In the heart of Aspen Mountain lies a historic gem that has become synonymous with Aspen’s alpine charm and culinary excellence: Bonnie's. With roots that date back to the 1960s, this iconic on-mountain restaurant has not only witnessed the evolution of Aspen's skiing culture but has also earned a legendary status for serving what many consider the best pancake in the ski and snowboard world.

The Birth of Bonnie's

Bonnie's Restaurant found its roots during the transformative years of Aspen Mountain in the 1960s. According to an article in 2015 from The Aspen Times:

"The restaurant’s roots trace back to the 1960s, when German ski racer Gretl Uhl moved to Aspen with her husband, Sepp.

"The two moved to Aspen together to open a restaurant, current owner Brigitte Birrfelder said, and in 1966, they did just that.

"The Uhls built Gretl’s Restaurant from the ground up and ran the place for 14 years until Uhl passed the torch onto her friend and fellow Aspen local, Bonnie Rayburn, in 1980.

"Aside from changing the name to Bonnie’s Restaurant and adding her famous white bean chili soup to the menu, little has changed since the 1960s, Birrfelder said."

The Rise of Bonnie's Pancake

While Bonnie's has an extensive menu that caters to diverse tastes, its apple strudel has been a local favorite since the early days; however, today it is Bonnie's pancake that has achieved legendary status among skiers and snowboarders who know Ajax is the greatest mountain in the world (we're biased, though).

What sets Bonnie's pancake apart is not just its fluffy perfection but the "secret" ingredient. Generations of skiers have marveled at the delightful combination of texture and taste that makes Bonnie's pancake the stuff of legends.

Breakfast plates at Bonnies Aspen overlooking the ski runs.

The Secret Recipe

The secret to Bonnie's pancake success lies in the oatmeal included in the batter before hitting the griddle. People skin up Ajax before the lifts start spinning to snag an oatmeal pancake at Bonnie's, Ski Patrol saddles up at their table for a coffee, and longtime locals are scattered throughout the restaurant on mornings. The Bonnie's pancake has its own gravity.

Bonnie's Restaurant on Aspen Mountain

Bonnie's Today

As Aspen Mountain continued to evolve into a world-renowned skiing destination, Bonnie's has stood the test of time. The cozy, rustic interior welcomes skiers with open arms, creating an atmosphere that complements the breathtaking views of Ajax’s mid mountain. While the pancake remains the star of the show, Bonnie's also offers a range of hearty meals and drinks to satisfy the cravings of winter adventurers.

Bonnie's on Aspen Mountain is not just a restaurant; it's a living testament to the spirit of Aspen's skiing culture. With its rich history, devout locals, and the renowned pancake that has become a symbol of mountain indulgence, Bonnie's continues to be a beloved destination for skiers and snowboarders visiting our hometown. So, the next time you find yourself on Aspen Mountain, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in the morning’s magic that is Bonnie's pancake—a treat that transcends time and taste.

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