2017 Best Of Colorado Springs V.I: Welcome and Winners Index

Indy Best Of

DESIGN BY JEFF DREW
  • Design by Jeff Drew
W

elcome to the Independent's 24th annual Best Of issues, a two-week celebration of Colorado Springs' finest people, businesses and more — as chosen in this year's voting by many thousands of our readers. In this first installment, we honor winners in the Food & Drink and Nightlife categories; next week, we'll spotlight Community and Shopping & Services. Both issues feature an index of the top three winners that spans the awards section of write-ups on first-place finishers.

Every year, competition remains tough throughout our 150-plus voter categories. So it's truly no small acknowledgment when an outfit takes home the big prize. It's a meaningful recognition by members of our community that something special's going on.

In our topsy-turvy world, it might feel like a distraction to spend pages glowing over details of what makes each person or place stand out among their peers. But taking a moment to reward greatness is important, like celebrating special occasions and making time to be with family and friends.

Our annual Best Of also functions as a visitor's guide to our city, both for locals to find places they may have overlooked and guests to tune directly into the top hits instead of getting lost in radio static.

We've all chosen to reside in this fine city for a reason, often a list of reasons, and these Best Of issues illuminate the cultural framework of what makes Colorado Springs highly livable. As it pertains to this issue, our top chefs, mixologists, brewers, roasters and service people can hang with the best out there — we don't need to be a big city to be a BIG city.

Stroll through these pages to see why. Congrats to this year's winners, and to the following voters who've won prizes provided by the Indy and the Mining Exchange Hotel: George Patterson, Mark Dillon and Violet White.

— Matthew Schniper, Editor

Winners index

Food

Bakery

1. Boonzaaijer's Dutch Bakery 610 E. Fillmore St. 264-0177

2. Marigold Café and Bakery 4605 Centennial Blvd. 599-4776

3. Coquette's Bistro 616 S. Tejon St. 651-3892

Barbecue

1. Front Range Barbeque 2330 W. Colorado Ave. 632-2596

2. Bird Dog BBQ Multiple locations

3. Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q 315 S. 31st St. 471-4120

Breakfast

1. Over Easy 28 S. Tejon St., Suite A 471-2311, 5262 N. Nevada Ave., #100 598-2969; 5925 Dublin Blvd. 591-7329

2. King's Chef Diner 110 E. Costilla St. 634-9135131 E. Bijou St. 636-5010

3. The Omelette Parlor 900 E. Fillmore St. 633-7770

Burger

1. The Skirted Heifer 204 N. Tejon St. 635-3276

2. Bingo Burger 132 N. Tejon St. 418-622; 3101 Central Plaza, Pueblo 719/225-8363

3. Green Line Grill 2301/2 Pueblo Ave. 964-1461

Cajun/Southern

1. Springs Orleans 123 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 520-0123

2. Momma Pearl's Cajun Kitchen 6620 Delmonico Drive 964-0234

3. Front Range Barbeque 2330 W. Colorado Ave. 632-2596

Caribbean

1. Spice Island Grill 10 N. Sierra Madre St. 473-8280

2. Rasta Pasta 405 N. Tejon St. 481-6888

3. Jamaican Flavor 3016 S. Academy Blvd. 391-0142

Caterer

1. Picnic Basket Catering 1701 S. Eighth St. 635-0200

2. Garden of the Gods Catering 410 S. 26th St. 471-3663

3. Buffalo Gals Grilling 1701 S. Eighth St. 635-0200

Cheap Eats

1. King's Chef Diner 110 E. Costilla St. 634-9135; 131 E. Bijou St. 636-5010

2. Tony's 326 N. Tejon St. 228-6566

3. Fuzzy's Taco Shop 5915 Dublin Blvd., #100 388-8226

3. Monica's Taco Shop 30 E. Fillmore St. 473-1996

Monica's Taco Shop 5829 Palmer Park Blvd. 597-7022

Chef

1. Brother Luck, Four by Brother Luck 321 N. Tejon St.. 434-2741

2. Mark LeFebvre, Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. Mark Henry, Rooster's House of Ramen 323 N. Tejon St. 578-3031

