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101 Utah restaurant dishes to try this year

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club - pulled pork sandwich

Sometimes it’s hard to see the woods for the trees. Or should that be gyro for the tzatziki. Feel free to insert your own edible idiom, then proceed onto this most mammoth of lists. Essentially a rough recap of the better plates of food that were placed before my greasy mitts in 2022.

Stuck in a rut? Looking for dining inspiration? Feel like you’ve missed some of our essential coverage? Please then, dig into the following one hundred and one small bites. If this isn’t a smorgasbord I don’t know what is.

101 – Twisted Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Twisted Tiramisu

Banana cream and salted caramel, Boston cream pie, Thai tea – just three of the myriad flavor creations that you can have delivered to your door in tiramisu format. Since fizzing into life in 2021 Twisted can now be found in several stores around town now as well.

100 – Crack Shack

Fried chicken

Crack Shack

99 – Crack Shack

Coup de ville sandwich

Crack Shack - coup de ville sandwich

Winging its way from Southern California is this chain that’s worth your time. Originally co-founded by molecular-maestro Richard Blais, Crack Shack famously rely on Jidori chicken; high quality, organic and free range. This is used to power a myriad menu of fried chicken and sandwiches.

98 – Tacos Garay

Family pack

The pictured bounty? At the time it cost me roughly fifty bucks. That relative pittance secured a pound of barbacoa, a pound of carnitas, three dozen-ish tortilla, rice, beans, salsa and toppings galore. The Granary District Mexican eatery sits just over the road from T.F Brewing. What I can neither confirm nor deny is that I ate the lot myself. I’m taking that information to the grave.

97 – Chettinad House

Seekh kebab and kadai chicken

Chettinad House - seekh kebab and kadai chicken

96 – Chettinad House

Biryani and chicken tikka

Chettinad House - chicken biryani, chicken tikka

Chettinad moved into the historic digs of the century-long lived Lamb’s Grill. They brought another great Indian option to downtown SLC, and one I’ve been back to time and again. Their biryani and kadai chcicken in particular are strong dishes.

95 – Golden Gyros

Gyro

94 – Golden Gyros

BLT

Golden Gyros - BLT

This might be my goto for a solidly reliably gyro right now (ask me in person about the litany of damp squibs I’ve tried over the past twelve months, some from supposed big names). Available with red, white or both sauces, the gyro is one of the most densely stacked I know of. And when you want a gyro, you want MEAT. Also notable at Golden Gyros is the BLT, a hangover savior constructed with big thick slices of greasy Texas toast, all crisp and caloried. The wallet friendly prices are icing on the cake.

93 – Copper Common

Radicchio salad

Copper Common - charred radicchio salad

92 – Copper Common

Nduja and mussels

Copper Common - nduja and mussels

This 21+ only bar has seen me returning time and time again over the last year. So much so I wondered if they might suspect me of casing the joint. Since their reboot about a year ago, Ryan Lowder’s idiosyncratic nod to a former life in NYC features an ever rotating menu of small plates, some of the best craft cocktails in the city, and a trendy all natural wine list.

91 – Feldman’s Deli

Roast beef sandwich

An oldie, but a goldie. In 2022 I dared to venture outside the sensual charms of Feldman’s pastrami and went with a more sedate roast beef cold cut. For a moment existential panic gripped me. What had I done. Best roast beef I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Best decision I made that week.

90 – Sasa Kitchen

Popcorn chicken

Sasa Kitchen - popcorn chicen and green onion pancake

Over on the East benches you will find this fine Chinese spot. Sasa’s Popcorn chicken makes for a safer bet for those that might not crave the rocket fuel fire of their Sichuan spiked dishes.

89 – Gurkha’s

Chicken tikka fried biryani

Gurkha's - chicken tikka fried biryani

You’ll need to employ some effort yourself to achieve this one – but first you will need to enjoy a meal at Gurkha’s. This plate was the resulting amalgamation of leftover biryani and a few chunks of tandoor roasted chicken. Into the pan they went with some extra onion, quickly scrambled egg and a flurry of fenugreek leaves. The result was a fried rice that rocked my socks right off into my raita.

