9 Best Restaurants in Aspen

9 Best Restaurants in Aspen

Aspen, CO, is renowned not just for its premier ski slopes and stunning landscapes but also for its vibrant culinary scene that caters to refined palates. For those who enjoy fine dining as much as fine skiing, exploring the best restaurants in Aspen can be an adventure in itself. From cozy, rustic settings to elegant, upscale environments, Aspen offers a variety of dining experiences that reflect its unique blend of luxury and mountain charm. Here’s a guide to some of the must-visit restaurants in Aspen that showcase the best of local and international cuisine.

1. West End Social

Nestled within Aspen Meadows Resort, West End Social combines stunning 270-degree mountain views with a dining experience designed to foster conversation. The newly reimagined space offers an open, inviting atmosphere with a large outdoor deck perfect for après drinks and dining. Chef de Cuisine Rachel Saxton focuses on shareable plates ranging from Wagyu Tartare to housemade ricotta and potato gnocchi, ensuring something to please every palate. With seasonal live entertainment on the expansive patio, West End Social is a place where guests and locals can gather to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and delectable food.

2. Velvet Buck

Located in The St. Regis Aspen Resort, Velvet Buck presents an exquisite fusion of local, seasonal ingredients across multiple cuisines. Serving breakfast and dinner, this restaurant is a celebration of rustic elegance and culinary creativity. Highlights include prime ribeye, salmon, and short ribs, along with a dark chocolate lava cake that is not to be missed. The restaurant’s extensive wine list complements every meal, making Velvet Buck a stellar choice for any dining occasion in Aspen.

3. Mezzaluna

Mezzaluna stands out with its bright, modern dining room adorned with Italian art and a lively atmosphere enhanced by a marble bar and patio. Since its opening in 1987, this locally-owned restaurant has been a favorite for locals and visitors. Located just a block and a half from the gondola, Mezzaluna offers a menu that includes modern Italian cuisine alongside traditional dishes like chicken parmigiana and spaghettini Bolognese. The wood-fired pizzas, visible from the dining area, are a highlight and embody the authentic Italian flavors Mezzaluna is celebrated for.

4. White House Tavern

White House Tavern offers an intimate dining experience in a historic 19th-century miner's cottage. The menu features elevated sandwiches, burgers, and salads accompanied by craft cocktails, creating a convivial atmosphere that’s both welcoming and refined. The Gulf Coast Style Fish Sandwich and the French Dip Au Jus are standout dishes that perfectly pair with their signature cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Margarita, making White House Tavern a must-visit for those seeking a casual yet upscale dining experience.

5. Casa Tua Aspen

Casa Tua Aspen exudes a blend of rustic elegance and sophisticated comfort. This restaurant, designed by Italian architect Michele Bonan, reflects a Dolomite-meets-Alpine style with cozy, interconnecting dining rooms. The menu features sumptuous Italian cuisine using fresh, local ingredients, with dishes like Mediterranean Branzino and Chicken Cacciatore. Paired with an extensive and familiar wine list, the dining experience at Casa Tua Aspen is like enjoying a meal in a stylish, secluded home.

6. Clark’s Oyster Bar

Since its opening in 2018, Clark’s Oyster Bar has become an institution in Aspen for premium seafood. Located in the historic Little Annie’s space, Clark’s offers a variety of seafood delights, from freshly shucked oysters to lobster rolls and daily fish specials. The warm and intimate dining room features a New England coastal aesthetic with a nod to Californian classics, making it a favorite spot for après ski cocktails and leisurely, champagne-filled lunches.

7. Matsuhisa

Matsuhisa, located in a 120-year-old Victorian house on Main Street, is the first location outside Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s original Beverly Hills restaurant. Known for its Japanese seafood and tasting menus, Matsuhisa blends classical Tokyo training with international influences from Peru and Argentina. Signature dishes like Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño and Black Cod Miso highlight the innovative and exquisite flavors that make Matsuhisa a landmark dining destination in Aspen.

8. Cache Cache

Cache Cache offers an upscale French-American dining experience focusing on local ingredients and heartfelt cuisine. The chic bistro setting features a sleek bar and a warm atmosphere where dishes like Colorado Rack of Lamb and Double Cut Duroc Pork Chop showcase the region’s finest produce. With a lengthy wine list and impeccable service, Cache Cache is a culinary gem that embodies the essence of Aspen’s dining culture.

9. Betula Aspen

Betula Aspen, located in the heart of Aspen with a view of Ajax Mountain, offers a unique blend of French Pan-American cuisine. Chef Laurent Cantineaux brings his expertise to dishes crafted with French techniques, resulting in innovative and flavorful creations like grilled Scottish salmon and bison short ribs. The welcoming staff and personalized service make Betula a delightful spot for newcomers and regulars, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience.

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