The Colorado Springs area is famous for its natural beauty, from the red rock formations in the Garden of the Gods to nearby Pikes Peak, a spot so scenic it inspired the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” Whether you’re looking for a brunch spot to fuel up before a day of exploring or you’ve worked up an appetite and are ready for some Colorado cuisine and craft beer in a state that’s famous for it, the Colorado Springs food scene boasts all kinds of tasty options.
US News researched dozens of review sites, including restaurant, dining and travel industry review sites, to bring you the best places to eat in this Colorado destination. Colorado Springs offers everything from casual dining rooms serving burgers, tacos or pizza to splurge-worthy fine dining spots and culinary hideouts, and this list highlights the top-ranked and highly beloved restaurants you should check out.
Juicy steaks, fresh seafood, martinis and single-malt scotches are all on the menu at MacKenzie’s Chop House, a fine dining restaurant located in downtown Colorado Springs’ historic Alamo building. While the 007 martini (a nod to James Bond) and marbled New York strip steaks are tried-and-true staples at this chophouse, a “Weekly Fresh Sheet” supplements the menu with dishes that rotate seasonally. Established in 1997, MacKenzie’s has a warm atmosphere in a brick building with romantic lighting, an outdoor patio and friendly service, according to past patrons. The white tablecloth steakhouse is a destination for nearby theatergoers, the business lunch crowd, those celebrating special occasions and couples on a getaway in Colorado.
(Courtesy of Paravicini’s Italian Bistro)
The son of Italian immigrants, chef Franco Pisani credits his mother for his passion for cooking. Restaurantgoers rave about the authenticity of his Italian dishes and homemade sauces at Paravicini’s Italian Bistro. Pisani opened this Colorado Springs eatery in 2003 and has built a loyal following over the years for his hearty Italian dishes like the Hot & Pots appetizer with spicy Italian sausage or the tenderloin Gorgonzola entree. Many of the dishes at Paravicini’s are family recipes made with local ingredients. This restaurant was even featured on the show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” with celebrity chef Guy Fieri complimenting the veal Giuseppe entree as “a real-deal, old-school Italian dish.”
From sweet to savory, Urban Egg has the breakfast bases covered. This daytime eatery has four locations in Colorado Springs, including one downtown. Diners praise the restaurant for having inventive dishes – such as the Denver hot chicken benedict, bloody mary grilled cheese and strawberry cheesecake pancakes – alongside classic omelets, French toast and more. Urban Egg also partners with Colorado purveyors to source everything from the tortillas for its breakfast burritos to the honey for its breakfast quinoa dish.
Considered one of Colorado Springs’ best-kept secrets, The Rabbit Hole is a sleek subterranean restaurant with artwork that evokes Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland.” The theme in this downtown den carries through to the menu, with cocktails named after characters (think: a boozy bourbon drink called Cheshire Sour and the Queen of Hearts bloody mary). Entrees like filet mignon, bison short rib and rabbit meatloaf make up the dinner menu, but save room for the decadent four-layer carrot cake or the Moon Pie. Travelers love stumbling down the rabbit hole to discover the cozy speakeasy-style atmosphere in this unique restaurant.
(Courtesy of PigLatin Cocina)
PigLatin Cocina is an energetic spot for Latin fusion street food. The menu’s culinary remixes include dishes like kimchi quesadillas, Caribbean nachos with fried green plantain chips, and tequila-braised pork and banana leaf tacos. Reviewers are keen on the flavor fusions, superb hospitality and lively ambiance. Sauce lovers will appreciate all the options, too – Colombian salsa, guava sauce, spicy mayo and green chili aioli are just a few of the menu choices. In addition to happy hour deals, PigLatin Cocina also runs weekly specials like discounted margaritas on “Tequila Thursdays.”
