April 7, 2022

An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Top Places to Dine and See Around Basalt

An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Top Places to Dine and See Around Basalt

Located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers, Basalt is minutes away from Aspen. You will be delighted to learn this small mountain town, located just down-valley, has a lively blend of recreation, culture and family activities. From dining to historic walking tours to imbibing at the local distillery, the team at the Gary Feldman Group at Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty can help you navigate the many activities Basalt has to offer. Read on to discover the Gary Feldman Group’s favorite places to dine, see and experience in this quaint town. 




  • Free Range is a warm, friendly and welcoming restaurant and bar in a beautiful setting alongside the Roaring Fork River in historic downtown Basalt. It offers responsibly farmed, freshly harvested ingredients without hormones or antibiotics, that also support the local Colorado farming and ranching communities. Its boutique global wine offerings complement a wide selection of regional craft beers and specialty cocktails using artisanal spirits and house-made infusions.


Insider’s tip: You can’t go wrong ordering anything that includes pork belly!


  • Heather’s Savory Pies and Tapas Bar is a neighborhood place dedicated to homemade gourmet food and live entertainment. Known for its house made pot pies, Heather’s also boasts a menu filled with savory tapas, gorgeous soups, fresh salads and smart choices on the kids’ menu. Plus, live music nearly every night to enjoy your cocktails, craft beers and savory pies.


Insider’s tip: The Chicken Pot Pie is everyone’s favorite to eat-in or take-out.


  • Brick Pony Pub features American cuisine with vegetarian-friendly and gluten free options in its warm and inviting atmosphere. From delectable coal fired pizzas to house roasted salsa to mouthwatering sandwiches, there is something for everyone. Enjoy a new favorite, like Buffalo Meatloaf and wash it down with a cold draft or chilled wine from the bar.


Insider’s tip: This is a true local’s restaurant. Make sure to try “Filly” Cheesesteak. 


  • Tempranillo is your answer to fine dining in Basalt. The restaurant is known for its old-world Spanish dishes featuring ranch-sourced ingredients by Chef Javier Gonzalez-Bringas. It boasts the biggest gluten free menu in town with the ability to substitute rice flour in its substantial tapas menu. There is an expansive Spanish wine list, craft cocktail and beer offerings from its historic bar and a heated patio for outdoor dining.


Insider’s tip: Albondigas (Spanish meatballs) is a flavorful appetizer!


  • The Tipsy Trout offers made-from-scratch dishes with local roots in its slice of historic old-town Basalt. Notable selections like its upper choice, certified Angus burgers, the Rocky Mountain Trout or honey-smoked trout dip, will answer your craving for great pub grub. Voted the best riverside dining location in Basalt and the Roaring Fork Valley, this is your place for lunch or dinner after fishing along the Fryingpan.


Insider’s tip: Make sure to order the Fish Tacos and enjoy loving dining outside overlooking the Frying Pan River.


  • Butch’s Lobster Shack– Butch’s Lobster Shack offers fresh lobster, oysters, clams, fish, shrimp and more in the perfect outdoor dining setting. Offering the best seafood experience west of Boston, you will find a casual no-frills setting with patio seating, fresh seafood and a daily happy hour. Butch’s Lobster shack is a seasonal restaurant and operates from June until mid-September.


Insider’s tip: Go classic with a lobster roll or try the Scallops Casino.


Things to do: 


  • Woody Creek Distillers features a beautiful distillery, tasting room and retail space. Take home selections from the full line of Woody Creek Distillers spirits and branded merchandise after pulling up a chair, taking a slow sip of one of its award-winning spirits, while you get to know your neighbor up the creek.


  • TACAW: The Arts Campus at Willits presents exceptional performing arts, cultural events and thought-provoking programming for all ages. Its year-round offerings help to sustain a connected, engaged and inspired community. From the Basalt Summer Concert Series to weekly comedy and musical performances to film, there is a cultural touchstone for everyone to enjoy.


  • ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch – Pay a visit to this 113-acre farm and visitors center operated by the nonprofit Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). It offers sustainable agriculture education programs for all ages and is western Colorado’s “school” for teaching people how to grow healthy, local and sustainable food. 


  • Roaring Fork Club offers its members a life enriched by the soothing qualities of the wilderness, the pursuit of sport and the value of family. Its programming, of golf, fly fishing, hiking, biking and skiing is complemented by dining options with inspired choices for everyone.


Sight Seeing & Hiking: 


  • Arbaney Kittle Trailhead – Challenge yourself and hike (or run) up the Arbaney Kittle Trail. From the trailhead, it’s a steep climb that is just shy of two miles to the Fryingpan overlook, which has amazing views of the valley. The trail continues for 17.5 miles, although many people hike as far as they like and double back. Download the Pitkin Outdoors app for trail inspiration. This popular trail for hiking, trail running and walking, is dog friendly with the best times to visit being March through October.


  • Basalt’s historic walking tour  – Visit the Swinging Bridge and watch trout swim in the Fryingpan River, then view the charcoal kilns in Arbaney Park, which date back to the 1880s. The tour is a walk around Basalt featuring 12 informational signs describing the history of the town. Look for the bear paws on the sidewalks around town, pick up a map and start your tour at the kiosk next to the Basalt Chamber’s red caboose. 
  • Rio Grande Trail – No matter the season, walk, run or bike in the warmer months and when the snow begins to fall, cross-country ski to your heart’s content on 12 miles of groomed trail. 


  • Crown Mountain Park is a place where people of all ages can come together to enjoy the activities that turn a neighborhood into a community. With an ice rink, biking lessons, BMX tracks and race camps and fields for lacrosse, baseball and soccer, this place is an action-packed sports park combined with family-style amenities and events.



Many choose to visit – or live – here and are drawn by that close-to-Aspen proximity. With its small town feel that still offers a plethora of dining options and activities for everyone, Basalt may be calling you home. To find out more about what to see and do, how to put your home on the market or find the home you have always dreamed of in the area, call 970.948.3737, email [email protected] or visit www.garyfeldman.com.

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