Chinese

1. Coal Mine Dragon 1720 W. Uintah St. 578-5430

1. Coal Mine Dragon 1779 S. Eighth St. 471-7007

2. China Village 203 N. Union Blvd. 475-8299

3. China Town 326 S. Nevada Ave. 632-5151

3. Shangri-La 8850 N. Union Blvd. 495-1738

Dessert

1. Marigold Café and Bakery 4605 Centennial Blvd. 599-4776

2. Coquette's Bistro 616 S. Tejon St. 651-3892

3. Boonzaaijer's Dutch Bakery 610 E. Fillmore St. 264-0177

Diner

1. King's Chef Diner 110 E. Costilla St. 634-9135; 131 E. Bijou St. 636-5010

2. Black Bear Diner 975A N. Academy Blvd. 314-3616; 1340 Garden of the Gods Road 268-6874

3. Gunther Toody's 5490 E. Woodmen Road 548-1955 5794 Palmer Park Blvd. 570-1952

Donuts

1. Amy's Donuts 2704 E. Fountain Blvd. 632-0512

2. Dunkin' Donuts Multiple locations

3. Horseshoe Donuts 2593 Airport Road 985-8332

Fine Dining

1. The Famous 31 N. Tejon St. 227-7333

2. The Blue Star Closed at 1645 S. Tejon St., but reopening downtown in 2019.

2. Carlos' Bistro 1025 S. 21st St.. 471-2905

2. Pepper Tree Restaurant 888 W. Moreno Ave. 471-4888

3. Four by Brother Luck 321 N. Tejon St. 434-2741

3. MacKenzie's Chop House 128 S. Tejon St. 635-3536

Food Truck

1. Pig Latin Check Facebook for locations 347-1144

2. Potato Potato Check Facebook for locations 362-0750

3. Awaken Cambodian Food Truck Check Facebook for locations 465-8439

French

1. La Baguette Bakery & Espresso Café 117 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 636-5020

2. The French Kitchen Culinary Center 4771 N. Academy Blvd. 528-6295

3. La Baguette – Old Colorado City 2417 W. Colorado Ave. 577-4818

Frozen Treat

1. Josh & John's 111 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 632-0299; 6896 Centennial Blvd. 532-0299

2. BJ's Velvet Freez 1511 N. Union Blvd. 633-6365

3. Rizuto's Ice Cream 4785 Barnes Road 596-7191

German

1. Edelweiss German Restaurant 34 E. Ramona Ave. 633-2220

2. Uwe's German Restaurant 31 Iowa Ave. 475-1611

3. Schnitzel Fritz 4037 Tutt Blvd. 573-2000

Gluten-Free-Friendly

1. Coquette's Bistro 321 N. Tejon St. 685-2420

2. TAPAteria 2607 W. Colorado Ave. 471-8272

3. Café Red Point 2727 N. Cascade Ave. #175 425-9688

Green Chile

1. King's Chef Diner 110 E. Costilla St. 634-9135; 131 E. Bijou St. 636-5010

2. El Taco Rey 330 E. Colorado Ave. 475-9722

3. Western Omelette 16 S. Walnut St. 636-2286

Happy Hour Menu

1. Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop 5198 N. Nevada Ave. 639-7440

2. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

3. The Wobbly Olive 3317 Cinema Point 247-9504

Indian

1. Little Nepal 1747 S. Eighth St. 477-6997; 4820 Flintridge Drive 598-3428

2. Mirch Masala 5047 N. Academy Blvd. 599-0003

3. Shri Ganesh 11550 Ridgeline Drive 419-7156

Irish

1. Jack Quinn's Irish Pub and Restaurant 21 S. Tejon St. 385-0766

2. McCabe's Tavern 520 S. Tejon St. 633-3300

3. Alchemy 2625 W. Colorado Ave. 471-0887

Italian

1. Paravicini's Italian Bistro 2802 W. Colorado Ave. 471-8200

2. Red Gravy 23 S. Tejon St. 635-7661

3. Luigi's Homemade Italian Food 947 S. Tejon St. 632-7339

Japanese/Sushi

1. Fujiyama 22 S. Tejon St. 630-1167

2. Jun Japanese Restaurant 3276 Centennial Blvd. 227-8690; 1760 Dublin Blvd. 531-9368

3. Ai Sushi & Grill Japanese Restaurant 4655 Centennial Blvd. 266-5858

3. Ai Sushi & Grill at Powers 3215 Cinema Point. 622-8866

Korean

1. San Chang House 3659 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. 598-1707

2. Tong Tong 2036 S. Academy Blvd. 591-8585

3. Happy Time Korean Restaurant 5547 Powers Center Point 282-2110

Late-Night Dining

1. The Rabbit Hole 101 N. Tejon St. 203-5072

2. King's Chef Diner 110 E. Costilla St. 634-9135; 131 E. Bijou St. 636-5010

3. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

Local/Regional Chain

1. Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza 11 S. Tejon St. 475-9224; 5214 N. Nevada Ave. 590-8633

2. Over Easy 28 S. Tejon St., Suite A 471-23115262 N. Nevada Ave., #100 598-29695925 Dublin Blvd., Unit B 591-7329

3. Hacienda Colorado 5246 N. Nevada Ave. 418-7999

Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

1. Mediterranean Cafe 118 E. Kiowa St. 633-0115

2. Jake and Telly's Greek Taverna 2616 W. Colorado Ave. 633-0406

3. Heart of Jerusalem Cafe 4587 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. 685-9554; 718 Manitou Ave., Manitou 685-1325; 3242 Centennial Blvd. 227-3989

Mexican

1. Crystal Park Cantina 178 Crystal Park Road, Manitou 685-5999

2. Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill 802 Village Center Drive 266-9244; 9420 Briar Village Point 955-6650

3. El Taco Rey 330 E. Colorado Ave. 475-9722

Neighborhood Restaurant – Downtown

1. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

2. Shuga's 702 S. Cascade Ave. 328-1412

3. Poor Richard's Restaurant 324½ N. Tejon St. 632-7721

Neighborhood Restaurant – North

1. Till 9633 Prominent Point 282-8004

2. Salsa Brava Fresh Mexican Grill 9420 Briar Village Point 955-6650

3. La Rosa Southwestern Dining 25 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake 368-7676

Neighborhood Restaurant – South

1. The Public House 445 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. 465-3079

2. The Blue Star Reopening downtown in 2019.

3. The Burrowing Owl 1791 S. Eighth St. 434-3864

Neighborhood Restaurant – East

1. The Wobbly Olive 3317 Cinema Point 247-9504

2. Over Easy 5925 Dublin Blvd., Unit B 591-7329

3. Bubba's 33 5807 Constitution Ave. 576-1223

3. Creekview Grill 9650 Antler Creek Drive, Falcon 494-1900

Neighborhood Restaurant – West

1. Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

2. Front Range Barbeque 2330 W. Colorado Ave. 632-2596

3. Paravicini's 2802 W. Colorado Ave. 471-8200

New Restaurant (since July 1, 2016)

1. Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

2. Four by Brother Luck 321 N. Tejon St.. 434-2741

2. Rooster's House of Ramen 323 N. Tejon St. 578-3031

3. Prime 25 1605 S. Tejon St. 358-9822

Overall Restaurant

1. Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

2. Till 9633 Prominent Point 282-8004

3. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

Patio

1. Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

2. Amanda's Fonda 3625 W. Colorado Ave. 227-1975

2. Margarita at Pine Creek 7350 Pine Creek Road 598-8667

2. Shuga's 702 S. Cascade Ave. 328-1412

3. Hacienda Colorado 5246 N. Nevada Ave. 418-7999

Pizza

1. Bambino's Urban Pizzeria 36 E. Bijou St. 630-8121

2. Louie's Pizza Multiple locations

3. Borriello Brothers Multiple locations

Power Lunch

1. Café Red Point 2727 N. Cascade Ave. #175 425-9688

2. The Famous 31 N. Tejon St. 227-7333

3. MacKenzie's Chop House 128 S. Tejon St. 635-3536

Restaurant for Tourists

1. Fargo's Pizza 2910 E. Platte Ave. 473-5540

2. Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 635-2800

3. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

Seafood

1. Bonny & Read 101 N. Tejon St. 896-4145

2. Bonefish Grill 5102 N. Nevada Ave. 598-0826

3. Red Lobster 4925 N. Academy Blvd. 594-9494; 3510 New Center Point 596-9057

Steak

1. The Famous 31 N. Tejon St. 227-7333

2. Texas Roadhouse 595 S. Eighth St. 473-9711; 3120 N. Powers Blvd. 638-8050

3. MacKenzie's Chop House 128 S. Tejon St. 635-3536

Sunday Brunch

Over Easy 28 S. Tejon St., Suite A 471-2311; 5262 N. Nevada Ave., #100 598-2969; 5925 Dublin Blvd., Unit B 591-7329

2. The Broadmoor 1 Lake Ave. 577-5733

3. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

Tacos

1. T-Byrd's Tacos & Tequila 26 E. Kiowa St. 375-3376

2. Fuzzy's Taco Shop 5915 Dublin Blvd., #100 388-8226

3. Monica's Taco Shop 30 E. Fillmore St. 473-1996

3. Monica's Taco Shop 5829 Palmer Park Blvd. 597-7022

Thai

1. NaRai Thai Restaurant 805 Village Center Drive 531-5175; NaRai Siam Cuisine120 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. 434-1975

2. Thai Mint Restaurant 1725 Briargate Blvd. 598-7843

3. Wild Ginger Thai Restaurant 2628 W. Colorado Ave. 634-5025

Vegetarian

1. The Burrowing Owl 1791 S. Eighth St. 434-3864

2. Adam's Mountain Café 26 Manitou Ave., Manitou 685-1430

3. Willamette Market & Deli 749 E. Willamette Ave. 419-7920

Vietnamese

1. Saigon Café 20 E. Colorado Ave. 633-2888

2. Lemongrass Bistro 6840 N. Academy Blvd. 592-1391

3. Pho Brothers 1107 S. Nevada Ave. 445-0760

Wings

1. Buffalo Wild Wings 2905 Geyser Drive 219-1500; 7425 N. Academy Blvd. 594-9464

2. Wingstop Multiple locations

3. O'Furry's 900 E. Fillmore St. 634-3106

Drink

Barista

1. Eliza Lovett, formerly of Story Coffee Co. 120 E. Bijou St. storycoffeecompany.com

2. Taylor Ashley, Building Three Coffee Roasters 2727 N. Cascade Ave. building3coffeeroasters.com

3. Tyler Hill, Loyal Coffee 408 S. Nevada Ave. 235-5477

Brewery

1. Bristol Brewing Company 1604 S. Cascade Ave. 633-2555

2. Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. Nano 108 Brewing Company 2402 Waynoka Road 596-2337

