11 Patios Worth a Perch in Fort Collins

There’s something about warm, sunny days that make you crave a patio seat, a cold drink and some good company. Thankfully, Fort Collins has a plethora of options from which to choose. You could spend all spring, summer and fall patio hopping in pursuit of the holy grail. Here are a few spots to get the patio party started.

By: Visit Fort Collins
Updated: November 17, 2023

Old Town Establishments

1. CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing

The two-sided patio at this charming Old Town brewpub is a must visit. From one side of CooperSmith’s you can watch the hustle and bustle of Mountain Avenue or practice your people-watching skills. If there’s a concert or special event happening, the patio, conveniently adjacent to Old Town Square, is the place to hunker down with a tried-and-true Punjabi Pale Ale. The menu features hearty pub classics, vegetarian and gluten-free options, and many reasonably priced kid options.

2. Equinox Brewing Company

Sidle up to a specialty flight at this Old Town brewery that has a laid-back vibe. On hot summer days, this shady patio is the perfect spot to sip whatever strikes your fancy. With 18 taps from which to choose at Equinox, your hardest decision will be narrowing it to six. The brewery also features Santa Elena's Mexican Provisions inside to complement the chill atmosphere and shuffleboard.

3. Ace Café

Ace Café, located in the lobby of the Armstrong Hotel, showcases stellar craft cocktails and shared plates. Every Saturday and Sunday, enjoy brunch (whatever you do, don’t skip the “Wafnut,” hybrid waffle/doughnut) and bottomless mimosas. Lounge on the patio seven days a week to enjoy your cocktails, flatbread pizzas and more al fresco, surrounded by Colorado’s warm fall nights.

4. Penrose Taphouse & Eatery

Penrose Taphouse & Eatery is the newest addition to The Exchange in Old Town Fort Collins. The restaurant boasts not one but two outdoor patios. Nosh on a “Chimichanga Bomb,” mac and cheese topped with pork belly, jalapeño or even lobster, inventive sandwiches, eight types of burgers, salads and more. Take part in their “Beer it Forward” program by buying a drink for a friend, stranger, teacher or anyone really; their name goes on a board, and that person can cash in their drink with an ID. Being kind is always cool.

Riverside Haven

5. The Mishawaka

While this iconic outdoor amphitheater isn’t technically in Fort Collins, it is entirely worth the trek. Mishawaka is the only patio around located in a stunning canyon. Watch the winding Poudre River just steps away as you relax and enjoy the views. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for dine-in via reservation or takeout. They also serve sealed alcoholic beverages to go, with the purchase of food. 

Rooftop Review

6. Back Door Grill

Back Door Grill, a classic burger and beer joint, hails from Steamboat Springs, where it’s been serving up hand-cut french fries and onion rings (made fresh every morning) and uses only all-natural Colorado beef for their burgers.   

7. Ginger and Baker

Located in a 100-plus-year-old historic mill in Fort Collins' revamped and refreshed River District, Ginger and Baker has a rooftop patio worth writing home about. Enjoy cocktails with a view on Ginger and Baker's aptly named "The Rooftop" patio area. There's also a special bar menu featuring unique small plates, and you can also order something from The Cache in case something isn't catching your fancy.

Close to Campus

8. Avogadro’s Number

A treehouse isn’t the only thing that sets Avogadro’s sweeping, flower-filled back patio apart. It’s also open year round, so you can take advantage of the warmest winter days. Plus, the large stage is often filled with talented musicians during the summer months. Like beer, live music is just better served up patio-side.

9. Little On Mountain

Little On Mountain offers breakfast, supper and take-away family meals, all made fresh using ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors. The menu is small but delicious. Dine on dishes like peaches with burrata, kale with chili-lime vinaigrette and almonds and trout with corn and brown butter, all from your patio perch.

Down South

10. DC Oakes Brewhouse & Eatery

DC Oakes Brewhouse & Eatery is a southeast Fort Collins brewery with three outdoor patios from which to choose. Enjoy beer brewed in house as well as suds from plenty of guest taps. Named after a historic Colorado logger and businessman, the eatery’s menu features updated American comfort classics.

11. otto PINT Pizzeria

Set inside an old gas station, otto PINT serves up signature pizzas with inventive ingredients (the sauce options alone tell the story: honey Sriracha, chevre cream, basil pesto and more). On warm days, the eatery’s walls open so the whole restaurant feels like a great patio with plenty of picnic tables, cornhole and a grassy area where the kiddos can squeal and skip. These details and more add up to make otto PINT a great spot to grab a bite and relax in the sun.

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A version of this article originally appeared on visitftcollins.com.