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Boulder’s Carb-Loading Guide for Bolder Boulder Runners: Where to Eat Before the Race

As the annual Bolder Boulder road race approaches, both seasoned runners and newcomers alike are gearing up to tackle the challenging course through the beautiful streets of Boulder, Colorado. One crucial aspect of race preparation is carbo-loading, which involves consuming a high-carbohydrate meal to maximize energy stores for endurance events. Fortunately, Boulder offers an array of fantastic restaurants specializing in carb-heavy dishes, particularly pasta, to help runners fuel up for the big race. Here’s a guide to some of the best pasta and carbo-loading restaurants in Boulder, ensuring that runners can indulge in delicious meals while preparing for the Bolder Boulder.

yellow pasta on white paper

Frasca Food and Wine, located on Pearl Street, is a Boulder institution renowned for its exquisite Northern Italian cuisine. Co-founded by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey and Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Frasca offers a refined dining experience that combines impeccable service with a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Their handmade pastas, such as the tagliatelle Bolognese and the agnolotti dal plin, are crafted with the freshest ingredients and bursting with authentic flavors. The restaurant’s dedication to quality and its extensive wine list make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Pasta Jay’s has been a Boulder favorite since 1988, offering hearty, home-style Italian dishes that are perfect for fueling up before a race. Located just off Pearl Street, this family-owned restaurant is famous for its generous portions and cozy ambiance.

Signature dishes include the classic spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and the rich fettuccine Alfredo. Pasta Jay’s welcoming atmosphere and reliably delicious meals make it a go-to spot for both locals and tourists looking to indulge in comforting, flavorful pasta.

Carelli’s of Boulder, situated on Baseline Road, provides a charming, intimate dining experience with a focus on traditional Italian fare. The restaurant’s rustic decor and attentive service create a relaxed environment for enjoying their extensive menu, which features standout pasta dishes such as the lobster ravioli, pappardelle with wild boar ragu, and the creamy pesto tortellini. Carelli’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients and creating rich, satisfying flavors has earned it a loyal following among Boulder diners.

Il Pastaio, located on Arapahoe Avenue, is a family-owned gem specializing in fresh, handmade pasta. The casual yet elegant setting complements the menu’s array of authentic Italian dishes. Favorites include the linguine alle vongole, gnocchi al pesto, and the hearty rigatoni alla vodka. Il Pastaio’s dedication to traditional techniques and fresh ingredients makes it a must-visit for pasta lovers.

Gondolier Italian Eatery, a Boulder staple since 1960, on Pearl Street offers a nostalgic dining experience with a modern twist. Known for their extensive menu and generous portions, Gondolier’s pasta offerings include the popular spaghetti carbonara, seafood linguine, and the decadent baked ziti. The eatery’s friendly atmosphere and reliable quality have made it a beloved spot for both pre-race meals and family dinners.

Sforno Trattoria Romana, situated on the historic Pearl Street Mall, brings the flavors of Rome to Boulder. The restaurant’s cozy, rustic decor sets the stage for an authentic Italian meal, with standout pasta dishes such as the cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and the rich and savory oxtail ragu. Sforno’s focus on traditional Roman cuisine and warm hospitality ensures a memorable dining experience.

Via Perla, located on the corner of Pearl and 9th Street, offers a contemporary take on classic Italian dishes in a stylish, sophisticated setting. The menu features an array of delicious pasta options, including the house-made pappardelle with lamb ragu, seafood risotto, and the classic spaghetti pomodoro. Via Perla’s commitment to quality ingredients and inventive flavors has earned it a reputation as one of Boulder’s top Italian dining destinations.

As participants gear up for the annual Bolder Boulder, these top carbo-loading spots in Boulder offer an array of enticing pasta dishes and culinary experiences to help runners fuel up for the demanding race ahead. Whether indulging in the comforting flavors of savoring the authentic Italian charm of Il Pastaio, or relishing the culinary artistry of Frasca Food and Wine, runners can rest assured that Boulder’s vibrant dining scene provides ample opportunities to carbo-load in style. By enjoying these exceptional pasta-centric restaurants, participants can fuel their bodies with the energy needed to conquer the Bolder Boulder and achieve their running goals amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Boulder, Colorado.

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