Best of NoCo 2021

We have been sharing with you things that we love about living in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Today we want to share with you the results of Best of NoCo 2021.  An annual event that we enjoy every year is the “Best of NoCo.”  This popularity contest is done by survey and the top three businesses are disclosed in the NoCo Style magazine at the end of the year.  The magazine looks at over 200 business categories. The business categories include food, drink, health & beauty, home & garden, pet, recreation and entertainment and services. 

This survey takes almost an entire year to complete and promotes local, hardworking business and gives them the communities seal of approval and appreciation.  Being voted “best” is a high honor and can mean an uptick in business for the next year.  Each year there are new winners and old favorites.  There can even be a few surprises in the voting.

Here are some of the results of the Best of NoCo 2021 survey. 

We are just highlighting a few of the over 200 winners:

Best Mexican Dining…Blue Agave Grill, Fort Collins.

Best Italian Dining…Cacciatore and Heller’s Kitchen.

Best Ice Cream…Walrus Ice Cream, Fort Collins.

Best Barbecue…Nordy’s BBQ and Grill, Loveland.

Best Roofing Services…Anchor Roofing.  In this category my favorite came in second.  That is No Co Roofing.

Best Dog Park…Spring Canyon Park, Fort Collins.

Best Date Night Spot…Social, Fort Collins.

Best Book Store…Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins.  

Best Hike…Rocky Mountain National Park.

Best Home Décor Store…Coxy Cottage, Fort Collins.

Best Hotel…Elizabeth Hotel, Fort Collins.   Remember this when you have those out-of-town guests.

Best Vegetarian Dining…Tasty Harmony, Fort Collins. Second place must be mentioned in this category because they have been around a long time and serve great food.  They are the Rainbow Restaurant, Fort Collins. 

Best Sandwiches…Snack Attack Specialty Sandwiches, Fort Collins.

If your favorite did not make the list this year

Make sure that you vote next year. You also may not agree with the vote.  If not, make sure you vote next year.  2021 was a challenging year for many of these businesses. They had to learn how to deal with the pandemic and shift to survive.  2021 was a year of turmoil.  Businesses had to deal with supply chain problems and staffing shortages.  All of this and still try to provide us with the great food and service that we expect. We appreciate all of these businesses and special places that make Northern Colorado the great place that it is. Remember to support our local businesses by shopping local! We are always happy to provide local recommendations. Contact Us with your questions.

You Must Try These Great Fort Collins Restaurants

One of the things that makes Fort Collins special is all of our restaurants.  We have more restaurants per capita than any other city west of the Mississippi with the exception of San Francisco.  Here are some great Fort Collins Restaurants that have been around a long time. Enjoy these great restaurants that have stood the test of time. 


  • Vern’s Place, 4120 W. County Rd 54G, Laporte. This restaurant first opened in 1946.  It is famous for its cinnamon rolls. Additionally, they serve breakfast, lunch with good down home cooking in a friendly atmosphere. 
  • The Silver Grill.  218 Walnut St., Fort Collins. This place is the oldest restaurant in Northern Colorado. This place has been serving up amazing breakfasts and lunches since 1933 with some roots going back to 1912.  The location cannot be beat because they have big picture windows providing you with a look at Old Town Fort Collins. They have been voted best place for breakfast and lunch numerous times in part because of their legendary sweet rolls that ooze with sweetness. 


  • Canino’s Italian Restaurant. 613 S. College Ave, Fort Collins. This laid-back option for classic Italian food has been around for 40 years. The restaurant is located in a 1903 house.  This is one of those places you just must go to at least once.  Who knows it may become your go to place for Italian!


  • Tortilla Marisa’s, 2635 S. College, Fort Collins.  I know, we already have two Mexican restaurants listed, but why not a Tex Mex that has been around serving great food since 1987. They are known for their Chili Rellenos.  They are dipped in beer batter and are uniquely wonderful.  Give them a try. Pobre Panchos. 1802 N. College, Fort Collins.  This is the place for exceptional Mexican dining in Fort Collins for over 50 years.  Moreover, the place is small, but big on flavor. 
  • El Burrito Mexican Restaurant.  404 Linden St. Fort Collins. This popular eating establishment first opened in 1960.  They have been serving up authentic Mexican food ever sense. It is a family affair as the grandchildren of the owner now working in the restaurant.

