Chicken roll with spinach
Photo: agneskantaruk/Fotolia

After a day of skiing, hiking and other outdoor adventures, sitting down for a delicious lunch or dinner is a special treat.

Aspen is home to incredible restaurants serving traditional American Alpine cuisine as well as contemporary American, Latin, vegetarian, French-American, Japanese and other flavors. Many restaurants utilize locally sourced natural and organic ingredients to create tasty dishes full of flavor. Here are the best restaurants in Aspen, Colorado.

»Justice Snow's

Justice Snow's

Justice Snow’s is a hip, modern restaurant with a vintage vibe that serves contemporary American cuisine. Savor incredible dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, such as the Red Beet Risotto, Local Wagyu-Style Beef & Pork Albondigas, or the Glazed Duck Breast. Stop in for weekend brunch and try the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Handcrafted cocktails are also available from the beautiful bar, and the restaurant frequently has live music. Co-owners Michele Kiley, Marco Chingolani, and Executive Chef Jonathan Leichliter opened the joint in 2012. Justice Snow’s is located at downtown Aspen’s historic landmark Wheeler Opera House, right around the corner from the Limelight Hotel.

328 E. Hyman Ave, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-8192

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»Pyramid Bistro

Pyramid Bistro

Pyramid Bistro is a unique “nutritarian” restaurant that serves health-conscious, mostly vegetarian cuisine. A few fish and light meat dishes are also available. Your taste buds will enjoy dishes like the Indian-Spiced red lentil Sliders, Rainbow Rice Risotto, or Thai-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup.

The restaurant also offers beer, wine, fresh squeezed juices, and other specialty drinks. Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Executive (Nutritarian) Chef Martin Oswald opened this charming eatery in 2010. They coined the term nutritarian to describe a person who eats the most micronutrients per calorie. Find Pyramid Bistro on historic Main Street in downtown Aspen.

221 East Main Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-925-5338 Photo: Pyramid Bistro

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»Pine Creek Cookhouse

Pine Creek Cookhouse

Pine Creek Cookhouse is a romantic, charming and rustic restaurant that serves traditional American Alpine cuisine made from seasonal, locally sourced, responsibly-raised, natural and organic ingredients. Enjoy extraordinary dishes such as the Colorado Elk Bratwurst, Sautéed Ruby Red Rainbow Trout, or North American Buffalo Tenderloin. Vegetarian options are also available.

Executive Chef Chris Keating leads the kitchen at Pine Creek, which was established in 1971. In winter, the charming restaurant can only be accessed by horse-drawn sleigh or by an adventurous guided cross-country ski or snowshoe tour. It is located at the base of the majestic Elk Mountain Range in Castle Creek Valley.

12500 Castle Creek Road, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-925-1044

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If you are in the mood for something spicy, check out Zocalito Bistro and Rum Bar for delicious Latin cuisine. Their menus feature the unique flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico. Treat yourself to tasty dishes and tapas such as Manchego Potatoes Gratin (baked with Spanish chorizo and marinated shitakes), Crispy Pork Loin Tacos, or the Shrimp & Octopus Seafood Salad with Avocado and Cotija Cheese.

Chef Michael Beary first opened the eatery in 2004 after taking extensive travels throughout Oaxaca and learning about their traditional moles and peppers (which he also sells online). You will find Zocalito in downtown Aspen close to Wagner Park.

420 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-920-1991

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»39 Degrees Lounge

39 Degrees Lounge

39 Degrees Lounge at the Sky Hotel is a trendy bar serving New American comfort foods and signature cocktails in a location that serves as a fantastic party spot. Savor delicious creations such as the Vietnamese Crispy Chicken Wings or Korean Pork Torta. Their breakfast menu, on the other hand, boasts scrumptious treats like Short Rib Hash.

The Champagne Supernova is just one example of their extraordinary handcrafted cocktails. Chef Shawn Lawrence brings his passionate creativity to the kitchen. Enjoy breathtaking mountaintop views, soak in the hot tub, or just relax at 39 Degrees in Aspen’s posh Sky Hotel, located at the base of Aspen Mountain.

709 East Durant Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-7839

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»Spring Cafe

Spring Cafe

Spring Café is an organic, vegetarian restaurant and juice bar that strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. Enjoy inventive, plant-based dishes such as the Rise and Shine Tacos, Soba Noodle Salad, or Avocado Tempeh Reuben. Their fresh juices are as healthy as they are delicious!

Owner Sabrina Rudin opened the charming eatery in 2013 and brought in Chef Blanca Salas to develop the stellar culinary creations. Her husband Michael Rudin helped design and renovate the building to make it as green as possible. You will find their restaurant in the east end of Aspen not far from Aspen Art Museum.

