Favorite

North restaurants 

Brewpub


Colorado Mountain Brewery

11202 Rampart Hills View, 434-5750, cmbrew.com

Boasting new house beer releases at 5 p.m. every Tuesday and a new menu, year-old CMB is aggressively set to open a second location in the iconic former Van Briggle Pottery building. Beers and bites have been thoroughly tested and refined, virtually guaranteeing your satisfaction. — $$

Pikes Peak Brewing Co.

1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, 208-4098, pikespeakbrewing.com

Partly brought to you by Beer Journal author Chris Wright, PPBC serves seriously good beer (highlights: Devil's Head Red, Elephant Rock IPA) next to great giant pretzels or cold-cut platters provided by nearby caterer Taste of Life. Get the German chocolate cake with a stout sample. — $$

Trinity Brewing Company

1466 W. Garden of the Gods Road, 634-0029, trinitybrew.com

Recently expanded, years ahead of schedule, Trinity has deservedly blown up thanks to top-notch, experimental saison production on top of great flagship beers like the seasonally changing Farmhouse. To mitigate the buzz (from the alcohol, not the community), grab lamb sliders, seitan wings or the Mak' N Bacon. — $$

Burgers & Sandwiches


Another Pint

13860 Gleneagle Drive, 481-6446, anotherpint.net

Recently split from Coffee Cup Café and under the new ownership of its former GM, Another Pint is craft beer mecca, sporting more than 40 taps and hosting monthly beer dinners, plus unique meet-the-brewer nights. — $

City of Philly Cheese Steaks

4747 Flintridge Drive, 265-5770

The name pretty much says it all: steaming cheese-steak sandwiches on chewy bread from Philly-based Amoroso's Baking Co. Recently added to the hoagies and burgers: hot wings, and fried zucchini and mushrooms. — $

Crave Real Burgers

7465 N. Academy Blvd., 264-7919, craverealburgers.com

Think big-ass, "crazy burgers." (How crazy? One uses donuts as bun halves.) Our samplings were mixed, but we did like the Nutty Professor (with peanut butter), the garlicky Love Stinks, and the sweet hoisin Dim Sum Daffy duck sandwich. Get sweet potato fries and the awesome Amaretto shake. — $$

Oliver's Delicatessen

6602 Delmonico Drive, 599-9411

Nearing 30 years' breakfast and lunch service under the Oliver family, here the highlights are homemade soups and traditional deli sandwiches on fresh-baked house breads. Example: the Oliver, with succulent, hot corned beef, coleslaw, Swiss cheese and tangy Russian dressing on light rye. — $

South Jersey Subs

1726 Brookwood Drive, 531-5100

Take in a charming Jersey attitude, on and off the sub, with classic East Coast items like Tastykakes and Boylan's Birch Beer playing backup. We like the ground Italian sausage sub a lot, heaped with grilled peppers, onions and gooey cheese. If this be your heritage, you'll be at home. — $

Café


AspenPointe Café & Catering

5069 N. Academy Blvd., 572-6296, aspenpointe.org

Overseen by American Culinary Federation trainer and chef Pete Aiello, AspenPointe teaches culinary skills to the disenfranchised (ranging from at-risk youth to people with disabilities), serving affordable and satisfying sandwiches and the like, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — $

Blue Sage

5152 Centennial Blvd., 332-1397, creativecateringsolutions.com

Open for lunch from 11 to 2 weekdays, Blue Sage's café arm is really a front for its catering biz but stands just fine on its own. There's lots of locally sourced ingredients from the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers, gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads, plus stellar desserts. — $

Coffee Cup Café

251 Front St., Monument, 488-0663

Big plates at reasonable prices, since 1978. Expect the usual suspects like huevos rancheros, pancakes and chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast, and hefty Reubens and the like for lunch. And consider chasing your meal with a lovely slice of cake. — $

La Tartine French Bistro Café

1420 Kelly Johnson Blvd., 598-5550, latartinefrenchbistro.com

Split off from the La Baguette group, La Tartine still serves the award-winning French onion soup and baked goods, plus extensive salads, sandwiches, breakfast plates and delightfully highbrow entrées like the wonderful, garlicky escargot in garlic-parsley butter. — $

