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Posh food trucks and bougie food halls: Boulder’s got gourmet on the go

Ever-shifting location of delicious cuisine adds to its allure

Jack Walizer hands out an order for a customer from the Verde Food Truck.
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Jack Walizer hands out an order for a customer from the Verde Food Truck.

If you have not seen the 2009 movie “The Boat That Rocked,” then you are missing out.

Besides Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance, the movie is great because the plot is a piece of historical fiction about the 1960s pirate radio era in the United Kingdom. See, young people in the U.K. wanted to listen to new-fangled pop and rock music rather than the same old shit the BBC was playing all the time, so pirate radio stations were set up to broadcast music from boats in international waters.

My point is, sometimes something is just cooler if it comes from a nebulous unmoored mode of transportation and not the stodgy brick-and-mortar institutions of yore.

So, food trucks, amiright?

The first thing you’re going to need in your pirate restaurant hunting kit is ( for Boulder). Bookmark it. This will show you a real-time map of pirate restaurants in your area. If you happen to be within a few blocks of any of these and find yourself hungry, then the food truck gods have smiled upon you.

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Caitlin Kraft picks up a food order from the La Chiva food truck as Jeannie Evans, right, waits in line to order at The Rayback Collective in Boulder in 2018. The Raybug offers socially distant outdoor dining with a rotating selection of food trucks.

Rayback Collective

Where: 2775 Valmont Road, Boulder,

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


Rayback Collective is Boulder’s food truck park that also has a beer garden and hosts live music. Clans with picky eaters can dine from a variety of cuisines while eating safely in the open air while listening to live tunes. With a rotating cast of fare, diners can order from trucks like It’s All Greek To Me, Holy Crepe, Rollin’ Bones and Tibet’s.

Joseph Lee, owner of Tierra in Rosetta Hall, makes cured carrot and mushroom chorizo tacos in 2019.

Rosetta Hall

Where: 1109 Walnut St.

Hours: delivery and takeout available 4-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday


Alright, alright I set you up thinking about food trucks but this is more of a … super-bougie gourmet food court so it sorta counts? The folks behind Rosetta Hall would probably prefer it if I used the language “gorgeous food hall featuring 10 restaurants and two bars” featured on the website. These aren’t any old 10 restaurants and two bars, however. They have been especially selected by a panel of local foodie judges, so while dining there you can imagine you are a Food Network judge and make to-camera remarks about your food. It’s probably better that you imagine the camera, but who am I to tell you what to do?

Among the chef contestants trying to impress you at Rosetta Hall are Modou Jaiteh, of Jacaranda, with West African dishes like Domoda, a peanut butter stew with beef, carrot, eggplant and jasmine rice. Or try the contemporary Mexican with Korean influence from Joe Lee’s spot Tierra. Check out Carrie Baird’s Rose’s Americana, where the “Top Chef” season 15 finalist and James Beard nominee crafts American favorites. But will that top the re-imagined classic French cuisine from Dustin Brandt at Confit? Who’s to say? (You, because you’re the Food Network judge in this scenario.) The bar menu is also similarly intriguing with cocktails ranging from a Mora Mojito with blackberry to a Peruvian Sour.

From the vegetarian sweet potato and garlic to spiced chicken and cabbage and even salmon with potatoes and shallots, rest assured there’s gyoza for all to enjoy here.

Here are two food trucks that are must-tries, followed by a list of area roaming meals. Find Shinkyū-No’s food cart popping up all over Boulder County to get your eat on, or have ’em out to bring those mighty morsels to your next event. They won’t disappoint, that’s for sure.


Instagram: @shinkyunofood

Shinkyū No is a lesson in doing one thing and doing it incredibly well. Chefs make Japanese-style gyoza filled with modern flavors. Gyoza are little dumplings that can be boiled or steamed, but I’ve had them fried from Shinkyū No with a dipping sauce that I literally licked out of its container. Just thinking about those gyoza is making my mouth water.

Shinkyū No is billed as a Boulder food truck, but in reality the crew travels all over Boulder County so you may be fortunate if you’re in Longmont or Lafayette, too. Also check their Instagram, because they accept orders for frozen gyoza that you can fry at home, via DM,  email ( or text 970-281-7841. The menu is rotating, but at the date of this writing you could have delicious gyoza such as pork and apple, Chinese barbecued jackfruit or salmon and fresh fennel delivered to your doorstep.

Tacos Del Norte


Facebook: @tacosdelnorte

I mean taco trucks are so seminal to the food truck genre, I would be remiss if I did not include one in this list. Sometimes life is hard and the only thing that will make it slightly more bearable is tacos.

