Albasha – New to City Creek downtown, this Greek and Lebanese inspired restaurant that claims a specialty in chicken shawarma and gyros. Count me in. Long time readers will know I’m like a moth to the flame when it comes to meat on rotating sticks. Seriously, you could lure me off a cliff edge with one of those.
28 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
The Bird – A new sister restaurant to Layton’s C&B Maddox Famous Chicken keeps things simple; and there’s no shame in that, who doesn’t want a tender on a bun for $1.75? Crazy people, that’s who, well and maybe vegetarians. Actually they’d be welcome at The Bird too and could score their own bargain too, a large mac and cheese is just $4.50.
2432 W 1700 S, Syracuse, UT 84075
Bumblebees KBBQ – I have to take my hat off to these guys, the little restaurant that could. In fact, I’d happily wear multiple hats and take them off one by one, such has been their success. Since I wrote about their fledgling business for the Trib in 2014 Salt Laker’s have taken their fusion food to their hearts. And this is truly the definition of fusion food, a term that’s bandied around carelessly at times; take the Mr Kim, US meets Korea with an egg topped burger loaded up with riotous kimchi.
In addition to their food truck and original Midvale location, the KBBQ guys have now added a second bricks and mortar location out in West Valley City. Now take your hat off too and celebrate with me.
2682 S High Commons Way, West Valley City, UT 84120
Carnegie’s Public House – The latest restaurant to open up shop in the Peery Hotel, which lets be honest has seen repeated failed concepts; steampunk(!), a burger joint, a pizza parlor, probably more that I am forgetting. The spot has never really worked for anyone since Christopher’s vacated way back when. For such a prime position in SLC, you’d imagine this has the potential to be a huge money maker for the right people.
Here’s hoping the current restaurant operators have what it takes though. Thinks seem promising enough from a cursory glance, nothing conceptual this time around. Carnegie’s serves up a well trod menu of burgers, woodfired pizza, salads and such. The space is pleasant enough and the restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
110 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Cupbop – Talk about world domination. I can no longer keep track of the number of trucks and retail outlets these smart and savvy guys have opened. At this point, I am sure I have one in my shed. As well as my back yard, you’ll also now find their Korean BBQ (in a cup) served up at a bricks and mortar location in Midvale. I’d take my hat off again, but we’ve already done that…
52 S Blue Vista Ln, Midvale, UT 84047
Curry Corner Cafe – Opening recently inside State Street’s Qaderi Sweetz And Spicez (a Pakistani and Indian market) is this new fast casual restaurant. You can see the full menu here which has a few surprises beyond the regular jalfrezi and masala; lamb slices on naan bread pizza anyone?
1785 South State Street, #300 Salt Lake City, Utah
Doner Kebab Express – More meat on sticks! Yes! My dreams are finally becoming reality, rotating sticks of meat on every street corner as far as the eye can see. Actually let’s not get into my dreams, this post could take a decidedly bizarre twist.
The reviews for this new spinny meat eatery (my trademark, available for licensing) seem universally great. Find me here soon.
2641 W 7800th S, West Jordan, UT 84088
Fat Jack’s – This new burger emporium (their words) anchors the ground floor of the now renovated Shilo Inn in downtown SLC – now living life as a Holiday Inn Express. The menu features a number of pre-ordained selections but also sports a snazzy build it yourself section. Load your burger up with spam, pastrami, bacon and chilli if you want. You’ll just need to bring your own statins.
206 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
FAV Bistro – The latest outing from Anny Sooksri who you might know from Tea Rose Diner, Chabaar and Siam Noodle House. Sookri’s latest restaurant seems quite the intriguing creation, a whole bunch of flavors flying off in all directions. Thai massaman curry poutine? Sure, you got it. Traditional kow xoiy – a Vietnamese breakfast dish of sticky rice, corn, brown rice, quinoa, flax seed, sorgum & steamed monk bean – yes, that too.
