One of my favorite things to do in the spring is enjoy a delicious meal with friends on one of the many beautiful patios in Fort Collins. The fresh air and bright sun really make the dining experience more enjoyable. Fort Collins has a plethora of fantastic patios, and I decided to take some friends and readers out on an Old Town patio tour to check out some of the best of the best.
The Rio is known for their margaritas and relaxed atmosphere. It was the perfect spot to start our tour. We sat outside surrounded by bright colors and the sound of water splashing from the large fountain in the center of the patio. Between hysterical conversation, the strong margaritas, and the tasty chips and salsa, our taste buds were primed for fun!
The Beach House Grill is in the center of it all in Old Town with a fabulous patio view to watch it all. Perched high above College Avenue, you can people watch from your seat, bask in the sun, and appreciate the history of Old Town Fort Collins while sitting next to one of many ghost signs that have been preserved. We ate appetizers of blackened Mahi Mahi Shark Bites – Mahi Mahi sautéed with cajun spices served with lime mayonnaise, and Cabo Coconut Shrimp – Panko and coconut breaded shrimp, fried and served with Orange Habañero Marmalade. I really enjoyed the coconut shrimp while watching kids on their Senior Prom dates walk across the street for dinner.
CooperSmith’s has not one, but three outdoor patios to enjoy. There are two on pubside – one in the center of Old Town Square and the other adjacent to Mountain Avenue, and one on poolside next to the entrance. We sat on the patio next to Mountain Avenue, watching the horse-drawn carriages loaded with families mosey down the street. You can’t have a proper meal at CooperSmith’s without having a locally brewed beer, root beer or cream soda, and my refreshing Poudre Pale Ale was the perfect accompaniment to my dinner. I had smoked trout rigatoni – rigatoni pasta topped with smoked trout, a bacon cream sauce, scallions and garlic, then topped with Asiago cheese. This was a delicious meal, one of the better one’s I’ve ever had at CooperSmith’s. Beer and trout in the fresh Colorado air in Old Town Square? Heaven.
Fort Collins has many more amazing patios in addition to these three restaurants, but these are some of my favorites. Where are your favorite places to enjoy a patio meal?
Kristin Mastre, FeastingFortCollins.com