Looking for the best restaurants in Salt Lake City? From places to dig into incredible tacos to chic fine-dining eateries, these are the spots you shouldn’t miss.
Salt Lake City’s culinary scene is booming.
Not too long ago, a fair chunk of the city’s restaurant scene was still in the thrall of old-timey steak houses and places that had really seen better days – but that’s all changed.
Incredible eateries manned by talented chefs have blossomed all over the city, transforming its food scene along with it. Don’t fret though – there’s still an emphasis on fresh and locally sourced ingredients and some lip-smackingly good cuisine. Let’s explore.
Best Restaurants in Salt Lake City
Wildwood is one of our favourite restaurants Salt Lake City offers and – judging from the rave reviews – we’re not alone.
Tucked away in the Lower Avenues, this charming restaurant specialises in homestyle American dishes with a twist: think kebabs with harissa and mint raita, and sweet corn chicken hash. They’re best-known for their epic pork belly with Utah cherries – a highly recommended dish.
So, what should you expect? Delectable, generously-portioned, high quality food. Chef-owner Michael Richey is fastidious about creating a dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Wimpy and Fritz
Winners of the Best Tacos in Utah accolade, Wimpy and Fritz is the brainchild of two best friends passionate about Mexican food.
What started at Ogden Farmers in a tent is now a fully-fledged restaurant showcasing their love for skating with painted skateboards and a mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The restaurant is not only a treat for the eyes but is popular for its Latin-infused entrees and authentic street vegan tacos stuffed with jackfruit, hominy, or soy chorizo fillings. Opt for the Nacho Por Dinero and Burritos for El Gordo stuffed with rice, beans, fresh guac, cilantro, and your choice of meat.
If you’re looking for a semi-fancy Japanese restaurant to try in Salt Lake City, Takashi is your answer. They have a large sushi menu boasting the likes of California rolls, sashimi, and nigiri. If you love Japanese food, this is the restaurant to go to.
It’s both a fancy dining experience and a cool place to relax with your friends over drinks – the sake drinks are particular highlights. Try their Kizakura Nigori Sake with notes of citrus and cherry for a real treat.
Pizza Nono is one of the best pizza spots in Salt Lake City, thanks to its wood-fired pizza with unusual toppings.
The Beehive is decked out with jalapeno and honey, while fan-favorite A la Vodka, which is topped with a vodka sauce. They also offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan pizza options.
The Copper Onion
Offering an all-American food experience, The Copper Onion is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City – and they serve dinner 7 nights a week, along with weekday lunches and weekend brunches.
This is the place to go when you’re looking for hearty, flavorsome cuisine made from freshly sourced ingredients. It trends on the international side with dishes ranging from Wagyu Beef Stroganoff to Turkish Eggs with yoghurt, mint and sourdough.
The Dodo is a popular dessert spot in SLC. Toll House Pie, Key Lime Pie, Banana Cream Cheese Pie, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Pie – if it’s a pie, they bake it to perfection.
Sure, they do offer savory dishes at The Dodo but it is their talented Pastry chef Ramon who really makes it shine.
Pretty Bird Chicken
There is almost no competition regarding a good, juicy fried chicken sandwich from Pretty Bird Chicken – it’s a real hidden gem of Salt Lake City.
Try their sandwich with a side of crinkle fries and a fizzy drink to complement it. The Pretty Bird Chicken is located on Regent Street, Salt Lake City, and East 2100 South, Suite C. Salt Lake City.
Better yet, their combos retail for a maximum of $17 – no need to spend an arm and a wing on your meal.
Suppose you’re looking for one of the best sandwich places in Salt Lake City.
In that case, Feldman’s Deli will not only satiate your palate but give you a feel of the New York-style cafes with cold cut deli sandwiches, bagels, homemade entrees like Pierogi. That said, their sloppy joes are legendary.
Fair warning, this spot is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so schedule your visit accordingly.
A new up-and-coming restaurant, Oquirrh, is what you should turn to when craving comfort food. The restaurant promises a quality fine dining experience in Salt Lake City and sources its ingredients from local markets.
