Ah yes, the endless question of what to do at night in your average city. Many travelers, when confronted with this dilemma, simply wander the streets in search of liquid personality, usually ending up tired and hungry. Not to fear, however, if you happen to be in Boulder, Colorado. While there is no possibility of duplicating the night life in that of a large city, say New York or L.A., Boulder, Colorado definitely has a “small” town flavor all its own when it comes to the local night life. Although often stereotyped as a granola eating, prairie dog hugging, can’t solve a murder city, Boulder offers something to just about everybody when it comes to the night life. You can be paying $10 a shot one moment in a classy atmosphere filled with Boulder’s wealthy, $30,000 Subaru driving yuppies, and then 5 minutes away be eating cheap, greasy burgers shooting pool with the local college kids. So regardless of your taste buds, money situation, political orientation, or whatever mood you might find yourself in when searching the Boulder streets for fun, I am sure that you will find something to your liking in the list that follows. So here it is, the Top Night Life in Boulder, Colorado in no particular order:
The Rio (Officially The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant)
1101 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 444-3690
I said that this list was in no particular order, but I lied. This is my favorite restaurant/bar/night life in Boulder. The Rio is notorious for serving perhaps the most potent margarita out there, and they are very secretive about their famous recipe. I personally believe that there has to be some Everclear in there somewhere, despite their promises that it is not. They limit your intake at 3, which is probably a safe bet considering that 2 will oust your average light weight drinker. For those of you that drink nightly like a fish, you may be disappointed at the limit, but never fear- there are at least 20 other bars within stumbling distance. The food and appetizers at the Rio are also excellent, and be sure to eat their quesadillas. Altogether, the bar is great Boulder night life and the restaurant is nothing to be ashamed of either. Next, try outÃ¢Â?Â¦.
The Med (Officially The Mediterranean)
Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 444-5335
Heading on down the street (or is it up- regardless, head West) you will find The Med. It is primarily a wonderful restaurant, but I believe that it is a great place to grab a drink and see friends/meet people too. The atmosphere is a little more dressed up and classy in comparison to an easy going, don’t care what you wear Rio. So if you are part of the older crowd that wants to hit the Boulder nightlife, but doesn’t care for college students constantly professing their love of alcohol, The Med is a big step up from the average bar. I would recommend their Tapas (kind of like appetizers), and the Tapas hour very highly. In fact, come to think of it, Tapas is for the most part all I order when I go there, as the menu gets pricy quickly. Regardless of price, everything is pretty much fantastic as far as food and drinks go. If you visit during the summer, be sure to go and have a drink on their patio. After the Med, head on North toÃ¢Â?Â¦.
The Redfish (Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse)
2027 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 440-5858
This is the best place to go when they have live music or some of their really big events. Mardi Gras, for instance, is absolutely ridiculous at the Redfish, with the whole place packed with no room to move and live music blasting in the background. Redfish is great Boulder night life all year round for the atmosphere alone, and it is fun to be in a place that is reminiscent of The Big Easy while you are clearly in a college town. Be sure to try just about anything from the menu, as it has a unique, distinct New Orleans taste all it own in Boulder. The night life at Redfish gets really fun whenever live music is playing, and even though there are not usually big bands there, they are good bands that attract a crowd. Redfish is, like the Med, a little more upscale crowd in the restaurant section, but enter the bar and you’ll probably feel more at home. So far I apologize if I have not brought you any night life that is more down to earth and less expensive, so as a remedy to this I now reveal perhaps the exact opposite of the places aboveÃ¢Â?Â¦..
The Dark Horse
2922 Baseline Rd
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone: (303) 442-8162
Here we go; a place you can really feel at home. If you are looking for Boulder night life without all the glitz, this is the place for you. It reminds me of a classic old, dimly lit barroom in the movies, where you can shoot pool and watch football. The Dark Horse has character written all over it. From the moment you walk in the door, some of the first words that will come into your head may include, “are you serious?” as the decorations on the wall are truly something to be gazed at for quite a long time over a beer or three. The burgers and fries are also top notch, and you won’t regret whatever it may be that you order. I love this place because it is hidden off Baseline Road, away from the trendy night life of Pearl Street. Their deck outside is fun during the summer months, and be sure to check out their website for special events. It you time it right, you may even end up riding in a tricycle race haphazardly around the bar. Lucky you!
That about sums it up for the Boulder night life scene- or at least an introduction for that matter. I hope that I have not led anyone astray here, but I promise if you go to any of the above locations, you will not be disappointed in the least. There are, of course, many other places in Boulder that will satisfy you, but I believe that these places show the diversity of Boulder’s night life, and are a great starting point for any new visitor.