perdu Kit is our personal fave, with French toast, Louisiana sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit and buttery Pain Perdu syrup. Get your brunch to go with a mimosa kit or (and?) a bloody Mary kit, with some pickled okra to pop in your bevvy.

There’s also a Lucile’s in Longmont at 518 Kimbark St.

The Buff, 2600 Canyon Blvd.

The Buff is a Boulder celebrity; it starred on “Man Vs. Food.” Its claim to Travel Channel fame? Saddlebag Pancakes, massive pancakes stuffed with diced bacon or sausage and topped with eggs (yes, you can still order them to try them out yourself).

While that’s what got the Buff in the spotlight, that’s far from the end of its creative dishes. Start with French toast “stix” drizzled in vanilla sauce. Then try the white buffalo cakes — pancakes filled with white chocolate chips, topped with strawberries. Or better yet, you’ve heard of chicken and waffles, but how about chicken and French toast, all gluten-free?

Spruce Farm and Fish, 2115 13th St.

Spruce, located in the Hotel Boulderado, also has a delicious brunch menu. In addition to the obligatory mimosa, check out two new items on the brunch menu for fall/winter. First, strawberry and sweet cream cheese pancakes are a vegetarian option: buttermilk pancakes topped with a sweet cream cheese spread, strawberries, whipped cream and a dash of fresh mint. For a more savory option, the seasonal must-try is the salmon lox and cream cheese bagel plate. Pick a plain or everything bagel. Top with plain or chive cream cheese. And embellish with cured and smoked sliced salmon, capers, shaved red onion, lettuce and tomato.

Photo courtesy of Spruce Farm & Fish

Snooze A.M. Eatery, 1617 Pearl St.

Snooze is a chain, but it’s mostly based in Colorado, and it’s easily a Boulder favorite that can’t be overlooked. This retro-style diner puts a fun and innovative twist on comfort food, like its famous pineapple upside-down pancakes. If you can’t decide or want to go on a flavor journey, order a flight of pancakes (pineapple upside-down, blueberry danish and sweet potato). Of course, Snooze does brunch cocktails like a boss, but if you’re alcohol-free, its cold-pressed juices won’t leave you thirsty. Tip: The wait can be brutal here, so prepare yourself for a leisurely experience.

Walnut Cafe, 3037 Walnut St.

This classic breakfast joint doesn’t call it brunch per se, but it serves breakfast and lunch with an incredible espresso bar, so it wins a spot on the best brunches of Boulder list. This is where Boulderites go for comfort fare, like omelets, big buttermilk biscuits and banana walnut pancakes. But you can also be surprised by some unexpected plates, like tofu rancheros for vegans and blueberry cornbread made fresh every morning. Walnut Cafe has been a local favorite for more than three decades. It also has a location at 673 Broadway St.

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl St.

The Kitchen, ideally located on the Pearl Street Mall, does a hip, locally inspired brunch. Start with shrimp, salmon or fried green tomatoes with a crawfish remoulade. Let those flavors take you to the main course, whether that’s a classic farmer’s breakfast with sourdough toast, or the avocado and crab cake benedict with lime hollandaise.

The Kitchen has a separate full brunch beverage menu, too. You’ve heard of a Bloody Mary, but have you ever had a Lucid Mary? That’s like a bloody (tomato, Tabasco, celery, horseradish bitters) with cachaca, paranubes rum, black pepper syrup and lime.

River and Woods, 2328 Pearl St.

Now this is brunch. Specialty cocktails, French press coffee, brunch poutine with cheese curds and duck gravy and vanilla custard-dipped challah French toast — oh my. While many of the menu items here are indulgent as all get out (like dulce de leche churros with hazelnut dip for a brunchy dessert), River and Woodshttps://www.riverandwoodsboulder.com/ has mastered balance; there’s also a Colorado farmers market salad, a healthy quinoa burger with “magic sauce” and smoked salmon caesar salad. All of this is served in a century-old miner’s cabin converted into a cozy restaurant on the east end of Pearl.

Beyond Boulder

Tamayo, 1400 Larimer St., Denver

If you don’t mind a short drive to Denver, the bottomless brunch at Tamayo — right on bustling Larimer Street — is a can’t-miss. Every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy free-flowing small plates and endless brunch cocktails (including unlimited margaritas). Tamayo is a hip Mexican restaurant, so brunch options include tasty huevos, carnitas tacos and tres leches. If the weather allows (you never know in Colorado) and you can score a seat on the patio, the people-watching is the perfect dessert.

Photo by Aimee Heckel

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