AirBnB Local Guide
With 2-3 decades each of experience exploring Colorado, we love what the Centennial State has to offer & we want to share it with you. From the amazing eateries to breweries to cocktail bars, Colorado is one of the tastiest states in the country. And to burn off all those delicious calories, Colorado's biking, hiking, skiing & snowboarding, camping, climbing and ever other outdoor sport imaginable may also be your ticket to good times.
Below is our personal guide of the best places to eat, drink & be merry— all of it right here in Longmont and within a 45 minute drive of here.
John & Myriah
Where to Eat, Drink & Be Merry
THINGS TO DO: PROSPECT NEW TOWN & LONGMONT
- Longmont Festivals >> It's no surprise with a plethora of parks & all the community spaces such as craft brewery parking lots in Longmont, that there seems to be some kind of festival going on here almost every couple of weeks. Check the above link to see if one of thing coincides with your trip here.
- Longmont Trail System >> Longmont is fast becoming a model outdoor town with excellent biking & running trails being developed at a furious pace. Right out our back door, take the Pike Rd. sidewalk heading west about 800 yards. You can pick up the St. Vrain Creek Greenway Trail either heading North-east or South-west (see map below).
- The north-east trail is approximately 5 miles long, and is a fun city-style trail until it opens up into the plains out east. You can also take this trail and pickup arteries heading up to north-west Longmont through several scenic parks & ponds (see Longmont Trail System map >>).
- The south-west trail winds along the tree-lined St. Vrain Creek, then extends to the LoBo Trail for 5 miles along Route 119 (Diagonal Highway) to the quaint hamlet of Niwot with its handful of eateries, cafes & galleries. The LoBo Trail extends all the way to Boulder if you're looking for a big day of adventure (see Longmont Trail System map >>).
PROSPECT NEW TOWN EATERIES
We have a handful of hyper-convenient places located only several blocks away— plus they all come with a lovely stroll through the award-winning Prospect neighborhood.
- 2020 Food + Wine Bar >> A wonderful little dinner spot featuring half price on all bottles of wine Mondays & Tuesdays and daily Happy Hour specials on cocktails & apps from 4-6pm. The food menu is limited but features tasty brick oven pizzas, a nice selection of tapas and delicious dinner specials. Both the cozy inside space & the outside patio are great places to hang out and enjoy the evening.
- Urban Thai >> The food here is great! If there's a bad dish on the menu, we have yet to find it. We love the Thai iced tea, plus tasty cocktails too.
- The Rib House >> Only 3 blocks away, and some of the best dry-rubbed rack of ribs in the state! Plus they have an adjoining bar called "The Well" which is open a bit later then other Prospect neighborhood places.
- Cavegirl Coffeehouse >> You'll find a complementary $15 Gift Card in your room for this wonderful organic coffeehouse with its large airy space & cool mid-century modern comfy couches. Try the locally made Sanctuary Chai >> available in Regular (sweetened with honey), Spicy (infused with with cayenne pepper) and Unsweetened. If you like your hot or iced chai with some serious pop, try 1/3 spicy, 1/3 unsweetened and 1/3 Oat Milk— super delicious & addicting! Plus, if your a gluten-free cave-person, then this is the place for you. They feature only house-made GF baked goods and paleo breakfast items.
- Two Dog Diner >> Your prototypical retro-inspired diner featuring standard menu items. Try the tuna-melt plate with fries... a tasty classic! Breakfast or lunch is the ticket here, as they close daily at 2pm.
- Big Daddy Bagels >> Let me say right up front, I was born & raised in New York, and as such, I am genetically predisposed to be a "bagel snob," and must say that ALL bagels in the high elevation, semi-arid climate of this rocky mountain state are second-rate. But with that said, I like these bagels, and I enjoy the salt bagel with a "schmear" almost everyday ;-)
- Eat Taco | taco >> If you're in the mood for some pretty good tacos or a tasty margarita close by, then definitely head over, but if you don't mind a short drive, then we'd recommend other Longmont Mexican eateries below.
These places are a bit further away, but totally worth the trip!
- West Side Tavern >> A cozy, hip gastropub-style eatery with a limited, but tasty menu is one of our favorite Longmont off-the-beaten-path finds. The cocktails really shine here with on-point classics and new originals. For food, try the Steak Frites in 2 sizes (regular or grande)with the steak always nice & lean, and the "thinner than thin" crispy frites are "crazy stupid good" (available as a starter too)!
