Customers sit and enjoy FoCo Café’s ambiance, Sep 9. FoCo Café offers indoor and outdoor seating along with carry-out meals and delivery through NoCo Nosh.
Customers sit and enjoy FoCo Café’s ambiance, Sep 9. FoCo Café offers indoor and outdoor seating along with carry-out meals and delivery through NoCo Nosh.
Sophia Stern

Caffeine Chronicles: Uncovering the Best Cafes in Fort Collins

FoCo Cafe: 


The side of FoCo Café’s building, Sep 9. FoCo Café is located off Maple St. and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday’s to Saturdays. (Sophia Stern)


What does it mean to be a “pay-what-you-can” cafe? At FoCo Cafe, instead of a register at the end of the counter, there’s a donation box. Customers simply pay what they are able to for their meal, rather than a set price. 


Located at 225 Maple St, Fort Collins, the FoCo Cafe is the town’s first nonprofit restaurant. It is about a 30-minute walk from campus and a six-minute car ride. Operating Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 


FoCo Cafe’s mission is to create a community within Fort Collins through “delicious and Nutritious meals” (fococafe). Filled with lots of smiles and hard-working people, the Foco Cafe is volunteer-led. You can even pay for your meal by giving back and volunteering with them yourself. The cafe is a great place to connect with the Fort Collins community. With its home-like feel, the cafe is a perfect place to bring your friends, hang out, and give back to the community.  


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  • The menu hangs over the kitchen at the FoCo Café, Sep 9. FoCo Café offers food that is all made in house.

  • The kitchen staff works on customers food at the FoCo Café, Sep 9. FoCo Café is a nonprofit restaurant and the first one in Fort Collins, with the goal to build a healthy community.

  • Spring Trever’s plays an instrument called a Mountain Dulcimer, Sep 9. Trever’s has been playing this instrument for years, mostly playing blues music but occasionally plays other genres.

  • A window at FoCO Café is decorated with drawings of food and a vine hanging over it, Sep 9. FoCo café is a volunteer-driven organization.

  • People sit outside on the front deck of the FoCo Café, Sep 9. FoCo Café is located off Maple St. and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday’s to Saturdays.


Alley Cat:


The Alley Cat Café sign hangs on the side of the building, Sep 9. The Alley Cat Café is locally owned in Fort Collins and is open from 7:00 a.m. to midnight everyday. (Sophia Stern)


Walking into the Alley Cat cafe is never boring. Caleb Morgan, who has been working at Alleycat for two years, remembers walking in for the first time and thinking “Wow this place is really artsy… vibes were really eclectic, messy but in an endearing way.”  The walls, tables, and even ceilings are decorated with local artwork and a variety of plants. 


Open Saturday-Sunday, 7-12 a.m., the cafe is located at 120 W Laurel St, Fort Collins. With only a 10-14 minute walk from campus, Alley Cat has become the perfect hangout spot for students. The cafe provides food that is locally sourced, great coffee, and even acoustic guitars to play. It is a place many go to study where they are also able to take long breaks and never get tired of their surroundings. 


Alley Cat opened in August of 2003, it has regulars who have been going there for years and has grown to become a place where anyone can fit in. Morgan has noticed that people feel comfortable “stepping into the community” and greatly appreciates that about Alley Cat. 


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  • A big sign hangs above the counter, with some of Alley Cat Café’s menu written on there, Sep 9. Alley Cat has a full menu filled with a variety of drinks, from Coffee to Hot chocolate, along with a variety of food options.

  • Cookies and scones sit in a presentation window at the Alley Cat Café, Sep 9. The Alley Cat offers different food option from pastries to sandwiches and much more.

  • People sit and work or study at the Alley Cat Café, Sep 9. Alley Cat is filled with local artwork and different plants line the large windows.

  • Students sit at booths studying at the Alley Cat Café in Fort Collins, Sep 9. The Alley Cat Café has been opened since 2003 and is filled with local art work and notes from students line the side of booths.

  • The ceilings at the Alley Cat Café are line with different art works, Sep 9. Customers from over the years have created the diverse collection of ceiling tiles.

