Best Of 2006

Favorite

Haute Cuisine 


Best
  • Overall Restaurant

  • Steakhouse

  • Restaurant for Carnivores

  • American Cuisine
Gold
The Famous Steakhouse
31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333
restauranteur.com/famous
People flock to The Famous day and night, be it for shrimp and crab Louis salads and head-sized burgers at lunch, or the superstar aged, prime steaks at dinner. But it takes more than massive slabs of marbled meat to make the best overall restaurant. Stiff drinks, dark woods, rich leathers and the dulcet tones of Tony Bennett and The Chairman bring a certain swagger. Toss in a potent protein-induced testosterone surge and it's no wonder this swanky joint stole our readers' hearts. DTR

Best Overall Restaurant
Silver
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086

thebluestar.net

Bronze
Briarhurst Manor
404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1864
briarhurst.com


Best Steakhouse
Silver
Texas Roadhouse
595 S. Eighth St., 473-9711
3120 N. Powers Blvd., 638-8050
texasroadhouse.com
Bronze
Steaksmith
3802 Maizeland Road, 596-9300


steaksmith.com

Restaurant for Carnivores
Silver
Texas Roadhouse
595 S. Eighth St., 473-9711 3120 N. Powers Blvd., 638-8050

texasroadhouse.com
Bronze
MacKenzie's Chop House
128 S. Tejon St., 635-3536
restauranteur.com/mackenzieschophouse.com

American Cuisine
Silver
Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800
phantomcanyon.com
Bronze
Dewey's American Grill
4659 Centennial Blvd., 262-9100
deweysamericangrill.com


Best

  • New Restaurant

  • Tapas

Gold
Metropolitain
101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280
restauranteur.com/metropolitain
Downtown has gone uptown with the arrival of Metropolitain, a swank Manhattan-style lounge and restaurant. Reminiscent of The Famous, Colorado Springs' only true Chicago-style steakhouse, the Met fills the niche of a more refined New York restaurant: Think eclectic evening fare, rather than a more staid meat-and-potatoes approach. Constructed in the former home of Mataam Fez, the underground Met has a grotto-like feel with a dark, hip, modern decor that's great for impressing dates or business associates. The ample lounge is well-suited for martini sipping. GE

New Restaurant
Silver
Rock Bottom Brewery
3316 Cinema Point, 550-3586

rockbottom.com
Bronze
Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill
802 Village Center Drive, 266-9244
salsabravaonline.com

Tapas
Silver
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086

thebluestar.net
Bronze
Shuga's Restaurant Bar
702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412
shugas.com


Best

  • Innovative Menu
  • Restaurant Wine List

Gold
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086
thebluestar.net


Whenever you find a glossary and pronunciation guide at the bottom the menu, you know the kitchen is keeping close to the cutting edge. Ditto for a wine list that can be only corralled in a steel-covered three-ring binder. Bottles trot in from across the globe and the kitchen travels from France to India and back, stopping in Asia for Chinese-style crispy duck and Chef Davis' Louisiana homestead for soft-shell crabs and jambalaya. Sunday nights bring the chance to pair your dinner with an exotic wine at half the price so send your tongue on a world tour. DTR


Innovative Menu
Silver
Metropolitain
101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280
restauranteur.com/metropolitain


Bronze
Blue Vervain
56 Park Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-2400
bluevervain.com


Restaurant Wine List
Silver
The Famous Steakhouse
31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333

restauranteur.com/famous


Bronze
MacKenzie's Chop House
128 S. Tejon St., 635-3536
restauranteur.com/mackenzieschophousecom


Best
Fine Dining
Gold
Blue Vervain
56 Park Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-2400
bluevervain.com
No longer the new kids on the block, the cooking Christensens are redefining fine dining with their friendly atmosphere and world-class dishes. Pleasant surroundings, professional service and flawless execution anchor Blue Vervain's command performance. Follow haricots verts, beets, chimichurri-sauced steaks and fish with seasonal, creative and delicious desserts. DTR

Silver
The Pepper Tree Restaurant
888 W. Moreno Ave., 471-4888
peppertreecs.com


Bronze
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086
thebluestar.net
Best

  • Cafe


  • Restaurant for Herbivores

Gold
Adam's Mountain Caf
110 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1430
adamsmountain.com


This cozy caf exudes rustic Victorian charm. The exposed ceiling beams, inventive French doors and subtly mismatched chairs underscore Adam's ability to balance class with an utter lack of pretension. The menu shows deference for fresh ingredients, whole grains and regional nuances without being overly chichi. The Senegalese vegetables are not to be missed, the salmon is smoked in-house and their breakfasts are a local institution. "Their pancakes are out of this world," reveals Manitou Springs Mayor Marcy Morrison. "It's a warm, homey atmosphere, it's friendly and the wait staff is very attentive."
Visit Adam's in its new, more spacious, creek-side location in the historic Manitou Spa building as of this December. AB
Cafe
Silver
Shuga's Restaurant Bar
702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412
shugas.com

