Cafe Aion in Boulder, Colorado offers traditional Spanish tapas in a casual atmosphere. Come for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and on cool days, you can cozy up next to the fireplace. A warming cup of the house chai will take the chill from your bones, and you can enjoy a house-baked croissant, cinnamon roll or donut as well.
Cafe Aion has a number of house specialties including the olive oil poached cod with garbanzos and olives, and a BLT with house-cured bacon and cumin-scented potato chips. The eggs Benedict with house-cured ham is subtly flavored, and a great way to start your morning. Whatever you choose at Cafe Aion, you can count on meticulous preparation and outstanding service.
A thoroughly enjoyable restaurant, Cafe Aion (near the college and Fox Theater) is a wonderful place for paella and delicious tapas (don't miss the fried cauliflower or the mushrooms in season. There paellas are delicious but not as large as they think (they say it serves two, which it does with appetizers, etc., but men and some could easily order just one per person). Ambience is great. It's out of the way (if you aren't near the college) but absolutely worth the drive. I've brought many friends from out-of-town and all enjoyed it immensely. If you live in Boulder, check out the many specials held on different days of the week. Despite being near the college, parking has never been a problem.
Great ambiance and Tapas! The restaurant has a charming Urban vibe and the food is delicious!
Fabulous. Staff are terrific. Delicious food with vegetarian options. I think of it as "casual elegance!"
Our second visit and did not disappoint. Waiter was happy to allow me to taste a number of the wines before settling on the choice for dinner. Dinner was excellent as usual. Desert was amazing.
For department events -- e.g., taking a visiting speaker out to lunch -- this place is just perfect. There are delicious options for both carnivores and vegetarians, and the food is always delicious. Servers are always very friendly and relatively efficient though if you need to be out of there under an hour, you will want to let them know. My favorite place on the Hill next to the university.
No draft beer. Wait staff didn't know about the wines. Food marginal. Too bad. Cool place. Sad to watch it go down hill. We won't be back.
This is our "go to" place on the Hill when you don't want fast food. And the ambiance is delightful.
A cute college town place with an out of the ordinary menu. Frittata was pretty unremarkable, French toast good.
I don't expect a restaurant on "the hill" in Boulder to be quiet and of high quality, but it WAS. The ambiance for my birthday lunch was peaceful and lovely, in a very well-decked-out space, with great service. We had the cauliflower, kale and sweet potato fries for apps and some main courses, but I was mostly distracted by the excellent iced tea and fries. I can't wait to go back for dinner! I'm glad they were open when most places close in between lunch and dinner.
Great food. Great atmosphere. Just two issues
It was 95 degrees that evening and there was no air conditioning. Waitress made us keep our silverware for every course. Will definitely return.
Good overall, but they were out of some things on the menu.
We had a mixed experience having brunch at this very casual Spanish "tapas" (sort of) restaurant. This is a casual, college campus eatery rather than an upscale restaurant. Some of the food was sublime, some just average or below par. The chai-soaked French toast was delicious, as was the house-cured bacon. I had a gazpacho thickened with bread and drizzed with basil oil -- far more sophisticated and high cuisine than the restaurant's ambiance would suggest. The Merguez flatbread was tasty (wonderful authentic seasoning on the merguez) but presentation left a lot to be desired. The description suggested a pizza-like presentation rather than the sausage on a flat piece of bread that I got. The baked eggs were a hit, but the fried chicken sandwich received a pan from my brother-in-law.
Truly the best bite in Boulder! Great location on the hill, quiet, inside is amazing, outside is cute, food is perfect. Cafe Aion never fails to satisfy.
Excellent food, wine and service. Location is great for CU events.
Great Moroccan-style tapas and plates. Good Happy Hour with $2 Sangria from 3 to 5 pm and all day on Tuesday. We'll be back!
