All throughout Northern Colorado, chefs, bakers and restaurateurs are crafting some delicious and memorable dishes worthy of acclaim. To help you experience the best flavors of the region, we created an extensive food bucket list for Northern Colorado, covering a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks — and of course, dessert.
The next time hunger strikes, check another meal off your bucket list — and thank us later! Whether you’re craving something healthy or hearty, sweet or savory, there’s something for you on this list.
Photo Courtesy of Snooze an A.M. Eatery
Snooze always has a lengthy wait for brunch, especially on the weekends — but for good reason. Because everything at this breakfast giant is incredible, especially their pancakes, you should try their pancake flight, so you cover a variety of flavors. The signature flight includes Pineapple Upside Down, Blueberry Danish and Sweet Potato pancakes, or you can choose any three pancake flavors you wish!
Doug’s Day Diner is the ultimate destination for breakfast in Loveland. Just about everything served here is homemade from scratch, including the sauces, soups, browns, fries, potato chips, biscuits, syrup, jams, meats, sausages, pickles and dressings. Dig into the Lil’ Billy for a diverse array of flavors; it has two eggs, a griddle biscuit topped with country gravy, two strips of bacon and browns.
The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm is one of our favorite weekend brunch spots in Fort Collins. Although they have a fairly simple menu, it’s hard to know what to order at this farm-to-table eatery at Jessup Farm because it’s all so good. That’s why we’re steering you towards the Farmer’s Breakfast, so you get a bit of everything — two eggs your way, breakfast potatoes, your choice of bacon or sausage, and a house biscuit with honey butter and jam.
Photo Courtesy of The Waffle Lab
Track down The Waffle Lab, one of our favorite food trucks in Fort Collins, for their iconic Chicken & Waffles — their classic Liège waffle topped with crispy hand-breaded fried chicken tenders and smothered in homemade rosemary-sage sausage gravy and Vermont maple syrup.
PROMO: Show this article to get 50% off an order of Chicken and Waffles at The Waffle Lab’s restaurant at 130 W. Olive Street until 12/31/2020. Limit 1 per customer.
Rainbow serves one of the best breakfast menus every day of the week on one of the best garden patios in all of Fort Collins. The cozy, sunny atmosphere is the perfect way to wake up on a Wednesday or catch up with friends on a Sunday morning. The sweet potato burrito is a particularly unique and popular item on their menu. It’s packed with sweet potatoes, cilantro, black beans, scrambled eggs, roasted poblanos and Jack cheese, smothered with chile Colorado with a cilantro lime crema, and topped with queso fresco.
Photo Courtesy of Waltzing Kangaroo
It’s not every day you encounter Australian food this side of the Pacific! This unassuming strip mall joint specializes in fair dinkum (Aussie for “tried and true”) food, including savory pies, rolls, quiches and desserts, all made from scratch. Try their Steak and Gravy Pie for a traditional Australian experience.
The Colorado Room is your classic restaurant and bar with pub grub in the heart of Old Town. Served alongside a wide selection of Colorado beer and spirits, their menu features hearty food, perfect for a late-night snack or dinner with friends. Their poutine is especially delicious, and can be ordered in either a half or full order, if you’re feeling extra hungry. Choose from pork, beef or chicken!
Located in a historic building in downtown Windsor, Chimney Park is an award-winning restaurant serving a locally sourced menu that changes with the seasons and, sometimes, with the day. Sample creations from owner and chef Jason Shaeffer with the five-course chef’s tasting menu or a premium wine pairing. Participation from the entire table is recommended for a truly incredible, communal dining experience!
Photo Courtesy of Lucky Fins
Voted the Best Seafood Restaurant 6 years running by The Greeley Tribune, Lucky Fins is the go-to spot in Greeley for quality, fresh seafood every day of the week. But on Sundays, Lucky Fins serves all-you-can-eat crab legs for $54.99. But if crab legs aren’t your thing, there are endless seafood and non-seafood options to choose from, from lobster tater tots to sushi rolls and Fins’ Famous Fish and Chips to pistachio halibut.
Ace Gillett’s is a sleek and sophisticated underground bar at The Armstrong Hotel in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. It gets a lot of attention for its drinks, but Ace Gillett’s serves a mean food menu as well. Keep it simple with the Armstrong Burger, a tried-and-true burger made with Sunrise Ranch beef and ground bacon, garlic aioli, tomato jam, local cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion, all on a toasted brioche bun.
With more than 40 years of experience whipping up delicious, Colorado-style pizzas, Beau Jo’s is the place to go in Colorado for a fantastic pie and a family-friendly atmosphere. Their menu is almost as overwhelming as their massive pies, so if you want a personalized pizza, consider making your own Mountain Pie so you can choose all the toppings. Don’t forget to cover all the remaining crust with honey — it’s a Beau Jo’s rite of passage!
Photo Courtesy of Blue Agave Grill
Blue Agave Grill is a contemporary Southwestern grill with a scratch kitchen, fire pit patio, guacamole made to order, house-infused tequilas and some of the best sangria in town. But for lunch, we’re zeroing in on their Blue Agave Fish Tacos, packed with tempura-battered tilapia, asadero cheese, marinated cherry tomatoes, sweet adobo slaw, creamy horseradish, cilantro rice and black beans.
