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The new Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting room is a cozy second-story space at the Exchange market
IMT [official]

18 Places to Eat and Drink in Old Town Fort Collins

From casual cafes to fine dining in Northern Colorado

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The new Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting room is a cozy second-story space at the Exchange market
| IMT [official]

Fort Collins’ pedestrian-friendly College Avenue and its quaint surrounding Old Town are filled with plenty of dining options, from daytime cafes and taco shops to intimate dinner stops and speakeasies.

Some new and notable additions are a regional American eatery, an all-day boozy soda fountain, a boutique hotel restaurant, and an indoor-outdoor food court. Here, 18 new and old favorites to choose from during a brewery crawl, campus tour, or road trip. Tip: Head there one evening this winter for the date-night twinkle lights.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ginger and Baker

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This huge cafe, restaurant, bakery, and event space is located inside an old grain mill at the north end of Old Town. Diners should check out the whole operation, but the stars here are the pies, from maple pecan to coconut cream and peanut butter.

PHOCO [official]

The Exchange

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While it’s still waiting on an outdoor liquor license, this courtyard of food and beverage options includes some warming indoor options — Infinite Monkey Theorem winery, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer taproom, Vatos Tacos and Tequila, and more options. See also doughnuts and ice cream for those willing to brave the elements.

The Exchange [official]

Union Bar & Soda Fountain

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From the owners of beloved underground cocktail bar Social comes this new day-to-night eatery helmed by a former Kitchen chef. Boozy shakes and egg creams go well with shoestring fries and Monte Cristos. A sprawling patio is now one of the best in the area.

Union [official]

Butterfly Cafe

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A 400-square-foot historic dairy is home to this weekday breakfast and lunch nook by the owners of DGT (formerly known as Dam Good Tacos, and another worthwhile stop). At this newer spot, find local coffee, spiced hibiscus tea, and an assortment of fresh sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.

Butterfly Cafe/Facebook

Welsh Rabbit Bistro

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Diners can watch the chef at work from any of the cozy leather seats in this old-world bistro. A la carte cheeses (sourced from the neighboring family-run shop) and a wine flight are easy starters. Otherwise, the menu of small bites has been known to feature bison tongue and crickets.

The Welsh Rabbit [official]

Jax Fish House Fort Collins

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With some of the town's best chefs working here, this Boulder-based restaurant group has a flavor all its own in Fort Collins. Go for the classic shrimp and grits, some umami-filled spring onion dashi, or any of those chefs' seasonal specials.

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Little Bird Bakeshop

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This sweet bakery and coffee shop puts out the town’s top pastries, plus toast, quiche, and addictive biscuits, along with daily changing specials. Its location in Old Town Square is perfect for people watching.

Pinterest

Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market

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At the swanky Elizabeth Hotel, the Emporium is an all-day cafe, bar, and restaurant featuring grab-and-go items as well as filling dinner plates. For now, it’s the unofficial town living room and a good place to meet or start the evening.

Social is known for its craft cocktails and speakeasy setting, but the late-night food menu rivals those of Fort Collins' top restaurants. For larger groups, the cheese and charcuterie boards are worthwhile. On a date? Try the blistered Shishito peppers or smoked salmon pate.

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The Kitchen

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The Fort Collins outpost of this Boulder-based group is one of the prettiest spots in town. Quality ingredients and straightforward dishes are the theme here. Local produce-filled chef specials are some of the best bets for dinner.

Facebook

A seat at the communal chef's table is a fun way to spend the evening in this upscale Italian dinner spot. Meats here are dry-aged, and the dessert crostata is baked to order.

RARE Italian

The Regional

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This sweet new spot started as a stall in Denver’s Avanti but graduated to a brick and mortar in Fort Collins. From the menu of regional American dishes, diners can start with broiled or raw oysters, move on to local lamb or pork chop and grits, and finish with some house baked goods.

The Regional/Facebook

Tasty Harmony

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This is the place for the best vegetarian and vegan options in the city. Barbecue pulled jackfruit, coconut curry, yogi bowls, and a selection of smoothies are some tasty options. Come summer, the wrap-around outdoor patio is lovely for gathering and people watching.

Tasty Harmony/Facebook

The locally owned fish market and restaurant offers cool cocktails, weekly three-course specials, and an unbeatable happy hour. On a busy night, the cozy bar here is one of the city’s most lively and entertaining.

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Ace Gillett's Lounge

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Located below the Armstrong Hotel, this underground jazz club will always be a local destination for cocktails, music, and small plates. Try the corn elote and Colorado wagyu sliders, and for drink recommendations, get to know some of the best-known local bartenders.

