What turns an average eatery into one of the best restaurants in Colorado Springs? What is the special something that elevates the great above the merely good? Ambiance, service, freshness and creativity all play an important part. So do consistency, variety and value.
But personal taste and expectations play big roles too. Each of us have a different palate and unique preferences. And we dine out for different reasons. Are you heading out for a romantic date night, first-time meetup, special occasion, after-work drinks, business dinner, girls’ night, fancy celebration or comfort food convenience? Every occasion shifts the expectation and guides your choice.
So in order to compile our list of the best restaurants in Colorado Springs, we turned to a panel of our contributors, food writers, bloggers and aficionados well versed in the Colorado Springs dining scene that keeps on growing. Our team nominated, voted, debated, voted again and found consensus for those that rose to the top. Some were clear favorites. Others split a narrow margin. And still more found strong advocates but narrowly missed the cut. That said, here is our list of the 30 Best Restaurants in Colorado Springs, categorized by price and presented in alphabetical order. Click on the map to get detailed information on where to find each restaurant.
We say you can’t go wrong with these exceptional eateries. You may disagree. Don’t see your favorite on the list? Can’t believe we included that restaurant? Go try them for yourself, and let us know what restaurants in Colorado Springs we’ve missed. We’re always open to culinary exploration and celebrating the best of the dining scene in the Springs.
Please note: As a general guide, we have added a price range of dinner entrees at each restaurant and grouped them according to the following ranges:
$$$$ Most dinner entrees $35 and up
$$$ Most dinner entrees $20s – $30s
$$ Most dinner entrees $13 – $25
$ Most dinner entrees $12 or under
Of course, menu prices may change at any time, and some menus vary greatly while others offer more similar prices. These groupings do not take into consideration special offerings, happy hours, multiple courses, lunch menus, other discounted options or alcohol preferences. Please consider the price ranges as a general guideline and verify details with the individual best restaurants.
Best Restaurants in Colorado Springs $$$$
When Carlos himself greets you in the parking lot, shows you to your table and passionately chats all the way while insisting you try the frog legs, you know something special awaits. Try the Early Bird Dinner for half price entrées. Indulge in every course you can justify, including the Osetra caviar, the Foie Gras and those Fried Frog Legs. Old-school fine dining still exists. —Micah Redfield
Dinner entrees: $35-$400
1025 S. 21st St.
Colorado cuisine can be defined by great cuts of meat and wild game, and Cowboy Star smartly combines Wild West influences with the elevated atmosphere of white linen tablecloths. The inviting steakhouse highlights classic cocktails, a beautiful wine list and local products and ingredients to create an experience that feels both rustic and elegant. This is Rocky Mountain-esque dining at its very best. Pro Tip: For that five star feeling without the financial hit, check out CS’s daily happy hour from 4-6 p.m. (in the bar only) for specialty bites, beers and cocktails ranging from just $4-$7. —Dionne Passacantando Roberts
Dinner entrees: $38-$196
5198 N. Nevada Ave., Unit 150
The Margarita at Pine Creek
The Margarita is a restaurant of so many personalities. On a Saturday morning in the summer, you can sip mimosas and chomp on light, tasty egg puffs (eggs in puff pastry) or breakfast tacos while listening to live bluegrass. On a winter evening, you can huddle with your honey in one of the many romantic dining room alcoves, savoring flawless prix fixe dinners, live classical music playing softly nearby. Or, when it’s open, you can go to the bar downstairs for live music and fabulous burgers. —Warren Epstein
Dinner Entrees: Prix Fixe Three-Four Course $42-$46
7350 Pine Creek Road
The Steakhouse at Flying Horse
Enter a Tuscan dream of Old World charm, featuring stone-paved walkways, alcove fires and breathtaking views of Pikes Peak. This top shelf experience leverages an in-house butchery and innovative fare, all anchored by a jaw-dropping, three-story glass wine tower. A three-time winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, this Northgate outpost checks the box as a romantic must. —Elayne Prechtel
Dinner Entrees: $32-$60
1880 Weiskopf Point
Modern buildout Summit — with its rotating, floor-to-ceiling wine cellar — has recently recast its menu to encompass the Americas. Now exemplary and unique dishes from Latin America and North America — such as Roasted Beet Terrine, Corn Arepas with a habanero coleslaw, and the Broadmoor’s proprietary Eagles Nest Ranch Wagyu — are presented in their “native style with a contemporary twist” in a manner meant to “honor tradition, honor technique,” as Executive Chef David Patterson explains. With a truly unique culinary perspective, it’s the best of Colorado cuisine amidst a global flair. —M.R.
