Northern Colorado is a region saturated with abundant and fruitful farm land, where fresh produce is grown and animals are raised by hard-working farmers. This thriving agricultural and farming community means we have access to the fruits of their labor — either by picking up local produce at a grocery store or farmers’ market, or through dining at farm-to-table restaurants that use their ingredients in their dishes.
As a local company, we are completely on board with supporting local businesses in town, and that certainly includes farmers in surrounding areas. One of the best ways to do so is by enjoying a fresh farm-to-table meal in town.
What are some of the best places to do so? We’re so glad you asked…
As the name implies, The Colorado Room is dedicated to showcasing several wonderful aspects of the state of Colorado, including local eats, drinks, art, artisan goods, music and even beetle kill wood tables! The co-owners of The Colorado Room grew up in Colorado and commute from Denver to Fort Collins every day to run this incredible restaurant with a menu jampacked with local fare. This inviting restaurant is dedicated to incorporating local ingredients as much as possible, including mushrooms from FoCo’s Hazel Dell and cheese curds from Cozy Cow Dairy in Windsor. During the summer, be on the lookout for a blackboard menu featuring the current produce sourced from local farms!
In case there weren’t enough mentions of “farm” in the title, we’ll have you know that The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm is one of the best places to get farm-fresh food in Fort Collins. After an eventful day spent at Jessup Farm, enjoy a healthy meal at this casual eatery set in a 130-year-old building. While they source from local farms, The Farmhouse has a little farm of their own on-site, with a ¼-acre of land and a chicken coop. Peruse their seasonal menu items made from scratch with only the best local ingredients! Their atmosphere completes the experience, with its rustic, inviting and country-meets-city feel.
As Colorado is a landlocked state, sometimes it may be difficult to encounter a source for seafood with a local focus. Thankfully, Jax Fish House is serving up the freshest, most sustainable seafood alongside the highest quality, farm-fresh and local produce at their location in Old Town. Their dedication to sustainability is inspiring, and their menu is always stacked with seafood (and a few non-seafood!) dishes crafted with care using ingredients straight from local farms. On a side note, don’t miss Jax’s happy hour happening every day from 4–6 p.m., featuring lots of small plates and drinks for reasonable prices!
You may feel far from the farm at The Kitchen in the heart of Old Town, but farm-fresh fare is at your fingertip — err, fork tip. The Kitchen has a long list of purveyors, including Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss and Niman Ranch in Northglenn. The menus at The Kitchen reflect their fresh focus, offering fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts for brunch, lunch and dinner! The Kitchen supports and encourages the network of farmers in the region but cares for the community within their four walls as well. They believe that “gathering around the table sharing good food and drink is what connects us as family, friends and a community.” This is the essence of their mission to provide “Community Through Food.”
Fort Collins Brewery is one of our favorite breweries in town, but there is more in store for your visit than simply enjoying one of their exceptional brews. Head over to their attached Modern Tavern, offering fresh, locally sourced comfort food classics with a modern twist. Not only do their menu items pair well with their beers (of course), most of their menu is actually made with FCB beer in order to showcase their robust flavors! Above all, everything is made in-house — from their condiments to the fruits and vegetables grown in their greenhouse and on their rooftop garden. To further prove their dedication to all things local and fresh, the Modern Kitchen does not have any microwaves or freezers!
Restaurant 415 was founded and owned by The Mason Street Five, a group of restaurateurs well-known in the community for their success with and common roots in Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. Their menu includes several comfort food choices, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Restaurant 415’s incredible atmosphere, creative comfort food and unbeatable prices make it an obvious choice for lunch or dinner. But wait — things get even better! Their menu incorporates as many organic and local ingredients as possible, making them one of our favorite farm-to-fork destinations in town.
Tasty Harmony is a family-owned restaurant serving up fresh, inventive cuisine that is primarily vegetarian and vegan. Sacha and Jill Steinhauser work tirelessly to run their restaurant they opened in 2009 in addition to raising five kids and tending to a large garden that they use to supplement their garden during the growing season. As is expected with a mostly vegan restaurant, their entire menu features healthy, organic and plant-based cuisine as long as availability remains. The fare at Tasty Harmony is both delicious and will leave you feeling more vitalized than you did when you walked in the door.
Beyond the dining table, there are several outlets the city of Fort Collins utilizes to express their love for all things farm-fresh.
Colorado Farm to Table is a Colorado State University Extension program offering food safety strategies that can be followed to minimize contamination and help lower the risk of foodborne illness. They aim to educate the state of Colorado about the importance of farm-to-table food, empower local growers and provide educational resources for the community.
Visiting a local farmers’ market is an easy way to gain direct access to produce from local farmers on a regular basis. The Fort Collins and Loveland Farmers’ Markets are growers markets supplemented with specialty items, offering a variety of high-quality produce, plants, fruits, honey and meats. The Fort Collins market is located in front of Ace Hardware on Sundays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Loveland market takes place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in front of Hobby Lobby.
Fortified Collaborations collaborates with local businesses, non-profit organizations and farms to identify their goals, develop strategies to meet those goals and create connections that fortify their community. They convene, connect and collaborate with local organizations that share common goals, participating in and hosting several projects that reflect those goals.
FoCo Cafe is the first non-profit restaurant in Fort Collins, offering a unique “pay-what-you-can” setting, where their cash register is replaced with a donation box. Their daily menu selections are made primarily using fresh, locally grown ingredients!
We tend to settle for something a little less healthy while we’re living life on-the-go. The Fort Collins Food Co-op offers a full selection of locally sourced grocery items in addition to a deli serving up fresh and healthy sandwiches. This is a place where the community can truly reconnect with their food and its origins.