Reviewers on Yelp report encounters with everything from popcorn pork, cauliflower chimichurri, lychee curry with grilled duck, caramel pecan rolls, fish taco’s, pho and then some.
1984 E Murray Holladay Rd, Holladay, UT 84117
Fisher Brewing – This new brewery brings back a name that was missing from Utah shelves for decades; food wise the brewery relies on daily food trucks to pair the brews with a rotating array of delicious food. Burgers, poutine, tacos and more. As for the brewery side of things, in their words:
Originally founded in Salt Lake City in 1884, Fisher Brewing Company has returned as an employee owned, community-focused craft brewery. Located in the Granary District of Salt Lake City, we serve fine ales and lagers in our brewery taproom featuring a rotating cast of local food trucks. Check out our calendar, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for info on new beer releases, food trucks and other brewery happenings.
320 W 800 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Gyro Gyro – O. M. G. More meat. More sticks. More spinny. I feel feint. Actually, the only wrinkle in my delight at more gyro is this restaurant replaces the former Zaferan Cafe in Cottonwood Heights. I’m sad to say I didn’t get to go much post my Trib review. Suffices to say it was a true hidden gem of a restaurant and operated by a great family; no word if this is the same folks.
In fact it’s hard to find anything about this place at all. I didn’t even manage to find a single picture of beautiful, luscious, rotating meat. Virtually nothing to see at all, no website, no Facebook, no nothing. Well, good Yelp reviews.
UPDATE: A helpful reader on Facebook pointed out Zaferan have not closed, but instead moved to 7835 South Highland Dr. – so woo. Double win. More delicious gyro and no loss of a great family business!
2560 Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
Homie’s Burgers & Shakes – Replacing an old Wingers location on State Street is this new burger and shake joint, which also finds time to offer teriyaki bowls too. In fact, there’s a lot going on here. Fried things seems to encompass a lot of what’s on offer: wings, fries, onion rings, fried cod, halibut, shrimp. The full bar and 100 person capacity patio seems to suggest this is a place to hang out and get your calorie on.
Oh, and English chips are apparently on the menu too, I’m going to have to be the judge of that one…
329 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
J Dawgs – Another location for this simplest of sausage shops. $4 gets you a polish or beef dog, chips or a drink are another buck, and a combo is $7. And that’s the menu folks.
1036 Fort Union Blvd, Midvale, UT 84047
Lake Effect – Replacing the defunct Elevate, SLC’s latest luxe bar replete with mixology, fancy grub and a makeover that looks like a trillion dollars went into it. Cocktails run $8-$16 and are supported by a menu of tapas, tacos and Spanish/Mexican leaning cuisine. There’s a lot going on here, brunch, live music, local products and if you’re hip and cool you’ve no doubt already been here two dozen times.
155 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
RoHa Brewing – Another new brewery, courtesy of Rob (Ro) Phillips, Chris (Ha) Haas and Josh Stern. The launch line up includes five brews: Back Porch Pale Ale, Three Deep American Ale, Thursday IPA, Kensington Grand Saison, and the Big Green Couch Double IPA. Expect seasonals to follow as they find their feet.
The brewery is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
30 Kensington Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Sabores De Mexico – “Chef Luis Rodriguez uses his artful talent to blend traditional Mexican ingredients and techniques into flavorful modern dishes for the enjoyment of those seated around the tables of Sabores De Mexico”, so goes the website blurb. A glance at the menu suggests this Ogden Mexican eatery is worth keeping an eye on. In addition to more commonly spotted items the menu has plenty of few eye brow raising moments. For example, Costillas de Borrego Con Mole – rack of lamb served on a bed of yukon mashed potatoes topped off with mole sauce and grilled asparagus.
2501 Grant Ave, Ogden, UT 84401
Soy’s Sushi Bar & Grill – Remember Rice on State Street? That moved to Holladay and renamed itself to Rice Basil? Well, now its back for a third incarnation on the ground floor or Murray’s new Home2 suites hotel. The menu feels familiar, centered around sushi and bolstered by cooked entrees like saba shijoyaki, pad thai, steaks and more.
