The beef in the burgers comes from vegetarian-fed Colorado cows that aren't given antibiotics or growth hormones. That appeases my sustainability-loving side, and it translates into hefty patties, grilled a perfect medium-rare. You won't err ordering a basic cheeseburger — topped with just a melted slice of cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack or spicy pepper Jack, along with lettuce, onions and tomatoes — but my favorite renditions are more loaded. The junk burger, for example, which tops the beef with crisp strips of smoky bacon, a sizable smattering of sautéed mushrooms and onions, and a dollop of roasted-garlic mayonnaise, all coated in cheese and enveloped between a toasty bun. It's messy and visceral, and sure to induce a food coma. I also like the S.O.B. burger (which, despite what it looks like, stands for South of the Border), a patty topped with spicy green chiles and jalapeños, plus more bacon and cheddar.

The elevated bar offerings aren't the only things worth sampling at Mountain Sun, though. The kitchen caters to those Coloradans interested in health food — particularly that army of people in the neighborhood who adhere to a vegetarian diet. And so there are veggie burgers and black bean burgers and tempeh, substitutions for diners who don't eat meat, and vegetarian dishes worthy of an omnivore's attention, too. Like the smooth, nutty hummus served with chunks of bread and tortilla chips. Or the avocado and cheese sandwich, piled high with crisp carrots, cucumbers and green peppers, topped with onions, lettuce and tomato, and served between two slices of multi-grain or honey whole wheat bread, or on a whole wheat baguette. The rich, earthy, vegetarian black bean chili is warming and satisfying in the winter — but also light enough to be consumed with a pile of tortilla chips during warmer months. And I can't get enough of the grilled cheese sandwiches: made on buttered toast on a griddle, cooked until golden brown on the outside, the American cheese oozing within. They're even better when you add sautéed mushrooms and onions, and maybe a slice of tomato. Or a little bacon.

A pint being filled at the tap at Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub. View a full slideshow from Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery in Boulder.
Mark Manger
A pint being filled at the tap at Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub. View a full slideshow from Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery in Boulder.

Location Info


Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery

1535 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Boulder


Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Nachos with chicken $9.95
The Pub's Famous Fries (large) $3.95
Hummus $4.95
Vegetarian black bean chili (cup) $2.95
Basic grilled cheese $3.95
Avocado and cheese sandwich $5.95
Junk Burger $8.20
S.O.B. Burger $8

1535 Pearl Street, Boulder
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-1 a.m. Sunday

With such menu highlights as burgers and grilled cheese, Mountain Sun isn't breaking new culinary ground; it's just turning out the best possible versions of these American classics, ideal food for this perfect social-prop setting. Whether you're eating a beefy burger or black beans, whether you're wearing a sportcoat or a Gore-tex jacket, whether you're drinking stout or soda water, it's impossible not to get sucked into the convivial fold and thoroughly enjoy yourself and your company.

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