The local restaurant scene in Aspen has changed significantly in the past couple of years; with rent dramatically rising, many longtime local favorites have shuttered for good. There’s no need to worry that you won’t have enough variety in downtown dining choices; Aspen’s still an appealing spot for restaurant owners and investors. Several out-of-towners have also opened new eateries to replace shuttered locally-owned, popular standbys. While all the newcomers may not be exclusive to Aspen, your taste buds will be happy.
Which Aspen Restaurants Have Closed?
If you’ve been visiting Aspen for years, you may find that your favorite restaurants are gone and it’s time to find new favorite flavors. Some favorite Aspen eateries which have closed in recent years are: Boogie’s Diner, L’Hostaria, Jimmy’s Restaurant & Bar, HOPS Culture, The Chart House, Little Annie's, Cooper Street Pier, Pinions, La Cocina, Rustique, Wienerstube‚ Shlomo’s Deli, and the Main Street Bakery, to name just a few. If you were making plans to stop by while you’re in town, you’ll need to change course.
Which Aspen Restaurants are New?
If you’re eager to try something new, look no further — here are seven new Aspen restaurants for you to enjoy.
#1 — Felix Roasting Co.
Start your mornings with decadence when stopping by Felix Roasting Co. in the Hotel Jerome. While the artisanal coffee roaster and café has two locations in Manhattan, this is the first outside of the Big Apple.
You may experience sticker shock while browsing the café menu, but the flavors won’t disappoint you. Proprietary syrups and spice blends are created in-house and added to fancy mochas, chais, and milks. Specialty drinks have long lists of ingredients that have been elegantly (and often unexpectedly) blended.
Owner Matthew Moinan says, “We decided to pair beautiful coffees with a beautiful atmosphere” at the Hotel Jerome, which echoes the mining era of the 1880s as well as late Victorian style. You’ll notice a series of glass chandeliers hanging from the original tin roof as you sip your complicated, theatrical specialty drinks from your plush velvet seating.
#2 — Chica
Venezuelan-born celebrity chef Lorena Garcia (Top Chef Masters, America’s Next Great Restaurant) is heading up the kitchen at Chica, located in the old Shlomo’s space at the base of Aspen Mountain. She mixes eclectic, vibrant flavors from various Latin American, influenced by cuisine from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and more.
Miami Beach resident John Kunkel — Founder and CEO of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group — decided to add an Aspen location to his existing Las Vegas and Miami restaurants. He realized that a “culinary-driven restaurant” was sorely needed at the Little Nell Residences, and felt his Chica chain would be perfect for the space. Chica’s “sexy, high-energy brand” has created a warm and welcoming, Latin-inspired environment for diners as well as those eager for après when the DJs play.
The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch options. Diners can choose from the outside bar and patio areas, or the dim and cozy inside space — all of which provide breathtaking views of Aspen Mountain.
#3 — Casa D’Angelo Ristorante
Another Floridian has landed in Aspen at the old Piñons space, adding a Colorado location to his beachy Casa d’Angelo suite in Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Aventura, Florida. Executive Chef (and co-owner) Angelo Elia was born in Salerno, Italy and currently splits time between Southern Florida and Snowmass.
Chef Elia has focused on sharing authentic Italian, Tuscan-style meals in homestyle settings ever since he and his wife opened the first Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale in 1998. He makes everything from scratch, so his upscale Tuscan-inspired dishes ooze comfort and authenticity “with a Southern Italian accent.” Stop by and enjoy his twist on traditional homemade Tuscan classics with local ingredients, and don’t forget a glass from Elia’s extensive wine list. He does own a vineyard, after all.
#4 — Catch Steak
Los Angeles-based restauranteur Mark Birnbaum, co-owner of Catch Hospitality Group, decided Catch Steak needed an Aspen location during his visit to the valley in July of 2020. Catch Steak’s first location opened in New York in 2019, and there are currently restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Playa del Carmen, and Las Vegas. You’ll find the new restaurant in the old Scarlett’s space, which Birnbaum chose after riding the building’s elevator to a rooftop brunch during the Food & Wine Classic.
The rooftop space includes a centerpiece fireplace for après appeal. The basement dining room and private Red Room event space are available for large groups. The bar with high-top dining booths can easily transform when it’s time for the nightlife. Birnbaum is eager to capture the hearts of locals and visitors alike.
At the Aspen location, Catch Steak chefs plan to integrate local produce and made-from-scratch sauces and marinades into menu specials such as tableside wagyu beef and wild bluefin tuna tartare with carta de musica chips.
#5 — Dante Aspen at Chefs Club
New York City-based bar Dante (named the World's Best Bar in 2019) has arrived at Aspen's Chefs Club at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. Owners Linden Pride and his wife, Nathalie Hudson, split time between New York and Aspen; in 2015, they purchased the original Caffe Dante (which opened in Greenwich Village in 1915) and began the journey to rank as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars.
Open seasonally, Dantel offers small plates on theirMorning Revival and All-Day menus alongside creative signature cocktails such as the raspberry bellini, shakerato, and breakfast martini. Fresh, seasonal ingredients will allow for simple, healthy, produce-driven dishes, such as carciofi fritti, battuta di manzo, and sogliola.
#6 — Aspen Sports Bistro
Jason Bryson hails from Kansas City, although he’s decided to settle down in Aspen. As General Manager of Aspen Sports Bistro, he’s brought his Kansas City BBQ flare to the former HOPS Culture space. He aims to keep the space laid-back and charming (note the beer tap handles lining the ceiling) to fill that current void downtown. You’ll find numerous HDTV's where all the games are played
The bistro menu includes sports-lovers favorites like calamari and wings, as well as plenty of steaks and sandwiches, all of which can be paired with one of over 100 beers (or a cocktail). There’s also a menu of kids’ favorites (called the “Little Hikers Menu”) with familiar items such as burgers and chicken tenders.
#7 — Rooftop Café & Slippery Slope
While a café on the roof isn’t new to the Aspen Art Museum, they’ve appointed a new culinary team for the renamed Rooftop Café, and they’ve also debuted a functional sculpture that doubles as a rooftop après-ski bar (The Slippery Slope). Chef Brian Banister is in charge of the new menu, collaborating with food and beverage director Alex Fonseca.
The new Rooftop Café menu focused on sustainability, plant-based cuisine, and supporting local farms and community partners. The menu will evolve throughout the year.
Aspen Restaurant Reservations
We invite our Alpine Property guests to get to know our knowledgeable concierge, who is happy to assist with restaurant reservations and additional recommendations during your stay. If you’re still deciding where to stay while you’re in town, reach out to our team and we’ll help you find the perfect Aspen vacation rental.