Favorite

Haute Cuisine 

click to enlarge In case you didn't know, The Famous is kind of a big - deal. - JON KELLEY
  • Jon Kelley
  • In case you didn't know, The Famous is kind of a big deal.

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 its no wonder this swanky joint stole our readers hearts. DTR

  • 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

  • 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

    BEST

  • Restaurant for Carnivores
    Silver
    Texas Roadhouse
    595 S. Eighth St., 473-9711
    texasroadhouse.com

    Bronze
    MacKenzies 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

    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 thats 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

    click to enlarge Cellar dwellers enjoy bottom-feeders at Metropolitain, - your favorite new restaurant. - SEAN CAYTON
    • Sean Cayton
    • Cellar dwellers enjoy bottom-feeders at Metropolitain, your favorite new restaurant.

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

    Bronze
    Shugas 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
    MacKenzies 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 Vervains 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

  • Caf
  • Restaurant for Herbivores
    Gold
    Adams 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 Adams 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. Its a warm, homey atmosphere, its friendly and the wait staff is very attentive.

    Visit Adams in its new, more spacious, creek-side location in the historic Manitou Spa building as of this December. AB

    click to enlarge Adams Mountain Caf separates itself from the herd. - L'AURA MONTGOMERY-RUTT

    BEST

  • Caf
    Silver
    Shugas 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
    Gertrudes 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 Barbeques tender pulled chicken and Kobe beef burgers have won acclaim among the citys most persnickety carnivores, its 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
    Slaytons Barbeque & Creamery
    806 Village Center Drive, 266-5300
    slaytonsbbq.com

    BEST

  • Sunday Brunch
    Gold
    Sunbird Restaurant
    230 Point of the Pines Drive, 598-8990

    The restaurants 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 Muldoons
    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 Joses expertise in the margarita realm. Travins claims theres no secret ingredient just quality tequila and premium sweet and sour mix, combined with fresh-squeezed limes.

    So maybe its 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

    click to enlarge Heres to Southern cooking at Front Range Barbeque. - PETER FECTEAU
    • Peter Fecteau
    • Heres to Southern cooking at Front Range Barbeque.

  • 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 Johnnys
    528 S. Tejon St., 444-8487
    southsidejohnnys.biz

    BEST

  • Patio Dining
    Silver
    Amandas 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 theyre lucky, a visit from Red Robin himself. JET

    Silver
    Poor Richards Restaurant
    324 N. Tejon St., 632-7721

    Bronze
    Fargos 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 whats 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

    click to enlarge Even Crazy Fruit Man digs the fauxhawk  check him - out at Sunbird. - BRUCE ELLIOTT
    • Bruce Elliott
    • Even Crazy Fruit Man digs the fauxhawk check him out at Sunbird.

    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. Changs
    1725 Briargate Pkwy., 593-8580
    pfchangs.com

    The Web site calls this restaurant a stylish, high-energy bistro. But dont spend all your time power-walking in your electric yellow jumpsuit; the food will keep you busy enough. Theres 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
    Amandas 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 Amandas 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. Amandas 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 dont worry it wont 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 Muldoons
    222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
    josemuldoons.com

  • Enchiladas
    Silver
    Jose Muldoons
    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

    click to enlarge Gatorades newest flavor: Fierce Aqua Margarita, - available only at Amandas Fonda. - SEAN CAYTON
    • Sean Cayton
    • Gatorades newest flavor: Fierce Aqua Margarita, available only at Amandas Fonda.

    BEST

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

    Mona Lisas 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 Lisas 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
    None

    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 citys 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, its high time you haul your hinterende over to Edelweiss for a lesson in Deutsch. Whether its lunch, dinner, dessert or rounds of rich German beer, theyll have you saying ein mehr in no time. CSB

    Silver
    Uwes 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

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

    BEST

  • Greek Food
    Gold
    Jake and Tellys
    2616 W. Colorado Ave., 633-0406
    greekdining.com

    Since 1997, Jake & Tellys 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&Ts, completely oblivious to the caliber of tzatziki sauce they so callously breeze by. SK

    click to enlarge Surrender your senses at La Petite Maison. - JON KELLEY
    • Jon Kelley
    • Surrender your senses at La Petite Maison.