Dinner Entrees: $28-$72
19 Lake Cir.
The Warehouse is one of those restaurants in Colorado Springs you can always count on. Whether it’s for a reasonably priced date night (go for the Monkfish and Lobster Nantua or the Bison Ribeye) or an elevated catered work event in the attached art gallery, chef-owner James Africano has you covered. You can’t beat the brick and copper urban vibe or Africano’s endless commitment to the local community. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $21-$65
25 W. Cimarron St.
Best Restaurants in Colorado Springs $$$
Ambli Global Cuisine
Start with a Turkish Old Fashioned, infused with fig. Subtle. Deep. Delicious. A few sips in, you’ll be ready for adventure, which is what Ambli is all about. The menu shifts each month from region to region, going from Thailand to Mexico to the Middle East, with dynamic, often exotic, flavors and spices. The elegant contemporary setting shouts special occasion and co-owner Pariza Mehta makes each diner feel like they’ve arrived at the center of the world. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $18-$25
5278 N. Nevada Ave.
Straddling the open-air second floor of the Springs’ hottest nightclub/food hall (COATI Uprise), Ephemera elevates the city’s urban dining experience with the experimental and unexpected. The tasting menus (with or without wine pairings) feature such artfully arranged delectables as squid ink pasta, cucumber asparagus soup, berry-glazed pork belly, forbidden rice and rose ice cream. And the raw oysters — as fine as you’ll find in a landlocked state. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $20-$40
514 S. Tejon St. Suite 250A
Four by Brother Luck
The Springs’ most celebrated of celebrity chefs (as seen on Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped and Top Chef), Brother Luck runs two local restaurants: Lucky Dumpling, an Asian fusion joint, and Four, an upscale restaurant inspired by the Four Corners region of the Southwest. Four finds Brother resting on not a single laurel, turning out such Instagram-worthy dishes as a tender star-chef-worthy New York strip bathed in tomato chili hollandaise and a savory truffle mac and cheese. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $15-$39
321 N. Tejon St.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar
Jax Fish House takes the only possible complaint about Colorado — that landlocked lack of shoreline — and brings the sea to the Springs via a sustainable, expertly executed seafood and oyster bar. Part of the Big Red F family of Front Range restaurants, Jax provides an impressive array of fresh shellfish, flown in daily, with varieties from both coasts to excite the most knowledgeable bivalve aficionados. —D.P.R.
Dinner Entrees: $17-$47
11 S. Tejon St.
Lumen8 Rooftop Social
Perched atop the dual-branded hotel building at the corner of Tejon and Costilla, the panoramic views out the windows of Lumen8 are worth the trip — even if you live in the Springs. It’s a little hard to find if you’re a first-timer. From South Tejon, it’s through the doors to the right of the hotel lobby. The elevator is around the corner, and you’re headed to the eighth floor. Insiders know that “Social Hour” and its specially priced menu goes from 3-5 p.m. From appetizers (you can’t go wrong with any of the flatbreads) to irresistible and intriguing entrees (Braised Buffalo Short Rib and Salmon Fillet — you’re welcome) to those panoramic views, it’s all Instagram-worthy. Order the Penicillin cocktail. It will cure you. —Steven Hayward
Dinner Entrees: $18-$65
402 S. Tejon St.
Marigold Cafe & Bakery
A Westside mainstay for good reason, this beloved gem offers something for everyone. From French-inspired classics, such as Beef Bourguignon and Snapper Marseillaise, to delightful midday fare, the hardest decision is choosing among the award-winning desserts. Take it from longtime diners, the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake will have you coming back again and again. Addictively decadent! —E.P.
Dinner Entrees: $13-$38
4605 Centennial Blvd.
Milagro’s Cocina Mexicana
Milagro’s Cocina integrates authentic, family recipes with a Colorado flare to elevate traditional Mexican cuisine and offer an educational, contemporary dining experience. The menu showcases diverse regional dishes that make you question what you thought you knew about Mexican food, with an assortment of ceviches or pickled fruits and veggies to start with before deciding between “Plato’s Tradicional” or more unique entrees. Find a variety of mole dishes, coastal-inspired seafood items and hearty favorites that include the Cochinita Pibil, a braised pork shank wrapped in banana leaves. Plus, Milagro’s doesn’t skimp on the margaritas — try the Smoky Pineapple for a welcoming, flavorful upgrade. —D.P.R.
