Boulder, Colo., is a “bellwether of a changing food culture across our land,” said Andrew Knowlton in Bon Appétit. To be named by our editors as America’s “foodiest” small city or town, a place obviously has to have some “first-rate restaurants and a community of food lovers.” But Boulder stands out for other reasons too. Besides having “one of the best farmers’ markets in the country,” it’s populated by “fit, smart, and eco-conscious citizens” who seem to embody a new ethos in American cuisine—“one based not on gluttony or excess but on moderation.”

Frasca Food and Wine
Chef Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson “excels at pasta, slow-cooked meat, and Colorado lamb.” But the signature dish at Boulder’s best restaurant is frico caldo, “a hash brown on steroids, made from potatoes, onions, and Montasio cheese.” 1738 Pearl St., (303) 442-6966

Dish Gourmet
This “new-school deli” house-cures many of its meats. Try the Whittier sandwich (speck, pâté, Brie, apple chutney); it “makes a nice picnic” to carry along Boulder Creek Path. 1918 Pearl St., (720) 565-5933

Café Aion
This “small-plates” wonderland is the place to go for “fried cauliflower, fried chicken wings and drumsticks, house-cured bacalao, and foie gras tourchon.1235 Pennsylvania Ave., (303) 993-8131