Labor Day is right around the corner, and what better way to fire up your taste buds than to try one of Northern Colorado’s top-rated BBQ restaurants?

The recent closure of Famous Dave’s in Fort Collins has left NOCO BBQ lovers in distress and might have even forced some loyal customers to resort to home grilling.

But fret no further, there are still several hot BBQ options near you that are perfect for any Labor Day celebration.

My personal favorite is Nordy’s Bar-B-Que & Grill. Nordy’s advertises themselves as “Best BBQ in Colorado,” and with their 4.6-star Google rating, it beats any other BBQ joint in Northern Colorado. Locally owned and maintained by the Nordhagen family, Nordy’s surpasses its competitors in both customer service and flavor. Whether you decide to participate in the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, indulge in the happy hour specials or drop in at dinnertime, you will not be disappointed. If you are a first-time visitor at Nordy’s and need an appetizer that will blow your mind, try the “Smokin’ Skins.” These are potato skins with your choice of smoked brisket or pork — and these “little” skins are nothing less than delectable. Nordy’s is located in Loveland, Colorado.

If you are knee-deep in Labor Day activities and want something a little quicker but still have that BBQ craving, Serious Texas Bar-B-Q might be the perfect option for you. With locations in both Fort Collins and Loveland, Serious Texas is easily accessible and has the perfect to-go options for you and your loved ones. A fan favorite that satisfies any BBQ itch, is their widely-known “Texas Taco.” This reasonably-priced, flavor-packed treat will leave any BBQ connoisseur wanting more.

Now, we know what goes along with Labor Day — fall classes at Colorado State University are back in session. In other words, Downtown Fort Collins is popping in every direction. While you are on College Avenue, take a break from studying (or let’s be real, drinking) and give Moe’s Original Bar B Que the good old “college try,” and it might just surprise you. With its Alabama roots, Moe’s is a great way to experience real Southern roasted meat. As Ben Gilbert, co-founder of Moe’s Original Bar B Que, once said, “Life needs more beer and BBQ.” With this motto, you won’t find a better college BBQ destination.

For our gluten-free BBQ fans, do not fear. Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ has a sauce that will make mixing the gluten-free and BBQ loving lifestyles a whole lot easier. Their signature sauce is not only gluten-free, but it is all natural and available for purchase so that you can take your new favorite sauce home with you. With locations in Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, Denver and Centennial, you can count on Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ to have your back the next time you are traveling around Colorado and start longing for that smoky, Alabama BBQ flavor.

Last but certainly not least is the nation-wide franchise called Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. With 21 locations in Colorado alone, Dickey’s is easily the most convenient BBQ restaurant on the market. This makes eating BBQ on Labor Day doable for our traveling BBQ fans. In fact, Dickey’s makes BBQ doable at any time with their online orders, delivery options and catering services. With those kinds of resources, there should not be one BBQ lover in the NOCO area that doesn’t have their very own “Big Yellow Cup.”

Wherever Labor Day takes you, stay safe and don’t forget to eat some BBQ.

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