Over the years, Longmont has been stuck with many nicknames by clueless out-of-towners ranging from “Longtucky” to “the turkey factory town.” The snobs stopped snickering once everyone else realized what we already knew: Longmont is cool.
In 2019, Longmont was named the “No. 1 Boomtown in America” based on a Smart Asset study, and one of the “Top Digital Cities in America” according to the Center for Digital Government. It made Money.com’s “Best Places to Live in America” list based on many factors including quality of life and amenities like dining and food.
For decades, residents of surrounding communities flocked to Boulder for great dining experiences. Now everybody’s heading to Longmont.
Here are a few of my favorite non-chain eating destinations and food favorites, the places I often suggest to visitors. They are strictly personal and by no means all of Longmont’s taste attractions, but it’s a good list to get you started.
The Land of Brewpubs: The intersection of great ales and approachable eats has found a welcoming crowd in Longmont. Besides many small brewery tasting rooms, you can dine and sip ales at Mike O’Shays Restaurant & Ale House, Longmont Public House, Oskar Blues Brewery Taproom, Collision Brewing Company & Restaurant, 300 Suns Brewing, Pumphouse Brewery, Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse, and the otherworldly Outworld Brewing.
Cheese Lovers’ Destination: Cheese and charcuterie lovers around the state know that if they venture into the huge refrigerated store at Longmont’s Cheese Importer’s Warehouse, they will find the state’s best selection of world cheeses and the largest selection we’ve seen of Colorado-made cheeses. Across town, fine goat and cow’s milk cheeses are crafted at Haystack Mountain Creamery and cheesemaking classes are taught at the next-door The Art of Cheese school.
Mexico and Beyond: Longmont hosts more authentic Mexican and Central American eateries per square mile than any town in Boulder County. Sample the regional variations at Tacos Al Molcajete, Jefe’s Longmont, Abuelita’s Empanadas, Blue Corn Tacos, and La Panda Mexican Restaurant II. (Sadly, Efrain 3 Mexican Restaurant — where you could find the hottest green chile around — closed.) Develop a craving for pupusas and other Salvadoran dishes at Pupuseria Y Restaurante Salvadoreño.
City of Diverse Cuisines: Known for Mexican fare, Longmont has become a haven for a wide range of small, family-owned international eateries offering everything from the South American tastes at Rosario’s Peruvian Restaurant to the fast-food Slavic-style calzones at Runza. Thai cuisine of several regions is served at Jai Thai, Urban Thai, A Thai Sticky Rice and at Malee Thai. Indian and Nepali cuisine (including our favorite momo dumplings) are available at Flavor of India, Gurkhas Restaurant and Everest Restaurant. Try the sushi at Sakura Japanese Cuisine, Chinese stir fry at China Gourmet and China 88, and the pan-Asian fare at Kho’s Asian Bistro and East Moon Restaurant.
Pizza, Pasta and Beyond: Ask any local resident hailing from the Northeast and they will tell you that Rosalee’s Pizzeria in Longmont dishes the real deal including a blissful square Sicilian pizza. While French-inspired in its pastries, the artisan Babette’s Bakery also bakes some of the most authentic Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas in the state, along with Proto’s Pizza. Beau Jo’s offers its famous deep-dish “Colorado mountain” pies. Familiar Italian-American dishes share the menu at Gondolier Italian Eatery, Pinocchio’s, The Twisted Noodle and Racheli’s Italian, while more nuanced Italian regional dishes are prepared at La Vita Bella and Caprese Trattoria.
Out on the Farm: The Longmont and Boulder Farmers Markets on Saturdays have a national reputation as among the best in the country. Besides the market, many local farmers maintain farm stands in season around Longmont. Look for fresh crops and local foods at Zweck’s Produce and Flowers, Ollin Farms, Ya Ya Farm & Orchard, and other farm stands.
They Have the Meats: The aroma of freshly smoked meats wafting from Georgia Boys BBQ is enough to make anyone hungry. Learn the difference that purchasing meats from a real butcher makes with the American cuts at Your Butcher, Frank and the Mexican cuts and preparations at Carnicería Las Cazuelas in Longmont. Enjoy first-class steak dinners at the historic Dickens 300 Prime.
A Cajun-Creole Oasis: From gumbo to etouffee, Longmont is an unexpected destination for true tastes from Louisiana. That state’s culinary variations are explored at Lucile’s Creole Café and at Tortugas restaurant — also one of the city’s best eateries for seafood.
Crumbs, Flakes, and Sweets: Longmont truly loves its baked goods, from all varieties of fresh breads to carefully crafted pastries and downhome cakes. Find these and more at the Bavarian Bakery, Babette’s Bakery, Family Bake Shop, La Momo Maes Bakery, Aime’s Love Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe, Marketplace Bakery and Pistachio Cafe Bakery. A full range of Central American breads and baked goodies are available at Panaderia Guanajuato in Longmont.
Saturday Night Fine Dining: For chef-driven cuisine with great service, Longmont offers fine dining destinations at 1914 House, Sugarbeet, West Side Tavern, Martini’s Bistro and The Roost.
In the A.M.: Weekday breakfast is as popular as weekend brunch in Longmont. Cakes, eggs, bacon, and hash browns are well-made at Tangerine, Hidden Cafe, Goodfella’s Diner and Aunt Alice’s Kitchen.
Other Longmont Taste Destinations: Visit these businesses for great fried chicken (The Post Chicken and Beer), bulk pantry foods (Simply Bulk), cooking and culture classes (Journey Culinary), spirits (Dryland Distillery), hard cider (St. Vrain Cidery), coffee (Ozo Coffee), culinary adventures (Local Table Tours), milk delivery (Longmont Dairy Farms), and chocolate (Robin Chocolates).
John Lehndorff is the Boulder Weekly’s food editor. He writes the Nibbles column. He is the former food editor of the Daily Camera and dining critic of the Rocky Mountain News. He hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU (KGNU.org).