★ Best of the Springs winner
$................ $12 or less
$$$$.......... $30 and up
ADAM'S MOUNTAIN CAFE - 934 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1430, adamsmountain.com $$$ ★ ☀ ▲
Gourmet organic, local cuisine that is heavily vegetarian. Try the huevos rancheros with the blue corn tortillas.
ANTLERS GRILLE - 4 S. Cascade Ave., 473-5600, antlers.com $
The hotel's breakfast restaurant offers a buffet and ala carte menu. Open Mondays-Saturdays for breakfast, with Sunday breakfast and brunch.
THE BLUE STAR - 1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086, thebluestar.net $$$ ★
This sister restaurant to Nosh flashes a wide and deep wine list, as well as a great happy hour, tasty tapas and a consistently good and wide-ranging lunch and dinner menu. Check out the half-price wine by the bottle on Sundays.
TERESA J. FARNEY'S PICK: BONEFISH GRILL - 5102 N. Nevada Ave., 598-0826, bonefishgrill.com $$$ ▲
This eatery specializes in market-fresh fish and other wood-grilled items. The recipes are innovative, with some contemporary renditions of the classics. The chef-driven menu and fresh cocktails will indulge your senses. The Maryland Crabcakes - two jumbo lump cakes with red remoulade - are delicious. The Chilean Sea Bass is rich, melt-in-your-mouth fish that is tender and buttery. Dish not to miss: Bang, Bang Shrimp ($8.90).
BRIARHURST MANOR ESTATE - 404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1864, briarhurst.com $$$ ★ ☀
This cozy Victorian-mansion-turned-gourmet-dining-experience is a favorite wedding venue. $$$$
THE BROADMOOR RESTAURANTS - 1 Lake Ave., 634-7711, broadmoor.com
Charles Court $$$
Elegant dining featuring American-style cuisine with an extensive wine list.
Lake Terrace Dining Room $$$
Perennial favorite for the huge buffet on Sundays that includes multiple carving and action stations.
Penrose Room $$$$
It's the only five-diamond and five-star restaurant in Colorado or the neighboring states. You can expect perfection of food and service.
9 Lake Circle, 577-5733, 577-5896: A casual yet elegant contemporary bistro, serving excellently prepared food at good prices.
The Tavern $$$$
The stunning garden room has been revamped and the menu retooled ala a French-style steakhouse. The kitchen does a solid job with meat and seafood. $$$$
TERESA'S PICK: CAFE 36 - 30 W. Dale St., 477-4377, csfineartscenter.org/cafe36.asp $$ ☀ ▲
A perfect spot for ladies who lunch. The talented chefs prepare seasonal foods in creative ways. The Sunday brunch, which you can order off the menu, is a favorite. The Relleno and Eggs comes with a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with a savory cheese blend, baked and finished with corn salsa, cilantro sour cream and two eggs any style, over country potatoes. Dish not to miss: Bittersweet Turtle Pie ($6).
CARLOS' BISTRO - 1025 S. 21st St., 471-2905, carlosbistrocos.com $$$$ ★ ☀ ▲
Friendly family-owned restaurant serving high-quality beef, fish, lamb and organ meat, all prepared to five-star quality.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN RESORT - 3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, 538-4000, cheyennemountain.com $$$$ ★ ☀ ▲
The king of buffets - especially the Sunday brunch. The resort serves great cold salads, breakfast items and dinner entrees. You can order off a menu, too.
THE CLIFF HOUSE AT PIKES PEAK - 306 Ca?n Ave., Manitou Springs, 785-1000, thecliffhouse.com $$$ ☀ ▲
The dining room is inviting, and the excellent food is prepared by award-winning chefs.
THE CRAFTWOOD INN - 404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, 685-9000, craftwood.com $$$$ ★ ☀ ▲
Colorado-style cuisine is on the menu, but there are many other creative, upscale dishes prepared with gourmet flair.
THE FAMOUS, A STEAKHOUSE - 31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333, thefamoussteakhouse.net $$$$ ★
The prime steaks put the "famous" in the name, and the cow is always prepared to perfection.
TERESA'S PICK: GERTRUDE'S RESTAURANT - 2625 W. Colorado Ave., 471-0887, gertrudesrestaurant.com $$$$
At this small, sophisticated restaurant, the chef can prepare a delicate vegetarian entree (say, Spinach Walnut Tortellini) as well as he can grill a hearty Boulder Valley Ranch-certified New York strip. A broad, well-chosen wine list complements the entrees. Sunday brunch is fabulous, with order-off-the-menu selections. Try the Santa Fe: grilled potato pancakes smothered with sharp cheddar cheese and vegan green chili.
Dish not to miss: Grilled Salmon Salad ($15.95, $11.95 for half).
JOSEPH'S FINE DINING - 1606 S. 8th St., 630-3631, josephsdining.com $$$
One of the few remaining places to have elegant dishes prepared tableside.
