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More than 160 restaurants opened in Utah this year – how many have you tried?

Bar Nohm interior

It’s that time of the year folks. Time for recaps and rehashes and rereleases. The first of which is my look back of everything new to open in Utah this year. Restaurants, bars, cafes, bakers, virtual delivery business – the whole thing. Every last new potable and consumable from 2023 should be in this list. so ask yourself, punk, how many did you try?

Actually, if you really want to turn you brain to mush I did the same thing in 2022 rounding up 160 restaurants, and before that in 2021, another 195 openings. So the real question might be how many, how close you to the 495?

The following snippets were all culled from their various mentions in this years new restaurant coverage. I’ve made some slight updates for better readability but apologies in advance if the language is clumsy and clunky in parts. Editing 17,000 words isn’t for the feint of heart ;). Anyway let’s get on with it. I give you then the A-Z of what’s new and notable on Utah’s food and drink scene in 2023…

Adelaide Urban Brasserie - exterior
Adelaide Urban Brasserie – exterior (Gastronomic SLC)
Adelaide - interior (Gastronomic SLC)
Adelaide – interior (Gastronomic SLC)
Adelaide Urban Brasserie - window seating
Adelaide Urban Brasserie – window seating
Adelaide Urban Brasserie - chicken milanese at lunch
Adelaide Urban Brasserie – chicken milanese at lunch (Gastronomic SLC)

Adelaide Urban Brasserie

Adelaide is the ground floor spot that serves as the breakfast, lunch and dinner option for the newly christened Element and Le Meridien hotels. The downtown Salt Lake City hotel sits on the nascently monikered West Quarter; the whole area is set to see massive redevelopment and soaring builds in years to come. Here’s one such story covering the changes over on Building Salt Lake.

Back to the restaurant though, and knock me over with a svelte piece of linen, this place swoons with soft touches. Gone are the industrial swathes of concrete and hard surface so often found in contemporary restaurants (we’re past that now right, please, please?) – in their place – caramels, drapes, soft lighting and plush banquettes. While I lunched down on a chicken milanese, I had flashes of Singapore’s Raffles hotel, and brief remembrances of Thomas Keller’s many Bouchons.

Pinning the food down is a little more tricky. The restaurant bills their menu as featuring, “locally-sourced ingredients delivered with a French twist. From breakfast through dinner, every meal is uniformly inventive.”

Aggie’s Ice Cream

Here’s a bit from the USU confirming the opening of a Logan location for the century old ice cream company.

Alhambra

This food truck took to the streets oh Utah back in November with the headline promise of “The best shawarma in Utah”.

Ambrosial

New for Provo is Ambrosial, a dedicated gluten free bakery. Initial open hours were Friday nights 5.00 – 10.00 p.m. and Saturdays 11.00 a.m. through 10.00 p.m. – the bakery specializes in custom cakes.

Antica Roma

The grand opening for this new downtown Italian was July 22nd, taking over the reins at a location once home to Michelangelo’s, and Frody Volger’s Vienna Bistro prior to that. The restaurant posted on social media that “chef Roberto Deni, [is] a master in the art of Italian cuisine with over 45 years of experience in Italian food.” Pasta dishes at Antica Roma run $19-$26, while meat and seafood plates are offered in the $24-$39 range.

Aranya Thai

This downtown adjacent Thai spot opened up in the space previously home to Sara Thai (who in turn moved to Sugar House). According to the always in the know fig.eats, the restaurant remains a family operation; Aranya being operated by the sister of the owner of Sara (who in turn are headed to a new spot in Sugar House). The restaurant looks brand new with little online info to glean at this point, though their Instagram account sports an intriguing looking crab fried rice enshrouded in egg.

Arctic Circle - burger, fries and fry sauce
Arctic Circle – burger, fries and fry sauce (Gastronomic SLC)

Arctic Circle

Cache County denizens, this one’s for you – an all new Arctic in your area. Here’s the full press release on the launch:

. . . 

Arctic Circle, an Utah-born food and frozen treat favorite for more than 70 years, is expanding its presence in Northern Utah with a new location in Smithfield. After a full remodel, Arctic Circle has inherited a location on the corner of 100 South and Main Street that has already served Smithfield families and visitors for years. Formerly an A&W Restaurant, the community rallied around the food spot after a fire completely destroyed the building in 2004.

