Aspen Restaurants: A Guide To The Best Places To Eat
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is renowned for its stunning landscapes, world-class skiing, and vibrant cultural scene. Beyond the slopes and the cultural festivities, Aspen offers a culinary journey that rivals
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is renowned for its stunning landscapes, world-class skiing, and vibrant cultural scene. Beyond the slopes and the cultural festivities, Aspen offers a culinary journey that rivals its natural beauty.
From upscale dining to casual eateries, the town boasts a diverse and delectable array of restaurants. In this article, we’ll explore the best places to eat in Aspen, ensuring that your visit is not only filled with outdoor adventures but also with exquisite dining experiences.
Best places to eat in Aspen
When visiting Aspen, Colorado, the options for dining out can be overwhelming. From high-end restaurants to casual cafes, there is no shortage of choices to satisfy any craving. But with so many options, how do you know where to go? No matter what your taste buds are craving, Aspen has a restaurant that will satisfy. With so many great options, let’s explore the best places to eat in Aspen and what makes each one unique.
The White House Tavern
For a more casual and cozy atmosphere, The White House Tavern is a popular spot in downtown Aspen. This historic building turned tavern offers a diverse menu featuring comfort food classics like the Tavern Burger and Lobster Roll. The relaxed ambiance and friendly service make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This casual eatery serves up modern American fare, with a focus on fresh seafood and burgers.
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The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to grab a quick bite or relax with friends over a cold beer. One regular customer raves, “The salmon burger is to die for!”
If you’re looking for something with a bit more sophistication, Matsuhisa Aspen may be just what you’re looking for. This Japanese restaurant, founded by renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, features dishes that are both traditional and innovative.
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Sushi lovers will enjoy the extensive menu, which includes options like toro tartare and lobster ceviche. The elegant decor and attentive service make Matsuhisa a great choice for a special occasion.
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro
For a truly unique experience, head to Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. Located at the top of Aspen Highlands, this restaurant can only be reached by skiing or snowboarding. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and a menu that features fondue and raclette, as well as an extensive wine list. It’s the perfect way to cap off a day on the slopes.
Steakhouse No. 316
If you’re in the mood for a steakhouse, the Aspen Branch of Steakhouse No. 316 is a must-visit. This upscale restaurant specializes in premium cuts of beef, as well as fresh seafood and classic cocktails. The chic decor and knowledgeable staff make it a great choice for a fancy night out.
The Best Places for Après-Ski
After a day on the slopes, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a drink and some good food. Thankfully, Aspen has plenty of spots for après-ski.
J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome
Another great spot is the J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome. This classic Aspen bar offers a cozy atmosphere, with leather chairs and a fireplace. The bar menu includes small plates like truffle fries and deviled eggs, as well as a selection of cocktails and craft beers.
The Lounge at Limelight Hotel
For a bit more of a party atmosphere, head to the Limelight Lounge. This lively spot offers live music, a large outdoor patio, and a menu that includes pizzas and sandwiches. It’s a great place to let loose and have some fun with friends.
The Rise of Sustainable Dining in Aspen
Aspen has long been a leader in sustainability, and that commitment extends to its dining scene. Many restaurants in town offer organic, locally sourced ingredients, and some have even gone completely zero-waste. Meatless Mondays have become a popular trend, with many restaurants offering vegetarian and vegan options on their menus.
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One restaurant that has gone above and beyond in its sustainability efforts is Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop. The restaurant works closely with local farmers and ranchers to source ingredients, and all food waste is composted or fed to animals. The restaurant even has its own farm, located just 15 minutes from town. Diners can visit the farm and see the animals that will eventually become their meals.
The best affordable eateries in Aspen
Aspen, known for its upscale dining scene, also offers affordable eateries catering to various tastes.
Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar
While Aspen has plenty of well-known eateries, there are also some hidden gems that are worth discovering. One such spot is Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar, a speakeasy-style bar located in the basement of a building on Aspen’s Main Street. The menu features inventive cocktails made with fresh ingredients and high-quality spirits. The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, perfect for a date night.
Jour de Fete
Aspen is also home to several more casual spots that are perfect for a quick meal or a grab-and-go snack. Jour de Fete is a charming French cafe that serves up croissants, quiches, and other sweet and savory treats.
Poppycock’s Cafe is a local favorite that offers breakfast all day, as well as salads, sandwiches, and homemade baked goods.
The History of Dining in Aspen
Aspen has a long history of fine dining, dating back to the early 1900s. The Hotel Jerome, which first opened its doors in 1889, was one of the first places in town to offer a formal dining experience.
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Over the years, other restaurants opened up, catering to the wealthy visitors who flocked to Aspen for its skiing and outdoor activities. In the 1970s, the town became a hub for the free-spirited, and restaurants began to embrace more casual and eclectic themes.
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Today, Aspen is known for its diverse dining scene, offering everything from sushi to Italian to French cuisine. The town’s reputation as a foodie destination has only continued to grow in recent years, with chefs and restaurateurs opening up new establishments all the time.
Aspen has no shortage of dining options, from high-end restaurants to casual cafes. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, Italian, or just a good burger, there’s a restaurant that will satisfy. With its commitment to sustainability and innovative chefs, Aspen’s dining scene is only getting better. So the next time you’re in town, be sure to check out some of these amazing spots.
Aspen’s culinary scene is a delightful mix of upscale dining, casual eateries, and diverse international flavors. Whether you’re a food enthusiast seeking a gourmet experience or a casual diner looking for comfort food, Aspen has something for every palate. The restaurants mentioned in this article are just a glimpse into the gastronomic wonders awaiting you in this picturesque mountain town.
So, when you’re not hitting the slopes or exploring the cultural offerings, be sure to indulge in the culinary delights that make Aspen a destination for both adventure and epicurean pleasures.
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