Friday 5: Ft. Collins Hotspots

A real foodie town. This place was awesome!

Ft. Collins, Colorado, with it's mountain range background, clear blue skies, humidity-free temperatures and downtown strip made for a pretty rockin' summer.

mountains.jpg

We just returned from five weeks in this college town from a work training we had. This was the last step in preparing to head back overseas to Slovenia. Whoa!

When I visit a new place, my idea of touring it involves eating a lot of food and drinking a lot of coffee. Ft. Collins did not disappoint.

There were many local coffee roasters and a variety of restaurants, where cooking with local, organic ingredients is a top priority.

I'll highlight my top favorites from this summer:

1. 415

A dear friend introduced me to this place and summarized it perfectly: a great place for foodies that's unique and stands out, but not so unique that you don't want to order what's on the menu.

The citrus salad with bacon was heavenly. Oh ya, you can add bacon to anything on the menu for $2.70.

Very reasonably priced while serving high quality meals. Fun atmosphere with a small but pretty outdoor space in the back, and some tables out front as well.

They have everything from wood-fires pizzas to spaghetti squash to ribeye. And it's all delightful.

Website here

2. Little Bird Bakeshop

Most quaint award goes to this cafe! What a cute place.

Excellent locally roasted coffee is served here–the iced toddy was my favorite (a 24-hour cold brew method). Their syrups are made from scratch, and you can taste the difference.

All baked goods are also made from scratch, in-house. And it's all scrumptious. The chocolate croissant, fudge brownie and chocolate chunk cookie with walnuts hit the spot. That wasn't all in one sitting, but it easily could've been.

Website here

3. Bean Cycle

Another local coffee roaster that is on-point. I tend to judge a coffeehouse by how many various methods of preparation they serve.

Bean Cycle gets five stars for that. Chemex, pour overs, French press, espresso and an impressively large iced coffee tower (surely not the official name of this apparatus).

I talked with one of the owners, Lesley, while I waited for my iced latte with hazelnut milk (delish!) to be prepared. She was so warm and friendly, and very humble–her friend had to tell me she was the co-owner.

We also picked up a bag of their Ethiopian beans to make at home and it has been one of our favorite roasts we've tried. Anywhere.

Oh, did I mention it's also a bookstore? There's a wide variety of books, new and used, available for purchase or reading while you sip your beverage.

Website here

4. Bisetti's

Our parents were in town one weekend and we checked out this amazing Italian joint.

Don't let the outside fool you. Behind the maroon awning lies a beautiful interior, brick walls, gorgeous lighting and warm ambiance.

The food also surpassed expectations. I took Jimmy Ray's recommendation (our awesome waiter) and ordered the homemade gnocchi with asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, feta and a garlic butter sauce topped with chicken. Woo was it heavenly!

The desserts were just ok, but all of our entrees were fantastic.

Website here

5. Snooze

I most certainly saved the best for last. Once you know me, you are well aware that breakfast is my fav. And Snooze delivered with a bang!

Their sweet potato pancakes are mouthwatering, served with ginger butter and I swapped the caramel sauce for pure maple syrup.

We went on my birthday and I was treated to a free pancake-of-the-day, peaches and cream. I can't even.

They have the largest breakfast burrito I've ever seen (makes Chipotle's look like an appetizer).

It's a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, so be prepared to wait or snag a seat at the bar as they open.

Website here

It was honestly hard to choose only five! When you spend over a month somewhere, you try out a lot of new places.

What are some of your favorite destination restaurants or coffee shops? Where are they located?