Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two Dog Diner

Where: 645 Tenacity Drive
When: Monday: 7am–3pm, Tuesday-Saturday: 7am–9pm; Sunday: 8am–3pm

Although it's got the look of a classic roadside eatery, Two Dog's use of the word "diner" might be selling itself a bit short. It's a gourmet greasy spoon, bringing serious kitchen expertise to American standbys. Two Dog Diner is most popular as a breakfast joint -- and with good reason. The pancakes are fluffy, the bacon is perfect, the coffee is strong, and the service is friendly. There are even some out-of-the-ordinary specials that might entice -- Cinnamon Roll French Toast anyone?

But breakfast is not all that Two Dog excels at. Their burger is a contender for the best in town; ditto the fish & chips. The fries aren't a contender -- they simply are the best in town; salty, not-too-greasy, and impossible to stop eating. Again, check out the specials board for some surprisingly fancy dishes, ranging from grilled fish tacos to chicken piccata. Like any self-respecting spot calling itself a "diner", Two Dog also offers a killer milkshake and delicious homemade pie. Save room!

Tip: Ask for the homemade potato chips. Thank us later.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Tasty Weasel Tap Room / Oskar Blues Brewery

Where: 1800 Pike Road
When: 12-8pm daily

Deep in the heart of south Longmont's nondescript warehouse/office park district, you'll find the place many craft beer lovers consider paradise: the Oskar Blues Brewery. Oskar Blues is known nationwide for making cans cool again -- but who cares what container they use, the brewery's beers are phenomenal, from the flagship Dale's Pale Ale to the malt-tastic Old Chub Scottish Ale. Those two examples are just the beginning of beer nirvana at OB's tap room, The Tasty Weasel, which serves as the testing ground for the brewers' latest creations. Any time you visit, there will be beers that are available nowhere else on the planet -- nitro taps, firkins, oak-aged selections, weird/wild experiments, you name it. We recommend visiting. Often. The Tasty Weasel's patio, with picnic benches and plenty of sunshine, became one of our favorite afternoon weekend spots this summer. For a brewery, it's extremely kid-friendly -- get the kids a B. Stiff & Sons Root Beer, fix them up with quarters for skeeball and some free peanuts and they'll be happy for hours. There's also usually some folky/rootsy live music happening in the late afternoon, along with a friendly crowd of locals and beer tourists. The Tasty Weasel doesn't serve food, but oftentimes Oskar Blues' food truck, the Bonewagon, is parked right out front. Their cheeseburger may just be the best cheeseburger in the universe.

Tip: Go behind the scenes and see where the magic is made -- Oskar Blues offers free tours of its brewery Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 2, 3, 4 & 5pm and every day at 4pm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YA YA Farm & Orchard

Where: 6914 Ute Highway
When: 2016 September and October: Sat: 9am-3pm, Sun: 9am-4pm Tues-Fri: 9:30am-4pm

One half of the Longmont 100 team hails from Upstate New York, where cider donuts are a fall tradition. Out here in Colorado, these delicious autumnal treats are harder to come by. But YA YA Farm & Orchard has got ‘em – and they meet our high standards. Of course, there’s plenty more to do out at YA YA, located on an 1896 farm – it’s a wonderful spot for a fall family outing. Apples, obviously, are in abundance: the orchard holds 810 trees with over 120 different varieties, and you can fill a bag with five to seven pounds of apples for the bargain price of $12. If you want to pick your own, call ahead – U-Pick is by reservation only. But if you are willing to let someone else do the work, pre-picked apples are for sale at the YA YA store.

There are also friendly Percheron draft horses who would love to be fed some of those apples, if you’re so inclined, as well as mules, chickens, and turkeys. Throw in a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, and you’ve got yourself a perfect outdoor adventure. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


When: Select Fridays in the Summer, 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Main Street, between 3rd and 6th Aves.
Always a fun way to say goodbye to the work week during the summer, ArtWalk sees Downtown Longmont turn into a family friendly street party. Art is the focus, obviously, with galleries staying open late, local artists displaying their work and opportunities to create your very own masterpiece. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg – expect live music, performing arts, feats of acrobatic daring, martial arts demonstrations, food carts and much more. Traffic is diverted around Main Street during the event, which means you can stroll up and down the busiest strip of asphalt in town for a few hours without worrying about being run over. Which is nice. 

