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It had a been a couple years since my last zoo visit, so I had yet to try the newest food and drink options at the swank pizzeria (with a killer view over the city) and its downstairs coffee shop (sadly not staffed by cloven-hoofed baristas, but hey, a boy can dream). 

Chef Beau Green treats us to a tour of the pizza spot, built around a gorgeous imported oven with a rotating floor so pies cook evenly and quickly for high-volume service. We take down a four-cheese sliced meatball pie with its tart California tomato sauce and thin crispy crust from housemade dough, followed by a guilty-good dessert Nutella Pizza, covered in the decadent chocolaty nutty spread topped in powdered sugar. 

A Bristol beer pairing for the win. Grabbing a post-meal cuppa, we find a smart menu that’s third-wave savvy, again reinforcing this zoo’s goods as far from lame captive-audience fare. Local Hold Fast Coffee Guatemalan beans inform our excellent mocha, made with Torani syrup.

We sub oat milk for dairy, which holds up beautifully texturally, and we again sub it into a spicy honey chai made from Sanctuary Chai’s concentrate. It’s a high-quality product with true flavors, from a forward ginger-cinnamon essence to mid wildflower honey notes and finishing chile bite. Hot fall in a cup.

Food & Drink Editor

Matthew Schniper is the Food and Drink Editor at the Colorado Springs Indy. He began freelancing with the Indy in mid-2004 and joined full-time in early 2006, contributing arts, food, environmental and feature writing.