The Best Restaurants In Aspen

Whether you’re here strictly for skiing or to see and be seen.
The Best Restaurants In Aspen image

photo credit: Craig Turpin

There will be caviar service. There will be magnums of champagne. And of course, there will be 11-course tasting menus. This is Aspen, baby. Sure, the reputation is glitzy, but there’s a real year-round community, along with busy arts, culture, and restaurant scenes. You can also find the best skiing in the world here (yes, we might be biased) with four mountains for the price of one—a lift ticket grants you access to Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.

It’ll take some planning (and maybe even a phone call) to get a reservation during the winter and summer high seasons. But there are still plenty of restaurants to walk into for crispy chicken sandwiches, colossal seafood towers, French Alps-style cheese fondue, and more.


photo credit: Karl Wolfgang


$$$$Perfect For:Fine DiningSpecial OccasionsDate Night
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Bosq is one of the newer (and better) dining experiences in Aspen right now. The food is fancy and delicious, the service is flawless, and this is the spot to take somebody when you’re asking them to spend eternity together—or in ski town terms, just until summer. Most of the ingredients are foraged locally and the choose-your-own-adventure tasting menus (there’s a five-course and a nine-course) are excellent. You’ll eat stuff like forest broth with black truffle gougères, lobster grilled over juniper branches with buttermilk, and a plate of buffalo with maitake mushrooms, wild rice, and onion consommé.

photo credit: courtesy of Clark's Aspen

$$$$Perfect For:Eating At The BarDate Night


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This Austin-based transplant serves some of the freshest seafood in the state from its open kitchen. You’ll want to order a little bit of everything, including daily raw bar selections, steaming sourdough loaves, lobster rolls, and piping-hot cioppino. This place is always busy, but you won’t really mind because you can have a drink by the wood-burning fireplace while staring at the giant tropical aquarium. They also do a great Happy Hour where you’ll get half-priced burgers and martinis with discounted oyster shooters as well.

Matsuhisa is definitely one of the hardest reservations in Aspen to secure, even though you can now book a table 48 hours in advance in the upstairs bar and lounge. Still, it’s worth making the effort just to be a part of the scene alone (plus the sushi is always solid). You’ll see billionaires with black cards, ski bums with trust funds, and celebrities with entourages alongside regular folks straight off the slopes having a nice night out. This restaurant is pretty much Aspen personified.

Leave it to the Austinites behind Clark’s Oyster Bar to finally open a good Tex-Mex restaurant in the mountains. Las Montanas is ideal for a post-ski lunch or dinner feast, where you should slide into a booth for some sizzling steak arrachera and achiote chicken fajitas with warm tortillas, garlic jalapeño butter, and queso fundido. If you’ve thoroughly thawed out, they have a machine cranking out frozen margaritas, but they also have more than 60 kinds of mezcal and tequila if you’re done shivering for the day.

As soon as you walk down the stairs and through velvet curtains to French Alpine Bistro, you’re suddenly in Chamonix (a.k.a. the French Aspen). This spot is dark and decked out like a European ski chalet (think: sheepskin-draped chairs, copious candles, antique chandeliers, distressed mirrors, and vintage art). The menu is just as cozy with velvety foie gras terrine, bubbling cheese fondue, and sweet and savory crêpes. Plan ahead for this one—reservations usually fill up as soon as they open, which is 60 days in advance.

Meat & Cheese recently got new owners, but don’t worry—this Aspen all-day classic cafe is still serving its signature rotisserie chicken and steak boards to share. The bossam Korean pork platter, though, with butter lettuce, kimchi, ginger scallion sauce, and white rice is mandatory for every first-timer. Don’t miss the daily taco special for lunch or their connected boutique on the way out for cured chorizo, fancy gouda, and maybe a custom gift basket or party tray.

Casa Tua is connected to a private club that has locations in Miami and Paris, but you don’t need to be a member to eat here or hang out at the back outdoor bar. Think of it like Soho House for skiers—just smaller and chicer. At this impeccably designed chalet, you’ll see plenty of people in Moncler cozying up with wooly throw pillows, browsing the coffee table books, and eating piles of antipasti and handmade pastas. And you should join them. Share an entree like the Mediterranean whole branzino or veal milanese, and don’t forget the more-than-worth-it and extremely large $30 pistachio gelato for dessert.