The Smithfield location, which joins the Arctic Circle in Logan to serve its patrons in Cache County, will have seating for 44 and employ up to 33 workers. “We’re excited to have another opportunity to serve the great families and folks who call Northern Utah home,” Arctic Circle CEO Kasey Christensen said. “Good food and great ice cream treats have already been a winner at that location. Arctic Circle is the perfect fit for the area.”

Established first as a ‘tiny little refreshment stand’ at a Pioneer Day celebration in Salt Lake City in 1924 by Don Carlos Edwards, Arctic Circle has since grown into one of the most recognizable family-friendly fast-food restaurants – not only in Utah, but also in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming as well.

The originators of the now-regionally beloved condiment, Fry Sauce, Arctic Circle has also made its name for menu items like 100% real Alaskan Halibut, Black Angus hamburgers, and a wide selection of Above the Rim shakes, sundaes, and frozen treats.

Auntie Em’s

Posting to social media, this new Park City bakery confirmed their Spring opening, “You haven’t heard from us in awhile because, when I say we’ve been buried in work, I mean we’ve been buried in work. We’re finally clawing our way out of construction and I am so excited to show and to share that we are putting the finishing touches on our very own bakery — stay tuned for details about our grand opening but mark your calendars for next Monday, 2/20/23 (Presidents’ Day). ”

Baby's Bagels - various bagels
Baby’s Bagels – various bagels (Gastronomic SLC)

Baby’s Bagels

Just a few weeks ago, one of the best bagel spots in town confirmed their all new brick and mortar location. Writing to fans via email, Baby’s Bagels confirmed:

“You heard it right: we’re opening a brick-and-mortar! The soft open for our shop is this Saturday, 11/11. We’re one storefront to the east of our old location (the address is still 204 E 500 S). For the next few weeks, we will be in soft open mode as we work out the kinks and expand our menu and hours. Soft Launch Hours: We plan to be open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8-noon (or sellout). Soft Launch Menu: Bagels, cream cheese, and a classic lox sandwich. Lady Flour will be serving up rugelach, mini cakes, and cookies and we’ll be serving Pink Elephant Coffee.”

Bake Shop

This one via the Trib’s Sean Means who writes about The Bake Shop in Park City’s Kimball Junction. Means explains it’s the creation of husband-and-wife business partners Josh and Paige Courtney and their partner, former U.S. Olympic freeskier Devin Logan. The Courtneys opened the bakery across the street from their restaurant, Courtney’s Chop Shop.” Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for tipoffs from their team.

Bar Nohm interior
Bar Nohm interior (Gastronomic SLC)
Bar Nohm - kimchi rice with shrimp and Chinese sausage
Bar Nohm – kimchi rice with shrimp and Chinese sausage (Gastronomic SLC)

Bar Nohm

July’s big news was the opening of this new Central 9th bar. If you haven’t already read my full preview of the opening week – you can read that here now. The TL;DR is that the talents of former Nohm toque David Chon have now been paired with the equally mesmerizing skills of next door’s Water Witch; heck they’ve got so chummy that they knocked a big old hole in the wall that now connects the two spaces directly.

The result of this coming together is a fever dream for quite a few people. Pictured top is their kimchi rice, a super heated bowl that gently caramelizes the encapsulate grain, studded with house made Chinese style sausage, and shrimp. I’d tell you to get to Bar Nohm before the crowds do, but frankly the cat’s already out of the bag. Also as an extra side bar, that’s incredibly heartening. Despite clownish attempts to tell us otherwise, there is a food community and scene here, and it’s one actively craving adventurous new offerings. Take note.

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 this year; 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.

Bhutan House - chicken chilli momo fried rice
Bhutan House – chicken chilli momo fried rice (Gastronomic SLC)

Bhutan House SLC

You love to see it. Grown out of the Spice Kitchen Incubator project, this mom and pop Bhutanese restaurant first opened their fully fledged brick and mortar in 2017. Six years later, they’re building on the success of that Sandy original with a new location now open at 23 North 900 West in Salt Lake City.

The SLC location of Bhutan House appears to offer a slightly different menu, here’s hoping they bring their fabulous chili momos to the city. Pictured above are some I snagged from Sandy then ceremoniously crowned atop biryani. Fun times. Spicy times too, these folks are not playing around if you ask for hot.

Biscuit & Hogs

Biscuit & Hogs is “a sister company of The Original Sunrise Cafe. The Original Sunrise Cafe opened its doors in 1988 and has grown to be one of the most prominent restaurant brands in Idaho. You can expect B&H to supply the same great food, amazing customer service, and healthy portions as The Original Sunrise Cafe but with a twist.”