R&R Coffee Café

11425 Black Forest Road, Black Forest, 494-8300, rnrcoffeecafe.com

Bad-ass coffee drinks from a very competent roaster, and equally well-handled pastries and baked goods, too. See photos on Facebook for proof. Past the sweets, a big menu of sandwiches, salads, burritos and breakfast plates awaits. Seriously worth the sidetrack during any I-25 trip. — $

Speedtrap

84 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 488-2007, speedtrapcoffeebar.com

Under smart new ownership, with an expanded menu of soups, salads and the like joining house-baked muffins and baked goods, to be enjoyed with a Serranos coffee or Bristol beer. Try the oddly awesome buffalo bratwurst crêpe with caramelized onions and sharp cheddar. — $

Wisdom Tea House

65 Second St., Monument, 481-8822, wisdomteahouse.com

If all meals just lead to dessert for you, check out Wisdom's photos on its Facebook page. (Sweet sugary mercy!) The luscious sweets are an integral part of the traditional afternoon tea service ($22.50, requires two-day notice), but just dropping in for a killer buffalo burger is also wise. — $

Chinese


China Café

2761 Briargate Blvd., 260-1111

Here you'll find heaping portions of Chinese standards with pleasantly crunchy veggies, and a nice, thick, chicken-rich hot-and-sour soup. Your adolescents will want to order the Pu Pu platter ($12), for obvious reasons. — $

Lanshing Café

9475 Briar Village Point, #150, 266-8351

Co-owner Cheau Jiang says Lanshing's style reflects all regions of China, from Szechuan to Cantonese and beyond, which means good versions of dishes that are by now familiar to you, from Kung Pao to General Tso to dark and delicious black bean noodles. — $

Silver Pond Chinese Gourmet

5670 N. Academy Blvd., 594-9343, bestsilverpondchinese.com

Taiwanese chef Jack Hu has earned a loyal Springs following over the last 15 years, and a recent visit showed us why: an unusual and excellent strawberry chicken, a rewarding "create your own lunch option," and even house-made tea-leaf boba. Plus, gluten-free options and much more. — $$

Tsing Tao House

3604 Hartsel Drive, Suite C, 528-8884, tsingtaohouse.com

A Briargate take-out star, it also serves cheap lunches — $6-to-$8 entrées include soup, rice, an egg roll, a crab rangoon and tea. Dinner offers the typical enormous selection found in many Chinese eateries, everything from hot Szechuan bean curd to honey-glazed walnut shrimp. — $

Diner


Rosie's Diner

11550 Ridgeline Drive, 488-4753; 411 Hwy. 105, Monument, 481-3287, eatatrosies.com

The second location just opened last year a little north of New Life Church, with the same '50s decor including a faux Cadillac host stand. The menu is enormous, between breakfast items, sandwiches, burgers, mains and 17 milkshakes. Find everything from chicken quesadillas to liver and onions. — $

Fine Dining


The Margarita at PineCreek

7350 Pine Creek Road, 598-8667, margaritaatpinecreek.com

Our love for the Margarita knows no boundaries. The restaurant supports local ranching and agriculture; hosts a farmers market; does bad-ass multi-course prix fixe dinners; offers a more relaxed, comfort-food-rich lounge menu; and offers a great Sunday brunch and fun patio events. Simply one of the best. — $$$

Marigold Café and Bakery

4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776, marigoldcoloradosprings.com

The owners of this 20-year-gem studied under legendary French chef Paul Bocuse (Dominique) as well as at the Culinary Institute of America (Elaine). Beyond great French bistro-style entrées, Indy readers annually award the gorgeous desserts. 2011 runner-up for Best Overall Restaurant. — $$$

moZaic

443 S. Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 481-1800, innatpalmerdivide.com

A lodge-set dining room with a view, whose seasonal menus are to be savored for Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner. Lunch is gourmet-affordable with the likes of a bison burger and soft-shell crab and bacon sandwich. The Black and Bleu Ribeye ($30) reigns supreme at dinner. — $$$

Sunbird

230 Point of the Pines Drive, 598-8990, thesunbird.com

A renowned Sunday brunch and unbeatable city skyline view. No lunch service, but a special three-course Sunset Dinner menu available from 4:30 to 6 ($17.95 to $19.95). The prime rib and filet mignon are best-sellers, but nobody will steer you away from the Australian lobster tail. — $$$