Set in a Tudor-style manor and with views of Pikes Peak, Briarhurst Manor Estate is a destination for a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the area. A concise menu puts forth dishes like trout and beef bourguignon, as well as some rare dessert wines to pair with chocolate torte or cheesecake. The five-course meal that begins with bread service is a popular option for travelers. Reviewers are also impressed with the historic atmosphere coupled with the beautiful views. Briarhurst Manor Estate sits about 5 miles west of Colorado Springs in Manitou Springs, close to the national landmark Garden of the Gods and its sandstone formations.
Pupusas are the star of the menu at Monse’s Puuseria, which is located in the Old Colorado City neighborhood of Colorado Springs. The thick griddle cakes come with 18 different filling variations, ranging from spicy pork to roasted Pueblo chile to various vegan options. Monse’s serves up other fare from El Salvador as well – including tacos, chile relleno and sides like curtido (a pickled cabbage salad). The eatery also offers grab-and-go options and a juice bar. Reviewers rave about the charming location and vegan options, and some credit the restaurant for introducing them to pupusas.
(Courtesy of TAPAteria)
Travelers checking out the Old Colorado City neighborhood and looking for a place to dine will find gluten-free shared plates, a dog-friendly covered patio, house-made sangria and a deep wine list with more than 200 options at TAPAteria. The culinary hot spot delivers Barcelona vibes and serves up bites made with ingredients sourced from Colorado farms. Guests love the menu’s variety and the eatery’s cozy atmosphere. The tapas plates here are made for sharing, with choices like caprese skewers, patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), grilled oysters, chorizo and figs, and bison carpaccio. TAPAteria also hosts monthly “Paella on the Patio” gatherings.
This family-owned Italian eatery in downtown Colorado Springs has won over diners with its namesake baked panino sandwiches, which are stuffed with meat, veggies and cheeses. Guests can build their own panino (the combinations are plentiful) or opt for one of the many specialty sandwiches, such as the grinder or the prime rib French dip panino. Panino’s got its start in 1974 as Pizza Plus. Today, The Downtown Panino’s has a Colorado Springs counterpart in Westside and, in addition to the popular panino sandwiches, also serves pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts like mini cannolis.
(Courtesy of Shuga’s)
Housed in what was once a grocery store, Shuga’s is now a cozy restaurant that’s filled with local artwork and decorated with a flock of origami cranes. This top Colorado Springs eatery offers a cafe-style menu of snackboards, salads, sandwiches and soups. The drink menu presents lighthearted cocktails: Try an Adult Juice Box spiked with vodka or a Naked Beekeeper (a tequila, honey, lemon and mint concoction). You’ll also see a choice between a cheap beer or a “pretentious” one. Diners flock to this eclectic spot for dishes like the Cuban Mojo sandwich and almond butter cake, calling the food and drinks alike delicious. Shuga’s hosts brunch on the weekends as well.
Celebrity chef Brother Luck has appeared on cooking shows like “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Top Chef.” In Colorado Springs, his restaurant Four by Brother Luck is a Southwestern-style spot with seasonal dishes, cocktails and craft beer on tap. While the menu changes often, the theme remains focused on the cultures that shape the region: Spanish, Mexican, Native American and Western pioneer. While you can order a la carte, diners recommend going for the four-course menu, which is the restaurant’s specialty. Each course puts forth several unique options for appetizers (such as blue cornbread), a seasonal soup or salad, entrees like braised rabbit or dry-aged duck, and desserts that range from fruit-forward to decadent.
(Courtesy of Bingo Burger)
Bingo Burger sets itself apart with a signature patty made with grass-fed beef and fire-roasted Pueblo chiles mixed in for a subtle bite. Other meat options for your burger include traditional beef, chicken and lamb. Deluxe toppings run the gamut from fried egg to guacamole, thick-cut bacon or sweet potato tater tots. Bingo Burger rounds out its menu with hand-spun milkshakes and malts (that you can even order with booze) as well as fountain sodas. Inside the family-friendly quick-service restaurant, you’ll find playful bingo card decor. Travelers swinging by this downtown Colorado Springs burger joint loud it for the creative ingredients and exceptional tastiness.