When decisions need to be made, but food quality can’t be sacrificed, there are a number of go-to spots in Aspen. And because most of them come with a view, everyone in the group leaves with a smile.
685 East Durant Avenue Aspen, CO 81611 (970) 920-6334 ajaxtavernaspen.com
Al fresco dining at the base of Aspen Mountain makes this the quintessential lunch spot. Colorado's sustainably raised meats fill the menu, as do fresh salad choices like the popular farro and quinoa with goat cheddar and cider vinaigrette. On the patio, people-watching is its finest as skiers and snowboarders load the gondola, and it may serve as inspiration. Otherwise, duck inside the restaurant's cozy booths and get down to business over their infamous truffle fries.
501 East Dean Street Aspen, CO 81611 (970) 205-1000 ilmulino.com/aspen
New York's popular Italian eatery opened slopeside in Aspen, bringing authentic Abruzzi fare to this alpine playground. Mozzerella di Bufalo and Seafood Salad make for great shared plates, or sample from the West 3rd Street menu, which is a compilation of favorites from the New York location. With views of the looming Aspen mountain, it's hard not to feel like everyone's accomplishing something at the top of the world.
330 East Main Street Aspen, CO 81611 (970) 920-1000 hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com/
With a nod to the town's rich mining history, Prospect just opened in the newly remodeled Hotel Jerome. Modern American cuisine from Executive Chef Rob Zack complements the hotel's historic legacy--the stories these walls could tell. The salmon or rotisserie chicken sandwich will surely get diners through the rest of the day, if they make it back to work after sampling the Aspen Crud, a boozy milkshake the miners during the 1890s.
Aspen Highlands Aspen, CO (970)9238715 http://www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/in-town-fun/dining/cloud-nine-alpine-bistro
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro
It may be tricky to access this bistro at 11,000 feet, but once there you'll never want to leave. Perched at the top of the Cloud Nine lift at Aspen Highlands, the restaurant offers stunning views of the Maroon Bells, which are easy to take in while eating raclette and strudel. After bonding over European fare and high-altitude drinks, the ski down will be a breeze.
221 East Main Street Aspen CO 81623 (970)925-5338 pyramidbistro.com
There's nothing like being surrounded by books to make someone feel more productive. On the second floor of Aspen's adored Explore Booksellers, power lunchers will find a healthy dining option in an intimate setting at Pyramid Bistro. Chef Martin Oswald emphasizes locally sourced ingredients that are nutrient-rich and organic when possible. And if you don't accomplish what you came to, one can always grab a book on the way out to help complete the task.