  • A sign pointing to the Alley Cat Café hangs on the side of the building, Sep 9.




The front entrance to Mugs at CSU in Fort Collins, Sep 9. Mugs at CSU is located off W. Laurel St., across from the Oval at Colorado State University. (Sophia Stern)


Opened in August of 2002, Mugs was born with the concept of family in mind. The owners Marli & McCabe Callahan both attended Colorado State University, and the ram pride is shown within the Mugs community. The cafe has two locations, one only 10 minutes away from campus, at 306 W Laurel St, Fort Collins. If you happen to miss the campus location, head down to Old Town for their second location at 261 S College Ave, Fort Collins. Both Marli and McCabe wanted the Rams to know that Mugs was a safe and welcoming spot to be at.  


Mugs is filled with a variety of local artwork to admire while you enjoy your coffee. The company also works its hardest to support local vendors and always treats people with respect (mugs). The CSU location operates from Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. with happy hour from 2-7 p.m. The Old Town location operates on slightly different hours: Saturday-Sunday 6 a.m.-6 p.m., and happy hour 2-6 p.m. During happy hour customers are able to find great deals on food items like sandwiches, smoothies, and mac and cheese. They even serve alcoholic drinks, with a variety of mimosas, cocktails, and a bloody mary. providing options for everyone in the Fort Collins community. 


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  • 4. Shelves sit at the entrance of Mugs, filled with merch and other objects, Sep 9. Along with their merch, Mugs sells other goodies such as stickers, handmade mugs, coasters and more from local stores around Fort Collins.

  • Students sit and study or gab lunch with friends at Mugs, Sep 9. Many students will walk to Mugs from campus to grab food and study or hang out with friends.


MoMo Lolo: 


The entrance to Momo Lolo Café in Fort Collins, CO, Sep. 8. Momo Lolo Café is located off Elizabeth Street, near Colorado State University’s Campus. (Sophia Stern)


Momo Lolo has been “locally owned and family run since 2010” (momololo). When walking into Momo Lolo you are immediately welcomed by smiling faces. There is a fun trivia question to answer at the register for a chance at 10% off on your drink. The cafe is just a five-minute walk from campus located at 1129 W Elizabeth Street St, Fort Collins, and is open Saturday-Sunday 6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Macy Pederson who has been working at Momo Lolos for nine months now describes it as an “Uplifting, positive, environment.” Momo Lolos even provides an environment where students can feel comfortable and able to work, “…you can talk with your friends, ask questions, we even have white-boards!” Pederson said. 


Throughout the year, Momo Lolos has rotating specialty drinks. Some favorites of Pedersen’s are creme brulee (white chocolate and caramel), purple haze (lavender and vanilla), honey bear (cinnamon and honey), and the matcha called flower garden (vanilla and lavender). Pederson added, “I come in [on my] off hours all the time… when I’m not working I want to be here”.


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  • Dante Schipman prepares an espresso for a drink at Momo Lolo Café in Fort Collins, Sep. 8. Colin Gerety, Schipmans Father, started Momo Lolo in 2010 and in 2018 when Gerety retired, Schipman, along with his sister and brother took over the business.

  • A stand is set up inside Momo Lolo Café to promote their merch along with their coffee boxes for meeting or events, Sep. 8. Momo Lolo Café offers coffee-to-go boxes that hold 96 ounces of fresh-brewed coffee, serving 10-12 people.

  • A group of students enjoy their drinks, as they study at Momo Lolo Café, Sep 8. Momo Lolo is opened from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

  • Carts sit in front of Momo Lolo Café’s register, filled with their merch that is for sale along with their coffee bags, Sep. 8. Momo Lolo sells merch for people, including t-shirts and mugs with their logo printed on them.

  • Annie Hessler, waits for her friend as she sits at one of Momo Lolo Café’s tables, Sep 8. “Momo Lolo has a very relaxing atmosphere to just grab coffee with a friend but it also just makes studying easier for me,” explained Annie.

  • A coffee and a smoothie sit on a table side by side at Momo Lolo Café, Sep. 8. Momo Lolo Café offers a variety of drink choices for everyone, such as coffee, smoothies, chai, matcha and much more.

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