- Longs Peak Pub & Tap House >> As reliable as a pub gets! Owned by Mountain Sun Brewery in Boulder, they have a diverse selection of local beers on tap. The food menu is not fancy, but super tasty. Try the homemade pizzas, burgers (the junk burger is particularly decadent), and LOVE the fries here!
- Post Chicken & Beer >> If you're jonesing for some very good fried chicken, then this is your place and oh, BTW: it's even gluten-free!
- Jefes Taco & Tequila >> Just a few minute drive up route 287 from here, this fun Mexican eatery serves up delicious fare across the board, and has a variety of margaritas that are as inventive as they are delicious! This place is lively & fun.
- Taco Al Molcajete >> A real locals place that is affordable & MUY delicioso. I am often the only "gringo" in there and that's a good thing!
- 3 Margaritas >> Located all the way on the northern tip of Longmont up route 287, this large restaurant serves up BIG burritos with in-house made tortillas right there on premises. Much more mellow then Jefes.
- Sushi Leo >> Really the ONLY sushi place we recommend in Longmont. The owner had one of the best sushi restaurants in Boulder, until he moved to Longmont several years ago. Don't be fooled by the strip mall location, the food is excellent.
- China Gourmet >> In mood for Chinese food? The HUGE menu is all very good with nice lunch combo specials.
- Scrumptious Ice Cream >> Wonderful little retro-inspired ice cream shop right on Main Street (also called route 287).
- Lucille's Creole Cafe >> Breakfast is pretty awesome here with rich egg benedicts, spectacular buttermilk biscuits & beignets to die for!
It's no secret that Colorado is an epicenter of the best independently-owned craft breweries in the country, and Longmont has many of them right down the street. As producers of BrüFrou >>, the largest craft beer + culinary pairing events in the country, here are a few of our favorites:
- Left Hand Brewing >> One the venerable OG breweries in the country, and 4th largest craft brewery in CO. This oldie, but goodie brewery is still one of the best in Colorado!
- Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids >> Just down the road from us, Oskar Blues makes some seriously full-flavored beers, and is the 2nd largest craft brewery in CO. To be honest, the food is hit or miss, but definitely go for the delicious brews that are so complex, they are practically meals by themselves. Last but not least, Oskar Blues has a great music venue >> on their 2nd floor with a variety of blues, country, folk & rock bands.
- Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room >> Only a 15 minute walk just east of our Prospect neighborhood, this is where Oskar Blues brew their serious beers. There's no food here, but that's OK, the rough & ready tap room has its own charms.
- Bootstrap Brewing >> One of the rare breweries where there's not a bad beer on the sizable tap list from IPAs, Lagers, Stouts, Red Ales, and wild inventive creations that will be sure to delight.
- Longs Peak Pub & Tap House >> As solid as a pub gets! Owned by Mountain Sun Brewery in Boulder, they have a diverse selection of local beers on tap. The food menu is not fancy, but super tasty. Try the homemade pizzas, burgers (the junk burger is particularly decadent), and love the fries here!
- BrewHop Trolley >> If you'd like to sit back and be driven around Longmont to our best breweries, then let the BrewHop be your guide. And best of all, one of the stops on the circuit is only a 15 walk west of here at the Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room >>
FUN DESTINATIONS (45 minute drive or less from Longmont)
BOULDER (20 mins heading west on Pike Road, south-west on 119)
- Brasserie 1010 >> One of our favorite eateries not only in Boulder, but in all of Colorado! The French inspired menu is simply excellent from the Poulet en Brique >> to the Steak Frites >> to the Moules à la Marinière >>.
- The Med >> The patio at "The Med," located right across the street from Brasserie 1010, is a dreamy oasis— plus the Mediterranean inspired menu is top notch from the Pasta Bolognese >> to the Piccata di Pollo >> and the you'll love their White Sangria >> on a hot summer day.
- Mateo >> While Brasserie 1010 may get the slight edge as our favorite French inspired menu in Boulder, Mateo is also truly great. And if you want to get away from the hustle & bustle of the busy Pearl St. Mall area, then Mateo is your ticket to a more relaxed eastern end Pearl St.
- Efrain's Mexican Restaurant >> Looking to really get away from downtown Boulder and discover a rare find? Efrain's is where the locals love to eat and so do we! Possibly one of my favorite Mexican dives of all time, anywhere!!! Try the Chicken Chimichanga >>, it might be the best one you've ever had!
- Pizzeria Locale >> From the owners of the award-winning Frasca Food & Wine >>, Pizzeria Locale is right next door, and showcases their laser-focused mission to produce the finest fare, plus hospitality that is second to none. Yes, the pizzas are a bit expensive, but sooooo worth it!