Brewery/Beer Event

1. Bristol Firkin Rendezvous bristolbrewing.com

2. Feast of Saint Arnold feastofsaintarnold.com

3. All Colorado Beer Festival allcoloradobeerfestival.com

Coffee Roaster

1. Building Three Coffee Roasters 2727 N. Cascade Ave. building3coffeeroasters.com

1. Switchback Coffee Roasters 330 N. Institute St. 581-9478

2. Loyal Coffee 408 S. Nevada Ave. 235-5477

3. Barista Espresso and Specialty Roasting 625 W. Colorado Ave. 578-1185

3. Colorado Coffee Merchants 302 E. Fillmore St. 473-8878

3. Story Coffee Co. 120 E. Bijou St. storycoffeecompany.com

Distillery

1. Axe and the Oak Distillery 4665 Town Center Drive 651-2737

2. Distillery 291 1647 S. Tejon St. 323-8010

3. Lee Spirits Company 110 E. Boulder St. leespirits.com

Experimental Local Beer

1. IPA, Nano 108 Brewing Company 2402 Waynoka Road 596-2337

2. Double Dry Hopped Elysium IPA Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. Venetucci Pumpkin Ale Bristol Brewing Company 1604 S. Cascade Ave. 633-2555

3. Independent's Day IPA Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. Oreo Stout, Fossil Craft Beer Company 2845 Ore Mill Road, #1 375-8298

Local Beer

1. Laughing Lab, Bristol Brewing Company 1604 S. Cascade Ave. 633-2555

2. Elysium IPA Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. IPa Freely, Smiling Toad Brewery 1757 S. Eighth St., #100 418-2936

