January 31, 2023

CO  ATI Food Hall.  Photo: John Frank/Axios Denver

CO ATI Food Hall. Photo: John Frank/Axios Denver

Downtown Colorado Springs is buzzing with energy these days thanks to an infusion of hip new places to eat, drink, shop and play.

What you should know: We took a tour of downtown and asked our Colorado College staff to help us capture the best spots for your visit to the city.

CO AT: For a slice of Denver—no kidding, some locals call it “the Denver Corner”—visit this food hall, beer bar, music venue, and workspace on South Tejon Street.

  • It’s the new center for young Colorado Springs and a great spot for people-watching and drinks on the weekends. It is surrounded by other trendy restaurants and bars.

Lincoln Center: Like the popular Ivy Wild, this is a converted school that now serves craft beer, coffee roasters and Nightingale Bread, which we’re told is one of the best bakeries in the state.

shugas: Tucked away in a nondescript old house, this restaurant is a great spot for a quick lunch or midday cocktail. Don’t miss the spicy Brazilian coconut shrimp soup and sweet mint iced tea.

Hemmed Heifer: The best burger in Colorado Springs, everyone agrees.

  • Skirted Heifer’s unique cheddar cheese skirt is the center of attraction, and the fries and special sauce separate it from the rest.

The rabbit hole: Go underground to find this secret restaurant and bar. It’s a great nightlife spot with fine dining, drinks and vibes.

The Ute & Yeti: Listed by Men’s Journal as one of the 10 Coolest Places in America to Drink Craft Beer, this bar is attached to the CityRock Climbing Gym. Be sure to look up.

White cake: The best handcrafted thin-crust, coal-fired pizzas you can find, accompanied by their beloved burrata and an extensive list of house cocktails. This is the only location outside of Denver.

leech pit: Leechpit is branded on T-shirts and bumper stickers and proclaims, “Keep Colorado Springs Lame.”

  • Ironically, the family business is anything but boring. It’s your one-stop shop for everything vintage and vinyl-related, with every bells and whistles imaginable.

Eclectic Co.: If you want to shop locally, head to this boutique in the heart of downtown that lives up to its name. It is home to dozens of artisans and vendors who showcase the breadth of talent in Colorado Springs.

Heartshake Studios: The perfect locally owned shop for everything from plants and books to jewelery and gifts, you’re guaranteed to find something you’re looking for whether you need it or not.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: As a place of conservation and rehabilitation, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is ethical and committed to educating animal lovers of all ages. Known, but worth it.

Captain Jack’s Mountain Bike Trail: The route combines an exciting intermediate descent in the Cheyenne Canyon with panoramas of the city below. Park at the trailhead and pedal north up Gold Camp Road and High Drive to warm up before embarking on the trail.

Mount Cutler: Ideal for families, the 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) round-trip Cheyenne Canyon hike rewards you with fabulous views of the city.

Tony Tone’s Barbershop and Pickles: The best cut in town from a down to earth hairstylist where the homemade pickles are second to none. You won’t be able to resist buying a jar.

Colorado College students contributed to this report (in alphabetical order): Olivia Bagan, Joe Bullock, Lila Gilmer, Abby Goodfried, Meryl Goodwin, Claire Heskett, Rex Karjian, Chris Mehlman, Annie O’Neill, Emma Popkin, Thomas Power, Tobin Spiller, Jessie Squires, Pierce Sullivan.

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