I’m sometimes envious of those people who are quite satisfied throwing down a burger from Applebee’s every weekend. How simple life would be.
If you are a foodie, you might relate to the constant search for new and trendy restaurants to satisfy your must-have-variety palate. It can be tiresome, and often expensive, looking for a new place to eat all the time. Especially if you live in a town that lacks gastronomic diversity and most dining out options are limited to chain restaurants.
If you live in Colorado Springs, you may understand this dilemma. If not, don’t take it off your list of “Places to Visit to Satisfy Your Foodie Appetite.” On the west side of Colorado Springs is the old historic town Old Colorado City. This is a place where visitors who like to eat something not so mainstream should check out.
As you head down this little section of Colorado Avenue, you won’t find any signs of fast food or chain restaurants. In the short blocks between 24th and 27th, there are at least half a dozen restaurants to choose from to satisfy your hunger. Options from Spanish to Ethiopian to Greek give you the ethic variety your taste buds crave.
Being a Chicago native, I will admit I am a bit of a pizza snob. While some of my friends can scarf down a Domino’s pizza and call it good, I prefer something with a little more… flavor.
Dave Brackett, a retired Air Force pilot owns this charming pizzeria right off of Colorado Avenue.
The pizza starts with the freshest ingredients from local farmers and Italy’s finest markets. Choices include a large variety of meats and vegetables including artichokes, eggplant, sweet peppers, salami, and chicken tomato basil sausage. The pizza is cooked in a cedar wood-burning stove giving it a crispy crust and intense flavors.
The inside dining area offers a pleasant old-world Italian charm that you would find in any small trattoria in Italy. Pizzeria Rustica‘s outdoor patio provides a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere during the warmer seasons.
Besides the homemade pizzas, salads, and antipastos, you can wash it down with a selection of delicious wines and handcrafted beers.
Jake and Telly’s
If you are still in a Mediterranean mood, Jake and Telly’s brings Greek food to the table. Jake and Telly are real people – brothers in fact – that offer authentic food from their home country.
Sitting on the outside deck, you can people watch as you sip Greek wine or beer or even Ouzo on the rocks. I would recommend that you add some food in with your beverage of choice.
The menu consists of traditional Greek food so if you are looking for American fare, you have come to the wrong place. Deciding on one dish can be hard, so I would recommend getting one of the mixed mezzes (loose term for appetizer plate) to get a sample of the Greek cuisine.
Jake and Telly’s host monthly wine tastings which a well worth attending if you are oenophile (which comes from the Greek word oinos – meaning wine).
If you happen to venture into Old Colorado City in the morning or early afternoon, Bon Ton’s Café is a must for breakfast. Going with the theme of the above restaurants, outdoor seating is the preferred option during the summer months.
Sinking your teeth into an omelet that is filled with flavors seems to be an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning. The menus are printed on newspapers, where you will find typical breakfast and lunch menu fare. Southwest specialties are my favorite! This is where the locals eat. Reasonable prices, good food, great environment. What else can you ask for?
The owner of Pizzeria Rustica opened Tapateria just down the street to appeal to the ethnic atmosphere of Old Colorado City. This tapas restaurant really gets it right. Long before tapas became a “thing” in the states, restaurants in Spain have served these small plates to their patrons.
The elegant restaurant offers plenty of tasty treats to nibble on – my favorites being the crab salad, stuffed peppers, bison carpaccio, and warm olives. There is plenty to whet your appetite, but unless you have $75 or more to blow, you will probably still walk away hungry. Tapas are not meant to provide a full dinner experience, but an introduction to the flavors.
The small dinner plates remind me of the time I spent in Barcelona. But, unlike Barcelona, you don’t have to wait until 9 p.m. to eat dinner. Come early and enjoy the tapas while you and your girlfriends catch up on gossip and girl talk. Just don’t come starving!
SpringsGal Julie McElroy is a freelance writer who loves to write about food and travel. She also blogs about the all things related to writing on Inspired to Write, designed to inspire and provide tips to other writers.