Dinner Entrees: $13-$32
7455 N. Academy Blvd.
Ristorante Del Lago
Truly authentic Italian cuisine is far less common than you’d think. But here at the Broadmoor’s Ristorante Del Lago, not only is the menu curated to echo some of Italy’s most lauded culinary regions, but Executive Chef David Patterson has developed relationships with Italian family producers to import the finest ingredients available. Sample them all while drinking in lakeside views via Del Lago’s panoramic windows (flung wide open throughout summer). Lake Como never felt so close. —M.R.
Dinner Entrees: $20-$48
1 Lake Ave.
Paravicini’s Italian Bistro / Ristorante di Sopra
Single-handedly straining the world’s garlic supply chain, Franco Pisani has created the classic neighborhood Italian joint, where the hefty plates of Veal Parmesan and Chicken Piccata would surely get Sinatra’s approval. Upstairs, the sister restaurant Sopra has become the place for Franco to stretch, with more delicate flavors and more upscale ingredients. The Mushroom Gorgonzola Polenta and the Osso Bucco are transcendent. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: Paravicini’s $18-$34 / Sopra $20-$60
2802 W. Colorado Ave.
The Rabbit Hole
Find it at the other end of a stairway leading down from what appears to be the entrance to a subway station on the north side of Kiowa, just east of Tejon. There lies a darkened underworld where reservations are advised. Start with the Queen of Hearts Bloody Mary (comes with a beer). Share a veggie (or not) Nosh board, move on to the Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Meatloaf (or the steak and shrimp frites if it feels weird to be eating rabbit in a rabbit hole), and end, yes, with the carrot cake. When it’s served, ask, “What’s up, Doc?” They haven’t heard that one before. —S.H.
Dinner Entrees: $12-$38
101 N. Tejon St.
Best Restaurants in Colorado Springs $$
503W transitions your dining adventures from downtown Colorado Springs into Old Colorado City with unique Asian fusion gastropub fare and an upscale craft cocktail program. The contemporary menu features an assortment of solid sharable apps, Korean inspired street food, more fanciful “knife & fork” entrees and stacked, all-natural, grass-fed cheeseburgers. 503W showcases a strong game behind the stick, curating themed happy hours as well as some of the best seasonal libations anywhere in town. —D.P.R.
Dinner Entrees: $14-$23
503 W Colorado Ave.
Adam’s Mountain Cafe
A Manitou institution for nearly 40 years, Adam’s isn’t strictly a vegetarian place, but it happens to serve the region’s two best veggie entrees. A Buddha Bowl, greenery bursting with sweet turmeric and sesame flavors, topped with crispy tofu will force you to rethink your justifiable attitudes toward tofu. And the Senegalese Vegetables are drenched in a savory homemade peanut sauce you’ll want to dive into. Another favorite, especially for meat eaters, is the Turkey Burrito, filled with beans, guac, hunks of fresh roasted turkey; it tastes like a Mexican Thanksgiving. Adam’s atmosphere leans toward fanciful old-world casual, with antique wooden tables and impressionistic landscape paintings by legendary Manitou Artist C.H. Rockey. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $10-$23
26 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs
Hidden among Interquest’s chainsville lies a hipster haven that is quietly crushing it. Its dominating horseshoe bar suggests an emphasis on the pub portion of its name, and the microbrews and craft cocktails certainly meet a high bar. But damn, the gastro part shines. How many pubs have Lobster Tots, a “Cup o’ Bacon” (housemade), Bulgogi Steak Fries or a Crab Pretzel? Clearly, the gastro gets plenty of attention, and the flavors of these innovative culinary adventures rock. I particularly love the Bacon Jam Bison Burger, a juicy delight on par with Brother Luck’s famous Bacon Jam Burger. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $10-$26
1327 Interquest Parkway
From the cyberpunk décor to the inventive menu to the classic anime playing on TVs above intimate booth seating, everything about Chiba Bar oozes the essence of Japan. Attention to detail shows up everywhere from the warm unagi bowl to the carefully selected Japanese whisky list. It’s no wonder this low-key izakaya, or Japanese style pub, is beloved by local food industry insiders. —Jason Fleming
Dinner Entrees: $9-$16
19 E. Kiowa St.
Crystal Park Cantina
This festive mountain hideaway’s innovative margaritas are a tribute to tequila bliss. Indulge in a pile of sweet potato nachos followed by a trio of enchiladas in an authentic red mole sauce. Or take a seat on the outdoor patio and go Baja with the tempura-battered fish tacos. Wash it all down with the best horchata in the city. —Julie Martin Sunich
Dinner Entrees: $13-$26
178 Crystal Park Rd., Manitou Springs
Dozo Sushi and Bar
This relative newcomer knocks sushi right out of the fish tank for freshness. Sashimi, nigiri, and oh-so-many rolls grace the menu, along with a seductive mix of tempura battered vegetables and teriyakis. The stunning presentation alone can make you cry. Both sleek yet welcoming, Dozo even greets the incoming literary crowd with its own book nook. —J.M.S.
