Basalt is a small, mountain town hidden away in the Roaring Fork Valley and about 18 miles northwest of Alpen. Established in 1901, Basalt has transformed into a charming tourist spot. The main attractions include Crown Mountain Park and Ruedi Reservoir, but there are plenty of opportunities to bike, camp, hike, and fish while enjoying Colorado’s breathtaking landscape.
The area also has ample up-scale and mid-range restaurants serving everything from the Mediterranean, Mexican, and American to Italian and Spanish cuisines. Whether you are already visiting or planning a trip, here is a timely guide on the ten best restaurants in Basalt.
Best Restaurants in Basalt
If you want to enjoy authentic Austrian-German cuisine in the Basalt area, Wienerstube should be your first stop.
The generous portions of traditional dishes will tempt you to come back again and again to this family-friendly spot when in Colorado.
Crowd favorites include the salmon tartare, sausage plate, and Jager Schnitzel, but there’s so much more to choose from the menu.
Aside from the delicious food, patrons are treated to a lively bar with a wide selection of Austrian/German beers on tap and some of the best wines around.
There is also a lovely patio, apt for people watching and taking in the sights of this charming little town.
- Location: 351 Market St, Basalt, CO 81621
- Phone: +1 970-279-5567
Mod Thai House is a true testimony to the statement that the best things come in small packages.
This cute little restaurant tucked away from the main street and nestled in an alley in downtown Basalt is easy to miss.
But, when discovered, it truly is a surprising gem. Mod is family-owned, and the moment you bite into their traditional Thai delicacies, you’ll immediately know that their home-style food is cooked from scratch with the freshest ingredients.
Try their iced tea with boba, freshly made shrimp roll with sprinkles of mieng tuna, or papaya salad. Their cozy interior with an authentic Asian vibe and warm service is the cherry on top of the cake that makes Mod one of the best restaurants in Basalt.
- Location: 132 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621-8353
- Phone: +1 970-279-5760
After a long day of travel in Aspen and its surroundings, a check-in at Heather’s for lunch or dinner provides a much-needed respite.
This cutesy spot has a homely ambiance accompanied by heartwarming soul foods the entire family will enjoy. Signature dishes include beef empanadas, smoked salmon crostini, and seared sea salmon, to mention a few.
Their choice of beers and wines is impressive and easy on the pocket compared to neighboring restaurants. Savory pies are the highlight at Heather’s, with options such as the famous chicken pot pie, ropa vieja Cuban stew pie, and shepherd’s pie on the menu.
Whether you sit at the tapas bar, main restaurant, or patio, the waves of relaxing live music are sure to go down well with any of their gourmet dishes.
- Location: 166 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621-8305
- Phone: +1 970-927-0151
Nestled in a historic building and converted from a railroad hotel, Tempranillo is a quaint Spanish Italian family-owned restaurant. The eatery’s charm is undeniable with its spacious and heated patio that lights up in the evenings.
At Tempranillo, patrons are greeted with a mix of old and new world flair, from the décor to the food. There is an impressive and expansive selection of gourmet meals, desserts, and wines for lunch and dinner, including tostada, tapas, entrees, soups, and hand-chosen wines.
Crowd pleasers include Crème Brulee, gnocchi, pappardelle pesto, and pollo flamenco. There are plenty of well-done gluten-free options too. Tempranillo is a safe bet when you want to celebrate your special dinners or lunch with friends in style.
- Location: 165 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621-8305
- Phone: +1 970-927-3342
Free Range Kitchen is a classic mix between a homely eatery and a modern eclectic chill-out spot in downtown Basalt. The ambiance is clean and fresh, a place you would head to for a romantic dinner, brunch with friends, or a solo drink.
You can tell that the food is made from scratch using fresh ingredients, while the beer and wine selection is carefully picked to impress the wildest of palates.
Their signature salads are rave-worthy and include the likes of Western Wedge with radish, blue cheese, and a sprinkle of cowboy caviar, or the all-time favorite Summer Gazpacho, just to mention a few.
Come with the kiddos, who will enjoy smaller plates of the main dinner or lunch servings and entrees.
