Noodles to nachos – what’s new in Utah dining for January

If you’ve finally digested the twenty four course tasting menu that was last month’s roundup of every new opening in 2022, might I tempt you to dessert? Just one more wafer thin bite? Yep, that’s right, we’re back at it again, and looking at everything opening this January – as well as keeping a greedy eye on what’s next.

Beard Papa

Cream puffs (Beard Papa)
Cream puffs (Beard Papa)

Laying claim to title of world’s best cream puff is Beard Papa. This new spot in Sugar House created lines down the street when they opened last weekend; stretching back to the McDonald’s on the other side of the road according to one eagle eyed informant. Originally founded in Osaka, Japan some 23+ years ago, Papa has grown his empire exponentially to now encompass more than 400 global locations. Utah can now be added to a list that spans some 15 countries. Apparently known for their extra light puffs, expect fillings such as green team churro and honey butter – not least a variety of flavored custards too.

Bismarck Dougnuts

Orem’ites also in need of a sweet treat, preferring not to trek to SLC might want to also check out the new Bismarck in their own neck of the woods. Open Monday through Saturday until 8.00 p.m. the business promises “always fresh, always hot” doughnuts and beignets. Prices start at $2.45 for the latter, $3.75 for the former.

Casa Linda

More info from a tipster (do you do any real work stu?). This restaurant is the name that replaced Restaurant Morelia – which you correctly recall closed back in November last year. That story became one of our most trafficked of 2022, as well as the most commented, with a variety of loyal diners stopping by to leave their reminiscences.

There’s little info out there so far about Casa Linda, aside from their Google reviews for the most part; those show a similar menu to Morelia and opening hours of Mon-Sat offering lunch and dinner. The menu also sports a daily rotating lunch special for $11.99, perfect for those wanting to stretch their new year dollars.

Dollie’s Soup & Salad

“Join us for scratch made soup and salad just like you remember it”, so goes the headline item at Dollie’s, a new Sandy spot. Exactly what memory one needs to recall is unclear, last Tuesday perhaps, but from this Facebook post it appears as though the 10060 South State spot in Sandy is an all you cannot affair; $14.95 for lunch, $17.85 for dinner and cheaper prices again for kids and seniors.

Jinya Ramen Bar

This national noodle brand makes it three for Utah with the recent opening of their Lehi location. The new Jinya store joins existing branches in Sugar House and Murray. Utah business mag offers the following press release on the opening.

Kin Sen Noodle

Kin Sen Noodle Bar - boat noodles with short rib (fig.eats)
Kin Sen Noodle Bar – boat noodles with short rib (fig.eats)

The picture above alone makes me excited for this one. Kin Sen returns to the dining scene after a short, but popular, stint in downtown Salt Lake City. The dish pictured looks set to be a signature of the restaurant which our often time contributor Christy writes, “boat noodles with beef short ribs – find a better meal to eat post-snow-recreation, you won’t. Suuuper deep, rich, warming flavor in the broth, lots of juicy meat on the bone-in ribs, great selection of sauces and condiments at the table. There’s a really sweet team running things at the new Millcreek location (where Nuch’s used to be!)”.

And yep, those are fried hunks of chicharrones bobbing up and down on top of that wonderful looking broth. Kin Sen comes from the same team behind Millcreek’s Kao Thai, a sponsor of this site, and easily one of the best Thai restaurants in town.

La Cevicheria

First preview back in October 2022, La Cevicheria is the replacement for Cancun Cafe in downtown SLC and now open for business. The menu begins with a strong selection of both ceviche and aquachile before progressing to cooked dishes, perhaps more Winter friendly – fajitas, enchiladas and burritos.

Loco Burger

Exterior (Loco Burger)
Exterior (Loco Burger)

Practically opening any day – January 16th to be precise – is this blink and you *won’t* miss it burger business. Making the evolutionary step from their existing food truck setup, Loco serves up burgers with Mexican flair. Their new home might be familar to many – you might recall this long corridor like space welded to side of Manny’s Too, once home to Munchies, and Este Deli before that. According to the businesses Facebook pages, they plan to open every day of the week and you can order and enjoy your burgers in the bar next door too. See you there.

Makam’s Indian Restaurant

Expanding from South Salt Lake is this fast casual Indian restaurant. Makam’s continues to operate their 39th original – which also supports a raft of DoorDash ghosts – with this new location opening up on downtown’s Regent Street. The menu remains the same fast-casual setup, grab a bowl of this, maybe a side of this and you’re all set.

Mi Buena Vida

Mi Buena Vida - bar area
Mi Buena Vida – bar area

This new 15th and 15th spot has been causing waves in the neighborhood of late – it being the latest venture to pick up the baton of the former Paris; that the last restaurant that made a long term success at the spot. I managed to pop into Mi Buena this week to take a poke around the space and menu.

