Dining in Utah
Utah's outstanding scenic diversity is matched perfectly by the variety of dining experiences available to the traveler. There's cowboy steaks smoked to perfection capturing the spirit of the American West down south, and a thriving farm-to-table scene lining the Wasatch Front. Read on to discover some of the best Utah restaurants and plan a culinary adventure.
Many folks on the road in Utah seek an All-American experience. Utah has its share of authentic, American dining establishments with a splash of unique local color.
Northern Utah's historic Brigham City has the Idle Isle, a classic Main Street USA diner decked out in early 20th century decor, with a menu full of American standards. Ruth's Diner, located up Emigration Canyon just outside Salt Lake City, has been a Utah staple since Ruth started serving hamburgers out of a railcar in 1930.
Eastern Utah's Green River has Ray's Tavern, which features both excellent burgers, and motorcycle enthusiasts making their way across the country on Interstate 70.
Southeastern Utah's Bluff, one of Utah's gateway to the Four Corners region and Monument Valley, offers a creative and local-centric meal at the Cow Canyon Trading Post, featuring an exquisite menu with emphasis on quality. In Bryce Canyon City, dine at Ebenezer's Barn and Grill at Ruby's Inn, where a rambunctious group of cowboy minstrels will serenade you with the best of old west Americana.
Cruising I-15 through Central Utah, it doesn't get much better than Cluff's Car Hop, a 1950s-style diner, now in its fifth generation of the family operation.
Some travelers seek out fine dining and look to tap into the unique flavors of local agriculture and food production. Award-winning cuisine is found all over the state, diverse in both price and origin.
Few establishments are better known in Southern Utah than Hell's Backbone Grill, whose Zagat-rated organic, locally source cuisine astonishes hungry travelers on Highway 12. Travelers on Highway 12 should also check out Burr Trail Grill, also in Boulder, Utah, or the eclectic dining options of Torrey and Escalante.
Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar, La Caille, Cucina Toscana and The New Yorker are a few iconic fine dining establishments in Salt Lake County. Valter's Osteria consistently draws good reviews for classic fine dining despite its youth in the Salt Lake dining scene. Meanwhile, locally minded chefs are driving a flourishing farm-to-table movement across the Wasatch Front (as well as in some of Southern Utah's national park gateway towns). Check out the Tin Angel, Copper Onion, Finca, Caffe Niche and Pago near downtown, Provisions and Log Haven on the East Bench and Copper Kitchen toward the middle of the Salt Lake Valley. Three locations of Tony Caputo's markets and Liberty Heights Fresh are some of the purveyors of the best artisan food products from Utah. See the Salt Lake City page and Local Chefs for a more extensive list. Park City is practically in its own stratosphere when it comes to local dining options. To help you narrow it down, Park City Restaurants is a website dedicated to the dining scene packed with some of the best Utah restaurants.
It's hard to downplay the impact of the Heirloom Group on Utah Valley dining. Communal restaurant, Pizzeria 712 and Mountain West Burrito as well as corporate catering keep residents, workers and visitors in the area nourished with memorable craft meals. Ogden's dining ranges from the fervently local Hearth on 25th (complete with house-infused vinegars and oils) and quaint Two Bit Street Cafe to the lively and welcoming Roosters Brewing Company, all on historic 25th Street.
Please visit individual city pages for Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo, Logan, Moab, St. George and other cities and towns to learn more about some of the culture and dining that define Utah's best destinations or begin browsing Wasatch Front dining suggestions below:
Where to Eat: Northern Utah Guide
Thanks to over 100 restaurants and bars in Park City, you'll have access to the right cuisine to complement your mood. Parkcityrestaurants.com makes it easy to select your next meal with their clever search tools. Here you'll quickly find the best vegetarian friendly, gluten free or late-night restaurant to satisfy a hungry group.
You might start with the fresh and seasonal ingredients that Silver elegantly interprets into classic American dishes. Begin with their pickled vegetable salad and move into the Utah rainbow trout. A glass poured from the 3,000-bottle wine list or craft cocktail menu will be the finishing touch for an elegant evening in a sultry atmosphere.
