Food & Nightlife

A major part of the scene of Aspen is enjoying the many restaurants and bars, and the general buzz about town. If you want fine dining and sophisticated cocktail lounges, there are plenty of opportunities in Aspen. You’ll probably need to put on your finest threads to fit in whilst at these upscale establishments, but if you want to go out in “Colorado casual” gear, there are also lots of laid back eateries and pub to check out.

Aspen Restaurants Aspen restaurants are fantastic and Aspen gets a 5/5 score from us for the evening dining opportunities (quality and quantity)!

Aspen restaurants are abundant, however if you’re staying around the gondola area you could be excused for wondering where all the restaurants are. A few of the upscale hotels near the gondola have restaurants, but there is a much higher concentration of restaurants a couple of blocks to the north, particularly in Hopkins Ave.

Aspen has lots of fine dining establishments that include Italian, French, Japanese and steak restaurants, and it seems rather apt whilst in Aspen to enjoy the fabulous culinary scene. For Aspen fine dining, it’s generally recommended to make reservations for dinner, particularly for groups.

Steakhouse No. 316 (316 E. Hopkins Ave) is a very elegant and intimate restaurant. Needless to say, steaks are their specialty. They also have seafood and other treats and an extensive wine list. This is a fabulous place to go for dinner!

A trendy restaurant is Zocalito Latin Bistro, located downstairs at 420 East Hyman Avenue. Their staple eats are a range of really yummy tapas, some that are particularly spicy. They also have a range of entrees (ie mains if you need translation from American!) and you can wash down the food with margaritas. You’ll probably leave Zocalito with a big bill, but you certainly won’t leave hungry.

Despite Aspen’s reputation for glitz and glamour and fine dining restaurants, there are also plenty of Aspen restaurants that are more geared towards family friendliness and wallet friendliness. There are lots of places where you can get a pub meal, and if you want to go really casual, there’s always McDonald’s!

Little Annie’s Eating House (517 Hyman Ave) is an institution of Aspen. It’s been in operation for more than 40 years. The prices are cheap for Aspen (but moderately priced relative to some other parts of Colorado), and it’s a particularly cheerful restaurant. They have a huge range of American food including burgers, chops, steaks (such as chicken fried steak), chicken fried chicken, basic pasta, and salads.

La Cantina is a casual Mexican restaurant where you can get a cheap feed and plenty of tequila.

Aspen Nightlife and Bars Après drinking is part of the skiing tradition of Aspen Mountain. The difference between Aspen and some famous après ski spots around the world is that dancing in your ski boots doesn’t appear to be the norm. Lots of people seem to go home, have a shower, and get frocked up before they hit the après bars at about 4pm. What’s that about?!!

First pit stop is the Ajax Tavern at the base of the gondola. Sit outside on the deck and enjoy the spectator sport of the stragglers coming down the Little Nell run. And if the slopes are slick, enjoy watching the mayhem unfold on the slopes above! You can enjoy a fine wine, cocktail or beer, and plough into the cheese fondue.

Just around the corner is the very trendy 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel, the place for the scene and to be seen. Sit outside around the gas fires, or lounge on one of the couches inside and enjoy the people watching. Once the sun goes down, the party continues to kick on at 39 Degrees.

The Aspen nightlife is pretty good and caters to a variety of tastes. Some of the ritzy hotels have chic cocktails lounges or wine bars where you can enjoy a refined drink. Or Aspen has various pubs and bars where things are generally pretty lively and occasionally a little rowdy! Eric’s Bar is a particularly popular social spot.
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