Discover some of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City, Utah. Home to a vibrant food scene, you’ll discover a variety of options for all types of cuisine and budgets. The city has a mix of traditional and modern restaurants that are influenced by its geographical location, the diverse population, and the local food culture. Whether you are on a ski vacation or searching for the best new films at the Sundance Film Festival, there will always be exceptional food just around the corner in Salt Lake City.
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The Overall Food Scene
Salt Lake City’s dining scene is a mix of traditional American and southwestern fare, with a strong Mexican and South American influence on the cuisine. The city has a thriving food truck scene and a number of farmer’s markets that sell fresh produce and artisanal products. The city’s restaurant scene is also notable for its focus on sustainability and locally-sourced ingredients.
Salt Lake City also has a growing number of specialty food stores and markets, such as Caputo’s Market and Deli, which offers a wide range of imported Italian products, and Liberty Heights Fresh, which specializes in organic produce and specialty products.
The city also has a thriving craft beer scene, with many local breweries like Epic Brewing, Red Rock Brewing, and Wasatch Brewery.
All in all, Salt Lake City’s food scene offers a diverse range of options for foodies and people who appreciate good quality and locally sourced food.
Waterpocket Distillery, located just 10 to 15 minutes south of the airport, is the brainchild of Julia and Alan Scott. Their hand-crafted spirits meld the exploration in taste with the couple’s actual adventures in the natural world. Their unique botanically infused liquors, amaros, and tonics are forward-thinking and feature fragrant flavor profiles inspired by the wilderness. Not only are the labels beautifully designed, but there is always a wonderful story behind the spirit that points toward the passion and care with which it was made. They’ve notably won double gold in the prestigious World Spirits Competition two years in a row for both their Toadstool Box-Death Amaro No. 3 in 2022 and their Temple of the Moon Gin in 2021. Be sure to sign up for a tour of their facilities online, and spend an afternoon tasting and learning about what goes into making these hand-crafted spirits from their knowledgeable staff.
Located in South Salt Lake, Beehive Distilling is an open and laid-back spot to enjoy great craft cocktails, beer, and small bites. Stop by their welcoming and spacious industrial distillery and try their high-quality gin in a gimlet, with pear syrup and sage. They also feature seasonal cocktails, including The Coley Handshake with beehive vodka, lime, cranberry syrup, prosecco, and pomegranate seeds. They have a nice selection of sliders and snack options. Try their pork belly bahn mi sliders or their churro french fries with caramel sauce. With great drinks and delicious bites, Beehive Distilling is an ideal place for a drink on date night or simply to hang out with friends.
SLC Eatery is cooking up some delicious modern and eclectic mix of international dishes in a minimal and airy space. Their menu changes often, but a few current stand-outs include the swordfish with spiced hazelnut crumble and the Okonomiyaki benedict on a napa cabbage pancake for brunch. SLC Eatery has an extensive wine list to accompany their unique menu, as well as a small but tasty selection of specialty cocktails. Be sure and try one of their cart items as well, whether it be the peel ‘n’ eat shrimp or the clam dip. Whatever you order here, you really can’t go wrong.
Water Witch Bar
The Water Witch is a well-known somewhat “hipstery” bar in Salt Lake with modern witchy vibes, a lively yet cozy setting, and plenty of creative cocktails to try. If you don’t see a cocktail that immediately jumps off of the blackboard menu, their incredibly friendly and skilled bartenders will concoct a custom drink based on your personal preferences. Try the flaming mai tai, the Hot Todd, or Saturn’s Grog with rum, passion fruit, grapefruit, lime, allspice. You can also find some small tapas-like bites in addition to the excellent alcohol options. This is a fun spot to grab drinks after work with friends and discover your new favorite cocktail.
Blue Copper Coffee Room
Blue Copper Coffee has two locations in Salt Lake and a roastery. The Blue Copper Coffee Room is a great place to enjoy high-quality coffee and espresso drinks in a modern industrial setting. Their espresso is smooth and their beans are roasted locally. Stop by to enjoy some quality coffee and some delicious baked goods, such as their coffee cake, in their bright modern industrial space.
