Downtown Colorado Springs Wrap-up Round-up

We love living in Chicago now. We appreciate all the things that big cities have to offer, including the progressive attitudes of the citizens and the people in charge. But Colorado Springs has its charms, and it was really hard to leave. The downtown area is very pretty with lots of trees and flowers (when the city can find it in the budget to water them) and beautiful historic homes and buildings (for now anyway). There are lots of little shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, a couple of cute parks, a public library, some art galleries, and two museums. It’s flat so it’s easy to walk or bike around, and the views of the mountains are stunning.  Here are some of the things we loved about living in downtown Colorado Springs (along with some of our gripes, as usual).

You can walk or bike all over the place. It's flat and the drivers are cautious.

You can walk or bike all over the place. It's flat and the drivers are usually pretty cautious.

Smiley's was just a couple blocks from our house, and we went there many weekends for breakfast.

Smiley's was just a couple blocks from our house, and we went there many weekends for breakfast. Click this pic for their website.

Homespun handwritten menu at Smiley's

Homespun handwritten menu at Smiley's

Breakfast at Smiley's is delicious!

Breakfast at Smiley's is delicious! Probably the best bacon in the COS.

Tejon St. Music has been around a long time. Great place for all your guitar needs. Click this pic for their website.

Tejon Street Music has been around a long time. Great place for all your guitar needs. Click this pic for their website.

Pretty residential street in downtown Colorado Springs

Pretty residential street in downtown Colorado Springs

Our old apartment downtown. It's since been sold and the new owners "remodeled" it, basically ruining all its old history. Still, it's got pretty neighbors.

Our old apartment downtown. It's since been sold and the new owners "remodeled" it, basically ruining all its old history. Still, it's got pretty neighbors.

Lunch on the patio at Poor Richards. Best pizza in town! Click this pic for their website.

Lunch on the patio at Poor Richard's. Best pizza in town! Click this pic for their website.

Cocktails and coffee at Poor Richards.

Cocktails and coffee at Poor Richard's.

Paris Crepe- one of our all-time faves. Click this pic for their website.

Paris Crepe -- one of our all-time faves. Click this pic for their website.

The best crepes are at Paris Crepe. Don't they look delish?

The best crepes are at Paris Crepe. Don't they look delish?

Paris Crepe is across the street from Acacia Park and it's nice to spend a summer evening eating crepes on their sidewalk cafe.

Paris Crepe is across the street from Acacia Park and it's nice to spend a summer evening eating crepes on their sidewalk cafe.

The weather is gorgeous and the views are stunning from downtown.

The weather is gorgeous and the views are stunning from downtown.

In the summer there are free concerts in Acacia Park on Saturday evenings.

In the summer there are free concerts in Acacia Park on Saturday evenings.

There's also a farmers market there on Mondays.

There's also a farmers market there on Mondays.

Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park are fun places to sit and have a picnic.

Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park are relaxing places to sit and have a picnic.

You can walk everywhere downtown.

You can walk everywhere downtown.

 

Terra Verde and Sparrowhawk Cookware are little locally owned shops with neat items for sale. Click this pic for Terra Verde's website.

Terra Verde and Sparrowhawk Cookware are great locally owned shops with neat items for sale. Click this pic for Terra Verde's website.

The Rodeo Days parade takes place every July down Tejon St. There's also  St. Patrick's Day parade, and a Christmas parade.

The Rodeo Days parade takes place every July down Tejon St. There's also St. Patrick's Day parade, and a Christmas parade.

Tony's Bar. The bar we love to hate. Click the pic for Tony's website.

Tony's Bar. The bar we love to hate. Click the pic for Tony's website.

Zeezo's is the place for all things magic and costume. Click this pic for their website.

Zeezo's is the place for all things magic and costume. Click this pic for their website.

If you're young and preferably in the military, you'll love weekends at downtown's pseudo honkeytonk, Cowboys. They also have bowling upstairs.

If you're young and preferably in the military, you'll love weekends at downtown's faux honkeytonk, Cowboys. They also have bowling upstairs.

The sidewalk cafes at Il Vicino, The Ritz, and Jack Quinns are nice places to have a meal.

The sidewalk cafes at Il Vicino, The Ritz, The Olive Branch, and Jack Quinns are nice places to have a meal.

Catch a movie at The Peak (but be aware they don't take credit or debit cards). They also have a small bar where you can grab a cocktail, glass of wine, or a beer to take into the theatre.

Catch a movie at The Peak (but be aware that they don't take credit or debit cards). They also have a small bar where you can grab a cocktail, glass of wine, or a beer to take into the theatre.

Then go over to the nightclub compound on Tejon St. and have a drink at the bar with the fire on the roof.

Then go over to the nightclub compound on Tejon St. and have a drink at the bar with the fire on the roof.

La Baguette has delicious french fare. Click this pic for their website.

La Baguette has delicious french fare. Click this pic for their website.

A brewpub whose building was saved from the wrecking ball by Governor Hickenlooper (way before he was governor), Phantom Canyon.

