One of the biggest perks of going to a small school such as Colorado College is the minimal distance between your destinations; whether you’re hurrying to class, grabbing a bite to eat, or finding a quiet place to study, every location is only a few minutes’ walk away. Colorado College’s on-campus dining options may be right next to your dorm or conveniently located near a study room. However, constantly eating on a campus with only three main dining options to choose from can grow tiring.
To help you out once you realize it’s Meatless Monday and you aren’t feeling Rastall anymore, or the line for the Preserve pasta night loops all the way around the store, this guide gives you the best restaurants of Colorado Springs.
1. When you have the munchies at 2 am: Taco Star
A downside of living in Colorado Springs is the lack of late-night joints to satisfy those late-night cravings, but have no fear: Taco Star will never let you down. There’s more to this Tex-Mex drive-thru than meets the eye, so if you’re willing to stumble or ~designatedly~ drive a few blocks down Wahsatch to this Mecca of melted cheese and refried beans, you will be greatly rewarded.
What to Order: You can never go wrong with a quesadilla, though with such a vast menu to choose from, you could probably string together any combination of Tex-Mex food terms and still get handed a steaming bag of deliciousness in the end.
Locations: 605 N Circle Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80909 (10-minute drive from campus)
318 N Wahsatch Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (25-minute walk, 5-minute drive from campus)
2. When you’re sick of Colorado Coffee: Fifty Fifty Coffee House
Tucked in a pretty neighborhood southeast of campus, Fifty Fifty Coffee House is a coffee connoisseur’s haven. Sip on elegantly crafted cortados and cold brews made from locally roasted beans as you bask in the hip, modern atmosphere here.
What to Order: If you’re a fan of avocados, anyone who frequents Fifty Fifty knows the beauty that is avocado toast drizzled with honey Sriracha sauce. Don’t forget to order a cup of locally brewed coffee to go with your breakfast.
Location: 330 N Institute St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (5-minute drive from campus)
3. When you’re craving Mexican: Monica’s Taco Shop
This Colorado Springs staple is a must for anyone whose wallet is as empty as their stomach. You get enormous portions for minimal dough here, meaning you can stretch your leftovers to last you through breakfast, lunch and dinner. Monica’s is open from 4 am to 11 pm, so you might as well just go three times a day anyways.
What to Order: Carne asada fries, aka what you’d get if a burrito and poutine had a sloppy, meaty baby. Or jump right in and get the carne asada burrito.
Locations: 5829 Palmer Park Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (15-minute drive from campus)
30 East Fillmore Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (5-minute drive from campus)
4. When you’re craving greasy food: Skirted Heifer
You haven’t really experienced a burger until you’ve tried a Skirted Heifer: a burger with a layer of fried cheese stretching out on the sides, giving it an appearance of wearing a skirt. Your stomach may hate you post-digestion of this grease-filled creation, but it’s worth it at the moment. Plus, CC students get free drinks with proof of an ID.
What to Order: You have to try the Classic Skirted Heifer at least once. If you’re looking for something new, their weekly specials are always worth a try.
Location: 204 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (20-minute walk from campus)
5. When you’re trying to be healthy: Ola Juice Bar
If you’re looking to put an extra spring in your step, pop over to Ola for some good ol’ plant-based nutrition. Featuring a variety of smoothies, juices, salads and sandwiches, Ola’s menu has options for vegan, paleo and gluten-free eaters.
What to Order: An açaí bowl. Choose one of ten wholesome options, then take it further with whatever substitutions or add-ins your healthy heart desires.
Location: 27 E Kiowa St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (25-minute walk, 5-minute drive from campus)
6. When you’re trying to be romantic: The Rabbit Hole
This isn’t the average restaurant you pass by on the street (literally). It is located underground, its entrance through a flight of stairs leading down from the sidewalk. If you’re here on a date, the secluded tables and dim lighting will make it feel as if you’re the only two in the restaurant. Your wallet may not get lucky after seeing the bill for this deluxe meal, but hopefully you will.
What to Order: The melt-in-your-mouth cherry glazed buffalo short ribs will honestly make you think you’ve tumbled into Wonderland.