Bronze
La Baguette
Four locations
restauranteur.com/co/cs/deli.htm

Restaurant for Herbivores
Silver
Souper Salad
3636 Citadel Drive, 597-6124


1434 Kelly Johnson Blvd., 533-0614

808 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-0687

soupersalad.com
Bronze
Gertrude's Restaurant
2625 W. Colorado Ave., 471-0887
gertrudesrestaurant.com
Best

Barbecue
Gold

Front Range Barbeque
2330 W. Colorado Ave., 632-2596


4935 Templeton Gap Road, 598-8895
frontrangebarbeque.com


Though Front Range Barbeque's tender pulled chicken and Kobe beef burgers have won acclaim among the city's most persnickety carnivores, it's the finer details that keep the rest of us coming back. Located in a small Old Colorado City house, this homey restaurant serves plates with crunchy fried onion bits and a sweet cornbread muffin. NZ


Silver
Red Hot & Blue
4290 N. Academy Blvd., 592-0300
redhotandblue.com

Bronze
Slayton's Barbeque & Creamery
806 Village Center Drive, 266-5300



Best
Sunday Brunch
Gold
Sunbird Restaurant
230 Point of the Pines Drive, 598-8990
The restaurant's awe-inspiring hilltop location lets you look down on the rest of Colorado Springs as you dine. Feel the power as you enjoy the buffet featuring a pasta, omelet and fajita bar, two walls of desserts, fresh fruits and salads, carving stations, juice bar, seafood and more (with champagne included!). JET


Silver
The Lake Terrace Dining Room at The Broadmoor
1 Lake Circle, 577-5733
broadmoor.com

Bronze
Cheyenne Mountain Resort - Mountain View Dining Room
3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, 538-4000
cheyennemountain.com


Best

  • Wait Staff


  • Patio Dining


  • Bar for a Margarita

Gold
Jose Muldoon's
222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
josemuldoons.com

According to co-owner Luke Travins, Jose Muldoon was a legendary gunslinger and tequila aficionado with an Irish-American father and a Mexican mother. The tequila-aficionado part definitely explains Jose's expertise in the margarita realm. Travins claims there's no secret ingredient "just quality tequila and premium sweet and sour mix, combined with fresh-squeezed limes."


So maybe it's the family atmosphere and incredibly friendly servers that make us come back again. Or maybe locals and tourists are charmed by the festive spirit that spills out to the streets during summer. Or is it the lush back patio? Ponder it over a plate of nachos, a margarita and fried ice cream, perhaps? BS
Wait Staff
Silver (tie)
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086 thebluestar.net

Ritz Grill
15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484
ritzgrill.com


Bronze
Southside Johnny's
528 S. Tejon St., 444-8487
southsidejohnnys.biz
Patio Dining
Silver
Amanda's Fonda Mexican Restaurant
3625 W. Colorado Ave., 227-1975 amandasfonda.com

Bronze
The Margarita at PineCreek
7350 Pine Creek Road, 598-8667
restauranteur.com/margaritapinecreekcom


Bar for a Margarita
Silver
The Loop
965 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9344
theloopatmanitou.com

Bronze
Sonterra Grill
28 S. Tejon St., 471-9222
sonterragrill.com


Best
Restaurant for Kids that Isnt Fast Food
Gold Red Robin
Four locations
redrobin.com
Kids know what they like, and so does Red Robin a full kids' menu, plus "adult" menu items like freckled lemonade, bottomless french fries, 25 burger choices and monstrous malts. Parents can relax while kids enjoy play-'til-you-win arcade games, helium balloons and, if they're lucky, a visit from Red Robin himself. JET
Silver Poor Richard's Restaurant
324 N. Tejon St., 632-7721
Bronze
Fargo's Pizza Co.
2910 E. Platte Ave., 473-5540
fargospizza.com


Best
Restaurant for Tourists
Gold

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800
phantomcanyon.com


Make sure your pub crawl includes a pint at Phantom Canyon; you can view what's on tap monthly at their Web site. The menu lavishes patrons with an eclectic cuisine, featuring eats such as pizza, fish and chips, fondue and bread pudding. Hop upstairs and shoot some pool to complete a lovely evening. TS


Silver
Craftwood Inn
404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, 685-9000
craftwoodinn.com