Ace Gillett’s/Facebook

Choice City Butcher & Deli

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This butcher, deli, and beer bar is a favorite working lunch spot, but diners should also drop in for the weekend dinner specials and occasional multi-course beer dinner.

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Nick's Italian

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Like your favorite Sunday gravy, Nick's offers approachable Italian-American fare in a relaxed and unpretentious setting. Rich and satisfying dishes include the bucatini carbonara, eggplant parmesan, or ricotta gnocchi. Friday nights are for clams and on Saturdays, porchetta.

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Music City Hot Chicken

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At this fast-casual favorite, slightly south of Old Town, lunch is as simple as choosing your meat and choosing your heat. Included in the meal is a classic Southern side like coleslaw or potato salad as well as a sauce for dipping. Bonus points go to the full bar and weekend brunch menu.

Ginger and Baker

PHOCO [official]

This huge cafe, restaurant, bakery, and event space is located inside an old grain mill at the north end of Old Town. Diners should check out the whole operation, but the stars here are the pies, from maple pecan to coconut cream and peanut butter.

PHOCO [official]

The Exchange

The Exchange [official]

While it’s still waiting on an outdoor liquor license, this courtyard of food and beverage options includes some warming indoor options — Infinite Monkey Theorem winery, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer taproom, Vatos Tacos and Tequila, and more options. See also doughnuts and ice cream for those willing to brave the elements.

The Exchange [official]

Union Bar & Soda Fountain

Union [official]

From the owners of beloved underground cocktail bar Social comes this new day-to-night eatery helmed by a former Kitchen chef. Boozy shakes and egg creams go well with shoestring fries and Monte Cristos. A sprawling patio is now one of the best in the area.

Union [official]

Butterfly Cafe

Butterfly Cafe/Facebook

A 400-square-foot historic dairy is home to this weekday breakfast and lunch nook by the owners of DGT (formerly known as Dam Good Tacos, and another worthwhile stop). At this newer spot, find local coffee, spiced hibiscus tea, and an assortment of fresh sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.

Butterfly Cafe/Facebook

Welsh Rabbit Bistro

The Welsh Rabbit [official]

Diners can watch the chef at work from any of the cozy leather seats in this old-world bistro. A la carte cheeses (sourced from the neighboring family-run shop) and a wine flight are easy starters. Otherwise, the menu of small bites has been known to feature bison tongue and crickets.

The Welsh Rabbit [official]

Jax Fish House Fort Collins

Facebook

With some of the town's best chefs working here, this Boulder-based restaurant group has a flavor all its own in Fort Collins. Go for the classic shrimp and grits, some umami-filled spring onion dashi, or any of those chefs' seasonal specials.

Facebook

Little Bird Bakeshop

Pinterest

This sweet bakery and coffee shop puts out the town’s top pastries, plus toast, quiche, and addictive biscuits, along with daily changing specials. Its location in Old Town Square is perfect for people watching.

Pinterest

Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market

At the swanky Elizabeth Hotel, the Emporium is an all-day cafe, bar, and restaurant featuring grab-and-go items as well as filling dinner plates. For now, it’s the unofficial town living room and a good place to meet or start the evening.

Social

Instagram

Social is known for its craft cocktails and speakeasy setting, but the late-night food menu rivals those of Fort Collins' top restaurants. For larger groups, the cheese and charcuterie boards are worthwhile. On a date? Try the blistered Shishito peppers or smoked salmon pate.

Instagram

The Kitchen

Facebook

The Fort Collins outpost of this Boulder-based group is one of the prettiest spots in town. Quality ingredients and straightforward dishes are the theme here. Local produce-filled chef specials are some of the best bets for dinner.

Facebook

RARE

RARE Italian

A seat at the communal chef's table is a fun way to spend the evening in this upscale Italian dinner spot. Meats here are dry-aged, and the dessert crostata is baked to order.

RARE Italian

The Regional

The Regional/Facebook

This sweet new spot started as a stall in Denver’s Avanti but graduated to a brick and mortar in Fort Collins. From the menu of regional American dishes, diners can start with broiled or raw oysters, move on to local lamb or pork chop and grits, and finish with some house baked goods.

The Regional/Facebook

Tasty Harmony

Tasty Harmony/Facebook

This is the place for the best vegetarian and vegan options in the city. Barbecue pulled jackfruit, coconut curry, yogi bowls, and a selection of smoothies are some tasty options. Come summer, the wrap-around outdoor patio is lovely for gathering and people watching.

Tasty Harmony/Facebook

Fish

Facebook

The locally owned fish market and restaurant offers cool cocktails, weekly three-course specials, and an unbeatable happy hour. On a busy night, the cozy bar here is one of the city’s most lively and entertaining.