We were in Boulder last week, and the friend we were visiting suggested that we check out the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House for lunch. In the late 1980s, the city of Dushanbe in Tajikistan celebrated its new ties with Boulder by presenting Boulder with a tea house created by dozens of Tajik artisans — the result is an oasis of roses and grapevines and tile in the middle of downtown Boulder. Every inch of the building is ornamented, inside and out, with colorful tiles, or carved plaster or wood, or intricate painted patterns. There is a fountain inside, and a creek outside, and when all of the roses are blooming the place must be intoxicating. Even in early September, it was a memorable spot for a meal — and it has a dog-friendly patio, so Chloe could join us.
You’ll need an assistant, because the dog-friendly north patio (shaded by grapevines, and on your left as you walk towards the front door) doesn’t have table service. One of you should snag a table (I recommend the ones next to the roses), and the other should go inside and order at the bar. They’ll send you outside with your drinks, and a waiter will bring your food out to you. We had a couple of different iced teas — both unusual and refreshing — and Walter had Chicken with Apricots & Roses, which was excellent.
The tea house is located next to the plaza where Boulder holds its twice-weekly farmers market, so if you plan better than we did (we were too early), you can combine a visit to the tea house with a stroll among the market stalls. The market doesn’t precisely welcome dogs, but it doesn’t seem to forbid them either — all the website says is “we have found in the past that your four-legged friends are happier if left at home.”
No matter what day you visit, however, you’ll want to cross the street as you leave the tea house and walk along the Boulder Creek Path with your dog. This paved pathway loosely follows the course of the Boulder Creek for about seven miles, and it’s a delightful place to walk (or skateboard, or bike, or run — you’ll want to keep your dog on a short leash, and listen closely for warnings). We liked the views and the cooling effect of the creek, and Chloe liked the squirrels, which are larger and less skittish than their Seattle cousins.
Boulder Dushanbe Tea House
1770 13th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Open everyday from 8 am to 9 pm