    Silver
    Zorbadillos Heavenly Greek and Mexican
    604 S. Union Blvd., 447-9290

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

    BEST

  • Green Chili
    Gold
    Kings Chef Diner
    110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135
    kingschefdiner.com

    Kings Chef isnt 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. Ill never forget my servers 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 dont 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
    Paravicinis 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. Paravicinis 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
    Luigis Homemade Italian Food
    947 S. Tejon St., 632-7339
    luigiscoloradosprings.com

    Bronze
    Carrabbas 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
    click to enlarge By the beard of Zeus, Jake & Tellys is good eatin! - PETER FECTEAU
    • Peter Fecteau
    • By the beard of Zeus, Jake & Tellys is good eatin!

    Jun has been voted Best Sushi for 10 consecutive years, and for good reason. The hardwood sushi bar, the chefs 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

    BEST

  • 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 youre 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, Im 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 theyre big and sweet, like a hippopotamus rolled in sugar. MS

    Silver
    Jose Muldoons
    222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
    josemuldoons.com

    Bronze
    Amandas 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

    click to enlarge Green chili so good, youll forget where you are. - JON KELLEY
    • Jon Kelley
    • Green chili so good, youll forget where you are.

    Bronze
    Tajine Alami
    10 Old Mans Trail, Manitou Springs, 685-1119
    tajinealami.com

    BEST

  • Tacqueria
    Gold
    Monicas Taco Shop
    30 E. Fillmore St., 473-1996
    5829 Palmer Park Blvd., 597-7022

    Monicas 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 chains family-friendly environment, longhorn flavors (steak and barbecued ribs), Texas-sized portions and reasonable prices distracted yall. 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, shell find a way to make you laugh over an outstanding curry coconut dish or one of Wild Gingers 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 its all so good that anyone who doesnt get a bi-monthly craving for Saigon Caf probably just hasnt eaten there yet. BS

    click to enlarge Paravicinis: where wine flows like gerbil water. - L'AURA MONTGOMERY-RUTT

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

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

    BEST

  • Deli
    Gold
    Wooglins Deli
    823 N. Tejon St., 578-9443

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

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

    Bronze
    Jasons 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 Toodys
    5490 E. Woodmen Road, 548-1955
    5794 Palmer Park Blvd., 570-1952
    gunthertoodys.com

    Stepping into 1950s-inspired Gunther Toodys is less like traveling back in time than going to your kid sisters birthday party. But thats whats 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
    Kings Chef Diner
    110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135
    kingschefdiner.com

    Bronze
    Rubys Diner
    3020 New Center Point, 380-7829
    rubys.com

    BEST

  • Take-Out
    Gold
    click to enlarge Monicas tacos are so good, youll reflect on them later.
    • Monicas tacos are so good, youll reflect on them later.

    The Pita Pit
    8 E. Bijou St., 634-1748
    773 Garden of the Gods Road, 277-7482
    pitapitusa.com

    Founded in 1995 near Queens 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 Murphys
    Six locations
    papamurphys.com

    Bronze
    Chipotle
    Seven locations
    chipotle.com

    BEST

  • Late-Night Dining
    Gold

    Dennys
    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 Dennys sign rising just above the horizon. Top off your snack with their bottomless cup of special-blend coffee, and late night at Dennys quickly becomes early morning. CSB

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

    Bronze
    McCabes Tavern
    520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300
    mccabestavern.com

    BEST

  • Local Pizza
    Gold
    Louies Pizza
    Five locations
    louies-pizza.com

    Now in their 21st year of family-owned and -operated business (finally, legal drinking!), Louies has established a proud pentagonal pizza domination of the Springs. Specialty pizzas like the chicken Alfredo and taco pizza make Louies stand out from the usual pack of cheesy pie-slingers. MS

