Roll up, roll up. It’s time to rapidly run down the list of new, notable and next. In the year to date so far we’ve seen a whirlwind of openings – and it doesn’t look set to slow any time soon. Since the last recap in July there’s another three dozen or so places to report on – so strap in and get your best eating pants in the wash. As ever I choose to start out of alpha-numeric-time-space as is my prerogative (see, pretty pictures).
The last twelve months have seen substantial updates over at Laziz Kitchen. Hot on the heels of their recent opening in Midvale comes the pictured downtown SLC location – the third for the business. It opens up in the spot once home to Curry Up Now over on 200 S. (the old Cedars Of Lebanon). With it comes the counter ordering model of its Midvale cousin, which has also rolled out to the Central 9th original as well. The Lebanese menu has also been re-spun and re-worked. The focus is now more broadly Mediterranean, and the ordering format of the ‘pick your protein’, ‘choose your style’ variety.
What’s remained the same? All the best bits frankly – it’s still the warmly embracing and inclusive space it has been since day one – and the food is still fun and fresh. The lamb burger sports a crisped beet that makes a tongue in cheek stand in for bacon. The crispy fried breaded chicken escalope is a new menu addition and perfect over the soft rice and lentil blend.
Also coming along with the new downtown location…
You might recall the downtown Curry Up Now arrived alongside Mortar & Pestle, the snug cocktail bar out back on Edison Street. That too has been supplanted by the Laziz crew with the new Back Door. It’s still a 21+ only bar, and it’s still connected to the restaurant out front. There’s a new look and feel, a more luxurious and chic one. I hate to roll out the overplayed speakeasy title, but thats the best descitopjn I have. Plush sofa, dim lights and wood paneled respite.
Back Door remains a private and separated entity. Swing by for cocktails if the mood takes you, there’s no need to order food. If you do, you can take advantage of Laziz’s menu, finger food ready mezze.
Viet Pham’s ever burgeoning chickenpire has now grown by one. This months sees the doors to the fourth location of Pretty Bird swing open over in Midvale. It’s a starkly modern space. The interior is all virgo-soothing geometrical tile and angles and Kubrick.
The ordering is same electronic overlord you might’ve encountered first at the Sugar House location. The POS system greets you at the front door ready to take your order. Press the shiny screen, grab a number, go plant your rear in a seat. Part of me wants to just shout “computer, chicken” at the screen, but alas for now, it’s all swipe and point.
It’s all rather slick with food hitting your table barely a few minutes later. Mind you, the technological Utopia falls apart if you dare to buy liquor (there’s wine, beer and seltzers); whereupon a friendly staffer has to saunter over to inspect ID, but hey, Utah. Worthy of note therein, the Pretty Bird menu offers a bottle of Dom for $275 – the chicken comes free 😉
More chicken, this time suqaar with Somalian rice. At this new SLC spot (145 E, 1300 S) East African cuisine is served alongside more immediately recognizable Middle Eastern and South Asian dishes – shawarma, tandoor roasted meat, biryani and more. Want to dive face first into the Abaadir menu and try it all? Abaadir also offers a buffet, though I can’t quite locate the details on what that entails. Hit me up if you know.
I’d been tracking the second coming of this American-Korean fusion joint for quite some time; but had impressively failed to detect the final opening. Sigh. A keen eyed reader helpfully dropped me a note to confirm that the Cottonwood Heights location is indeed now open. Angry Korean (a kinda play on Seinfeld’s soup nazi if you will) has been a favorite of mine since they opened.
Starting life in South Jordan – the work of Peter Kim and Young-Ho Kang, two Korean chefs with strong backgrounds out of state. Kim’s includes a stint at Momofuku under David Chang – NYC’s king of umami – before moving onto Michelin starred Korean eatery Danji. Kang – a seasoned sushi chef himself across the US and Korea – met Kim here in Utah. If you want to dive right into the fusion don’t look any further than the Korean cheesesteak pictured above which is loaded up with marinated Korean bulgogi beef.
A second location of the popular donut shop is now open in Centerville (330 W Parrish Ln). P.s. you’ll need to bring your own peaches if you want to recreate that pictured plate. Read more on that in our recent peaches story here.
The bobaning continues across the valley with the latest bubble tea shop opening up in West Valley City (2927 S 5600 W). Milk teas, fruit drinks, brown sugar drinks, it’s all here. Prices run $5-$8 for drinks. Their menu doesn’t presently list food options.
