Published: June 21, 2013
★ Best of the Springs winner
$................ $12 or less
$$$$.......... $30 and up
THE AIRPLANE RESTAURANT - 1665 N. Newport Road, 570-7656, solosrestaurant.com $
How can you beat eating in an actual Boeing KC-97? That's one of the dining rooms in this family eatery, which has been featured on the Food Network as well as in national publications.
BJ'S VELVET FREEZ - 1511 N. Union Blvd., 633-6365 $ ☀
Drive in, park and enjoy one of the remnants of childhood trips to the local soft-serve ice cream joint. Bonus: There's some good eating as well.
MB'S PICK: BACK EAST BAR & GRILL - 9475 Briar Village Point, 264-6161, backeastbarandgrill.com $ ☀
Back East Bar & Grill is friendly and welcoming, whether you're the first person through the door for lunch or you bring your family for dinner on trivia night. It can be loud (those trivia players are relentlessly enthusiastic), and the center point of the establishment is the bar, but the service remains attentive and speedy. The menu is well thought out and offers something for everyone, although adding a veggie burger to the menu would broaden the scope.
Dishes not to miss: Pizza Salad ($9.50), Beef on Weck ($8.50).
BACK EAST PIZZA & WINGS, 3735 Bloomington St., 418-2459, backeastpizzaandwings.com $
Housemade pizzas, wings, salads and subs. The pizza dough and sauce are made daily.
BIG TRAIN FAMILY RESTAURANT - 3050 N. Nevada Ave., 473-8218 $
This family-friendly eatery is comfort food central. And don't miss the Slopper.
BIRD DOG BBQ - four locations, birddogbbq.com $ ★
We may not live in the South, but there really aren't any borders to loving barbecue. Bird Dog's Oklahoma-style barbecue has quite a following, perhaps because of the oak-smoked meats with sauce on the side, counter service and generous servings.
BON TON'S CAFE - 2601 W. Colorado Ave., 634-1007, bontonscafe.com $ ☀
A Sunday brunch on the patio of this Old Colorado City cafe is a must during good weather. The people watching is priceless and the food is the kind your mom made (if you were lucky). Serving breakfast and lunch - and alcoholic beverages.
BUFFALO WILD WINGS - 2905 Geyser Drive, 219-1500; 7425 N. Academy Blvd., 594-9464; buffalowildwings.com $ ★
Whether you like traditional or boneless wings, this spot has you covered with 20 signature sauces, four dry rub seasonings and always fresh, never frozen wings.
TERESA'S PICK: CAFE CORTO COFFEE GALLERY - 115 E. Kiowa St., 577-4347, cafecorto.com $
This family-owned coffeehouse-art gallery fusion is much more than a java joint. Benjamin Gallegos-Pardo, an owner, is a self-professed coffee nut and an Iron Chef wannabe. The small breakfast and lunch sandwich menu has gradually grown to include many of his traditional, Latin-influenced dishes, such as the award-winning Cuban sandwich (a must try) and the Arepa de Polly, a Colombian corncake stuffed with cilantro-and-onion-marinated shredded chicken, avocado and a fried egg.
Dish not to miss: Tres Leches Cake ($3).
T.D. MOBLEY-MARTINEZ' PICK: CANYON COFFEE & CAFE - 1791 S. 8th St., Suite H, 633-7400, canyon-coffee.com $ ☀
This cozy little spot is tucked away in a strip mall on 8th Street and easy to miss. It's worth putting the address in your GPS, though, because besides serving great coffee that's blended just for them, there's a surprising amount of attention to detail regarding the food. For instance, all the lunch meat is made in-house. A yummy example is the cafe's Reuben, called a Reuby Canyon. The pastrami is made from scratch: The meat is brined for a week and hot smoked. Even the Thousand Island dressing is made in-house. The cafe has also started serving dinner.
Dish not to miss: The pancakes (3 for $5).
MB'S PICK: COLORADO MOUNTAIN BREWERY - 600 S. 21st St., Suite 180, 466-8240; 11202 Rampart Hills View, 434-5750; cmbrew.com $ ★ ☀
This local brewery-restaurant opened a new location in the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse features tall ceilings, a warm wood interior with an upscale feel, a second story and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. The restaurants aren't just pretty, though: They offer warm, friendly service and mostly outstanding food with a few small glitches. Both menus give you a little of everything, and the wood-fired pizza oven at the Roundhouse helped produce what might be the best pizza I've ever had.