Bronze
The Wines of Colorado
8045 W. U.S. Hwy. 24, Cascade, 684-0900
winesofcolorado.com


Best

Place for a Wedding Reception
Gold

Briarhurst Manor
404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1864
briarhurst.com

If romance were a place, it would be Briarhurst Manor. The fantastic food is matched only by the beauty of the historic building and grounds. Whether your reception includes two or 250 guests, the manor offers an intimate, elegant feel in a fairy-tale setting at the foot of Pikes Peak. JET


Silver
The Broadmoor Hotel
1 Lake Circle 634-7711
broadmoor.com

Bronze
Craftwood Inn
404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, 685-9000
craftwoodinn.com
Best

Chinese Food
Gold


P.F. Chang's
1725 Briargate Pkwy., 593-8580
pfchangs.com The Web site calls this restaurant a "stylish, high-energy bistro." But don't spend all your time power-walking in your electric yellow jumpsuit; the food will keep you busy enough. There's a whole section on the menu devoted to Sichuan, a region in China where the food is spicy and saucy. Yum. FG

Silver
Silver Pond Chinese Restaurant
5670 N. Academy Blvd., 594-9343
bestsilverpondchinese.com


Bronze
China Village Restaurant
203 N. Union Blvd., 475-8299

Best

  • Chips and salsa
  • Enchiladas
  • Mexican Food

Gold
Amanda's Fonda Mexican Restaurant
3625 W. Colorado Ave., 227-1975
With a menu culled from a collection of family recipes spread all over Mexico through five generations, there is no reproducing a meal from Amanda's Fonda. Nine years in business attest to the success of its steaming enchiladas and bottomless chips and salsa, to say nothing of its beautiful creekside locale. Amanda's Fonda draws in a regular crowd of locals, and, in a rare double-play, can claim to be a favorite tourist spot. The restaurant is planning a menu update in the near future, but don't worry it won't drop what keeps you coming back. LP

Chips and Salsa
Silver
Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill
802 Village Center Drive, 266-9244
salsabravaonline.com


Bronze
Jose Muldoon's
222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
josemuldoons.com

Enchiladas
Silver
Jose Muldoon's
222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
josemuldoons.com

Bronze
The Loop
965 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9344
theloopatmanitou.com


Mexican Food
Silver
The Loop
965 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9344
theloopatmanitou.com

Bronze
3 Margaritas
3956 N. Academy Blvd., 573-5065
6385 N. Academy Blvd., 532-1743
310 S. Academy Blvd., 596-5414
3margaritas.net


Best
Fondue
Gold


Mona Lisa Gourmet Caf & Fondue
733 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-0277
monalisafondue.com


Mona Lisa's smiling because her after-work social hour visited the no-reservations-required wine cellar for a wine tasting, followed by fondue in the upstairs quarters. The Mona Lisa's homey atmosphere, along with roughly 150 varieties of wine and heavenly cheeses, evokes a playfulness that calls for double dipping. TS


Silver
The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant
30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300
meltingpot.com


Bronze
Best
Best French Food
Gold

La Petite Maison
1015 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4887

restauranteur.com/maison
Hidden in plain sight on Colorado Avenue in Old Colorado City, La Petite Maison quietly goes about serving some of the city's finest cuisine. The ambience of the Victorian cottage lends itself to a dining experience that employees and, probably, countless diners describe as "good food and good wine ... a perfect match." KB


Silver
La Creperie Bistro
204 N. Tejon St., 632-0984
Bronze La Baguette Four locations
restauranteur.com/co/cs/deli.htm

Best
German Food
Gold

Edelweiss Restaurant
34 E. Ramona Ave., 633-2220
edelweissrest.com

If zigeunerschnitzel, spiessbraten, spatzle and Weihenstephan look like word scrambles to you, it's high time you haul your hinterende over to Edelweiss for a lesson in Deutsch. Whether it's lunch, dinner, dessert or rounds of rich German beer, they'll have you saying ein mehr in no time. CSB


Silver
Uwe's German Restaurant
31 N. Iowa Ave., 475-1611

Bronze
Old Heidelberg Pastry Shop & Caf
1109 S. Tejon St., 634-1052
3609 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 536-0979

Best
Greek Food
Gold
Jake and Telly's
2616 W. Colorado Ave., 633-0406

greekdining.com
Since 1997, Jake & Telly's has helped us swirl an expertly recommended wine to compliment perfectly cooked lamb. The second-story patio has allowed us to look down on the foolish people who pass by J&T's, completely oblivious to the caliber of tzatziki sauce they so callously breeze by. SK
Silver
Zorbadillo's Heavenly Greek and Mexican
604 S. Union Blvd., 447-9290


