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Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, après ski, or a coffee shop, Aspen's growing restaurant scene has everything you're hungry for. These are the best places to eat in Aspen.

Brad Japhe
Updated April 30, 2019

The mkgallery Classic in Aspen is at the top of every gourmand’s to-do list. But even if you’re not in town during the annual summer extravaganza, provides plenty for every palate, year-round. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a town of similar size that can compete with the abundance of flavors showcased here—more than 80 restaurants and bars serving everything from Spanish to sushi; to Chinese; craft beer to mezcal.

If you can eat or drink it, will plate or pour it. How should you make the most out of every meal? Consider these fantastic Aspen food options, sorted by time of day.

Breakfast restaurants

Poppycock’s

A local staple steps from the gondola, Poppycock’s slings one of the best breakfasts in Aspen all day—and possibly the heartiest. Specialties include an oversized breakfast burrito, made with homemade pork chili verde, and a decadent macadamia nut pancake griddled with the eatery’s own oatmeal batter.

665 E Cooper Ave, 970-925-1245

Mawa’s Kitchen Aspen

This French-inspired Aspen bistro excels at croissants, croque madames and poached eggs under hollandaise sauce. Mawa’s Benedict riffs on the classic, propping a series of proteins or vegetables atop a perfectly crisped latke base. And don’t snooze on the smoked salmon.

305 Aspen Airport Business Ctr, Suite F, 970-710-7096

Shlomo’s Deli and Grill

Shlomo’s repositions the classic Jewish deli from metropolis to mountain. Top dishes at the local Aspen favorite include Challah French Toast, white fish on a bagel, and matzo ball soup—all are dependably delicious. But you can also explore lesser known Mediterranean delicacies, too, including the wonderful shakshuka—poached eggs in a skillet under a sauce of tomato and spices.

501 E Dean St, 970-315-4055

Coffee Shops and cafés

Local Coffee House

Living up to its name, Local works exclusively with Rocky Mountain-based coffee roasters. The cozy café also promotes fair trade and sustainability on a menu that never goes north of $10 per item. You want matcha, rooibos, or turmeric in that latte, instead? Not a problem. Dairy free? A total of five cow milk substitutes are available.

614 E Cooper Ave, 970-429-4026

Paradise Bakery & Cafe

Paradise has been Aspen’s source for fresh confection for over 40 years. But their oft-overlooked hot beverages are equally praiseworthy. Espresso and chai latte are standouts, as is the house coffee—a blend of light and dark roast, well-balanced and brewed throughout the day.

320 S Galena St, 970-925-7585

Lunch restaurants

HOPS Culture

When you’re craving lunch in Aspen, this gastropub is certain to satisfy. In addition to gourmet-ified pub grub (nachos topped in wild boar, mac n’ cheese studded with applewood-smoked bacon, the sandwiches here are quite possibly the best in town. Nashvill- style hot chicken on brioche and a Cubano with braised pork and gruyère are just two of many can’t-miss menu items.

414 E Hyman Ave, 970-925-4677

Meat & Cheese

Part-restaurant, part-delicatessen, Meat & Cheese is more than its name implies. At lunchtime elaborate sandwiches are served on house-made ciabatta. But the soups and salads are equally significant. A cup of Thai coconut or a plate of arugula, snow peas, and black-eyed peas are savory ways to keep things light and easy mid-day.

319 E Hopkins Ave, 970-710-7120

White House Tavern

Take a bite out of the Honor Burger, ground in-house under melted white cheddar. Many locals consider this to be Aspen’s best burger. But if fried chicken is more to your liking, you won’t be disappointed at this American-themed eatery built out into a refurbished 19th-century miner’s cottage.

302 E Hopkins Ave, 970-925-1007

Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

Après ski

Chair 9 at The Little Nell

Aspen Mountain holds 8 chairlifts. This legendary lounge counts itself as the 9th. And for most folks that ski here, Chair 9 is as indispensable an experience as any you’ll find on the slopes. Open from early December thru early April, it’s something of a scene. The venue offers daily DJs, ‘private chair’ bottle service, and a bevy of cocktails, wines, and craft beer to unwind in fashion.

675 E Durant Ave, 970-920-6330

Mountain Social at

For a more formal après engagement, pull up a stool at Mountain Social. The backbar features a collection of top shelf spirits placed in front of a stunning, hand-painted mural. It evokes the Native American mythos of the Aspen Tree, setting a tone of wonder. Next to the bar, a jazz duo performs nightly while a roaring fire welcomes skiers in from the wild.

315 E Dean Street , 970-920-3300

Dinner restaurants

French Alpine Bistro

A rustic, dimly-lit dining den offering French fare with a side of Swiss charm. Roasted chicken under mushroom cream, escargots in brioche, seared foie gras, all sensibly paired along elegant wines in a cozy setting.

400 E Hopkins Ave, 970-925-1566

Steak House No. 316

Aspen steakhouses aren’t many. But what they lack in number they make up for in stature. This one tops the list. Prime cuts of beef, seared simply, and served alongside emboldened wines. Choose from eight options in the "butcher shop" section of menu and pair any of it with a hearty array of sides —like miso-glazed shishito peppers, or wild mushroom risotto.

316 E Hopkins Ave, 970-920-1893

Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

Matsuhisa

The best restaurant in Aspen? That’s a contentious subject, of course. But it’s hardly a question for the elated diners walking out of this basement sushi den. The well-trained staff have mastered their eponymous mentor’s classic nikkei offerings: mixed seafood ceviche, miso-glazed cod. Slices of salmon and fatty tuna that defy reason, delivering fresh ocean flavors in the middle of the mountains.

303 E Main St, 303-362-4678

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