Dishes not to miss: The truffle fries ($9), fish and chips ($12), bacon-wrapped Rocky Mountain rainbow trout ($14).
MB'S PICK: COQUETTE'S BISTRO AND BAKERY - 915 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-2420, coquettecreperie.com $ ★ ☀
A totally gluten-free restaurant, but you don't have to be gluten-free to enjoy eating there. The tidy menu is full of delicious food that will satisfy a variety of appetites, and the staff is equally sensitive to other allergy issues as well. The daily specials are inventive, so whether you want a quick breakfast or a cozy dinner, you'll find a dish that hits the mark.
Dishes not to miss: The Greek omelette ($9.50), the Cheeky Monkey Cr?e ($7.25), the vegan polenta ($12.50).
T.D.'S PICK: THE CORNER CAFE - 7 E. Vermijo Ave., 520-1843, cornercafecs.com $ ☀
There are a lot of downtown spots to grab breakfast before work or spend your lunch hour. The Corner Cafe may not be the fanciest, but it does everything well, including the pork green chili (it's hot and savory). Generous portions and friendly service (owners Bob and Virginia Smoot are always there) make it worth the occasional line at the register. Grab a piece of Virginia's pies to eat later: My fav is the banana coconut cream.
Dishes not to miss: A Pueblo Slopper ($8.95), that green chili soup ($3.50 cup, $4.75 bowl) and the tuna sandwich ($7.95).
CRAVE REAL BURGERS - 7465 N. Academy Blvd., 264-7919, craverealburgers.com $
Cheeseburger? Ho hum. Crave can hook you up with flavors God never intended to be consumed together, including the Fatty Melt (bacon, cheese and pickles between two grilled cheese sandwiches) and the Nutty Professor (peanut butter, bacon, jalape?s and onions). And while you're waiting for the ambulance, be sure and try one of Crave's old-fashioned milkshakes.
CUCURU GALLERY CAFE - 2332 W. Colorado Ave., 520-9900
This quirky little cafe in the heart of Old Colorado City specializes in tapas with a Cuban flair as well as a roster of live music and rotating art shows. $$ ★ ☀
CY'S DRIVE-IN RESTAURANT - 1833 W. Uintah St., 630-7008 $ ☀ ▲
This homegrown drive-in serves up the classics as well as some combos you might not have thought of. Families flock there.
DALE STREET BISTRO CAFE - 115 E. Dale St., 578-9898, mydalestreetcafe.com $$
A sweet spot for a lazy afternoon. The menu includes pizza and a variety of salads and entrees, including Shrimp Luisa, Gnocchi Gorgonzola and Vegetable Wellington.
MB'S PICK: DION'S - 6385 Source Center Point., 265-4645, dions.com $ ★ ☀
This Albuquerque-based chain made a name on its sandwiches, pizzas and salads. The service is friendly, even when the crowds are hectic, and the food is simple, fast, fresh and delicious. And if you don't want to dine in, you can order and pay online then pick up your order at the drive-thru window.
Dishes not to miss: The Tuscany Pizza ($6.95), roast beef and provolone sub ($5.45), the veggie sub ($5.45), and macadamia nut cookie ($1).
THE DONUT MILL - 310 W. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 687-9793, thedonutmill.com $ ☀
This sweet spot offers all the best in carbo overload, including house-made doughnuts, fritters, scones and cinnamon buns, the latter measuring 10 to 12 inches across. What more do you need to know?
DRIFTER'S HAMBURGERS - 4455 Mark Dabling Blvd., 548-8163, driftershamburgers.com $ ☀
Good burgers and fries. A bonus: The beef is humanely raised without added hormones or antibiotics. Don't leave without trying the freshly squeezed lemonade.
EAST COAST RESTAURANT & DELICATESSEN - 24 S. Tejon St., 633-4522, eastcoastdeli.net $ ☀
An old-fashioned deli run by Long Island natives. Serves up a huge variety of meats and all the classic sandwiches. Good service.
MB'S PICK: ENGLISH DOCKSIDE SEAFOOD AND GRILL - 2220 N. Academy Place, 380-7732, englishdockside.com $
English is the owner's last name, not his style, so you can expect po' boys big enough to extend over the sides of the plate, catfish fried right and blue crab in several delicious incarnations. Plus, there's the owner's secret Cajun spice mix.
Dish not to miss: The Blue Crab Meat Po-Boy ($17.95 large, $12.95 small).