Bronze
Caspian Caf
4375 Sinton Road, 528-1155
caspiancafe.com


Best
Green Chili
Gold

King's Chef Diner
110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135
kingschefdiner.com


King's Chef isn't shy about pouring the best green chili in town over anything you so please. The taste lures you in while the spice knocks you down. I'll never forget my server's amusement when I took my first bite and peppered the chili with compliments in between panicked gulps of spice-dulling coffee. SK


Silver
Western Omelette Restaurant
16 S. Walnut St., 636-2286


Bronze
El Taco Rey
330 E. Colorado Ave., 475-9722


Best
Indian Food
Gold


Taste of India
4820 Flintridge Drive, 598-3428
tasteofindiasprings.com

Indian cuisine is like a warm hug from an old friend. Every time I eat it, I get all sappy and jovial. I go for the veggie dishes: saag paneer, bengan-bhurtha and aloo gobi are all exquisite when scooped with garlic naan and onion kulcha. And don't get me started on the mango shakes ... MS
Silver
Mirch Masala
5047 N. Academy Blvd., 599-0003


mirchmasalacuisine.com


Bronze
Everest Nepal Restaurant
28 E. Bijou St., 473-3890

Best
Italian Food
Gold


Paravicini's Italian Bistro
2802 W. Colorado Ave., 471-8200
paravicinis.com

"We have a lot of signature dishes that have a home-cooked feel," says manager Sarah Passow. Paravicini's offers a bevy of seafood choices, a lavish variety of enticing cream sauces and veal cooked eight different ways. It also offers monthly cooking classes on-site. Look forward to opening a new location in Palmer Lake soon. AB


Silver
Luigi's Homemade Italian Food
947 S. Tejon St., 632-7339
luigiscoloradosprings.com


Bronze
Carrabba's Italian Grill
2815 Geyser Drive, 527-1126
7120 Campus Drive, 264-0401 carrabbas.com <

Best

  • Japanese Food
  • Sushi


    Gold

Jun
1760 Dublin Blvd., 531-9368


3276 Centennial Blvd., 227-8690
Jun has been voted Best Sushi for 10 consecutive years, and for good reason. The hardwood sushi bar, the chef's expertise with a knife and the warm dcor all make for a unique and welcoming dining experience. Start with some miso soup and then go all-out with the fresh sea eel, California maki and spicy tuna. SK


Japanese Food
Silver
Ai Sushi
Four locations, independently owned
Bronze
Musashi 1765 N. Academy Blvd., 597-0634
Sushi
Silver
Ai Sushi

Four locations, independently owned

Bronze
Fujiyama 28 S. Tejon St., Suite A, 630-1167

Best Noodle Bowl
Gold

Noodles & Company
7234 N. Academy Blvd., 264-0022


1812 Southgate Road, 385-0800
noodles.com


Whether you're looking for comfort food to eat all by yourself, or you want to create your own Lady and the Tramp moment with a significant other, Noodles & Company has you covered. They go global and al dente on noodles, and serve you your stroganoff or stir-fry with a smile. KW

Silver Saigon Caf
20 E. Colorado Ave., 633-2888
Bronze
An Nam Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant
6928 Mesa Ridge Pkwy., 390-8700

Best Margarita
Gold


The Loop
965 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9344
theloopatmanitou.com

Me, I'm a Cadillac Margarita man an ounce of Grand Marnier with my tequila and lime. The Loop offers a slew of other specialty margaritas to fall in love with (none of them named for spacious cars). And the best part about 'em is they're big and sweet, like a hippopotamus rolled in sugar. MS


Silver
Jose Muldoon's
222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
josemuldoons.com


Bronze
Amanda's Fonda Mexican Restaurant
3625 W. Colorado Ave., 227-1975
amandasfonda.com


Best Middle Eastern Food
Gold


Caspian Caf
4375 Sinton Road, 528-1155
caspiancafe.com

Chef Daniel White pleases local palates with Mediterranean meals varying from French and Greek classics, such as steak Nicoise and gyros to Middle Eastern dishes like falafel and shish taouk. The Caspian Caf has a full-service bar and private dining area available for banquets. Come at 7 p.m. on Thursday or Saturday to fill your belly while live dancers shimmy theirs. TD

Silver Mediterranean Caf
118 E. Kiowa St., 633-0115
Bronze
Tajine Alami
10 Old Man's Trail, Manitou Springs, 685-1119 tajinealami.com

Best Tacqueria
Gold


Monica's Taco Shop
30 E. Fillmore St., 473-1996
5829 Palmer Park Blvd., 597-7022


Monica's menu is something of a matrix diners choose their meat and a delivery system. Reigning over this kingdom of choice is the carne asada burrito, a fresh tortilla loaded with grilled steak and nothing more. No beans or rice detract from this greasy-in-a-good-way cylinder of joy. DTR


