Glacier Ice Cream

This Boulder-based outfit makes celestial ice cream, churning cream and sugar into sweet, silky confections, some of them studded with tiny bits of cake or candy. You can find more popular flavors packaged up at several retail shops around town — or offered on many restaurant dessert lists — but it's worth heading straight to the source. The Glacier Homemade Ice Cream shop scoops a variety of frequently rotated creations into cups or cones; our favorites include the caramel Oreo, spicy chai, Junior Mint and dulce de leche. Glacier also partners with other purveyors — including local brewers, cake-makers and restaurants — to turn out special seasonal one-offs. The frequent collaborations with Kim & Jake's Cakes, a Boulder bakery, are particularly dreamy.

India's Restaurant
Courtesy India's Restaurant Facebook

Every Indian restaurant in the galaxy seems to feature a lunch buffet, which boasts curry-splattered hotel pans glutted with lukewarm leftovers from last night's dinner service. But at India's, the well-organized midday buffet is always clean and replenished before you can blink, shining brightly with more than a dozen dishes that cater to both carnivores and herbivores. For $8.95, you can choose from an embarrassment of riches: cashew-thickened vegetable korma; crimson-flushed tandoori chicken; lamb and chicken curries; peppery papadums; pliant naan fresh from the tandoori oven; and a medley of chutneys and garnishes.

Readers' Choice: Little India

Jai Ho Indian Kitchen, Bar & Lounge
Mark Manger

Before they opened Jai Ho in the spring of 2010, Sathya and Sujatha Narayan had never owned a restaurant. But they noticed a gap in this city's Indian offerings and decided to fill it — triumphantly. Jai Ho features a massive, mind-addling list of dishes rooted in the southern portion of the subcontinent, with specialties from Kerala, Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu that highlight such ingredients as coconut, pickled gongura (a native sorrel leaf) and mango, all stewed and combined with lentils, chicken, mutton or fish and packed with enough heat to make you break into a sweat. Those are supplemented by a handful of northern Indian preparations — paneers, samosas and tandoori chicken — as well as a few Indochinese offerings. One of those, the chili gobi, a fiery dish made with cauliflower florets, could be our very favorite food from any country.

Readers' Choice: Little India

Panzano
Linnea Covington

From the beautifully baked breads that scent the dining room to the textbook-perfect gnocchi with rabbit confit to the twitchy egg that crowns the tagliatelle carbonara specked with house-cured pancetta, Panzano's kitchen just keeps out turning stunning fare. For that, you can thank chef Elise Wiggins, who interprets the cuisine of northern Italy with ingredients from Colorado farms and ranches — everything from impeccable Hazel Dell mushrooms to organic, locally raised chicken, lamb and beef. But Wiggins also knows how to command a kitchen, and her seasonal, contemporary dishes, which pair to a superb wine program, are the result of a tight-knit crew exuding the same commitment and passion as their queen.

Readers' Choice: Luca d'Italia

Domo

Step into Domo and you feel like you're stepping into another world. The dining room resembles a dark, enchanted cottage in the forest, with its tables made from stone slabs and seats cut from tree stumps. And even if you score a seat in the sunny back yard, you're likely to be sitting on a stump in the midst of some industrial grit. But wherever you sit, you'll feast on real Japanese country cooking: eggy tojimono, donburi bowls topped with raw fish, nabemono hot pots and an incredible list of noodles, including soba, udon and some of the best spicy miso ramen we've had this side of the Pacific. Entrees come with sides of pickled vegetables, yams and fermented soybeans. Make sure you budget plenty of time for your meal, because the pace is peaceful — to say the least — but that just gives you more time to soak up the wonderful ambience.

Readers' Choice: Domo

A one-mile strip of Havana offers a quick tour of Korean food, but Han Kang should be your ultimate destination. Although almost everything on the menu is good and comes with an impressive number of sides to mix and match until you create a perfectly balanced meal, the barbecue is the real draw. Request a table on the tented platform, where your party can gather around a sizzling grill and cook your chosen chunks of meat — marinated with kick of ginger, a hit of garlic, the ambrosial characteristic of honey and the satisfying saltiness of soy sauce. Sometimes working for your dinner pays off.

Readers' Choice: Seoul BBQ

Tres Jolie Tea & Champagne Lounge
Mark Manger

"I didn't know what I wanted it to be, so this is what I ended up with," owner Holly Smith says of her boutique/sandwicheria/teahouse. She'd always wanted to cook, but she also had a thing for France, for pretty things and for loose-leaf teas, so she combined all of her loves into Tres Jolie, a spot in downtown Littleton that looks like an even girlier Anthropologie, where she sells soap, cookbooks and throw pillows — and also serves lunch and tea. Like the trinkets for sale, the sandwiches are also very pretty: grilled cheese with tomato and arugula, goat cheese with roasted red peppers, turkey with white-truffle vinaigrette and tapenade. And a pretty pastry case is filled with delightful, freshly baked goods, including scones, tarts and cookies, which are also available for an afternoon tea.

Lola Coastal Mexican
Courtesy of Lola Coastal Mexican

Come happy hour, Lola's covered patio fills up fast — and with good reason. The kitchen serves up an impressive board of bar bites — including tacos, ceviche and nachos smothered in goat-cheese queso and barbecued pork — paired with a beverage list whose components range from margaritas to Mexican beer and shots of tequila, all at discounted prices. And while our very favorite entry on the happy-hour offerings may be The Deal — two chicken tacos and a can of Top Rope, a Mexican-style beer brewed expressly for the Big Red F restaurants, including Lola, for just $5 — there's enough on the board to build a full dinner without putting a dent in your wallet. As a bonus, there are few places in town better for mingling with eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

Readers' Choice: Stoney's

Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar
Mark Manger

Late-night revelry? Yes, please! Welcome to the mother of all late-night happy hours, which runs from 10 p.m. to midnight and attracts a rowdy crew of industry folks, theater-goers and the rest of us who can't stomach another cardboard-crusted pizza delivered by a stoner in a stained shirt. Row 14 understands the rules associated with feeding and lubricating night-crawlers: Offer $5 cocktails, $4 craft beers, $2 PBRs in a can and complement the discounted liquids with food that's fit for a famished autocrat. Chef Jensen Cummings and his crew turn out everything from duck confit tacos and salmon sashimi to shrimp and foie gras rangoons, along with specials. And then there's the super-funky, super-secret late-night menu.

Readers' Choice: The Spot

Acapulco Tacos y Pupusas
Danielle Lirette

Whether you're on a budget or not, you can't go wrong by making a lunch of the pupusas at Tacos Acapulco, a tiny shack way out on East Colfax. The griddled corn rounds, crispy around the edges and fat with juicy pork, cheese, beans or herbaceous liroco, come with slaw and salsa. Two are enough to make a meal, and will only set you back a total of $4. But if you have a little more cash, this half-Mexican/half-Salvadorean spot has a number of other cheap and delicious options — including awesome tacos al pastor carved right off the spit.

Readers' Choice: Comfort Cafe

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