88 – Sara Thai Kitchen

Khao man kai

Sara Thai Kitchen - Khao man kai

87 – Sara Thai Kitchen

Thai sausage

Sara Thai Kitchen - Thai sausage

Sara Thai landed on our streets out of Vegas. The family behind Sara moved to Utah for some well earned rest after a fast paced three decade stint in Sin City. The standout dish for me was the khao man kai – a Thai take on Hainanese chicken. Skin on chicken is poached and served over jasmine rice. A side of garlic/ginger sauce adds a little more intrigue to a dish that’s delicately light and energizing.

86 – IndieGo Coffee

Chicken tikka pastry

IndieGo Coffee - chicken tikka

Over in South Salt Lake you will find this cozy coffee spot that eschews the usual blueberry muffins. Instead of the day old Costco cast offs you will find a range of hand held savory pastries infused with Indian flair – all made in house. The buttery and flaky chicken tikka is my pick of the bunch at IndieGo.

85 – Neutral Ground Lounge

Jambalaya

Neutral Ground - jambalaya

Since I snagged this robust rice dish at the start of last year, I believe the chef has moved on; the restaurant itself though has grown and evolved. While I haven’t been back to Neutral Ground since, the jambalaya I enjoyed way back when was replete with that deep, deep flavor that only long studied technique achieves.

84 – Flanker Kitchen

Spicy tuna bites

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club - Spicy Tuna Bites

83 – Flanker Kitchen

Wings

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club - wings over burner

82 – Flanker Kitchen

The big tacowski

Flanker - The Big Tacowski

SLC’s Flanker was the first spot for the national rollout of a brand everyone will become more and more familiar with. Arizona just turned the lights on, while a spot inside the Mandalay Bay (on the walk to the Raider’s stadium) will open this Summer. More will follow. All should build on the Utah template of smart bar food, given a lift from a hands on chef. The spicy tuna bites on crispy rice cakes made for one of the best appetizers I enjoyed last year. They couldn’t be more removed from the deep fried jalapeño poppers of your dad’s bar. The big tacowski platter is priced better than some standalone taco shops, and the side salsas are sublime.

81 – Crown Burgers

Gyro

Crown Burgers - gyro

A perennial favorite. Here’s a zen koan for you – if you go a full year and don’t eat at Crown – can you even call yourself a Utahn? Their gyro is solid and simple without unnecessary fuss. There’s no lettuce or arugula here, just meat and sauce wrapped in carbohydrate.

crown-burgers.com

80 – Katrina’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

Chile Colorado

Katrina's Mexican Restaurant & Cantina - chile Colorado

79 – Katrina’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

Mole

By my estimation, I’d say this Millcreek Mexican spot is still under the relative radar of most folks. I don’t see them talked about all that often, nor do they popup on my social media that much. That’s a real shame. Katrina’s chile Colorado is top tier and their quartet of moles all demonstrably unique and complex. The latter are all available individually too, grab a bunch and then use them in your home cooking all week long.

78 – Grid City

Veggie Bangkok bowls

Grid City - veggie Bangkok bowls

While the menu at this South Salt Lake brew spot is always in flux, there’s typically a solid line up of vegan friendly dishes. If you do stop by, their honey cream all (ask for the cask) is a good a taste of an English style beer you can hope to ever taste in Utah. Except of course if a certain brewer is ever allowed to brew Mr Mellings that is.

79 – Sushi Groove

Maki

78 – Sushi Groove

Nigiri

Sushi Groove -  inari, trout, escolar

77 – Sushi Groove

Cookie challenge

Sushi Groove - cookie challenge

I’ve been a customer at the ‘Groove since day one, which is now more than ten years. The atmosphere is bright and buzzy, and there’s always a lively crowd. Swing by on Tuesday’s for $2.50 nigiri specials, and don’t even think about leaving without sharing the cookie challenge – deep fried Oreos folks.

76 – Caputo’s

Muffuletta

I managed to pry myself away from the signature Caputo for the first time last year. I know, I know, I do it for you guys. Instead I went with this Big Easy classic; layers of quality Genoa ham and salami supported by an arresting briny thwack of spicy tapenade. The ciabatta roll means business and doesn’t disintegrate into soggy regret. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but I can easily say Caputo’s are top ten when it comes with sandwiches in Utah.

caputos.com

75 – Kao Thai

Braised short rib

Kao Thai - braised short rib

74 – Kao Thai

Basil fried rice

Kao Thai - basil fried rice

73 – Kao Thai

Penang curry

Kao Thai - tofu panang curry

For my money, Kao Thai place in the top three of Thai restaurants in Salt Lake City. That braised rib falls right off the bone and is comfort food heaven. The basil fried rice is up there with the best I’ve tasted, same for the curries. They float under the radar, they shouldn’t.

