Love beer? Check out The Springs Craft Brewery Tour, newly launched this summer!

Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Supporting local has never been more important! We’re giving you all the details on where to find comfortable outdoor dining, what to bring to stay warm, and ways you can support local businesses if you can’t go out!

Photo Courtesy of Visit COS/Pollinate Marketing

In just the past three months, over 10,000 restaurants across American have permanently closed due to the spread of COVID-19. Many of these businesses are family-owned and operated, and with each closure comes a loss of jobs and a gaping hole in the hearts of the community members and long-time patrons.

While dining out and enjoying local fare certainly looks different than it did a year ago, there are still plenty of opportunities to support your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes. Despite social distancing measures, mask requirements, and chilly temperatures, there’s no better time to show up for your favorite joints than right now.

Show your support by dining in or dining out

As restaurant restrictions ebb and flow and we all make individual decisions based on our own comfort levels, outdoor dining will continue to be a safe and fun way to enjoy our favorite restaurants. While Colorado winters come with the occasional 60-degree day — perfect for a sweater-clad patio lunch — it can be a challenge to find comfortable outdoor seating when the temperature starts to drop.

Thankfully as of Monday, January 4, restaurants in Colorado are allowed to open indoor dining at 25% capacity (yay!). While capacities remain limited and some people may just feel more comfortable dining in the open air, there are also many great outdoor dining options.

We’ve gathered some tips and tricks for enjoying your food outdoors (and still in comfort)! Here’s our guide on safely and comfortably eating out this COVID-19 winter:

Photo Courtesy of Visit COS/Pollinate Marketing

Our Favorite Colorado Springs’ Restaurants with Outdoor Dining Options This Winter

* Indicates a business that is featured on one of our Rocky Mountain Food Tours

1. Bingo Burger *

Craving a burger and fries? Bingo Burger’s unique take on the classic burger has local burger lovers coming back time and time again! Local Pueblo chiles are mixed into the beef, giving these burgers a spicy Colorado spin. Pair your burger with a fresh order of fries and a milkshake and enjoy on their outdoor patio facing Tejon Street — perfect for people watching!

 

2. Colorado Craft Social *

Enjoy the best of Colorado from Colorado Craft Social’s patio! This fun downtown spot is serving “exceptional food and libations,” all locally and sustainably sourced from around the state. Enjoy traditional dishes from around the world with, of course, a unique Colorado twist, paired with delicious cocktails made with the state’s finest spirits.

 

3. Four by Brother Luckheated *

Don’t let cold weather and COVID stop you from this elevated dining experience! Four by Brother Luck is centered on the idea of, well, four! The restaurant concept is based on the four seasons, the four corners — our specific location here in Colorado — and the four people we rely on for quality ingredients: hunters, gatherers, farmers, and fishermen. Enjoy Four’s heated patio seating area and get ready for a unique culinary experience!

 

4. Rooster’s House of Ramen *

Warm-up with some authentic ramen at Rooster’s House of Ramen, offering patio seating this winter! Pick from their menu of bowls, small bites, gourmet hot dogs, and delicious cocktails. Our favorites include the Chicken Katsu Bao Buns, Chicken Tikka Curry, or Thai Drunken Noodles.

Photo Courtesy of Rooster’s House of Ramen

5. Jack Quinn’s Irish Pubheated *

A bit of cold weather and a global pandemic can’t keep a true Irishman from enjoying some beer with friends! Jack Quinn’s heated patio will transport you to the streets of Dublin where you can enjoy some corned beef, fish and chips, and of course, a Guinness!

 

6. Story Coffee Company *

Discover Downtown Colorado Springs with a cup of hot coffee and a delicious pastry in hand! Story Coffee Company serves your favorite hot beverages from the most adorable tiny house you’ve ever seen, parked on the southside of Acacia Park. Whether you’re taking a stroll or enjoying the ice rink with the family, Story is the perfect pitstop for your day out on the town.

