When visiting Aspen in the summer, outdoor dining is one of the best activities to indulge in! Aspen is known for its extraordinary food scene, so what’s better than basking in Aspen’s mountain ambiance over a mouthwatering meal in the sun? Below are our recommendations for summer dining for all types of visitors to Aspen. Whether you’re on a couple’s getaway looking for the best espresso martini or a family seeking delicious homestyle dining on an outdoor patio, see below for the best summer dining in Aspen:
Parc Aspen: A Farm-To-Table Local
Parc is a newcomer to the Aspen dining scene, opening in December of 2022. Located on Hyman Avenue in Downtown Aspen, Parc offers a stunning dining room and outdoor patio with delectable fine dining to match. There is a local bar menu and an extensive full dining menu offering levels to its dining options. Parc showcases its talented team through its farm-to-table style offerings. We recommend the “Mushroom & Polenta” dish and the “Colorado Hybrid Bass” for a luscious summer meal.
Pine Creek Cookhouse: The Most Magical Restaurant in Aspen
The Pine Creek Cookhouse is a magical spot for summer dining with arguably the best views at a restaurant around Aspen. It is located a 30-minute drive from Downtown Aspen, at the base of the picturesque Elk Mountains. Dine on their outdoor patio overlooking stunning Colorado scenery with the sounds of a nearby creek or in the rustic indoor dining room. They serve a set menu for lunch and dinner, and our favorites are the “Summer Cookhouse Salad” and the “Joyce Farms Crispy Poussin Chicken.”
Matsuhisa Aspen: Sushi and Cocktails in Downtown
A staple of Aspen dining, Matusuhisa is a classic summer dining option. From chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the intimate Japanese restaurant offers a seasonal outdoor dining patio overlooking Main Street. The restaurant also offers a casual upstairs dining room and an upscale dining room with sushi bar downstairs. For refreshing summer dining, we recommend “The Gardener” cocktail and the “Nobu Crispy Rice with Tuna.”
Ajax Tavern: Mountain Views and Summer Patios
At the base of Aspen Mountain lies one of Aspen’s most popular lunch spots, Ajax Tavern. For good reason! Ajax Tavern hosts a large outdoor patio with sun umbrellas, an outdoor bar, and stunning views. Enjoy happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 pm – 6 pm during summer. The picturesque location is the perfect summer spot for an Aperol spritz, oysters, and truffle fries in the warm Aspen breeze!
Clark’s Aspen: A Happy Hour for Seafood Delights
Nothing is quite as refreshing as seafood and cocktails in the summer. For one of the best happy hours in town, visit Clark’s Oyster Bay on E Hyman Ave. Daily from 3 pm- 5 pm, enjoy half-price burgers, martinis, and 50¢ off oysters all summer long. This classic Aspen restaurant has a nautical aesthetic with delicious seafood, a marble raw bar, and steaming clam chowder for those (rare) cloudy summer days.
White House Tavern: Signature Aspen Summer Dining
Located on “Restaurant Row” in Downtown Aspen is a renowned cottage housing the White House Tavern. With their signature yellow umbrellas, the outdoor patio comes alive during the summer months. The restaurant is known for its casual but delicious food, and a personal favorite is the “Crispy Chicken Sandwich” or “Smoked Trout Dip.” Head inside the cottage to see their intimate open kitchen.
Meat & Cheese: Farmhouse Staples in a Casual Setting
A local icon, Meat & Cheese, is a restaurant and farm shop known for its delicious “World Farmhouse” cooking. Open for lunch and dinner, Meat & Cheese has an extensive outdoor patio on East Hopkins Ave. Delight in a spicy table-side shaken margarita, a rotisserie chicken board, and, of course, a meat & cheese board! With different specialties daily, this restaurant is the perfect lunch spot for all visitors to Aspen this summer.
Woody Creek Tavern: A Local Treasure in the Roaring Fork
A quintessential restaurant in the Roaring Fork Valley, the Woody Creek Tavern is a fun, family-friendly option for summer dining. Known for its interior, showcasing over 40 years of local memorabilia, the restaurant is a 15-minute drive from Downtown Aspen. The Woody Creek Tavern serves a mix of Latin and American dining, so enjoy a freshly poured beer and lobster roll on their covered outdoor patio!
After reviewing our best Aspen summer dining options for 2023, we hope you have some excellent ideas for your perfect vacation! Whether you want lunch in a remote mountain cabin or a downtown favorite with gorgeous outdoor seating, Aspen has options for all. For more local recommendations, view our Ultimate Aspen Summer Itinerary or our Aspen Snowmass restaurant guide.