72 – De Los Muertos – Mexican Restaurant

Chicken mole burrito

De Los Muertos Mexican Restaurant - burrito close up

71 – De Los Muertos

Carne asada burrito

De Los Muertos - carne asada burrito

Owned by the team behind Spitz, right across the plaza in Sugar House I believe; the food is just as good, and the space is vivacious and vibrant. The patio out front is probably one of the most slept on al fresco spots, but I can see that changing this Summer. Burritos are the bulk of the De Los menu, and I am quite partial to the shredded chicken topped with thick mole.

70 – Whiskey Street

Crab Louis salad

69 – Whiskey Street

Fries

Whiskey Street - skinny parmesan crusted fries
Whiskey Street – skinny parmesan crusted fries

Matt Crandall’s first real outing as part of the Bourbon Group. The massively popular Whiskey Street draws crowds seven days a week. I like to sneak in mid to late afternoon to beat the rush. The crab Louis is an old school throwback given modern day reframing. Lump crab meat joins a crispy soft boiled egg, while green goddess sauce works its magic.

68 – Baby’s Bagels

Bagels

If you missed it, here’s my full write up on Baby’s Bagels last year. They provide the boiled breads, you do the rest. Baby’s can be found at both the Winter and Summer markets as well as weekly popups in South Salt Lake.

67 – Kyoto

Shrimp tempura

A Utah icon without peer, Kyoto has been one of the must visit Japanese restaurants for more than three decades. The tempura shrimp remains one of the most reliable dishes in town, big as your arm shrimp dressed in the lightest batter I know of. The prices have only marginally increased down through the years, making the food here a steal.

kyotoslc.com

66 – The Pearl

Pork belly and eggs

The Pearl - pork belly and egg rolls

65 – The Pearl

Lemongrass pork skewers

The Pearl - lemongrass pork skewers

64 – The Pearl

Greens and mushrooms

The Pearl - greens and mushrooms

Chef Tommy Nguyen’s resume is stacked with some of the best names in the biz: Takashi, Post Office Place, Copper Onion. Nguyen’s latest outing at The Pearl might be his best to date seeing him cook up dishes with a family history. Don’t miss the pork belly with wobbly egg if it’s available, and the egg rolls are astounding good. See my full writeup here, then head on down.

63 – Arthur

Black cod and caviar

For just a few brief weeks, Arthur was the best meal in town during 2022. Chef Kevin Finch and team headed to SLC and unfurled their Arthur popup which duly sold out in days. That pictured cod was the stuff of dreams, ethereally buttery and gossamer like. Here’s the full recap of the meal. I’m betting they’ll be back in town at some point – be sure you’re on our weekly mailing list and I’ll let you know when.

62 – The Dough Miner

Funeral potatoes pasty

Dough Miner - funeral potatoes pasty

61- The Dough Miner

Cornish pasty

The Dough Miner - traditional Cornish pasty

Be still my British heart. Say what you want about English cooking, but a Cornish pasty is a hard thing to beat. While this neighborhood has been beset by road work hell, the ‘Miner have steadily increased their output and gone from strength to strength. They now deliver through DoorDash, offer donuts, bagels and also stock the shelves of nearby businesses like Scion Cider bar.

60 – Franklin Ave

Wagyu burger

Franklin Ave wagyu burger

59 – Franklin Ave

Snap Peas

Franklin Ave Cocktails & Kitchen - snap peas

58 – Franklin Ave

Pasta with Dungeness crab

Franklin Ave Cocktails & Kitchen - gemelli with Dungeness crab

57 – Franklin Ave

Specials

Franklin Avenue - fettuccine special

A second appearance for the talented Mr Crandall on this list, where said chef goes wild with International abandon, building on the brasserie blueprint of White Horse prior. The snap peas with South East Asian influence are a knockout, and right now I’m calling Franklin’s, the best burger Salt Lake City. There I said it. It doesn’t lean into schticky toppings or patties piled high to the ceiling – no – it relies simply on excellent beef, and looks you in the eye. It whispers, this is what a burger is all about. I wrote a more detailed story last year on Franklin.

