The Aspen Buzz

Where to Eat Healthy in Aspen

Are you a vegan, vegetarian or on a gluten/free diet and now you’ve found yourself in the middle of the Colorado Rockies where the only truly fresh staple is the organic beef from the ranch down the street? If meat isn’t what’s for dinner, here are a few options for the health conscious eater.

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Spring Cafe
Considering how health and fitness minded Aspenites are, it’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for a vegetarian restaurant and juice bar of this caliber to arrive. You’ve never seen more health-minded buzzwords packed into one menu than at Spring Café, where even the paint on the walls is good for you (it’s low POV, whatever that means). We’re talking cold-pressed, cruelty-free, locally sourced, low-glycemic, carbon filtered, and of course 100% organic. Just know the only meat on this menu is from a coconut (used liberally in the restaurant’s gorgeous smoothie menu) and the only burger is made from beets and other organic veggies which makes it a somewhat intense shade of purple. So If you know what spelt flour is and the idea of tempeh bacon or vegan cashew cheddar cheese excites you, then chances are Spring Café is what you’ve long been waiting for.

Located on the corner of East Hopkins and Spring Street with unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain and what has fast become one of the most popular patios in town, this airy, modern space is as open and clean as the diets of Aspen’s uber-fit, designer yoga pant-clad masses. The fresh and colorful menu features raw juices, smoothies, salads and a selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for breakfast and lunch (people flood in just before close at 5 p.m. to grab takeout for dinner, too). Finally, a place where Aspenites can enjoy eating a meal without actually having to indulge—in anything but the view. (www.springcafeaspen.com)

Pyramid Bistro
Located upstairs above Explore Booksellers in the legendary brown Victorian on the corner of Aspen and Main Streets, Pyramid Bistro prides itself on being the first Nutritarian restaurant in Aspen—that means nutrient dense foods and all the other current healthy eating buzzwords including organic and local whenever possible. In addition to a wide variety of vegetarian dishes (Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Rainbow Quinoa Stir-Fry top the list) there’s also a selection of delectable meat and fish, from the Ahi Tuna salad with pineapple chutney to the Skuna Bay Salmon served with carrot ginger sauce. With its floor to ceiling windows flooding the room with sunlight and old town Aspen charm, it’s one of the quaintest dining rooms in town. (www.pyramidbistro.com)

Peach’s Corner Café
In addition to occupying the most prime location in town, on the corner of Galena and East Hopkins, where the people watching is unparalleled, this sidewalk café also happens to offer some delectable healthy fare. Quinoa reigns with several dishes offering this gluten free whole grain including the delicious quinoa bowls (the breakfast version with the poached egg is particularly delicious), sushi rolls made with quinoa instead of rice and quinoa cakes, which are a great satisfying snack if you need to grab and go. Fresh hand pressed juice, smoothies and salads round out the options for easy, quick healthy food. (www.peachescornercafe.com)

Whole Foods
Yes, the Roaring Fork Valley finally has a Whole Foods! The whole valley turned out for the opening party of this long-awaited gourmet market in El Jebel, about 18 miles west of Aspen. It’s a bit of a drive, but if you want to stock your kitchen with healthy food, including one of the best varieties of premade meals around, it’s well worth the trip. The irony of Whole Foods is, of course, that between the fresh baked bread, amazing cheese selection, and house made pastries and cookies, it’s just as easy to walk out of there with bags full of overpriced junk food, but it really is that good. Don’t feel like driving? Call Bounce Aspen for $50 delivery. 970-274-2409. (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/roaringfork).