A brewpub whose building was saved from the wrecking ball by Governor Hickenlooper (way before he was governor), Phantom Canyon.

The Pioneers Museum is a neat place to spend an afternoon.

The Pioneers Museum is a neat place to spend an afternoon.

Labor Day weekend is the Balloon Festival, we could see them from our bedroom.

Labor Day weekend is the Balloon Festival, we could see them from our bedroom.

Slightly north of downtown is the well-stocked nursery, The Good Earth Garden Center. Click this pic for their website.

Slightly north of downtown is the well-stocked nursery, The Good Earth Garden Center. Click this pic for their website.

The Good Earth Garden Center is a nice place to walk around or pick something out from their vast selection of plants and garden art.

The Good Earth Garden Center is a nice place to walk around or pick something out from their vast selection of plants and garden art.

Slightly south of downtown is Bristol Brewing. They make their own beer and have a tasting room. Click this pic for their website.

Slightly south of downtown is Bristol Brewing. They make their own beer and have a tasting room. Click this pic for their website.

Beer flight at Bristol Brewing.

Beer flight at Bristol Brewing.

 

We’ve devoted a lot of space on this blog to downtown, and this post is not at all comprehensive (we didn’t even mention Shuga’s!). So please check out our other posts for tons more things to do. And be sure to let us know what your favorite downtown things are and when new shops and restaurants open up! We might not live there anymore, but we still care. And of course we’ll be back at some point. Hell, maybe we’ll even come back and get that coffee truck we’ve been dreaming about rolling.

 

Colorado Springs Coffee

Coffee wrap-up!

Colorado Coffee Merchants: We discovered this place when we were painting the house because it’s near the Benjamin Moore store where we got paint at least once a week. Great service and coffee.

The roaster at Colorado Coffee Merchants

The roaster at Colorado Coffee Merchants

Latte and moist, yummy scone from Colorado Coffee Merchants.

Latte and moist, yummy scone from Colorado Coffee Merchants.

Dogtooth Coffee Company: Another of our faves.

Cafe latte and cinnamon donut from Dogtooth Coffee Company

Cafe latte and cinnamon donut from Dogtooth Coffee Company

Gold Hill Java:  Even if you never do anything we tell you to do, you simple MUST go to Gold HIll Java for an affogato. It’s espresso poured over vanilla ice cream and it is the living end. Trust me. Go. Now.

Affogato from Gold HIll Java

Affogato from Gold HIll Java

Marika’s Coffeehouse:

Professor Mike at Marika's Coffeehouse

Professor Mike at Marika's Coffeehouse

Marika's Coffeehouse

Marika's Coffeehouse

Marika's Coffeehouse

Marika's Coffeehouse

Latte from Marika's Coffeehouse. They also have several different types of Chai.

Latte from Marika's Coffeehouse. They also have several different types of Chai.

Rico’s Cafe and Wine Bar: Again. It’s the best.

It's a cafe and a bar. Perfect for when one wants alcohol and the other espresso.

It's a cafe and a bar. Perfect for when one wants alcohol and the other espresso.

Or you can get a fancy espresso or hot chocolate drink that has booze in it!

Or you can get a fancy espresso or hot chocolate drink that has booze in it!

There are tons more places to get coffee in Colorado Springs. What’s your fave?

 

Some places to get happy hour drinks and snacks in Colorado Springs

Another wrap-up post- where to get some drinks with your food.

Judge Baldwin’s: another brewpub

Judge Baldwin's in The Antlers Hotel

Judge Baldwin's in The Antlers Hotel

MacKenzie’s Chophouse: great vintage decor, excellent food, and pretty good happy hour specials.

MacKenzie's Chophouse

MacKenzie's Chophouse

MacKenzie's has some nice drinks.

MacKenzie's has some nice drinks.

Johnny’s Navajo Hogan: Johnny, of Southside Johnny’s, did an excellent restoration of this historically landmarked building. Service is fabulous, and the drinks are good too.

The Navajo Hogan is an historic building.

The Navajo Hogan is an historic building.

Johnny's Navajo Hogan

Johnny's Navajo Hogan

Johnny restored the original neon sign

Johnny restored the original neon sign

Red Martini:

The cozy bar at Red Martini

The cozy bar at Red Martini

A blurry picture of their happy hour menu, which is pretty extensive.

A blurry picture of their happy hour menu, which is pretty extensive.

Not sure if anyone ever plays the piano at Red Martini

Not sure if anyone ever plays the piano at Red Martini

Red Martini snack menu, lots of good happy hour specials.

Red Martini snack menu, lots of good happy hour specials.

Happy hour cocktail

Happy hour cocktail

Happy hour cheese plate

Happy hour cheese plate

Happy hour coconut chicken fingers- these are really really good!

Happy hour coconut chicken fingers- these are really really good!

Sonterra Grill:

The very pretty Sonterra Grill

The very pretty Sonterra Grill

Happy hour!

Happy hour!

They have a few really good happy hour food items, including free chips and salsa.

They have a few really good happy hour food items, including free chips and salsa.