Grub Steak is a Park City stalwart known for great service and incredible cuts of beef and game and mouthwatering burger options in a warm, Western setting. It's operator, Hans Fuegi, received Utah's restaurateur of the year in 2014.
Wahso's warm Jazz-era Orient theme is a stark and inviting contrast to the winter high-country setting of the Sundance Film Festival. A menu with gluten-free options is anchored by a tightly crafted list of impeccable Asian-influenced entrées and appetizers.
High West's carefully crafted ambiance is matched by their award-winning whiskey and Western-inspired cuisine. Call ahead and schedule a tour then taste the whiskey straight or have the knowledgeable bartenders mix up a High West original. This time of year, it's tough to beat the Quit 'N Time, a hot drink that combines High West's Double Rye! with house made spiced lemonade. Don't forget to pick up a bottle at the General Store to take back to the hotel.
For years, locals have been lining up at El Chubasco to satisfy big appetites for authentic Mexican food complete with a fresh and diverse homemade salad bar. Go all the way with a "smothered" big burrito then find the right level of spice to meet your specific taste. Beer and gluten-free menus are both available.
The Farm, a few minutes down the road at Canyons Resort, is well worth a trip. This fresh restaurant has brought an insistence on local, sustainable food (where possible) slope-side to Utah's largest lift-served mountain resort. The Farm's head chef, Philip Grubisa, hails from Miami, Florida but enjoys living a Life Elevated in Park City and sources locally farmed goods as the foundation for his fresh, prepared-from-scratch menu. There are multiple great restaurants at Canyons.
There are also plenty of tantalizing dining options in the Kimball Junction area — just off the Park City interstate exit. One such option is Sushi Blue Grill and Sake House. Start off with a Bahn-Mi sandwich. Yes, add the seared pork belly. Do it! The sushi menu will surprise and delight as well, with twists on classics bearing cinematic names. Wash it all down with ... yes, you guessed it, domestic or Japanese sake. Can't decide which to try? Take the sampler tour or warm up with their "Warm Sake Potions" menu. You can find another sushi option if you sneak behind the Chevron station to the smaller Shoyu Sushi House and Japanese Kitchen, a local favorite. And let's not leave out Red Rock Brewing's extensive menu, which will please a wide range of palates, including those that favor locally crafted beer.
Salt Lake City
From speakeasy to sports bar and locavore to leberkaese, the culinary scene in Salt Lake City has what you're craving. (For a full list of reviews, see the TripAdvisor reviews at the bottom of our Salt Lake City page.)
We'll start with the leberkaese (liver loaf) at Siegfried's, a traditional German deli that draws long lunch lines and is a great stop all day for schnitzel, homemade bratwurst and incredible cakes. Also on the brat scene is Beer Bar, thanks in part to Modern Family's Ty Burrell and inspiration from the Next Food Network Star Viet Pham. Read Ty Burrell's love letter to Salt Lake here, or let one of his bartenders serve you a craft cocktail next to door to Beer Bar, at Bar-X.
The Copper Onion and Copper Common source heavily from the local food scene and do contemporary American and modern mixology the way it should be done: deliciously. A reservation is recommended, and communal dining or bar seat is a must for talking with friends and neighbors about all things Salt Lake City, snow and mountains.
|Chef Jerry Liedtke and team at Salt Lake City's Tin Angel Café. Photo by David Vogel.|
Zest Bar and Kitchen features locally sourced vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free fare in a hip space, but, like the bars, it's listed as a 21-and-over establishment. Bodega's street-level tacos and convenience goods are available until 11 p.m., but discovering the unique atmosphere, food, craft drinks and hipster vibe in the speakeasy beneath is worth the extra effort of figuring out how to make a reservation. Hint: the TripAdvisor or Yelp community will point you to "The Rest." Pallet, Rye Diner and Drinks, Finca, Pig & A Jelly Jar, Meditrina Small Plates and Wine Bar, Oasis, Caffe Niche, Eva, Tin Angel, Avenues Bistro and Avenues Proper are all great choices for finding innovative menus with local influences, and the list keeps growing. Pago and Beltex Meats are also great choices thanks to fervently local ideals. To learn more, let local chefs (including Next Food Network Star finalist Viet Pham) explain what makes Salt Lake City unique.