56 – Contigo Peru

Roast chicken

Contigu Peru - roast chicken

A full roast bird at this West Valley City Peruvian spot costs about thirty bucks. Accompanied by a small country’s surplus of fried potato and salad, it’s a feast for the family. Juicy as you like, this beats any grocery store rotisserie station hands down.

55 – Fillings And Emulsions

Ropa vieja Cuban pie

Fillings And Emulsions - ropa vieja Cuban pie

Chef Adalberto Diaz’s pastry shop is best known for the dessert cases lined with sugar and cream and butter. But look a little longer and you’ll spy several savory hand pies. Order em to go, or have the staff microwave them in situ for you. A shower of flaky pastry and greasy paws awaits. I’m always fond of their rope vieja, stuffed with sweet olives and a hint of acidic sharpness.

54 – O’ Falafel

Chicken tikka tin with the works

O Falafel - chicken tikka tin with everything

Here’s an example of how I act when no one’s looking, when I’m left to fend for myself. AKA my wife is out with friends and I’m giddily ticking “add this” on the DoorDash app. This O’ Falafel dish starting life as a mere chicken tikka tin, you’ll see I’ve made smart life decisions like adding extra meat, kebob and gyro to the heaving plate. Hint: go get the big plate from the back of the cupboard before you copy such behavior.

53 – Central 9th

Burger Mondays

Central 9th Market - smashburger

Monday nights are the only time of the week you can catch the smash burger special at this Central 9th baker and market. Lines form eagerly outside well before the 6.00 p.m. grill ignition and supplies are usually exhausted within two hours. If you’re lucky enough to walk away in success, you’ll probably head to Water Witch to enjoy it. Here you’ll find the bar packed with cocktails and burgers. True story: one Monday evening I watched as the entire patronage of Water Witch temporarily decamp to C9 Market, only to return one and all, filling the bar to the brim with burgers.

52 – Beehive Distillery

Al pastor sliders

Beehive Distillery - al pastor sliders

51 – Beehive Distillery

Smacked cucumbers

Beehive Distillery - smacked cucumbers

50 – Beehive Distillery

Carne asada sliders

Beehive Distillery - carne asada sliders

49 – Beehive Distillery

Tornado potatoes

Beehive Distillery - french fries

Chef Bictor Tirado is the man in the kitchen, lighting the ovens for the first time last Summer. Tirado puts out a menu of dishes that make staying for another cocktail at this South Salt Lake distiller an easy choice. The al pastor sliders are the pick of the bunch, but the spicy sharp holy of the smacked cucumbers shouldn’t be missed either.

48 – The Med

Lamb sandwich

The Med - lamb sandwichThe Med - lamb sandwich

47 – The Med

Hummus and pita

The Med - hummus and pita

The Med has anchored this section of bustling 33rd South for as long as I can remember. And I can remember a lot. Narrator: he can’t actually remember faces, names, but does remember a plate of food. The pita is the pillowy stuff you want to lay your head on and take a snooze.

46 – Eggsburgh

Breakfast plate

Eggsburgh - breakfast plate

The latest to chance their arm at this spot on the South West edge of the Peery hotel in downtown SLC are Eggsburgh. Breakfast for lunch and dinner is the order of the day. I swung in one day and was pleasantly surprised by the runny eggs.

45 – Chinese Taste

Mapo tofu

Chinese Taste - mapo tofu

If you’re not up to the task of making your own mapo tofu (here’s my recipe, it’s easy peasy), Chinese Taste’s version of this traditional Sichuan classic is a decent on ramp. It’s got all those electrifying notes of Sichuan peppercorn and funky fermented beans. You can turn it up to eleven in your own kitchen, but you can also scoot on down here and enjoy with a lot less effort – and mess.

44 – Avenues Proper

Burger

avenues Proper - Avenues Proper Burger

Avenues Proper is where you’ll find me in that weird hinterland between lunch and dinner. There are surprisingly few restaurants these days that offer service day through, but this brew pub is one of the better. The burger is big brute of a thing and come with a side of fries that come chopped in weirdly distinct fashion. Yep, hand cut.

43 – Fat Fish

Bento box

Fat Fish - curry bento box

The bento box is to lunch, what those little multipack cereal boxes are to breakfast. They are the salve of the indecisive, a platter of OCD soothing geometry. Once a twice a year I find myself at the WVC location of Fat Fish, and if it’s lunch, I’m picking the bento.

