Everyone knows that “girls’ weekend” is code for mucho eating and drinking, and it’s a good idea to have a healthy option in your back pocket. Enter Spring Café’s (119 S. Spring St., 970-429-8406, springcafeaspen.com) shredded superfood salad (kale, red cabbage, carrots, fennel, and avocado with sunflower seeds and parsley dressing) and a tall green juice.
Less detox and more fun is a round of Mediterraneo Spritzes at Wild Fig (315 E. Hyman Ave., 970-925-5160, thewildfig.com). The Spanish- and Italian-inspired restaurant tops its house-made blood orangecello with soda water, Cava, and orange for a refreshing take on the Aperol spritz. Add a pear-and-endive salad for good measure. While sipping your spritzes, download Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop’s (319 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-710-7120, meatcheese.avalancheaspen.com) No Wait app. This will lessen the time you’ll stand in line for the restaurant’s pâté board, a decadent spread of silky smooth chicken liver pâté, mustard, cornichons, brandied cherries, and crusty slices of levain. On your way out, make a note to return to Hooch (301 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-710-7275, hooch.avalancheaspen.com), Meat & Cheese’s moody subterranean cocktail lounge, for frosé-inspired Pretty in Pinks.
At Bosq (312 S. Mill St., 970-710-7299, bosqaspen.com), take in the décor and consider redecorating your dining room with a similar drop chandelier (it’s from Stone Lighting). Chef C. Barclay Dodge’s menu changes on a whim, but if you see the sweet-and-sour crispy eggplant, get it. Ditto the seasonal fish with of-the-moment garnishes.
Ride to Eat
Good food is a powerful motivator, especially when it waits at the end of a long (or, let’s face it, short) bike ride. For those who want to pedal their way to the table, we recommend these three routes.
Nab one of Aspen’s WE-cycle bikes (the first 30 minutes are free, with each additional minute costing 50 cents, we-cycle.org) and make your way to Plato’s Restaurant (845 Meadows Road, 970-544-7814, platosaspen.com) at the Aspen Meadows Resort. Along the way, you’ll wind through the historic West End past some of Aspen’s most beautiful Victorians. Park your bike at the docking station, admire the Bauhaus architecture and the newly finished Walter Isaacson Center, and refuel on seasonally-inspired items—beet tartare, Colorado lamb—from Plato's new three-course prix fixe menu.
Round-trip mileage from Wagner Park: 3.2
The route from Aspen to Snowmass is almost all uphill, but it’s worth the effort when Slow Groovin’ BBQ (67 Elbert Lane, Snowmass, 970-429-4761, slowgroovinbbq.com) is the destination. Put your head down, pedal hard, and envision the cold beer and platter of Hillbilly Nachos (piled high with pulled pork, cheddar, tomato, corn, barbecue sauce, and ranch) that await. Sit on the patio and watch the pit master at work.
Round-trip mileage from Wagner Park: 23.8
In the summer, Castle Creek Road is populated by cyclists heading up the picturesque valley to the Pine Creek Cookhouse (12500 Castle Creek Rd., 970-925-1044, pinecreekcookhouse.com) The iconic restaurant, located next to the ghost town of Ashcroft, serves hungry hikers and cyclists in search of high-end eats. The Colorado-inspired menu (think game and trout) has one noteworthy departure: Nepalese dumplings called momos. Don’t skip them.
Round-trip mileage from Wagner Park: 28.2