MB PARTLOW'S PICK: MACKENZIE'S CHOP HOUSE RESTAURANT - 128 S. Tejon St., 635-3536, mackenzieschophouse.com $$$ ★☀
At MacKenzie's, you will find delicious steaks cooked juicy and to order. The steakhouse's greatest hits are all done well, but don't expect too many surprises. The standards are high, the food is straightforward, and there's nothing wrong with combining consistency and tradition. Dishes not to miss: The Baseball Cut ($29.95), Bistro Steak Salad ($11.95), Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake ($8).
THE MARGARITA AT PINECREEK - 7350 Pine Creek Road, 598-8667, margaritaatpinecreek.com $$$ ★ ☀ ▲
Local favorite for years and especially known for the all-you-can-eat soup and salad lunch. Friday and Saturday nights feature music. June through September, drop by for dinner and a movie.
MARIGOLD CAF?AND BAKERY - 4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776 , marigoldcoloradosprings.com $$ ★ ☀ ▲
A French bistro and bakery with a wine bar, where steak and fries are a popular option. The pastries, which you'll spy in a gleaming display case on the way to your table, are heavenly.
MONA LISA FONDUE RESTAURANT - 733 Manitou Ave., 685-0277, monalisafondue.com $$$$ ★
Not your run-of-the-mill fondue spot. This upscale dip palace is a unique and delicious experience.
TERESA'S PICK: MOTIF - 2432 W. Cucharras St., 635-5635, motifwest.com $$ ☀
A jazz bar serving artfully prepared food in an upscale setting. Award-winning chef Andy Darrigan delights palates with his small-plate menu. Favorites include the Kobe Brioche Sliders, small beef burgers topped with roasted tomatoes and arugula, and the Salmorejo Shrimp, succulent skewered tiger shrimp smothered in New Mexican chili marinade.
Dish not to miss: Assorted lollipops ($8), four of the chef's signature chocolate truffle and cheesecake lollipops.
MOZAIC RESTAURANT - 443 S. Colorado 105, Palmer Lake, 481-1800, innatpalmerdivide.com $$$$ ★ ☀ ▲
Popular for the award-winning Sunday brunch. The food on the regular menu is classically prepared and beautifully presented.
THE MUCKY DUCK - 10530 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls, 684-2008, muckyduckco.com $$$ ☀ ▲
Steak, seafood, escargot and prime rib served in a rustic log-cabin setting. Enjoy the rooftop patio in fine weather.
NOSH - 121 S. Tejon St., Suite 121, 634-6674 , Nosh121.com $$ ★ ☀
A hip place offering a playful menu, with dishes such as chicken and waffles as well as mac and cheese with a gourmet twist.
THE PEPPER TREE RESTAURANT - 888 W. Moreno Ave., 471-4888, peppertreecs.com $$$$ ★ ▲
An old-fashioned spot with spot-on service. The Pepper Steak is one of the restaurant's most famous dishes, and it's prepared tableside.
THE RABBIT HOLE - 101 N. Tejon St., 203-5072, rabbitholedinner.com $
There's a lot to like on this creative menu, which continues the "Alice in Wonderland" theme with menu labels such as "Eat Me" and "Drink Me." The wine and the beer lists are good, and the bar stocks many locally made spirits.
THE SUNBIRD MOUNTAIN GRILL AND TAVERN - 230 Point of the Pines Drive, 598-8990, thesunbird.com $$ ★☀ ▲
Given a more casual spin in a recent renovation, the Sunbird is best known for the lavish, well-priced champagne Sunday brunch buffet. It also offers ribs, steak, trout and chicken on an extensive menu.
THE SWISS CHALET - 19263 E. U.S. 24, Woodland Park, 687-2001, swisschaletofwoodlandpark.com $$$$ ☀ ▲
Like dining in a chalet in the Swiss Alps. The menu features classic continental dishes. Friendly service.
TABEGUACHE STEAKHOUSE - 407 E. U.S. 24, Woodland Park, 687-8536, facebook.com/tabeguachesteakhouse $$ ☀ ▲
Not a fussy place, but one where you can dig into a well-prepared steak.
TAPATERIA - 2607 W. Colorado Ave., 471-8272, tapateria.com $ ★ ☀
Spanish tapas served with an excellent wine list.
TERESA'S PICK: TUCANOS BRAZILIAN GRILL - 3294 Cinema Point, 597-3800, tucanos.com $$$ ★ ☀
This is the hot spot for churrasco (pronounced shoe-HAS-ko) dining: Fresh meats and vegetables are grilled and brought directly to your table on swords by servers. Cost is $14.95 for weekday lunches and $21.95 for dinners. The Salad Festival bar features both Brazilian and American specialties, providing a fusion of flavors, textures and colors.
Dish not to miss: Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon Skewer ($9.95).
WALTER'S BISTRO - 146 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 630-0201, waltersbistro.com $$$$ ☀
An elegant dining room, where European cuisine is triumphant.
THE WAREHOUSE RESTAURANT AND GALLERY, 25 W. Cimarron St., 475-8880, thewarehouserestaurant.com $$$
Elk, wild boar, bison, steaks and seafood are all given a gourmet touch. Check out the art gallery while you're there.