There are many options for dining here in Northern Colorado. When the weather is nice, (ab0ve 50 and sunny!), dining al fresco is always the first choice. Cafe culture is the norm, especially in downtown Fort Collins and more recently, Loveland. We have tried numerous restaurants. I will be honest. Per capita, there are better restaurants in Loveland, and now Windsor, but you can’t beat the ambience of downtown Fort Collins. Below are a few of our favorites and recommendations for Fort Collins.
For Taprooms and Pubs that serve full-service dining or small bites, click here.
For dining al fresco, click here.
For rooftop fun, click here.
For Happy Hour treats, click here.
For underground Fort Collins, click here.
Best of the FoCo Restaurant Scene (as of this writing 4/28/16)
Fox and Crow – I moved Fox and Crow to the top of the list. 1) It’s close – we can walk or bike to the cheese/pate shop and 2) it was amazing! This spectacular cheese shop is a hidden gem in Midtown serving up international cheeses, smoked meats and pates. You can select your meats and cheeses and enjoy and lovely display of sweet and savory treats.
Choice City Butcher and Deli – and a very nice selection of taps! They have the best Reuben I have ever eaten – their Buffalo Reuben is to die for – be prepared to split one! Along with great sandwiches, they “import” wild game sausages from Denver including yak, kangaroo and elk.
Bisetti’s – I really think this is best Italian in town. Key special: Wine Down Thursday (during the winter), wine pairings and prix fixe seasonal specials.
Rare Italian – We went here for our anniversary. I was a bit underwhelmed although it is highly rated. The burrata plate was excellent. We had a great wine choice. We sat on the side patio as it was September and the weather was fabulous. Our entrees were not at the caliber I expect from a higher end restaurant. It is more of an Italian steakhouse and as of any new cuisine, you can put an egg on anything and call it great. The aged steak process is intriguing, so perhaps that what we should have had. With that said, I would like to give it another try because I love Italian and they are really trying to bring quality to FoCo.
– this is a local favorite. Situated right across from CSU, it offers patio seating with protective glass enclosures that allow you to enjoy the outdoors and not breathe in the fumes from College Ave. We ate here on one of our early trips and I remember we enjoyed it. They have tapas, Sunday wine specials and a nice menu that reflects different cuisines.
Jax Fish House
– Obviously, being inland, it is hard to get fresh fish, much less fresh fish at a restaurant that doesn’t break the bank. We tested Jax out for happy hour
to get an idea of the quality of the food. We were very pleasantly surprised! We had the calamari, hush puppies and shrimp and grits. All were very good and enough to share with four people.
– Jay’s is under new management by a Florida couple. The inside ambience is amazing and one of the best in town. We visited for happy hour
tapas and enjoyed the Saganaki, which sounds Asian but is halloumi cheese with olive oil and herbs. Very nice! The wild boar taco was good as well as the duck fat fries with fois gras and truffle salt. I would love to give this restaurant another try!
– It has been five years since we ate at Enzios, but I remember it as very good and it still around so that’s a good thing! We had a celebration dinner there after buying the house and I do recall it being very good. The menu is reasonably priced, has all the usual handmade pasta dishes and usual Italian favorites like chicken piccata. It is located in downtown FoCo and has a patio making that a plus – plus!
HuHot Mongolian Hotpot
– I know this is a chain, but I really like this place! The mixed greens with veggies, mandarin oranges, toasted noodles and their famous Asian vinaigrette was amazing and enough for four people.
– At the present time, we vote this the best burger place in Fort Collins. But we haven’t tried Big Al’s yet. This build-your-own burger place is excellent. Supposedly they have the best Parmesan garlic fries in Colorado. A nice front patio to people-watch on College Ave!
– We have eaten at Gravity twice and both times it was excellent. Situated within the Fort Collins Brewery site, it offers a full menu and of course, FCB beer. This is a super place to go as brewery destination followed by an excellent meal.
– My husband loves this place because the draft beers are cheap and it’s a Go-Local version of chipotle. And we can bike to it if we wanted extra points.
– Great ambience and you can’t beat the location in downtown Fort Collins with a nice, recessed patio for al fresco dining. The jalapeno margarita was excellent and I honestly don’t like margarita’s that much. Their menu i
s very diverse and is reasonably priced. It’s good to find a restaurant here in FoCo that knows what a gastrique, puree and reduction are. We had small bites at happy hour, and would love to give this a try for dinner.
Travelling on to other Parts of the Front Range
– Situated in downtown Loveland, this is one amazing restaurant and really is the best restaurant thus far we have tried. See my review
here. It’s hard to beat the ambience of FoCo downtown, but the best food, for now, is at Door 222.
The Boar and Bull
– If we are out and about biking and happen to be in Loveland, this is a great butcher shop sandwich place to stop for a casual barbecued meat sandwich and a beer. See my review here.
And they have salsa dancing on Sat night!
Origins Pizza and Wine Bar – We have been to Origins twice and took friends from out of town. I love the wine directly from the barrel. We got three pizzas for four people – loved the pistachio cream Van Gogh pizza. My favorite. Where else can you wine on tap? Wish it was in FTC but it’s only 10 miles away.