FLATIRONS AMERICAN BAR & GRILL - 2540 Tenderfoot Hill St., 576-2540, flatirons.biz $$
There's steak, sure, but Flatirons also offers a three-cheese macaroni, pork street tacos and about 75 wines and beers by the bottle.
FREDDY'S FROZEN CUSTARD & STEAKBURGERS - 511 Garden of the Gods Road, 266-6455; 5825 Stetson Hills Blvd., 597-5878; freddysusa.com $ ★
Founded in Kansas in the 1950s, a stop here will give you your fast-food fix.
GOLDEN BEE - The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., 577-5776, broadmoor.com/goldenbee $$ ☀
Recently reopened after extensive renovations, it continues the tradition of the 19th-century English pub experience. Traditional pub fare is on hand as well as live piano music and sing-a-longs.
TERESA'S PICK: GRIZZLY GRILL - 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, 633-9925, cmzoo.org $ ☀
Prepare yourself for a surprise at this eatery. You'll find selections you don't expect to see in a zoo setting. There's a carving station offering daily specials. The rice bowls are prepared creatively on the spot. We like to go for the made-to-order salads or wraps. Be sure to try an order of garlic parmesan fries with the wrap. Zoo admission is required.
Dish not to miss: Colorado brewed Duffy's root beer float ($4.95 ).
GUNTHER TOODY'S - 5794 Palmer Park Blvd., 570-1952; 5490 E. Woodmen Road, 548-1955; gunthertoodys.com $ ★
Yearning for those "Happy Days?" This Colorado chain gives it to you in gleaming spades, along with some tasty fare, including the Bleu Suede Shoes Burger, the Diner Double Cheeseburger and an extensive breakfast menu.
THE HUNGRY BEAR - 111 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 687-5912, hungrybearcolorado.com $
Just scrolling down the menu will make you hungry.
JACK QUINN IRISH ALEHOUSE AND PUB - 21 S. Tejon St., 385-0766, jackquinnspub.com $$ ★
You don't need to be Irish to enjoy the dark, intimate atmosphere of this downtown fixture. The food is good, too, and includes themed items (Celtic Wings, Guiness Stout Cheese Soup) as well as greatest hits such as a surf and turf and a Lime Dill Salmon. And if you've been out late, it's one of the few downtown spots with a substantial menu to plumb before the drive home.
JOANIE'S BAKERY DELI - 110 E. U.S. 24, Woodland Park, 686-9091, joaniesdeli.com $
This gorgeous deli, which serves breakfast and lunch, is bright and airy. The food is well-prepared: just the thing for a trip to the lovely mountain town.
T.D.'S PICK: JOHNNY'S NAVAJO HOGAN - 2817 N. Nevada Ave., 344-9593, johnnyshogan.com $
The Hogan has had many lives since it was built as a roadhouse in 1935. Restaurateur Johnny Nolan, who also owns SouthSide Johnny's, took over the spot in 2011. It can be rowdy in the evenings (the cool, peaked log ceiling doesn't do much for acoustics), but if that's not your thing, check it out for lunch. The menus are the same.
Dishes not to miss: The three-piece broasted chicken dinner ($10.95), the Yardbird sandwich ($8.95) and the fried zucchini ($8.95).
JUNIPER VALLEY RANCH - 16350 S. Colorado 115, 576-0741, junipervalleyranch.com $$
Now in its 62nd year, this popular restaurant hasn't changed its menu since 1951. Think homemade fried chicken and baked ham with a variety of sides, served family style. Open March 29-Dec. 22.
THE KEG LOUNGE - 730 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9531, facebook.com/TheKegLounge $
The kind of place where locals congregate for a good lunch or a drink after work (and they do). It's dark, oaky and heavy on the protein. Friendly service and one of the best green chili cheeseburgers around.
KING'S CHEF DINER - 131 E. Bijou St., 636-5010; 110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135; kingschefdiner.com $ ★ ☀
King's Chef has character to spare, but it isn't just a pretty face. The food is hearty (and served in generous portions), the service friendly and the green chili hot. Really.
T.D.'S PICK: LARKBURGER - 1904 Southgate Road, 466-6111, larkburger.com $
Started in Vail, this simple concept with memorable flavors is sleek but welcoming, a place you can sit for a while or bring the kids without worrying about bringing down the house. I'm a fan of the Little Lark, the smaller version of the restaurant's namesake. It's always juicy and cooked to order. And you gotta love the additions of thick-cut bacon, the Tillamook cheddar and gluten-free buns, for those so inclined. And Larkburger gives students and military free beverages.