Betta Gumbo in Loveland is slinging the best Cajun and Creole cuisine in the region. Growing up in the South taught Chef Clay Caldwell the basics of Southern hospitality and true home cookin’ and he brought all the dishes he loves to NoCo, including Jambalaya, Famous Asiago Shrimp & Grits, Hush Puppies, Beignets and more! Just like a title track on an album, you can’t go wrong with ordering Betta Gumbo, their traditional style gumbo with andouille, chicken and sausage.
Who knew artisan corn dogs existed?! Corndoggies is a roaming food truck cooking up something you may not have experienced — handmade varietal sausages dipped in their unique batter and complemented with the perfect sauce. And when we say “handmade sausages,” we really mean it — each dog is uniquely ground, spiced and then piped and smoked by the Corndoggies team. While you can’t go wrong with The Classic, branch out with the Jalapeño Chicken Gouda Corn Dog served with raspberry-jalapeño jam sauce.
Photo Courtesy of Social
If you’re a regular Northern Colorado Speaks reader, you know we’re a big fan of Social, a swanky underground speakeasy-style cocktail bar in Old Town. No matter what you order from their sophisticated cocktail menu, it will pair well with their Cheese + Charcuterie Board, which includes jamón serrano, speck, finocchiona, three featured cheeses, house jam, pickled vegetables, olives, dried fruit, nuts and whole grain mustard.
Door 222 is a favorite in Loveland for a variety of reasons. For starters, the menu is crafted with extensive detail in every bite with a special focus on tapas and inventive cocktails. In addition to providing one of the freshest seasonal menus in the region, this locally owned spot gives back to the community in incredible ways. Everyone’s raving about the bacon-wrapped dates, a classic shareable option the whole table will love.
We scoured the region for the best queso, and Rio Grande gets our pick! This Mexican eatery has all the classics — fajitas, á la carte tacos, burritos, enchiladas delicious Rio Nachos, and of course, massive margaritas — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves before we order their chorizo-filled queso for the table.
Filled with brick walls, moody lighting and white table cloths, Greeley Chophouse has the warmest and most inviting atmosphere in town, plus an exceptional menu focused on locally sourced meats and fresh seafood and an extensive wine and cocktail selection. That’s why it’s one of our favorite date night destinations in Greeley! The Chesapeake Crab Cakes, made with red pepper coulis and parmesan cheese, are to die for.
You may have stopped by the Pourhouse in Loveland before for their happy hour, as they have the longest happy hour in the city (Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and all day Sunday!) and live music four nights a week. But their food menu features a wide selection of offerings as well, including appetizers, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, soups, salads and more! Whatever you do, don’t miss their Nachos Grande, fresh fried tortilla chips smothered in black olives, black beans, white queso, pico de gallo, green onion, a dollop of sour cream and guacamole, and of course, lots of cheese.
Ba-Nom-a-Nom is a unique food truck in town serving up vegan frozen soft serve treats made with 100% fruit that is completely healthy. And to make this treat even healthier, they do not add dairy, sugar, nut products, stabilizers or anything to the blend. They are completely dairy-free, gluten-free, nut free, sugar-free, fat-free and egg-free by nature! Plus, all toppings are vegan, and everything on the truck is gluten-free — even their granola. Their flavors rotate weekly, but they have both tropical, refreshing options as well as indulgent, chocolatey options!
Photo Courtesy of Mary’s Mountain Cookies
The giant cookies at Mary’s Mountain Cookies come straight from founder and baker Mary Johns’ kitchen—though they’re now made in 100-pound batches with industrial mixers to meet demand. When your craving hits, you can find Mary’s cookies at their Northern Colorado locations in Fort Collins and Loveland. Experience the nostalgic taste of a campfire with their s’mores cookie!
Old Town Churn is another Colorado headquarters for Little Man Ice Cream. Little Man’s original location can be found in Denver and is housed inside a 28-foot-tall cream can. In Fort Collins, the team opted for a 26-foot-tall ice cream churn in The Exchange to represent our city’s agricultural roots. From the window, you can order Little Man’s famous handmade flavors, including the iconic Salted OREO people line up around the block for, in addition to several flavors exclusive to Fort Collins and Old Town Churn.
The Cupcake Gypsies offer the best of both worlds, as both a wandering food truck and an adorable brick and mortar in the heart of downtown Loveland. Wherever you track down The Cupcake Gypsies, you’re in for a treat. Try the Sweet Tater Cupcake, which is a sweet potato cupcake topped with toasted marshmallow buttercream and garnished with a candied pecan. What a perfect fall treat!
The Doughnut Club creates delectable gourmet doughnuts, which can be shipped all throughout the country, but we’re lucky to have their flagship store right here in Fort Collins! In addition to their flavors available online, their shop has some unique in-store exclusives. We have our eyes on the Circus Animal doughnut, which is as Instagrammable as it is sweet!
Better yet, what would you add to our NoCo food bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!