Greater Asian


India Palace

5644 N. Academy Blvd., 535-9196

For our money and culinary adoration, none of young owner Raj Kumar's menu items beat the divine, creamy chicken makhani. Still, the stir-fry-like mixed biryani also kills, after a tangy samosa chat app. Sample most widely at the $7.95 lunch buffet. — $

Mirch Masala

5047 N. Academy Blvd., 599-0003, mirchmasalacuisine.com

Holding several past Best Of victories in the last decade (and generously sharing its delicious rice pudding recipe on its website), Mirch Masala's expansive Indian lunch buffet ($8.95) rivals its competitors easily. As do evening entrées like curries, tandoori meats, biryani, and rich paneer plates. — $

Taste of India

4820 Flintridge Drive, 598-3428, tasteofindiasprings.com

For most loyal guests, the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet ($8.95, Tuesday through Sunday) is the highlight. Since 1998, this has been a frequent Best Of winner (second place this year), with wide support from the Indian community. Butter chicken, saag paneer — it's all here, made beautifully. — $

Italian


Mollica's Italian Market & Deli

985 W. Garden of the Gods Road, 598-1088, mollicas.com

Stuffing the Springs with delicious carbs since 1987, Mollica's is a family affair with true Italian charm: great sandwiches loaded with fine deli meats and cheeses, often meeting an au jus dip. And that's saying nothing of the big salads and manicotti and pastas of the day. — $

The Villa

75 S. Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 481-2222, thevillapalmerlake.com

Its history entwined with the Roman Villa, this recently revived Villa combines simple Italian plates and contemporary gourmet items under the leadership of the former B&E Filling Station owners. Start with delightful crab and crawfish cakes, then get the ham-amped sea scallops. — $$

Korean


San Chang House

3659 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 598-1707

Our regular winner for Best Korean, San Chang is constantly packed with members of the local Korean community, a good sign past what your senses tell you. We recently got happily punished by the spicy nakji bokum, octopus with crisp veggies and kimchi. Get some. — $$

Mediterranean


Briar Mart

1843 Briargate Blvd., 528-6869; 6799 N. Academy Blvd. (opening around late spring), caspiancafe.com

Tied by family to the Caspian Cafe, Briar Mart is basically a tiny eatery inside an ethnic grocery store (a bonus for drink and dessert selection). It's dished delectable, affordable Mideast fare for the last 15 years. Get the wonderful Mazeh Platter, and look for a second location soon. — $

Greek Grille Cafe

8844 N. Union Blvd., 282-7776, greekgrillecafe.com

A solid stop for falafel and kabobs, also using specialty Kronos Foods products for the non-house-made items. Go for a grilled chicken plate or fat gyro. — $

Heart of Jerusalem Café

4587 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 685-9554, heartofjerusalemcafe.com

The 2011 winner for Best Middle Eastern and Hummus, Heart of Jerusalem is affordable and delicious. Fun blends like the "chikofel" and "beefofel" buck the norm, but it's hard to argue against the $8, shawarma-loaded hummus bowl plate. Baklava mandatory. — $

Mexican/Southwest


Big Burrito

3659 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 598-0843

Open late and dishing fittingly big-ass burritos, this extension of a small Arizona-based chain is quite good for its category. The carne asada fries are killer, as is the carne asada burrito with a great guacamole, and shredded dark-meat chicken taco. — $

Carlos Miguel's

9605 Prominent Point, 282-7890, carlosmiguels.com

Somewhat of a gourmet Mexican joint, worth the up-charge, Carlos Miguel's opened its third Springs location in Briargate in mid-2011, adding to its holdings in Woodland Park and on Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard. Great margaritas, ceviche and entrées like the pollo en mole. — $$

El Padrino Mexicano

13425 Voyager Pkwy., 487-2727, elpadrinos.com

Darin Vasquez of the Bean Bandit family opened this sharply decorated, upscale Tex-Mex spot in mid-2008, dishing sizable combo plates at both lunch and dinner, plus steaks and seafood plates at night. We like the green chile-smothered guacamole-and-shredded-pork burrito. — $

El Super Taco

1485 Jamboree Drive, 266-6633

Popular enough to warrant the second location opening outside Chapel Hills Mall last fall, El Super Taco pulls in many with its carne asada fries and variety of sweet churros for dessert. We enjoyed a perfectly pleasing Super Adobado Burrito (pork and refried beans) and carne asada chimichanga. — $

