Have You Tried These 5 “Secret” Boulder Menu Items?

There’s a special appeal to ordering off of a secret menu. It makes you feel like a real local; like you’ve been around the block long enough to really get to know a restaurant. It’s also impressive and can show you’re willing to take the extra step and ask your waiter or barista, “What about this menu are you not telling me?” For folks living here in Boulder, there are 5 secret menu items at frequented, staple restaurants and coffee houses that can take their order from regular to true local.

The Laughing Goat

The Laughing Goat is a classic local coffee shop. With locations on Pearl, CU’s campus, and on 55th, The Laughing Goat is never more than a few miles from your office or home in Boulder. But while everyone else in line orders Mocha after Cappuccino after Mocha, surprise your barista by ordering an Affogato. Made with bourbon butterscotch ice cream and espresso, this boozy, sweet and caffeinated treat is probably better to get you settled in for the night than geared up for your day.


If you’re looking for caffeine in your liquor but not necessarily with ice cream, try heading to Amante Coffee, instead. Located on Pearl and North Broadway, ordering a Shotino at either shop will yield the same result: Amaretto mixed with espresso and cream. The almond sweetness of Amaretto perfectly complements the bitterness of espresso and cream, and almost hides the fact that your morning coffee has a bit more of a kick than usual. At least you’ll be the only person who knows, since this secret drink isn’t on the menu.

Illegal Pete’s

When you think queso or guacamole stuffed taco, your mind probably jumps to Taco Bell. But our next hidden menu item proves that such glory can come at a higher quality than fast food. Next time you’re in Illegal Pete’s, be sure to order a Super Taco. By placing their standard soft taco inside a queso or guacamole coated hard shell, Illegal Pete’s Super Taco is one of the tastiest best-kept-secrets in local Latin cuisine.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Although these can be found on the menu of Boulder staple The Dark Horse, only a select few know what they’re really in for when they order Rocky Mountain Oysters. These deep-fried little balls, served with horseradish sauce, are actually bull testicles. The dish was supposedly dreamt up by ranchers centuries ago, but today, they’re still rich in nutrients—and flavor. Don’t be intimidated to give them a try next time you stop in The Dark Horse.

The Walrus

If you’ve had a few too many Affogatos or Shotinos, you may need to swing by The Walrus. This local favorite offers peanuts to any visiting patron—complimentary to anyone ordering beverages at the full-service bar, of course. But if you’re at the point in your evening that these salty snacks seem to be just what the doctor ordered, you might want to consider getting them with a side of water.

If you want to move closer to the tasty culinary treats that Boulder has to offer, consider checking out Habitat Apartments. Our affordable and pet-friendly apartments are just five miles from Pearl, and offer lush courtyards, open and light-filled homes, and a great neighborhood. Contact us today to learn more!

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