Springs Orleans: Good happy hour specials. Don’t forget to go next door to the new hotel, they have a beautiful lobby bar.

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

I love happy hour!

I love happy hour!

They kept tons of the original features when they renovated the hotel (Wyndham at the Mining Exchange) and restaurant

They kept tons of the original features when they renovated the hotel (Wyndham at the Mining Exchange) and restaurant

The original tin ceiling

The original tin ceiling

Springs Orleans has a very long wine list- almost all of them are available for happy hour.

Springs Orleans has a very long wine list- almost all of them are available for happy hour.

Swirl Wine Bar:

Nice atmosphere to go with your wine and cocktails at Swirl Wine Bar

Nice atmosphere to go with your wine and cocktails at Swirl Wine Bar

The Famous: if you want to spy on Colorado Springs movers and shakers, you have to go to Friday night happy hour at The Famous.

Hob-nobbing with Oinkety nemesis, John Hazlehurst at The Famous

Hob-nobbing with Oinkety nemesis, John Hazlehurst at The Famous

Snacks at The Famous

Snacks at The Famous

A gigantic plate of french fries at The Famous

A gigantic plate of french fries at The Famous

The Loop: great Mexican food and fab margaritas.

A huge margarita at The Loop

A huge margarita at The Loop

Rico’s Cafe and Wine Bar:

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Delicious hummus and happy hour wine on the sidewalk at Rico's

Delicious hummus and happy hour wine on the sidewalk at Rico's

Rico's offers 3 and 6 ounce wines by the glass, so you can try a few at a time. And their food is interesting and tasty, too.

Rico's offers 3 and 6 ounce wines by the glass, so you can try a few at a time. And their food is interesting and tasty, too.

 

Shuga’s: Of course, Shuga’s. My Fave. Great food, great atmosphere, great happy hour.

Happy hour!

Happy hour!

Special cocktail for happy hour at Shugas

Special cocktail for happy hour at Shugas

Now go to happy hour somewhere and come back and tell us all about it!

 

Our favorite cafes: Rico’s, Shugas, Montagues, and Dogtooth

We love Rico’s. Sometimes we sit inside, sometimes out on the back patio, and sometimes on the sidewalk cafe area.

They have all sorts of fancy wines, and they sell them in 3 oz. as well as the usual 6 oz. glasses which is really great if you don’t want to drink too much or if you want to try a few different wines from their extensive list.

They also have a few beers and some cocktails. Happy Hour is 4-6 Sunday -Wednesday.

They have really good coffee drinks, teas, an iced tea bar, and hot chocolates. Recently I had one of their spiked espresso drinks with vanilla vodka and chocolate liquor. Yum!

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar, Colorado Springs

As you probably know, Shuga’s is my favorite place in town.
They have a full bar including a bunch of really creative and unusual cocktails, a full espresso bar, and a great food menu. The menus all change seasonally.
They have Happy Hour from 3-6.
We usually sit inside because it’s so pretty but they do have a nice back patio as well as sidewalk seating in front.
Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

We’ve only recently discovered Montague’s at 1019 South
Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO. (719) 520-0672
The decor is full on Victorian old lady, but the coffee and desserts are awesome. They have pretty good food, too.
They don’t have a website but they do stay open pretty late- you should call for their hours- they vary.
Montegue's, Colorado Springs

Montegue's, Colorado Springs

The cakes at Montegue's are really excellent. They even have some gluten free.

The cakes at Montegue's are really excellent. They even have some gluten free.

Another one of our faves is Dogtooth Coffee. You can get a yummy sandwich, or espressos, or the best gelato in town. We like to sit outside on the patio, and you can bring your dog!

Tasty cinnamon donuts at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Tasty cinnamon donuts at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Housemade gelato at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Housemade gelato at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

What are your favorite cafes in town?

Please vote for us!

Voting ends on Wednesday August 31st for the CSIndy Best Of The Springs– so go vote and earn a chance to win an iPad! Of course we’d love you to vote for us- Oinkety- as best local blogger, and Pink Kitty Studios for best photographer, best place to buy an over the top gift, and best naughty business. Since you have to vote in at least 15 categories, here are our other faves!

1.Best Wait Staff: Detz Cafe.

2.Best Restaurant for Tourists: Paris Crepe.

3.Best French Restaurant: La Baguette. The one on Chestnut.

4. Best Patio Dining: Shuga’s.

5.Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Taste of Jerusalem.

6.Best Food Truck: Phat Hattie’s.

7.Best Burger: Drifter’s.

8.Best Place for Ice Cream: Dogtooth Cafe.

9.Best Local Beer for Winter: Bristol’s Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, of course good luck getting any.

10.Best Breakfast: Smiley’s.

11.Best Caterer: Blue Sage Catering.

12.Best Place for an Over-the-Top Gift: Pink Kitty Studios.

13.Best Photographer: Pink Kitty Studios.

14.Best Naughty Business: Pink Kitty Studios.

15.Best Local Twitterer: @barelyescape.

16.Best Local Blogger: Oinkety!

Thank you!