Silver
El Taco Rey
330 E. Colorado Ave., 475-9722
Bronze
La Casita Patio Caf
Four locations
restauranteur.com/lacasitapatiocafecom

Best Tex-Mex Food
Gold
Texas Roadhouse
595 S. Eighth St., 473-9711
3120 N. Powers Blvd., 638-8050
texasroadhouse.com


Texas may not be its home, and fried jalapeo slices may be the only remotely Mexican menu item, but readers call it the best Tex-Mex in town. Perhaps this Indiana chain's family-friendly environment, longhorn flavors (steak and barbecued ribs), Texas-sized portions and reasonable prices distracted y'all. DTR


Silver
La Casita Patio Caf
Four locations
restauranteur.com/lacasitapatiocafecom

Bronze Sonterra Grill
28 S. Tejon St., 471-9222
sonterragrill.com

Best Thai Food
Gold


Wild Ginger
3020 W. Colorado Ave.,
634-5025

So the recent coup in Thailand is something for table talk these days. While the outcome takes shape, why not indulge in Thai delicacies and see what owner extraordinaire Khon has to say about it? Rest assured, she'll find a way to make you laugh over an outstanding curry coconut dish or one of Wild Ginger's other addictive and annually award-winning dishes. MS


Silver
Little Bangkok
109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 442-6546

Bronze
Bhan Thai
1025 N. Academy Blvd., 574-3401
bhanthai.net

Best Vietnamese Food
Gold


Saigon Caf
20 E. Colorado Ave., 633-2888

The unassuming dcor of this eatery belies the fact that these talented chefs have been expanding the palates of downtown for years. The juxtaposition of hot foods with crisp, fresh vegetables, and the inventive use of tender herbs and tantalizing sauces it's all so good that anyone who doesn't get a bi-monthly craving for Saigon Caf probably just hasn't eaten there yet. BS


Silver Saigon Grill
3119 W. Colorado Ave., 635-0336

Bronze
Saigon Springs
3408 N. Academy Blvd., 597-1175

Best Deli
Gold


Wooglin's Deli
823 N. Tejon St., 578-9443

CC kids, downtown business folks, hipsters and families love the large sandwiches, homemade soups and pastries here. Don't forget the bagel melts, which simply cannot be duplicated at home. But let's also applaud Wooglin's for its newest addition: the graffiti mural that changes every couple of months. BS


Silver
Broadway Deli
7170 N. Academy Blvd., 535-9944


Bronze
Jason's Deli
7455 N. Academy Blvd., 302-0234
jasonsdeli.com

Best Buffet
Gold


Golden Corral
1970 Waynoka Road, 591-9870
If you want to see anyone doing as the Romans did i.e., eating, throwing up, and eating again Golden Corral is your best bet. Meats, breads, macaroni, desserts ... the sweet and salty cornucopia just keeps on giving. Get in there. Leave your belt and pride behind. KW


Silver
Country Buffet
7665 N. Academy Blvd., 590-9241
751 N. Academy Blvd., 574-1444
countrybuffet.com


Bronze
Empire Asian Buffet 5760 N. Academy Blvd., 548-0334

Best Diner
Gold


Gunther Toody's
5490 E. Woodmen Road,
548-1955


5794 Palmer Park Blvd., 570-1952


gunthertoodys.com


Stepping into 1950s-inspired Gunther Toody's is less like traveling back in time than going to your kid sister's birthday party. But that's what's so entertaining about this sock-hop of a restaurant, where "Flo" and "Archie" serve you giant burgers with "Elvis fries." A tub of Bazooka bubble gum 5 cents apiece graces each entrance, along with the rare resting hula hoop. NZ


Silver
King's Chef Diner
110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135


kingschefdiner.com Bronze
Ruby's Diner
3020 New Center Point, 380-7829

rubys.com
Best Take-Out
Gold


The Pita Pit
8 E. Bijou St., 634-1748


773 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-7482


pitapitusa.com
Founded in 1995 near Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, the Pita Pit franchise provides custom-made pita shells stuffed with falafel, meats or veggies and specialty sauces. The Pita Pit opened its 100th U.S. location this year, helping folks everywhere to scrumptious and affordable take-out. TS
Silver
Papa Murphy's
Six locations