Location: 101 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (25-minute walk, 5-minute drive from campus)
7. When your parents are visiting and they’re footing the bill: The Broadmoor
Confirm that your parents are paying before you make reservations here, because three-course-meals in the Penrose Room start at $87 per person. This high price does come with high-quality food and drinks, and if you can convince your parents to purchase that ritzy glass of wine (or three), you can avoid all the questions about college you don’t want to answer.
What to Order: The Broadmoor Resort complex has a number of restaurants to choose from, but the Sunday brunch buffet in the Lakeside Terrance Dining Room is beyond legendary.
Location: 1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 (15-minute drive from campus)
8. When you’re doing it for the Insta: Brother Luck Street Eats
Next time you want to chow down something that is arguably a piece of art, make the trip to Brother Luck’s. This itty bitty restaurant serves up colorful food so carefully arranged that you’ll find it almost too pretty to eat. Keyword: almost.
What to Order: The menu here changes seasonally, which is great for locavores but bad for recommendations. Go forth and venture into the unknown, young foodie – you really can’t go wrong at this place.
Location: 1005 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 (5 minute drive from campus)
9. When you’re craving something sweet: Josh and John’s
Founded by former Colorado College students, their wide variety of ice cream flavors will satisfy your sweet tooth. While the downtown location is a short walk from campus, The Preserve on campus serves Josh and John’s that you can purchase with your meal plan money. They have less flavors available than the main store, but it’s convenient and cheap.
What to Order: The oatmeal cookie is always a good choice – it may seem unappetizing in cookie form, but it works surprisingly well as ice cream.
Locations: 6896 Centennial Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (15-minute drive from campus)
111 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (25-minute walk, 5-minute drive from campus)
10. When you turn 21: Shuga’s
Known for its eclectic atmosphere and whimsical menu, Shuga’s is the ideal spot for a light meal with interesting flavors. Finding a table any time from happy hour onwards can be an ordeal as this place is almost always crowded, due in part to the exquisite cocktail offerings at the bar here.
What to Order: If you’re the first of your friends to turn 21 and are the sole drinker, challenge yourself to a mystery shot or two (or three). If you’re the baby everyone’s been waiting on to become legal, go for a carafe – the adult juice box is nostalgically refreshing.
Location: 702 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (5-minute drive from campus)
11. When you’re hungover: Wooglin’s
Oh, Wooglin’s. It can be easy to forget that this place is an independent establishment and not another on-campus eatery. Fresh, fast and – most importantly – close to campus, this deli will meet all of your morning-after needs within a reasonable distance. They also accept Gold Card Plus.
What to Order: The breakfast sandwiches here come served on your choice of bagel, biscuit or croissant, so you can knock out carb cravings in more ways than one.
Location: 823 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (on campus)
12. When you want to check out live music: The Wild Goose Meeting House
A short distance from campus, the Wild Goose is perfect whether you’re looking for a quick afternoon pick-me-up to accompany your Shakespeare reading or a late dinner complete with drinks and live music. This lively meeting house embraces all things local and its frequent live performances and open mic nights are bound to show you a good time.
What to Order: If you’re over 21, check out their selection of craft beers, most of which are brewed in Colorado. Or if you’re looking for a caffeine boost, Wild Goose’s partnership with Switchback Coffee means your latte will be delicious and local.
Location: 401 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (10-minute walk from campus)
13. When you want breakfast on the weekends: Over Easy
Rastall may not open until 10:30 am, but Over Easy’s skillets and frypans are cooking up delectable breakfasts as early as 7 am. From eggs to pancakes to granola, there is something for everyone at this daytime eatery. Along with many other restaurants in the Springs, Over Easy prides themselves on serving locally grown products.
What to Order: The cinnamon swirl pancakes are out of this world, but if you’re indecisive, you can choose the Peace Love Pancakes Flight option and get three different flavors.
Locations: 28 S Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (30-minute walk, 5-minute drive from campus)
5262 N Nevada Ave #100, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (15-minute drive from campus)