By Lea Tucker
Aspen Snowmass is known not only for its amazing ski slopes, but also for the plenitude of art, culture, history, fine dining and of course, the town’s amazing party scene.
Après ski is a rite of passage for all skiers and often a favorite activity for some people who don’t even bother with the skiing. After enjoying a fun-filled day on the slopes at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk or Snowmass, here are the current favorite après ski scenes to hit in Aspen and Snowmass.

The 5 Best Après Ski Spots in Aspen

The 5 Best Après Ski Spots in Aspen

Ajax Tavern

There is no better place to see and be scene than the buzzy, sunny patio of the Ajax Tavern. The patio is a highlight and draws you in at the base of the iconic Aspen Mountain, just steps from the Silver Queen gondola. With an inviting bar and restaurant inside and an expansive deck and bar outside, the Tavern serves après-ski favorites including the famous Ajax Double cheeseburger and truffle fries tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh parsley and truffle essence. Established as a top spot for incoming skiers, locals, tourists and celebrities alike, this hot Tavern is also a comfortable bistro for family and friends to gather any time. Attached to the Five-Star, Five-Diamond Little Nell Hotel, which runs the management and food service – you will truly get a slice of Aspen’s après ski scene if you have a drink here. The view alone is worth the price.

Website
Open daily 11:30am–10pm
685 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
970-920-6334

The Limelight Lounge

A hotel lounge that appeals equally to guests and locals? That might sound extraordinary, but then again, there is nothing ordinary about the Limelight Hotel Aspen and its popular Lounge. Every day, from 3–6pm during the Lounge's happy hour, you are as likely to strike up a conversation with a guest from Australia as you are a local whose lived in the valley for 20 years. Chalk it up to the Lounge's appealing vibe and its menu of tempting noshes. Gather around the fireplace, listen to low-key live music (Thursday through Monday) and toast to your day on the slopes.

Website
Open daily, 3pm–10pm
355 S. Monarch St.
Aspen, CO 81611
800-433-0832

Shlomo’s

Conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain next to the Silver Queen Gondola, this favorite old haunt has been reinvented from its original location at The Little Nell circa the early 1990s. Now, a favorite hot spot for the younger set with a lively patio scene complete with comfy couches and outdoor heaters, you will often find a DJ spinning on Saturday afternoons. Known for their casual deli menu and, of course, Shlomo’s famous Matzah Ball Soup, the bright, inviting interior offers a warm place to thaw out and rejuvenate after a day on the slopes.

Website
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, après ski and dinner: 9am–11pm.
501 E. Dean St., Aspen, CO 81611
970-315-4055

Aspen Brewing Company Tap Room

The Aspen Brewing Company Tap Room was started over a decade ago by a group of University of Colorado-Boulder grads that recognized a missing component from their favorite ski town — delicious, local, handcrafted beer! Quench your thirst and try a pint of the popular Independence Pass Ale (IPA) or Aspen Blonde beer and experience a true local’s hang out. Recently relocated at the sunny corner of Hopkins and Galena streets in the heart of downtown Aspen, stroll on over to check out their fantastic new space. While the actual brewing takes place in a warehouse outside of town at the Airport Business Center, the Tap Room is the place to hang in town for après ski beers, wine and casual cuisine.

Website
Open daily 12pm–12am
121 S. Galena St., #A
Aspen, CO 81611
970-920-2739

Red Onion

Built in 1892 during the silver boom, back when Aspen was called “Silver City,” the Red Onion is Aspen’s oldest and most beloved watering hole. In the charming, turn-of-the-century original building, the Red Onion has always maintained a boisterous, festive spot for locals to gather. Saddle-up to the bar and enjoy a cold beverage, just like the miners, ranchers and skiers from days of yore have enjoyed doing since the early days.

Website
Open daily 11am–2am
420 E. Cooper Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
970-925-9955

The 5 Best Après Ski Spots in Snowmass

The 5 Best Après Ski Spots in Snowmass

Venga Venga

Panoramic views, a vibrant atmosphere, authentic cuisine and more than 75 different tequilas to choose from ... there’s no wonder why Venga Venga Cantina and Tequila Bar is such a popular destination. Located at the end of the Snowmass Village Mall, there is no better place to bask in the afternoon sun with a fresh margarita in hand and dine on authentic Mexican fare. This is the best Tex Mex food you will find in the Valley. Just off the slopes of Fanny Hill on the Snowmass Mall, this place beckons skiers to come sit on the patio, relax, have some tasty tacos, a beer or margarita. Famed, globetrotting chef-owner Richard Sandoval has a passion for the cuisine of his heritage. Embedded in his mantra “old ways, new hands” is his simple approach to cooking. By adding an innovative twist to traditional dishes, his modern Mexican-style cuisine makes Venga Venga a popular destination.

Website
Open daily 11am–9pm
105 Daly Lane
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-923-7777

Zane’s Tavern

An old school classic dive bar and pub experience at the end of the Snowmass Mall, this is truly the place to find the locals in Snowmass. A casual hang out with pool tables and unpretentious vibes — Zane’s is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the scene in Aspen. Enjoy classic bar food like tater tots, buffalo wings and small tacos, all at great prices.

Website
Open daily 11am–2am
10 Village Run Cir.
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-923-3515

New Belgium Ranger Station

New Belgium Ranger Station brings a slope-side, cozy bar and eatery to the Snowmass. Serving 12 craft beers on tap direct from the New Belgium Brewery, plus a full bar with local spirits, this small slice of heaven has everything you crave after a big day on the slopes. The Ranger Station’s delicious, savory bison chili and cheese fondue with pretzels pairs perfectly with their brews on tap. Portland’s Stumptown coffee is also served for a pre or post-slope caffeine rush. Happy hour, or as we ski town folk call it “après ski” is every day from 3pm–6pm.

Website
Open daily 11am–10pm
100 Elbert Lane
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-236-6277

Slow Groovin’ BBQ

Here at Slow Groovin' BBQ in Snowmass, you will find the best après ski deal in the valley with $2 world class ribs, $2 slow-roasted, pulled pork sliders and $3 local Roaring Fork Brewery and domestic beers. One of the only foosball, darts, and quarter pool table venues in the area, this funky joint also offers live music on Fridays and karaoke on Saturdays — this is the place to be for après ski entertainment. Enjoy their signature Smoky Old-Fashioned cocktail, made with smoked water that has been frozen.

Website
Open seasonally: December 1–April 15, Sunday–Thursday, 12pm–11pm, Friday–Saturday 12pm–12am
67 Elbert Lane
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-429-4761

Base Camp Bar and Grill

Finally, we arrive at the aptly named Base Camp. Located in Snowmass Base Village just a hop, skip and a step away from the Village Express chairlift, Base Camp Bar & Grill is a great place to finish off your ski day. With two levels of seating and an outdoor deck and patio, Base Camp is hard to beat. It’s a casual atmosphere with an outdoor and indoor bar. The American cuisine is delicious and decently portioned.

Website
73 Wood Rd.
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-923-6000

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