papamurphys.com
Bronze
Chipotle Seven locations

chipotle.com
Best Late-Night Dining
Gold

Denny's Six locations


dennys.com
For a slammin' breakfast, a classic burger mounded with fries or a little somethin' sweet 24 hours a day, point your headlights toward the bright yellow and red Denny's sign rising just above the horizon. Top off your snack with their bottomless cup of special-blend coffee, and late night at Denny's quickly becomes early morning. CSB
Silver
Metropolitain
101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280


restauranteur.com/metropolitain
Bronze
McCabe's Tavern
520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300


mccabestavern.com
Best Local Pizza
Gold

Louie's Pizza F
ive locations

louies-pizza.com Now in their 21st year of family-owned and -operated business (finally, legal drinking!), Louie's has established a proud pentagonal pizza domination of the Springs. Specialty pizzas like the chicken Alfredo and taco pizza make Louie's stand out from the usual pack of cheesy pie-slingers. MS
Silver
Borriello Brothers Pizza
215 E. Platte Ave., 578-9312
Bronze Poor Richard's Restaurant
324 N. Tejon St., 632-7721
Best Chain Pizza
Gold


Pizza Hut
13 locations


pizzahut.com
Considering the finicky disposition of most coupon-clippers and deal-watchers, it's no small feat to nab the honor of best pizza chain. There's a lot of competition among the delivery joints; it takes more than promotional stunts to win the public's heart. It takes good, consistent pizza. Cheers to the Hut. MS
Silver
Papa John's
Nine locations


papajohns.com
Bronze
Papa Murphy's
Six locations


papamurphys.com Best Local or Regional Restaurant Chain
Gold


La Casita Patio Caf
Four locations


restauranteur.com/lacasitapatiocafecom
Warm, fresh, homemade tortillas are only one of La Casita's many charms. Locally owned, and serving Colorado Springs for 20 years, La Casita restaurants offer their menu for dine-in, pick-up, large-order deliveries and full service, professional catering. They are open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. KB
Silver
Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza & Brewery
11 S. Tejon St., 475-9224


ilvicino.com Bronze
3 Margaritas
3956 N. Academy Blvd., 573-5065


6385 N. Academy Blvd., 532-1743


310 S. Academy Blvd., 596-5414


3margaritas.net
Best
Breakfast
Gold
Omelette Parlor
900 E. Fillmore St., 633-7770
Omelette Parlor is the place for old-school, cholesterol-laden breakfasts of traditional eggs, greasy slabs of meat, and all the wheat toast needed to sop up every calorie. A bright, sunny interior and warm pine floors make this place almost heaven for morning people who line up to get in on weekends. Oh, and they make a mean omelet, too. GE
Silver
IHOP
Four locations


ihop.com
Bronze Western Omelette
16 S. Walnut St., 636-2286
Best Meal for Under $6

Nationwide Chain
Gold


Chipotle Seven locations


chipotle.com
I'll never forget the first time I saw a Thoreau quote about beans on a Chipotle cup. Though my initial reaction may have been shock, I've come to realize Thoreau and Chipotle have something in common simplicity.

Chipotle's founder, Steve Ells, built the chain on the idea of a "focused menu." Ells wanted to use the best ingredients to create only two menu items, the burrito and the taco. Chipotle's beef and pork come from free range, all-natural livestock. I don't know what Thoreau would really say about Chipotle, but if buying a burrito saves a pig from a cramped corporate pen, then count me in. FG
Meal for Under $6
Silver
Taco Bell
16 locations

tacobell.com
Bronze
The Pita Pit
8 E. Bijou St., 634-1748

773 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-7482


pitapitusa.com
Nationwide Chain
Silver
P.F. Chang'sChina Bistro


1725 Briargate Pkwy., 593-8580
Bronze
Old Chicago
Four locations

oldchicago.com Best Bakery
Gold
Marigold Caf & Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776
Sure, everyone bakes daily. Every old caf with a door and rolling pin has someone who keeps bizarre hours to proof dough and make icing look like roses. But Marigold doesn't just make breads and delicacies look good, it makes them taste really good, too. That's the key to baked love. MS
Silver
La Baguette
Four locations

restauranteur.com/co/cs/deli.htm Bronze
Panera Bread
Four locations

panerabread.com Best Pancakes
Gold
IHOP


Four locations


ihop.com
Its arms are always open. Its butter pecan syrup is always mixable with its strawberry syrup to make the best pancakes in Colorado Springs. They're so good, you must pound the coffee so your brain can comprehend the sensation your taste buds are having. IHOP open 24/7. God Bless America. SK
Silver
Adam's Mountain Caf
110 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1430

adamsmountain.com
Bronze
Mountain Shadows
2223 W. Colorado Ave., 633-2122
Best Bagels
Gold
Einstein Bros. Bagels
4325 Centennial Blvd., 548-8408


