College students have a stomach like a low mileage gas tank. We consistently have to fill up and hope the price matches our consumption. Though the standard college diet often includes anything from Ramen to rice diets, every now and then we get to treat ourselves.
Downtown Boulder offers a solid selection for putting down some chow, with five spots that cater to students looking for a decently priced outing. Residing on the corner of Pearl and 15th Streets, Illegal Pete’s may be one of your best bet for the most food for your buck.
This hot spot holds a menu packed with Americanized Mexicali favorites including massive burritos, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas and every salsa known to Boulder. The monstrosities are user friendly and are made right before your eyes. Expect to pay around $8 to fill up unless you need the premium guacamole, which will tack on an extra $1.59, which might be worth it.
Located five blocks west down Pearl on 10th Street is the unfairly underrated Zoe Ma Ma. During the warmer months their Cool Noodle, a.k.a. Liang Ban Mian, is the cheapest and best thing your mouth will find. For around $5 it packs plenty of crunch with a mixture of vegetable and noodle goodness that can easily be enhanced with chicken or tofu for $2 more.
But as we head into winter, the local favorite “CPR” holds down the place. This dish consists of a giant bowl, rice, savory slow-cooked chicken thighs that melt off the bone and boiled potatoes. Add the plethora of house sauces and you have yourself the most satisfying meal for under $8 downtown.
A block away is the popular Kitchen Next Door. With a community centered atmosphere and modern ambiance, this gem offers a Slow Roasted Pork sandwich. Be advised, the Kitchen Next Door will have you flapping $10-15 bucks from your wallet, depending on whether you want the fried Garlic Mashers, which you probably will.
If you have a grumbling stomach and want to spring for another solid service meal, walk a couple blocks down to the Corner Bar on 13th and Spruce streets next to The Catacombs. The Corner Bar keeps the kitchen open until midnight, has no age requirement and provides a $7 burger that will please more than just your appetite. You have the option of sweet potato fries as a side and all the barbecue sauce you want, but cheese, sautéed onions, bacon and a thick dose of avocado are $.50 each to add. If that wasn’t enough, the joint offers a $3 craft beer every day all day for anyone old enough. Easy to say, the Corner Bar is a win for your palette.
Finally, the magnificent Lolita’s Market & Deli is strategically positioned as the last stand for grub on Pearl Street. The saving grace of many night owls and early risers, its location at 800 Pearl St. is a beacon of hope for those in need of food at the most inconvenient hour. Open 24 hours, you can expect everything from donuts and coffee, to wraps and sandwiches at the bottom dollar price you need. Never rule out Lolita’s; it’s worth the walk if you are stranded downtown after the bars close.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kyle Ward at Kyle.email@example.com.