42 – Coco Wok

Basil fried rice

Coco Wok Thai Cuisine - basil fried rice

An eager young team are now at the helm of the Coco Wok. This State Street location you might recall before as the long lived Thai Siam. Swing by for lunch and you’ll score slightly keener pricing.

41 – Deadpan Sandwich

BLOT

Deadpan Sandwich at Woodbine - BLOT

40 – Deadpan Sandwich

Oh Schnitzel

Deadpan Sandwich at Woodbine - oh schnitzel sandwich

Deadpan is perhaps the best of the food options I’ve tried to date in the newly opened Woodbine Food Hall. There’s an impish intelligence behind all the fancy pants sandwiches, not least enough calories to see you through lunch and dinner right on to supper. Pictured are the BLOT, a pickled green tomato update on the good old bacon butty; below that the oh schnitzel, pounded thin and fried pork with plenty of zippy kraut.

39 – Dos Olas

Pollo tinga tacos

Dos Olas - pollo tinga tacos

38 – Dos Olas

Salsa

Dos Olas - roja and tomatillo salsa

37 – Dos Olas

Ceviche

It might be in a Park City resort. And, it might cost a whole heap more than your local mom and pop. But, but, – it is really rather excellent cooking. The Dos Olas salsa alone makes a mockery of most efforts, rammed with sultry smoke flavors, a callback to the street vendors of chef Carlos Seguras Mexico City youth. Start with the ceviche, then move onto the pollo time tacos – dip everything in that salsa. I waxed lyrical on Segura’s cooking in this previous story.

36 – Apres Pendry

Elk and bison bolognese

Pendry Park City - Apres Pendry elk and bison bolognese

Just over the plaza from Dos Olas is the Pendry resorts house restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s priced for the property as you might expect, but that spaghetti ain’t half bad.

35 – RIME

Ribeye

RIME - ribeye steak with truffle fries

34 – RIME

Carpaccio

RIME - beef carpaccio

33 – RIME

Hamachi crudo

RIME - hamachi crudo

These pictures are part of a meal that caused me to write, the best steak I ate this year. RIME might just be the best steakhouse in town. Yes it costs as much as a car payment, yes it’s worth every penny and then some.

32 – KITA

A5 wagyu

Japanese A5 wagyu beef at KITA Pendry Park City

31 – KITA

Octopus

If you’re in the market to splurge on some of the finest Japanese A5 wagyu that’s available in Utah – you can find it at KITA up in Park City. I won’t lie, it’s priced commensurately astronomical as you might expect. The surprise hit on their menu is the delicate octopus that I swear must be sous vide cooked given the absolutely beautifully soft and supple texture.

30 – Tandoor Indian Grill

Madras

Tandoor Indian Grill - chicken madras

29 – Tandoor Indian Grill

Biryani and kachumber salad

Tandoor Indian Grill - chicken biryani with egg, yogurt raita and salad

I have no evidence for it, but it feels like something changed in the last year at this Millcreek Indian restaurant. The cooking at Tandoor is now as good, perhaps even better, than I’ve ever tasted it. I’d tentatively also suggest this might be one of the very best in SLC. Laal maas and madras are both visually and detectably unique dishes – not the same basic sauce redressed with more of less spice or cream.

28 – Pretty Bid

Tenders

Pretty Bird - chicken tenders, fries, pretety bird sauce, white BBQ sauce

The opening of the Midvale location made for four outposts in the growing Viet Pham chickempire; and with the fourth store, chicken tenders also hit the menu. They follow the same design of those big brutish sandwiches, rubbed with the same cinnamon spiked seasoning.

27 – Brick And Mortar

Burger

Brick & Mortar - Mortar burger

I believe this spot on Edison Street has now rebranded as Mayor Voss (just waiting on formal confirmation and details). Last year while living life as Brick And Mortar, I gave their house burger a spin. The all too circular formation initially worried, but the lusty grill char and flavor made everything right.

26 – Big Dipper

She’s Shrimp-ly Irresistible

Big Dipper - She's Shrimp-ly Irresistible

Located underneath the famous Star Bar at the top of Park City’s swanky Main Street is this sandwich shop. The menu is built on the premise of “what if every sandwich was made in the same mold as the French dip.” Which is to say, every roll here, comes with a suitable bowl.

