481 Hwy. 105, Suite G, Monument, 488-2799
For locals with northern exposure, Bayou BarBQ serves excellent ribs and brisket. Simplicity reigns here: Unless it's Catfish Wednesday, smoked salmon and crawfish etouffe are the only main courses that come sans meat. Solid sides for $1.50 each include potato salad and cole slaw.
Bird Dog BBQ
5984 Stetson Hills Blvd., #300, 596-4900
Add your dog's mug shot to Bird Dog's tabletop collection while diving into some of the juiciest barbecue in the city. Go for a three-meat plate (perhaps pulled pork, spicy hot links and chopped brisket) or prime rib plate; you can get either with okra and the "shotgun spud." End with the peach cobbler.
Dad's Smoke Wagon
6679 Camden Blvd., Fountain, 231-7112
It's fun to tell friends you just ate in Dad's rib shack. Inside this tiny, unassuming spot, tender pork spare ribs deliver bone-deep smoke flavor with your choice of mild, medium or spicy sauce. Also try the beef brisket, pork tenderloin and pulled chicken. Get the spicy baked beans for a side.
Firehouse Southern Style BBQ
817 W. Colorado Ave., 447-8829
If you like a little smoke with your pork, this is the place. Jazzed up in '50s style and using a Southern touch, Firehouse treats its meats with aplomb. The same care goes into the incredible homemade pies.
Front Range Barbeque
2330 W. Colorado Ave., 632-2596
4935 Templeton Gap Road, 598-8895
Best Of 'o8
When craving Southern comfort at its sticky, smoky, saucy best, head to Front Range. Naked or sauced, ribs here are fall-off-the-bone good, and you can't go wrong with succulent pulled pork, beef brisket or chicken, either. Cornmeal-fried okra and homemade mac 'n cheese taste especially good on the Colorado Avenue patio, where bluegrass bands play on warm Wednesday nights.
Slayton's Barbecue, Wings & Spirits
806 Village Center Drive, 266-5300
Slayton's offers a slightly different take on barbecue than its competitors. Its Kansas City-style method means everything's hickory-smoked. Go for the pulled pork and chicken and tasty sides, the onion rings in particular. Though construction's taking a while, look for another location downtown sometime in '09.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800
Best Of 'o8
Phantom Canyon is a cornerstone in fact, the building it's in was downtown's first on the National Register of Historic Places. Every meal here should start with a cup of the smoked Gouda soup, made with Phantom's very own Queen's Blonde Ale. While sampling other house-crafted brews, grab a flatiron steak, the fish and chips, or the Colorado lamb shepherd's pie with garlic mashers.
Trinity Brewing Company
1466 Garden of the Gods Road, 634-0029
Head to Trinity for tapas-style dining paired with outstanding house-made craft beers and a rare assembly of obscure, low-production beers. The artful, wood-adorned outfit dishes everything from sweet potato fries and a bacon basket to decadent salads and "stuffer" sandwiches. For dessert: a beer float.
Cafés & sandwich shops
Adam's Mountain Café
934 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1430
Best Of 'o8
Adam's in a nutshell: no microwaves or heat lamps, and a menu constructed from mainly organic and local products. Though it really works miracles with fruits, vegetables and grains, this gorgeous spot isn't just for vegetarians; equally appealing menu items feature salmon, shrimp and chicken. The Senegalese vegetables and harvest crepes are must-haves, and the huevos rancheros and orange almond French toast rule the morning.
Café 36 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
30 W. Dale St., 477-4377
Best Of 'o8
Garden of the Gods Gourmet runs this museum stopover, with the undisputed best restaurant view from its stunning terrace. Catch a three-course lunch for $20 or devour a pistachio- and mint-crusted Colorado lamb entre prior to a theater performance next door.
7 E. Vermijo Ave., 520-1843
Located across the street from the county courthouse, the Corner Caf is the lunch (and breakfast) place for big-city power players. Everything's good, especially the blissfully thick pork green chile soup and the buttery, grilled San Diego roast beef sandwich. Also: Everything's under $9, even with all the meats coming from socially conscious companies.
Dale Street Café
115 E. Dale St., 578-9898
The romantic Victorian home that is Dale Street welcomes all palates. Try the new three-course "Wall Street Menu," featuring a soup or salad, entre (like smoked salmon pasta) and bread pudding or crème brulee finish for about $10.
