Now in its 59th year, Wade's continues to serve popular breakfast and lunch menus. Three-egg omelets come with three delicious buttermilk pancakes (or toast or hash browns, for people who don't like fun). Daily lunch specials, such as chicken and noodles, plus a salad, cost only $6.19.
The star at Wade’s is the buttermilk pancakes, made with flour specially milled just for them; they’re properly light, fluffy and served with odd toppings that include peanut butter and gingerbread. The affordable breakfast and lunch spot has been around since 1953, dishing all the expected diner plates, including egg dishes, sandwiches, steaks, chops and of course, pie.
Best of 2012: Place to Meet Women
Best of 2012: Bar Crowd
The name implies the atmosphere it exudes: classy, the type of place where people "power lunch," if that exists in Colorado Springs. However, at night (per our loyal readers), this is the top place to pick up women. "It has a professional atmosphere that appeals to women," says bartender Jenni Tillotson. Want to buy the lady a drink? Check out the extensive martini menu, particularly "The Matchmaker," a blend of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, ruby red vodka and pineapple juice. "It's sexy and sophisticated," says Tillotson, and maybe it'll even achieve what the name implies. — Celine Wright
Best of 2011: Bar Crowd
Walk into SouthSide Johnny's just once, and you probably wouldn't understand why the place would win this new category. That's because just one visit doesn't begin to tell the story. You have to go back, at different times, to get the full idea. SouthSide Johnny's has its regulars, but it also has its lunch crowd, its happy-hour crowd, its music-loving late-night crowd, its Saturday-Sunday brunch crowd and its "weekend warrior" motorcycle crowd, and they aren't the same people — though they do get along with each other quite well. You might see downtown attorneys, young and not-so-young professionals, or fans of Colorado College hockey (even CC head coach Scott Owens, along with former Tigers still living here). Put it all together, and that's how your bar crowd beats the rest. — Ralph Routon
Bites 2013: North Dakota Bison
Two options here, paleo-migos: the burger or the strip loin. The burger starts with the regular fixings on a brioche bun, to which you can add everything from green chilies to a fried egg or blue crab meat. The Maple Shellacked Plains Bison sees a sear with shallots and peppercorns, then a slathering of maple syrup and Stranahan's Whiskey demiglace. ($13 burger, $1 to $4 for extras/$39 strip loin)
Best Of 2013: Cutting Edge Restaurant
Nosh has won this category since 2008, back when it was called "Innovative Menu." Which is kind of amusing, since the menu hasn't actually changed a whole lot since mid-2010, when then-chef Shane Lyons (who recently opened Distilled NY in Tribeca, to positive reviews) created many of what have become known as the "staples," in manager Tyler Schiedel's words. But that's how good they've been — to carry on at the forefront of the collective culinary consciousness, as if exciting introductions were still being made. Well, the good news, according to Schiedel, is that tinkering is about to begin again under consulting chef Andrew Sherrill from the Blue Star; expect new dishes in the next few months. Nosh's bar program, too, deserves a nod, highlighting quality craft beers and creative cocktails. "We couldn't do it without the entire staff," says Schiedel.— Matthew Schniper
Bites 2013: Spicy Bison Sandwich
If ever a better way to eat bison tongue has existed, we know it not. Nosh's chefs braise the meat stupid-tender with tomato paste and red wine over the course of 24-plus hours at 200 degrees. They then cook it with caramelized onions, jalapeños and Anaheims, receiving more kick from cayenne mayo and pepper jack cheese, melted onto Old School Bakery bread. Dunk that in a sweet jus constructed of the braising liquid refortified with extra carrots to draw out natural sugars. Tatonka! ($9.50 includes a side, lunch only)