The food was very good, which saved the day for this place. The surface of our table on the patio was in pretty bad shape and the table would not sit level. Although the two female servers were pleasant, they seemed quite confused, taking a long time to bring us various parts of our meal, giving some of our order to other tables, giving us a drink order from another table (part of which they spilled on our table), and completely forgetting about certain requests (eg clean small plates after we finished our tapas.) Maybe they were overloaded, maybe they were just green or untrained, but a big improvement should be made in this area.
Hidden gem! Great service by Cassidy and the staff there. Food was delicious and were plenty of different plates for everyone and their various tastes.
It wasn't the experience I expected. Two months before when I ate lunch at Café Aion, I was impressed by the quality and depth of the food choices. That's when I decided to take by daughter there. The restaurant was out of both meals we ordered, and the substitutes were not satisfactory. Only the fresh squeezed orange and my daughter's salad were something I would recommend. There were no other diners because it was a late lunch.
We liked the paella very much. And the cauliflower tapas is a must. We were attending the Colorado Shakespeare Festival later that night, so Café Aion made it a special night.
Every dish we ordered was swimming in a sea of oil. Extremely disappointing.
Wonderful assortment of Tapas, some quite unique, and all very good. In keeping with the menu, the well-thought-out wine list leans towards the Spanish wines. The highlight of the menu are the Paella selections, including a vegetarian choice. They are worth the 40-minute wait (get lots of Tapas & wine, and relax). An informal and relaxed ambience, inside and outside. Attentive, friendly service. Quietly represents one of the best of Boulder (and beyond). We hadn't been here for a while, and that's a mistake!
Great experience! There for 5 year wedding anniversary and could not have picked a nicer spot. We were there early and it was quiet. May get louder later in the evening.
Smallish bistro with a cozy feel, good food and great service. The curbside tables are great places to watch the campus scene go by.
Perfect experience. A typical colorado spring deluge of rain combined with an intimate, homey dining experience.
We hadn't been to Aion for a while so went on Wednesday night for the paella and bottle of wine special. Started with tapas - fried cauliflower which is worth a special visit, great mussels and a spanish tortilla (potato pie). My advice: warm up the tortilla, don't serve it ice cold from the fridge, it will have more taste.
The paella had wonderful fresh vegetables and a scattering of jamon. But without something else of substance - chicken, sausage, shrimp, clams or mussels - it is bound to fall short of expectations. Maybe it won't be as perfectly authentic, but I suspect if they added one or two of those items, they'd get more frequent repeat diners.
And great paella needs a crust on the bottom of the pan. None to be found on this one. Making them too fast?
It was good, but could have been great with a few fixes. The paella and wine deal is a nice draw for a Weds when we otherwise wouldn't come in.
Excellent pairing of Tempranillo and paella special. Hour salad with preserved lemon was delicious as was the flan desert with French press coffee. All was delightful as was the service. Will definitely be going back.
Tried paella night at Cafe Aion which comes with a bottle of wine and paella for 2-4. The wine was a Tempranillo from Spain. It was medium bodied, fruity, and paired well with paella for dining on a warm Spring eve. It takes 30-40 minutes to prepare the paella, so we ordered 3 Step Wings to munch on. The two wings and two drumsticks were crisp and golden on the outside and moist and tender inside. We loved the mediterranean twist to the spicy wings. The paella came in a 9-10 inch paella pan. The profile that night was spring peas, asparagus, and manila clams. I was delighted to find the saffron hued rice had excellent socarrat on the bottom characteristic of paella. The peas were so large and fresh, they must have been hand shucked that morning. I would have preferred asparagus tips versus stems, but luckily they were of the thin and tender variety. A generous heaping of manila clams provided the protein. One caveat, this portion was enough for two at the most, and for some, maybe too delicious to share with anyone else.
Enjoyed our Easter brunch. Delicious coffee, loved the bottle of bubbles and oj combo. Pastries as good as ever. Only comment would be that the lox share plate was not really executed in a shared manner. Portion was normal serving of lox bagel and quite small for 15 or so dollars..only came with one bagel (would have thought two small or maybe some crostini) and very little scrambled egg. There were just two of us. I thought it odd it came with sliced tomato which was of course pretty flavorless in Colorado in May instead of something seasonal. Over all though, great meal.