Dishes not to miss: truffle and parmesan fries ($3) and the Larkburger ($5.95).
LOFTY'S - 287 E. Fountain Blvd., 520-0024 $ ★
The standard coffee shop groove is going on here in spades. Coffee and tea? Check. Bagels? Check. Sandwiches and soups? Check. Friendly poet-artist-philosopher owner and operator? Check. And if caffeine isn't your wind-down choice at the end of the day, Lofty's can offer you a glass of wine, a cold beer or a companionable cocktail. Whether your beverage is high-test or unleaded, you can sit, sip, nibble and relax.
MARGO'S VIENNA STATION - 3442 W. Colorado Ave., 630-7453 $ ★ ☀ ▲
When you want a hot dog, a place that mostly serves burgers just won't do. This faux train depot does it right - and what a view.
THE MASON JAR - 2925 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4820; 5905 Corporate Drive, 260-6555; masonjarcolorado.com $ ▲
Straightforward comfort food.
THE MATE FACTOR CAFE - 966 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-3235 $ ☀You won't find another place in the area that looks like this cafe, which is a casual hangout to grab a beer, a sandwich, a mate or watch people.
MB'S PICK: MCCABE'S TAVERN - 520 S. Tejon St. 633-3300, mccabestavern.com $ ★
The first thing that will strike you at McCabe's is the atmosphere. There's a casual air about the place that makes you feel like sitting and relaxing for a while. The menu offers a surprising number of creative vegetarian options. The food is simply better than the usual bar fare.
Dishes not to miss: Chips and curry ($6.95), The Works Burger ($9.95).
MCGINTY'S WOOD OVEN PUB - 11115 W. U.S. 24, Divide, 686-7703, mcgintyswoodenoverpub.com $ ★
Walk into McGinty's and you'll feel as if you've been transported to the old country. The food all sports Irish-sounding names, but there's more than Irish stew to choose from, including pizza, sammies and fondue.
MEADOW MUFFINS - 2432 W. Colorado Ave., 633-0583 $
This is the go-to place for watching the game and grabbing an inexpensive burger and fries. It's also a prime spot for live music and karaoke.
MILDRED'S CAFE - 4645 Fountain Ave., Cascade, 684-7855, mildredscafe.com $
You'll feel as if you should throw on a poodle skirt and cat eye glasses when you stroll into Mildred's, which has been serving classic diner fare since 1956.
MILT'S COFFEE SHOP - 2314 E. Platte Ave., 634-9016 $
When you gotta have biscuits and gravy - or any other breakfast standard - head to Milt's, where the food hits the spot and the service is friendly.
T.D.'S PICK: MONTAGUE'S PARLOUR - 1019 S. Tejon St., 520-0672, montaguesparlour.com $ ☀
You might not guess that a cozy little tearoom complete with wing chairs and comfortable couches is located on the industrial part of Tejon Street. There, plans can be hatched or Jane Austen read or gossip shared - and if you're situated right, you can hear it all. The coffee and tea are very good and Montague's offers a solid breakfast and lunch menu that leans toward healthy. Save room because the array of cakes, scones and other tasty morsels is to die(t) for.
Dish not to miss: Pumpkin tomato soup ($3.25 cup, $5.25 bowl).
TERESA'S PICK: MOUNTAIN SHADOWS RESTAURANT - 2223 W. Colorado Ave., 633-2122, sites.google.com/site/mountainshadowsrestaurant $$ ☀
This converted home is clearly the locals' digs, but the amiable staff makes you feel like you're a native. The famously huge breakfast dishes are served all day. Try the giant cinnamon roll. The Friday all-you-can-eat fish and chips keeps fans lined up.
Dish not to miss: chicken fried steak ($9.59 breakfast, $10.99 dinner).
NEW DAY CAFE - 5901 Delmonico Drive, 266-0555, newdaycafe.com $
Open for breakfast and lunch, this newly opened spot offers classic fare, including a variety of omelets, housemade soups and sandwiches.
NORTH END DINER - 3005 N. Hancock Ave., 442-1833, northenddiner.com $
Every neighborhood needs a spot to meet up, to eat and talk. North End has been just that since it was founded in 1958. Open for breakfast and lunch, you'll find all the traditional diner fare, plus hormone-free Ranch Foods beef.
