Salt Lake City Restaurants

The 2002 Winter Olympics cast Salt Lake City in a new, contemporary, more diverse light. Visitors discovered a panoply of cultural influences, brewpubs, ethnic flavors, and progressive chefs. Salt Lake City may not have the depth of restaurants seen in other big cities, but there are a couple of outstanding choices for nearly every budget and cuisine. Restaurants like Lamb’s Grill Café, Hire’s Big H, and Ruth’s Diner trace their roots back five-plus decades, and their colorful proprietors are more than willing to share the history they’ve witnessed from their kitchens. Returning LDS missionaries have brought back their favorite flavors from Asia, Europe, and Latin America, with impressive results. You may not find the five-star San Francisco dining experience, but you’ll find almost as many influences as in the city by the bay. Seafood, Japanese, Tibetan, Indian, Spanish, and Italian are all suitably showcased in Salt Lake eateries, and when all else fails, there are great burgers and Rocky Mountain cuisine, a fusion inspired by frontier big game, seafood fresh from the great Pacific ports, and organic produce grown in Utah’s fertile valleys. You'll also find creative wine lists and knowledgeable service. Bakers and pastry chefs defy the 4,400-foot altitude with rustic sourdoughs and luscious berry-filled treats. Multiple weekly summer farmers' markets are thriving, and chefs are building more and more of a food community. All in all, Salt Lake's culinary scene has finally grown up and offers something for every taste, from simple to sophisticated.

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  • 1. Copper Onion

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    Adjacent to Salt Lake's arthouse cinema is the best new restaurant in the city in the past decade. Chef Ryan Lowder dazzles with the basics...Read More

  • 2. Log Haven

    $$$ | Millcreek Canyon | American

    This elegant mountain retreat was put on the map with inventive takes on American cuisine laced with everything from Asian ingredients to pure...Read More

  • 3. Fresco Italian Cafe

    $$$ | East Side | Italian

    This intimate restaurant sits back from the street in a clapboard house that adjoins an independent bookstore. Dishes like the daily risotto...Read More

  • 4. Ichiban

    $$$ | Downtown | Japanese

    This is one of the most interesting dining destinations in town. It's set in a former church, complete with exquisite stained-glass windows...Read More

  • 5. Market Street Grill

    $$$ | Downtown | Seafood

    See Salt Lake's power brokers sharing stories at one of the city's premier choices for seafood, housed in a beautifully restored 1906 building...Read More

  • 6. Market Street Oyster Bar

    $$$ | Downtown | Seafood

    Some would call this popular bar–restaurant more of a "meet market," but it's a fun and upbeat place. Popular items include oysters prepared...Read More

  • 7. Pago

    $$$ | East Side | American

    Bursting onto the burgeoning dining scene in Salt Lake, Pago more than lives up to its promise of farm-to-table freshness in a microscopic...Read More

  • 8. Metropolitan

    $$$ | Downtown | Eclectic

    From its inventive cuisine to its minimalist design, owner Karen Olson's restaurant is chic in every way. Menus veer from Asian-fusion to regional...Read More

  • 9. Cucina Toscana

    $$$ | Downtown | Italian

    Owner Valter Nassi has been one of Salt Lake's favorite chefs for two decades. This trattoria is one of the city's most bustling dining destinations...Read More

  • 10. Market Street Broiler

    $$$ | University of Utah | Seafood

    Formerly a firehouse, circa 1930, this popular restaurant is casual, with a focus on seafood. You can sit at the counter, in the shaded sidewalk...Read More

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