- Location: 22864 Two Rivers Rd, Basalt, CO 81621-9330
- Phone: +1 970-279-5199
There is a reason El Korita is always packed. The food portions are not only deliciously made but also filling for anyone who visits on a hungry stomach. The exterior and interior ambiance is welcoming, allowing you to enjoy a mix of Mexican flavors that fill the air or hang out on the patio for some cool Colorado air.
While the main dishes are worth every bite, the appetizers take the crown. Come here for their delicious fish chicharrones, can cun shrimp or fried calamari.
The ceviche and margarita at El Korita are the best in town; you will likely agree. While they emphasize the seafood, there is plenty more to savor, including house specials such as Carne Asada, Tamal and Chille Relleno, Grilled Quil, and T-Bone steak.
Finally, wash down your meal with innovative cocktails and margaritas—it will be an experience worth remembering.
- Location: 251 Harris St 218 E Valley Road, Basalt, CO 81621-8408
- Phone: +1 970-277-4500
A trip to Colorado is incomplete without a taste of the famous elk burger, and The Tipsy Trout is your best plug for one. The expansive deck overlooking the river highlights this quaint restaurant in the mountains.
Inside are pillars of exposed wooden poles and corrugated iron roofing, which adds to the cozy, light, and charming atmosphere. Their elk burger is served with sweet potato chips and a salad of choice and is a must-try.
Any fish-lover will be impressed by the wide choice of fish, which is freshly cooked and done perfectly. Equally mouthwatering non-fish alternatives include penne pest, quinoa, and kale salad, but there is much more to delight in.
Dessert options are limited but worth every last bite with fan favorites, including the hot lava cake and chocolate chip cookies, all at pocket-friendly prices.
- Location:181 Basalt Center Cir, Basalt, CO 81621-8900
- Phone: +1 970-927-9301
Nestled in the cool Midland Avenue area, Café Bernard, named after its original owner, is as homey as it gets. Its current owners, Alejandro and Anabel, run the cozy, little, brightly colored restaurant serving the best American and French homemade breakfast and brunch.
The menu might be a bit limited, but everything that is brought out to the table is made with so much love and dedication you can taste it. Try out their eggs benedicts, salmon with ratatouille, or melt-in-the-mouth lamb chops, paired with an excellent choice of beverages and wines.
Café Bernard is worth the search if you are looking for a quiet spot with the classic Coloradoan charm and mouthwatering gourmet dishes.
- Location: 200 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621-8375
- Phone: +1 970-927-4292
Ocean Seafood is one of Basalt’s newer restaurants but is already a real gem. It is an excellent option to splurge on an upscale restaurant in Aspen for that special event.
Cushioned in the Roaring Fork Valley, Ocean serves enviably brightly colored, clean, and fresh Mediterranean coastal cuisines with a focus on fish and seafood. The ambiance is mature but relaxed, high-end but unpretentious, with friendly and efficient staff who offer great recommendations on the food and drink menu.
Their range of cold starters includes heirloom tomato gazpacho, salmon crudo, and Ahi tuna, while the octopus, mixto, and halibut ceviche are the highlights of any dinner or lunch date.
At the same time, their aptly named cocktails, such as the Pacific Paloma, Main Squeeze, and Lavender Fresh, serve as the perfect accompaniment.
- Location: 241 Harris St Basalt, CO 81621
- Phone: (970) 510-5756
Scottie’s is the gem hidden in plain sight, nestled away in the industrial, less touristy part of downtown Basalt. If you are looking for good old classic American sandwiches with soda, juices, teas, or coffees, a quick dash into Scottie’s will certainly quench your craving, all without putting a dent in your pocket.
Grab their burritos, hot and cold sandwiches, French toast, and freshly baked Danish pastries for breakfast or their large subs for lunch, including the classic Tuna Melt, Reuben’s, and the Philly Cheese Steak. True to their word, they serve good food fast and deliver unbeatable servings.
- Location: 45 Duroux Ln Suite #600, Basalt, CO 81621
- Phone: +1 970-927-9432
There you have it: the ten best restaurants in Basalt! Enjoy your stay, and treat your taste buds to the world-class cuisines this little, charming town has to offer.