The eatery is a treat for the eyes with its subtle elegance and a menu that sports new American dishes that rotates seasonally. That said, the confit chicken pot pie is always available on the menu and is a fan favorite – we couldn’t recommend it enough.
The Pearl is a marriage between a street food vendor and a bar. The street food in question is Vietnamese, with a menu carefully curated with all popular Vietnamese dishes (including some mouthwateringly delicious spring rolls).
The accompanying bar offers a unique experience. The bar is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 4 pm to 1 am, while the kitchen is open from 4-10 pm for deliveries.
The Pearl might be a relatively new food place on the block but has been a sensational addition to the Salt Lake City food scene and is slowly becoming one of the top restaurants in the area. Head here for light bites and punchy drinks.
If you’re a Mexican food enthusiast, visiting Red Iguana will have you instantly planning your return to one of the many SLC restaurants.
It was started by Ramon and Maria Cardenas in 1958 and has had a cult following, continually winning awards throughout the years. Red Iguana features an extensive list of Mexican recipes, which include some household favorites made with homemade tortillas.
Red Iguana is popular for its interpretation of enchiladas suizas – corn tortillas full of avocado and sour cream chicken, topped with a mole poblano, jack cheese, and a drizzle of lemon and sour cream mixture.
The dishes are on the more expensive side, but you won’t be complaining once you’ve taken a bite.
Current Fish and Oyster
Being landlocked, finding fresh seafood in Salt Lake City can be challenging. However, Current Fish & Oyster is changing the game by sourcing some of the best fresh seafood from regional America. Their painstakingly-curated menu amalgamates thoughtful, sustainable choices and simple, elegant, and refreshing dishes.
Chef Ben Steiger has ensured the highest quality seafood for his customers and an understated space with exposed brick walls to enhance the history and culture of SLC.
The average price of the food is somewhere between $15 to $35, but the quality is top notch. They also have a nuanced beverage selection with some of the most inventive cocktails, bubbly and reds by the bottle, and wines on tap.
Established in 1993, Bombay House is one of the most popular Indian Restaurants in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As you enter the restaurant, you’re instantly met with the aromatics true to Indian cuisine, especially as Bombay House makes most of its dishes in a tandoor, adding a smoky flavor to all its foods. All their flatbreads and naans are also made in the same brick oven-like tandoor.
Dining with a group? Bombay House caters to all with their extensive vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, and meat specialties. To sip away after your meal, they have Indian tea, coffee, rose milk, strawberry, and mango lassi, the latter being a consistent favorite.
Looking for the best food in Salt Lake City? Kao Thai offers a unique dining experience with authentic Thai dishes kissed with a modern touch.
They have been on the SLC food scene for many years and have earned quite the reputation for their high quality dishes. The braised short ribs cooked in curry paste, Thai pumpkin curry, and delicacies like fried quail egg wontons, to name a few.
All dishes at Kao Thai are made with freshly-sourced produce and hand-made by chefs that are well-versed in Thai cuisine.
Pago is a contemporary American restaurant that offers a variety of ingredient-driven, seasonal cuisines.
If you’re not in the mood to eat something particular, Pago can be a great place to sample different kinds of foods. From Mediterranean crab cakes to indulgent British desserts, the variety is unmatched.
The cherry on top is their immaculate wine selection which has won many awards since the restaurant’s inception. They strictly operate and deal with the local industry which not only ensures the quality of ingredients but how they are sourced.
Stone Ground Italian
The patio can seat more than 45 people and has heating during winter. Their star dish is the black tagliatelle with lobster claw and knuckle with a rich chardonnay-cream sauce. Wash down with a glass or two of Italian red and thank us later.
We love brunch, so when we claim that Avenues Proper is one of the best brunch places in Salt Lake City, we mean business.
Their brunch menu is a lengthy affair with small plates perfect for a quick bite and large plates for those who like a fancier, more rich brunch experience (we’ll take the fried chicken waffles, thanks).
Though, their New York Steak and Eggs is a daily favourite with two any style eggs, and lashings of chimichurri. Delish.
EJO Korean BBQ
When in doubt, you can never go wrong with Korean BBQ. But if you’re new to trying it, the staff at EJO Korean are more than happy to assist and ensure you have a great experience.
