Located in the heart of Aspen, Rustique is a French bistro with well executed French dishes accompanied by French wines. It is considered one of the best French restaurants in town (definitely need to reserve), but still not too pretentious for a town like Aspen.
Owned by a Frenchman, the simple rustic Crêperie du Village serves delicious fondues, raclette and crêpes, among other dishes. It started off as a crêperie, but overtime expanded to include other French/Alpine dishes. It was a delicious, authentic experience, in an otherwise pretentious and mostly expensive town. Just beware, the open kitchen means you walk out smelling like a kitchen (fortunately, one that produces good food).
In search of a quick lunch before leaving town, we happened by Boogie’s Diner and thought it looked cute and might have some good lunch items. It was generally a disappointment. There was a wait to be seated in the diner area upstairs which is very convenient given there is a large retail apparel area on the ground floor. There was not much in the way of clothing that people over 30 would be interested in wearing! The theme is a 50s diner, with formica tables and walls filled with endless graduation pictures of geeky people from a long time ago! Needless to say, it’s a concept that doesn’t appeal to me greatly, as well as being pretty much overdone these days.
It was very hot inside because of the large skylights. When we were seated after about 10 minutes, we had a friendly server dressed kind of in 50s-style. We were served quickly and pleasantly, which at least made the whole meal from being a complete disaster. I had a turkey melt sandwich which I wasn’t terribly pleased with. It was thick with dry turkey breast and the bread fell apart after a few bites. My husband had a hamburger which he liked – can’t do much to a plain burger, I guess! The prices do not reflect the 1950s for sure… most sandwiches were close to ten dollars. The ladies' room was pretty dirty as well, something that really makes me hate a restaurant!
I guess people do like the nostalgia of the décor and the type of food on the menu, but I cannot recommend Boogie’s Diner as a great place for great food. Cheaper and better nostalgia isn’t that hard to find!
Favorite Dish: Of the two meals that we were served, my husband said his hamburger was good. Of course, he likes his burgers plain, with just onions and mustard, so I'm not sure there are many places that can mess that up!
This place is where I spent the most time off the hill. Whether stopping in for breakfast coffee and pastry, or for lunch at their outdoor tables facing the mountain; you must visit Zele's.
Zele's has two locations in Aspen. One is called Zele's Cafe which serves meals and has outside tables . The other location called Zele's New Music Cafe, is smaller and doesn't serve any meals. It's more of a music store with coffee on the side. There is a live music, as well as a D.J. who blends smooth New Age tunes through the speakers.
A great side benefit of both Zele locations is that they offer free wireless for your computer.
Favorite Dish: Their organic coffees are wonderful. They are grown without synthetic herbicides, insecticides, or fertilizers.
They also have lots of yummy sandwiches, soups and salads.
Can't wait to see the Menu for this New Restaurant. It's Motto is "good junk bad junk" I think it will be leaning towards organic with healthy options and probably unhealthy options as well. The locals in Aspen are a little apprehensive. This has been a favorite watering hole for years and we are a little worried with what big money and ego will do to the "World Famous Red Onion". As long as the prices aren't all as steep as the real estate we may welcome it into your hearts. We all want to of course because the boards on the windows for the last 2 years have us thinking that she may have given up the ghost.
Located in Ashcroft - an old ghost town 20 minutes from Aspen. In winter months you can only reach the restaurant by cross country skiing or a sleigh ride. The cabin is very cozy and the food is outstanding. It is not for the budget traveler, however, worth every penny!
Favorite Dish: The Elk Tenderloin
Wraps, Salads and smoothies to go that won't put a dent in your wallet
Favorite Dish: Too hard to settle on just one. A few of my favorites: To Thai For - grilled chicken, jasmine rice, black beans, cabbage salad and peanut sauce in a tortilla. What's up Doc - hummus, greek veggies, and yogurt sauce in a tortilla.
Sabra's popped up in the summer of 2008 in the space previously occupied by bagel bites. Definitely a sunny brighter side of life with the change.
Favorite Dish: I have only had the chance to try the Falafel so far. It was the perfect comfort food. Next I try the Hummus plate...
Some of the restaurants that have closed over the last five years: Motherlode, Red Onion (original), Blue Maize, The Golden Horn (short lived attempt at a revival), Merlin's, and La Cocina. Hopefully we don't have to add any more to the list, but you can comment any other updates.
Favorite Dish: Red Onion was the best with 10 cent chicken wings for Monday Night Football.
