Longmont: A Guide to Eat and Drink

I’ve lived in Longmont since 2015, and prior to that, I was a Boulder girl and lived downtown for six years. Even though I’m in Boulder frequently, I’ve been acclimating to not being in the ‘bubble’.

We live in a cute neighborhood, near a great park, walking distance to bars and restaurants, and I’m in awe as I watch the city of 100,000 (yes, basically same size as Boulder) evolve and grow. I have a hunch it’s going to be the Brooklyn to Boulder’s Manhattan – probably needs another 5-10 years but it’s happening.

Last I checked there are 11 craft breweries in Longmont (two of which are famed Left Hand and Oskar Blues) there’s also a cidery and a four distilleries. A few other interesting facts – Longmont gets its name from its beautiful Longs Peak that presides over Longmont (great views any which way you look), it was the site of the first JC Penney store, and the first public library was here in the state of Colorado.

This is not sponsored by Visit Longmont, but I found this cute video on Longmont I thought I would share that shows the variety and landscape of the town. 

As I’ve been stockpiling some favorites in the area, here are my recommendations largely around food and drinks for Longmont, Colorado. In no particular order…

To See and Do:

Shop over 350 different cheese at Cheese Importers: Cheese Importers is a family-owned business that has been open since 1976 by Lyman and Linda White.  Now run by their children, the beautiful space offers over 350 types of cheese from around the world, cured meats, specialty oils, spices, olives, chocolate and other specialty foods. In addition to their large cheese “refrigerator” (they even give you coats to walk around to see all the cheese) they also have “Bistrot des Artistes”, a delicious French cafe. People come from around the state to this infamous ‘cheese emporium’.

Cheesemaking class with The Art of Cheese: Run by award-winning cheesemaker and dairy goat farmer, Kate Johnson, you can make artisan cheese alongside Kate in her classroom at Haystack Mountain Creamery. If you’re lucky, you may be able to see some of her goats that she raises (and uses their milk for cheese) in North West Longmont.

Book a trolley ride to visit all of Longmont’s distilleries and craft breweries with BrewHop Trolley: Available on Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 9 p.m., BrewHop brings you to 13 different locations in Longmont.  You can stay as long as you want at each location and on the hour the trolley comes by and you can choose where you go next. You’ll get discounts as a trolley rider at each location, as well. This is so fun for a birthday of group of friends!

Farm Dinners: With the growing trend of local and organic, farm dinners are exploding. The cool thing is the majority in the area are actually in Longmont. You can read my farm dinner guide here. Go to one and support a farmer and chef!

Longmont Farmers Market: Longmont and Boulder are both run by the same Farmers Market. It’s bustling with people and really quite large. It’s a great way to see a town and support local. Longmont has their farmers market every Saturday, April through November.

Union Reservoir: This isn’t far from our house and it’s an 800-acre lake with a beach, campgrounds, and dog beach. You can also rent stand-up paddle boards which is a fun summer activity as you see the mountains in the distance. Great for families.

Lagerman Reservoir: Easy access, and great 1.6 mile walk around the water with the mountain vista views.

Golden Ponds: This is such a beautiful walking trail system that boasts beautiful views. The park features 94 acres with 56 acres of water surface across these four ponds. It’s almost 3 miles of park trails too. Really beautiful area and easy walking for any level.

Honorable Mention: The Boulder County fairgrounds are in Longmont. All year round they have interesting events you can attend from the annual fair, to dog shows, to roller derby, to home shows – there’s a little something for everyone. You never know what you might find and I had no idea it was the county fairgrounds until I moved here.

To Eat and Drink:

Eat Colorado’s favorite BBQ at Georgia Boys BBQGeorgia Boys has stood the test of time. Back when I lived in Boulder, I would make the trip to Longmont just for their BBQ that almost always sells out of the good stuff. Now they’re in a bigger location that has plenty of seating and a great bar for hanging out. Try their burnt ends.

Oskar Blues – the original craft brew in a can, home of Dale’s Pale Ale: These guys knew what was up with Longmont, long before anyone else. They’ve been around for a long time and not only are their HQ here, but they have many locations. You could do Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids (their main restaurant), Tasty Weasel tap room – best on a weekend afternoon in my opinion or their brewery CyclHops, their Mexican bike/cantina. Support this amazing Colorado company. All their restaurants are delicious.

