Why subscribe?

“If you are not listening to and reading to what Matthew Schniper is saying, you have no pulse on what’s going on in this city.” — Top Chef Brother Luck

Nobody covers Colorado Springs food like Side Dish. Subscribe if you want the latest info on openings, the inside scoop on the trendiest restaurants and critical reviews that save you money. I’m an award-winning, independent food and drink critic with nearly two decades of journalism experience. I curate the essential news on happenings in Colorado Springs and areas nearby.

“With deep relationships across the industry, the award-winning food and drink critic knows, loves and champions the Colorado Springs scene, but he isn’t afraid to speak truth to and about it in his restaurant reviews.” — Jeremy Jones, Springs Magazine

Contact Schniper

sidedishschnip@gmail.com | 719-332-9630

Insta: @sidedishschniper | facebook.com/SideDishWithSchniper

More bio + feature-story clips and awards info: muckrack.com/matthewschniper

Email me for a media kit/rate sheet if interested in advertising.

Side Dish in the Media:

Inside the News in Colorado, April, 2023: ‘The community needs this’

Rocky Mountain PBS, May, 2023: ‘This is how it feels to save a newspaper'

Fox 21, Loving Living Local, Aug., 2023: ‘Nobody covers Southern Colorado food like Side Dish’

Inside the News in Colorado, Nov., 2023: ‘Colorado's indie journalists keep local legacy media in the mix

COS Business Podcast, Nov. 2023: Dishing Out Insights: Conversations on Food, Culture, and Journalism with Matther Schniper

Springs Magazine, Feb. 2024: Matthew Schniper on the Colorado Springs Food Scene

Co-founder/co-admin of Culinary Colorado Springs

Culinary Colorado Springs is a community Facebook group dedicated to supporting the local food and drink industry in Colorado Springs, Colorado and uplifting struggling businesses and owners during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The group of 9,500 highly engaged members connects food- and drink-lovers to business owners and industry professionals, increasing customer understanding of industry challenges and perspectives while providing owners a space to build relationships with and glean insights from potential customers. A Social Return on Investment (SROI)* Study conducted by Colorado Institute for Social Impact determined that the total contributions of the volunteer-run group toward strengthening the community in 2020 were nearly $1.1 million.

* SROI is the measurement, in a language of dollars and cents, of the value of an organization’s efforts to alleviate a social, environmental or community issues.

About me

I’ve been a professional food critic since 2006, building on 10 years prior culinary industry experience. I’ve dined my way through more than 35 countries. I was the Food & Drink Editor for the Colorado Springs Independent until being laid off in March, 2023. Side Dish with Schniper was born to continue my work independently.

I’ve gotten to professionally know hundreds of people in our local culinary industry, from chefs and restaurateurs to bartenders, baristas, roasters, bakers, brewers, distillers, kombucha crafters, winemakers, wine reps, sommeliers, GMs and culinary educators. Good people. My people.

I love this city and it’s an honor to cover the industry and play the critic role. Documenting, policing, championing — just telling peoples’ stories while providing a utilitarian service to the community. (I recently made the podcast series State of Plate as an equal parts lament and love letter to the Springs’ industry.)

I can’t imagine not being at the keyboard, punching out something about a new restaurant concept, or penning a full dining critique. So here I am on Substack, sharing food and drink news, reviewing restaurants and maybe even compiling an occasional guide for my top picks in town.

I sincerely want to thank the industry and my readers for their trust. It’s always just been my opinion, what I write, but you have validated me and backed me at many turns when critiques got controversial and I was under fire. You helped me develop the confidence to grow thick skin and speak truth and call it like I see it. To do the work with honesty and integrity, knowing there’d be some hurt feelers out there and that I would inevitably create enemies.

It’s not an easy job, and I doubt this iteration will be any lighter of a lift, but I love every minute that I spend detailing the inner workings of Colorado Springs’ culinary scene.

Welcome to my new chapter, Side Dish with Schniper, a continuation of my long-running food and drink column. Thank you for being here.

Subscribe to Side Dish with Schniper

Expertly curated food & drink news + reviews inside Colorado Springs' culinary scene


Matthew Schniper 

Food Critic • Journalist • Podcaster