If you know me, you know there is one place I’m always craving. It’s kind of my favorite restaurant… (Actually, it is my favorite restaurant…) Not many people remember it’s here. In fact, if you’re a fellow Boulderite, you’ve more than likely swiftly passed over it on your way to Pasta Jay’s or the West End. But I’m gonna let you in on this Boulder gem: Zoe Ma Ma’s. Its quite possibly some of the best traditional, Chinese, comfort food you can find. None of your typical Chinese take out of General Tsao’s or rubbery sesame chicken and rice… Nope, this is the real deal. Fresh, flavorful, authentic, and made warm with love by Ma Ma herself on many occasions.

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Located on the west end of Pearl St, (literally next to Pasta Jay’s on 10th and Pearl), this small, cozy restaurant offers fast, largely portioned, delicious food for under $10! The menu focuses on several popular dishes representing different regions of China, and all are done extremely well! There are a few tables in front of the counter, but on a beautiful day, I recommend grabbing a seat at the outdoor counter bar (great for people watching!) and sipping on some of their fresh brewed green iced tea! Can you feel the refreshment now?

Now, I’m a big fan of Ma Ma’s cooking. I’ve been there more than a few times and sampled nearly every menu item… Some of my favorites? I recommend slipping in on a Friday or Saturday for the daily special: Roasted Duck and Wonton Soup. Oh my goodness. Easily the best duck I’ve had without spending $50+ a plate. I took this particular dish to go once and it was more than enough to share!

Another great daily special is the Lion’s Head. A giant pork meatball that teems with flavor! Their noodle dishes and dim sum options are also excellent. Grabbing a pork bao bun and a couple pot stickers to go is always a favorite snack of mine; and well… since I hate to play favorites I’m going to call them all my #1s!

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This time, I decided on the “Cool Noodle” and added chicken, with a pork bao bun on the side. Could not have chosen better! The dish was perfect for a crisp and sunny day of walking and shopping, with a mix of zesty noodle sauce and fresh veggies: carrots, cucumber, sprouts, and onions. The bao bun was warm and chewy, as per usual. Perfection.

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As I mentioned, the portions are enormous here, so my leftover noodles made for a perfect lunch this afternoon! Like many places in Boulder, Zoe Ma Ma’s likes to keep everything reusable to all her utensils and bowls, etc. are ones you’d find at home which makes the joint so quaint and homey. I always feel at home there!

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On cooler nights I opt for the Za Jiang Mian, a savory pork and noodle dish topped with tons of veggies. Recently, I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of gluten I eat, so I’ve started to replace the noodles with steamed rice and it is excellent! The flavors mix deliciously and I definitely recommend pouring a little of their ginger-onion sauce over the top. But frankly, anything on this menu is a winner and everyone will find a dish they love. Even veggies and gluten-free folk!

So if you’re ever in the Boulder area and are craving some authentic or flavorful food, swing by Zoe Ma Ma’s and check out their daily specials! I guarantee you will find exactly what you’re looking for, and you’ll keep coming back more!  Do any of you have a secret spot or recommendation in Boulder/Denver? I’d love to check them out! Let us know in the comments!