By Christine Benedetti

Bonnie's

Aspen Mountain

Bonnie's
Bonnie's

The best breakfast in Aspen might just be found above the town, near Chair 6 on Aspen Mountain. The oatmeal pancakes lure early morning skiers off the hill, along with an array of homemade pastries. But don’t be deterred by good skiing enough not to return for lunch, where the hot grill — tuna melts, Reubens and burgers — along with a salad bar and soups satisfy any eater’s cravings. Served in a cozy and intimate traditional ski-chalet setting, the ambience is as lovely as the food.
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Sundeck

Aspen Mountain

Sundeck
Sundeck

Lunch inside the Sundeck is paired with stunning Elk Mountain views from 11,212 feet. The self-serve restaurant is quick, consistent and serves a delicious assortment of wok-fired options, plentiful pizza slices and to-order grill items. A wrap-around deck and ample outdoor seating helps the enormous lodge live up to its name, and a separate indoor bar entertains skiers who call it quits early. New this year, a coffee bar will dole out fresh Lavazza and small breakfast options in the mornings before the restaurant opens.
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Merry-Go-Round

Aspen Highlands

Merry Go Round
Merry Go Round

The mid-mountain self-serve restaurant is actually housed in a structure that was an old grocery store. Remodeled several years ago, the casual dining option serves traditional burgers, soups and pizza for lunch. A full bar sits as a sidecar to the restaurant, offering more seating and some adult beverages. When it’s warm out, the patio is filled with Adirondack chairs and picnic tables for optimal sun-soaking.
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Cloud Nine

Aspen Highlands

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

This high-alpine restaurant has become infamous in recent years for its raucous, Champagne-soaked parties in the afternoon. But, go for the food as well. The menu, modeled after traditional European ski culture, features raclette, fondue and seafood platters. Opt for the noon seating to take full advantage of the gourmet eating, or settle in at 2pm for a boozy lunch that’s often accompanied by table-dancing.
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Cliffhouse

Buttermilk

Cliffhouse
Cliffhouse

Aptly named the Cliffhouse, perched above Maroon Creek Valley, the self-serve restaurant is most well-known for its Mongolian grill, where eaters can choose their own veggies, protein and sauces for the chefs to work up. A fresh juice bar and grain-filled goodies satisfy hearty hikers, many of whom ascend Tiehack on skis or foot at all times of the day. Once a month, during the full moon, the Cliffhouse opens for dinner but diners have to self-propel their way to the mountaintop.
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Ullrhof

Snowmass

Ullrhof
Ullrhof

When there’s a hankering for a mid-day milkshake, the Ullrhof has the answer. Located below the Big Burn lift, this classic American restaurant serves burgers, fries, fountain sodas and frosty ice cream drinks all with a twist of vintage flair. Perfect for kids and adults, the self-serve operation also has healthy kids’ fare, like hummus and veggies or apple slices. On days when it snows more than 8 inches, stop by between 10 and 11am for powder pancakes.
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Gwyn’s High Alpine

Snowmass

Gwyn's High Alpine
Gwyn's High Alpine

For an elegant, sit-down, white-tablecloth experience, head to Gwyn’s High Alpine, a family-owned restaurant found mid-mountain at the top of the High Alpine lift. Lunch options include everything from steak lettuce wraps, peach and prosciutto burrata and Rocky Mountain duck, along with a decadent dessert menu and wine list. The location also features a more casual option, Gwyn’s Marketplace, for those who want to grab food at a quicker pace. For early risers, Gwyn’s also serves breakfast.
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Up 4 Pizza

Snowmass

Up4Pizza
Up4Pizza

Pizza just tastes better at nearly 12,000 feet. Here, warm, doughy pies can be personalized, or opt for any of the joint’s specialty 'zas. Up 4 Pizza’s fresh-baked cookies have earned their own reputation for reason enough to stop skiing for a bit.
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Elk Camp

Snowmass

Elk Camp
Elk Camp

When Snowmass Ski Area’s largest on-mountain operation remodeled in 2014, it upped its dining game. With a focus on seasonal, organic food, the restaurant’s salad bar might be the best in the valley. Warmer food options include a rotisserie stand, panini station, soup counter and artisan breads. Plus a full bar keeps spirited skiers happy too. On Fridays, the restaurant opens for Ullr Nights, featuring live music, outdoor activities and menu specials.
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Sam’s Smokehouse

Snowmass

Sam's Smokehouse
Sam's Smokehouse

Skier and snowboarders know they are near Sam’s Smokehouse before they see it; the smell alone is enough to coax hungry riders in. Known for Texas-, Carolina- and St. Louis-style barbecue, the restaurant — atop the Village Express lift — serves smoked ribs, brisket, pork and chicken. And of course, no Southern meal is complete without mouth-watering bread pudding.
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Published on January 2018

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