By The Bucket
Is it a portent of the end times? Is it simply a way to feed a famished family on an increasingly stretched thin budget? You decide. This Arizonian fast casual has been simmering away in the pot for a while but I am told by passers by that it’s now open. Check out our initial preview and profile of the business here. Then rejoice or weep, it’s your call.
Cattleman’s Burger Co.
New in town for Manganites (or is that Manganese) – Cattleman’s Burger Company. In a world of arugula, brioche buns and demands for the twenty in your wallet – a five dollar burger is an almost cryptozoological discovery. But that’s what the menu at Cattleman’s gamely starts with, not least offering fries for a meagre two bucks extra. An no they’re not topped with truffles and parmesan either.
Celebrity’s Soul Food
Now open in Draper is the the first Utah location of the quickly growing Celebrity’s Soul Food Bistro. The business is the work of Floridian’s Fredrick and Taja Jacobs, prior caterers to the stars; they can find Oprah in their rolodex, can you? The SLC opening is the second location for the brand after the Sunshine State’s flagship store – Tennessee will be next.
The menu starts with eye brow raising gold dusted chicken wings before moving onto more assured footing, classic dishes such as oxtail, catfish, meatloaf and fried chicken. Chain or not it’s a culinary tradition we sorely lack at present, not least one that has community plans in mind.
In a Tribune story Stefene Russell writes that, “Once they have the bistro humming along, they said, the plan is to begin giving part of the proceeds from the restaurant to an LGBTQ+ center, and to also support an organization for homeless youth.” Here’s a bit more on the opening via press release.
Fresh Fusion Asian & BBQ Restaurant
Here’s hoping for this sort of show stopping display at this new Asian BBQ joint. Fresh Fusion brings a variety of Chinese BBQ to the Ballpark area, and it appears to be exciting stuff. Beyond the grilled chicken hearts and skewered lamb, the menu ends with a variety of spiky Sichuan dishes; twice cooked pork and spicy boiled fish. Disciples of the numbing prickly ash assemble.
Harajuku Grill & Sushi
Onto Harrisville then and this new Japanese restaurant which promises, “Harajuku Grill & Sushi offers a casual, good vibes, environment with menu options for everyone – including kids!” Harajuku is open seven days a week the menu has the whole shebang, myriad sushi preparations through cooked dishes – soba to katsu through steaks and seafood.
A second location for this coffee hotspot is now open in South Salt Lake (1588 S. Main St.). Open seven days a week for caffeine addled fiends and lovers of baked sugar alike. The peaches and cream pinwheel croissant at Honeysuckle looks particularly perfect on their online menu. I can think of far worse ways to lose a five dollar bill.
Spanish Fork makes a quartet of locations for this Utah taco brand. The location at 1253 N. Canyon Creek Pkwy joins Pleasant Grove, Orem and Eagle Mountain. Jurassic also operate a number of food trucks around Utah.
The end of August saw the grand opening of this second location of Los Tapatios. The new Taylorsville facility (3269 W 5400 S) brings the same Jalisco-borne cuisine of the original, which first opened back in 2020. The menu is packed with the belle of the current foodie ball – birria – available in every format you can imagine: tacos, torta, mulita, burrito, quesadilla and ramen. It’s a visually arresting collection start to finish, the kind of stuff that will have you breathlessly posting a dizzying TikTok video in short order. If that’s your thing.
Lucky Ones Coffee
More info on this new Kamas coffee house from KPCW who have a ten minute listen along on the business. Lucky Ones Coffee have been operating for a while in the Park City Library. According ti KPCW, “they’ve expanded by adding a mobile food truck and are now opening a location in Kamas.”
Mama Coco Kitchen
South Salt Lake (3357 S. Main) recently welcomed this brand new soul food spot. The menu at Mama’s focused on po boys, available in four ways – chicken, shrimp and fish – or all three loaded atop one presumably teetering creation of protein.
Maxwell’s Little Bar
According to the Downtown Alliance this 21+ only space recently opened on 200 S. under the Westgate Lofts. The new Maxwell’s is a snug space by all accounts seating around thirty of your best friends. The menu brings all the favorites from the now closed Main Street location – and importantly – an all new walk-up window for to go slices.
