The Winter X Games are fast approaching and if you’re lucky enough to be attending this year’s games you’re going to need some hot Aspen hang spots to chill out in your downtime. Who better to offer suggestions for where to kick back than Olympic silver medalist Alex Ferreira — who isn’t just familiar with the slopes because of his skill on skis, he’s a hometown hero who joined the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club at the impossibly young age of five.
Some kids join ski clubs at five, others get sent home from school for eating sponge paint. To each their own, we say!
With the games fast approaching, we asked Ferreira to share a list of his favorite lunch, dinner, bar, and après ski spots in town. Check them out if you’re headed to X Games Aspen from January 24th-27th or the next time you hit the city for some skiing.
Cloud 9 Bistro
Cloud 9 Bistro on Aspen Highlands is an experience of a lifetime. I’ve been to countless towns and cities around the world and have never come across a champagne shower party quite like this one. Everyone books reservations with plans to eat a wonderful lunch, but it turns out to be more of a champagne spraying, cash gun shooting, booty shaking extravaganza.
Point being: If you have the opportunity to experience Cloud 9 Bistro then drop everything and go!
The Big Wrap
A more relaxed lunch spot that I go to on a more daily basis is The Big Wrap. Located at the base of Ajax Babbs (the owner) has cultivated a healthy yet delicious little burrito boutique. She serves great food at a fair price. I will usually call in an order for pick up while I am skiing Ajax, grab the order and get back on the gondola and enjoy my burrito lunch in-between runs!
If you’re looking to have a fancy dinner or impress a date with fine dining then Cache Cache is the place for you. I’ve been going to Cache Cache for their exquisite dining and friendly aroma since before I can remember. Jodi and Chris (the owners) have been around for 20-plus years and have established themselves firmly in the community. Also, the wrap around ‘Blue Light’ bar is a great way to start an evening on the town.
At L’Hostaria you will find the best Italian food in Aspen, and probably anywhere outside of Italy for that matter. There’s no doubt in my mind that they serve the most quality food at the fairest price in town. The bar menu portions are a great size and a great way to have a fast family dinner and then go meet up with your friends in town!
Located in the Mall of Aspen, the owner of Ellina, Jill, is a close friend and always has the restaurant packed full to the brim. The food is spectacular and it is nice enough to take a date but, also a great place to have a casual cocktail and chat about it with the bartender.
The nightlife in Aspen is hard to beat. You have the small town people with the big city vibes at all times, creating this interesting, yet perfectly symbiotic relationship. Bootsy Bellows is the place to go if you are trying to buy a table and enjoy a real club like feel. With the music blasting and tons of people dancing it makes for a fun evening, to say the least!
The most traditional Après Ski spot that I go to is Chair 9 right at the base of Ajax. There’s nothing like getting off the slopes in all of your ski gear and sending it straight into the bar. Chair 9 brings a fun and lively party scene. The DJ’s are notorious for bringing jams from every era and mixing the youth with the senior crowd creating a vibe like no other.
Another fantastic Apres ski spot is Shlomo’s which is also not more than 20 feet from the base of the gondola. This particular crowd goes off the wall on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They serve food which is great, but everyone is strictly there for the drinks and the dance floor. No need to take off the ski boots or goggles, might as well just keep them on for the following day.