Pubs and Bistros

  • Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewery. 5 Old Town Square, Fort Collins.  It cannot get better than this.  A brewery in Old Town that has been creating craft brew since 1989 is somewhere you must go.  The food is exceptional and you have to try a brew.  Come for the food or the brew and stay for the pool and other fun.  
  • Charcoal Broiler. 1716 E. Mulberry, Fort Collins.  This place started as a simple coffee and burger shop in 1957. It is another family-owned business that has had three generations serving up great steaks and burgers for special occasions or just because.  
  • Austin’s American Grill.  100 W. Mountain and 2815 E. Harmony.  You know a place has to be good to have two locations of the same locally owned restaurant in Fort Collins.  They serve a uniquely wonderful variety of classic foods that are better than your mother made!  Give them a try.  


  • Walrus Ice Cream, 125 W. Mountain, Fort Collins. You cannot always eat healthy and after a great meal who does not want a sweet treat.  This place has been serving up ice cream since 1987 with a selection of ever changing 29 flavors. Additionally, their ice cream is served with all-natural ingredients.  

Enjoy these great restaurants that have stood the test of time. 

Great Ideas of Things to do in Fort Collins

Maybe you are new to the area, or you have lived here forever but it seems like people are always asking for our advice on things to do in and around Fort Collins. So, whether you are visiting for the day, or a local looking for something to do this weekend we have you covered. Here are a few of our favorite spots and activities. Additionally, most of these have remained open throughout the state stay at home orders. However, it is still a good idea to call ahead to double check.

Go Out To Eat

Tortilla Marissa’s, voted best Mexican in Fort Collins time and again this Southwestern style Mexican restaurant has a fresh take on many of your classic favorites. Additionally, the chili rellenos are perfection, and a blended margarita is just refreshing enough without leaving you needing to take a nap afterwards.

Get out and About

Museum of Discovery: With an ever rotating number of exhibits like the Music and Sound Lab, Wildlands and Wildlife, First Peoples, People on the move, Food Forage and Farm, and the Schatz Family Exploration Zone. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a great way to spend some family friendly time with the young ones. Moreover, it is a place to simply explore for the curious and young at heart.

Swetsville Zoo: Did you know that Fort Collins has a zoo with no animals. The Swetsville Zoo is a collection of animals and other objects made from old farm equipment. This is free to see. However, they request that you make a donation. Located just past I-25 on eastbound Harmony and is open if the sun is up. Unfortunately, this Fort Collins classic will not be around forever. Therefore, make sure you see it before it is gone in order to get the ultimate in local bragging rights.

Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC): Five pools, an ice skating rink. Go to EPIC and have some fun. Home to the CSU Hockey and Water Polo teams. Moreover, go check it out even if you didn’t bring a swim suit. You can rent skates. Additionally, there is spectator seating for hockey games or other events.

Colorado State University Trial Garden: For those with a green thumb or simply those who wish they did. The Trial Gardens at CSU are a great place to check out beautiful flowers and other plants. There is no best time of year to go. Different plants will be at their peak at different parts of the growing season. Additionally, there is no charge to wander around the gardens. Furthermore, you may even consider packing a picnic lunch and eating at the gazebo.

Things to do in Fort Collins Outside

Get Outside: The patchwork of public lands around Fort Collins are lands managed by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas department. The most notable of these that are closest to Fort Collins is the Horsetooth Rock Trail. This hike is a little strenuous. Additionally it is quite popular so make sure to go early in order to get parking. For an easier hike you might try the Horsetooth Falls route that leaves from the same trailhead. However, there are an ever growing number of trails and natural areas to visit. Many seasoned locals have yet to see all of them.

Old Town Fort Collins: This well know part of town is great for eating, shopping and night life. It is located on the North end of College Avenue. A bit of trivia. Walt Disney liked old town Fort Collins that main street in his theme park was patterned after it. Additionally, The entire strip is decorated with beautiful white lights for the holidays. No matter the season you can walk around and take in the ghost advertising signs and architecture or pop into the shops for a unique shopping experience or a restaurant for dinner.

Things to do in Fort Collins: Take a Brewery Tour

New Belgium: Check out a classic located right here in Fort Collins. You can visit the tasting room, or go out on the brewery tour. The tour is open to people of all ages, and beer tastings will occur on the tour for those of legal age. However, make sure to book your tour on their website early to make sure you can actually get in:

O’dells: Founded in 1989, Odell Brewing was started by Doug Odell, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie. Today, the culture of family and collaboration still thrives, fostering a brewery full of beer-centric people. Moreover, it is this passion for beer that inspires Odell Brewing to create quality, hand-crafted, innovative brews.

Catch a Movie

Holiday Twin Drive In: Catch a double feature and enjoy a soda and some popcorn at one of America’s few remaining drive-in movie theaters. With two screens you are sure to find a film. Just bring a camping chair and a blanket, or go all out and turn your car’s trunk into a comfy bed. Don’t miss this Fort Collins classic.

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Fort Collins Colorado? Contact us, we would be happy to provide recommendations or provide you with a personalized tour of Fort Collins.