Global Cuisine in Colorado Springs: Asia and Africa
We are continuing our tour of international cuisine in Colorado Springs with a highlight reel of some of the best Asian and African food in the Pikes Peak region. If you missed the previous installments, check out the best of the Americas or some top picks from across the pond. Asia and the African continent have produced some of the most dynamic flavors and cuisines in the world. The diversity of spices and cooking styles — even in countries that sit right next to each other — is incredible. Colorado Springs is fortunate to have access to many wonderful options from both of the areas, including the recommendations we are sharing below. Discover a new favorite cuisine or find your next favorite restaurant for your favorite foods!
Ethiopian: Uchenna in Old Colorado City
Uchenna gives diners a rare opportunity to sample cuisine from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of two countries on the African continent that were able to successfully fight off colonization (which is an exceptional feat indeed), holding on tight to the country’s foundational history, culture and cuisine. Uchenna’s menu is, quite simply, amazing. Vegans will not starve when dining at this cozy establishment. Red lentils, chickpeas, fava beans and other delicious ingredients create exceptional vegan options packed with flavor and hearty goodness. Meat is also on the menu, marinated in spices, ginger and garlic and then cooked to perfection. Portions are filling, so come with an empty stomach. Get the gomen if you’re vegan—it’s a dish of vegan collard greens! If you love lamb, the lamb yebeg alecha or yebeg tibs are the way to go. The kitchen cooks from scratch every day and space is limited. The staff takes reservations up until 10 a.m. the day before for the next day’s meal, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for take-out orders. These requirements allow Uchenna to provide exceptional dishes and ensure everyone leaves full and happy.
Indian: Little Nepal Restaurant and Bar
When you first step through the doors of Little Nepal, you are enveloped in the smell of spices that let you know definitively that you are in the right place. Little Nepal’s dishes are packed with spices and the restaurant offers you the option to crank the heat (proceed with caution), or tone it down. Hot is very hot indeed. A chai or mango lassi might help cool it down, if you go a little above your mouth’s pay grade for spice. The tika masala is mouthwatering, as are the samosas, the butter chicken and the tandoori chicken. If you love seafood, the shrimp korma is highly recommended. The rich dish has flavors of traditional spices and coconut milk. If you take a look at the menu online and simply can’t decide, try out the lunch buffet offered every day. It will give you a sample of the flavors and dishes so you can order with confidence when you go back for dinner. And you will go back (but probably a week later when you’re no longer full of tika masala and buffet desserts. )
Thai: Wild Ginger
Wild Ginger offers herbaceous, citrusy, fresh Thai cuisine that will make any Thai fan swoon and any new diner a fan. The restaurant serves up heaping plates of traditional Thai dishes from their warm and welcoming location on the outskirts of Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. Customers rave about their excellent customer service, in addition to their flavorful food. If you love a good, hot soup, you’ll be delight to know there are 10 different options, including tom yum goong and po tak. Folks who are new to Thai should give pad Thai a try. Veteran fans of the cuisine can stick to their own favorites or branch out and sample Wild Ginger’s chef specialties like pineapple duck or pram long song. Wild Ginger also has a large selection of cold salads featuring chilled meats, cucumbers, cilantro and other delightful touches. You can order take-out, but we highly recommend dining in. The stark white tablecloths turn the colorful dishes into a visual feast and the friendly atmosphere only enhances the experience.
Middle Eastern: Heart of Jerusalem
Heart of Jerusalem has a deep love for the food they serve and their customers, too. They even shape their falafels into tiny hearts! You won’t find that level of affection at any chain restaurant, that’s for sure. Heart of Jerusalem is a locally owned, veteran-owned and family-run business with three different locations in Colorado Springs. In addition to their adorable, heart-shaped falafels, the restaurant also sells tasty kabobs, gyros and shawarma. Can’t choose just one? Their platters can help you with your struggle. You can get a beef and lamb gyro or chicken shawarma and gyro. They have a small children’s menu with two middle eastern options and two standard options for kids who aren’t into change. It’s also important to highlight an underappreciated offering served up by Heart of Jerusalem — Turkish coffee. It’s strong, like a caffeine punch to your motivation. It’s not quite as strong as a shot of espresso, but it’s close and it’s twice as strong as your average drip coffee. The hints of cardamom are just the honey on the baklava (which they also have).
Japanese: Dozo Sushi
Dozo Sushi serves up some of the most gorgeous plates of food in the Pikes Peak region. Every dish is filled with vibrant color and carefully arranged food. It almost hurts to eat it. Fortunately, you can snap an Insta-worthy photo and capture the memory forever before chowing down on whatever fresh concoction your chef has created. Have you seen the latest craze about sushi burritos? Dozo has one! You can choose from tuna, salmon or spicy tuna, or if you prefer cooked meat, beef or chicken. The meat is mixed with rice and veggies and rolled in seaweed. Dozo serves up basic rolls, like unagi and California, as well as specialty options such as their Dozo roll, which is rolled with a tempura shrimp, spicy tuna and crab mix and topped with tuna, salmon and a spicy poke sauce. You can easily dine with folks who aren’t into raw fish at Dozo, as well. They serve stir fried udon, yaki soba and other hot dishes. No matter what you order, get the tempura cheesecake for dessert. You’ll thank us later.
Where will your adventure take you next? You can check out some of our other global recommendations or find a few of your own. Wherever your appetite takes you, be kind, tip well and eat up. Every day is an opportunity for awesomeness when dining in Colorado Springs.