Restaurants in Aspen
From local bison to gourmet burgers and high-end sushi, Aspen restaurants offer a glorious variety of cuisine to satisfy that hearty, apres-ski appetite. Just keep in mind that if you come here during the off-seasons of spring or fall, you might find some Aspen restaurants closed, or offering shorter operating hours. Warm up or just chow down at some of the best restaurants in Aspen.
Head to Montagna in Aspen for an award-winning meal. This Aspen restaurant’s chef was a finalist for the 2008 James Beard Award and lists his olive oils on the menu like other eateries list wine. He uses produce and meat from his own local (and organic) farm. While the menu regularly changes, highlights may include house-cured salumi and housemade pasta. Piñons is a longtime favorite features elegant takes on comfort food, such as pan-seared buffalo tenderloin, lobster strudel or herb-crusted local trout. Jimmy’s is a simple and unpretentious Aspen restaurant. The chef calls his comfort-food cuisine “fierce American food.” Popular dishes include the meatloaf with a Mad Dog Ranch barbecue sauce and the local rack of lamb served with basil oil and a black truffle risotto cake.
34-year-old wunderkind chef Ryan Hardy, a southwest finalist for the 2008 James Beard Awards, lists his olive oils on the menu like wine, and cooks up his delicacies with produce and meat—for instance a juicy lamb sausage with rapini and mustard—from his own nearby organic farm.
Pacifica’s menu focuses on sustainable fish and local, organic ingredients. Hawaiian sea bass with edamame and hearts of palm is a signature dish. Non-seafood offerings include braised pheasant with black truffle risotto, and Thai green coconut curry.
Sushi and contemporary Asian dishes are served at Kenichi, located in downtown Aspen. The dining room mixes the earth tones of the tables and chairs with blue accent lighting and Asian art. Rock Star booths outfitted with privacy curtains provide an intimate dining option.
Popular with skiers because of its location at the base of Aspen Mountain, Ajax Tavern is known for its mountain views and bistro fare cooked with locally raised meats and seasonal produce.
Situated in the same downtown building as long-standing Aspen favorite Elevation, Social is run by the dream team of Tommy Tollesson, Denise Walters, and Gunnar Sachs (son of legendary international playboy Gunter Sachs).
The Rustique Bistro resembles a Provençal cottage, with stucco walls and dried herbs and flowers hanging from the rafters.
A small, warm joint off the beaten path that serves pasta and brick-oven pizzas.
Matsuhisa Aspen is part of the international Nobu brand of restaurants, named for its well-known chef-proprietor, Matsuhisa Nobu. It is housed inside a former miners' cottage that has been renovated to reflect an Asian theme, with wood and bamboo accents, and Japanese artwork.
The Sundeck Restaurant serves lunch daily amid views from its location atop Aspen Mountain. The restaurant is only accessible via gondola or car, though the winding roads make the gondola a less complicated choice.