THE OLIVE BRANCH - 23 S. Tejon St., 475-1199, theolivebranchrest.com $ ★
The Olive Branch is famous for its brunches. The food is solid and portions generous, and served in a comfortable room that's as homey as the food. Vegetarian and gluten-free items are available. It's also open for dinner Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
OLIVER'S DELI - 6602 Delmonico Drive, 599-9411, oliversdelishop.com $
The greatest hits with a few surprises, including breads available by the loaf.
THE OMELETTE PARLOR - 900 E. Fillmore St., 633-7770, co-spgs-omeletteparlor.com $C
You need to get here early on weekends because the OP is a popular breakfast spot. You can get breakfast all day, but sandwiches and salads also are on the menu.
OSCAR'S OYSTER BAR - 333 S. Tejon St., 471-8070 $ ☀
This cool little spot near downtown is easy to miss, but slow down a bit and look. It's worth it. It's known for its Cajun dishes, but the oysters are to die for. The covered patio's a nice spot to watch the game.
T.D.'S PICK: OVER EASY, A DAYTIME EATERY - 28A S. Tejon St., 471-2311, overeasycolorado.com $
Local restaurant mogul Randy Price remade the former Slayton's into a hip spot for breakfast and lunch. Comfort food rules and yet some items have a tasty spin, including the grilled cheese sandwich with Swiss, havarti, fresh basil, tomato and a drizzle of Colorado honey on grilled sourdough. Get there early on weekends because there's often a long waiting list.
Dish not to miss: Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes ($7.99).
MB'S PICK: THE PANTRY - 6980 Lake St., Green Mountain Falls, 684-9018 $ ★ ☀ ▲
Inside the constantly slamming old screen door, a J-shaped counter lined with stools is crowded with salt and pepper, hot sauce, bowls of half-and-half containers, folded newspapers and all the other accoutrements that should accompany diner food. If you come for breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday, expect to wait. The food is that good.
Dish not to miss: Baby Doe (Benedict) ($8.99)
TERESA'S PICK: PATTY JEWETT BAR AND GRILL - 900 E. Espanola St., 385-6908, pattyjewettclubhouse.com $ ☀ ▲
The clubhouse and banquet room were built in 1910 and the building combines turn-of-the-century charm with wonderful renovations and beautiful views of Pikes Peak. The bar and grill is featured as one of the 50 Best 19th Holes in the country by Golf Digest Magazine. The best bet in the burger category is the Green Chile Slopper ($8.25), an open-faced burger bathed in spicy green chili, melted cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Dish not to miss: Colorado cobb salad ($8.95).
PHANTOM CANYON BREWING CO. - 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800, phantomcanyon.com $ ★ ☀
There's a little-of-everything menu here for lunch, dinner and late night - Italian, Southern, Mexican and so forth.
PJ'S BISTRO - 819 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1195 $ ☀ ▲
A spin-off from the European Cafe, it offers fare that's worth the calories.
PLAY - The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Drive, 634-7711, broadmoor.com/play $$
This new late-night destination joins the roster of Broadmoor eateries. There's wine, beer and the like as well as a six-lane bowling alley and game room.
POOR RICHARD'S/RICO'S CAFE AND WINE BAR - 320-324 N. Tejon St., 630-7723, poorrichards.biz $ ★
Poor Richard's offers straightforward ambiance and food, including pizza by the slice, sandwiches and salads. Rico's CAFE and Wine Bar is a little different: An interesting wine list, beers and organic coffee complement the tapas, such as a Maple Glazed Butternut Squash & Crispy Proscuitto. Catch some live music Wednesdays through Saturdays.
RITZ GRILL - 15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484, ritzgrill.com $
A downtown fixture with a bistro-style menu that hits all the high points, including steaks, Asian and California-style pizzas. Check out the Friday night dance party.
RUDY'S COUNTRY STORE AND BAR-B-Q - 315 S. 31st St., 471-4120, rudysbbq.com $ ☀ ▲
With rows of picnic tables and the kitsch memorablia hanging from the high ceilings, this enormous restaurant has a hoedown, barn-raising feel. The food is similarly homey - and pretty tasty, too. On warmer nights, check out the fireplace on the patio.
SANDY'S RESTAURANT - 6940 Space Village Ave., 651-0596 $
Diner food at its finest. Almost everything is made from scratch. Fill up on crispy home fries, eggs and green chili, and take one of the house cinnamon rolls to go.
