Dining & Nightlife in Aspen, Colorado

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Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Dining & Nightlife    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: Dining & Nightlife in Aspen, Colorado
Page Synopsis: An overview of dining and nightlife in Aspen, Colorado.



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Apres & Nightlife



Dining in Aspen, Colorado

Over 80 Aspen Restaurants Offer Top Tastes for Every Craving and Budget

 

Aspen stands out from any other mountain town for many reasons—and culinary offerings are at the top of the list!  Whether biking, hiking, fishing, or just sitting in the sun with a good book, Aspen visitors are apt to work up an appetite. Aspen’s restaurant choices are extensive, ranging from quick, easy burritos-to-go to lively sushi bars packed with locals to elegant restaurants that impress the most discerning gourmands. And with each year, Aspen’s offerings continue to grow, with exotic new tastes popping up, constantly expanding the culinary horizons of this extraordinary mountain town. Following are a few restaurants that illustrate the range of options:

 

Search for Restaurants in Aspen.

 

Coming Soon / Just Opened

·    Umbria. Manrico Cashmere in Aspen is slated to open this authentic northern Italian trattoria upstairs from the cashmere boutique, serving up Umbrian regional cuisine and town and mountain vistas.

·     Genre. Spearheaded by Channel 16 host Vince Lahey, this new French bistro, located on Hyman Ave., is set to open its doors early December. (970.925.1260)

 

Cooking School of Aspen

·       For a unique dining experience, check out the Chef’s Table at The Cooking School of Aspen. Part dining, part education and part theatre, the evenings incorporate watching culinary talents from Tokyo to Tuscany to San Francisco and Aspen prepare a four-course dinner paired with wines selected by the in-house sommelier. During the day, the Cooking School offers hands-on practical classes by the world’s top culinary talent.  (www.cookingschoolofaspen.com; 970.920.1879)

 

The Finest Fare

·     Ajax Tavern. Sister restaurant to Napa’s famous Tra Vigne. Thanks to the masterful cooking of young chef Dena Marino, this eatery at the base of the gondola is a favorite among locals, visitors, and celebrities alike—for lunch or dinner, al fresco or in the cozy modern tavern. (970.920.9333)

·     Piñons. Touted as one of the finest restaurants in town, this upscale locale features a delectable menu. Elegant game dishes are complemented by jaw-dropping views of Aspen Mountain. (970.920.2021)

·     Mogador.  Chef/owner Barclay Dodge was raised in Aspen and left to train under Ferran Adria at the three-star cutting edge restaurant El Bulli.  At Mogador, Barclay specializes in new twists on old favorites with a Moroccan and Spanish influence. The 10-course Chef’s Tasting Menu is a favorite treat. (970.429.1072)

·     Cache Cache. This authentic French bistro is always bustling with locals—especially in the lively bar area. (970.925.3835)

·     Montagna. This mountain-elegant restaurant in the opulent Little Nell Hotel is the quintessential spot for a luxurious gourmet experience. Spring, summer and fall dining by the pool on the aspen-lined terrace is hard to beat. (970.920.6330)

·     Olives Aspen. The Mediterranean inspired American cuisine (in generous portions) at the Aspen branch of Todd English’s Boston establishment is in the capable hands of another young star chef, Jason Rogers. (970.920.7356)

·     The Century Room/Hotel Jerome. Under the direction of Executive Chef, Todd Slossberg, nominated in 2000 and 2001 for the James Beard Foundation Award as “Best Chef in the Southwest,” the Hotel Jerome offers contemporary American cuisine with regional influences. www.hoteljerome.com; 970.920.1000)

·     Renaissance Restaurant and Rustique Bistro are two restaurants under the direction of chef/owner Charles Dale, who has been named one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs and also nominated for a Best Chef Southwest award by the James Beard Foundation.  Renaissance presents haute rustic French cuisine while Rustique is a French-styled cozy bistro. (www.renaissancerestaurant.com; 970.925.2402)

 

Local Charm

·     Gusto Ristorante. New to the local scene, this popular new arrival serves up contemporary Italian and some great people-watching. (970.925.8222)

·     La Cocina. A cozy, affordable New Mexican restaurant, perfect for families, where owner Nick Lebby has been greeting his crowds of regulars by name for the past two decades. (970.925.9714)

·     Jimmy’s. This lodgy, upscale American restaurant specializes in steaks, fine tequilas (over 65 varieties are served), a lively local bar scene, and sexy salsa dancing on Saturday nights. (970.925.6020)

·     Woody Creek Tavern. You haven’t really been to Aspen unless you’ve been to this eclectic burger-and-Mexican food joint—look out for regulars Hunter S. Thompson, Ed Bradley, and Michael Douglas. (970.923.4585)

·     Little Annie’s. Another must-do Aspen experience, with red-and-white checked tablecloths, American fare and a kid-friendly atmosphere. (970.925.1098)

 

Sushi, Sushi, Sushi

·     Takah Sushi. This underground sushi bar and Japanese restaurant is always packed—make a reservation or belly up to the bar with the locals. (970.925.8588)

