Life in Fort Collins

Places to Eat and Grocery Shop

Food in the Fort

Fort Collins offers some great options for food, whether you’re shopping for ingredients to cook a healthy meal at home, or looking to dine out at one of the many establishments. Below are some resources to start your search.

International Grocery Stores

Explore this custom Google map to find international grocery stores both in Fort Collins and Denver.

Places to Eat on Campus

Use this interactive map to find new places to eat around campus!

Dining in Downtown Fort Collins

Looking for the experience of dining in Old Town Fort Collins? Look no further! This website has a great presentation of Fort Collins’ favorite downtown establishments. Or, check out rankings of restaurants all over Fort Collins for new ideas.


ft collins restaurant

Local Grocery Stores

Local grocery stores are the best place to find food and daily household items. They offer produce, meat, packaged foods, toiletries, cleaning products, pet products, medical items, and most have a pharmacy. Some grocery stores are also able to do special orders, so do not hesitate to call to inquire about what can be found at the different stores. Prices vary throughout town, and coupons can often be found online that will help to save money on certain items. Common grocery stores here include King Soopers and Safeway; Sprouts specializes in produce and natural groceries; Wholefoods and Trader Joes focus on local and organic groceries; and WalMart has a grocery section within its stores as well.

CSU Traditions

Check out this list of CSU Traditions that you should definitely not miss!

The “A”

The letter “A” adorns the western hillside of Fort Collins.  Colorado State University was formally called Colorado A & M, and students were referred to as “Aggies.”  The “A” was first white-washed in 1924.  It became a tradition for freshmen to paint the letter every year.  The Tradition continues today.

 CAM the Ram

CAM the Ram is the official mascot of Colorado State University, named after the Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College (the university’s former name). Alumnus William Simpson’46 won a contest to name the bighorn sheep as the official mascot.  CAM is a Rambouillet Ram and has his own troop of Ram Handlers to help him out.  CAM makes regular visits to University events and local schools.

New Student Convocation and Green Out at Ram Welcome

ramwelcomeEach Fall, all new students gather in Moby Arena wearing their forest green “Forever Green T-Shirts” . Hear a welcome from the President, and for the first time as one community, sing the CSU fight song together.


Forever Green T-Shirts


The For-Ever-Green tradition, established in 2003 by ASCSU, is a campus-wide collaboration outfitting students and alumni in green CSU t-shirts in an effort to unite RAM Fans at University and sports events. As a cherished symbol of school spirit, the back of the shirt will display the Fight Song, while a unique design will be commissioned for the front each year.

Ram Ruckus

ram ruckusRam Ruckus is the official student spirit group of the CSU Rams. Ram Ruckus was created by students in 2012 who wanted all students to engage in athletics and expand into every other aspect of student life. The idea of Ram Ruckus was to create pride in everything you do at CSU, whether it’s walking though the plaza, taking an exam, or cheering as loud as you can, you’re a Ram Ruckus member. Click Here to Learn More and Become a Member!


The CSU community gathers for the Homecoming festival on The Oval, the Parade, bonfire and fireworks. October 11, 2013

Homecoming began as a University-wide event and has evolved into a celebration for the entire community of Fort Collins. The Homecoming celebration is combined with Family Weekend in an effort to bring the entire CSU Family (students, alumni and parents) together.  Popular festivities include: the Homecoming Parade, the Student Alumni Connection Pancake breakfast, the 50 Year Club Luncheon and the Football game.


CSU Oval

ovalThe Oval serves as the heart of Colorado State University.  It was designed in 1909 as an aesthetically pleasing way to connect main campus buildings.  Surrounding the Oval are historic buildings including Johnson Hall, which was the original student center, and the Music Building which was built as a library.  Laurel Hall, now home to the Office of International Programs, used to be a horse barn! Old Main was the cornerstone of the oval until it was burned to the ground during a demonstration in 1970.


I Love CSU Day!


Each April 18th, the students of CSU celebrate their University with a “green out.” Green t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and shoes pervade on campus. Games and events are held on the Lory Student Center Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The governor of Colorado signs a proclamation declaring April 18th I love CSU day across the state of Colorado! Alumni are also encouraged to show their Ram pride and wear green and gold to work.


The Rocky Mountain Showdown vs. University of Colorado

rocky mountain showdownEight times since 1998, Colorado State and in-state rival Colorado have faced one another in the annual football battle in Denver at Invesco Field at Mile High. Since the game initially moved to Denver in 1998, the teams played before the largest crowds in state history to witness a college sporting event.

The CSU Fight Song

Fight on you stalwart RAM Team
On to the goal
Tear the (opponent) line asunder
As down the field we thunder.
Knights of the Green and Gold,
Fight with all your might.
Fight on you stalwart RAM team!