Danny's Corner Bistro
609 W. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 687-2233
Surrounded by window boxes filled with colorful flowers and fragrant rosemary and sage, the small, glass-shielded patio at Danny's Corner Bistro offers wonderful views of Pikes Peak. Try the yummy fried spinach and the excellent pasta Nicosia with mahi mahi over pesto linguini. Finish with Danny's signature croissant bread pudding.
935A Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-3556
Favorites at this unique eatery include pork cutlets, bratwurst, homemade soup and the house speciality, Hungarian goulash. Call ahead and get an order of fresh Polish pierogi. Manitoids love this spot for breakfast, too.
Flavors on Tejon
321 N. Tejon St., 471-8400
Best Of 'o8
Lunch is solid, but breakfast reigns. The sweet potato pancakes with orange butter and pecan maple syrup are divine. The spinach, mushroom, sun-dried tomato and goat cheese omelette vies for attention, too, along with the peppered pork and sweet potato hash. Whatever you decide, pair it with a Chambord whipped-cream coffee, pretty much the tastiest drink ever, anywhere.
10530 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls, 684-2008
Go first for Sunday brunch. The lure: nearly a dozen styles of eggs Benedict, starring a hearty serving of Hollandaise. At lunch, classic sandwiches like the French dip and Reuben shine. Come dinner, Colorado lamb and game options like elk accompany beef and pork items, as well as fresh fish.
The Olive Branch Restaurant
23 S. Tejon St., 475-1199
The Olive Branch has been a downtown fixture for more than 20 years. Omelettes and skillets please at breakfast, soups and salads tend to fill the patio seats on summer days, and dinner offers everything from steak to seafood. Fresh-squeezed juices are a nice touch.
310F S. Eighth St., 520-1654
204 N. Mount View Lane, #16, 599-0887
If you're hungry at breakfast or lunch and you happen to like roast beef sandwiches, this is your mecca. The portions come as large as you'd want, and there are always daily specials.
702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412
Best Of 'o8
Lavender martini + spicy Brazilian coconut soup = true bliss. Shuga's also slings fine tapas and salads and a sickly delicious chocolate double diablo cake. As for the hipper-and-cooler-than-thou-will-ever-be atmosphere: Someplace like this is where artists' souls go when they die.
Smiley's Bakery and Café
323 N. Tejon St., 328-9447
Smiley's brings kitschy, but quaint, dcor, with antique kitchen tables, novelty signs and house plants galore. Its deli counter demands attention with pies, pastries and muffins, but Smiley's makes solid sandwiches and soups as well. At breakfast, you won't go wrong with French toast, pancakes or any egg item.
Wines of Colorado
8045 W. U.S. Hwy. 24, Cascade, 684-0900
Sit creekside or on the back deck and sample from 40-plus local wineries. Get a mug of Marv's Buffalo Chili or a buffalo wine burger (or veggie burger). Otherwise, go for the Colorado Reuben, pastrami with swiss on multi-grain bread with sauerkraut and Thousand Island. You know the proper chaser for that is a chocolate ecstasy cake. Or a signature carrot cake.
Wooglin's Deli & Café
823 N. Tejon St., 578-9443
Best Of 'o8
You can tell there's something for everyone at Wooglin's Deli & Caf, because everyone is there, from vegetarians in flip-flops to carnivorous guys in ties. Get French toast and locally roasted coffee for breakfast. Hit a salad or an "overstuffed" sandwich for lunch. After work: chili and quesadillas with a cold beer.
Culpepper's Cajun Kitchen
6502 S. Academy Blvd., 282-8479
This affordable and authentic joint is a revival of Culpepper's Louisiana Kitchen, which closed on the north end in late 2008. Louisiana-born owner Martin Anderson returns with plates ranging from $5 to $14. Think delicious blackened meats, red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, maque choux and crawfish etouffe.
English Dockside 2220 N. Academy Place, 380-7732
Seek out this tiny, hidden strip-mall gem, the work of Alabama native Thomas English. From a large menu, pick from Ranch Foods steaks, whole fish dinners, shrimp dinners, fish and chips, crab, seafood chowder and a wide array of po-boys. Truly, you can't go wrong.