2848 N. Powers Blvd., 573-7606


6988 N. Academy Blvd., 265-8610

einsteinbros.com
Buy Einstein Bros. Bagels by the baker's dozen. For breakfast: wild blueberry with maple and raisin shmear. For lunch: everything with jalapeo salsa shmear. For an afternoon snack: pumpernickel with garden veggie shmear. For dinner: plain with smoked salmon shmear. Tomorrow: still nine bagels in that bag. CSB
Silver
Panera Bread
Four locations


panerabread.com
Bronze
Olde World Bagel
1670 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 527-9651


oldeworldbagel.com
Best Salads
Gold Souper Salad 3636 Citadel Drive, 597-6124


1434 Kelly Johnson Blvd., 533-0614


808 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-0687


soupersalad.com
Souper Salad lets you feel skinny while eating to your heart's content. Salad lovers can fill their plates, then fill them again and again. The $5.99 all-you-can-eat buffet features more than 60 salad items as well as a potato bar, pizza, made-from-scratch soups, a dessert bar and an ice cream machine. JET
Silver
Poor Richard's Restaurant
324 N. Tejon St., 632-7721
Bronze
Marigold Caf & Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776
Best Cheeseburger
Gold
Conway's Red Top Restaurant
390 N. Circle Drive, 630-1566


3589 N. Carefree Circle, 596-6444


5865 Palmer Park Blvd., 219-3273


conwaysredtop.com
Conway's sells salads, but why on Earth would any self-respecting carnivore ever consider one? This place has fed beef to three generations of Springsites. You've got 8 ounces, and a choice of the glorious basics: cheese, chili, mushrooms or BBQ. Hey, if you simply must have veggies, have a zucchini or mushroom appetizer both come nicely deep-fried. KW
Silver
Red Robin
Four locations


redrobin.com
Bronze
Fatburger
7465 N. Academy Blvd., 535-8111

fatburger.com
Best Gyro
Gold
Mediterranean Caf
118 E. Kiowa St., 633-0115
When lamb and beef meet tzatziki inside a warm pita, the result is something magical, like when a unicorn reads Harry Potter. The Med Caf (as regulars call it probably because they need it like medicine) is a no-heat-lamps, fine-ingredient, fresh-prepared kind of place. Hence, best gyro. MS
Silver
Jake and Telly's
2616 W. Colorado Ave., 633-0406


greekdining.com
Bronze
The Pita Pit
8 E. Bijou St., 634-1748


773 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-7482


pitapitusa.com
Best Ice Cream
Gold
Josh & John's Naturally Homemade Ice Cream
5152 N. Academy Blvd., 593-1220


111 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 632-0299


joshandjohns.com
For kicks, find someone who doesn't know the power of Josh & John's ice cream. Giggle to yourself as your uninitiated chum casually asks for extra candy to be mixed in with some cookies and cream ice cream, completely unaware of an impending goodness-induced coma. SK


Silver
Cold Stone Creamery
Five locations


coldstonecreamery.com Bronze Baskin Robbins
Five locations


baskinrobbins.com
Best Restaurant for Dessert
Gold Michelle's Chocolatiers
122 N. Tejon St., 633-5089

michellecandies.com
If you're apt to bemoan the loss of locally owned businesses downtown, let your salty tears fall into sweetness at Michelle's. The candy store-slash-soda-fountain-slash-time-machine has been around since 1952, and still makes cases worth of delicacies (chocolate-covered cheesecake to caramel apples, two menu pages of desserts in all) with grandma's care. KW
Silver
Marigold Caf & Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776
Bronze
The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant
30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300

meltingpot.com Best Natural Foods Store
Gold
Whole Foods Market
7635 N. Academy Blvd., 531-9999


wholefoodsmarket.com
Love it or hate it, Whole Foods has become the Wal-Mart for the socially and environmental conscious few of us but our army is growing. With big-box corporations as far as the eye can see, it's nice to have an alternative. Thank you Whole Foods, for providing anything we might need that is actually good for the planet and us. JK
Silver
Mountain Mama Natural Foods
1625 W. Uintah St., 633-4139
Bronze
Wild Oats Natural Marketplace
3180 New Center Point, 622-1099


wildoats.com Best Bread
Gold Panera Bread
Four locations


panerabread.com
It ain't the warm, colorful walls, or the cinnamon crunch bagels, or the comfort that comes with Panera being a known commodity. According to scores of our readers, it's the bread, stupid. Stone-milled rye. Sesame semolina. Loads of loaves with asiago cheese. Understood. KW
Silver
La Baguette
Four locations

restauranteur.com/co/cs/deli.htm
Bronze
Great Harvest Bread Company
6942 N. Academy Blvd., 528-6442