La Casa Fiesta New Mexican Restaurant

230 Front St., Monument, 481-1234, lacasafiesta.net

Indy readers' choice for Monument neighborhood eatery, with 60-plus years history under the Morris family. It's known for superior margaritas (more than 60 tequilas are on hand), and best-sellers like the smoked pork carnitas and chipotle honey lime ribs. Also features a full gluten-free menu. — $

La Perla Tapatía Mexican Taqueria

4737 N. Academy Blvd., 228-6006, laperlatapatiacs.com

Transplanted in 2011 from its original west-side spot and run by Guadalajara native Sergio Laureano, "the pearl" is dynamite. You must eat one of our Top 10 picks of 2011, the tortas de pierna, a giant, smoky pork sandwich with salsa fresca, crema espesa and God's blessing. — $

Pueblo Viejo

5598 N. Academy Blvd., 266-1999; 5934 Stetson Hills Blvd., 638-6040

With four locations, including others in Fort Collins and Windsor, Pueblo Viejo is sharply decorated and on the upscale side of Tex-Mex. An extensive menu features all the usuals — chile rellenos, steak fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas — plus fat seafood plates and good margaritas. — $$

Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill

9420 Briar Village Point, #100, 955-6650; 802 Village Center Drive, 266-9244; rockymtnrg.com/salsabrava

Also with a Highlands Ranch location, Salsa Brava is the Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group's Tex-Mex face, more upscale than most with great service. Also: good weekday happy hour deals, $5 margarita Mondays (4 p.m. to close), a gluten-free menu, excellent house salsas and much more. — $$

Señor Manuel's Mexican Cuisine

4660 N. Nevada Ave., 598-3033, senormanuel.com

You don't make it 40-plus-years in this business by being bland. The Hernandez family operates a "tortilla factory" below decks, making fresh masa, tortillas and house chips. Go for the unique chile rellenos: a Monterey Jack-stuffed pepper engulfed by an egg soufflé and chile con queso puddle. — $$

Pizza


Fat Boys Pizza

2322 Vickers Drive, 304-5550, fatboyspizzaco.com

Now with three locations, including one at Fort Carson, five-year-old Fat Boys does game-day food well: stupendous Parmesan and garlic butter sticks; spicy, meaty wings with a sharp vinegar tang; and great pizza, with a crunchy, then chewy, homemade dough; and sweet sauce. — $$

Joey's Pizza

1829 Briargate Blvd., 265-6922

Young Long Island native Joey Stasolla has built a loyal Springs following in the handful of years he's been slinging here. He's good enough to have faced Gordon Ramsay and crew on MasterChef last year, too. "Real" New York-style pizza with attitude. — $$

Pub Food


Back East Bar & Grill

9475 Briar Village Point, 264-6161, backeastbarandgrill.com

Our readers' favorite north-side neighborhood bar, this is your spot for game day, or any day you're in need of a pint and food ranging from New York-style pizza, burgers and pastas to a Philly steak hoagie, wings, salads and cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled sweet-potato puffs. — $

1st & 10 Sports Bar & Grill

1455 Cipriani Loop, Monument, 487-0737, 1stand10monument.com

While free UFC fights are a draw, those with strictly culinary bloodlust will want the duck wings with jerk seasoning, "spicy balls" (yes, testicles), gator nuggets, the Fully Loaded wood-oven pizza, or excellent brats from Denver's Continental Sausage. — $$

O'Malley's Steak Pub

104 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 488-0321, omalleys.biz

Grilling your own ribeye, New York strip or buffalo or beef burger is the fun schtick here. But there's a lot more to like at your pick for Best Neighborhood Bar in Monument, including a wide, well-priced beer list and complimentary shuttle-bus rides home on weekends. — $$

Wyatt's Pub & Grill

806 Village Center Drive, 598-4100

Co-owned by the folks behind Back East Bar and Grill, Wyatt's dishes similarly exceptional pub grub. It's got a great house guacamole; thoroughly satisfying pizzas like the Ultimate with steak, bacon and jalapeños; and stellar sandwiches like the Twister — roast beef on a pretzel roll from the local baking professionals at Wimberger's Old World Bakery and Delicatessen. — $