·     Kenichi. A place to see and be seen, this popular sushi den is constantly abuzz with a fun dining crowd and talented sushi chefs. (970.920.2212)

·     Matsuhisa. Many sushi connoisseurs are familiar with the name Nobu Matsuhisa, and this Main Street Aspen outpost is testament to his success. (970.544.6628)

 

Quick and Affordable

·     Johnny McGuire’s. This beloved Aspen deli has become a Colorado phenomenon, with locations around the state, a delivery car featuring a giant pickle sculpture, and monster sandwiches perfect for a picnic or a hike (if you’re willing to lug it). (970.920.9255)

·     The Big Wrap. With huge gourmet wraps, burritos, and salads, this little eatery, started and run by Babs Menendez, is kid-friendly and perfect for easy lunches. (970.544.1700)

New York Pizza. Big thin-crust slices start at $2.75, so this Big Apple-style pizzeria is hard to beat for the budget-conscious. Open late to accommodate the 2 a.m. munchies. (970.920.3088)

The Difference is Night and Day: Aspen Lights up After Dark

From Margaritas to Martinis to Sexy Salsa Dancing, Aspen Offers it All

Aspen has come a long way from its mining days, when nightlife meant swilling beers at The Red Onion with a group of miners. Or the 1950s, when Aspen’s tiny ski bum population gathered in the Golden Horn restaurant for musical entertainment. A night out on the town in twenty-first-century Aspen can mean just about anything, from top-shelf specialty martinis and fine cigars to frosty microbrews and a few games of pool to an ice cream cone with classical music on the side.  SKI and Skiing magazines continuously rank Aspen as the mountain town with the best nightlife in the U.S. 

Sophisticated Swilling Spots

·     39 Degrees. Aspen’s newest hotspot, in the hip Sky Hotel, features a pool bar, deco meets mountain décor by an award-winning set designer, outdoor firepits for imbibing al fresco on cool summer nights, and tasty custom cocktails. (970.925.6760)

·     Whiskey Rocks. Nestled in The St. Regis Aspen hotel, this sophisticated but relaxed lounge has one of Aspen’s sleekest settings, with large leather couches and chairs, hundreds of red and white votives for a sexy glow, and outdoor fire pits for socializing under the stars. (970.544.2485)

·     Eric’s and The Cigar Bar. This nightlife complex features a billiard room, Eric’s (a lively Aspen social center with indoor and outdoor areas), and The Cigar Bar (a small smoking lounge with deep sofas and sexy lighting). (970.920.6707)

·     Elevation. After dinner, the bar of this restaurant becomes a hip, urban-feeling late-night hub with techno music and an international crowd. (970.544.5166)

·     Jimmy’s. An American restaurant and bar, the swank dinner crowd hits the dance floor to work off desert on Saturday night—Jimmy’s signature Salsa Night. With one of the largest tequila menus in the country (over 65), Jimmy’s features a lively local crowd. (970.925.6020)

·     Mogador. This chic restaurant, led by chef-owner Barclay Dodge, turns into a world beat soiree every weekend, with its late-night Friday dance parties featuring popular local deejays. (970.429.1072)

 Cool and Casual

·     Shooters. The place to catch Aspen’s rowdy young party crowd dancing and playing pool, especially on Tuesday—Disco Night. (970. 925.4567) 

·     The Grottos. This cozy, Bohemian locals’ haven has live music by local and national bands almost every night. (970.925.3775)

·     Double Diamond. Big enough for a crowd but small enough to see the band up close, the Double Diamond draws major national touring acts year-round. (970.920.6905)

·     The J-Bar. A hangout for more than a century, this classic bar in the Hotel Jerome has Victorian decor and a pressed-tin ceiling, plus the hottest Monday Night Football gathering around. (970.920.1000)

·     The Red Onion. Established in 1892, “The Onion,” was the first bar ever opened in town, offering fantastic drink specials, historic charm, and tasty margaritas. (970.925.9043)

 Something Completely Different

·     Crystal Palace Theatre & Restaurant. Who said a taste of Broadway can’t be found in the mountains? Celebrating more than 45 years in Aspen, this local theatre and restaurant features a wealth of talent and a tantalizing menu. Guests are treated to a multi-course dinner, after which the servers surprisingly turn performers and take the stage. Owner Mead Metcalf can be found at the piano bench, and has been Crystal Palace’s gracious host since 1957. The theatre troupe is legendary for its satire and wit, and political humor is always on the night’s menu. (www.cpalace.net; 970.925.1455)

 Streetsmart Surprises

·     Paradise Bakery. Throughout the summer, crowds gather around this sweet spot nightly to hear impromptu concerts by Aspen Music Festival students, while sampling homemade ice cream or the best chocolate chip cookies in town. (970.925.7585)

·     The Popcorn Wagon. It’s almost never too late for a bite—or a crowd—at this antique popcorn wagon, serving crepes, hot dogs, and of course, popcorn. A favorite meeting spot for teens. (970.925.2718)


Apres & Nightlife


Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Dining & Nightlife    [ bookmark this page ]

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