Paris patrons will be familiar with the building’s layout, though the famed zinc bar of old is long gone. An open kitchen greets guests in the foyer, tucked back behind the hostess stand as you arrive. Take a right into a more traditional dining space, or left to the bar area pictured above, packed with high tops and a bar. This it turns out, was where we were quickly deposited without query. I should note I did see guests in the bigger dining room later on in the evening – so do ask to sit there – it is indeed open. Also be sure to head back to the main lobby area that features a handsomely stocked salsa bar; that yes you are free to use it, and no, no one told us till we ventured ourselves. These are of course all small hurrumphs, forgivable for a restaurant barely opened more than a few days.

The food itself was enjoyable. I’m not moved to call it the best in the business, but if I was a nearby neighbor you’d for sure find me plonked at the bar, or holding court in the main dining room. A salmon with mole proved to be a little confused, the complexity of the velvety sauce overpowering the mild fish; though the bed of sweetly contrasting corn and onion underneath was a smart foil. A beef fajita plate packed a generous amount of beef with plenty of smokey sear, even if the platter itself wasn’t presented asizzle (it’s a word if I say it is). A crispy shrimp app was executed well, the creamy sauce made more adventurous with some chile de arbol salsa; capsaicin fans should note this was the most incendiary I could find, and even then, it proved only a mild to medium adjunct.

I particularly enjoyed the creamy side of black beans, served cleanly and simple, as well as the cilantro spiked rice. The menu is surprisingly affordable for the location – with items like guac found nearly 50% cheaper than some downtown spots. Let’s take a moment to remember the previous prices here and appreciate the spot for what it is, a neighborhood hang out. Heck – you can even score a margarita for less than ten bucks. I don’t say that often these days.

Pine Cone Ridge

Dishes and interior (Pine Cone Ridge)
Dishes and interior (Pine Cone Ridge)

Meanwhile, up in Park City, this is the latest from Bill White’s restaurant empire – and another for Main Street. The following is info I received directly from Pine Cone Ridge on their opening:

. . .

Our newest restaurant and bar concept established in 2022 created by restaurateur Bill White, serving elevated contemporary American cuisine on historical Main Street in Park City, Utah. Our menu focuses on farm fresh ingredients, thoughtfully curated menu by Chef Gudrun Thorne-Thomsen, and a variety of craft cocktails and extensive wine lists from around the globe. A reimagined dining room surrounded by nuances of Americana artwork, emerald green tufted booths, Brazilian hardwood flooring, and a one of a kind ambiance and service. This new experience is ready to envelop you!

. . .

Chef’s Gudrun Thorne-Thomsen and Ben Fillmore book end a menu that reads with sea bass, scallops and duck legs. It goes without saying that prices are balanced for their Summit County location – but as with all Bill White restaurants, I wouldn’t expect anything less than a very well executed one.

S’ghetti To Go

After last year’s By The Bucket opening which caused many a head to turn – then promptly fall off in shock – who knew it would be the cusp of a whole new world. Open now in Layton, S’ghetti To Go, which will surely challenge Oquirrh for Utah’s most impossible to spell.

The menu offers plenty of cheap eats to go quickly. The apex of the menu (at least in my greedy mind) takes the SLC innovator a step further. As well as red sauce and alfredo laden noodles to go – S’Ghetti put the stuff on sandwiches. Yep. Garlic bread, sauce, noodles, meatballs. While the carb-on-carb Brit in me dearly loves this wild abandon, those of a more timid constitution (say recent SoCal arrivals) might want to proceed with caution.

Simplicity Cocktails

The ink on the liquor license is barely dry on this one. Simplicity are Utah’s latest “micro-distillery”, awarded their license at the last DABS meeting of 2022. This means their new location near the SLC Costco is good to go for take out canned cocktails. Take a peak inside via this video.

Vessel Kitchen

The sixth location for Vessel is now open – and this weekend – set to welcome guests with a special grand opening; GSLC contributor Val Phillips also has some insight into the opening here. Here are some deets provided by the business on what to expect:

. . .

Vessel Kitchen is excited to celebrate the opening of its Farmington location this weekend with a two-day grand opening extravaganza on January 13th and 14th. This new location will mark the sixth storefront for the locally owned and operated restaurant in its six years since opening. The latest Vessel addition will debut at Station Park in Farmington, Utah. 

  • Day one –  On Friday, January 13th, the restaurant will host a Get & Give Event, where guests can purchase any entrée at Station Park and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Bountiful Food Pantry. There will also be a local mural artist, Elisa Gomez, onsite painting a one-of-a-kind design on the restaurant’s wall that guests can witness. 
  • Day two – On Saturday, January 14th, the official Grand Opening Event will take place, with fun prizes and activities for all. Be sure to get there early, because the first 50 people in line will be getting special Vessel perks including FREE meal vouchers, swag and more!  