Pubs: Long’s Peak Pub, by Mountain Sun: Thanks to a Boulder tradition we’ve got Mountain Sun within walking distance to our house and it never disappoints. They have a great selection of local beers, delicious pub food, very family friendly, ample outdoor seating, and often live music on the weekends. Pro tip: This location has the best wings I’ve ever had. The other locations (besides Southern Sun) don’t have the wings, so I suggest you order them. I suggest half BBQ, half hot. The Post is owned by a much-loved restaurant group, Big Red F, and they serve fried chicken and great, house-brewed beer. The fried chicken is gluten-free, and Diners Drive-ins and Dives featured them before. Take a look at their weekly specials they have each night – like Monday is $0.75 wings or Friday is a fish fry.

Best Pizza: Proto’s (this is the original Proto’s and first location, so it’s really dialed serving Neapolitan style pizza), Rosalee’s Pizzeria (always packed, serving East Coast style pizza, love their garlic knots too), and I need to give a shoutout to Abo’s because they’re a classic and there’s a location in Longmont. They’re who you order for delivery on a Friday night when you’re too tired for anything else.

Best Breakfast: Aunt Alice’s  a true Longmont, old school diner – you really only see locals and there’s no place really like this in Boulder), Janie’s Cafe (great diner on Main Street, open since 1999.  Lucile’s Creole Cafe – a Boulder staple, but they have an outpost here too serving Creole cuisine, order the biscuit the size of your head. For the place that has vegan, gluten-free, and most creative breakfast/brunch, visit Tangerine on Main.

Breakfast Burrito – Taqueria Las Palmeras on Francis Street: There’s really solid Mexican food in Longmont, way more than Boulder could dream to have, but I really love Las Palmeras’ breakfast burritos. These are $2.75, but go to $3.75 after 11 am. Not only is that such a legit price, but they’re a great size and so filling. All breakfast burritos include egg, potato, choice of mild, medium, or hot green chile, and cheese. You can choose plain/vegetarian, pico de gallo, ham, chorizo, bacon or sausage.

Mexican / Tacos: My favorites are – Tacos Al Molcajete – family-owned, menu in Spanish, super legit, Jefes Tacos and Tequila –old-school hip-hop plays in the restaurant, lots of tequila, probably a little less traditional tacos, but still fun and best ambiance of all these, Benny’s Tacos – rated by Daily Camera the best taco in Longmont, family-run too right on Main, and Guacamole’s – divey, traditional, you know it’s all about the food as they have no website, great spot – try their Menudo if you dare.

Sushi: There’s actually great sushi in Longmont, but my favorite is Sakura.

Fine Dining: If you’re looking for a special dinner out I recommend Sugarbeet or Tortugas, a seafood Carribean restaurant.

Best Patio: I love Martini’s patio – the restaurant is inside a transformed 1890’s home and you should ask to sit outside. I think they’re really best for the cocktails and small plates (less on the dinner side). The West Side Tavern, a neighborhood gastro pub that has most of their seating outside under twinkling lights and amongst the trees. It’s really cozy. A little different vibe, but the Pumphouse has a patio that is always packed (doggies allowed) and straightforward pub food/sports bar vibe.

Coffee Shop: There are a plethora of coffee shops in the area, but my favorites are: Luna Cafe in a quaint house on a park, where they bake pastries fresh everyday, have great espresso, many gluten-free and vegan options, and a small selection of used books. It’s a great gathering spot. Cavegirl Coffeehouse in Prospect is newly opened in 2018, but they have ample space for meetings (even conference rooms for phone calls/meetings), and Paleo snacks, lunch, and coffee all made in-house, as well. Everything is organic and gluten-free. I name these two for their uniqueness, feeling as if there aren’t other coffeeshops quite like them in town.

Favorite Guilty Delivery: Tasty Asia delivers, even on those cold snowy nights, and I just really just like their Chinese food (guilty pleasure for sure). Not all delivery companies are in Longmont, but DoorDash is, so I recommend taking a look there.

Asian Food: China Gourmet has been in Boulder for years. It’s legitimate Chinese food (look for Chinese only menu) and was cash only in Boulder. They opened another outpost in Longmont, a little off the beaten path, but in a large space in South Longmont. It’s great food and not too heavy. Jai Thai is another favorite offering homemade Thai food. Their avocado curry is a unique item I recommend ordering. Flavor of India has solid Indian food that I’ll often do for pickup on some nights.

This list is ever growing. What are your favorites in Longmont? I hope you enjoy!