Melissa Crepes and Coffee is another new South Salt Lake business (3432 State St.) offering coffee and tea alongside a menu of sweet and savory crepes. Make mine a creamy alfredo chicken crepe with the nutella/Oreo/caramel for dessert please.
Mrs. Hewitt’s / Crushed Soda
The Trib reported on this one as follows, “Mrs. Hewitt’s, a Utah-based gluten-free food company, is opening Crushed Soda, a new soda shop and bakery (1661 W. 7000 South, West Jordan). The grand opening is Monday, Sept. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m., and includes food and drink samples. The entire menu is gluten-free, with some vegan items, and there will be a store inside the cafe where you can buy gluten-free Mrs. Hewitt’s bread, cake and cookie mixes. “
The latest to pop up in South Salt Lake’s ever revolving kaleidoscope of flavor which is Chinatown (3390 S State St). The menu is one of a comfort food that speaks directly to my soul; which is to say it’s helmed by a variety of fried rice dishes and supported by plates of pork belly and Japanese curry. Find me at Mr Rice stat.
Neutral Ground Lounge
This one has undergone several changes since I first started to monitor their arrival. Pictured above is a rather fabulous jambalaya I sampled while chef John Belvin Jr. was at the helm. Since that Spring to-go order, Neutral Ground’s kitchen has been taken over by chef Colette Moss; a Blanding Utah born chef, who returns to Utah by way of Seattle and L.A. Stefan Bach joins her as sous.
Looking on from afar the menu and concept seems to have evolved since my first encounter – pictured above is the jambalaya I sampled from Belvin’s tenure. The now open restaurant can be found in the old Nomad Eatery restaurant in North Salt Lake and sports a menu of classic Southern dishes alongside more creative takes like Southern carbonara and flatbreads. It’s also home to the only alligator tacos in Utah I know of.
Nona Ina Italian Restaurant
News from Stefene Russell at the Tribune on this one, “Nona Ina Italian Restaurant recently opened at 567 S. Valley View Dr., St. George. The restaurant is operated by a family from Sicily, using recipes passed down through generations. “
One Noodle Bar
Now open in West Jordan (1793 W. 7800 South) is this pan-Asian eatery. There’s a lot going on at One Noodle with a menu that excitedly features everything from duck bao through to udon, soba, ramen, poke and more. The restaurant is open seven days a week.
Now landed in St. George, Pinkbox is a Las Vegas founded doughnut brand that according to the press release, is known for the “one-of-a-kind menu of 70+ rotating doughnuts”. The business welcomed Utahns through the door in August and also writes that, “the new location showcasing a unique Utah-themed doughnut in addition to its full lineup of tasty treats, its collection of branded merchandise, and its signature, whimsical décor throughout the shop of pink drips on the walls, 3-dimensional sprinkles, and pink floor stripes. The 2,700 square foot St. George location includes a drive-thru and a patio, complete with a doughnut table and oversized Instagram-able pink doughnut statue with sprinkles in front.”
For those studying the corner of 2100 S. and 700 E. in Sugar House you might have queried what the precise twist was for this impending pizzeria. It’s much in the vein of the home grown Curry Pizza – the unique inflection here is Indian flair. That means a menu replete with palak and paneer as well as traditional pizza toppings for those afraid of change. Notable on the menu is a selection of halal meat including sliced lamb and beef bacon.
Love or loathe the aesthetic of this pinkly bedecked business, you can’t say that this new Woods Cross restaurant doesn’t have a keen self of self and style. The IG-worthy design at Plated Dreams isn’t by accident of course, the restaurant states, “as soon as you enter this restaurant, it’s hard not to be slapped with the wow” factor and a jaw dropping eagerness to reach for those cameras.” The menu offers breakfast and lunch, Tuesday through Friday, with brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Once home to Q One Korean I believe, this new Thai option moves into the spot at 5612 S. 900 E.
Quarters Arcade Bar
After months of giddy DABS appearances, the Sugar House location of Quarters Arcade Bar was finally licensed, and is now open. The spot along 2100 S. follows on where the original in the basement space of the old Manhattan Club left off. There are classic and retro arcade games aplenty as well as a full bar. I’m also told something special might be headed their way on the food front too. Watch this space though, for now, gimme that roll of quarters.
