Aspen is the ultimate outdoorsy destination and no matter what time of year you go or what seasonal adventure you embark on, there’s no doubt you’ll come back famished and looking for a hearty meal. There’s plenty of choice on offer in this beautiful mountainside town, but who wants to waste precious time hunting for good food when your stomachs rumbling? So, to help you out, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to spotlight our favorite gourmet haunts. Make a visit to one of these eateries and you’re guaranteed to feel satisfied and refreshed, ready for yet another day of outdoor exploration. Without further ado, here are our top picks…
Making the most of those mountain views is Eight K at The Viceroy on Snowmass Mountain. It dazzles with its 87 foot long glass bar as you dine around a fireplace. The food is self proclaimed as comfort food (well, it is chilly up here) with innovation. Try the Colorado cheese stuffed bacon burger, complete with arugula, crispy onions and their unique “whole grain dijonaise” hand-cut fries. If that doesn’t refuel you after an energetic day, we don’t know what will.
The Little Nell is home to the recently-opened Element 47 at the base of Aspen Mountain, named after the silver element in the periodic table, a nod to Aspen’s mining history. Contemporary cuisine is at the heart of this soulful restaurant, with dishes such as crab with mango and red onion and salmon with avocado and curry on offer. The center piece of the restaurant has to be the glass wine wall, signalling the presence of an award-winning wine cellar.
You don’t have to be beside the sea to enjoy good seafood. Matsuhisa on East Main Street specializes in sushi and sashimi which is some of the best we’ve ever tasted. The California Roll and Spicy Tuna classics are there but we say have a go at unagi (fresh water eel) and mirugai (jumbo clam). If that doesn’t take your fancy, the special cold dishes are exquisite, especially the asparagus with hollandaise and salmon eggs.
Steakhouse No. 316
Steakhouse No 316 delivers up phenomenal steak (sourced from a nearby ranch) and is considered to be a great option for fine dining in Aspen. There’s a choice of eight different juicy steaks and plump mussels with champagne, peppers and garlic. The options of sauces to cover your steak will make you wish you could have them all, from black truffle butter to caramelised shallot shitaki demi and blue cheese bone marrow butter. Is your mouth watering yet?
If you make your way up the Aspen Highlands Mountain – 10,740 feet up, that is – you’ll find Cloud Nine. Here you can sit back and take in the views of the Maroon Bells while you feast on a truly alpine menu (we say try the elk ragout with lingonberries). Be sure to start off with a big pot of the fondu; you’ll need it after a day out in the fresh air.