EJO offers an all-you-can eat Korean BBQ buffet with delicious side dishes that are customary in Korean cuisine. Choose between fine cuts of meat such as pork belly, rib, and rump (or, have it all!).
And from Japchae, Sigeumchi (seasoned spinach) and Sukju, Namul the restaurant has a decent selection of Banchan (side dishes) that will make your meal all the more interesting and memorable.
SLC Eatery is one of the most popular restaurants on Main St Salt Lake City. It has risen to this standard because of two extraordinary and creative individuals, Paul Chamberlain and Logan Crew.
The power duo offer a unique experience at SLC Eatery with a modern twist to the classic dim sum cart, serving dishes that melt in your mouth.
The cart is home to some of the most unique and creative flavors – we’d go as far as to say that coming to Utah and missing out on SLC Eatery would be a crime!
Chef Valter Nassi has been a turning point in bringing the taste of Tuscany to SLC. In fact, popular personalities like Michelle Obama have shared the same dining room as you. The restaurant has a full bar and seasonal dishes to try, and a chef who will very likely come and greet you himself.
The menu boasts a wide array of soups, pastas, entrees, and salads, but some must-haves include their amazing homemade four-cheese ravioli that is topped with asparagus and a delicious cream sauce.
Oh, and if you love gnocchi (who doesn’t?), don’t pass on their homemade dish with mushroom-cream sauce.
The sister restaurant of Nono, Nona is a great place to host parties and larger gatherings with its beautiful outdoor dining space. It has some of the best bread selections, wood-fired lasagna, and pasta options. Though, for dessert, try their berry and lemon curd Angel Food Cake, a pimped-up take on a childhood favorite.
They priortize the use of eco-friendly products and have created a delicious menu of dishes that don’t negatively impact our planet. They often have live music, so you can really have a great time while dining at Nona.
Other Places to Eat in Salt Lake City
While Salt Lake City has become increasingly popular for its thriving restaurant business, we shouldn’t sleep on the street food scene in the city.
Tacos Don Rafa
Claiming to be Salt Lake City’s first street taco stand, Tacos Don Rafa enhances the street food experience with fresh, meaty, and unforgettable tacos, quesadillas, and burritos that have been going strong since 1998.
These are super affordable options for a quick bite on the go, with $1.50 for two tacos or $3 for a burrito. Filling, cheap, and fun, we love Tacos Don Rafa.
The Red Food Truck
Keeping up with its rich culture, The Red Food Truck is one of the best street food options you’ll find in Salt Lake City. Follow their Facebook account to see where they will be stationed for the next few days as they keep changing their location weekly.
The Red Food Truck has a carefully selected menu of Peruvian dishes that they proudly showcase as their country’s cuisine.
Their most famous sandwich is made with sirloin beef or chicken cooked on the grill with fresh onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and spices – truly a fan favorite. It’s served together with steamed white rice, french fries, and a spicy sauce on the side. This makes for a fulfilling meal for $13.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Pizzeria Limone is the answer to your prayers. A fast casual food place, it offers one of the tastiest pizzas in town.
From the classic margherita to an uber-meaty pepperoni, there are plenty of options to suit all tastebuds.
Practical Tips for Exploring the Best Salt Lake City Restaurants
One of the most important aspects of going on a vacation to explore another city is figuring out which restaurants you absolutely cannot miss out on. There are ways you can narrow down your options for the best eateries in Salt Lake City so that you have a plan of action in mind as you venture into the city.
Before heading to Salt Lake City, look for sources online that give you a list of restaurants with various price points and areas mentioned so you can align exploring the city with these eateries.
Sometimes, you might end up with several recommended restaurants nearby. For example, downtown has some of the top restaurants in Salt Lake City; choosing one can be challenging. Instead, do your research beforehand.
Reviews are Your Best Friend
When searching for food places, looking for reviews online might seem like a no-brainer, but even those reviews are not created equal. Sometimes, restaurants pay for reviews on their websites. Instead, we recommend using TripAdvisor as a great tool for places that are less frequented.
When in doubt, you can always turn to the locals – especially around the place you’re staying – and ask for recommendations for authentic food places.