Southern/Barbecue/Cajun


Broken Bones Smokin' Pit

481 State Hwy. 105, Suite G, Monument, 487-0471

It's Arizona roots with Texas flair, mesquite- and pecan-wood-smoked barbecue, best sampled on a large combo platter with three meats, two sides and a drink for less than $12. The zesty mustard barbecue sauce goes great on the brisket. — $

Sushi/Japanese


Ai Sushi & Grill/Sushi Ai

4655 Centennial Blvd., 266-5858, aisushi.us

There are three local sushi eateries (with the other two off Academy and Powers boulevards) that incorporate "Ai" into their name, all owned separately. From our readers' feedback, you won't be disappointed at any of them. — $$

Bara Sushi & Grill

1645 Briargate Pkwy., #245, 599-7330, sushibara.com

Bara, which has a second location in the Denver Tech Center, is a modern space with beautiful plate presentations. Among the special rolls: the Super Spider Man and The Big Lebowski. Who's having some fun? — $$

Jun Japanese Restaurant

1760 Dublin Blvd., 531-9368

This Best Of voters' favorite, run by meticulous sushi chef Jun Aizu, just added authentic ramen and shabu-shabu in its fully renovated Dublin location. Take advantage of daily happy hours from 5 to 6:30 as well as a $1 menu at lunch. We can't recommend a single item or roll, because they're all pretty damn stellar. — $$

Kura Japanese Restaurant

3478B Research Pkwy., 282-8238, kurasushicoloradosprings.com

For five years, Song Brinck has steadily built clientele at her beautiful, modern space. She recently added Teppanyaki service to the Japanese entrées and sushi. Happy hours are a good time to visit, for buy-one-get-one drinks and $1 to $1.50 off popular items like the Research Roll. — $$

Sushi Rakkyo

9205 N. Union Blvd., 645-8754, sushirakkyo.com

We've seldom been happier to eat so much for so little. You can absolutely punish the all-you-can-eat dining model for $14.95 at lunch and $24.95 at dinner. And it's quality: The super White Fish Volcano roll earned a spot on our dishes of 2011 list, and the sashimi is as fresh as if it just rolled in out of the water. Holy nigiri overload. — $$

Tomo Sushi II

8029 N. Academy Blvd., 277-0200, eatattomo.com

The same overall excellent menu serves this location and the original Tomo at 975 N. Academy. Though most folks go for the sushi — The Bomb and Tijuana Ninja rolls are big winners — lunch bento boxes are generous and dinner steaks in Japanese sauces, delicious. — $$

Thai


Bhan Thai

4431 Centennial Blvd., 266-1309, bhanthai.net

Our town's two Bhan Thai eateries are separately owned now (also see bhanthaico.com), but indistinguishable as far as most patrons are concerned. You'll find totally satisfying versions of your Thai favorites for very reasonable prices. — $

Lanna Thai

8810 N. Union Blvd., 282-0474, lannathaicoloradosprings.com

"Hot means hot," promises the website. You'll also find no MSG, plenty of gluten-free options, and great renditions of Thai standards. The tom yum goong is exemplary, and Lanna's curries are among the best around, abundant with flavor and floral herb notes. — $$

Thai Mint

1725 Briargate Blvd., 598-7843, thai-mint.com

Dishing a fun, house-made Thai tea ice cream, Thai Mint is MSG-free and generally pretty good. The tod mun fish cake starters are bright, and the tom ka gai soup delivers proper lemongrass punch. For entrées, a nice, light option is the clear-noodle pad woon sen stir fry. — $

Vietnamese


Lemongrass Bistro

6840 N. Academy Blvd., 592-1391, restauranteur.com/lemongrassbistro

After the awesome beef lemon app, get a delightfully fresh bun or classic, fragrant pho, or one of a wide entrée list, including the Lemongrass Three Amigos: shrimp, beef and chicken in spicy lemongrass sauce. Run by Dang Truong, brother of the popular Saigon Café's Paul Truong. — $$

Other eateries with North locations:


Arceo's Mexican Family Restaurant,4608 Rusina Road

Bird Dog BBQ, 1645 Briargate Pkwy., 599-4655

Borriello Brothers, 5490 Powers Center Point; 15910 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument; 3240 Centennial Blvd.

Louie's Pizza, 2771 Briargate Blvd.

Trivelli's Hoagies, 4547 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.

  • Sub stops, coffee shops, more breweries and plenty of Asian fare.

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