Don’t miss the last ArtWalk of the season this Friday, September 21! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sandstone Ranch Visitor Center

Where: 990 State Highway 119
Visitor Center Hours: Tuesdays – May 17-Oct. 25, 2016: 9am-12noon; 2nd and 4th Saturdays – May 14-Oct. 22, 2016: 10am-2pm

It's hard to imagine what Longmont was like all the way back in 1860, but you can catch a glimpse of those bygone days at Sandstone Ranch, one of the earliest homesteading sites in the area. The intensely named Morse Coffin came to Colorado during the Gold Rush in the late 1850s, and instead of heading to the mountains like most of those seized with gold fever, stuck it out on the banks of the St. Vrain. And it seems as though he thrived there, establishing a sandstone quarry that supplied stone to cities all over Colorado and beyond. In the early 1880s, Coffin built the Second Empire-style house that still stands -- it's been added to and modified over the years, but retains a definite pioneer flavor.

There's also an ancient barn and walking trails that wrap around the old quarry. We like Sandstone as a biking destination; you can roll right up to it from the St. Vrain Greenway and relax on the lawn in front of the house. The Visitors Center, featuring information on local history and wildlife, is open seasonally (see dates and times above).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Your Place Or Vine

We are sad to report that Your Place or Vine has closed. (Looking for a Longmont locale to get a good drink? Check out Sugarbeet or Harold's and you will not be disappointed.)

Never mind the cringe-inducing name of this wine bar/restaurant tucked away in Longmont’s Prospect neighborhood. Your Place Or Vine is an underappreciated gem – an extremely worthy date or ladies’ night destination. With 25 wines available by the glass or bottle, a small-but-well-chosen selection of craft beers on draught, and delectable, Mediterranean-inspired small plates, Your Place is classy without being pretentiousness, stylish but still casual. 

We like the wine flight option – three individual pours for one low price. We can also highly recommend the Sunday brunch, with some extremely tasty flatbread spins on traditional breakfast items, like the YPOV Benedict and the pesto-licious Green Eggs & Ham. The maple syrup-drizzled bacon is a nice touch, too. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

McIntosh Lake

Where: South of State Highway 66, north of Hygiene Road, west of North 75th Street and east of Hover Road

At first glance, you might not think there’s much happening on the northwest end of Longmont. But one glimpse of the spectacular, 265-acre McIntosh Lake will set you straight. Boasting one of the greatest views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range in Colorado, the manmade lake attracts cyclists, boaters, fishers, birdwatchers and joggers to its sunny shores. 

A flat trail (half paved, half gravel) wraps itself around the water – it’s a great walk, jog or bike ride. Along the way, you’ll find two playgrounds, a tennis court, wetlands, boat ramps and plenty of photo ops. Keep an eye out for a wide array of wildlife, including blue herons, red foxes, and bald eagles. You might even see that rarest of Colorado sights – a windsurfer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sun Rose Café

Where: 379 Main Street
Hours: Monday: 7am - 5pm, Tuesday - Friday: 7am-9pm, Saturday: 7am - 5pm, closed Sunday

Even though it’s located right in the heart of downtown on Main St., Sun Rose still has the feel of a hidden gem, a well-kept secret amongst Longmont-ians in the know. A breakfast/lunch/dinner spot that doubles as a gourmet food market, we end up here at least a few times a week, whether enjoying a killer breakfast panini, cooling off with their signature Lavender Lemonade, or picking up farm fresh (and free range!) eggs from Berthoud’s Long Shadow Farm. We’re also absolutely hooked on Sun Rose’s pesto – it’s pretty much ruined us for all other pestos. 