Oscar's Tejon Street
333 S. Tejon St., 471-8070
Fresh-shucked oysters, $1.65-a-pop! Slurp them raw from the half shell, with horseradish, cocktail sauce and crackers, or have them flash-fried to golden perfection, with fixins galore. Also go for the crawfish etouffe, tequila-lime chicken, New Orleans barbecue shrimp, the catfish po-boy and French Quarter roast beef dip.
120 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 579-9111
You won't find any goopy sauces or canned mushrooms at this upscale establishment. What you will find: a minimalist dining room, an attentive, sharply dressed wait staff, and care and delicate spices put into each dish. Chopsticks' sesame chicken is simply the best in town.
Dragon Gate Chinese Restaurant
323 N. Union Blvd., 633-1166
7607 N. Union Blvd., 528-5153
Dragon Gate is quick with pick-up orders and deliveries and friendly in-house. But most importantly, it's gifted in the kitchen. Start any meal with an order of crab rangoon (fried wontons of cream cheese, crab and spices dipped in sweet sauce) and from there, go for your favorite stir-fry.
9475 Briar Village Point, #150, 266-8351
This is fast food on the north end, with a commitment to fresh ingredients. Rest in the small, warm dining room and start with the crabmeat cheese wontons and a Japanese cream soda. Get a combination plate, your choice of entres like sweet and sour chicken or chicken, beef and shrimp lo mein, paired with crisp veggies.
6938 N. Academy Blvd., 594-4849
Rong Cheng is the place to go for awesome sesame tofu it's light, crispy and flavorful.
1107 S. Nevada Ave., #103, 634-4270
Kevin Tran brings 25 years' Chinese cooking experience to his modest south end restaurant. It shows with crisp veggies, perfectly tender meats and vibrant, flavorful sauces across the menu. Even the egg rolls are cooked to just the right crispness.
Silver Pond Chinese Gourmet
5670 N. Academy Blvd., 594-9343
Best Of 'o8
Hit this chic red-and-black dcor Chinese destination for exotic items like strawberry chicken, volcano shrimp and velvet seafood delight.
Tsing Tao House
3604 Hartsel Drive, Suite C, 528-8884
Best Of 'o8
Tsing Tao is a great Chinese haven on the north side. Get the lip-smackingly good egg rolls, which maintain the perfect pairing of crispy veggie center and crunchy-yet-slightly-greasy deep-fried exterior. The cheese-stuffed crab rangoon also rock, and pair perfectly with wonton or egg drop soup.
Diner & comfort food
King's Chef Diner
110 E. Costilla St., 634-9135
131 E. Bijou St., 636-5010
Best Of 'o8
Dine in the original, 13-seat purple castle on Costilla for weekday breakfast or lunch, or on Bijou Street any day of the week. Hefty burgers and smothered burritos are still the specialties here, especially with the locally famous and hella lethal green chili on top. Hit a burger or melt for lunch and clean your plate for a congratulatory sticker.
The Mason Jar
2925 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4820
5905 Corporate Drive, 260-6555
In this family-friendly atmosphere, you'll find square meals in an old-fashioned setting. The signature dish is chicken-fried steak (more than a million served), but the prime-rib-and-shrimp combo is always popular.
900 E. Fillmore St., 633-7770
Best Of 'o8
A perennial readers' choice for breakfast, this is one of those places that makes you leave home in the name of home cooking. Maybe if you gave your own three-egg omelette a cool name like the Thunderbird or Godfather, it'd taste better. Anyway, here you also get an English muffin and sides.
16 S. Walnut St., 636-2286
This place is famous for hangover cures, probably because its green chili contains a major heat warning. They're serious about omelettes and custom egg wraps as well. Grab the chile rellenos or a breakfast burrito, or some biscuits and gravy. At lunch, get a burger or steak.
30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300
Yes, it's a chain. It still offers a friendly and elegant subterranean dining experience, with a fun range of cheese, meat and chocolate choices for dipping.
Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant
733 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-0277
Enjoy a flight in the wine cellar or punish your gut with an overindulgent, delicious fondue for two. After a salad, dip bread and veggie bits into the Old World cheese dip, then meats from the wild game entre platter into six dipping sauces (other options available). Add a liqueur shot to a dark chocolate fondue dessert.
At La Baguette, bread fills the caf each morning with a wonderous, yeasty aroma. Dip your edible work of art into some perfectly browned French onion soup, or go for the croissant and baguette sandwiches. Choose from an assortment of breakfast pastries, a simple cheese fondue, and fresh fruit and cheese plates.
