Local Faves & Hidden Gems

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL

There is no shortage of of unique restaurants, bars, breweries, boutiques, shops, museums and galleries in Downtown Colorado Springs. Reviews place these spots at the top of the list for great experiences Downtown.

Dine Local

Shuga’s

702 S. Cascade Ave.
Established as an early star in the evolving southwest Downtown district, the 1910 building first housed a grocery store, but for the past 16-plus years this restaurant and bar has garnered a strong and loyal local following for their spicy Brazilian shrimp soup, the Lavender Martini and the Adult Juicebox, among many other favorites. While limited seating is available on the busier front porch, the back patio offers a cozy teepee, a private dining greenhouse, and several garden tables with a stunning view of Pikes Peak. 

Rabbit Hole

110 N. Tejon St.
One of the city’s most sought after tables every night of the week, whether you are celebrating a special occasion or just looking for drinks and a quick bite. The incredible food, decadent drink menu and moody vibes make the Rabbit Hole one of the best dining experiences in town. Fun fact: the underground space was home to the city’s morgue in the early 1900’s.

Odyssey Gastropub

311 N. Tejon St.
You know when you visit a new place and find a great local hangout you can’t wait to tell your friends about? That’s Odyssey. No journey through Downtown is complete without a stop into this local pub. You won’t find neon lights or traditional bar food here, the roasted brussels are arguably the best in town and locals rave over the chicken and waffles. Vegan and gluten-free items are plentiful. Owners Tyler & Jenny welcome you with the Odyssey toast, “May your journeys be epic and each destination a homecoming.” 

Drink LOCAL

Chiba Bar

19. E Kiowa
Straight out of a scene from Blade Runner, this cyper punk sushi and cocktail lounge is one of Downtown’s most unique spots. Take in a silent sci-fi playing on televisions scattered throughout, vibrant  ’90’s anime murals, and pumping electronic music as you sip (our favorite) a Neuromancer (cognac, Cointreau, Suze and Leopold absinthe). The drink menu is extensive and the sushi rolls, gyoza and bowls are exceptional.

The Archives

15 S. Tejon St.
This speakeasy style bar is found beneath Colorado Craft, with an entrance from the alley just south of the building. Founded by industry professionals, the staff take pride in the art of cocktail creation. While they can mix a mean modern drink, great effort is taken in crafting libations that have stood the test of time. Food is available from the kitchen shared with Colorado Craft.

Mash Mechanix

429 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
One of Downtown’s newest brewpubs is located in the growling east section of Downtown. Founders (and childhood friends) Leif Anderson and Ryan Close started as homebrewers and have nearly perfected the craft with a diverse selection of stouts, IPA’s, Ale’s and even seltzer’s, kombucha and homemade root beer.  Join the Mug Club and win Mash merch, you’ll be proud to rep this up and coming name.

best downtown patios

Pikes Peak Lager House (Rooftop)

514 S. Tejon St.
After successfully launching their flagship location in Monument, CO, the owners of Pikes Peak Brewing opened Pikes Peak Lager House in the growing area known as the New South End.  The extensive beer menu (wine/seltzer also available) is only downplayed by the stunning views you’ll find from the rooftop patio. One satisfied customer raves raves, “go up to the brewery’s rooftop bar/patio and drink amazing beer and overlook the mountains. YES PLEASE. Thank you for adding this to Colorado Springs, it’s legit. I’m sold.” 

Phantom Canyon

2 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Phantom Canyon, Colorado Springs’ first brewery, opened in 1993. Located directly across from the Antler’s Hotel, the space is expansive with three floors each boasting beautiful Downtown views. Whether it’s brunch, dinner, or billiards and brews, you’ll find magnificent mountain views from the second, third and rooftop of this carefully preserved historic Downtown building. 

Springs Orleans at The Mining Exchange

123 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Nestled between the historic Mining Exchange Hotel and Springs Orleans restaurant lies a courtyard patio that might make you think you have stepped into a Parisian cafe. Enjoy a glass of wine or a Hurricane and retreat into this cozy outdoor patio to watch the hustle and bustle of the city from this intimate and secluded spot.

explore downtown

Free self-guided Art on the Streets walking tour

Downtown Colorado Springs, a Certified Creative District, boasts an extensive  outdoor sculpture and mural gallery which means you’ll find beauty and creativity on nearly every block. Use the free Otocast mobile app to to hear commentary from the artists themselves! Download the free GPS-based app Otocast via ITUNES or GOOGLE PLAY and tour the Art on the Streets exhibit, as well as works that are part of the city’s permanent public art collection. 

