With its TV, Xbox games, and free WiFi, Twirl Boulder is as appealing any neighborhood hangout as any you might see on television—and that's not taking into account the 50-plus flavors of locally sourced frozen yogurt on rotation. Here, guests can pile them high with dozens of other toppings, including several gluten and dairy-free options. The store understands its youth appeal, creating the Purple Lounge, which hosts game, karaoke, and dance nights. The lounge is also available for get-togethers via free reservation. As visitors kick back on the wraparound couch or warm themselves before the fireplace, they munch on slices of Nick-N-Willy's pizza, sliders, chicken nuggets, and sip cold drinks. Twirl also caters to its adult clientele, offering presentation-friendly meeting areas with a TV to banish boring office meetings.
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
Boulder-based The Tea Spot stocks sippers’ cupboards with a massive menu of loose-leaf teas, including organic and fair-trade-certified varieties, as well as a suite of Steepware brand tea tools. The blood-orange-smoothie tea melts rooibos, orange, and vanilla essences into a dreamsicle-like dark-red liquor that’s naturally caffeine- and sarcasm-free ($17), and mugs eagerly await the hot kiss of the re-infusable organic Iron Goddess oolong tea ($16). Alternatively, small tea leaves or model sailboat sails easily unfurl inside the roomy confines of a 32-ounce, tea-infusing Steep & Chill pitcher ($44.95). The Tea Spot donates 10% of every sale to cancer-wellness and community-building programs, infusing each sip of tea with the warmth of good will, though warming tea with actual heat is still recommended.
The frozen-dessert crafters of the award-winning Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato whip up a dizzying array of up to 80 distinct flavors, which rotate every two weeks. Fill a small dish ($2.99) with Peanut Butter Blast, or reward a small child for aging with a large dish ($4.75) of birthday-cake ice cream. Unconventional choices including Jack Daniels chocolate chip and Junior Mint tantalize sweet teeth with decadence, and low-fat frozen-yogurt helpings such as a regular-size black raspberry or chai ($3.92) add guilt-reduced options. The shop also outputs gelato ($3.32–$5.30) in flavors such as cantaloupe or green tea white chocolate, as well As fruit-infused sorbets such as blueberry zinfandel, forest berry, and guava strawberry.
Bright canvases hang over the counter at Boulder Creek Market, behind which the crew crafts a menu of signature sandwiches. You can order traditional cuts of ham, turkey, and roast beef, but it's worth trying some of the specialty game meats, such as ostrich, buffalo, and wild boar. Fresh, locally baked bread is included whether you're having salad or a gourmet sandwich. And the dressings are all made in-house, from basil pesto to spicy chipotle mayonnaise and balsamic vinaigrette. Sandwiches and salads can be prepared vegan or vegetarian upon request.
Big Daddy Bagels' friendly staff mixes, boils, and bakes more than 15 New York–style bagels ($0.85 each) and concocts 17 cream cheese varietals ($2.35–$3.25) daily. The New Yorker piles on plain cream cheese, lox, capers, red onion, and tomato ($6.99), and the Boulderite Wrap houses black bean hummus, avocado, red onion, cucumber, tomato, and sprouts ($6.50) in a culinary inn. Freshly baked muffins ($1.75), cinnamon rolls ($2.25), and jumbo cookies ($1.75) support a cast of custom smoothies ($2.99), packed with a choice of two fruits, a juice, and optional protein powder ($.99). The chronically fatigued can boost brain waves or steam open envelopes at Big Daddy's full espresso bar, which serves an Americano ($1 for 12 oz.), cappuccino, ($2.25 for 12 oz.), and iced mocha ($3.25).