La Creperie Bistro
204 N. Tejon St., 632-0984
Expect excellent French cuisine in an intimate setting. Just thinking of the seafood crepes with mushrooms in a white wine sauce can make a regular salivate. You want to linger over every course, starting with escargot.
La Petite Maison
1015 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4887
Best Of 'o8
This charming little Victorian home on Colorado Avenue is a local favorite for contemporary French cuisine. A balance of fish, poultry, seafood and Colorado red meat (lamb and buffalo) offers plenty of gourmet choice. Keep it fresh with Petite's weekly $30 prix-fixe menu.
34 E. Ramona Ave., 633-2220
Best Of 'o8
Edelweiss dishes authentic and contemporary German eats alongside appropriately big mugs of Warsteiner and the like. On Friday or Saturday, enthusiastic musicians just may make you chicken-dance always fun after a rahmschnitzel.
Schnitzel King Restaurant
5644 S. Hwy. 85/87, #6, Security, 638-4974
The 14 schnitzel variations literally overhang the plate here, and they're lean, nicely breaded and tender. The spaetzel is good, as is the homemade King's Dressing, a sweet, sour-cream based vinaigrette. End with the spaghetti ice cream (soft serve pressed through a ricer).
4037 Tutt Blvd., 573-2000
The folks behind the south end's Elke's German Deli (also worth a visit) recently opened this new, clean, modern space off Powers Boulevard. The schnitzels are baked in an imported German oven with traditional toppings, and the brats are good. Save room for the fruit streusel cakes.
31 Iowa Ave., 475-1611
You'd never expect the food to be what it is in this German restaurant, stuck in an outdated strip mall off the beaten path. Alpine booths set the stage for a meal that is as delicious as it is reasonably priced. Two tasty and well-priced choices: rouladen and the pork schnitzel.
Gourmet & eclectic
B&E Filling Station Restaurant
25 S. Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 481-4780
Don't let the blue-collar name fool you: B&E Filling Station is anything but common. Chef/owner Chris Bohler has made sleepy little Palmer Lake a go-to place for fine cuisine, prepared with care and attention to detail. Get the roast orange duck or bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin at dinner. Or go for an elegant breakfast of crab cakes or buckwheat pancakes.
Bistro de Pinto
26 E. Kiowa St., 473-3538
Best Of 'o8
Mixing Mexican and American fine dining, Bistro de Pinto dishes everything from tortilla soup, New Mexican trout and seafood pasta at lunch to mahi mahi and rack of lamb at dinner. Proud to serve hormone, steroid and antibiotic-free meats, this artful, elegant bistro has become a downtown favorite in just three years. Voted Best Wait Staff by Independent readers.
The Black Bear
10375 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls, 684-9648
For a special occasion, order the four- to six-course Chef's Table Tasting Menu, a selection of world-class food and wine courses flavored especially to your taste. Or go la carte, for foie gras, grilled honey and herb quail, duck, pork or a Colorado filet stuffed with pine nuts, spinach, asiago cheese and topped in a Pernod cream sauce.
The Blue Star
1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086
Best Of 'o8
A roll down Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard from the posh Broadmoor neighborhoods, the Blue Star sports a wine list out-girthed only by the Yellow Pages. The eclectic food offerings range from humble burgers to high-end seafood bearing complex and creative dressings. Eat on the bar side if in jeans, dining room side if in khakis.
Briarhurst Manor Estate
404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-1864
Best Of 'o8
Aside from the awesome fact that Ghost Hunters recently filmed here, the food is scrumptious, the service crisp and the setting right beneath Pikes Peak second to none. Savor a cup of lobster bisque before indulging in the Colorado lamb loin, wild boar, bison or elk. Game is the name of the game.
The Broadmoor dynasty
1 Lake Ave., 577-5733
To slum it with the Richies, hit up fish and chips at the Golden Bee. The Tavern also delivers good steak without punishing the wallet. Upgrade to the Summit for artful specialties and a stellar wine selection. For a lavish special-occasion brunch, it's the Lake Terrace Dining Room. Charles Court is the next step up with elegant Colorado cuisine, and the Penrose Room reigns supreme with multi-course menus and its five-diamond AAA rating the only one in Colorado.