The setting is fantastic, with exposed brick, high ceilings and art from local artists adorning the walls. Oh and did we mention that they serve a nice selection of microbrews and mix a helluva cocktail? It’s a nice, family friendly place for a drink that’s not a sports bar setting – a rarity in Longmont. Can you tell we like this place? Now if we could only convince them to stay open on Sundays… 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

G'Knight Ride

For the month of June, Longmont was officially re-christened “BikeMont.” Seriously! Perhaps the biggest public display of this deep love of all things two-wheeled took place last weekend during the second annual G’Knight Ride, when more than 2,000 cyclists young, old and in between took to the streets of the city for a scenic evening ride. 
Put on by Bicycle Longmont (with sponsorship from Oskar Blues Brewery – it’s named after one of their brews), you have three route options – one mile, three miles and 10+ miles. We were ambitious and chose the 10-mile route this year – though we hopped off when we cruised past our house in Old Town. 
The ride is really just the beginning of the fun, however. Before and after in Prospect, there’s a big festival, with kids’ activities, live music and food trucks. Proceeds go to Bicycle Longmont, so you’re just helping a bike-friendly town get even bike-friendlier. See you there next year!

Monday, June 11, 2012

LoBo Trail

People are serious about bikes in Colorado, and Longmont is no exception. This year, the League of American Bicyclists rated the city at the silver level in terms of bike-friendliness. After a few years of living here, we're finally getting into the cycling scene -- and loving every minute of it. Our current favorite ride follows the LoBo Trail about seven miles to nearby Niwot. Hook up with the trail on Sunset Ave. (just south of Pike Rd.) and follow it out to where it runs parallel with the Diagonal Highway. About a mile in, the trail turns from concrete to crushed gravel, and the ride gets slightly less smooth. But don't worry, you'll have plenty of excuses for breaks -- the magnificent views of the mighty Flatirons pretty much command you to stop and soak in the sights. 

You can ride the LoBo Trail all the way to Boulder  -- a 12-mile adventure we've yet to undertake. Hey, we're just getting into this biking thing, remember? So far, our final destination of choice has been the Winot Coffee Co. (7960 Niwot Road), located in the Cottonwood Plaza. Coffee, pastries, sandwiches and a sunny patio. What more could sweaty cyclists wish for?

Tip: For maps and other two-wheel resources, look no further than

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prospect Eats / Sound Bites

Whenevery Monday from May 11th thru September 7th, 5:30pm
Where: 100 Year Party Court

(Prospect Eats changed its name to "Prospect Trucks and Tunes" last year and has again changed its name to "Sound Bites")

The gourmet food truck trend is nothing new, but it's finally hit Longmont with a resounding bang, thanks to Prospect Eats. Prospect, if you're not familiar, is a "new urbanist" community located on the south end of town, which is slowly-but-surely becoming a must-visit dining destination. Last year's inaugural Prospect Eats was pretty mellow, with a handful of trucks serving pizza, Mexican food and burgers. In 2012, however, things have blasted off, with close to two-dozen mobile eateries offering everything from Venezuelan sandwiches to smokin' BBQ. 

At the last few events we've attended, the lawn has been packed with picnickers, so word is getting around. We suggest getting there early, since those lines were starting to get extremely long as the evening wore on. But even if you're stuck waiting, it's not a bad place to wait, with adorable kids running around, a live band jamming and the trees gently swaying in the summer breeze. Here's to a new summer tradition in Prospect!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Longmont Memorial Rose Garden

Where: Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave.

To paraphrase the old George Jones number, It's been a good -- no, a great -- year for the roses. This spring was one of the warmest on record, meaning that we never got one of those nasty, garden-destroying cold snaps in April or May. The result? Roses running riot all over town. The absolute best place to literally stop and smell the roses in Longmont is without a doubt the Longmont Memorial Rose Garden, located on the west side of Roosevelt Park, just a short walk from downtown.

