Whether it's views of Horsetooth, overlooking Old Town, or places with an unbeatable atmosphere, I'm always a sucker for some good outdoor dining. If you're looking for a new spot, or maybe a good first date place, here are ten of the best rooftop and patio spots for food and views in Fort Collins.

Illegal Pete's

This one's a personal favorite. If I ever can't decide where to go, which is admittedly pretty often, this is my go-to.

This place is like Chipotle or Qdoba, but with a bar and amazing seating options. The rooftop is incredible on summer nights and has the dreamiest views over Old Town. I mean, what isn't to love about a rooftop with draped lights?

Illegal Pete's will also be expanding into what was Halley's Comics, so expect even more killer dining when that happens.

Back Door Grill

Right on the corner of Laurel and Mason, Back Door Grill is the most recent establishment to take up the restaurant space. I think this might be the one to stay.

Even though there are so many burger places in Fort Collins, Back Door can keep up with them. And, if you're of age, they know how to make some dang good drinks. With a look towards the Foothills and the old, east side of CSU's campus, it's a great spot to be no matter the time or the day.

Ginger and Baker

Ginger and Baker had been at the top of my list of places I drove past and wanted to try for so long. The little building that dishes up French bakery vibes is so sweet, and the views off the upstairs patio are to die for. Plus, the pie there is phenomenal.

And the best part? Their north patio is dog friendly, so your furry friend can enjoy the views with you.

Sunset Lounge

Oh boy, does this place make you feel fancy. Located in the Elizabeth Hotel, this is one rooftop spot that is all-weather friendly. Set with live music at nights, the Sunset Lounge is open to the public. But, if you want to also stay at the Elizabeth Hotel, I don't think that's the worst idea in the world.

I mean, the views speak for themselves.

Vatos Tacos

Pretty much anything in The Exchange in North Old Town was a given honestly. Vatos is my favorite place in town for street tacos, hands down, and the upper level seating just seals the deal.

Since Vatos is right along College Ave., you can look out to Old Town at sunset or overlook The Exchange. Anywhere you glance makes the perfect setting for dinner and views.

CooperSmith's Pub and Brewing

Anything in Old Town Square is also a given, let's admit it. And, if you haven't noticed, I've got a thing for the hanging lights theme that makes Old Town oh-so-dreamy.

It might get packed in the square fairly often, but if you beat the bar rush, CooperSmith's patio is an amazing place to wind down at the end of the week.

Road 34 Deli & Tavern

This is the only one on the list that's over in Campus West and not in or near Old Town. But, I think it deserves way more credit than it gets. It's often really busy, but I don't think enough people consider it for a Saturday night.

Road 34 fits the bike atmosphere of Fort Collins so perfectly, and the atmosphere of the tavern itself you can't beat. With a patio in front and out back, it's the best casual patio hangout you can find.

New Belgium Brewery

Was this a comprehensive list of best patios and rooftops without at least one Fort Collins brewery mentioned?

New Belgium is a favorite spot for so many reasons, but their patio and lawn area fulfills every summer brewery tour dream you've had. And, of course, because Fort Collins love its bikes, beers, and dogs, New Belgium is pet friendly. All the better for a Sunday outing!

Crooked Stave Taproom

Back to The Exchange! Right next to Penrose, which is deserving of a great patio honorable mention itself, Crooked Stave is a great place to enjoy The Exchange on a nice Saturday afternoon before it gets too crazy. With giant doors creating a breezeway from the taproom to the outdoor patio, it's very difficult not to relax out there.

Plus, why not pair some ice cream with it since Churn is right there!

Stuft Burger Bar

This might be just because I love Stuft, but it honestly is in the coolest spot with such a neat patio setting.

Stuft is right where I consider Old Town to really start. You're in the hustle and bustle of downtown and it's always lively right around the area. Plus, it just looks so cool. A huge roll-up garage door to take you to the patio? Yes please!

So, if you're like me and can never decide where to eat, here are ten options that don't stop the experience at just the food.

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