Global Cuisine in Colorado Springs: The Americas
One of the best reasons to live in a country that is made up of so many cultures is the wide variety of delicious foods everyone brings to their communities. Colorado Springs is fortunate to be a dynamic hub for a variety of unique global cuisine, including classic American fare. Our thriving foodie community has created a warm and welcoming place where new restaurants can thrive. That means when you go out to eat in Colorado Springs, you really do have a chance to experience a culinary adventure. Slap on your favorite stretchy pants (or stretchy dress pants if required) and get ready to take your taste buds on a global tour! Try a few — or all — of these worldly creative concepts located right here in the Pikes Peak region.
USA: Front Range Barbeque
Like many American favorites, classic barbeque has influences from multiple cultures and countries. Caribbean, African and Indigenous peoples all have a hand in the styles of barbeque we all love today, whether you’re a diehard fan of Kansas City style, a Texas beef boss or a hungry neutral party that just loves to eat. The founders of Front Range Barbeque in Old Colorado City hail from Alabama, so they’ve got their own special twist and influences. Touted as Southern-style barbeque, Front Range offers smoked meats, collard greens, cornbread and so much more. Their Cajun recipes and barbeque flavors are family favorites created by the founders’ parents. Front Range’s hot wings are a huge hit; smoked, then fried and served with your choice of sauce. Even their signature Bloody Mary has a hint of smokey barbeque sauce, making it savory and refreshing. If their burnt ends are available (they go fast), absolutely order up a set and balance all the meat with some cold-smoked artichoke hearts. They may be battered and fried, but they are also a vegetable, so it counts.
Mexican: The Loop
The Loop is a popular Mexican joint that serves gigantic margaritas, hot and fresh chips and huge steaming platters of your favorite foods. The Loop got its start as a wild game barbeque, but you won’t find rabbit on the menu today. You will find “buzzard fingers,” but they are just a tasty chicken finger appetizer. One of the top meals is the molcajete, a chicken (or other meat) dish served in a stone container that keeps the food piping hot and flavorful. You can also get classic favorites like tacos, enchiladas, carne asada and burritos. Specials change throughout the year, but the ability to chow down until you can’t possibly eat (well, except those sopapillas) is offered daily. Try not to fill up on chips and salsa before your meal because it will be gigantic. The Loop is a perfect hearty refill location for hikers, bikers, incliners or anyone else working up an appetite in Manitou Springs. Of course, you can also just spend the day in bed and show up for a giant margarita, too. There is no judgement here.
Jamaican: Spice Island Grill
Spice Island Grill offers flavorful island favorites that will satiate even the hungriest of diners. This longtime favorite has a fun and vibrant atmosphere with a friendly staff. You’re good to go ordering pretty much jerk anything. They make a killer jerk chicken salad and a super filling chicken patty, too. Do not skip out on ordering the plantains. They add the flare you’re looking for and disappear dangerously fast. The mac and cheese, rice and peas and Johnny cakes never disappoint. You can cool down from all the spice with two epic desserts. There’s the mango passion cheesecake, which has island flavor backed by creamy cheesecake. You can also get the ultimate in cooling palate cleansers by ordering Key lime pie. More creamy goodness bolstered with that signature Key lime bite. The restaurant is tucked away on the west side of downtown Colorado Springs along the route back from Old Colorado City.
Salvadoran: Monse’s Pupuseria
Let’s kick this off with some of the best news about Monse’s — they are completely, yet deliciously, gluten-free. A pupusa is a deliciously stuffed griddle cake made of corn or rice flour. You can get amazing fillings at Monse’s, including Pueblo chiles and cheese, dairy free chicken or revueltas or go vegetarian with mushrooms or black beans and cheese. If that’s not enough, you can top them with meats and vegetables. The restaurant also makes agua frescas, strawberry horchata, milk tea boba beverages and regular horchata to quench your thirst. The shop, which is located just off of the main drag in Old Colorado City, is a popular destination for folks with mixed dietary needs because everything tastes amazing, whether your diet is more restrictive or completely unhindered. In short, pupusas are just one of those unifying foods that everyone in the family can enjoy — especially when dining at Monse’s.
Cuban: Pig Latin Cocina
Pig Latin got its start as an incredibly popular food truck with a near-cultic following before moving to its new digs in northern Colorado Springs. Their staple island tacos and stacked arepas are unbeatable when it comes to flavor, and they bring a whole new flavor to cuisine you thought you knew. These days they’ve expanded their taco menu beyond their delicious pineapple pork to include mushroom tacos, shrimp tacos and kimchi tacos (Pig Latin has a sister Korean fusion restaurant in Coati in downtown Colorado Springs). Many of the dishes can be purchased singly, giving you a chance to try all the flavor without busting your buttons. Their drink menu is also tuned in to Cuban flavor, with specialty shots and custom drinks. This restaurant is always, always packed, a testament to the love customers have for the food. It is worth the wait.
Brazilian: Taste of Brazil
When most people think of Brazilian cuisine, they tend to imagine the famous steakhouses. However, Brazil is more than meat carts and Taste of Brazil wants you get to know them all. Located on Garden of the Gods Road west of I-25 and east of the Space Foundation Discovery Center and the world-famous Garden of the Gods rock formations, Taste of Brazil has unique and delicious offerings you won’t find anywhere else. Their savory Brazilian pot pies are filled with your choice of meat or cheese and served with rice and salad. Alternatively, you could try their pancakes, which are served similarly to a crepe, and filled with flavorful meat. The dessert menu offers delicious options ranging from light and healthy acai bowls to rich and decadent brownie cake filled with creamy coconut. Candy, caramelized bananas and custard round out a dessert menu that makes the visit perfection.
Launch your tour of cuisines from all over the world with this list of tasty global sampling of some of the best restaurants in Colorado Springs. And remember, we have not even scratched the surface of the unique and delightful options you can find in the Pikes Peak region. Once you’ve checked off this list, get out there and discover the world of cuisine the Pikes Peak Region has to offer, from Europe all the way to Africa and Asia!