Take a zippy PikeRide

There’s no faster (or more fun) way to explore the city center than on one of PikeRide’s electric-assist bikes. With over a dozen hubs throughout Downtown, you can pick up a bike for a few minutes or the entire day as you discover Downtown’s neighborhoods, parks and trails, shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. FACT: a ride on these exhilarating machines is guaranteed to elevate mood and happiness levels and the fully electric fleet make it easy even for those not used to our altitude.

HIDDEN GEMS

Shopping

A Likely Story

24 E. Rio Grande St.
Just off the beaten path of Downtown’s burgeoning south end, find A Likely Story, a charming bookstore filled with children’s stories, adult fiction and non-fiction, small gifts. And, with an abundance of literary knowledge the staff will help you find just the right read.

Bonus gem: Pop next door into The Living Room Plants and find an oasis of houseplants and pots of every shape and size.

Little Richard’s Toy Store

324 N. Tejon St.

Whether you have littles with you or are just a kid at heart, Little Richard’s Toy Store is filled with engaging and interactive toys, games, puzzles and novelties. It’s easy to see why this local favorite has been voted “Best Toystore” by the Colorado Springs Gazette every year since opening in 1995.

Coralun Vintage

328 ½ N. Nevada Ave.

Tucked between a former VCR repair shop and a brand-new wellness studio, Coralun Vintage is perfectly juxtaposed. You’ll find upcycled shoes and clothing spanning the decades, vintage records, as well as fun and funky gifts. Be sure to take a few moments to explore Coralun Handmade, the owner’s jewelry line inspired by Colorado’s natural surroundings and made from local gemstones.

dining

Hafa Adai Fiesta Food

109 E. Pikes Peak Ave

Hafa Adai (pronounced Half a Day) means “hello” in Chamorro, the native language of Guam. Locally owned by the Aganon family, they’re popular for authentic Guamanian fare and a welcoming atmosphere. Fresh daily favorites include the Chamorro-style smoked ribs, tinatak and lumpia. One Yelp review remarks, “…if you want a taste of some island food, this is it… super delicious, a must stop.” Truly a hidden gem, you’ll have to venture down a narrow alleyway just west of Kimball’s Peak Three Theatre, near the painted gold feet on the sidewalk.

Med Café   

118 E. Kiowa St.
A fan favorite for business lunches, Med Cafe has consistently won “Best Of” awards for their Mediterranean fare. Traditional dishes, daily specials, vegetarian vegan and gluten free options make this a popular hole-in-the-wall spot for a great meal.

Green Line Grill

230 1/2 Pueblo Ave.

If you’re looking for the best burger in town, local foodies agree, Green Line Grill is the winner. This is one place you might never find if we hadn’t pointed it out (you’re welcome). Located in an inconspicuous corner of Downtown, Green Line Grill doesn’t need extravagant décor or flashy signs to draw crowds, word of mouth has earned them the Best Burger in the Springs year after year.

watering holes 

District Elleven

220 N. Tejon St.

Located in the back of Mood Tapas Bar, District Elleven is one of Downtown’s newest secret spots. Pass through The Vault into the recesses of this glamourous whiskey lounge, an intimate setting for date night or a night on the town. This spot prides itself as a throwback to Prohibition days when bars were dimly lit and classic cocktails were the main course but if you need a bite with your drink, tapas are also available.

Pikes Peak Lemonade

224 N. Tejon St.

The nation’s first lemonade taphouse proudly features organic ingredients and a bouquet of flavors including fresh jalapeño, rose, mint, blackberry, hibiscus and more. Drinks are served in a mason jar, part of the owner’s commitment to sustainability, which also comes with discount when you bring it back for a refill. Simple syrups, cocktail mixers and wine slushie mixes are perfect for summer and their hot cocoa bar hits the spot in colder winter months.

ICONS

3 E. Bijou St.

The only gay piano bar in Colorado Springs, ICONS features tasty cocktails, Broadway singers and live entertainment. The bartending staff are all singers and with drag queen bingo and other activities, there’s never a dull moment at the small, lively spot.