If you are a plant — and industry reports tell us close to 80 percent of Colorado Daily readers are — there's no use reading on, because what follows is a guide to Boulder's late-night yummies, which are numerous but also exclusive to nonphotosynthesis performers. Sorry, plants.

But for the remaining 20ish percent of you, there is tremendous value in reading on, because to our knowledge there do not yet exist any such hubs for dining information and reviews on the World Wide Web or on third-party mobile applications.

So, without further a-dew (just a little joke for all you plants who stuck around after the first paragraph), please enjoy this curated list of Boulder's most scrumptrulescent stops for natural and not-at-all illegally induced, late-night munchie attacks:

Smelly Deli

1134 13th St.


Open 24 hours

Every black-and-gold-bleeding, dyed-in-the-wool Buffalo knows about University Hill Market & Deli, aka — and really, pretty much exclusively known as — Smelly Deli. If for some odd reason you aren't acquainted with this magical bodega, you'd better ask somebody. Or better yet, get your ass over to Uni Hill and check it out.

The Smelly Deli has a menu tailor-made for college students: cheesy fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken shawarma, chocolate cake, the steak and cheese wrap, the list goes on.

Smelly Deli doubles as a convenience/tiny grocery store, so any gas station-type food and materials you can think of are on the table here as well. This way, you can grab your evening gut-buster and a bottle of aspirin for tomorrow morning in one convenient stop.


Smelly Deli is a hive for Buffs, which adds a social element to the experience. Dozens of haggard students will wait for their food at the counter, making for some great people-watching and conversations. Much respect to the cooks at the Smelly Deli — whipping up food for college kids ain't no picnic.

Illegal Pete's

Two locations:

1124 13th St.


8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 8 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday

1447 Pearl St.

Open until 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Unlike those softies at similar burrito spots that close before midnight, Illegal Pete's bomb-ass burrito makers keep on rolling until 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights, except during the summer, when they close at midnight.

Illegal Pete's has a diverse menu for a fast-paced burrito shop with many choices that aren't available everywhere: fish burritos, taquitos and the option to stuff potatoes in your burrito. Pete's is great because they mix up your burrito's guts before they wrap it up. So no sole sour cream bite. It's ... it's brilliant.

You want pancakes at 2 in the morning? Go to IHOP, at 1675 28th St.
You want pancakes at 2 in the morning? Go to IHOP, at 1675 28th St. (Carie Canterbury / Staff Photographer)

Not to mention, if you're of age, the Pete's on the Hill is one of a small and dwindling number of full-service bars in the area, with a wide assortment of beers and daily happy hour from 3 to 8 p.m. Vamos!

Cosmo's Pizza

Two locations:

1325 Broadway St. #108


Dine in or carry out only

659 30th St.


Dine in, carry out or delivery

11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily at both locations

During the day, the number of customers at Cosmo's won't "wow" you. You'll find people casually filtering in like any other restaurant in Boulder. Late at night, especially on the weekends, Cosmo's on the Hill looks more like a stampede as Buffs line up well beyond the doors to get a slice or two of pizza and some of Cosmo's otherworldly Spicy Ranch.

Cosmo's isn't that big of a place to begin with, but there is something to be said for waiting outside in the winter to get pizza, and believe us it happens here and it's worth the wait.

The 30th Street store is conveniently located across from the Williams Village dorm complex, and provides a good late-night option for all those neglected, off-campus slacker freshman. It also delivers until 2 a.m., which comes in awful handy no matter where you live in Boulder.

Boulder Baked

1911 Broadway St.


4 p.m.-midnight daily

Cookies and desserts delivered to your door until midnight? Could life offer anything better? Don't answer that, because it can't.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ... oh man, I’m hungry. Are you hungry?
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ... oh man, I'm hungry. Are you hungry? (Daniel Petty / The Denver Post)

Boulder may be a city filled with quinoa and kale chips, but this town definitely has a sweet tooth. The family-owned Boulder Baked has sold mountains of fresh-baked cookies over recent years, offering flavors ranging from your classic chocolate chip to the more adventurous oatmeal white chocolate cherry, to everything. Yes, there is an "everything" option. While the cookies are unreal, don't forget the cupcakes, brownies or cakes. Or the ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes and pies.

Boulder Baked also puts together care packages, so you can send yourself one in case your mom forgets.

Pearl Street Pub & Cellar

1108 Pearl St.


Open until 2 a.m. every night (bar time: 1:30 a.m.)

There's no way around it, the fried mac 'n' cheese gets people going. And by "going" I'm talking about the excitement and enthusiasm the fried masterpiece brings into the pub. The Pub's got all of the late-night bar food you need — burgers, wings and fries that are a must try. The drink specials here are on point, and we can't dismiss the fact that this place has pool tables, foosball, darts and the occasional live band to bring everything together.

Don't forget to kiss the buffalo if it's your birthday, and keep an eye out for a beautiful display of some great Denver Broncos' history hiding in plain sight in the cellar.

D.P. Dough

1622 Broadway St.


Open until 12:30 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; until 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

This is a good option if you're A) really high, B) really drunk or C) really OK living with regrets — profound, painful regrets usually related to profound, painful visits to the restroom.

On the plus side, D.P. Dough's insane assortment of calzones makes this spot the perfect place to pick up some much-needed sustenance after a long night out. With options including your standard sausage and pepperoni, the veggie-packed Garden 'Zone, all the way to breakfasty-yet-served-all-night eggs, bacon, potatoes, sausage and cheddar-stuffed Sunny 'Zono, it's not hard to find at least one you'll dig.

Plus, that place has wings, cookies and tater tots. Score. Except for the whole bathroom thing.

We all live with regrets.

Half Fast Subs

1215 13th St.


Open until 1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

If you're the indecisive type, Half Fast is either your best friend or your worst nightmare. This Uni Hill staple offers more than 100 varieties of the classic American sub sandwich and claims, perhaps realistically, that it may have the largest sandwich menu in the U.S.

For those of legal imbibing age, try out — but be wary of — Half Fast's legendary 32-ounce Strong Island ice teas.


2905 Baseline Road


Open 24 hours

Your humble narrator has never been to Denny's but has seen many Denny's commercials, and is thus equipped to make the following statement: You know the drill — you've been hitting up Denny's for late-night eats and coffee refills since your high school days. Go and do what you already know how to do. Just try not to drive the servers crazy. It's not an easy job, OK?


1675 28th St.


Open 24 hours

If you're from North America, odds are fantastic you've heard of this ubiquitous diner chain as well. Without much in the way of 24-hour, sit-down joints in Boulder, it's nice to have these two standbys available for some simple late-night fare and free coffee refills.

Alex Burness: twitter.com/alex_burness