Staying Fresh: Review on Cafe Rio

Cafe Rio Supper
Cafe Rio Supper (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

Everything is always made fresh at the Cafe Rio. On a Saturday night, the Mexican grill had a fair mix of families and students. Yet, this is a restaurant perfect for the college crowd. Out of the countless places in Fort Collins, the Cafe Rio on South College Avenue is not to be missed.

The Cafe Rio may be best known for its salads and tortillas. The salads are transformed into giant burritos as the staff creates them before you. At the end of the line, they may even resemble mini-mountains. And the tortillas, soft and chewy in texture, are always handmade.


The drink bar is not to be forgotten, and I found it to be exceptional. It is the ultimate drink bar. The Chevy truck drink station features an impressive array of flavors and syrups, satisfying customers who would like a mix of everything.

There is always the option to get creative in drink choice. There are fruit frescas and morchata strawberry limeades, but that isn’t even the half of it. Teas are also included. The southwest limeade looks particularly interesting.

Though the lines are a bit long, the process speeds up once you have to order. The staff is fast-paced in their work, yet they are far from impersonal. It was refreshing, and even a bit surprising, to receive such excellent service.

For those looking for a menu highlight, it would have to be the chicken burrito smothered in green chile sauce. Make sure to get it enchilada-style. The chile sauce is on the mild side, though there are spicier options. However, the Cafe Rio also offers daily specials, such as the Saturday Shrimp Tacos and Sunday Mexican Pasta.

Expect to be entertained by interesting and funny signs hanging in the restaurant. One sign playfully states, “Go ahead, try to eat it all” and another announces that “I sold my soul for a pork salad.” The restaurant also uses signs to affirms that they are a no-preservative and farm fresh business.

If you decide to eat in, there are plenty of hand-painted tables to choose from. The restaurant resembles a small village, and the soft music and lights don’t detract from the relaxed experience. The carefree and light environment is certainly noteworthy.

Overall, the Cafe Rio was a fantastic choice for a Saturday night. The restaurant is a student hotspot, and a great place to go with a group of friends. Visiting the Rio on an empty stomach is highly recommended. If you’re hungry, then this Mexican grill won’t disappoint.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Anna Groeling can be reached at