This opening in Farmington (330 N. Central Ave) makes it six for the business as a whole. If you’re still new to the Vessel Kitchen concept, the restaurant aims to take the pain out of dinnertime. You can swing by to simply grab a side dish or two, or maybe you’ll just get a full dinner of smartly prepared meals; the business is built from the ground up to support tired home cooks who don’t want to end up under golden arches yet again.
Another quickly expanding group – Vietopia. Draper (1442 E Draper Pkwy) is the latest location for the Vietnamese restaurant group which now features a quintet of locations; in addition to three Vietopias the chain also operates Pho To in Taylorsville as well as Pho Bin Hoc in east Jordan. The menu affords a familiar list of Vietnamese classics, vermicelli bun through to rice plates and banh mi.
A second Utah location of national chain WannaCinn is now slinging sugar in Riverton (4578 W Partridge Hill Ln). ABC4 reports that owner and founder David Sickich “has been perfecting this recipe for ten years. Cinnamons rolls are baked fresh daily with the unique flavors baked directly into the roll rather than plopped on top. Farmington is in the works too.
ComCom Kitchen Millcreek
As noted this month, commissary kitchen ComCom is expanding to Millcreek (894 East 3900 South).
A new brick and mortar location for the Utah fine chocolate company appears to be coming in just a few weeks time according to this post.
I wrote about this one a few weeks back here. El Cholo comes our way via the city of angels -established in 1923 by Sonoran natives Alejandro Borquez and wife Rosa. The restaurant was rated by Thrillist in a list of *the* essential L.A. Mexican restaurants to sample in the city.
The restaurant has grown to a sextuplet of locations with the seventh set for Sugar House at 2166 S. and 900 E. The new Utah facility looks set to bring the popular menu to the Beehive, which includes plenty of Sonoran specialties; not to mention the neat touch of calling out the year a dish was brought to the storied menu.
Homecoming Southern Kitchen & Bar
If you wondered what was coming together in the downtown SLC space once home to the Olive Garden, let me tell you. It’s set to be the next project for the BonPatt Restaurant Group (Christopher’s Prime, Fat Jack’s, and Toro Rosa). The neon signs are up, as is the website menu which reads impeccably. Fingers crossed for this one delivering on the menu’s promise.
Mar | Muntanya
The fancy pants spot that is set to open in the Hyatt Regency – the new 700 room shiny tower attached to the Salt Palace. I wrote about this one in detail here, this is one to watch for sure in the coming 12 months. Please, please, please, morcilla.
Mr. And Mrs. Crab
The Tribune reported on this one as follows, “the Mr. and Mrs. Crab seafood chain is coming soon to Taylorsville, at 4150 S. Redwood Road.”
I might be more excited for this opening than pretty much everything else on this list. I first sampled Noemi’s fabulous Chilean cooking as part of the now defunct Chefpanzee – you can read more on that first experience here; suffices to say their empanadas and pastel de cholo are knockouts. Anyway, the former catering business are almost ready to open their first bricks and mortar – a grand opening is expected September 18th.
Polar Bear Drive In
This posted to Facebook in recent weeks by Sawyer Hemsley, founder of Crumbl cookies:
It’s been hard to keep this a secret.. but I’m ready to tell my circle of people! WE ARE BRINGING BACK THE POLAR BEAR DRIVE-IN! I’ve officially purchased the original recipes from Steve and Dixie Larsen and have their blessing to move forward with this project. This hometown icon has been missed dearly and I’m excited to bring back the magical menu to our small town.
Burgers, shakes, onion rings and that famous scotch n’ soda? It’s all coming back! I’m personally most excited about the english chips — YUM. Give us a follow at Polar Bear Eats for some more fun updates to come!”
If you found yourself imagining what the old Mellow Mushroom in Sugar House might become, dream no more. The former pizza restaurant is set to be reborn, as well, another pizza restaurant. More prosaic industry types will no doubt comment on the not entirely unexpected – pizza ovens are big, hulking and expensive.
Poplar Grove Cidery
The always in the know Building Salt Lake posted this story about an impending cider and bar in Poplar Grove. BSL write, ” Poplar Grove would get its first watering hole as a pair of local entrepreneurs looks to open a cidery just west of I-15.In a recently rehabbed building at 730 W. 900 S., Thieves Cidery seeks to capitalize on its location on the 9-Line multi-use trail by opening the only cidery on the west side.
