While Aspen is known for its stellar ski slopes, hopping nightlife and upscale shops, the small town also delivers quite a punch when it comes to dining. From casual burger joints to intimate sushi restaurants (yes, excellent sushi in the mountains) to luxurious lounges, the array of dining options is plentiful. In fact, you could stay an entire week in Aspen and never eat at the same restaurant twice!
Here are just a few of my favorite restaurants, no matter what your eating occasion:
Hearty breakfast: Poppycock’s is not only conveniently located steps from Aspen’s gondola, it serves up amazing macadamia nut pancakes and a variety of different crepes and yummy smoothies. The location is small, and you might need to wait for a table, especially on the weekends, but Poppycock’s has been in business for more than 40 years for a reason – it’s good!
Family friendly: Families flock to Boogie’s Diner for the hearty portions of meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, burgers, milkshakes, and pie. Memorabilia on the walls (not to mention crayons and coloring pages) help keep kids entertained before food arrives. Booth seating is comfortable and casual.
Celebrate an occasion: If you want a special night out to mark a birthday, anniversary or any other sort of celebration, I’d book dinner at Element 47, The Little Nell’s new upscale restaurant is just off the hotel lobby. Its hip, sleek décor sets the scene for a sophisticated meal that focuses on only the freshest Colorado ingredients. Wine aficionados will appreciate the 600-bottle “wine wall” – but that’s just a portion of the collection, which actually numbers 20,000 bottles! The service from the staff and sommelier here is top notch.
Delicious take-out: Next to the Silver Circle Ice Rink is CP Burger, a casual counter restaurant offering not only great burgers (including chicken, tuna, and falafel), but also the most delicious kale and Parmesan salad.
Late night out: Fill up on Mexican favorites at underground Su Casa restaurant, then take your pick of adjacent Eric’s Bar, Aspen Billiards, or the Cigar Bar. This is where you will find the late-night action on the weekends.
This list barely scratches the surface of restaurants in Aspen. Among my recommendations, I’d also add Kenichi for sushi, Gisella for Italian and Justice Snow’s for cocktails. Then there’s slopeside Ajax Tavern, beloved Pinon’s (another good “special occasion” restaurant), and upbeat Brexi Brasserie. Have fun making a culinary exploration of Aspen!