119 South Spring Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-8406 Photo: Spring Cafe

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»Meat & Cheese

Meat & Cheese

Aspen’s Meat & Cheese restaurant and farm shop serves tasty farmhouse cuisine made from seasonally available, locally sourced, and sustainably raised ingredients. Stop in and try the Stacked Korean Short Ribs or Jamaican Style Goat Curry. Alternatively, you can go light and order a signature Meat & Cheese board with something from their eclectic wine list, a craft beer, or a handcrafted cocktail.

Wendy Mitchell founded Avalanche Cheese Company in 2008 and expanded it to include the Meat & Cheese restaurant and retail shop in 2014. She brought in Executive Chef David Wang to lead operations in the kitchen. Visit them in downtown Aspen’s “Restaurant Row.”

319 E. Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-710-7120

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»The White House Tavern

The White House Tavern

The White House Tavern is a favorite eatery amongst Aspen locals. It is an intimate, convivial bar that specializes in premium sandwiches. Sink your teeth into the French Dip Au Jous, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, or the Thai Steak & Noodle Salad. The White House Tavern resides in the historic AG Sheppard House, which was built in 1883 and is one of Aspen’s oldest structures.

The Tavern opened in 2013 and is operated by the Hillstone Restaurant Group. Executive Chef Sheamus Feeley can be found keeping himself busy in the restaurant’s exhibition kitchen. The White House Tavern is nestled between Wagner Park and Main Street.

302 East Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-925-1007

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J-Bar, located in Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, serves small plates, pub fare, beer, and vintage-inspired cocktails in a lively, yet casual setting. Savor incredible dishes, such as the Spicy Tuna (with crispy eggplant), Bison Patty Melt, or Slow Roasted Cauliflower. Stop in for Sunday Brunch and try the Eggs in Purgatory.

Executive Chef Rob Zack is the mastermind behind J-Bar’s culinary creations. The J-Bar has been a local favorite for over a century and, like the hotel it resides in, has a rich history that originates in the mining era. You will find the saloon on downtown Aspen’s “Restaurant Row.”

330 East Main Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 855-331-7213

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»Ajax Tavern

Ajax Tavern

Ajax Tavern serves traditional French-American tavern fare in a glamorous yet inviting setting inside the five-star Little Nell hotel. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes such as the Ajax Colorado Lamb Bolognese, Mussels Marinière, Duck Cassoulet, or something from the Seafood Bar. Don’t miss the famous Ajax truffle fries.

Wine, microbrews, and handcrafted cocktails are also available. Chef de Cuisine JD Baldridge is at the helm of the kitchen at Ajax Tavern. Enjoy the views and partake in people watching at the Tavern’s perch next to the resort’s Silver Queen Gondola.

685 East Durant Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-920-6334

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»Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Chefs Club by Food & Wine is a unique restaurant where the menu, carefully designed by up-and-coming chefs from a national list of award-winning Best New Chefs, frequently changes. Treat yourself to extraordinary dishes such as Octopus a la Plancha, Summer Squash Mezzalune, or Grilled Maple Brined Pork Chop.

Be sure to save room for a divine dessert like the Parmesan Poundcake. Current chefs in residence at Chef’s Club include Cara Stadler, Paul Qui, and Greg and Gabrielle Denton. You will find Chef’s Club by FOOD & WINE at Aspen’s five-star St. Regis hotel and resort.

315 East Dean Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-9581

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Maru is a hip and trendy eatery with a Japanese infusion menu. You can’t go wrong with amazing dishes, such as the Char Siu Lamb Ribs, Hamachi Grapefruit Sashimi, Kampachi Sushi (AmberJack), or the Stuffed Quail. Maru, whose name means “circle” in Japanese, opened in 2015.

Owners Peter Coyne (kitchen manager), restaurateur Jonathan Sundeen, and sushi chef Taylor Hale, are very hands-on and bring their passion to their new and thriving business. You will find Maru located across the street from the northeast corner of Aspen’s Wagener Park.

320 South Mill Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-8640

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»La Creperie Du Village

La Creperie Du Village

La Creperie Du Village is a fabulous Provencal-style bistro that serves French Alpine fare, and it is the town’s only fondue restaurant. Sample incredible dishes such as the Raclette, the Nirvana (Thai green chicken curry with a red pepper, eggplant, squash, fresh basil, and coconut milk), or The French Connection (a Moroccan spiced lentil crepe).

