In ski town hierarchy, not all restaurant/bar patios are created equal. You’ve got your patios with a primo view, brewery patios, baller après patios, and patios where you can get amaze cocktails or food made with local ingredients.

Thus, where you have an outside seat in Aspen depends upon who you’re with, your bank account, and what you’re looking for. To maximize your summer playtime enjoyment, I present my top five patios in Aspen (in no particular order), for every occasion. Cheers!

Ajax Tavern

Ajax Tavern

Located at the base of the gondola and part of the Limelight’s sister property The Little Nell, this swank spot attracts everyone from tourists to celebs. The spacious patio is hopping in summer, especially at lunchtime, and no wonder, what with tasty eats, a slopeside location, and an in-your-face view of Ajax. Do yourself a favor and order a bottle from the Nell’s internationally-acclaimed “wine bible.”

Grey Lady


Credit: Nicole Barker

Since opening day last December, Grey Lady has been drawing crowds for its sustainably-sourced New England seafood and cocktails-on-tap program (in collaboration with Basalt’s Woody Creek Distillers). The new patio expands the cozy space and provides prime people-watching at the corner of buzzing S. Mill Street and the Hyman Ave. pedestrian mall.

The White House Tavern

White House Tavern

Photo via

If it’s a mellower– if still happening- outdoor vibe you want, this adorable restaurant located in a historic former home is the place. Craft brew, upscale pub food, and views of the summer slopes? Check, check, check. Bring your pooch; there’s plenty of room to tie up furry friends.

Jimmy’s Bodega

Jimmys Bodega

Photo via

This airy raw bar and mezcaleria opened last fall to great anticipation; no surprise since it’s owned by beloved Aspen restaurateur/celebrated mixologist Jimmy Yeager. The bar menu is only available in summer, so settle in for a spell and order up a BOC on BFIC’s (aka “Bucket of [pre-mixed] Cocktails on Big F——g Ice Cubes) to go with your ceviche and fish tacos.

The Red Onion

Housed in one of the most historic buildings in Aspen (on the Hyman Ave. Mall), this former saloon has been keeping things rowdy since 1892. On summer weekends, the patio packs them in.

Staying at the Limelight? Check out our LOUNGE patio during Happy Hour (daily, 3-7pm), and on Rosé Wednesdays for great deals on drinks and food.


About Laurel Miller

Laurel is a Basalt-based food and travel writer, cheese consultant and the editor of Edible Aspen magazine. When not sitting in front of her computer in her pj's, Laurel can be found enjoying the outdoors, or backpacking around the world eating street food and acquiring new and exciting tropical diseases.