- Trident Booksellers & Cafe >> One of last vestiges of crunchy old Boulder, and our home away from home. Try the "J&M" (the John & Myriah) on the big menu behind the counter— it's a coconut chai mixer served up either hot or iced, and it's delicious! On any given day, particularly on weekday mornings, you'll find CU college professors of everything from American history to quantum physics to geopolitical economics, world renowned rock climbers & ultra-distance athletes, and regular old Boulderites who have been living here from the 60's & beyond. I've often thought if one could harness the diverse knowledge-base of the Trident customers, all the world's problems would be solved in a snap! ;-)
- Boulder Book Store >> While the Trident is a cozy used book store & cafe, the Boulder Book Store, located just 2 blocks east on Pearl Street, is 3 floors of winding corridors & great rooms filled to the brim with just about every book imaginable— we can spend hours just exploring the various rooms of wondrous covers & pages. One of the last truly great independently owned book stores in the country!
- Zoe Ma Ma >> The tagline of this wonderful little spot sums it up perfectly— "Super Yummy Street Food." It's delicious, quick and if you can grab a spot along the outside rail, the views of the foothills are simply lovely. Local Hint: ask for the off-the-menu Scallion Pancake which is absolutely delicious as a little sharable app. It's thin, crispy, salty & super yummy!
- License No. 1 >> In recent years, the stinky old Catacombs college bar that was in the basement of the historic Hotel Boulderado (also worth a peak inside while you're there), has been gloriously transformed into a wonderful dark & cozy speak-easy style cocktail lounge that matches the history of the hotel perfectly. The have delicious cocktails & an assortment of noshes which come down from their main eatery upstairs. Plus, check the online calendar for live music & dancing.
- Boulder Theater >> Our favorite music venue in Boulder hands down! Whether you're in town for the several well known national & regional music artists or the occasional truly world-famous acts, you'll sure to find some great music here. You may also catch the various movie nights or some exciting film festivals throughout the year if you're lucky— they are a blast!
- Riffs Urban Fare >> Located right next door to the Boulder Book Store, Riffs has the rare menu where virtually every item is absolutely dish-licious! They feature a variety of flavors, simple in presentation, and all executed perfectly. A personal favorite of ours is the Cedar Plank Organic Salmon >>.
- Corrida >> The outside patio has possibly the best views in Boulder— a perfect place to enjoy cocktails, excellent wines & tasty Spanish tapas for a reasonable Boulder price. If you'd like to break the bank on dinner, they have Japanese Wagyu for $55/oz. And NO, that's not a type-o!
- FATE Brewing Company >> The head brewer at FATE is as creative as they come. Their large beer list is chock full with flights of fancy beers, one more delicious then the next. One summer staple at FATE is the Watermelon Kölsch >> super clean & refreshing, just the perfect touch of sweet and the unofficial beer of summer. The kitchen also serves up some tasty BBQ fare featuring house smoked meats smoked right in back. Try the House Smoked Hot Wings >> for a starter.
- Sanitas Brewing >> Out on east edge of town, this super cool industrial-park-style taproom has the best patio in Boulder— and quality beers to back it up. Located right next to the Boulder train tracks, if you're lucky to have one pass while you're there, then you get the designated "train beer" for half price!
- Boulder Farmers Market >> Taking place on Saturdays 8am-2pm from April through November, the BFM is one of the great weekly community events around with the best produce from around the state, and pop-up eateries & coffee shops abound. We also love the Wednesday BFMs 4-8pm from May to October for it's live music and beer garden. Please check their exact calendar >> before you go. Yes, Longmont has a farmers market as well, but the Boulder location at Central Park is truly idilic.
- Chautauqua Park >> If you've seen photos of the iconic Flatirons of Boulder, then you've glimpsed the beauty of Chautauqua Park. Slow gradual roads lead up to endless miles of wooded advanced trails if that's your jam. The views here are nothing short of breath-taking, but go on either a weekday or at sunrise on weekends if you want to beat the crowds. The park is also home to Chautauqua Auditorium >> built in 1898 and hosts a variety of legendary musical artists throughout the summer. If you're lucky enough to be here during a performance, then you must grab tickets early, and enjoy this treasured magical venue.
