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August 11, 2021

5 Favorite Restaurants in Colorado Springs from a Local

Looking for a great place to eat out in Colorado Springs? Stuck with a massive case of indecisiveness? We can’t blame you. There are so many delicious options for dining in the Pikes Peak region that anyone can find themselves in a state of choice paralysis. Next time you’re debating where to dine in our fair city, check out this list of five favorite restaurants to visit in Colorado Springs. 

A Taste of Latin America in Colorado Springs

PIGLATIN COCINA | $$ | 2825 DUBLIN BLVD.

Originally launched as a wildly popular food truck traveling about the Pikes Peak region, Piglatin Cocina has achieved equal adoration as a sit-down Latin American restaurant found on the north side of the city. On any given night, you’ll find this cozy, colorful cantina packed with cheerful diners downing signature margaritas and dozens of the restaurant’s Island Tacos. A crisp, blue corn tortilla envelops tender pineapple pulled pork, fresh cabbage, cojita cheese and a cool and tangy sauce that all blend together in bite after delicious bite of awesomeness. On Tuesdays, you can score them for $2 each, which leaves you ample cash to pick up a side of their plantains or elote (or both) and throw back some $2 Tecates. A taco or two also makes a great appetizer before taking on one of their larger meals, like the powerhouse Piglatin Plate which is a perfect sampler of all the restaurant’s tasty talents, including pork, rice and beans and plantains. If you find you like Piglatin’s take on Latin American fare, you may want to skip on down to its sister restaurant Anju, where you can give their Korean street eats a whirl, as well. (Get the dumplings.)

Downtown Brewhouse Offers Supper and Suds

PHANTOM CANYON | $ | 2 E. PIKES PEAK AVE. 

Located in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, Phantom Canyon has been a brewery staple in the area long before being a brewery was as cool as it is today. Since its founding in 1993, Phantom has been serving up craft beer for thirsty locals and tourists and providing a trendy place with a hip atmosphere to chill out for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. There’s a lot of great food to be found at Phantom Canyon, but their Tabasco Fried Chicken shines as a unique, spicy entrée that will certainly ignite your thirst for the brewery’s list of refreshing beers. Served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes with tender vegetables, Phantom’s perfectly fried chicken breast is doused with a spicy, creamy tabasco sauce and crumpled gorgonzola cheese. Chase it with the light and refreshing Alpenglow Hefeweizen to cool your jets. If you’re the IPA type (bless your heart), many of your ilk have expressed a deep love of 719 IPA and its massive dose of hops. If you’d like a meal that’s a little lighter, their Chicken Bacon Salad is a standout with fresh greens, hot bacon, grilled chicken and plenty of cheese. Top it with their citrus vinaigrette dressing to round out the summery impact of the meal. To close, they offer a great dessert list with seasonal bread puddings that pair well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Quick-serve Mexican Fare with Homemade Flair

AZADA MEXICAN GRILL | $ | 16 E. BIJOU ST.

Sometimes you want a meal that’s quick and easy but not necessarily fast food from a chain. Enter Azada Mexican Grill, a family-run, fast casual Mexican restaurant also located in downtown Colorado Springs. Most diners would liken the service style to Chipotle or Qdoba, but when it comes to authentic flavors, Azada leaves both in the dust. While the restaurant does offer traditional plates of enchiladas and such, the shining star is their massive burrito. It all begins with a ball of dough, which the Azada team quickly presses into a tortilla and tosses on the griddle right in front of you. The fresh tortilla doesn’t just taste amazing, it gives a little stretch for the healthy servings of fillings you can choose to pack inside. You can pick any protein you like, but the barbacoa is especially flavorful and adds a nice heft to your meal. Ask for the Mexican rice instead of plain white and you’ll get the feeling you’re scraping up the last delicious remnants of a combo platter—conveniently contained in a single handheld pocket of chewy goodness. Pack a picnic with everyone’s favs in a cooler and you’ll have a nice hot lunch on the go. Did we mention the fresh warm churros and cold horchata? 

Homestyle Goodness Served Daily

Sandy’s Restaurant | $ | 6940 Space Village Ave.

Everyone loves a hearty breakfast, especially when it comes from a family-owned diner like Sandy’s Restaurant. Breakfast trends like avocado toast or Bloody Marys covered in skewers of meat may come and go, but the power of a traditional breakfast with everyone’s favorite staples — eggs, bacon, coffee, toast — has never waned. A little off the beaten path, located on the edge of eastern Colorado Springs, Sandy’s has been serving up giant, six-egg omelets, home-baked breads and pastries, and authentic chicken fried steak for literal decades. The restaurant, which sits on the bottom floor of a bright yellow house, makes you feel right at home the second you sidle inside, its decor a combination of country casual and diner sass. It’s hard to pick a breakfast favorite, especially since Sandy’s has a great lunch menu competing for your attention at the same time (any of their burgers with onion rings is the right way to go). Go traditional with house-made biscuits and creamy white gravy (you can order enough for a huge plate or snag just a single biscuit) or go really big with a fluffy, six-egg omelet packed with your favorite fillings. Pro tip: Take their homemade cinnamon rolls to go for the next morning’s breakfast. 

Upscale Italian in a Phenomenal Setting

Ristorante del Lago | $ | 1 Lake Ave. 

If you want to get extra fancy for your next meal out, Ristorante del Lago will bring you the atmosphere you crave and plenty of authentic Italian cuisine to satiate your appetite. Located at the world-class Broadmoor resort, the restaurant is open to everyone and offering meals you won’t forget. Make it a date night and start with signature handcrafted cocktails at Bar del Lago like the aromatic Livia Drusila with elderflower liqueur and a lavender rim or the Bellini Classico with peach puree and prosecco. For dinner, Ristorante del Lago’s delicate and flavorful Gnocchi con Calamari will help you realize there is truth in the phrase “melt in your mouth.” The gnocchi and all of the restaurant’s other pastas are made from scratch, so you’ll likely be delighted no matter which meal you select. Their wood-fired pizzas are also amazing, if you prefer your carbs baked instead of boiled. As for dessert? We can’t decide between the Lemon Panna Cotta and the dark chocolate hazelnut cake called Gianduiotto. Get both. 

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