When chef-owner Kevin Grossi moved his Americana-inspired restaurant, the Regional, from LoHi’s Avanti Food & Beverage to downtown Fort Collins last month, it was a homecoming of sorts. Grossi helped open the Jax Fish House location there three years ago, falling in love with “the people, the farms, and the ease of living.” He’s not alone: The city has gained many residents with appetites for culinary innovation—and a plethora of new (or improved) places to satiate them.

The Fox and the Crow

Est. November 2014
Following a March relocation to a larger unit in its original plaza on South Lemay Avenue, there’s even more space in which to enjoy this local-favorite bistro’s sandwiches and 150-plus meats and cheeses.
Don’t Miss: The Sando de Amore with soppressata and caciocavera

Maxline Brewing

Est. June 2016
Maxline more than doubled the size of its taproom and production facilities in June, meaning you and 159 of your friends can now comfortably play bingo or listen to live tunes as you imbibe.
Don’t Miss: Rotating seasonal brews, such as the Chocolate Stout

Butterfly Café

Est. April 2017
Espresso drinks—crafted with beans from FoCo’s Coffee Registry—and scratch-made breakfast and lunch eats flow from this cafe inside the historical
Butterfly Building.
Don’t Miss: The grilled provolone, cheddar, and pepper Jack on house-baked focaccia and tangy tomato bisque

Photograph by Pho-Co Photography

Ginger and Baker

Est. November 2017
Although you could spend an entire day exploring Ginger and Baker’s cafe/market/teaching kitchen/high-end restaurant/rooftop bar, the house-made pies are especially divine.
Don’t Miss: Strawberry jello pie; cookie-crusted tiramisù pie

Photograph by Jimena Peck

The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market

Est. December 2017
Choose your own bottle from the affordable on-site wine market to take with you to dinner at the Elizabeth Hotel’s rustic-chic, French-inspired restaurant.
Don’t Miss: Colorado bison bourguignonne

Union Bar & Soda Fountain

Est. February 2018
The folks behind Fort Collins’ Social cocktail bar are back with a boozy twist on an all-American diner. Union’s hopped-up riffs on egg creams and milkshakes pair perfectly with its stacked burger.
Don’t Miss: The Redhead, a Campari-laced strawberry float

The Exchange

Est. July 2018
This collection of 12 shipping-container-housed restaurants and retail outlets with a shared courtyard will soon include the second location of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Little Man Ice Cream outlet Churn. Go now for “fork-free” chicken and waffles from Chick’nCone.
Don’t Miss: Foco Doco’s heavenly doughnuts

Photo courtesy of Old Elk Distillery

The Reserve by Old Elk Distillery

Est. August 2018
Now that year-old Old Elk Distillery has a homey tasting room, you can pop in for a cocktail featuring its Dry Town Gin or Nooku Bourbon Cream—or to pick up bottles for gifting.
Don’t Miss: A smash made with smooth Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon

The Regional

Est. October 2018
Grossi transforms produce from nearby Native Hill Farm and Raisin’ Roots Farm into casual lunch fare and sophisticated dinner plates, such as butternut squash pudding with pecans and maple syrup.
Don’t Miss: The lunchtime-only fried chicken sandwich

(MORE: Check out the Insider’s Guide to Fort Collins)

This article was originally published in 5280 November 2018.
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.