4927 State St, Murray, UT 84107
Stellar Wings – Not stellar as in rather quite good, though I am sure the food is. No, instead think bigger, think cosmically. At last I think that’s the idea, hence the galactic fries the restaurant offers in addition to wings and tenders aplenty, arriving in various sauces and configurations. Thankfully the menu avoids unnecessary hyperbole like some restaurants are prone to, promising only “the best galactic chicken fries in town“, not the universe you understand.
2704 State St, South Salt Lake, UT 84115
The Sushi – Once upon a time you couldn’t shake a stick without it getting stuck in several sushi restaurants, such was SLC’s crazed obsession with maki sushi. These days we’re apparently obsessing on other matters (craft beer, spinny meat, ramen etc), so much so a new sushi restaurant actually feels refreshing.
The Sushi in Draper has a few more things up it’s sleeves than just maki and nigiri though. There are noodles, rice dishes, curries, terikayi dishes, tempura and more. Oh and boat dinners. Yes, boats. See the picture above and go read the menu on their site for the various boat meals.
684 11400 S, Draper, UT 84020
Thai Archer – Best I can tell, this restaurant is a slightly updated and rebranded version of the former Lokal Kitchen. At least the Facebook and Instagram accounts seem to suggest so. At any rate, this Sugar House restaurant appears to be a fairly by the book Thai restaurant: curries, rice and noodle dishes. The menu does offer a fairly extensive drinks menu with boba, smoothies and juice/tea though.
1429 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Tradition – I’m sure we’ve all drove past this spot on 5th East over the years and wondered when it would become a gyro joint New American restaurant. Wonder no more. The building just adjacent to Beltex Meats is now open for lunch and dinner offering an eclectic menu. Of note are home made pies, which Mary Brown Malouf notes, “turns out the owners of Tradition are Ashton and Max — Max owns Burr Trail Grill in Boulder, Utah. Famous for its pies. We tried the berry ginger with homemade ice cream. Pie to die for.”
There’s a full bar menu and rumor has it this place is the new hot thing, so book ahead. Don’t be a rube and just turn up on Friday at 7 p.m. unannounced.
501 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
White Horse Spirits & Kitchen – If I had to guess, I’d say these guys are trying their hand at the an English boozer; certainly the name and design seem to suggest that. This new bar comes from the operators of Whiskey Street and Bourbon House and looking at their Facebook page, while not quite open, its not far off. If my hunch is right, I hope they’ll be serving up spotted clanger and boiled chips. I’m English, that’s a legit dish. Honest.
UPDATE: a reader contacted me to let me know more precise details about White Horse, “It’s definitely more French inspired than English. There’ll be an oyster bar and other seafood touches with the widest selection of ciders in Utah, and a huge list of apertifs/digestifs.” So no, no clanger, damn.
325 South Main S. Salt Lake City, Utah
Yoko Ramen – It wouldn’t be a new restaurant roundup without a mention of ramen and downtown’s Yoko Ramen has hearts all aflutter from what I hear. Pictured above, two dishes from an ever evolving menu; Hiyashi chuka shoyu – cold noodle salad with soy/pork dressing, chopped trotters, pickled Asian pear, yuzu-tossed Spring vegetables, radish, omelette, spicy mustard, and spicy radish sprouts, $10; Kimchi and pork belly “fried” noodle with miso butter and egg, $12.
473 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
This article may contain content provided by one of our paid partners. These are some of the best businesses in Utah. The current businesses we work with include:
- Bourbon House
- BTG Wine Bar
- Caffe Molise
- Cafe Niche
- Current Fish & Oyster
- Feldman's Deli
- Log Haven
- Oasis Cafe
- SLC Eatery
- Stanza Italian Bistro
- Stoneground Italian Kitchen
- Taqueria 27
- Whiskey Street
- White Horse