Delectable dishes, community vibes and shared memories with friends and family are on all the menu at this year’s First Bite.
First Bite, formerly known as Boulder County Restaurant Week, is back for its 17th year of shining the spotlight on Boulder County’s many top-notch restaurants, bakeries, bars and eateries. For 10 days in late September and early October (Sept. 30-Oct. 9), diners can once again nosh on scrumptious dishes that highlight the many unique talents of more than 30 restaurants throughout Boulder County.
Choose from breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus (or, more realistically, all of the above!) representing a wide variety of cuisines and price points.
“Boulder is chock-full of incredible places to dine no matter the occasion or time of day, and we’re eager to elevate them in the community,” says Jessica Benjamin, First Bite’s owner and producer.
Chefs are coming up with their own menu shapes, sizes, styles and prices for First Bite. This is a big change from traditional restaurant week structures, which typically require restaurants to create a menu that fits within a certain fixed price and format. But that structure didn’t always serve restaurants very well, nor diners, so First Bite is now letting chefs and owners call the shots and participate in a way that makes the most sense for them.
“We have restaurants offering a single appetizer, chef’s selection flight, family style meals for four and multi-course menus — all sure to satisfy your cravings,” says Benjamin.
Plus, instead of needing to wait until dinner to get your fix, now you can visit a participating restaurant during the day — it’s a great way to break up the work day or catch up with a friend over lunch. There are daytime options at Dry Storage, Boulder Social, Süti & Co, Ash’Kara, Cafe Aion, Gemini, Spruce Farm & Fish and Raglin Market, just to name a few.
“(First Bite) helps to showcase amazing small local businesses and what we’re most passionate about — bringing people together over great food and drinks,” says Amber Winston, a spokeswoman for Spruce Farm & Fish, The Corner Bar, Boulder Social and Frank’s Chophouse. “(First Bite’s changes) gave our chef’s the freedom to really feature the dishes they’re most proud of across different menus.”
Ready to start plotting? Check out the menus from participants below:
- 740 Front
- Avanti F&B
- Bohemian Biergarten
- Boulder Cork
- Boulder Social
- Brasserie Boulder
- Brasserie Ten Ten
- Busey Brews Smokehouse & Brewery
- Café Aion
- The Corner Bar
- Dagabi Cucina
- Dry Storage
- Frank’s Chophouse & Tavern
- The Greenbriar Inn
- Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro
- OAK at Fourteenth
- Raglin Market
- River & Woods
- Sforno Trattoria Romano
- The Sink
- Spruce Farm & Fish
- Steakhouse 316
- Süti & Co
In addition to tasty eats, First Bite is also honoring restaurant workers with its Industry Icon Award, which recognizes back-of-house and front-of-house workers with a cash prize. You can submit nominations on the First Bite website through Oct. 11, and First Bite will announce the winners on Oct. 14.
This year, First Bite is also partnering with Boulder-based Meati to support The Little Diners Program, a family-friendly dining resource that benefits the nonprofit Growing Up Boulder. Growing Up Boulder advocates for children in Boulder to have a stronger voice through engagement, integration and community connection. Per First Bite: “The Little Diners Program will elevate the discussion of how to raise children in today’s food society and will provide the next generation with a chance to engage with the food community and local chefs.”