Aspen and après are essentially interchangeable. If you're looking for a great après bar, a big party, tasty restaurant, or bottomless happy hour, Aspen has it.
Aspen consistently tops the list of best places to après in the U.S., and from our experience, that’s for good reason. Every winter, Freeskier Magazine hosts their annual ski test at Aspen, and the stories that follow are rarely about the skiing. That’s not to say that Aspen lacks world-class skiing — quite the contrary — it's just that the après scene is that good.
Check out our list of favorite après ski bars and restaurants in Aspen.
Best Cocktails: Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar
Cozy, unpretentious speakeasy vibes with top-notch cocktails
An unassuming speakeasy located near the base of Ajax, Hooch is the perfect place to pull up after a long day on the mountain. Park yourself at the granite countertop bar, or cozy up on one of the many plush chairs and couches sprinkled throughout the bar. Take comfort to the next level by ordering one of the Hooch’s famous Hot Toddies. Great vibes and quiet enough to carry on a conversation.
Address: 301 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 710-7275
Slope-side Après: Ajax Tavern
Slope-side après at its finest
We wouldn't pass up a sunny afternoon at Ajax Tavern for the world. Right at the bottom of the Ajax Gondola, you'll be hard-pressed to miss it — and you'd be foolish to deny yourself their famous truffle fries or Wagyu chili. The Tavern really is the melting pot for locals, tourists, and all those “pros” you follow on Instagram. And somehow, Champagne also always seems to be on tap...
Address: 685 E Durant Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 920-6334
Upscale: Element 47
Swanky wine bar with the largest selection in Aspen (which is saying a lot)
Nestled at the base of Ajax in the same building as the Little Nell, Element 47 offers refined ambiance and dishes like "Wagyu alpine cheesecake." Not many locals frequent this spot, but you're almost guaranteed to rub shoulders with ski industry titans. More a restaurant than a bar, and we're okay with that.
Address: 675 E Durant Ave Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 920-6330
Local Vibe: The Red Onion
Perhaps the only truly “local” place in Aspen
Aspen’s small footprint has made it tough for any establishment to stay local, with one exception: The Red Onion. Only a 3-minute walk from the base of Ajax, The Red Onion serves up classic pub fare and features an old-school brick decor complete with bullet holes and the occasional live music ensemble. Perfect if you're looking for a more easygoing crowd — just be careful when someone starts dancing on the bar...
Address: 420 East Copper Avenue, Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: (970) 925-9955
Best Summertime Spot: Aspen Brewing Company
Open floorplan brewery with great outdoor seating in the summer. Dog friendly.
Great food selection to complement the local craft brews. With a rotating selection of beers on tap and a lowkey space, this is a great spot to try a range of beers and get away from the main crowds.
Address: 121 S Galena St #A, Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 710-2461
Après-All-Day: Cloud Nine
If you don't know, now you know...
There's really no other way of putting this: Cloud Nine does everything it can so you leave the establishment on....well... cloud 9. Guaranteed to have a good time, make lots of new friends, and seriously challenge your ability to ski back to the base. Almost impossible to get inside, but absolutely worth the effort. Good luck!
Address: 133 Prospector Rd # 4109A, Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 920-3747
Cover photo courtesy of The Ski Week