The realization of a shared dream between two friends, Mile High Vienna Stand serves up Windy City–inspired eats at 5,280 feet, including Chicago-style hot dogs crowned Denver's best in 2011 and 2012 by the Denver Westword. After spending his boyhood summers in Chicago, where he never missed the chance to grab a dog before a ballgame, owner Sonny Jarock was unable to escape the scent that had defined his youth. Eventually, memories evolved into ideas, and ideas into reality in 2008, when Sonny and his buddy, Jeremy Williamson, transformed an abandoned Baker neighborhood building into the first MHVS location.
Since swinging open their doors in 2008, Sonny and Jeremy have expanded to a second location right outside Coors Field, the home ballpark of the Colorado Rockies. On the large patio with views of the first-base entrance, customers can munch on polish sausages, juicy Italian beef sandwiches, and Chicago-style hotdogs before heading into games. Both stands accompany meals with friendly staffers, who are available to dish out facts about Chicago-style food or help solve any pickle-spear-related riddles.
Just 12 minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs lies an oasis known as Sacred Grounds Coffee in the Canyon. Nestled in a historic building that wouldn't look out of place in the old west is this coffee shop, where breakfast and lunch sandwiches and baked sweets are all made in-house. Guests settle down either in the cozy caf? or outside on the open-air porches, where they can use a magnifying glass to bend the sun rays into keeping their coffee warm. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the kitchen crafts take-home dinners, which are comforting options such as turkey and meatloaf, and just about everything is made with natural and organic ingredients, including the cheesecake and pie.
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The cooks at Napoli Tom's Pasta may seem like magicians, but they only need durum wheat, semolina flour, water, and a touch of sea salt to create their bewitchingly delicious pasta. It serves as the starting ingredient for most of the carryout eatery's from-scratch Italian specialties, including ravioli, spaghetti, and manicotti?all made from family recipes. The lasagna features five layers of handmade pasta carefully placed between layers of five cheeses, a choice of Italian sausage, ground beef, or spinach, and handmade marinara sauce. Like the marinara, Napoli Tom Pasta's Bolognese sauce is cooked for three hours, though each Bolognese gallon receives an extra kick from two pounds of Italian sausage.
It's not too unusual for a superhero or princess to stop by in full costume to delight the children at Cool Beans Playhouse. But the spot wasn't just built with little ones in mind—it's a combination café-playspace that parents and kids to enjoy together.
Kids age 6 and younger skip past surrealist tree sculptures to clamber up the twisty stairs into the clubhouse before careening down a shiny slide. In the Pretend Play area, a tiny kitchen and grocery store allow kids to play their favorite game—trying to shop within the pretend food budget of their pretend household. Meanwhile, a Quiet Play area is stocked with books and games. While their brood plays, parents sip fresh-brewed coffee drinks, and during breaks, families can refuel together on the café's healthful fare, including salads, wraps, and smoothies.
Whether ordering a cappuccino, americano, or café au lait, patrons of Caffe Sanora reduce their carbon footprints. The café’s organic beans are Rainforest Alliance–certified, meaning they’ve been procured sustainably and with fair wages to those who produce them. With the café's proprietary roasting method, the beans retain high levels antioxidants, and a portion of the proceeds from coffee sales benefits cancer-prevention research. This social awareness extends to the food as well. The chefs hand-make linguine and cavatelli for pasta dishes including pasta alfredo with housemade meatballs and Italian sausage lasagna, and they use local ingredients whenever possible.
Through his emphasis on sustainability, owner David Boyan's works to create a sense of community at his café, fostering it with a gathering spot more comfortable than a bed of snoozing kittens. Here, guests can play board games, enjoy free wireless Internet, and soak in the sun on the wraparound patio.
All of Hash's organic, gluten-free hashes arrive at tables with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients such as mushrooms, sweet yams or corned beef. Its bevy of breakfast plates include everything from flaky croissants to hearty breakfast tacos. Along with its namesake dish, the breakfast joint specializes in sweet and savory breakfast crepes, some even mimicking burritos with shredded pork and green chilies. Locally roasted NOVO Coffee, juices, and speciality coffee drinks complement the day’s first meal.