101 N. Tejon St., 635-7379


greatharvest.com
Best Farmers Market Gold Old Colorado City Farmers' Market Readers couldn't resist the bounties of homegrown fruits and vegetables at the farmers' market in Old Colorado City by Bancroft Park. Week after week, on Saturdays June through October the market is one of the most colorful and popular morning attractions. A mainstay for more than a decade, this market attracts customers who know a simple truth: For some reason, vegetables just taste better when they're purchased from the families that grew them. MdY
Silver
Manitou Springs Midweek Market
Bronze
Memorial Park
Best Caterer
Gold
Picnic Basket Catering Co.
1701 S. Eighth St., 635-0200


pbcatering.com
With items like almond-stuffed dates wrapped in apple-smoked bacon, Picnic Basket Catering has totally obliterated the same-old food, day-after-day routine. Co-owner Michelle Talarico says her company "will be forever grateful for all the support the community has shown us." TS
Silver
Cravings Catering & Special Events
1701 S. Eighth St., 635-0200


cravingscatering.com
Bronze
Alpine Chef Catering
2201 Hagerman St., 471-3663


alpinechef.com Best Grocery Store Gold
King Soopers
Eight locations

kingsoopers.com
Top 10 reasons we love King Soopers:
10) School savings programs;
9) online coupons;
8) freshly baked bread;
7) dozens of deli items;
6) brands we trust;
5) expanding organic aisles;
4) gas discounts;
3) customer card savings;
2) penny mechanical pony rides; and
1) cashiers who know your name.
JET
Silver
Whole Foods Market
7635 N. Academy Blvd.,
531-9999


wholefoodsmarket.com
Bronze
Safeway
11 locations


safeway.com
Best Local Coffee House
Gold Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
Seven locations


pikesperk.com
Pikes Perk is the hot spot to meet, greet and surf. The venue's wi-fi-enabled, java-pouring and musician-friendly environments jolt productivity and creative spirits. With fair-trade roasting, loose-leaf teas, wholesale programs and fundraising efforts, Pikes Perk is a force in the community. TS
Silver
Raven's Nest Coffee
330 N. Institute St., 632-3433
Bronze
Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291
Best
Gold
Chain Coffee House


Gourmet Coffee Drinks


Place for a Blind Date


Latte
Starbucks
16 locations

starbucks.com While our readers said Starbucks is the best place for a blind date, they didn't say which one. We'll assume they hoped to do a little groping after a gourmet latte at one of the chain's two Tejon Street locations downtown.


Both Starbucks attract hordes of office shirts and skirts on weekday mornings but, by afternoon, the cafs turn decidedly clandestine, harboring enigmatic-looking laptop junkies and muted murmurs of development deals going belly-up. The starry-eyed romantics surface later, engaged in refreshingly awkward conversation as the baristas steam their milk. We presume these couples met online, each perhaps sipping a mocha, separated only by choice of a "home" Starbucks. MdY
Chain Coffee House
Silver
Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
Seven locations

pikesperk.com
Bronze
It's a Grind Coffee House
3236 Centennial Blvd., 635-2411


9475 Briar Village Point, 277-0100


itsagrind.com Gourmet Coffee
Silver
Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
Seven locations

pikesperk.com Bronze
Raven's Nest Coffee
330 N. Institute St., 632-3433
Place for a Blind Date
Silver
Jose Muldoon's


222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311


josemuldoons.com Bronze
Old Chicago
Four locations

oldchicago.com
Latte
Silver
Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
Seven locations


pikesperk.com Bronze
Shuga's Restaurant Bar
702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412


shugas.com
Best Coffee Roaster
Gold
Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291
Boulder Street is No. 1 with the kids because it has its own character and it doesn't shove itself in your face. A modest shop with cheap coffee, great snacks and sandwiches, this is a perfect hangout place. Just ask the high-schoolers who ditch classes for these digs. JTR
Silver
High Rise Coffee Roasters
2421 W. Cucharras St., 633-1833


highrisecoffee.com
Bronze
Barista Espresso
625 W. Colorado Ave., 578-1185


rebelroaster.com
Best Ethnic Market
Gold
Briar Mart
1843 Briargate Blvd., 528-6869
For 10 years, Briar Mart has featured products you won't find elsewhere: French, Bulgarian and Greek feta cheeses, Kinder Surprise Eggs, German chocolates. Check out the caf for chicken and beef kabobs or gyro sandwiches most of their sales come from those waiting on their orders. TD
Silver
Par Avion Finer Foods Emporium
1872 Southgate Road, 636-2328


paravionfood.com Bronze
Carneceria Leonela
3736 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 637-2641

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