Tradition in Salt Lake is aptly named, serving up modern versions of comfort food in a bright yet cozy space. This food will bring back memories of home, like the meatloaf with a brown sugar glaze and green beans or biscuits and gravy for brunch. People have also raved about the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower appetizer and the funeral potatoes with cheddar cheese and bacon jam. You don’t want to miss out on the creative cocktails, like the Little Tokyo with Japanese whiskey and Waterpocket’s Notom Amaro. Tradition is always packed with hungry patrons, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar is a modern restaurant serving classic and elevated Italian dishes. The food is fresh and flavorful, with an incredible bolognese and Agnolotti di Granchio. There is also a whole separate menu with vegan options. The restaurant is located within a large window-lined building that is very contemporary and clean indoors. Out front, there is a lovely patio that is an ideal place to enjoy a meal in the summer. With a diverse list of wines and the option to choose from three different sizes, you can find an affordable glass of wine to accompany any dish. You won’t want to skip dessert at Stanza with so many decadent options, from the decadent cherry chocolate bomba cake to the passion fruit panna cotta.
Under Current is a contemporary yet comfortable neighborhood bar located right next to its sister restaurant, Current. This multi-level bar serves flavorful and artfully presented craft cocktails and small bites, including oysters, clam dip, and poke bowls. Their cocktails are divided into three categories: Citrus & Refreshing, Boozy & Direct, and Beach Classics. When you stop by, be sure to try the Cruise Control with pisco logia, guava and ancho verde child liquor. If you’re looking for a mellow spot to have a nice conversation over drinks and appetizers, this is your spot.
London Belle Supper Club
The London Belle Super Club has everything you could hope for in a bar/club, with delicious drinks and food, upbeat music for dancing, and attentive service. Inside you’ll find a dark and sleek yet cozy dining room with comfy seats to sit back and listen to live music. They are serving modern American and international dishes, such as bison tika masala and miso fried chicken with pickled chili peppers. The waitresses are quick and attentive, and the atmosphere is always lively. The London Belle has become a cornerstone of nightlife in Salt Lake City, so it’s best to make a reservation before you visit!
Franklin Ave Cocktails & Kitchen
Franklin Ave Cocktails & Kitchen is a classy and comfortable restaurant and cocktail bar in downtown Salt Lake City that is serving up incredible food and vintage vibes. With an expansive array of alcohol on full display in their apothecary-esque bar, you can sample many different whiskeys and crafty signature cocktails. Try the off-white negroni with local Waterpocket gin. You can’t come to Franklin Ave without trying the food, a mix of modern comfort food with a heavy international influence. Their loaded potatoes with bacon and hollandaise is to die for. Follow up your appetizer with mushroom beignets and a fried fish sandwich stacked high with napa slaw. Franklin Ave is truly a hidden SLC gem, but it certainly won’t be hidden for long!
Bar-X is a mix between a cozy speakeasy and a lively dive bar where you can find beer, craft cocktails, and a large selection of quality spirits. With dark underground vibes inside and a small patio out front, Bar-X is a great after-dinner place to sip on some alcohol, especially when they have live music lined up. If you get hungry while there, don’t worry, the Beer Bar next door will deliver some well-dressed gourmet brats, sausages, and burgers. This spot is really the best of both worlds: quality cocktails in a space with all the character and intrigue of an actual dive bar.
The RUIN in downtown Salt Lake is a dimly lit cocktail bar serving up craft cocktails and elevated bar food in a calm and classy setting. The RUIN is located about a block north of the main drag, so it is calmer than most other bars, and the staff is incredibly friendly and professional. It’s easy to wind down in this clean and modern setting with a quality cocktail in hand. One exceptional beverage is the Bluebell, featuring blueberry, basil, and citrus. They also have creative mocktails, including the fruity and flavorful Tiny Boy, Baby Boy with watermelon, pomegranate Molasses, and hibiscus. The food menu is currently missing from their website, so you’ll just have to stop by and see what tasty selections await!
Ivy & Varley
Ivy & Varley is a restaurant and bar offering an elevated and eclectic American cuisine and playful cocktails in an open and cheerful dining room. Their globally inspired dishes are beautifully plated and equally tasty. When you stop by, get started with the grilled beet hummus and the hibiscus margarita and then move on to the seared salmon with chimichurri. With a great selection of bourbon, beer and wine in addition to craft cocktails, Ivy & Varley is the perfect date-night spot with an upscale atmosphere. In the warmer months, enjoy your meal outside in their large brick-walled patio surrounded by plenty of greenery.
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From recipes using locally sourced ingredients and terroir-centric cooking, craft cocktails, to the latest in tech and home DIY projects, Michael yearns to share his learned and found knowledge of the world.