Aspen is renowned as an alpine retreat for foodies and culinary buffs. The charming mining town turned ski town is home to the annual Food and Wine Classic and home to many longstanding establishments, like Matsuhisa, Cache Cache, Jimmy's, L'hostaria, Campo di' Fiori, Kenichi and The Little Nell's Ajax Tavern and Element 47. These don't-miss Aspen restaurants provide dining enthusiasts with cuisine options ranging from Asian-fusion to fresh traditional Italian, to big city gourmet plates to high-end French and American bistro comfort food. The options sway towards high-end palates and prices, but with more than 100 restaurants in Aspen, there's plenty of affordable and family-friendly establishments, too.
If you're looking for a convenient place to grab lunch while skiing on Aspen Mountain, Ajax Tavern located adjacent to the resort's Silver Queen Gondola, offers the whole family gourmet options like burgers, truffle fries, pate, salads, soups and oysters, and a great wine list. On a sunny day there's nothing like sitting out on the patio and watching the skiers make their way down to the Gondola Plaza.
If you're looking for some Japanese or Asian-fusion cuisine, Aspen offers several choice options. Head to hip Kenichi, on Hopkins Ave, for great atmosphere and tasty Asian-inspired cocktails. For some world-renowned Asian dining, head to Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurant, Matsuhisa, which is housed in an original mining-era Victorian on Main Street. Matsuhisa is not only one of Aspen's highest quality restaurants, but it's the place to go for celebrity sightings.
If you're looking for a laid-back vibe and gourmet comfort food, saddle up to one of the bar tables at Jimmy's, located on Hopkins. Here you can enjoy Jimmy's Mac, which has jalapeños and bacon, as well as American bistro classics like burgers, salads, Tex-Mex and much more. Jimmy's is also a great place to go if you'd like to segue into Aspen nightlife, as the bar area becomes a evening hotspot for locals and visitors, alike.
For a fresh pasta dish that will fuel you up for the next day's activities, head to L'hostaria, on Hyman Avenue, or Campo di'Fiori, on Hopkins. For Aspen's finest French dining a reservation at Cache Cache, also on Hopkins, is a must. The atmosphere is luxe, the service outstanding and the wine list unforgettable.
For great eats with a side of stunning mountain vistas head to Aspen Mountain’s Sun Deck. Located at the top of the resort's Silver Queen Gondola, the Sun Deck offers incredible views of the adjacent Highland Bowl and surrounding Elk Mountains. The lodge features gourmet cafeteria-style food, including fresh-made pizza, soups, salads and exhibition-style stir-fry.
However, a day of skiing on Aspen Mountain wouldn't be complete without lunch or breakfast at Bonnie's. Located just above Chair 3, Bonnie's is an Aspen Mountain institution. The restaurant has enjoyed a multi-generational reputation as a laid-back, friendly spot to enjoy fresh, homemade meals, including local favorites like the oatmeal pancakes, apple strudel, white bean soup and homemade pizza crust.
If you're skiing on Aspen Highlands a reservation for lunch at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro is in high order. Cloud Nine's patio sits just beneath stunning Pyramid Peak and easily boasts one of Aspen Snowmass' most incredible views. On a sunny spring day Cloud Nine's patio is quite lively. The champagne is flowing freely and the tunes are bumping. If you're looking for more interested in the food than an on-mountain apres-ski scene, Cloud Nine's elk stroganoff and fondue are incredible.