If you want to throw down Aspen style bring your plastic. This is not the best town to be dining on a shoestring. The restaurants should all be considered local, with the exception of a couple chains - the best part being that most staff is friendly and outgoing. There are many fine dining places to hit up: Cache Cache, Dish, Matsuhisa, Jimmy's, and many more. If you are on a tighter budget, try the menus at Hickory House, Cantina, or Little Annie's.
Favorite Dish: Dish - lobster corn dogs, Matshuhusa - yellowtail jalepeno, Jimmy's - surf and turf, Cantina - variety of ceviches.
There's no place like Woody Creek Tavern anywhere else in the world. The local ambience will be a breath of fresh air compared to the high end restaurants in Aspen. The wait staff is friendly and down to earth, not impressed by high glamour or the pretense of a typical "Aspenite". Go to Woody Creek to kick back and enjoy a variety of foods from Southwestern style cuisine to burgers, to finger licking ribs! The portions are huge here so be sure to bring an appetite. The locals say that there are several regular "celebrities" who frequent the tavern
Favorite Dish: The fire roasted chicken will fall of the bone with so much flavor that you will crave it at least once a week!
Ute City Bar and Grill is casual and laid back and the service is friendly. It is a popular lunch spot and, once you've tasted the sandwiches, its easy to see why. The panninis are recommended, but I went with the crabmelt on sun-dried tomato foccacia and it was excellent. It was served with fresh fruit and pasta salad in an apparent attempt to cater to the health conscious clientele that reside in Aspen.
Favorite Dish: Its all about the sandwiches here.
Gusto is a great Italian restaurant which caters to the non carbohydrate conscious portion of Aspen. The restaurant serves excellent seafood and pasta.
The calamari with chorizo sausage and ravioli appetizer was excellent. The calamari was tender and not chewy and the dish had a subtle blend of spices and a bit of lemon and oil. The main course was more pasta. This time, open faced ravioli with a seafood sauce and a touch of cream. This dish was less on the pasta and more on the seafood and vegetables, which works for me.
Despite Aspen's upscale reputation, this place was pretty casual. Most customers were dressed in jeans and there didn't appear to be a dress code for the evening meal.
Another place I didn't get to visit because it was closed for the off season, but I heard good things and decided to pass along the info. Ajax is a good place to go and hang out with the ski crowd at the end of the day. And the food is supposed to be pretty good as well.
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS CONTINUED.....
Here's some of our other favorite restaurants and snack places:
THE POPCORN WAGON
Inexpensive treats, crepes, dogs and more!
Located outside, on the corner of Mill St., this authentic 1913 Cretor's Special Model D popcorn wagon is a great place to stop for a snack during the day, or in between clubs at night. I've come here for at least the past 20 years, and their crepes are to die for. They also have a nice seating area outside around the wagon with an open air fireplace to keep you warm. The menu also features gyros, hot dogs, pastries, sandwiches, juice and sodas, hot cocoa and, of course, popcorn. Open 10 am until 2am
305 South Mill St, Aspen CO 81611
970 925 2718
Affordable Great Breakfast!
Yummy oatmeal pancakes, chunky roasted potatoes, and the 'Veggie Crepe' are great. The crepe consists of an egg, cheddar cheese, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, tomato and onion medley.
609 East Cooper Ave, Aspen CO 81611
Great Inexpensive Tex-Mex
Be sure to get the 'Cantina Cobb', It's a Caesar Salad with grilled chicken and pecans. They also have great margaritas and fajitas.
411 East Main St, Aspen, CO 81611
Favorite Dish: LUCCI'S
Try the Chicken Marsala, and don't forget their excellent Minestrone soup! If you eat before 6:30 you can have their famous spagetti meal for $9.99!
508 E. Cooper Ave. Aspen, CO 81611
Inexpensive American, down home cooking!
Another favorite for the past 20 years. Get the BBQ Beef, it consists of shredded beef brisket piled on a bun with Annie?s own BBQ sauce.
517 East Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
The Onion Soup Gratin?e is to die for. Expensive, but romantic with great food and ambiance!
216 South Monarch St. Aspen, CO 81611
THE MOTHER LODE
Italian With Elegant Ambiance
Victorian elegance sets this restaurant apart from the other Italian restaurants. Wonderful sauce and the Crispy Sea Bass make you mouth water!
314 East Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
970-925-7700 or 888-414-4030
THE RED ONION
For Inexpensive American With a Little History
Simple burgers, tacos and salads are what you'll find here. The bar is the focal point along with the history behind it.
420 East Cooper Ave, Aspen CO 81611