- Boulder Creek Path & B-cycle >> Boulder is truly a "300 club" with 300 days of sunshine & over 300 miles of bike paths. They are the best way to get around town including the Boulder Creek Path which is its crown jewel of awesomeness. The creek path runs the entire width of the city and continues up Boulder Canyon without crossing a single street while being surrounded by a tunnel of trees, the pristine waters of Boulder Creek and a roller coaster of twists & turns to put a smile on the face of every cyclist. Best of all, if you weren't able to bring you bike here, you can rent one throughout the city at B-cyle locations.
- Boulder Library >> Located in a gorgeous building right on the Boulder Creek path and adjacent to Central Park (where the Boulder Farmers Market is), the Library is a wonderful respite to relax & unwind from a busy day.
FORT COLLINS (45 mins heading north on 287)
- New Belgium Brewing >> This is the big one! The largest craft brewery in Colorado, and 4th largest in the United States. A visit to New Belgium is like a pilgrimage to Mecca, except for beer drinkers. The creativity & variety of beers that New Belgium has is amazing!
- Odell Brewing >> The 3rd largest brewery in CO, and only about 1,000+ yards away from New Belgium. The beers here are some of the best quality brews in the state, and the taproom with it's sprawling outdoor spaces is possibly one of our favorites we've ever been to.
- Equinox Brewing >> The best tiny little brewery you've never heard of. Located right downtown, this cozy taproom is a real gem with great beers and friendly "beer-tenders."
- Horse & Dragon Brewing >> Another great little brewery you may not have heard of, but the genuinely nicest owners in the biz— plus their beers are wonderful too!
- Social >> Believe it or not, one of the finest cocktail bars in the COUNTRY is in downtown Fort Collins... yep, it's true! Social is quite simply amazing from some of the most knowledgeable mixologists making delicious drinks to their limited but tasty small bites & charcutterie menu. Try the Smoked Salmon Pâté, it is to die for— and that's no exaggeration! Plus, one of the most gorgeous underground spaces you'll ever see with a dark & wistful feeling of the glorious jazz clubs of the past.
- Nuance Chocolate >> A true "bean to bar" chocolate-maker with single origin bars seemingly from every corner of the world. Try their variations of hot chocolates & rich sipping chocolates as you peruse the downtown shops.
- The Elizabeth Hotel >> THE new hot hotel in town is example of the amazing transformation happening in Fort Collins. Once a folksy agricultural college town, the "Fort" is fast becoming a hip trendy city and The Elizabeth is front & center with its Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market >>, speakeasy-style Sunset Lounge >>, and the Magic Rat Live Music bar >>.
- Ginger & Baker >> It's hard to explain the behemoth that is Ginger & Baker. It's a beautiful designed marketplace from restored vintage agriculture buildings that include: a market & bakery, café, teaching kitchen, multiple bars & outdoor patios, wonderful eateries and a wine cellar— truly a world-class community space right in downtown FoCo.
- Union Bar & Soda Fountain >> This super chic & fun bar, eatery & soda fountain has something for everyone, plus a huge outdoor space that looks more like a full-blown park, then patio.
Fort Collins Bike Paths >> The Fort Collins bike paths are possibly even more amazing then even the legendary Boulder trail system. The East Poudre Trail and the East Spring Creek Trail which connect are real standouts— some of the most fun & beautiful city bike trails we have ever ridden.
ESTES PARK (45 min drive heading north on 287, west on 66, north-west on 36)
- Rocky Mountain National Park >> On your breathtaking drive up to the top of the world, stop by the St. Vrain Market >> in Lyons for a delicious sandwich on freshly made breads, homemade soups, drinks (remember to ALWAYS stay hydrated here at high altitude) and hiking snacks. Once you pass through the town of Estes Park (the gateway town to the park), take Trail Ridge Road as far as you like to go with amazing vistas around every corner peaking at over 12,000 ft. in elevation! Check Web link above for weather/seasonal road closures.
- The Stanley Hotel >> It was The Stanley Hotel that Stephen King walked into decades ago that inspired him to write "The Shining." Besides this fact and other notable history, The Stanley Hotel is an amazing treasure to visit while up in Estes.
- Mountain Munchies Tiki Bar >> Yeah, I'd call this bar kind of a dive, BUT in the BEST way possible. It's tiny, kind of dark, and serves up super fun retro cocktails at the base of the Rocky Mountains... what more could you ask for?!?! And if you want some sunshine, there's a great outdoor creekside patio right on the Big Thompson River—dreamy location for sure!
- Sweet Basilico >> If you're in the mood for heavy-duty delicious Italian fare, try Sweet Basilico. I particularly like it when the mountain season gets cold, and you want some hot cozy pasta in red sauce to warm you up.