Colorado Springs » Delicious & Unique Restaurants
Colorado Springs is a major hub for unique restaurants. Before I had ever visited, I never would have expected that. So when I first traveled there, I was pleasantly surprised. Now that I live here, I’ve spent plenty of time checking out the most interesting restaurants I could find. This includes a cyberpunk izakaya, an Alice in Wonderland steakhouse, a school-turned-food hall, & more.
Keep in mind this list doesn’t include ALL the best restaurants in Colorado Springs. It only covers the most unique. However, if I were to create a post about the best restaurants in Colorado Springs, these would all be on it. There are soooo many unique places to eat here that a list of the “best places” would be incredibly long.
The Burrowing Owl is a quirky neighborhood bar & cafe. They serve delicious vegan food in a laid-back, cabin-kitsch setting. Crowd favorites include their nachos, mac and cheese, and burrito. I usually go for their daily specials. My favorite is their vegan spin on the Taco Bell Crunchwrap, which is served on Weekends & Mondays. I always pair my meal with fresh kombucha (hard or non-alcoholic, depending on my mood). Additionally, their desserts are INCREDIBLE. I regularly find myself going back for the strawberry chocolate cake.
Ivywild is an old school building turned food hall. Wander through the hallway and rooms to find several food stands, bars, and hang-out spaces. My personal favorite is Bristol Brewing’s Spark Beer + BBQ. They brew the beer in the school’s basement and smoke the bbq right outside. They’ve turned the north end of the school into a cool brewery setting, complete with tabletop games.
Additionally, Ivywild has pizza, empanadas, salad bowls, and American comfort food. To spice up the experience, head down to The Principles Office for a delicious craft cocktail. Don’t forget to check out their events board in the entryway. You won’t want to miss game nights, movie screenings, or other events at the school.
503w is an Asian-American fusion gastropub. Its elevated pub-like atmosphere is lively and as colorful as their food. They have amazing Korean tacos and short ribs and are known for their delicious bowls. You can’t skip on appetizers here – the calamari and firecracker nachos are SO good! If you want to go all out, get the Jungle Cat. It’s a tiki-inspired cocktail in a cute Japanese lucky cat mug. Speaking of cocktails, 503w has an excellent happy hour and daily specials. It’s the place to go for steeply discounted drinks from 3–6pm.
COATI is a modern food hall & community space in downtown Colorado Springs. It’s a brilliant mashup of everything you’d want in a weekend hangout space. They have fantastic food, drinks, and events in a cool af atmosphere. COATI is housed in a large industrial space filled with plants, greenery, and neon lights.
Their food selection ranges from street food to tasting menus to yummy desserts. Lunchals Soulful Seafood is a crowd favorite. They serve Cajun-style seafood and chicken. They have everything from catfish and fish tacos to hot wings and chicken n’ waffles. Additionally, COATI has Korean and Hawaiian street food and delicious Mexian-style ice pops. If you’re a craft beer fan, you have to grab a drink from Pikes Peak Brewing’s Lager House on the top floor. Plus, the top floor leads to a lesser-known rooftop patio
Shuga’s is an art-deco, retro-styled cafe with globally inspired eats. It’s cute & charming, with incredible food. The brightly lit cafe is full of art, pops of color, and tasteful antique ware. It’s small yet busy. Be sure to make a reservation! Shuga’s serves delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and snack boards. My all-time favorite is the ‘Shuga’s Favorite Cafe Tray’ on their weekend brunch menu. It comes with some of their best items, such as spicy shrimp soup, almond butter cake, bruschetta, and Mediterranean sampler items. I must admit – I was initially unsure about the shrimp soup. However, it was incredible. The soup base is creamy and perfectly spiced. Shuga’s also has great cocktails. If you come for weekend brunch, try the lavender mimosa. Yum!
2. Chiba Bar
Chiba Bar is a cyberpunk-themed Japanese izakaya. It’s a relaxed gastropub serving great cocktails, shareable plates, and yummy bowls. If you like anime, you definitely can’t pass on Chiba Bar. The aesthetic is heavily inspired by Akira – an influential anime from the 80s. The look and feel is comparable to Blade Runner. They have anime and cyberpunk-inspired movies and shows playing on multiple screens at all times.
Since moving to Colorado Springs, my fiancé and I are starting to become regulars here. My go-to dinner is Decon Fakey 180. It’s a sushi bowl with tempura shrimp, spicy mayo, white rice, and a whole lot of other goodness. My fiancé loves the Tempura Tofu Rice Bowl. He usually likes more meat-heavy foods, but he loves the mushrooms in this bowl. Plus, the tofu is very well made and flavored. You can’t pass on the cocktails while you’re here. They’re genuinely so good and well-mixed. It’s also a great place to go with a group to sample their shareable small plates.
The Rabbit Hole is something I would never have expected to find – an Alice in Wonderland-themed steakhouse. The whole experience is incredible. The artwork has more of a ‘dark’ Alice vibe to it. If you’ve ever played “Alice: The Madness Returns,” you’ll get what I mean. It’s so well done yet so quirky and unique. If you could somehow combine sophisticated and kitsch, this would be it. You honestly can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here. The appetizers, entrees, and cocktails are all top-notch. I’ve tried the chicken cordon bleu, seafood pasta, crispy brussels, and chicken tikka masala. It’s all incredible.
I highly recommend getting the Whimsey Berries cocktail if you want something sweet toward the end. Seriously, any other dessert cocktail I’ve ordered elsewhere hasn’t truly seemed like a dessert. However, this cocktail is like drinking a fine chocolate cake that gets you tipsy. A true win.
I hope you enjoyed this list of unique restaurants in Colorado Springs. If you know of a restaurant that should be on this list, please share it in the comments below! Additionally, if you’ve been to any of the places in this post, I’d love to hear about your experience there!