Travel Tastes

A Speakeasy and Globally Inspired Cuisine: Where to Drink and Eat in Aspen

Aspen is a foodie’s dream. Its culinary scene is vibrant, creative, indulgent and delicious. One of the newest restaurants, Meat and Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop, is quickly gaining legions of fans. I had it recommended to me by a local friend, who’s also a culinary connoisseur. I had no idea I would also discover a swanky speakeasy-esque bar in its basement.

My friend Lisa and I put our names down for al fresco dining at Meat and Cheese. Since we had a 30-40 minute wait, the gal taking our name suggested grabbing a cocktail at Hooch. Lisa sat out on a bench and I went down a set of stairs to grab us drinks. I ran back up the stairs and told Lisa she had to see this place.

We found a cozy nook away from two other groups. The art deco decor is a mash-up of flea market treasures and expensive antiques. Aa soon as you walk in, you feel like you’ve entered a secret place.

The menu is playful. I was drawn to “The Lighter Side” section and debated between the Sparkling Negroni or Pimps Cup. I went for the negroni. It’s strawberry-infused Suze aperitif, lime and bitter soda. Lisa went classic and ordered an old-fashioned. While sipping our cocktails, it felt like we had been transported into a speakeasy of the 1920s. We just needed flapper dresses.

Meat and Cheese does not take reservations. Our wait for an outside table ended up being less than 30 minutes. You can take your cocktail from Hooch to your table at Meat and Cheese, which has an interesting menu of Mexican-Asian fusion. The boards are very popular. The salads look amazing too. I went for the marinated white fish and shrimp tacos with guacamole and pico de gallo after our waiter raved about them. They were perfect for a light dinner. This combination of a speakeasy and globally inspired cuisine made for a fun evening in Aspen.