The garden's history stretches back to 1945, when the first roses were planted by the Lions Club as a war memorial. It's well-known today amongst rose aficionados, even garnering coverage in USA TodayLovingly tended to by community members, you'll find a dazzling array of rose varieties here -- 190 in all -- ranging from classic reds to exotic hybrids.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Left Hand Brewing Company

Where: 1265 Boston Avenue
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 3-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 12-8pm, Sunday: 1-8pm

For beer snobs around the country, Longmont is simply a name on a label, thanks to the presence of two major craft breweries in town -- Oskar Blues and Left Hand. Left Hand, having set up shop along the banks of the St. Vrain River in 1994, is the original Longmont beer-maker, known for its Sawtooth Ale and Milk Stout. In case you haven't heard, craft beer is booming these days; in Colorado alone, brewers added a hefty $486 million to the economy in 2011, and Left Hand is now distributed in 29 states, a number that will have undoubtedly increased by the time you read this. But the place to get their excellent beer at its absolute freshest is the Longmont headquarters. 

In a seemingly eternal state of expansion, the Left Hand Tasting Room is now actually several good-sized rooms, not to mention two outdoor patios, all furnished with rugged red Colorado sandstone tables and bars. Order a pint or two of your favorite brew, or try all 12 of the Left Hand concoctions on tap in sample sized portions. A word to the wise -- Left Hand doesn't serve much food, just pretzels (which are free), beef jerky and chips (which are not). You might want to eat beforehand, since some of the beers you'll be trying have exceptionally high alcohol content. Afterwards, walk it off along the St. Vrain Greenway, just on the other side of Left Hand's parking lot.

Tip: Homebrewers take note! Left Hand's tours (1 and 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays) go behind the scenes at the brewery -- but don't expect them to reveal their top-secret Nitro Milk Stout formula. Well, they could tell you, but then they'd have to kill you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vance Brand Airport / Flight Deck Grill

Where: 229 Airport Road
More info:

Most weekends, the air in Longmont is filled with the distant (or sometimes not so distant) buzz of private airplanes emanating from the Vance Brand Municipal Airport. While piloting is not a hobby we see ourselves taking up anytime in this lifetime, we strongly suggest heading out to the airport on the weekend. The views are spectacular, naturally, with the twin peaks of Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker looming in the distance, almost completely unobstructed.

The airport is also home to one of our favorite Longmont hidden gems, the Flight Deck Grill (find their Facebook page here). Open Wednesday through Sunday in the spring and summer, this homespun operation offers excellent (and cheap) breakfast and lunch items, including pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and hot dogs. They've got a very nice patio right next to the runway, where you can watch planes taking off and landing -- and get an occasionally dizzying glimpse of scores of skydivers plummeting towards the earth. Bike out in the morning (they open bright and early at 7:30am) and enjoy a cup of coffee and some delicious crumb cake while gazing into the wild blue yonder.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Longmont Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, 8am-1pm, first Saturday in April through the first Saturday in November
Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds (9595 Nelson Rd.)

With every passing year, the Longmont Farmers Market gets bigger and better. What once was a fairly bare-bones affair has grown into one of the bigger events of its type on the Front Range. On sunny Saturday mornings, throngs gather to enjoy the fresh bounty of local farms. Of course, this is a 21st century farmers market, so the produce is merely the beginning of the goods offered. Munch on tasty pastries, sample some Colorado wines, listen to a little live music, buy handmade crafts and get your cutlery sharpened. Highly recommended: the artisanal cheeses at Windsor Dairy's booth. They're made with 100 percent grass fed milk from Swiss cattle, aged over 60 days, all natural -- but the important thing is that they are totally delicious. There is plenty of prepared food too, ranging from pupusas to pizza, so the market is a great breakfast, brunch or lunch destination.

Tip: Though parking is generally in abundance at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, we strongly recommend biking. Not only is the market located right off of the St. Vrain Greenway, but Bicycle Longmont ( offers a free bike valet service, located at the north end of the market. Just drop off your wheels with them and start exploring.