Listen to the Fight Song

The Colorado State University Alma Mater

Hail to thee, our Alma Mater;
Colorado State.
Memories are everlasting
of this place so great.
May thy Green and Gold unite us,
loyal ever be.
Colorado State, our Alma Mater,
Hail, all hail, to thee.
Listen to the Alma Mater

Activities Especially for New International Students

First 50 Days is an initiative by Orientation & Transition Programs for First Year Students. The goal is for all new undergraduate students to learn about involvement opportunities on campus, become a part of the CSU campus, engage in community-wide events and enhance their connection to being a CSU Ram. International Programs has adapted the schedule to include some activities specifically for international students, and to make sure the list below is open to both undergraduate and graduate students–but our goal is the same: that all new international students will engage in their first days on campus!

Ramfest 2016 Featuring The Head and The Heart
Friday August 26, 5pm
CSU Intramural Fields
CSU students go to RamFest! Kick off your school year with an awesome concert , new friends, and food. Colorado favorite indie-folk band The Head and The Heart will headline RamFest 2016, CSU’s annual fall show. Tickets are $10 for CSU students and $35 for the general public. Go to to purchase tickets today! RamFest is put on by RamEvents, the student programming board on campus. The mission of RamEvents is to provide diverse and affordable events that both entertain and enrich the Colorado State University experience.

Grill the Buffs
Wed., August 28, 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
LSC Sutherland Sculpture Garden
Help us celebrate our Ram Pride as we anticipate and celebrate our annual rivalry game against CU!

Rocky Mountain Showdown
Colorado State vs. Colorado Football Game
Friday, September 2, 2016
Sports Authority Field, Denver
Don’t miss out on the biggest football game of the season as we take on the CU Buffalos at Sports Authority Field (home of the Denver Broncos). Tickets are available now. Click here to get more information about student tickets!

Women’s Volleyball Game vs. California
Friday, August 26, 6pm
Moby Arena
Over the last two seasons, the Rams have lost only twice at Moby Arena! This season begins with match-up against North Dakota. Wear your favorite white shirt for our annual ‘White-Out’ match, and bring your friends to experience the magic of Moby.

Football 101
Saturday, September 10, all day
Moby Arena

CSU International Programs, Alumni Association, and Athletics invite you to this free, once-in-a-lifetime, college football experience at the first football game of the season. This game is also the annual Ag Day celebration, a throw-back to the days when we were the Colorado A&M Aggies, so you will be receiving an orange Football 101 t-shirt to wear to the game! Football 101 will teach you the basic rules of the game and CSU football tradition, as well as how to throw a perfect spiral, from a CSU football alumni who went on to win a Superbowl in the NFL! You will receive free transportation to and from Hughes Stadium, a tailgate party with free luch, an opportunity to run through the tunnel and onto the field as the Rams enter the stadium, and your own seating section to cheer the Rams to victory! Space is limited.

Involvement Expo
Wed.-Thurs., Sept. 4-5
10am – 3pm
Lory Student Center Plaza
Do Something! The Fall Involvement Expo is an opportunity for you and your fellow Rams to get involved on campus. By connecting with 300+ Student Organizations, University Offices and Community Agencies, you have the opportunity to become involved and leave your mark at CSU. The Fall Involvement Expo is a great way to connect, experience and engage with what CSU has to offer.

CSU Meet and Greet (For Students Living in the Residence Halls)
At CSU Meet and Greet campus faculty and staff visit residence halls to stop in and say hello and answer any questions about classes or life on campus. There will be ice cream and lots of prizes and fun activities! The 11th Annual CSU Meet and Greet will occur during the following dates:

  • Mon., August 29, Allison, Corbett, Parmelee Halls
  • Wed., September 7, Durward, Westfall, Laurel Village
  • Mon., September 12, Newsom, Edwards, Academic Village
  • Wed., September 21, Ingersoll & Summit
  • Mon., September 26, Braiden Hall

For more information, talk to your Resident Assistant.

Study Abroad Fair
Friday, September 11, 10am – 3pm
Lory Student Grand Ballroom
At the Education Abroad Fair you can learn about opportunities to study, intern, volunteer, or participate in a service learning project abroad. An education abroad experience is open to international students, but you will have to start working with an advisor early to find a program that will work for you. If you want to learn a new language, fulfill requirements of your major, or simply focus on general electives, an experience abroad will enhance your studies and engage you as a citizen of the world.

Taking Stock (For International Students)
Taking Stock is an opportunity to reflect on your transition at CSU after the third week of the semester. You will be
invited to participate in the Taking Stock assessment to learn more about yourself, the people you have met, and ways to get better connected to the resources at CSU. After you take the survey, talk with your Resident Assistant or the Off-Campus Life staff to get the most out of your CSU experience. It doesn’t take long but can make all the difference in the months and years ahead!