25 – Laziz Kitchen

Chicken escalope

Chicken escalope at Laziz Kitchen

26 – Laziz Kitchen

Lamb burger

Lamb Burger at Laziz Kitchen

I’ve been coming to Laziz ever since their Central 9th spot opened up way back when. Now with locations in Midvale and downtown SLC, they’re easier than ever to seek out. The fun menu works just as well for a grab and go lunch, as it does a sit down dinner.

25 – Utah Dog

Utah dog with green jello

While the streets are awash with pastrami laden burgers, the humble hot dog gets no such love. Which is why last Summer I “invented” the Utah Dog, an uncompromising mission to bring the best of burger would to the hoagie roll. Success I’d say. You’ll need pastrami, fry sauce, onion, tomato, lettuce, quality hot dogs and a side of green jello to craft this one.

24 – Beltex Meats

American wagyu

Mishima Reserve American wagyu from Beltex Meats

Here’s some more homework for you while we’re at it. The next time you find yourself craving a steak like no other – consider Beltex. The boutique butcher offers impeccably pristine and perfect proteins. The second best steak I ate this year, you’re looking at it.

23 – Monarca

Lobster enchiladas

Monarca - lobster enchiladas

Taking up residence in the space once home to Alamexo, this State Street Mexican comes from the same owners as Santo Taco. The approach is more upscale and refined, and should you catch this lobster enchilada on the specials menu, I wouldn’t advise against it.

22 – Bhutan House

Chicken tikka wrap

Bhutan House - saag, tikka, garlic naan wrap
Bhutan House – saag, tikka, garlic naan wrap

What to do with leftover chicken tikka, saag curry and naan bread you ask? Make the wrap of your life. Bhutan House started life in the Spice Kitchen Incubator in SLC, but these days live life in their own restaurant space in Sandy.

21 – Noemi’s Cafe

Empanada

Noemi's Cafe beef empanada

20 – Noemi’s Cafe

Choripan sandwich

Noemi's Cafe beef choripan

19 – Noemi’s Cafe

Alfajores

Noemi's Cafe alfajores

I defy you to find better empanadas or alfajores in SLC. I’ve been a fan of Noemi’s ever since their food truck days, and I’m head over heels in love with the sweetly egg and olive studded carne pastries. The dessert cases alone will take you a lifetime to ponder over.

18 – Meat Hook BBQ

Ribs

Meat Hook can be found over in West Valley City, just next door to The Westerner. Of everything we sampled on our initial visit, the ribs were the standout smoked item to my tastes.

17 – Zeitoon Cafe

Koobideh cafe

Zeitoon Middle East Market & Cafe - kebob
Zeitoon Middle East Market & Cafe – kebob

The absolute best beef kebob in Utah, probably hundred of miles in fact. Zeitoon use a particularly sagacious mix of ground beef and fat, making for an almost sausage like suppleness. Instead of rice, go with the flatbread, the hefty blanket can be used to sop up every last little drop.

16 – Mr Rice

Fire dragon zesty pork

Mr Rice - fire dragon zesty pork

Mr Rice offers a grab and go selection, perfect for weary shoppers who just want to get they feet up. Found in the Chinatown complex, everything on the menu is ready and packed within minutes of ordering.

15 – Carson Kitchen

Chicken skins with smoked honey

Carson Kitchen - chicken skins with smoked honey

14 – Carson Kitchen

Hot dog burnt ends

Carson Kitchen - hot dog burnt ends
Carson Kitchen – hot dog burnt ends

Something new, something old. The deep fried chicken skins have been a staple of the menu since day one at this downtown SLC restaurant; served with a smoked honey dipper, they’re every bit the guilty pleasure you might imagine. The hot dog burnt ends meanwhile are a recent addition – allowing us all to pretend like ordering a skillet of fried sausage rounds is acceptable in public. Thank you Carson Kitchen, thank you.

13 – Beirut Cafe

Kabob

Beirut Cafe - kabobs over rice
Beirut Cafe – kabobs over rice

Absolutely stunning kibbeh, frothy as you like toum and mind blowing hummus. Beirut Cafe even make their own gyro meat – who else is doing that? It’s often hard to say who is the best at X or Y – I can handily tell you that Beirut Cafe is the best Lebanese food in the state. There’s no debate.

