The Best Après-Ski in Aspen, Colorado

Jan 11, 2016
Outside
Outside Magazine
on-mountain

Aspen hosts big bands and award-winning sushi chefs alongside a few cheaper establishments and great ski-in, ski-out options.    Photo: Daniel Bayer/Aspen

Sure, Aspen was founded for silver mining in the late 1800s, but you could argue that the town was really founded for post-ski partying. The powder stashes on Aspen Mountain and its three sister properties hold their own against any mountains in this country, but nobody does après-ski better. 

With Your Boots Still On: 39 Degrees

39-degrees-apres.jpg
  Photo: 39 Degrees

You gotta love a ski in/ski out bar at the bottom of the slopes with a hot tub, heated pool, and a DJ to drive the party. Sky Hotel’s 39 Degrees Lounge sets the standard in Aspen—and the rest of the country, for that matter. We suggest skiing early in the morning, and then showing up for lunch and staying put through happy hour.

Cheap Eats: Big Wrap

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  Photo: Dean Weiler

Aspen isn’t known for cheap food, but Big Wrap is a notable exception. With hearty, inventive wraps (grilled tofu, peanut sauce, and jasmine rice) for about $8, this is easily the best lunch deal in town. With only a few seats, Big Wrap is basically takeout only, but it’s located at the base of the gondola, so that’s not a problem. Show up on Thursdays for the Thanksgiving wrap: turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Best Restaurant in Town: Matsuhisa 

To call this a sushi restaurant does it a disservice. Yes, you can get a California roll, but world-famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa has invented his own style of sashimi that’s finely sliced and dressed with seasonings like garlic and ginger. The joint even has its own brand of sake, brewed specifically for the restaurant by Hokusetsu Sake Brewery in Japan.

Up All Night: Belly Up 

The Belly Up is a contradiction: It’s a tiny music venue, maxing out at 450, but it pulls some of the best talent touring today. The National, Snoop Dogg, Ben Harper—everyone plays Belly Up, giving you a chance to see some of your heroes in a venue not much bigger than your living room. No big band in town? Local DJs spin till 2 a.m.

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