Where to start? Caffe Niche's Kobe Corned Beef Hash or Wild Organic Mushroom Scramble make for a killer weekend brunch while Pig & A Jelly Jar's toast and house-made jams are a must-add side to any meal. The chicken and waffles at Rye, Pig & A Jelly Jar and Avenues Proper are all excellent, which could make for a very tasty three-day weekend.
Taking a quick global tour, Takashi is a must-visit for people who love sushi; Frida Bistro, Alamexo and Red Iguana are top Mexican stops; Skewered Thai or Chanon Thai Cafe for Thai food; and Mahider for Ethiopian. Fresco and Paris Bistro are anchors of Salt Lake's 15th and 15th District, and feature some of the best Italian and French cuisine, though Valter's Osteria is also a celebrated upscale Italian establishment in downtown worth seeking out.
Red Rock, Desert Edge and Squatters are all award-winning brewpubs with nearly three decades of experience brewing locally (and winning awards at the Great American Beer Festival) while Maxwell's, Lumpys, Iggy's Sports Grill and multiple bars offer sporty diversions. Maxwell's bar typically has Premier and Europa League soccer during the day, and some killer pizza. For a late-night-by-the-slice experience that can't be beat, turn to The Pie Hole.
On the south end of the valley, Mark Eaton's Tuscany is a destination Italian restaurant and Luna Blanca Taqueria does brilliant street tacos alongside a nifty menu of bebidas adultos headlined by their house margarita. Both the Porcupine Pub and Grille and the award-winning Bohemian Brewery have an energetic and casual vibe perfect for relaxed evenings after a day on the slopes.
Ogden is flourishing with great local restaurants in a walkable downtown that combines the historic brick buildings of 25th Street and the flashy amenities of The Junction, a 20-acre mixed-use development.
Grab a pint at MacCool's Public House to wash down lamb riblets and a full menu of traditional Irish fare or warm up with a margarita and some authentic Mexican food at The Sonora Grill. To answer your questions: yes, you can get great sushi in Ogden: Tona's menu of specialty sushi rolls and tapas will impress with traditional favorites and local twists. Hearth on 25th is a farm-to-table establishment with seasonal dishes and limited offerings like yak tartare or local wagyu served alongside hearth-cooked flatbread and house-infused oil and vinegar.
Roosters Brewing Company and Restaurant combines award-winning brews with unique pub fare and a whole lot of character. Wing Nutz infuses innovative flavors in their delicious baked wings within a casual sports bar environment while the Two-Bit Street Cafe showcases a diverse menu of "eclectic eats" prepared fast and fresh. The Junction offers a number of additional dining options. For a drink between shows, check out the eclectic clientele and karaoke at the Sand Trap or revel in Beatles mania with a Bloody Mary at The City Club, "where you can enjoy your favorite beverages with John, Paul, George and Ringo 8 days a week."
The Heirloom Group headlines the culinary scene with their farm-to-table (and appropriately named) Communal restaurant, Pizzeria 712 and Mountain West Burrito. The Black Sheep Café combines flavors of the southwest with Native American cooking traditions. Black Sheep uses local producers when possible and emphasizing the Three Sisters of squash, corn and pole beans.
There are many reasons to visit Logan. It's a great stopover on trips to Bear Lake, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, sure, but you'll want to linger to sample the town's growing local food scene. Here's a sample itinerary: Caffe Ibis or Crumb Brothers for organic coffee and breakfast, Jack's Wood Fired Oven for lunch and Elements for dinner. The town's anchor institution of higher education, Utah State University, was founded as agricultural school. You can count on there being excellent ice cream from the creamery, housed in the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Building. Look for Aggie Ice Cream around town.
Ready to perfect the art of culinary travel? Make plans to hit up some of the best Utah restaurants and indulge your appetite. While you’re here, you can travel to more Utah cities and towns to find great undiscovered eats as well.