W ho here’s ever heard the term “fast casual” before? No, we’re not making a sexual reference. We’re talking about the other thing that makes you feel all warm and gushy inside. That’s right, food!
“Fast casual” is a term used by eateries that are tired of there being a separation between cheap/fast and good quality when it comes to grubbing. It doesn’t all have to be Del Taco. Here are a few spots in town where you can get your food in a relative jiffy and for under $10.
1 Kitchen Next Door
1035 Pearl St., Boulder
Ever yearn for the epicurean pleasures of Pearl Street’s The Kitchen, butcha just don’t have the time or enough money to cover a fancy meal? Well, The Kitchen Next Door has just the ticket for you. They’re quick and everything on the menu is under $9. Having opened this past summer, this latest eatery from The Kitchen family has definitely got the most delectable food you can find for less than the price of a movie ticket, including their signature kale chips (a real treat and totally not what you would expect) and their palate-pleasing pulled pork sandwiches.
Info: thekitchennextdoor.com, 720-542-8159
2 Pickled Lemon
1155 13th St., Boulder
If you’re craving something a bit more exotic, getcher ass to Udi’s latest endeavor, the Pickled Lemon on the Hill. You’ll get some mouthwatering Middle Eastern food on the cheap, and everything’s accessible without any hassles waiting for a server to begrudgingly drop your plate off on your table. Plus, they’ve got some killer artwork and are located right there on the Hill for your convenience.
Info: pickledlemon.com, 720-353-4442
825 Walnut St., Boulder
Now, yes, Sherpa’s not exactly a “fast casual” restaurant. But, if you go during lunchtime, you definitely get pretty casual (and relatively fast) with their amazing daily special that’s $7. The food — delicious Nepalese fare — is damn good itself (and there’s plenty of it). So stop by any day of the week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and find the best lunch surprise Boulder has to offer.
Info: sherpaascent.com/restaurant.htm, 303-440-7151
4 Kim Food to Go
1325 Broadway, Boulder
You know those weird little hole-in-the-wall places that kinda make you scared to even live in the same city with but then you go in and it’s like the best, most authentic-tasting foreign food you’ve ever had? Kim Food to Go is pretty close to being that kinda spot, so brave it out and try their plentiful soups and meat and veggie dishes that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world right there by campus.
5 Sun Deli
2299 Pearl St., Boulder
Sun Deli is the kind of hideaway spot that most people would pass by without even knowing it’s there. On the far east side of Pearl, it’s gotta be one of the coolest places to check into at night, grab a slice of pizza or a hot sandwich and just chill with some friends in booths that’re straight outta the “Back to the Future II” ’80s diner (complete with nostalgic plastic ’50s booths and individual TV’s). Oh, and make sure to check out their bathroom for a true aesthetic treat…