Local Coffee Shop

1. Loyal Coffee 408 S. Nevada Ave. 235-5477

2. Humble Coffee 2103 Templeton Gap Road 448-6253; 4379 Integrity Center Point 352-5491

3. Switchback Coffee Roasters 330 N. Institute St. 581-9478

Margarita

1. The Loop 965 Manitou Ave., Manitou 685-9344

2. Fuzzy's Taco Shop 5915 Dublin Blvd., #100 388-8226

2. Crystal Park Cantina 178 Crystal Park Road, Manitou 685-5999

3. Hacienda Colorado 5246 N. Nevada Ave. 418-7999

Mixed Drink

1. Tobacco Old Fashioned, Axe and the Oak Whiskey House 1604 S. Cascade Ave. 660-1624

2. Lavender Blossom, Shuga's 702 S. Cascade Ave. 328-1412

2. Martini, Brooklyn's on Boulder St. 110 E. Boulder St. 415-3115

3. Distillery 291 Bourbon and Lemonade 1647 S. Tejon St. 323-8010

Smoothie/Juice Bar

1. Ola Juice Bar 27 E. Kiowa St. 633-3111

2. Café Red Point 2727 N. Cascade Ave. #175 425-9688

3. Jamba Juice 1708 E. Woodmen Road 598-1939; 3730 Bloomington St. 574-8787

Store for Colorado-Made Spirits

1. Cheers Liquor Mart 1105 N. Circle Drive 574-2244

2. Coaltrain Wine & Spirits 330 W. Uintah St. 475-9700

3. Downtown Fine Spirits and Wines 103 S. Wahsatch Ave. 475-8115

Store for Craft Beer

1. Coaltrain Wine & Spirits 330 W. Uintah St. 475-9700

2. Cheers Liquor Mart 1105 N. Circle Drive 574-2244

3. Veterans Wine & Liquor 3630 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., #170 266-1179

Store for Wine

1. Coaltrain Wine & Spirits 330 W. Uintah St. 475-9700

2. Cheers Liquor Mart 1105 N. Circle Drive 574-2244

3. Downtown Fine Spirits and Wines 103 S. Wahsatch Ave. 475-8115

Taphouse

1. Brewer's Republic 112 N. Nevada Ave. 633-2105

2. N3 Taphouse 817 W. Colorado Ave. 444-8487

3. Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

3. Tap Traders 3104 N. Nevada Ave., #100 434-2954

Wine Menu

1. 2South Food + Wine Bar 2 S. 25th St. 351-2806

2. Swirl Wine Bar 717 Manitou Ave., Manitou 685-2294

3. The Blue Star Reopening downtown in 2019.

Nightlife

Bartender/Mixologist

1. Kevin Dexter, Shuga's 702 S. Cascade Ave. 328-1412

2. Nate Windham, Brooklyn's on Boulder St. 110 E. Boulder St. 415-3115

3. Melodie Jordahl, Four by Brother Luck 321 N. Tejon St. 434-2741

Dive Bar

1. Tony's 326 N. Tejon St. 228-6566

2. Benny's Restaurant & Lounge 517 W. Colorado Ave. 634-9309

3. Zodiac Venue and Bar 230 Pueblo Ave. 632-5059

Happy Hour

1. Zodiac Venue and Bar 230 Pueblo Ave. 632-5059

2. Odyssey Gastropub 311 N. Tejon St. 999-5127

3. Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop 5198 N. Nevada Ave. 639-7440

3. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

3. The Wobbly Olive 3317 Cinema Point 247-9504

Karaoke

1. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

2. Zodiac Venue and Bar 230 Pueblo Ave. 632-5059

3. Kelly O'Brians Sports Bar and Grill 239 N. Academy Blvd. 573-1976

Music Venue

1. The Black Sheep 2106 E. Platte Ave. 227-7625

2. Sunshine Studios Live 3970 Clearview Frontage Road 392-8921

3. Stargazers Theatre 10 S. Parkside Drive 476-2200

Neighborhood Bar – Downtown

1. Tony's 326 N. Tejon St. 228-6566

2. Shuga's 702 S. Cascade Ave. 328-1412

2. SuperNova 111 E. Boulder St. 418-3484

3. Zodiac Venue and Bar 230 Pueblo Ave. 632-5059

Neighborhood Bar – North

1. Back East Bar & Grill 9475 Briar Village Point 264-6161

2. The Brass Tap 13271 Bass Pro Drive 487-8076

2. Good Company 7625 N. Union Blvd. 528-8877

3. Dublin House 1850 Dominion Way 265-8820

Neighborhood Bar – South

1. The Public House 445 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. 465-3079

2. Hatch Cover Bar & Grill 252 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. 576-5223

3. Axe and the Oak Whiskey House 1604 S. Cascade Ave. 660-1624

Neighborhood Bar – East

1. The Wobbly Olive 3317 Cinema Point 247-9504

2. The Cow Pub & Grill 5885 Stetson Hills Blvd. 465-1704

3. The Collective, A Social House 7702 Barnes Road 344-9931

Neighborhood Bar – West

1. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

2. Mother Muff's Kitchen & Spirits 2432 W. Colorado Ave. 344-8727

3. Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

New Bar/New Brewery (since July 1,2016)

1. Cerberus Brewing Company 702 W. Colorado Ave. 636-2337

2. Goat Patch Brewing Company 2727 N. Cascade Ave., #123 471-4628

3. Sakura Speakeasy 323 N. Tejon St. facebook.com/sakuraspeakeasy

Overall Bar

1. Zodiac Venue and Bar 230 Pueblo Ave. 632-5059

2. Brooklyn's on Boulder St. 110 E. Boulder St. 415-3115

3. Jack Quinn's Irish Pub and Restaurant 21 S. Tejon St. 385-0766

Place for Bar Games

1. SuperNova 111 E. Boulder St. 418-3484

2. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

3. Phantom Canyon 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave. 635-2800

Running Club (2016)

1. Jack Quinn's Running Club jackquinnsrunners.com

2. The Public House Hustle m.facebook.com/publichousehustle

3. Westside Running Club at Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

Sports Bar

1. Tony's 326 N. Tejon St. 228-6566

2. Old Chicago Multiple locations

3. Thunder & Buttons 2415 W. Colorado Ave. 447-9888

Upscale Bar

1. Brooklyn's on Boulder St. 110 E. Boulder St. 415-3115

2. The Rabbit Hole 101 N. Tejon St. 203-5072

3. The Wobbly Olive 3317 Cinema Point 247-9504

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