The company submitted for a conditional use permit this month. If it gets the required state and local permissions, it hopes to open this spring. “Thieves Guild is a mysterious craft micro cidery and experience bar currently under construction somewhere in Salt Lake City,” the company says on its temporary site.”
Riverton should have an outlet of this quickly growing BBQ chain soon. Full press release on Restaurant News here.
Row Ohh’s Chicken and Waffles
Another hat tip to the Trib’s Stefene Russell who writes, “Row Ohh’s Chicken and Waffles has transitioned from a food truck to a storefront, located at 73 W. 7200 South, Sandy.”
Seasons Plant Based Bistro
This popular vegan eatery, once found on State Street, are currently working on a new home at 916 Jefferson St – right next door to Scion Cider and Laziz. Expect vegan pizza.
If you didn’t hear the news, where have you been living, under a brioche bun? Here’s a story I recently published on the hyped return of an arguable Utah institution.
In his ongoing review of change in downtown SLC, Joshua Jones wrote about this as yet named new Mexican spot, “Across the street, a new owner is remodeling what was Cancun Cafe and is planning a Mexican restaurant featuring pescados y mariscos. Mexican del mar is a category missing in downtown, so bring on the ceviche, we’re ready!”
According to this social media, Tsubame, will be the first conveyor belt sushi in Utah county. The company write, “The first conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Utah county is well underway with a slated opening of late September. Tsubame will be equipped with a conveyor belt system that has sushi and other Japanese fare rotating around each table as well as tablets at every table to allow customers to order from. A complete bullet train system will deliver the food ordered from the tablets. Tsubame is located in front of the Geneva Megaplex theater in Vineyard Utah. Right now we are giving out 8 $30 gift cards. Either follow our page, tag who you will be bringing or both for a chance to win.
Previously mentioned with no further update
We’ve written about the following new restaurants in recent posts tracking new restaurants around SLC. We’ve heard no further news on these at this time:
- Adelaide Restaurant And Bar – last mentioned February 2022
- Apex Brewing – last mentioned January 2022
- Bistro by Butler – last mentioned January 2022
- Bistro Provenance – last mentioned May 2022
- By The Bucket – last mentioned June 2022
- Captain D’s – last mentioned March 2020
- Big Chicken – last mentioned July 2022
- Coffee & Tonic – last mentioned June 2021
- Crane Ramen – last mentioned March 2020
- Italian Graffiti – last mentioned May 2022
- Electric Fish – last mentioned July 2022
- Fife Brewing – last mentioned March 2020
- The Fish Market Park City – last mentioned July 2022
- Fuzzy’s Taco Shop – last mentioned June 2022
- Gourmandise American Fork – last mentioned April 2022
- Gyro Shack – last mentioned October 2020
- Hash Kitchen – last mentioned December 2021
- Hearth And Hill – last mentioned December 2021
- Hope Gallery – last mentioned December 2021
- Island Fin Poke – last mentioned July 2022
- Judy’s Restaurant – last mentioned July 2022
- Killer Burger – last mentioned June 2021
- Las Botellas – last mentioned January 2022
- Lemon Shark Poke – last mentioned October 2020
- The Local Market & Bar – last mentioned December 2021
- Maize Taco – last mentioned January 2022
- Maria’s Mexican Grill – last mentioned May 2022
- Martine – last mentioned October 2021
- Noemi’s – last mentioned December 2021
- Nomo Asian Grill – last mentioned May 2022
- Pizza Nono – last mentioned August 2021
- Pow Pow Ice Cream – last mentioned June 2022
- Recharge Bar & Grill – last mentioned January 2022
- Roll’d Vietnamese – last mentioned December 2021
- Roots Coffee Co – last mentioned March 2021
- Santo Tacos – last mentioned July 2022
- Slim Chickens – last mentioned April 2022
- Sol Agave – last mentioned February 2022
- Sushi Squad – last mentioned April 2022
- Tacomania – last mentioned February 2022
- Tea Rose Thai Express – last mentioned February 2022
- Urban Hill – last mentioned May 2022
- Wanda Lee’s Chicken Coop – last mentioned May 2022
- Xing Fu Tang – last mentioned February 2022
Opening a new restaurant in Utah? Be sure to read our restaurant resource section which includes info on everything from marketing through POS systems.
Keep the conversation going
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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 multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of 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”.
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