Marseille-born Raphael Derly, an avid skier, first opened the restaurant in 2011. He has brought in Chef Andreas Neufeld to head operations in the kitchen. Enjoy the charming ambiance at La Creperie Du Village, which is nestled in the heart of Aspen’s “Restaurant Row.”

400 E. Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-925-1566 Photo: La Creperie Du Village

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Matsuhisa is one of Aspen’s hottest sushi bars, where they serve incredible Japanese fusion cuisine blended with Peruvian and Argentinian ingredients. Go for the Omakase tasting menu or try other fantastic dishes like Scallops with Wasabi Pepper or Spicy Garlic Sauce, Black Cod & Miso, or Washugyu Beef Tataki.

A variety of sushi and sashimi are also available, as are sakes, wines, cocktails, and beer. Award-winning and Saitama-born celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his family privately own the restaurant, which they opened in 1997. You will find this sophisticated eatery on Main Street just across the street from Hotel Jerome.

303 E. Main St., Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-544-6628 Photo: Matsuhisa

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»Steak House No. 316

Steak House No. 316

Steak House No. 316 is a sophisticated eatery that specializes in New York-style steaks and seafood. Treat yourself to exquisitely prepared dishes such as the Lobster Oscar, Blackened Verlasso Salmon, or the 10 oz. American Kobe Flat Iron Steak. You can’t miss the Branding Iron Onion Rings!

Restaurateur owners Craig and Samantha Cordts-Pearce opened Steak HOUSE No. 316 in 2010, revamping the historic mining cabin that formerly housed Lulu Wilson’s, their previous restaurant. Steak HOUSE No. 316 is amazingly successful and has even been featured on The Cooking Channel. You will find it in the heart of downtown Aspen on East Hopkins Avenue.

316 E. Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-920-1893 Photo: Steak House No. 316

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The award-winning Piñon’s is one of Aspen’s most iconic restaurants, and it serves traditional American cuisine with local influences. Enjoy views of Aspen Mountain and the casually sophisticated atmosphere as you dine on incredible dishes such as the Sashimi Tuna Tacos appetizer, Parmesan-Crusted Veal Chop, or Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin.

Piñon’s was first established in 1988 and has been locally owned and operated since. Chef Rob Mobilian and his wife Beth are the current owners. Beth holds down the front of the house, while Chef Rob leads the kitchen. Visit them at their beautiful location across the street from the historic Hotel Jerome.

105 South Mill Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-920-2021 Photo: Pinon's

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»Aspen Over Easy

Aspen Over Easy

Aspen Over Easy is a fun breakfast joint and juice bar that is strongly committed to sustainability. You can’t go wrong with their spectacular dishes, some of which include the Banananutella Crepe, Fried Trout Sandwich, or the Hillbilly Benny (eggs benedict with smoked BBQ pork and caramelized onions).

Try a refreshing juice blend such as the Adrenaline Rush or a handcrafted cocktail. Bulgarian-born brothers Mladen and Ves Tsolov opened the eatery in 2011 with help from Aspen’s CORE sustainability program. After a night out or before a busy day of skiing, visit Aspen Overeasy, located downtown just down the street from the iconic Hotel Jerome.

304 East Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-429-8693 Photo: Aspen Over Easy

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»520 Grill

520 Grill

520 Grill serves some of the best comfort food and affordable diner fare in town. You will love their delicious eats like the Seared Ahi Tuna Sandwich, Kale & Quinoa Salad, signature Rolladillas, or the daily-changing Gringo Tacos. Vegan and gluten-free options are also available.

Long-time Aspen Chef Troy Selby owns 520 Grill, which opened in 2010. Enjoy the casual, family-friendly atmosphere at 520 Grill, located just two blocks away from the gondola. It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch on an adventure-packed day in Aspen.

520 East Cooper Avenue, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-925-9788 Photo: 520 Grill

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»Rustique Bistro

Rustique Bistro

For a taste of France, visit Rustique Bistro which serves authentic French farmhouse cuisine in an elegant setting with Provencal-style decor. Your taste buds will go wild over extraordinary dishes like the Pan-Roasted Ruby Trout, Black Mussels in White Wine with Thyme and Chili, or the Saffron and Shrimp Risotto.

They also have an impressive wine list, and the bar menu boasts delicious specials like Petite Steak Au Poivre. Owner Rob Ittner opened Rustique Bistro in 2000, and he invited Executive Chef Taylor Wolters to lead the kitchen. You’ll find this adorable eatery just down the street from Wagner Park.

216 South Monarch Street, Aspen, Colorado, Phone: 970-920-2555

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20 Must-Try Romantic Restaurants in Aspen, Colorado