Cans Around The Oval
Wednesday, October 14–CANStruction
Cans Around the Oval is a Colorado State University tradition, where students, faculty, and staff partner with community members, local media, and area businesses to raise awareness about hunger in our community, as well as raise food and monetary donations for the Food Bank for Larimer County. This event is Larimer County’s largest single-day food drive and will take place on Wednesday, October 21st on the CSU Oval. Supply distribution day is September 17, 2015; CANStruction is October 14th, 2015. New students specifically can get involved by donation any non-perishable food items or volunteer the day of the event.

Homecoming and Family Weekend
Thurs.-Sat., October 6-8
Join the CSU campus community as we celebrate Homecoming & Family Weekend! Activities include the Festival on the Oval, Friday Night Lights (pep rally, bonfire, fireworks, and lighting of the “A”), Homecoming parade, and of course, the Homecoming football game!

If you have questions or for more information, contact Orientation and Transition Programs at (970) 491-6011 or


ISSS Events & Programs

We believe studying is not the only piece of your experience at CSU–we want you to get involved with groups and activities on campus, to become a part of the Fort Collins community, and to explore greater Colorado and the US! We offer many ways for you to do this and encourage you to make some time each week to learn outside the classroom. Check out all the resources on our Events & Programs webpage.

Fort Collins International Center (FCIC)

The FCIC is the official community organization that partners with us to provide off-campus learning experiences, trips, and outings. Consider joining one of their many programs, apply for an International Friend, and more!


The Fort Collins International Center (FCIC) is a non-profit community organization for wuf22 those eager to learn about and share the riches of our world’s cultures one person at a time. Since 1967, volunteers have been providing the Fort Collins area with programs and activities designed to build friendships and develop understanding among people from around the world. The Office of International Programs recognizes Fort Collins International Center as our official volunteer organization. Together we support international students, their families and the broader community with various programs.

fb iconFCIC is on facebook! Visit the FCIC website or sign up for their newsletter for more information.


FCIC runs the following programs:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLUB: Come meet new friends every Friday at the International House (1400 W. Elizabeth). You do not have to live in International House to attend.

OUTDOOR PROGRAM: Explore beautiful Colorado and connect with your new home in a fun and active way.  Each month, the FCIC organizes outdoor activities for all interested students and community members. The aim of outdoor activities is to provide an active and fun environment for students and community members to enjoy the beauty of Colorado and surrounding states on occasion together.  Activities vary from hiking and skiing to snow-shoeing and river rafting trips.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S CLUB: This weekly social gathering is a great way for international women to build community. Every Friday morning, the Women’s Club spends time getting to know each other and discuss a different topic each week. Kids are welcome!

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS PROGRAM:  Would you like to build some relationships off campus and get more invested in the Fort Collins community and American culture? Then we encourage you to sign up for this program, which pairs you with a Fort Collins family or individual who is committed to sharing their lives with you. You can expect to get together with your International Friend for activities or holidays at least once a month.

GLOBAL AMBASSADORS PROGRAM (GAP):  Global Ambassadors are CSU International Students who share their culture with classrooms and community groups. You will also enhance your resume, practice your presentation skills, meet new people and make new friends. Everyone is welcome to become a speaker!

INTERNATIONAL NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY: Twice a month, students and community members share their experiences of other countries or their home country.  Every 2nd Tuesday, the public is invited to attend at the Fort Collins Main Library in the large community room at 7 p.m. Every 4th Thursday, the same presenters speak again at the Harmony Library on the Front Range Community College Campus at 7 p.m. Volunteer today if you would like to share your country with the local community!  Contact Mark Oberschmidt at

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH CLASSES: Practice your English and make new friends at these free drop-in classes! Join us every Monday at Aggie Village from 9:30-11 a.m., and every Thursday at University Village from 9:30-11 a.m.  These classes offer language help for all levels, and offer insight into American customs and build community with others.

International Spouses and Families

There are many ways for family members to get involved in the community. Learn more on our International Spouses and Families webpage!

Suggested Activities

  • International Women’s Club – Social hour for female spouses to interact with women on-campus and in the community. Meets every Friday at Aggie Village
  • International Friends Program – Connect with local Fort Collins families.
  • Global Ambassadors Program – Present your culture to local classrooms.
  • Volunteer Opportunities for Spouses – List of many ways to help out CSU and the community.
  • Recreational Activities for Spouses – Ways to stay active.
  • On Campus Activities for Spouses – Weekly newsletter on upcoming international events.
  • Fun Fort Collins Community Activies – Ideas for fun family outings in Fort Collins.
  • International Women’s Welcome – an event each fall to welcome new female spouses (see bottom of page for more info).

Hiking around Fort Collins

Explore this interactive map featuring the hiking trails around Fort Collins.

The FCIC Outdoor Program runs an international student hike once a month all year, for a reasonable price. They provide transportation.

View more local hike suggestions with photos on the EveryTrail and AllTrails websites. Visit Fort Collins also provides suggestions for outdoor activities in the Northern Colorado region.