At the Aspen outpost of Hillstone Restaurant Group, you’ll find all of your familiar favorites from sister restaurants like Houston’s, R+D Kitchen, Honor Bar, and more. That might explain why the line outside of this miner’s cottage-turned-bistro starts before it opens for lunch every day. Get there 10 minutes before they open to secure a seat for the crispy chicken torta with swiss, tomato, and spicy slaw and some sides like fries and creamed corn for the table. You might be able to squeeze into the lively bar a little later on, but the best seats are by the central brick fireplace.

As soon as you step inside this historic Victorian-era home, you’ll realize things in here have definitely changed since the 1800s. It’s a dark and sexy steakhouse, where you should snuggle up in one of the red velvet-covered booths and feast on lobster tails, a tomahawk ribeye for two, and steak toppings like crab oscar and blue cheese bone marrow butter. Leave room on the side for Lulu’s kale salad and cubed potato pavés dripping in béarnaise. It’s a great place for a special occasion meal as long as you book ahead.

You can’t just stumble into Prospect in the Hotel Jerome looking for a quick dinner—this is a prix fixe tasting menu meal that’ll last at least two hours. But if you have the time (and budget), dinner can be something really special, with most of the meal made up of ingredients sourced exclusively from Colorado. They really pull out all the stops with dry ice reveals and plates presented over river rocks. If you have commitment issues, or the whole thing just sounds a bit over the top, you can duck into J-Bar, the hotel’s sister restaurant. That’s where Hunter S. Thompson used to hang out for a burger and an Aspen Crud cocktail-meets-milkshake.

PARC Aspen opened in late 2022, and it’s already a go-to special occasion dinner spot and place with a lively bar scene. The main dining room is full white tablecloth service where you can sift through a 1,300-bottle wine list and eat elk carpaccio, coq au vin stuffed with chicken sausage, and one of our favorite salads ever with baby lettuce, goat cheese, pear, and almond brittle. This spot is best for a romantic date night or dinner with the parents, not just because they’ll have fresh flower centerpieces daily, which your mom will comment on, but because the room is lit by candlelight and all the food is top-notch.

Mawa’s Kitchen is a short drive from downtown Aspen and across the street from the airport. So it comes particularly in handy if you just found your flight got delayed and you’re already in the area. Order some vegetable maffe over jasmine rice or the seriously spicy jerk salmon with plantain and citrus salsa. They also serve brunch on the weekend and make a great takeout lunch or dinner if you’re exhausted from a day on the mountain. Their sister spots, The Crepe Shack and Mawita, are also worth checking out.

Hickory House is a low-key place that attracts everyone—you’ll likely see hardhats next to Hermès bags. Everybody is here to fuel up for the ski day with things off the all-day breakfast menu, most of which require a seven-napkin situation. Go for the slow-smoked baby back ribs with your eggs, any of the four mac and cheese options, and a Bloody Mary with a tri-rack of those ribs that you can (and should) add on for $3.

Come to Element 47 when you’re ready to splurge on a tasting menu and are ready to ball out on caviar service and truffles shaved tableside. You’ll get dishes like handmade sourdough rigatoni with uni and lobster and then get to choose one of six wagyu cuts accompanied by a rich steak sauce. You should also make time for Ajax Tavern, which is also at The Little Nell hotel and has double cheeseburgers, truffle fries, and a fun après-ski scene.

Spring Cafe Aspen is a buzzy breakfast, brunch, and late lunch spot and is also the best (and only) vegan- and gluten-free-friendly option in town. You’re hit with the sound of Vitamixes blasting fruits and vegetables as soon as you walk in, and the line to order at the counter is basically an athleisure fashion show. We’ve recently been loving the comforting ginger tofu phở bowl and sweet potato gnocchi with roasted vegetables, romesco sauce, and goat cheese.

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