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Restaurants in Fort Collins

Between its college campus and numerous breweries—there’s more than 20 serving a population of about 150,000—Fort Collins seems like a drinking town. And while it is, that doesn’t mean that Fort Collins restaurants are an afterthought, merely serving up passable food to soak up all the beer. Fort Collins, a northern Colorado town surrounded by farms, is actually becoming a bit of a foodie mecca, with farm-to-table restaurants at the forefront. In fact, the best restaurants in Fort Collins are among the best in the state. So the next time you’re looking to dine out, here are some of the Fort Collins restaurants that you need to try.

Top 5 Best Restaurants in Fort Collins

  1. The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm: Probably the freshest farm-to-table food, The Farmhouse is located in a 19th-century home, complete with a backyard garden and chicken coop.
  2. Jax Fish House: This Old Town Fort Collins favorite serves up sustainable seafood paired with local farm ingredients.
  3. Choice City Butcher & Deli: Fort Collins institution has one of the better beer lists, plus delicious benedicts and overstuffed sandwiches.  
  4. The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market: Locals love to gather at this Elizabeth Hotel hotspot. It also focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients and has such signature dishes as elk wellington.

The Kitchen: This American bistro is frequently on “best of” lists, partially because it’s pretty, but mostly because of such dishes as Longs Peak lamb T-bone and Koberstein Ranch steak (both sourced from nearby Colorado ranches and farms).

Best Cajun Food in Fort Collins

The Lost Cajun | 331 South Meldrum St.

 

Low and slow is the motto at The Lost Cajun, where gumbos and special dishes—crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, lobster bisque—take about  four to six hours to cook. The Lost Cajun may not be located in New Orleans, but you really wouldn’t know it, especially after a bite of a beignet. So sit down among the mini gator heads, Mardi Gras beads, and masks, and sip on hurricanes and let the ambiance whisk you away to The Big Easy.

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Best Bakery in Fort Collins

Littlebird Bakeshop | 11 Old Town Square

 

This bakery and coffee shop in Old Town Square makes everything in house and the result is some of the best pastries in town. Go for the canelés, small French pastries with caramelized exteriors and vanilla-bean-and-brandy interiors. Or if you’re gluten-free, try a slice of the flourless chocolate torte or some salted almond clusters.

 

Best Coffee in Fort Collins

Harbinger | Multiple locations

 

The founder, a passionate coffee lover, helped cultivate a thriving coffee scene in Fort Collins. He started out operating a coffee cart in 2012, but has since expanded to two locations. His shops are known for preparing pour-over coffees in beakers on hot plates.

Best Burritos in Fort Collins

Big City Burrito | 510 S College Ave.

 

This relaxed counter-serve spot is beloved by locals for its hefty California-style burritos. It’s been known to have long lines of people waiting to get their hands on carne asada burritos, breakfast burritos, and even potato burritos filled with seasoned potatoes, grilled onions, ranch, and cheddar cheese.

 

Best Tacos in Fort Collins

DGT | 120 1/2 W Laurel St.

 

Though its founder used to work at The Little Nell, a legendary five-star hotel in Aspen, DGT is anything but fancy. It actually started as a mobile cart operating outside of several Fort Collins breweries, and when it did open a brick-and-mortar location, it only had three tacos on the menu. It has since expanded to include a lengthy selection of fusion tacos with everything (minus the Colorado-made tortilla) crafted in house. It’s especially popular among vegans and vegetarians for such tacos as the Earth, Wind & Fire: organic and local tofu paired with a sweet-potato puree, organic kale, sliced almonds, and a tomato-ginger sauce.

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Best Australian Restaurant in Fort Collins

Waltzing Kangaroo | 1109 W Elizabeth St.

Not every American town is lucky enough to have high-quality Australian food (or any Australian food for that matter), but Fort Collins is. Here, Waltzing Kangaroo treats Coloradans to one of Australia’s favorite dishes—the savory pie. Flaky pies stuffed with meat and veggie fillings, as well as the savory rolls and quiches, are designed to be eaten by hand.

 

Best Food Truck in Fort Collins

Mac’N | Food truck

On a chilly Colorado day, nothing beats digging into a heaping pile of mac ’n’ cheese from this food truck. Of course, it’s best when you venture past the basic mac, opting for such toppings as 14-hour smoked pork rib, housemade pickled veggies, and honeycrisp apples sauteed in bourbon. No matter what you pick, chances are it comes with a crispy top for a nice textural contrast.

Best Breweries in Fort Collins

 

Because breweries are such a big part of the food and drink scene in Fort Collins, we couldn’t resist talking about our favorites:

 

  • Odell Brewing Co.: Odell is one of the first microbreweries to open in Colorado and it’s as popular as ever thanks to its massive patio, food trucks, and its stalwart beers.
  • New Belgium Brewing Company: Sure, it’s a bigger brewery known for such nationally renowned brews as Fat Tire, but they really know their beer here. Plus, it focuses on environmental sustainability.
  • Equinox Brewing: Equinox frequently rotates its 18 taps, filling them with its constantly changing lineup of beers. On Fridays and Saturdays, free live music entertains patrons hanging out in the sunny beer garden.
  • Horse & Dragon Brewing Company: The family-run H&D brewery is a bit off the beaten path, but its creative beers (a dark kettle sour, a cucumber-basil kölsch, a pineapple-ginger lager) make it worth a visit.

Jessup Farm Barrel House: Barrel-aged beers are the specialty at this brewery, which is located in a 133-year-old restored barn. It offers especially great sunset views.

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