Pepi’s, Vail Village
Time-travel back to an old-school Euro ski lodge and feast on platters of wild game, schnitzel and bratwurst, along with a stein of lager. Après acoustic relies heavily on John Denver. Pepi Gramshammer and his wife, Sheika, remain Vail icons.
Bart & Yeti’s, Lionshead
A survivor of Vail’s redevelopment “renaissance,” Bart’s remains the quintessential locals’ hangout in Vail’s radically redone Lionshead. Known for its big burgers and warm welcome—but be prepared for a tiny bar and a bit of a wait to get a table.
Tap Room, Vail Village
Close confines, a stone fireplace and the long wraparound bar attract an elbow-to-elbow crowd for affordable pints, an exceptional bar menu and wall-to-wall flatscreens. The après scene morphs into late-night action, as well.
The Club, Vail Village
The Club is like a raging frat party on the verge of becoming a Girls Gone Wild video. Check your maturity at the door.
The George, Vail Village
Overlooked at the edge of Vail Village (near the main parking garage), The George offers a great basement escape from the frenzied village core. Dark and dank, its overstuffed couches are a great spot to snag some drinks or just chill. The place is liftie heaven. Enough said.
Centre V, Lionshead
Locals call the new Arrabelle the “Arrabellagio” thanks to its conspicuous Euro-themed architecture. But its restaurant, Centre V, is the real deal, with vaulted ceilings and burnished woods. And the V serves cocktails right: strong and properly chilled. It’s close to the gondola, lacks the noise of beachfront joints, and its raclette will transport you to your happy place.
Sweet Basil, Vail Village
Basil is a must when it comes to dining, but it doesn’t leap to mind for après. Start leaping. The bar is a refuge from the mosh-pit madness of establishments closer to the slopes. It might have the best Bloodys in the state, and the wine list is top-notch. (Pair one with the truffle French fries.)
King’s Club, Vail Village
The Sonnenalp has plenty of places to seek après solace (Ludwig’s, Bully Ranch, Swiss Chalet), but none of them transport you to Europe like the King’s Club. Vail après fixture Don Watson provides the acoustic background for a beer-and-brat special next to a roaring fire.