Meat & Cheese
319 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen
Aspen's local food scene is surprisingly vibrant, as evidenced by ventures like this relatively new restaurant/market hybrid. Started by the folks behind the locally-beloved Avalanche Cheese Company, the shop features cheese, beer, eggs, and produce from purveyors in the Roaring Fork Valley alongside a full-fledged butcher and fishmonger. The restaurant menu changes frequently to accommodate seasonal produce, but you can always count on their excellent meat, cheese, and bread boards to be a crowd-pleaser year-round.
303 E. Main St., Aspen
Sheer distance from the ocean means it's usually best to steer clear of seafood in a ski town, but not so at Nobu's cozy, if slightly unexpected, outpost in one of Main Street's historic victorians. The dressed up sushi bar is every bit as popular as its big city counterparts: On busy weekends, reservations book out as early as a month in advance. If you do manage to get a table, the menu never disappoints. It's hard to go wrong with any dish, but we're especially partial to classics like the shishito peppers, jalapeño yellowtail, and sashimi. Don't skip dessert—the mochi comes in every flavor imaginable.
Main Street Bakery & Cafe (Closed)
201 E. Main St., Aspen
The hands-down choice for great brunch in town, Main Street Bakery and Cafe is known for comfort foods like bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches, eggs benedict, and (for lunch) a warming chicken noodle soup. Behind the scenes, they also make excellent birthday cakes and other sweets. The quaint, first-come-first-serve spot can get busy on weekends: If the line looks intimidating, opt for a seat at one of the communal tables or grab a coffee and a pastry from the to-go counter. Photo: Ski Town Restaurants
620 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen
When long days of skiing leave you with an inevitable craving for Italian-style carbs, head to L'Hostaria. Chef Tiziano Gortan was raised and trained in Italy, and he knows his way around an excellent beef carpaccio and practically every classic pasta dish you can think of. His restaurant is probably the most upscale of all the Italian places in town, so it's a nice option for a special occasion. That said, it's just a few blocks from the gondola, making it an easy, walkable pick from most hotels.
205 S. Mill St. #2, Aspen
Jimmy's is an Aspen institution at this point—one of those places where the ambience and the company are really more important than the food itself. That said, the place is hardly short on great meals: Locals love the crabcakes, the Mad Dog ranch salad, and the shareable mac 'n cheese. Plus, the margaritas are great (Jimmy also has a tequila spot in town). As for the ambience, you'll find everyone from art collectors to ancient ski instructors bellied up to the bar, plus signatures on the walls from other Jimmy's who have come for dinner over the years. Also good to know: The vibe here is exceptionally friendly to the kiddos.
305 S. Mill St., Aspen
Lobster Rolls, Seafood Stew, and Dark N’ Stormy’s are popular favorites at this New England-inspired bar and restaurant (they also have locations in New York and on Nantucket). Seafood is flown in fresh daily, and with the notable exception of Nobu it's one of the only restaurants in town with a menu that exclusively focuses on the sea. It's a lovely change from the steak and red wine that typically dominates mountain menus.
400 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen
Walking into Creperie feels a bit like tucking into a cozy West Village cafe; it's primarily candle-lit, with rustic barn wood tables and white, blue-striped napkins. The menu here is all about fondues, both of the meat and cheese variety. If you can carve out some space in your stomach after the gluttonous appetizers, order a bottle of Grüner and a dramatically presented raclette for the full experience.
Campo de Fiore
205 S. Mill St., Aspen
This Italian restaurant, which also has a Vail location, is a bona fide Aspen classic, best for jovial family dinners. Chef Giuseppe Garofalo—who began his career as a teenager at a local eatery in his hometown village of Torre del Greco, Italy—has been leading Campo's kitchen since 1999. The restaurant is located right below the Cache Cache steakhouse in the Mill Street Plaza courtyard—making it another good spot for al fresco dining in the warmer months.
403 S. Galena St., Aspen
Casa Tua, which also has a restaurant/hotel outpost in Miami Beach, serves upscale Northern Italian fare—think burrata with organic tomatoes, tuna tartare, specialty risottos, grilled branzino, biscotti, and gelato. From the outside, Casa Tua resembles a charming ski lodge or mountain home, particularly when it's lit up at night. And the communal vibe extends to the inside, with a number of great group tables, including the 24-seat "Friends' Table," and a low-key, dimly lit vibe. Casa Tua's private club sits atop the restaurant—members have access to the lounge space as well as a number of other perks.
205 S. Mill St., Aspen
Cache Cache is an old-school steakhouse that's proven to be a mainstay in Aspen: The restaurant opened back in 1987. The kitchen—under the lead of Chef Chris Lanter, who brings a French culinary background, and Chef Nathan King—focuses on using local ingredients, in fact, Cache Cache invested in local-ish Dog Patch Farm, which is a couple hours away from Aspen, in Paonia. For non-red-meat eaters, there are still plenty of options on the menu: rotisserie chicken, a freaky good mac-and-cheese, excellent salads, mussels, and more. Also take note: the outdoor patio is a nice spot to enjoy a bottle of wine from the expansive wine menu—we haven't counted, but we hear it's 100+ pages long.
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