Vuture Food / Taste Of Louisiana

Woodbine Food Hall’s opening was one of the most anticipated (then well read articles) of last year. This year continues to build on their successful launch welcoming two new vendors of late. Both Vuture Food and Taste Of Louisiana have joined the menu boards at this Granary District food hall.

Vuture offer a 100% vegan friendly menu, all crisp chicken sandwiches and oozing cheesy burgers; while ToL do exactly what they say on the tin, serving up étouffée and gumbo.

Coming soon

Big Daddy’s

News reported late last year suggests that the downtown Big Daddy’s will be moving. Building Salt Lake tweeted, ” Big Daddy’s Pizza is coming down. Developers are working on a student housing project at 500 S. 700 E., and a demolition permit has been pulled for this nonconforming building. Big Daddy’s is opening another location on 800 South in Central City.”

Hot Buns

I have it on good authority that Ryan Lowder’s walk up window is set to open very soon. I’ll have precise details in the coming weeks, but since the original conception as a bao/dumpling spot a couple years back, it has now evolved into a sandwich to go option. Think Copper Common’s much vaunted bar burger, or other hand helds like chicken sandwiches. Hot Buns can be found on the East side of Copper Common, a window ordering spot for guests to grab grub to go on the move.

Houston Hot Chicken

Do you like your chicken hot? Do you live in Lehi? You’re in luck. HHC are set to be the latest to give the people what they want. Which is fried chicken sandwiches. Currently poised to debut in town come January 23rd according to their website – which also reveals their original hot chicken sandwich sells for $9.99 and comes with a brioche bun (ugh) slaw and house sauce.

Those feeling particularly like cracking fusion ignition can sign a waiver (yes really) and select their “Houston we have a problem” heat level. It clocks in at 2 million scovilles (that’s practically pepper spray levels folks) and will result in many a macho-idiot crying on TikTok. Good for them.

Mono Tape

Here’s what our very own Pete Souvall wrote recently about this new spot coming from the Yoko Ramen team in 2023, “Calling this one early. Monotape is going to be a hot spot. The beautiful listening room beneath Yoko Ramen hasn’t even opened fully yet, and it’s already the talk of the town. But for a good reason. The bar serves fine and simplistic cocktails as well as beautifully executed coffees. It’s an absolute one-of-a-kind piece of the city destined to add another layer of excitement to our burgeoning culinary scene If you had told me 5 years ago that a jazz bar with high-end coffee and Japanese cocktails would open in our little city and thrive, I would have called you crazy. But these days, they will need a second location. Because it’s going to explode.” The official opening date is TBD but I’ll keep you posted.

Pizza Nono Millcreek

A second location for the well regarded Pizza Nono (the OG is in the 9th and 9th) its coming along nicely. Set to open shortly in the Millcreek commons area – I received the following info from the business today – along with a tip on a deal to grab too:

. . .

This month marks our 6 year anniversary! We are so grateful for this Salt Lake community and these past few years of delicious pizza and good company. We are almost at the finish line for our new Millcreek Commons location and to both get us to the end and get those doors open as well as to celebrate 6 years of our 9th and 9th location, we are doing a flash sale on gift cards for all three locations (Nono 9th, Nona, and Nono Millcreek). For a limited time, get 20% off all gift cards with code SIXYEARS! One gift card works at all three locations

Hog Tradition BBQ

Utah’s latest food hall should be opening in the coming weeks. The Local will feature a variety of vendors, but one that caught my attention was Hog Tradition. We need some serious competition in Utah when it comes to smoked meats, here’s hoping these guys can bring it.

Los Catracho’s

I caught this one on the RIC FB group here, that posted the incoming arrival of this new Honduran food truck, a contributor writing, “To all my friends in Utah county, my good friend Leonel is opening his food truck Los Catrachos, very soon everyone will be able to try his Baleadas and other fantastic grub from Honduras, believe me this food is AWESOME!”

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: 

Opening a new restaurant in Utah? Be sure to read our restaurant resource section which includes info on everything from marketing through POS systems.

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1 thought on “Noodles to nachos – what’s new in Utah dining for January”

  1. I’m actually looking forward to Dollie’s soup & salad place. The Sweet Tomatoes salad/soup buffet used to be in that same building, so I’m guessing that’s what the “just like you remember” statement refers to. What I remember is my oldest son telling me (walking past the salad bar with an empty plate) that his goal was to go through life without ever having to eat a salad. Lucky that they had some decent soups that day. He dropped that goal somewhere along the line, and now eats salad all the time. I may ask him to come to Dollie’s with me.

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