 

7. T-Byrd’s Tacos & Tequilaheated *

It may be winter, but you can’t go wrong with tacos and margaritas and T-Byrd’s Tacos & Tequila does them both to perfection! Get in touch with summer with one of their unique tacos (we love the Colorado Trout and Fire Belly tacos), some chips and guacamole, and a fresh marg!

 

8. Shuga’s Restaurantheated

This local favorite just screams cozy. Shuga’s is located on the southside of Downtown Colorado Springs and serves the best comfort food known to mankind — we love their Jalapeño Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese, Spicy Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup, or, if you want to try a bit of everything, their Shuga’s Favorite Cafe Tray. Their expansive patio seating (which includes an awesome teepee!!) is heated and perfect for social distancing!

Photo Courtesy of Shuga’s Restaurant

9. Jose Muldoon’s

Looking for some classic Tex-Mex? Jose Muldoon’s fun back patio is ready to host you! This long-standing local joint serves all of your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, from chimichangas to sizzling fajita plates! Grab some chips and guacamole and a glass of their too-good-to-be-true Sangarita!

 

10. TAPAteriaheated

Enjoy a spacious heated patio and some delicious small bites at TAPAteria in Old Colorado City! If you’re craving a taste of Europe right now, this is the place to be! TAPAteria’s menu includes fine wines, charcuterie, and unique dishes like the Shaved Octopus Salad or the Bison Carpaccio.

 

Click here for the full list of outdoor dining options provided by our friends at Visit COS!

 

Still Cold? Here are Our Tips for Enhancing Your Outdoor Dining Experience

Photo Courtesy of Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub

Here are just a few tips for staying extra warm and cozy while you eat out this winter!

  • Keep extra layers in your car. You never know when you’re going to want to stop for a bite to eat, so be prepared this winter and have some extra layers tucked away in your car for that last-minute bite out! If you want to get extra cozy, have gloves, hats, and cozy socks on hand too!
  • Bring a blanket. It might feel a little funny to bring a blanket to a restaurant, but let’s be honest, 2020 (and at least early 2021) doesn’t come with a set of rules! Bringing a blanket for your lap will provide that extra level of comfort on especially cold days.
  • Bring hand and foot warmers. This tip will transport you to the slopes! This might feel like overkill, but for those of us who get easily chilly, having hand or foot warmers to turn to after sipping on a cold beer will be a lifesaver!
  • Opt for warm food and drinks. Warm yourself from the inside out by ordering hot beverages and food. There’s nothing better than some hot soup and a hot toddy on a cold evening!
  • Be sweet to your servers — they’re freezing too! No explanation needed — We just really love our service industry workers and think they deserve the absolute best!

 

Can’t eat out right now? Here are some ways you can still support local businesses right now!

Photo Courtesy of Four by Brother Luck

While we all want to support our favorite businesses, some people in our community have to stay at home right now! If that’s you, here are some fun ways you can support local businesses from home!

  • Buy local gifts. Have a friend or family member’s birthday or wedding coming up? Opt for buying local gifts when possible. Plenty of local businesses have websites for easy online purchases or provide curb-side, contactless pickup!
  • Gift your future-self a gift card to your favorite restaurant. Thankfully, there will come a time when all is normal again, so invest in the future by buying yourself a gift card to your favorite local spot!
  • Order online. While you may not feel comfortable eating out right now, you can still enjoy your favorite food, right from the comfort of your own home! Head to your favorite restaurant’s website to check out their delivery or pickup options or explore your options on Grubhub or Doordash!
Photo Courtesy of Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub

Nothing is stopping you from supporting local businesses during this uniquely challenging season and we can’t wait to hear where you go! Be sure to post on social media to tell your friends about your favorite outdoor dining experiences and tag Rocky Mountain Food Tours along the way!

Cheers! Your Rocky Mountain Food Tours Team

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)

 

 

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