Longmont has some great barbecue and excellent pizza, as well as outstanding taquerias and top-notch burger and fried chicken spots — all casual places to grab a bite. However, sometimes you want more from a meal, more than a quick feeding. You want to sip a cocktail, chat, share a dessert and enjoy an evening out.
BABETTES ARTISAN BREAD
2030 Ionosphere St., babettesbakery.com
Longmont eaters have been dropping by Babettes since its move from Denver in 2019 to grab pastries, crusty breads and French cakes. In the evening, the wood-fired oven kicks on for artisanal pizzas. The kitchen offers braised short ribs from Longmont’s Buckner Family Farm on crispy polenta with well-aged Parmesan. The favored starter is roasted artichokes with smoked burrata cheese and fennel pollen.
1067 S. Hover Road, capresetrattoria.com
This is not your typical neighborhood spaghetti joint. Caprese specializes in elevated Italian dining. There are plenty of noodles, but they arrive as perfect spaghetti carbonara bound with pancetta, egg and cream, or housemade butternut squash ravioli in a sage butter. The meatier “secondi” menu showcases traditional veal piccata, trout in lemon sauce, and the great chicken preparation: brick-pressed pollo al carbone with fresh herbs and garlic.
526 Main St., theroostlongmont.com
When dining out means tucking into a great piece of meat, The Roost is a choice destination. The eatery grills house-cut filet, ribeye and New York strip steaks as well as lamb chops from Buckner Farm, siding them with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and fried Brussels sprouts. Secret vice item: sweet potato fries with marshmallow dip.
370 Main St., sampleslongmont.com
The starters at Samples are so comfy — think chewy, gorgonzola-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates and arancini (cheese- and chile-middled risotto balls) — that some diners never get to the main event. That means they miss out on Korean BBQ sandwiches, authentic Alpine cheese fondue and duck tortellini in broth. The longtime crowd-pleaser is the crispy Scottish salmon with ginger brown butter and mashers paired with a flight of wine tastes.
101 Pratt St., sugarbeetrestaurant.com
Dinner possibilities range from caramelized sea scallops with orzo, beets and broccolini to meaty, roasted King Trumpet mushrooms with bamboo rice-stuffed peppers, English peas and a fragrant yellow curry. Major attractions include rack of lamb with spaetzle and filet mignon with potato roulade, paired with a notable by-the-glass wine list. PB&J is a fun finale with peanut butter ice cream, grape sorbet, butter cookies and chocolate ganache.
218 Coffman St., tortugaslongmont.com
It’s the seafood: That’s why fans have set out for Tortugas for nearly a quarter-century. Caribbean and Southern flavors fill starters like lime-marinated shrimp ceviche and Creole BBQ shrimp and classics like jambalaya with shrimp, crawfish, chicken and andouille sausage. The fresh fish choices of the day can be served in Cuban mojo sauce, spicy voodoo sauce, with West Indian curry or Caribbean jerk style.