Local Colorado Springs Restaurants Serving Up Fun Eats and Colorado Classics
Put a little pizazz in your next meal out with our fun eats and Colorado classics served up daily by local Colorado Springs restaurants. Every state in the country is known for having its own spin on food and Colorado is certainly no exception. As Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs have grown, so has the variety, complexity and talent of our already excellent options. The killer local cuisine scene we’ve got going on here in the Pikes Peak region has contributed to an epidemic of choice paralysis, so we’ve built a shortlist of our favorites to help you find your next Colorado food favorite. Come along with us on a delightfully local epicurean odyssey.
Where to Find Colorado Green Chili in Colorado Springs
Colorado green chili is a contentious subject. We’re neighbors with New Mexico and their locals can be quite feisty with our locals about who is doing it best. It’s like watching the Sharks and the Jets fight except everyone wins because they get to eat chili. Colorado green chili is pork forward and you’re going to find a version of it on most menus. If you like your chili thick, your best bet is to check out Mo’s Diner in Manitou Springs (108 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829). It tastes divine on fries, hash browns, breakfast burritos or simply in a bowl. Sometimes they sell it by the jar so you can take it home. Do it.
If you prefer your green chili to be more akin to a rich soup, Phantom Canyon Brewery in Downtown Colorado Springs (2 E Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903) is another excellent location. Even better, they offer a vegan green chili option for folks who aren’t fond of meat. It’s equally delicious per several omnivores who have tried both. Phantom Canyon’s chili has a gentle kick for those who are sensitive to spice but that’s easily solved by chasing it with one of the brewery’s signature beers.
Other Great Options for Green Chili in Colorado Springs:
- Western Omelet
- Cerberus Brewing
- King Chef
Upscale Dining Featuring Classic Colorado Foods
Colorado is known for a lot of dynamic foods. We have our fruits, like Rocky Ford watermelons and Palisade peaches. We have our beer, varieties of which are plentiful. And we have our signature meats: bison, lamb, beef, trout, elk, duck, pork and more. You might be thinking, isn’t that just basically all the meats? Almost, yes, Colorado is Just that good. And we like to also think that nobody does it better than Colorado Springs restaurants. We’ll start with the Rocky Mountain trout dinner entrée at the Cliff House in Manitou Springs (306 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829). It come with a fresh and zesty lemon-dill gremolata that perfectly complements the fish, plus cranberry butter potatoes and grilled asparagus. Like many restaurants, the menu can change with the seasons so check the menu online before you go.
Our second fine dining choice is Four by Brother Luck (321 N Tejon St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903). If that name sounds familiar, you’re either a local, a friend or a fan of the show Top Chef, Chopped or Beat Bobby Flay (he did). Four is named for the providers of the food Luck serves: hunters, fisherman, farmer and gatherers. Our highlight from his restaurant is a dish featuring a key Colorado export, lamb. Luck serves it up with a rose honey glaze and a cherry demi-glaze. As a side note, remember how we said Colorado green chili is typically pork-based? Luck offers duck green chili made with Pueblo chiles harvested from our friendly neighbor to the south.
Other Upscale Dining Options with Colorado Favorites:
- Briarhurst Manor
- Colorado Craft
Casual Dining with Colorado Flare (and Fare)
Maybe you want to try some of those Colorado meats, but you don’t necessarily want to get in your fanciest gear. We’ve got you covered (and you’ll still need to be — they’re casual, but not that casual). You can’t get much more comfy and down-home than a barbeque joint and Front Range Barbeque (2330 W Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80904) does it darn well. They’ve got the homemade red beans, the brisket burnt-ends platter and one heck of a grilled kielbasa sausage platter featuring sausages made in Denver by Polidori. Great Grandma Polidori brought her family recipes to the U.S. from Italy and Front Range does them up nice with your choice of heaping traditional barbeque sides.
We’ll finish the recommendations for classic (but casual) Colorado meals with Cerberus Brewery and Restaurant in Old Colorado City (702 W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80905). The popular location tries to source all of its food from local vendors, ranchers and growers withing 100 miles of the restaurant. Their SoCo lamb sliders are layered with goat cheese and bacon, topped with green chile aioli and served on a toasted and buttery set of mini buns. They also have a great vegetarian black bean burger with green chile and green chile mayo. The star of the menu is the brisket grilled cheese, made with gruyere spread and house-smoked brisket. Get there on weekends in the summer and you can wash it down with a beer slushie.
Additional Casual Dining Options for Colorado Eats in Colorado Springs:
- Manitou Brewery
- Border Burger Bar
Local Ice Cream Maker Provides Cool Confections Downtown and in Old Colorado City
You’ve had apps and dinner — it’s time for ice cream! The Colorado Springs ice cream scene is a competitive market, with lots of equally awesome creators serving up the icy treat in their own unique way. We can’t possibly pick one that we could certify as “the best,” so we’ve picked out some businesses featuring some of our favorite locally made ice cream treats. Just a block away from the aforementioned Phantom Canyon, you’ll find Colorado-owned and operated Bingo Burger (132 N Tejon St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903) and their infamous boozy milkshakes. They’ve got the standard flavors like strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, plus caramel and a rotating monthly flavor. They are spiked with liquor and the rotating flavor often has unique or fun spirits. Even better, they use Colorado City Creamery Ice Cream. And what a coincidence, that’s our next local ice cream destination.
In addition to having ice cream so good that other business’ use it for their desserts, Colorado City Creamery (2602 Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80904) has one heck of a three-scoop banana split. They will let you order up three different scoops of their premium ice cream (which includes their rotational flavors and favorites like French silk) plus as many toppings as you would like. You can get it to go but we recommend you pop down outside and people watch. Have fun counting how many people see your treat and make a detour inside!
Other ice cream shops in Colorado Springs:
- Colorado Custard Shop
- Josh and John’s
- Frozen Gold
We hope these options will get you off to a great start in your quest for Colorado grub. Bring enthusiasm and an appetite and both are sure to be sated by the time you’re through.