SHELDON'S LUNCHEONETTE - 310 8th St., 520-1654; 204 Mount View Lane, 599-0887; sheldonslunch.com $
Remember the luncheonette counter where gravy flowed free and you didn't have to ask for your hash browns on the crispy side? Sheldon's carries on the tradition with style.
SHUGA'S RESTAURANT & BAR - 702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412, shugas.com $ ☀
You'll be met with interesting cocktails here. Sip your Lavender Blossom martini daintily in this quirky restaurant as you nibble at your tapas, spoon up your Spicy Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup or partake of the tasty Brick Chicken Sandwich.
SMASHBURGER - 5320 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 100, 219-0500; 3707 Bloomington St., 574-4126; smashburger.com $
This Denver chain makes a mean burger, first smashing hand-formed beef on a scalding grill, then piling the patty with fresh toppings.
T.D.'S PICK: SMILEY'S BAKERY & CAFE, 323 N. Tejon St., 328-9447, smileysbakerycafe.com $ ★
This unassuming little cafe with character to spare serves only breakfast and lunch, but you'll make it a regular stop after tasting the homemade bread, pancakes and gumbos. There also are whole pies for sale.
Dish not to miss: The grilled cheese sandwich with tomato.
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY'S - 528 S. Tejon St., 444-8487, southsidejohnnys.biz $
Hit Johnny's for food during the day and drinks and live music come dusk. Johnny's delivers more than the standard bar food.
THE STAGECOACH INN - 702 Manitou Ave., 685-9400, stagecoachinn.com $$ ☀
There are plenty of stick-to-your-ribs choices here. Enjoy a plate next to the fireplace, in the English-style pub, the Western-themed dining rooms or outside by the creek.
STIR - 2330 N. Wahsatch Ave., 418-6188, stircoffeeshop.com $ ★
This coffeeshop in the Bon Shopping Center has many ways to get you caffeinated. Fill your belly at the same time with breakfast burritos or quiche, and when there's cherry pie available, get a slice if you know what's good for you.
TASTE OF PHILLY - 2819 Dublin Blvd., 260-7722; 3552 N. Academy Blvd., 638-0020; 1634 S. Nevada Ave., 471-1922; tasteofphilly.biz $ ★
This Colorado chain offers thick Philly sandwiches, hoagies, wraps and salads.
TONY'S DOWNTOWN BAR - 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566, tonysdowntownbar.com $
You'll find a mish-mash of personalities inhabiting this neighorhood joint, including sports fans, trivia buffs and college kids, all indulging in fried cheese curds, Wisconsin-style fish fries and cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
TRINITY BREWING CO. - 1466 Garden of the Gods Road, 634-0029, trinitybrew.com $ ★
This restaurant-brewery makes some interesting and delicious choices in the creation of new beers. Pair that with tantalizing entrees and appetizers, such as fries smothered in green chili, a chicken bacon bruschetta wrap and Kobe burgers. Surprisingly, there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options here, too.
TRIVELLI'S HOAGIES - 2729 N. Nevada Ave., 471-7733, trivellis.net $ ★
Hoagies are the thing here. Try the Rock Star, with capicola ham, Genoa salami, provolone cheese, grilled steak, marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.
UNCLE SAM'S PANCAKE HOUSE - 341 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9525 $
Join the locals for an omelet, steak and egg plate, or a fruit waffle.
WADE'S CAFE - 3504 N. Academy Blvd., 596-8122, wades-cafe.com $ ★
Wade's has been around since 1953, so it's no stranger to cooking up breakfast and lunch items. Try the pancakes - they've won awards.
WESTERN OMELETTE - 16 S. Walnut St., 636-2286, westernomelette.com $ ★
A Springs staple, with some tasty green chili (and when your server says hot, think "nuclear") making its way out of the kitchen. Don't swing by for dinner, though. Western Omelette only serves breakfast and lunch.
WINES OF COLORADO - 8045 W. U.S. 24, Cascade, 684-0900, winesofcolorado.com $$$ ★ ☀ ▲
With more than 95 Colorado vintners represented, any onophile will have a reason to make the drive to this creekside restaurant. The casual food is quite good.
WOOGLIN'S DELI - 823 N. Tejon St., 578-9443, wooglinsdeli.com $ ☀
Nestled in the heart of the Colorado College area, Wooglin's sees its share of meet ups before exams. You'll also spot a more mature crowd, which is drawn to the classic deli fare, friendly service and generous portions. .