If one were to think of Aspen cafès prior to visiting, images of people sipping coffee with one pinky finger raised may come to mind, but what they are not also envisioning is who those people are conversing with, which quite often are men and women with their ski/snowboard and AT boots on, getting their adrenaline going before they head off to slopes. When in Aspen one must step in to get the real story. And that’s what we over here at ARL do. We step in and get the story.
Below we have listed a few of the coffee joints where we like to hang, but please know that this list could be far more extensive if you, our readers, submitted to us your input in a creative writing style to [email protected] This is your platform. Take advantage of it.
Located close to The Gondola Plaza Jour de Fete is a welcoming and cozy place to sit in the mornings and watch the regulars as they stop by to stuff a famous breakfast burrito or chocolate Eclair into their pack before heading out to the mountains.
In the winter many a skier will zip down to Jour de Fete for lunch with Olivier, rather than spend their hard earned dollars at the Sundeck. Olivier offers a variety of grains, fish, meats and vegetables so you can create your own plate, or make your own sandwich. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Early Dinner. 970-925-5055. 710 East Durant Ave in Aspen (Near City Market).
Hours: 7:00am to 5:00pm daily
Looks like Gorsuch has the Monopoly on real estate in the Little Nell and the North of Nell buildingd (they took over the Starbucks space) – a place where Ski Patrollers and Instructors go for an Après coffee … or beer, while others shop the Gorsuch Ski Accessories; helmets, goggles, gloves, hats and long underwear, or wait for their custom ski boots to be fitted.
So go slip into a Sheepskin covered chair and drool over their hiker boots, while sipping coffee, or Champagne with a wildly diverse mix of locals and guests.
If you see one of our beloved Aspen Snowmass Ski Company Patrollers or Instructors while you are in there, be sure to buy them a drink, it will only lead to great conversation, AND they deserve it! Current Hours 8am – 6pm
SO is located in the Andrea and James Gordon Café at the very top of the Shigeru Ban–designed facility. Jump in the elevator encased in glass and as you ascend the cool factor increases, as do the views of Aspen Mountain and Independence Pass, which will make you feel as though you have discovered one of Aspen’s best “city” secrets. And you have. A local’s favorite for meetings and conversations with Mary, one of the most informed and engaging long-time locals in town, SO Cafè has a limited but always fantastic menu that rotates weekly (with always a delicious kid plate replete with a S’mores bar, to get them all revved up) and the locally sourced food is outstanding, prepared by AAM culinary partners Julia and Allen Domingos—a duo well known for their dedication to quality, creativity, and service. Most importantly, they offer Colorado Craft Beers AND one of the cheapest wine glasses in town at $9 a glass. Get your lunch on and explore the exhibitions and museum store.
SO is named after a type of free-flowing Japanese brushstroke as well as an English expression of quantification and excitement.
SO SAMPLE LUNCH MENU (11:30–2:30 PM)
Hearty Vegetables & Legumes in Warm-Spiced Coconut Stew with Mango-Raita, Exotic Rice, Cashews & Pappadum
Olive Oil-Cured Tuna & Griddled Pita tossed with Greens, Fennel, Roasted Artichokes, White Beans, Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olive Vinaigrette
Herb-Brined & Roasted Pork Loin on Ciabatta with Apple Chutney, Local Cheddar, Grainy Mustard & Fennel-Walnut Slaw
Cheddar Grilled Cheese, Sliced Apple & S’mores Bar
Maple-Toasted Oats with Nuts & Seeds, Greek Yogurt, Homemade Jam & Fresh Berries
Homemade Berry Jam
Dark Chocolate & Cocoa Nib Ganache
Hotel Jerome, The Living Room
Want swanky, sophisticated, dark and cozy, and elegant? This is your place to see and be seen. A place where an Americana is over $5 BUT WORTH IT as it is purported to be the best in town. At The Living Room your paying for the ambiance, so drink up and don’t complain. Small plates and creative drinks help to add to that experience. If you are the loud raucous type, saddle up to the cool bar up front instead, meet some locals (maybe even the Sheriff) and get yourself one of the best burgers in town.
iNK! Coffee Company
A favorite coffee shop amongst Aspen locals, non-locals, athletes, ski bums and fur-clad celebs, iNK! carries “Socially Conscious” coffee.
Located across the Gondola Plaza, downstairs and offering coffee beans roasted at their facility in Denver’s Rino neighborhood.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Nothing gets you going like ink! Coffee, except our breakfast. Served all day while it lasts.
BAGELS & SPREADS
EGG BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
SELECTION OF OATMEAL
GLUTEN FREE ITEMS (one of the only places in town other than Spring Cafè)
(970) 544-0588. 520 E Durant Ave.
Hours: 6:30am – 6:00pm Daily
An intimate setting located across from the airport at the AABC (Aspen Airport Business Center) with closely set small tables, Franck Thirion French Pastry and Catering has one of the most delicious omelets and cup of coffee that you’ll get in town. Aspen has lost too many of our favorite breakfast spots but Franck Thirion still thrives. An intimate setting, sandwiches are served on fresh baked french bread. Also on the menu are salads and fine french pastries. Populated by word of mouth by the locals that live and work at the AABC (yes you will have to go past the roundabout). Catering and French Cakes available. (970) 925-3569. 111G AABC in Aspen
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-3pm
LOUIS SWISS BAKERY
If you don’t want a sit down breakfast, go to Louis Swiss Bakery. Louis Swiss not only has fresh bread, pastries (including regular, chocolate and meat and cheese croissants) AND doughnuts and cakes that are baked every morning. Louis Swiss is the local hot spot for those wanting to grab a delicious burrito and cup of coffee on their way to work. Going on a picnic, or wanting to save money while skiing on our mountains? Louis Swiss has some of the best sandwiches in town – the kind made on freshly baked bread that cause drool to slurp out and travel down one’s chin just to think about them. You also can get fresh farm eggs there on Thursdays – but you may want to call first.
Victoria’s Espresso Wine Bar & Gourmet Grazing:
All you have to do is read the philosophy statement on their website to see why you should taste their coffee,
With Australian Owners, one can find many a good looking Aussie at the Cafe enjoying a true Aussie style coffee and a Brekki. 970-920-3001. 510 East Durant, around the corner from Belly Up.