By Tyra Sutak
There’s a new eatery on The Hill in Boulder, following suit in a recent trend of restaurants setting up shop in the neighborhood. These new eateries opt to serve an elevated menu instead of the usual cheap cuisine found near a college campus.
The shift from inexpensive munchie food and bottled 3.2 beer began in 2010 whenCafe Aion took over the former digs of Burnt Toast—a favorite breakfast joint of hungover students and poetry junkies. Cafe Aion introduced traditional Spanish tapas and a legit wine list to frequent customers of the Hill, whose previous idea of adventurous food was pouring Sriracha on their Illegal Pete’s burrito at 2 a.m.
Shortly after Cafe Aion’s opening, Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe brought Conscious Coffee to the neighborhood, and the doors to The No Name Bar opened—revealing a prohibition era-themed bar and long list of craft cocktails.
Earlier this year, Taco Junky & Tequila Bar became the latest restaurant on The Hill to open with an adventurous menu and a causal atmosphere—appealing not only to the local college kids, but local foodies as well. Located in the building previously occupied by Mamacita’s, Taco Junky is working hard to put their own twist on the cantina history of 1149 13th Street.
As the name suggests, Taco Junky serves up a very taco-centric menu, but instead of the standard chicken/steak/veggie options, diners can choose tacos made with braised ox tail, curry chicken, bison ribeye, and coconut oil poached salmon. Taco pricing ranges from $3-$5 per taco, which run on the smaller side, but with the level of sophistication of the ingredients and the amount of flavors found in each bite, the prices are fitting. A variety of non-typical salsas and guacamoles are also on the menu along with a Sweets section that includes desserts like a cocoa coffee custard and an apple empanada.
But where this eclectic and modern cantina currently succeeds the most is at the bar. The tequila bar is filled with infused tequila, served up solo, in a flight, or mixed into a margarita. The blueberry-infused tequila makes for a refreshing warm-weather drink and can often be found on the daily special board.
Friday is Flight Nightwhich means for a mere $10, you get a flight of 3 infused tequilas and 3 tacos, which is a definitely something to think about before you hit your next show at the Fox Theater.
Photo Credit: Taco Junky