Hot Take Alert: the best tacos come from carts/trucks. I don’t make the rules.

Tacos Del Norte is a superstar in the crowded taco space, as the techbros would say. Choose your weapon: taco, torta or quesadilla and then fill it with grilled meats such as pork carnitas or chicken fajitas. Oh, and wash it all down with some homemade all-natural aguas frescas. Do you know how difficult it is to find fresh aguas frescas or horchata in Boulder? Pretty damn hard. So definitely get one if you’re dining at Tacos Del Norte because you owe it to me.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Shane Kirkley, left, and Todd Watters, put up the Burger Radio antenna at the Rayback Collective food truck court in Boulder in 2018.

Local area food trucks

  • 7West Pizzeria
  • A Takear
  • The Arepa Joint
  • Babyboos Kitchen
  • Best One Yet
  • Big Chix Wings
  • Big Daddy’s Texas BBQ
  • Big Dawg Barbecue
  • Big Top Pops
  • Boulder Acai
  • Boulder Bowls
  • The Bumbling Bee
  • Burger Radio
  • Butcher & The Blonde
  • The Buzz Cafe
  • Charlotte’s Lil Kitchen
  • Cheese Love Grill
  • Cocktail Caravan
  • Colorado Fried Chicken Company
  • Comida
  • Cool Beads
  • Cousins Kitchen
  • Cuban Fusion
  • Danny’s Tacos y Tortas
  • Dia y Noche Hot Dogs
  • Dig It Food Tuk
  • Durden’s Culinary Delights
  • Eats & Sweets Hits the Streets
  • Edwards TX BBQ
  • Eggcellent
  • Esuna Food Craft
  • Farm and Smoke
  • Fast Eddie’s Chicago Hot Dog Stand
  • Fior Di Latte
  • Flight Deck Grill
  • Fork n’ Frijole
  • Fortuna Chocolate
  • Freddie’s Hot Dogs
  • The French Twist
  • Gainz Grill
  • The Ginger Pig
  • Glacier Ice Cream
  • Grey Duck Eats
  • Guacamole’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Holy Crepe
  • Hop and Hoe
  • Hopping Aussie Coffee
  • I Like Big Buns
  • I Scream Colorado
  • It’s All Greek To Me
  • Izote Latin Foods
  • Jax Coffee
  • J Dogs
  • The Jerky Mon
  • Jimbeaux’s Cajun Cuisine
  • KhozyCup Espresso and Coffee
  • Kingcomo’s Quesadillas
  • Koi & Ninja
  • Kona Ice
  • La Barra Del Sazon
  • La Choza
  • La Garnacha Mexican Street Food
  • La Rue Bayou
  • La Pupusa Loca
  • Laudisio Mobile
  • Little Grater
  • Lonchera La Dona
  • Lonchera Los Paisas
  • Lonchera Trujillo
  • Los Dos Bros
  • Los Lagos Taqueria
  • Los Tacos Aya Yay
  • The Maine Event
  • Marcos Hot Dogs & Tacos
  • Maui Wowi
  • McDevitt Taco Supply
  • Meadow Lark Farm Dinners
  • Mi Casa
  • Miller’s Grille
  • Monzu
  • Morrison’s Munchies
  • My Mom’s Pies
  • My Smother From Another Mother
  • Nacho Mama’s Tacos
  • Nicecream Sammmies
  • Ohana Eatery
  • Opa Greek Eats
  • Passport Food Truck
  • Passport Traveling Eatery
  • Pearl Street Grill
  • Pepperbelly Barbecue
  • Rama Ramen
  • Roam Cone
  • Rollin’ Bones BBQ
  • Rolling Smoke
  • Rowdy Mermaid
  • Rush Bowls
  • Sancho’s Mexican Food Cart
  • Schnibs Pretzels
  • Scratch Kitchen and Food Truck
  • Scroogemaki
  • Seb’s Pizzas
  • Sebastian’s La Cocina
  • Shinkyū No
  • The Silver Bullet
  • Silver Canyon Coffee
  • The Stand
  • Stone Lotus of Boulder
  • Summit Tacos
  • Sunshine Shave Ice
  • Sweet Cow Ice Cream
  • Tacos Al Molcajete
  • Tacos del Norte
  • Tacos El Rey
  • Tacos GTO
  • Tacos La Familia
  • Taqueria La Michoacana
  • Tierra y Fuego Taqueria
  • Tostadas Food Truck
  • Two Hands Mobile Kitchen
  • The Vegetable Express
  • Volcan Azul
  • Waffle Cakes
  • What The Fork
  • Yolk’n Around
  • Zeal