Aspen Apres Ski: Where to Hang Out After Skiing
For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘apres ski’ means “after ski or after skiing,” and comes from a French term derived in the 1950s. Today, it has grown to include ideas such as social activity and nightlife. It has grown so much that many apres ski locations are even family-friendly, ensuring all ages benefit from the festivities. If visiting Colorado soon, here are some Aspen apres ski spots where guests refuel, relax and have fun.
Aspen Apres Ski Restaurants and Activities for Visitors
Ajax Tavern is one of the most popular places for Aspen apres ski activities. The restaurant offers a casual fine-dining experience plus an outdoor patio that overlooks the mountain and lift. Visitors may also enjoy outdoor movies and live music.
At Ajax Tavern, find food perfect for sharing or indulging. Start with the Ajax truffle fries or house salad. Then choose from burgers, seafood, sandwiches, steak and other options. Many items cater to gluten-free and vegetarian diets as well. Guests also enjoy the tavern’s cocktails, or try a local brew such as New Belgium Mountain Time Lager from Fort Collins. Ajax also has an extensive wine list.
The Red Onion
This beloved hangout offers classic Aspen apres ski style. In fact, The Red Onion was established in 1892, ranking it among the oldest restaurants and bars in Aspen. While much has been renovated throughout the years, the restaurant still features its original bar room.
Appetizers include wings, sliders and soup. For the main course, try mountain trout, halibut, lamb, steak or portobellos. For something different, burgers, sandwiches, tacos and hot dogs will satisfy. Red Onion’s tacos are another popular option with chicken or steak and chipotle aioli.
Highlands Ale House
Its ski-in, ski-out location at the base of Aspen Highlands makes Highlands Ale House a hot spot. For more than 50 years, the restaurant has provided a place for guests to relax and enjoy local grub.
After skiing, enjoy truffle fries, chicken tenders or cheese sticks. Then select from Colorado-sourced burgers, sandwiches, salads, bowls and tacos. Highlands Ale House also serves a selection of specialty pizzas such as moment of meat, steep n deep supreme and veggie only. The menu changes seasonally, so it may be different each time. Those enjoy adult apres ski activities also find dozens of beers, 70-plus whiskys and a large wine list.
Craving some comfort? Head to Hops Culture. This spot has welcomed skiers to downtown Aspen for home-style favorites and Colorado craft beer. However, there are plenty of international beers, spirits and non-alcoholic options.
Share something delicious with loved ones, including hummus or pretzel bites. Handheld options feature burgers, hot chicken, sloppy boar, falafel and wraps. For something hearty, try chicken and waffles, tacos, or bacon mac and cheese. Beverages range from hand-picked local brews to 200-plus bottles and beers, and seasonal cocktails.
The restaurant is located inside Limelight hotel in downtown Aspen. Limelight Lounge offers apres ski options daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with many gourmet food options and live music on weekends.
During apres ski hours, find specials on cocktails, house wines and beer. Visitors will also find deals on Caesar salads, pizza and truffle fries. Those visiting for dinner enjoy more chef-inspired options. Select from shareable dips and and salads. Larger plates include pasta, seafood and steak. Limelight Lounge also offers a year-round beverage menu with craft beer, traditional on-taps, seasonal drinks and mocktails.
Aspen Brewing Company
Aspen Brewing Company doubles as a must for local beer and a lively Aspen apres ski scene. The brewery has welcomed locals and visitors since 2008 who enjoy craft beer not found anywhere else. Each one is made in small batches, ensuring quality and seasonal freshness.
Those dining at Aspen Brewing Company, a.k.a. Aspen Tap, should start with salads, marinated olives, red pepper bruschetta and soup. After appetizers, order a sourdough pizza such as a classic cheese or Aspenite with hatch chili and sausage.
Apres Ski in Nearby Snowmass
New Belgium Ranger Station
Located in Snowmass Village, not far from Aspen, hungry skiers love visiting New Belgium Ranger Station. It’s nestled in the ski hill at Snowmass Village Mall and has won top honors as a best apres ski bar.
Kick off the meal with some deviled eggs, ranger nachos, chili or soup. Or try salads, sandwiches or festival dog, a bacon-wrapped Hebrew national with toppings. In addition, New Belgium Ranger Station offers a selection of drafts, sours, domestic brands cocktails and wine.
Venga Venga is an award-winning spot for Mexican food and apres ski fun. They serve more than 75 tequilas and mezcals, so visitors can plan an authentic experience. Plus, don’t miss the scenic views, fire pits and casual vibes.
Everyone will love sharing table-side guac and quesadillas. Other menu items include tacos, iron-skillet fajitas, enchiladas and burritos. Venga Venga also hosts a happy hour every day except Wednesdays because they are closed. During happy hour, find deals on tacos, nachos, cocktails, beer and wine.