For the last few years, chicken and waffles have become the go-to brunch item. Listed on nearly every restaurant’s menu, in some variation, it seems like this southern classic is here to stay. Nowhere is this more evident than at Chick’nCone, a grab and go style chicken joint that serves crispy breaded chicken nuggets sauced in six different flavors and stuffed into a sweet waffle cone. Situated in Old Town Fort Collins just minutes from Colorado State University, the new hub caters to both families and hungry students alike.
In 2011, Jonathan Almanzar and Josh Lanier co-founded a unique food truck in the New York City area. Chick’nCone took off quickly and transferred from a meal on wheels to a fast-food chain. Just four years later, these chicken stuffed cones became a franchise and the first location opened in Dubai. It wasn’t until 2018 that a U.S. franchise would pop up in Colorado.
Franchise owner, Henry Stucky saw such huge potential in Chickn’Cone because of its unique take on one of America’s most classic dishes. Stucky booked a flight to New York and met with both Almanzar and Lanier. They discussed the great potential Chick’nCone would have in the Colorado market and about one year later, the location in Fort Collins was up and running.
Chick’nCone serves more of the goods and less of the fluff. With a simple menu— the fork-free chicken and waffles meal ($12) comes with one savory or sweet sauce for those golden nuggets, crispy Cajun fries and a drink.
The crispy chicken nuggets pair perfectly with both sweet and spicy sauces, so naturally, the menu offers two sweet flavors including Cinna-Maple with maple syrup drizzled on the chicken and a Traditional BBQ with southern style sweetness. On the other end of the scale, the two spicy flavors are Buffalo Blue, a spicy wing sauce with a hint of blue cheese and the Peri Peri, made with South African chili sauce.
For those middle of the roaders, who enjoy both flares of spice and washes of sweetness — the menu has two tasty options. Yella BBQ is a tangy mustard-based barbecue sauce and the Kick’n Ranch is a mild spicy ranch sauce.
With a limited but delicious menu, Chick’nCone features seasonal flavors a couple of months out of the year. In the past, the Colorado Cone has been extremely popular — crispy chicken nuggets lathered in Colorado’s famous green chile. Throughout the month of October, the featured flavor is a Sriracha macaroni and cheese topped chicken cone and in November, the featured cone is Thanksgiving-inspired with the same popular chicken tossed in homemade gravy and topped with dried cranberries.
Chick’nCone is located in an outdoor market called The Exchange. The center is open with plenty of seating and firepits during Colorado’s colder months. Among the ice cream shop and brewery — a recycled shipping container about 8 feet by 20 feet is where you’ll find a bright orange logo and delectable chicken cones passing through a charming walk-up window. This venue is a complete visceral experience — smells of sweet waffle cone batter flood your nose and sounds of thick-cut potatoes dropping into a bath of hot oil alert your cravings.
So far, the only other state to offer these fork-free chicken and waffles is New York. Unless you’re heading to the east coast, a trip north of Denver is worth it for this one of a kind snack.
Chick’n Cone is located on 234 N. College, Unit B1, Fort. Collins. Chick’n Cone is open Monday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All Photography by Madison McMullen.