    Silver
    Borriello Brothers Pizza
    215 E. Platte Ave., 578-9312

    Bronze
    Poor Richards 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, its no small feat to nab the honor of best pizza chain. Theres a lot of competition among the delivery joints; it takes more than promotional stunts to win the publics heart. It takes good, consistent pizza. Cheers to the Hut. MS

    click to enlarge See, Mom said its OK: Go to the Omelette Parlor for - breakfast. - SEAN CAYTON
    • Sean Cayton
    • See, Mom said its OK: Go to the Omelette Parlor for breakfast.

    Silver
    Papa Johns
    Nine locations
    papajohns.com

    Bronze
    Papa Murphys
    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 Casitas 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

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

    Chipotles 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. Chipotles beef and pork come from free range, all-natural livestock. I dont 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
    click to enlarge Next time I take a pie in the face, I really hope its from - Marigold. - CATHY CAYTON
    • Cathy Cayton
    • Next time I take a pie in the face, I really hope its from Marigold.

    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. Changs China 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 doesnt just make breads and delicacies look good, it makes them taste really good, too. Thats 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. Theyre 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
    Adams 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 bakers 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

    click to enlarge All-you-can-eat never looked so Souper.
    • All-you-can-eat never looked so Souper.

    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 hearts 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 Richards Restaurant
    324 N. Tejon St., 632-7721

    Bronze
    Marigold Caf & Bakery
    4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776

    BEST

  • Cheeseburger
    Gold
    Conways Red Top Restaurant
    390 N. Circle Drive, 630-1566
    3589 N. Carefree Circle, 596-6444
    5865 Palmer Park Blvd., 219-3273
    conwaysredtop.com

    Conways sells salads, but why on Earth would any self-respecting carnivore ever consider one? This place has fed beef to three generations of Springsites. Youve 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 Tellys
    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 & Johns Naturally Homemade Ice Cream
    5152 N. Academy Blvd., 593-1220
    111 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 632-0299
    joshandjohns.com

    For kicks, find someone who doesnt know the power of Josh & Johns 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

    click to enlarge Its not karaoke night, its dessert at Josh & Johns. - JON KELLEY
    • Jon Kelley
    • Its not karaoke night, its dessert at Josh & Johns.

    Bronze
    Baskin Robbins
    Five locations
    baskinrobbins.com

    BEST

  • Restaurant for Dessert
    Gold
    Michelles Chocolatiers
    122 N. Tejon St., 633-5089
    michellecandies.com

    If youre apt to bemoan the loss of locally owned businesses downtown, let your salty tears fall into sweetness at Michelles. 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 grandmas 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, its 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 aint 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, its 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 couldnt 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 theyre purchased from the families that grew them. MdY

    click to enlarge The Citys old, but its farmers market produce is fresh.
    • The Citys old, but its farmers market produce is fresh.

    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 venues 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
    Ravens Nest Coffee
    330 N. Institute St., 632-3433

    Bronze
    Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
    332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291

    click to enlarge Briar Mart olives: Pretend theyre Skittles, and your kids - will eat em. - 2006 LAURA MONTGOMERY

    BEST

  • Chain Coffee House
  • Gourmet Coffee Drinks
  • Place for a Blind Date
  • Latte
    GoldStarbucks
    16 locations
    starbucks.com

    While our readers said Starbucks is the best place for a blind date, they didnt say which one. Well assume they hoped to do a little groping after a gourmet latte at one of the chains 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
    Its 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
    Ravens Nest Coffee
    330 N. Institute St., 632-3433

    BEST

  • Place for a Blind Date
    Silver
    Jose Muldoons
    222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311
    josemuldoons.com

    Bronze
    Old Chicago
    Four locations
    oldchicago.com

    BEST

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

    Bronze
    Shugas 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 doesnt 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 wont 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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