Kristy Holland
Kristy Holland

E ven with the throngs of people en route to town for Monday's Bolder Boulder, it is the most magical time here in the People's Republic -- when the population drops by 20,000-ish.

There are fewer people vying for good tables, busying waitresses and generally clogging up the city's prime attractions. This weekend, before local schools let out for summer and vacation season truly come on, it's a great time to visit the high-demand locales that aren't always worth the wait.

It's true, this weekend's Boulder Creek Festival will draw runners, and the older, still-single crowd is cavorting and merrymaking (as always) around Pearl Street, so I'm not claiming you won't have to wait.

But if you put on your big-boy boxers and invite your date into one of these establishments, it's likely you'll have a bit of relative calm and an air of intimacy this weekend and throughout the early summer.

Summer is Boulder's best time for more than just hiking and biking -- it's also prime-time for swanky, crowd-free fun and enjoying fine dining on the Hill.

It's by far the best -- maybe it's the only -- fancy-pants eatery on the Hill and Café Aion (1235 Pennsylvania Ave.; cafeaion.com) boasts an intimate dining room and patio space.

Enjoy the chance to snuggle up next to your date on the street-side space that's usually a thoroughfare students trekking to and from class. Share a two-person serving of a Moroccan-inspired tagine, or authentic Spanish paella.

With its hidden illicit-feeling entryway, the cozy wood-paneled bar and a tiny space for crooning musicians, the No Name Bar (1325 Broadway St.) is a hard-to-find venue on the Hill that's worth seeking out. Get a dandy-worthy drink like a whiskey- and soda-based old fashioned, or a gin and tonic to sip while you chat your date up about the calm and quiet of the summer town. Repeat three or four times.

If it's good enough for President Obama, why do you think you're above it? The Sink (1165 13th St.; thesink.com) is an institution, not just for the pizza and beer, but for its wind-powered, grass-fed kitchen ethic -- and the Wallhooky ring game (otherwise known as Bimini).

The late-night dance scene at Bacaro Venetian Tavern (921 Pearl St.; bacaro.com) draws lots of co-eds who crowd the floors -- and tables -- on weekend nights. But, homemade pasta and rustic pizzas are also a big draw. Now that town's cleared out a little and there's less chance of a wait, be sure to visit this west Pearl eatery.

Kristy Holland writes about dating once a week for the Colorado Daily. Tell her about your date-night ideas at boulderdatenight@gmail.com.