5 Fort Collins food challenges to test your stomach

Scott Nies

On the Fourth of July, an incredible feat was accomplished. Winning the Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest for the 13th time and a new record of 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes, would it be ridiculous to call Joey Chestnut, current holder of the contest’s coveted Mustard Belt, the most dominant athlete of our generation?

Probably, but you can’t deny the absurdity of watching someone inhale over 21,000 calories of hot dog in such a short amount of time and, according to ESPN, getting the highest amount championships ever won in a single event.


Watching this momentous human achievement begged an important question. Does Fort Collins have an underbelly of food competitions that hungry, maybe slightly intoxicated college students could try their hand at? Yes!

If you think you have what it takes to follow in Chestnut’s footsteps and earn a place on the Major League Eating circuit, Fort Collins is a pretty good training ground to get started.

At the time of writing, all restaurants below currently allow patrons to dine-in with the exception of Fat Shack. However, as Larimer County sees a rise in recent COVID-19 cases, be sure to be on the lookout for how your favorite restaurants and food challenges will be adapting to help mitigate the spread of the virus. 

“You can’t deny the absurdity of watching someone inhale over 21,000 calories of hot dog in such a short amount of time.”

1. Beau Jo’s – The Beau Jo’s 14er Pizza Challenge

Although not local to Fort Collins, this is arguably the most famous challenge on this list due to the exposure Beau Jo’s received from the popular TV show “Man vs. Food.”

According to the Beau Jo’s menu, this challenge asks customers to “conquer a Colorado legendary 14er!” This two-person challenge requires the participants to inhale all 14 pounds of the Beau Jo’s Grand Sicilian pizza. If you can finish the pizza, crust and all, in under an hour, you will get the $80 price tag eliminated, a $100 cash prize and two free Beau Jo’s t-shirts.

2. Pizza Casbah – The 30’’ Pizza Challenge & The Triple Threat

The 30’’ Pizza Challenge requires grit, sheer mental focus and a buddy who has an equally large appetite. This challenge requires you to reserve it in advance and has a $50 buy-in fee.

Participants have one hour to take down a 30-inch pizza with five toppings of their choosing. Winners get “their money back, a 30% off buyer’s card good for an entire year and also instant popularity as a food warrior!” according to the Casbah website.

The Triple Threat, also from Casbah, is only for individuals, but that doesn’t make the food any less daunting. You have one hour to eat three stacked giant cheese pizza slices with five toppings that are then wrapped in dough and deep-fried. If you are able to finish this pizza tower you get a 30% off buyer’s card for the entire year.

3. Sundance Steakhouse & Saloon – 80 oz Steak Challenge

An 80-ounce steak cooked to preference, a loaded baked potato, vegetable du jour, a side salad and a dinner roll with butter. If that sentence doesn’t already make you feel full, this may be the challenge for you. Although the $80 for the challenge must be prepaid, if you can complete the challenge under the 60-minute timeline, you get your money back, a t-shirt and a featured post on their social media page. Sundance has a more extensive list of rules for the competition that you can see here.

4. Fat Shack – The 8” Fat Shack Sandwich Challenge

Potentially the hardest feat on this list with only two confirmed winners, according to their website, this challenge comes in at 1.5 pounds of sandwich and has participants attempt to eat three Fat Shack sandwiches in under 30 minutes.


Many of these sandwiches have mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and jalapeño poppers. Those that attempt this challenge must be willing to have their picture placed on Fat Shack’s “Legends” or “Weak Sauce wall.” Winners get their money back, some Fat Shack memorabilia and your picture on the wall.

5. Wing Shack Wings – Bear Hot Challenge

The shortest challenge on this list makes up for its lack of food with extreme heat. The Bear Hot Challenge sees eaters try to consume 10 Bear Hot Wing Shack wings in under five minutes. The wings are so hot that all participants must sign a disclaimer prior to eating.

According to the official rules of the challenge, there are no napkins, no dressings and no excuses allowed. Winners get a custom Wing Shack hat, their picture on the wall and “their name will be forever immortalized in the annals of Wing Shack History!”

Scott Nies can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @scott_nies98.