• Greg Daily

    In this 2009 file photo, Mario Ramirez and his mother Elsy Nora Martinez prepare an order of zucchini and cheese pupusas at Pupusas Sabor Hispano in Boulder.


    Ras Kassas is a great place to eat different food -- with your hands. Also, don't be surprised if someone tries to hand-feed you.


    Chez Thuy has been serving Vietnamese food in Boulder since the '90s.


    If Tibetan dumplings are your jam -- or if you would like to find out if they can be your jam -- check out Sherpa's Adventures.



So, how’s that grilled cheese sandwich and fried chicken?

Sounds like someone needs to branch out the taste buds.

But wait. We’re not talking expanding the cereal collection — we’re talking exploring Boulder’s great ethnic restaurants.

And, no, going to Taco Bell does not count as authentic Mexican cuisine.

Since most of us can’t afford to travel the world, Boulder makes it easy to find good, authentic ethnic food.

Here are 10 spots to satiate your worldly hunger.

Pupusas Sabor Hispano

Where: 4550 N. Broadway, Boulder, 303-444-1729

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

This restaurant may look like a strip mall hole in the wall, but the authentic Salvadorian cuisine is one of Boulder’s hidden gems.

The signature dish — a pupusa — is a big pancake-looking, thick corn tortilla stuffed with meats and good stuff. Or go bold and try some menudo or a taco con lengua — a tongue taco.

Don’t forget to try the salsa bar with six different salsas.

Ras Kassas Ethiopian Restaurant

Where: 2111 30th St., Boulder, 303-447-2919

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Finally. We can eat with our hands in public. In fact, you pretty much have to eat with your hands.

Ras Kassas has been a Boulder favorite for years. The Ethiopian restaurant is known for being extremely vegetarian-friendly.

This is a good place for a first date — get all the awkwardness out of the way by playing with your food together.

Try the pan-fried red trout or spicy organic red lentils.

Info: raskassas.com

The Taj

Where: 2630 Baseline Road, Boulder, 303-494-5216

Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Indian food cravings are like sushi cravings. They won’t go away until satisfied.

Now that I made you crave Indian food, head to The Taj, where you will be super pleased. For those who have never had Indian food, the restaurant has the best buffet in town with a big variety of dishes which makes it great for trying out different things.

Info: tajcolorado.com

Chez Thuy

Where: 2655 28th St., Boulder, 303-442-1700

Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4-9:30 p.m. Sunday

Pho — Vietnamese soup — has been gaining more and more popularity with restaurants popping up all over the place, akin to Starbucks in the ’90s.

Chez Thuy has been brewing up fabulous pho in Boulder since the ’90s.

The Vietnamese cuisine also serves pad Thai, grilled and stir-fried entrees, salads and fantastic spring rolls.

Info: chezthuy.com

China Gourmet

Where: 3970 N. Broadway St., Boulder, 303-440-3500

Hours: 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday-Friday; 4:30–9 p.m. Saturday

Who needs a fancy restaurant? China Gourmet in North Boulder is definitely a no-frills restaurant, but serves up some of the best Chinese food in Boulder.

Customers order at the counter and pick it up at the window when called.

Make sure to bring cash, though — the restaurant doesn’t take credit cards.

Info: chinagourmetmenu.com


Where: 1630 63rd Street, Boulder, 303 440-4045

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday

For those who like a little spice in their life, and their food, Efrain’s will set your senses on fire.

With a spice scale from 1 to 10, the Mexican restaurant serves all different taste buds.

You can’t go wrong with any option, but if you’re looking for adventure, skip the menu and order the Efrain’s burrito, which is “smothered in who knows what.”

Get there early, because there’s usually a wait.


Where: 4457 North Broadway Street, Boulder, 303-442-2717

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

Latin food without the meat, might sound unappetizing, but that’s not the case at the vegetarian-and-vegan-friendly Zudaka.

If you’re a carnivore who’s a little nervous, don’t fret — the dishes are just as delicious without meat.

Try the hallaquitas, Venezuelan tamales coated in melted cheese, and don’t be afraid to make a mess by piling on salsa, hot sauce and black beans — it’s the only way to properly enjoy it

Tangier Moroccan Cuisine

Where: 3070 28th Street, Boulder, 303-443-3676

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9:30p.m. Monday-Saturday

Ignore the strip mall location, and stop in to Tangier Moroccan Cuisine for a quick adventure.

Leave your comfort zone, take your shoes off and sit on the floor. Enjoy the Diafa, a traditional Moroccan dinner for two, which features your choice of menu options including appetizers, entrees and finish it off with a piece of baklava and some mint tea.

Show up on Friday or Saturday night and enjoy belly dancing with your meal.

Sherpa’s Adventurers

Where: 825 Walnut Street, Boulder, 303-440-7151

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday

No need to climb Mount Everest to get good Tibetan food, just head over to Sherpa’s Adventure for a taste of the Himalayas.

Made by genuine sherpas, who grew up in Nepal, enjoy delicious comfort food from across the world. Stop by for a taste of classics such as mooms, handmade Tibetan dumplings — try them fried for an extra kick.

Even learn more about booking a trip to Nepal by checking out their Traveler’s Library and Lounge.

Arabesque Cafe

Where: 1634 Walnut Street, Boulder, 720-242-8623

Hours: 8 a.m.-4 a.m. Monday-Saturday

Satisfying that craving for Middle Eastern food might involved ready-made hummus and store-bought pitas, but not at Arabesque Cafe.

The Chai is brewed from their own spices, the pita is homemade, the hummus is ground from fresh chickpeas and the water has a subtle hint of rose in it.

The friendly atmosphere is perfect for a casual breakfast or a lunch date with friends.

But don’t plan on having dinner — Arabesque closes at 4.

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