Dinner Entrees: $7-$26
1606 S. 8th Street
Monse’s Taste of El Salvador
From Chalchuapa, El Salvador, Monse Hines brought a bright, fresh Central American eatery to Old Colorado City. Since 2018, the welcoming pupuseria has gained a devoted following. The restaurant is best known for handmade, made-to-order pupusas, El Salvador’s most popular dish. The round stuffed corn cakes come in a long list of varieties, but try the Revueltas (pork and cheese). Also make sure you order sides of plantains and yucca fries. —Kristian DePue
Dinner Entrees: $9-$17
115 S. 25th St.
Narai Thai Restaurant and Narai Siam Cuisine
With two locations, one in Rockrimmon and the other in the Broadmoor neighborhood, Narai serves traditional Thai, kicked up with super-fresh ingredients and occasional gourmet flourishes (try the lobster pad Thai.) Among our favorites are the Thai Basil Eggplant (ask for extra veggies instead of chicken, shrimp or beef), and the Panang Curry, stewed in coconut milk with red bell pepper and carrot, topped with the signature Thai basil. The atmosphere at both locations is posh enough for special-occasion dining, and a robust wine list follows that line of thinking. —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $14-$28
Narai Thai Restaurant, 805 Village Center Drive
Narai Siam Cuisine, 120 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.
The O.G. of COS hip has anchored downtown’s New South End long before the booming ‘hood began gentrifying around it. This cozy cafe offers crafted cocktails, coffee, soups and sandwiches served in an eclectic 1910 grocery store. Famous for its consistent quality and artsy charm, Shuga’s hosts a fine-tuned menu under a flock of paper cranes, surrounded by thrift store décor and candlelit ambience. No matter what, order the spicy Brazilian coconut shrimp soup. It never fails to delight. —K.D.
Dinner Entrees: $10-$16
702 S. Cascade Ave.
Tokki invites you into the intimacy of its hideaway location with bold, Korean flavors and fanciful cocktails. Together, they create a swanky, bar-centric venue and kitchen. Sip on distinctive libations with Asian-fusion tapas while live music plays just a few feet away — or take in the picturesque patio views as you snuggle into the nearby mountainscape of the Cheyenne Mountain neighborhood. For eats, dive into the peppery Nine-Tails Tataki made with sushi-grade ahi tuna, or spread the love with the sharable Gogi Lettuce Wraps. Pair them with a Yuzu Sake Margarita or Broadmoor Whiskey Sour. —D.P.R.
Dinner Entrees: $9-$25
182 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.
Uchenna Ethiopian Restaurant
Walking into the unassuming strip-mall storefront at Uchenna is stepping into the home of Chef Maya Hetman — and into a slice of another world. Here in this cozy corner of Old Colorado City, you can explore the depth of flavors from the Horn of Africa, particularly the rich culinary traditions of Ethiopian cuisine. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will discover tantalizing dishes eaten with the fingers served alongside rolls of injera flatbread. You can taste the love in every dish. —J.F.
Dinner Entrees: $11-$17
2501 W. Colorado Ave., #105
Best Restaurants in Colorado Springs $
Don’t be scared off by its strip mall presence. Step in to a colorful and cozy Latin-infused vibe. This once-food truck turned brick and mortar restaurant prides itself on an eclectic menu of fresh ingredients and striking combinations featuring bold Latin and Caribbean flavors. Authentic Cubanos and keep-‘em-coming street tacos paired with a Spicy Boi cocktail make for a memorable evening out. —E.P.
Dinner Entrees: $4-$14
2825 Dublin Blvd.
The new kid on the block just about always draws crowds, but Zocalo is likely to keep them. The reason: quality and value, which is getting hard to find. Amid a Yucatan beach-bar vibe, they serve traditional (enchiladas, tamales) and upscale fusion tacos (think steak chimichurri tacos with homemade pesto sauce) for $4-$6 each. Street tacos go down to $3 and the serious margs go down to $6 during happy hour (3-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays). —W.E.
Dinner Entrees: $4-$18
418 S. Tejon St., Suite 100
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