Favorite

Field trips: UCCS 


WALK


Señor Manuel Mexican Cuisine

It looks like an old, out-of-place, hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, but that's just because Señor Manuel is exactly that. Reasonably priced and family-owned, Manuel is a Colorado Springs institution: it's one of the few buildings on the Nevada corridor that hasn't changed in years. In fact, the local legend has been in business for 42 years this month. 'Ritas are good, but the tortillas are even better. Try the flautas — you'll be glad you did. — Jeff Koch
4660 N. Nevada Ave., 598-3033, senormanuel.com

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

University Village has plenty of eateries; BJ's may be the most popular. While there's nothing spectacular about the regular menu, the chill atmosphere is tailored to a young crowd, and there are plenty of widescreen TVs to catch big games. And if you haven't tried BJ's Famous Pizookie, well, this cookie-and-ice-cream treasure is famous for a reason. Just have a ride lined up if you plan to enjoy one too many glasses of the handcrafted beer. — Sara Horton
5150 N. Nevada Ave., 268-0505, bjsbrewhouse.com


BIKE


Caspian Cafe

Mediterranean food doesn't exactly play into a college student's stereotypical diet, but this is the perfect restaurant to experiment with new dishes. The baba ghanouj is always a tasty appetizer, and we've never been disappointed with the nightly specials or pastas. Although the dinner here can get pricey, Caspian Cafe prepares flavorful dishes in a mood-lit venue that can make any date night special — with reservations made in advance, of course. — Sara Horton
4375 Sinton Road, 528-1155, caspiancafe.com

Trinity Brewing Company

If you fear the dreaded beer belly, join Soul Runners, Trinity's running club. You'll stay trim and get a $2 discount off post-run house brews, in case you want to relax with a cool one. Of course, you don't have to run to enjoy discounts: Trinity has weekly deals listed on its website, and a lunch menu, which includes a bangin' "nearly world famous" macaroni and cheese, that can be washed down with any of the 35 brews on tap. — Sara Horton
1466 Garden of the Gods Road, 634-0029, trinitybrew.com


DRIVE


PJ's Bistro/Manitou Springs

I know it's somewhat off the beaten path for UCCS folks — most any college folks, actually — but for my money, PJ's has the best burger around. Sure, there's some great Polish-inspired cuisine, and the joint gets really classed up for dinner, but lunch with a burger on the deck overlooking Manitou Avenue is as good as it gets. Go with a friend and split an order of potato pancakes, too. On a date? PJ's is ideal with a beer or glass of wine and a stroll around Manitou afterward — the town has a killer live music scene, galleries to browse and even a nickel arcade. — Jeff Koch
819 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1195, pjsbistro.com

Arc Thrift Store

Never is the need to be fashionable greater — and the wallet emptier — than during your university years. Enter the Arc, a prolific Front Range chain of massive thrift stores. We like the clean environment and gargantuan selection; we love the contributions to local nonprofits and green initiatives. Nearby options like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are fine, but this recently opened Arc trumps them both for selection. — Jeff Koch
7207 N. Academy Blvd., 528-5263, arcthrift.com

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