Don’t believe the nonsense you hear that Utah doesn’t have good food. We have plenty of restaurants and chefs that would go head to head with the best – you just need to know where to look. In no particular order:
Located just a few miles up the gentle inline of Millcreek canyon is this picture perfect fine dining restaurant. The log cabin feel, New American food, and award winning wine list make this THE destination restaurant in Salt Lake City. Looking to celebrate in a distantly Utah setting, surrounded by soaring trees and mountain views – this is the place.
You will find this modern Italian eatery on the edge of downtown SLC. The menu offers a range of classic Italian dishes, with most of the pasta made fresh in house. Meat and fish dishes are particularly strong here, as is the curated wine list and sharp interior. Equally capable for a date night or business meeting.
The best sushi in Salt Lake City, no question. Go ahead and Google the name, you will see award up award. The reputation of Takashi is unparalleled, so much so, if you don’t get there for doors opening – you will need to wait for a table. Don’t believe the naysayers about sushi in the desert either – you can get good sushi here.
DIY hot pot is the order of the day here. Mr Shabu offers an all you can eat experience, supported by impeccable meats and veggies. Located in the fun Gateway complex, Mr Shabu offers the best way to warm up during Utah’s cold winter months.
If you head to the trendy Sugar House neighborhood, do not miss this upscale eatery. The cuisine is Vietnamese and Chinese, and the execution is pristine. That means USDA prime meats, a fun modern interior and a wine and cocktail list that will surprise you. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Proof positive that big things come in little packages. Oquirrh is a chef owned and driven restaurant that offers some of the most creative dishes in town. Milk braised potatoes, confit chicken pot pie, curried lamb shank, smoked cabbage and more are just some of the inventive dishes here.
Likewise, another chef driven affair just a little ways out of the downtown core. The menu and kitchen here is helmed by two award winning chefs with great pedigree. Together they execute a menu that changes faster than you can read this paragraph.
This downtown bistro has been a stalwart of the dining scene for as long as we can remember. There’s always a crowd here and with good reason – this is a solid restaurant with a fun menu open seven days a week. There’s an intelligent wine and cocktail list, small and large plates, cool interior and buzzy vibe. Home to the best burger in town too – easily.
Utah food isn’t good
We hear this one all the time. Lets put the argument in context – SLC is a relatively minor metro area – it will never compete with Chicago, San Fran or NYC. And yes, there are absolutely some culinary areas that are poorly represented here. Some things you won’t find in Utah:
Really good BBQ – There are some half decent places around town. But on the whole barbecue is kinda spotty here.
French cuisine – Sadly, Gallic-centric restaurants haven’t traditionally fared too well here.
Cuban – While there’s a lot of Central and South American food in general here, Cuban food is thin on the ground. For the best Cuban sandwich, check out the local boutique butchers Beltex Meats that put out an amazing Cuban sandwich to go at the weekends – seriously, trust me.
Spanish food – There are ostensibly only a couple of restaurants that are squarely committed to providing food from this epicenter of the foodie world.
Utah food is great
Greek – From fine dining to fast casual, SLC is awash in great Greek. That’s in part
Burgers – Utahns love burgers, I mean who doesn’t
Pastrami burgers – This is what happens when you mix the above two – try at least one pastrami burger while you’re here.
Peruvian – I haven’t found a Peruvian restaurant locally that I don’t love, and I’ve found a LOT of them.