1025 S. 21st St., 471-2905
Carlos' Bistro is known for upscale cuisine as well as spectacular service. Owner Carlos Echeandia, usually found with tie over his shoulder, personally visits each table, offering suggestions. Pay a visit to the oyster and martini bar if not in for a big meal.
The Cliff House
306 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-3000
Inside a gorgeous hotel, the Cliff House dining room is perfect for that quiet yet memorable, low-key anniversary dinner. Staff treat you as if you're staying in the hotel's largest suite. Enjoy apps like buffalo carpaccio and seafood cakes, followed by fish, fowl or steak choices.
404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, 685-9000
The Craftwood Inn thrives on Colorado cuisine, from trout and caribou to duck, elk, bison and wild boar. The menu is an adventure with detailed descriptions that start with appetizers such as sauteed loin of ostrich or braised elk tamales. Don't miss the jalapeo white chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce.
31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333
Best Of 'o8
Think dark wood tables wrapped by glossy booth seats, an elegant atmosphere best enjoyed with a martini or cocktail in hand. At lunch, grab a sandwich or salad topped in fish, steak or chicken. At dinner, hit the oysters Rockefeller app before a steak; the intimidating 20-ounce Prime Kansas City bone-in strip is as good as it gets.
Joseph's Fine Dining
1606 S. Eighth St., 630-3631
The main attraction is Joseph Freyre himself, a wizard of tableside presentation. Go for a special occasion and get the divine flambed spinach Pernod salad and show-stopping flambed pepper steak.
MacKenzie's Chop House
128 S. Tejon St., 635-3536
With its exposed stone foundation, extensive drink list and black-and-white local photo dcor, MacKenzie's delivers atmosphere. As for the food: Just consider the Baseball Cut New York, a steak marinated in herbs and garlic oil and topped with a fantastic onion-garlic sauce. Or the basil-poblano tortellini.
Margarita at PineCreek
7350 Pine Creek Road, 598-8667
Enjoy award-winning chef Eric Viedt's five-course, prix fixe meal, which defies cuisine categorization and changes daily. Also check out occasional wine dinners and dinner-and-a-movie night on the riverside patio.
Marigold Café and Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776
Best Of 'o8
Gawk over the French and sourdough breads. Drool over cases of divine pastries and desserts. But don't forget that Marigold's offers some of the freshest lunch and dinner options around as well. Taste a bit of Paris with outstanding French onion soup, daily fresh seafood creations and truly special specials, like roasted duck.
101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280
Look for the pseudo-subway entrance on Kiowa Avenue and say goodbye to Colorado Springs. Descending into Metropolitain is like slipping into the heart of a dark, ultra-chic city nightclub. Order a martini and handful of small plates, like truffle pommes frites and drunken figs.
443 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 481-1800
Inside the posh Inn at Palmer Divide, moZaic offers amazing views and European-inspired treats for all tastes. Go traditional with filet mignon and chicken marsala, or adventurous with wild boar ravioli or braised bison short ribs all served beautifully with an extensive list of fine wines.
121 S. Tejon St., 634-6674
Best Of 'o8
The pairing of artful food and art providing food for thought was a natural, and almost two years into the biz, Nosh still delivers. With clean, modern lines in the Plaza of the Rockies, Nosh connects gorgeous, small-plate food brie-topped potato latkes, anyone? with affordably priced wines. In the summertime, the patio proves a great lunchtime spot.
The Pepper Tree
888 W. Moreno Ave., 471-4888
This upscale eatery boasts expansive views of the city, tableside food preparation and impeccable service. Sesame-crusted scallops with sweet Thai chili sauce and Pepper Tree's signature steaks and sauces are all superb.
Plate World Cuisine
9420 Briar Village Point, 475-8000
Plate adds a certain drama and elegance to independently owned dining on the north end of town. Hints of international flavor shimmer in dishes such as wild mushroom risotto, Kalua pig sliders and sugar cane skewered shrimp.
Restaurant Fifteen Twentyone
123 N. Main St., Pueblo, 719/542-9999
Chef Duy Pham's French-inspired cuisine is simply outstanding. Dishes appear with creative and artful presentation, while complex sauces complement skillfully prepared entres. The menu, which benefits from several local products, changes regularly. If available, get the Colorado lamb or Australian sea bass, with goat cheesecake for dessert.