Food was amazing - we went twice in a day for brunch and then the paella for dinner.
The people are just amazing! SO accommodating and friendly.
Just can't say enough!
We really wanted to like this tapas restaurant. The atmosphere is chill and rustic but hip. The service was really top notch. But the sangria, which I have to say I have tried many, well it was nothing to write about, not awful, just not great. The biggest disappointment was the portions. I get tapas is suppose to be small, but some of the dishes were almost 2 bites. The beef rib was $12 and was maybe 1 ounce, most of the tiny bowl was a bone, I said something to the server and she said yes it was suppose to be that small and that no I wasn't the first to question the size and she was kind of embarrassed to bring it to tables, as she should be, it was rather inadequate. Don't charge $12 for 2 bites of beef. They did have gluten free bread if you ask which was great. The cauliflower dish was to die for, everything else tasted ok but was nothing special.
We had not been here for years. We had out of town guests and were pressed for time. The food was a total delight. Service was fast efficient and courteous. This is now on our go to list.
Unique dishes, good quality, friendly people
My boyfriend and I went to Cafe Aion for 5280 restaurant week. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was romantic. There were plenty of vegetarian options on the menu that were also very very good. The staff was friendly and helpful.
Went for the Denver Restaurant Week special, and found a gem. We picked 2 of each course and everything was great. I like when a restaurant woos you with quality not quantity. Service was very prompt and helpful but not overbearing. I love paella and will be going back to try it and the tapas.
Food was incredibly bland and took over an hour to come out. A few of us ordered desert and they said they ran out but would make us some to take home. We waited for dessert but shouldn't have as it was not good at all. I will not be returning to Cafe Aion.
We weren't looking for a big meal so the tapas menu was ideal and everything was delicious and quite inventive. Don't miss the fried cauliflower. Their Negroni was among the best we've ever had. The waitstaff were attentive and fun to chat with.
We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience at Café Aion for Valentine's Day brunch - we began with a mimosa, then had a shared a plate from the special brunch menu, and donut holes for dessert - perfect! Loved the eclectic feel of the place and bopped to the music. Servers checked on us just enough to clear plates or take our next order. Will definitely return to try other dishes as everything we ate was delicious.
I ate at Cafe Aion before attending a function on the CU campus. This is a good restaurant for this purpose because you can go early and find a parking place, easily walk to the restaurant and easily walk to whatever function you are attending on the campus. My wife and I have done this before and undoubtedly will do it again in the future. As for the food, it was okay; however, I think there are better, similarly-priced restaurants in downtown Boulder - e.g., the Med. I started with the carrot soup (pretty good), followed by the short-rib tapa (pretty good). I also had a glass of the Godello (very good) and a glass of the Tempranillo (so-so). Since I had some time to kill before the CU program started, I had a dish of vanilla ice cream, with olive oil and sea salt. At only $4.00, this was a steal. All-in-all, the meal was satisfactory for the price and, as I said above, the location is perfect if you're visiting the campus.
This was my 3rd visit for paella and wine night in a Wednesday in the past few months. The first two times we were able to select any paella off the regular menu and the wine as part of the special was nice! This last time or server told us that the special only applied for the nightly special paella, musells, clams and shallots. The paella was good, not spectacular. The first glass of the wine for us both was hard to drink. It improved substantially as it opened up. The ambiance is great and if you can get the house paella, it's an absolute find!
We have love Cafe Aion for breakfast. It's just a great neighborhood find.
We have tried dinner there a few times and keep hoping and wanting it to be better. I think after last weekend, we decided it's best to stick to breakfast.
We ordered 6 tapas and a paella. The food was fine - just not great. The company and the ambiance were great....the wine really good, the service fine...but the food, meh . Paella had fresh ingredients, but bland and was burned on the bottom.
Still a fan...just not for our next dinner gathering.