12 – Current Fish And Oyster

Fish and chips

Current Fish And Oyster - fish and chips
Current Fish And Oyster – fish and chips

This classic is always on the menu at Current. There are chips. There is fish. There’s fry sauce and tartar. There might be a slightly unnecessary slaw of sorts, but we can overlook that.

11 – HallPass

Lobster roll

HallPass - lobster roll at Colossal Lobster
HallPass – lobster roll at Colossal Lobster

The “Maine” style lobster rolls from HallPass’ Colossal Lobster might be my favorite. The greased and grilled bread puts the whole thing over the top. Oh, that key lime pie you spy in the background, it’s not half bad too. Those of us on the wrong side of forty might need a small mid afternoon nap after this one.

10 – Mar | Muntanya

Patatas

Mar | Muntanya - patatas bravas
Mar | Muntanya – patatas bravas

Did anyone ever meet a plate of potatoes they could say no to? At the signature restaurant in the towering glass and steel that is the Hyatt Regency, you can enjoy some Spanish spuds while sipping on one of their many gin and tonic variations. If the weather’s plating ball, take a seat on the patio, one of the best views in the city. Here’s some snaps of that from when I took a peak last Fall.

mar-muntanya.com

9 – San Fran Burrito N Fryz

Korean corn dogs

Sanfran Burrito N Fryz - Korean dogs n Tiger Sugar

In these hyper-inflated days, getting your hands on anything for less than five bucks feels like theft. The deep fried Korean corn dogs from San Fran in China Town don’t even break the four dollar mark. There are several versions, all gloriously reckless.

8 – ACME

Cocktails and cuisine

Acme Bar Co - Mike Edwards, Festivus Swizzle

When I stopped by the popup opening of ACME’s Christmastime extravaganza last December, it was cocktails only. I suppose you could gnaw on that finished pineapple if you wanted – but now there are other options. David Chon (Nohm) is back in town and pending the renovation of Nohm (set to return to life as Bar Nohm under Water Witch auspices) he’s at this Sugar House bar cooking up a micro menu. I guarantee it’s great. I wrote about the bar and what to expect from the whole team this year over in this article.

7 – Oh Mai

Cold cuts banh Mi

Oh Mai - cold cuts banh mi

Time was that talk of banh mi was conducted in hushed tones, in weird forgotten places like the chowhound forums (hands up who remembers that). The Viet-Franco mashup was hard to get around these parts a decade ago – not anymore. Oh Mai can easily be credited with bringing the fabulous sandwich to more mainstream attention on our streets, and they still rock a mean baguette. Pictured is the legit S1 cold cuts – steamed pork roll, jambon ham, pork head cheese, pork pate, mayo, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots & daikon. Yes.

6 – Pho 777

Pho

Pho 777 - pho coming together

5 – Pho 777

Bo luc lac

Pho 777 - shaking beef

Towards the end of last year I finally chanced upon Pho 777 and cursed my luck for having been so previously inattenive. One meal was all it took to get hooked, two more for me to declare it a top three Vietnamese restaurant in Utah. I am sure a few more meals here will see it battle for a spot in my personal top ten overall. The pho reaches dizzying heights and the shaking beef above is a textbook example of the magic of wok cooking. The restaurant are currently moving digs, they should be open again soon, read my review here while you wait.

4 – Umi Shabu Shabu

AYCE hot pot

Umi Shabu Shabu - noodlery

All you can eat, allow me to haiku this one if you will:

Bowls of noodles piled

Endless strands to fill your soul

Slurp, savor, repeat

If you need more info, I wrote a big ol’ detailed write up of Umi Shabu. Shabu here.

3 – Urban Hill

Crudo

Urban Hill - sea trout crudo

2 – Urban Hill

Carrots

Urban Hill - ember roasted carrots

1 – Urban Hill

Pork chop Milanese

Urban Hill - pork chop milanese

The last major restaurant of 2022 that I sampled was a biggie. Chef Nick Zocco has seen all ends of the culinary spectrum; he once stalked the mega kitchen of the SW Steakhouse in Vegas. He’s also chefed uo more boutique charms at Park City’s tupelo’s as well. His menu is one of the best in town. The sea trout crudo is better than most sushi places, the carrots in mole are a stunning display of color and flavor, and that bone in fried chop. Yeah, you know. Here’s the full preview from late last year.

Want to stay on top of the SLC food scene, minute by minute, dish by dish? Here are a few other places you should follow along:



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