3802 Maizeland Road, 596-9300
This locally owned steak and seafood house has attracted serious carnivores for more than 25 years. The choice cuts are aged in-house for up to eight weeks, resulting in some of the most tender and flavorful steaks in town. Sides are simple, but tasty, and include fresh bread, soup, veggies, pasta and, of course, potatoes.
230 Point of the Pines Drive, 598-8990
The Sunbird is all about location. Its hilltop perch is ideal for sharing dinner and sweet nothings while the city lights sparkle below, or for snuggling by one of the patio's fire pits. Hit the Sunday champagne brunch with pasta, omelette and fajita bars, carving stations, seafood, fresh fruits and desserts.
19263 E. U.S. Hwy. 24, Woodland Park, 687-2001
Drop into this charming mountain retreat for Swiss-inspired sandwiches along with bratwurst or schnitzel for lunch. Start dinner with arguably the region's best escargot, followed by such choices as Swiss fondue, sea scallops St. Jacquez or broiled double lamb chops. For dessert: made-to-order souffles.
407 E. U.S. Hwy. 24, Woodland Park, 687-8536
With prices comparable to (or better than) other local steak destinations that don't serve socially conscious Ranch Foods Direct meats, this mountain house deserves a visit next time you're in need of protein in Woodland Park.
146 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 630-0201
Think lobster bisque at lunch, with a baby field green salad and ahi tuna sandwich. At dinner, smoked salmon with potato latkes before sea bass, filet mignon or Colorado lamb chops. Dessert: the mocha tart or toasted almond cake with vanilla sauce and raspberries. Walter's is impeccable gourmet in an elegant atmosphere.
The Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery
25 W. Cimarron St., 475-8880
The Warehouse's industrial-chic atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The gallery, wide open and spacious with rotating art exhibits, is best enjoyed with a martini in hand. Back in the dining room, grab one of the seafood lunch specialties or an elk or bison burger at lunch, and the Colorado lamb or elk ribchop at dinner.
Indian & South Asian
1747 S. Eighth St., 477-6997
Hospitable hosts Raj Adhikari and Muku Bhandari are quick to share information not only about their large, traditional menu, but also about the customs, people and mountains of their homeland Nepal. Hit the lunch buffet or go for a dinner sampler of Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan food.
The Curry Leaf Restaurant
26 S. Wahsatch Ave., 447-0608
The Springs' first taste of authentic Sri Lankan will dazzle coconut- and curry-lovers. Some dishes sing with cinnamon and cardamom, others with less familiar spices like goraka and rumpe. Order a side of roti, naan-style flatbread, to soak up your sauces, especially if you get the delicious chicken curry.
28 E. Bijou St., 473-3890
Everest's $7.95 lunch buffet is great for the downtown crowd. Its Nepalese and Tibetan influences deviate slightly from typical Indian cuisine. Get naan stuffed with onion and cilantro, green peas with homemade cheese in curry, or the matter paneer and chicken kawab.
5644 N. Academy Blvd., 535-9196
The $7.95 all-you-can-eat buffet is one of the best-stocked, -maintained and -tasting in the city. India Palace nails all the standard Indian foods, and the enormous dosas (stuffed crepes) are worth any drive.
5047 N. Academy Blvd., 599-0003
Best Of 'o8
Punish the $7.95 lunch buffet any day of the week. Here, you'll find traditional, curried vegetable dishes alongside American crossover favorites. Take a generous pull of Naan bread to engulf the chicken curry or masala, and don't forget some saag paneer and dahl. A mango lassi will wash any order down in style.
Taste of India
4820 Flintridge Drive, 598-3428
This is where a significant portion of the city's Indian population heads for authentic food. Enjoy all the standards, especially butter chicken, plus sizzling plates from the clay oven. The Bollywood love stories on the flat-screen TV are a bonus.
Irish & English
Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse & Pub
21 S. Tejon St., 385-0766
"Quinn's," as its regulars call it, has become a staple of downtown Colorado Springs albeit, mostly, because of its nightlife. Still, as far as authentic Irish eating goes in town, Quinn's is as good as it gets. The ale house fish and chips is solid, as is the shepherd's pie and Grand Ole' Irish Stew.
520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300
With a Guinness and Irish whiskey in hand and a fish and chips plate on the table before you, it's tempting to bust out your best cockney accent at McCabe's. Catch the CC hockey coach's show and taco night on Tuesdays, or the Geeks Who Drink pub quiz on Wednesdays.