B&H are now open seven days a week with the new Ogden restaurant encouraging guests to “release your inner pig” through a new menu featuring hand rolled biscuits, sous vide pork belly and what they reckon are the biggest pancakes you’ll ever see. Now them’s fightin’ words.

Bismarck Dougnuts

Orem’ites 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. The business promises “always fresh, always hot” doughnuts and beignets. Prices start at $2.45 for the latter, $3.75 for the former.

Bistro Carbon

Bistro Carbon opened as the year came to an end. The new West Valley City Mexican restaurant apparently comes from some of the folks behind the popular La Casa Del Tamal, according to Axios. Dishes include tacos, enchiladas, which both feature popular proteins birria and pastor. Also on offer, a line up of burgers. There’s a pastrami burger on that lis too; now who’s ready for a birria burger?

Bix - owner Lavanya Mahate
Bix – owner Lavanya Mahate (Gastronomic SLC)

Bix

In case you missed this story, seasoned restauranteur Lavanya Mahate has now opened her latest venture in Salt Lake City (479 E 2100 S). Bix is a new cafe spot on the edge of Sugar House and South Salt Lake and offers a multi-purpose space perfect for an early morning caffeine hit, or afternoon laptop and latte stop in.

Bobby D's - Chicago style dog
Bobby D’s – Chicago style dog (Gastronomic SLC)

Bobby D’s Da Beef N Hot Dog Joynt

Let’s just call it Bobby D’s because, the full name, is almost as big a mouthful as the loaded Chicago dogs this new food truck is slinging. Since the much mourned loss of John Carrsquilla’s Johnniebeef’s, this is the first business to really pick up the baton for the classic concoction. Speaking of which, the full gang is here – starting with Vienna beef dogs and ending with a soft poppy seed bun. There’s neon green relish, sparky peppers and everything else. Also on the menu, Italian Beef sandwiches, who are making an ever increasing presence on Utah menus. True to the original Chicago sandwich, feel free to order it dipped or wet. Remember kids, ketchup is high treason, so don’t ask. Don’t even look at the ketchup. Or at least scurry back to the secrecy of your car to apply covertly.

Bok Bok

The latest tenant at the Granary District Woodbine food hall’s are serving up their well rated Korean fried chicken – originally first seen down in Provo.

Bout Time Bluffdale

Following their receipt of an oh so precious bar license, the fourteenth location of this local sports bar chain opened up in Bluffdale this year. Here’s the full release on the details from the company:

. . .

Bout Time held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in partnership with Bluffdale City and Mayor Natalie Hall to celebrate the occasion. The event took place on Thursday, March 9, at the Bluffdale pub.

The pub is built on the site of the Hot Springs Hotel and Brewery, which was a Utah Pony Express station, inn, and brewery founded in 1856 by Porter Rockwell. The brewery was Utah’s first and, at its peak, made 500 gallons of beer a day. 167 years later, beer is now back in Bluffdale.

“We are so excited to bring our unique experience to Bluffdale and open our doors,” said Tim Ryan, CFO of Bout Time Pub & Grub. “Our goal is to create a place where neighbors can come together and enjoy great food, drinks, and company. We want people to feel like they are part of the family when they walk through our doors.”

The Bluffdale pub offers a fun and exciting atmosphere, perfect for cheering on your favorite teams. Enjoy delicious, fresh food, refreshing drinks, and more TVs than tables.

Ryan adds, “We want everyone who visits to have a great time. Whether you’re looking for an after-work hangout spot or to catch the latest UFC action – this is the place.”

Brad’s Corndogs

This one from Sean Mean’s weekly food newsletter at the Trib, writing about this all new food truck. According to the Trib team the truck, “serves premium, quarter-pound all-beef hot dogs dipped in thick batter and deep-fried.” Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for tipoffs from their team.

Burgers On Wheels

The burgers on the bus go round and round, round and round. Except they don’t at this South Salt Lake spot. Burgers On Wheels – a family owned food truck – popped up perma-digs right alongside Batista and Tacos El Fino on 2700 S. The burger business promises fresh charbroiled Angus burgers and gets my seal of initial approval for not littering the menu with brioche upon brioche. Tuscan buns eh, who knew? Bonus side note: I am one half of the unstoppable Utah Burger project – do follow along on IG – should you be similarly burger obsessed and require routine burger news.

Burgertory

Speaking of burgers, this West Valley City burger stop leans heavily into the thematics, cooking up as it does, “gore-met” burgers. Sandwiches such as the excorswiss with cheese ($13.99) and Poultrygeist ($12.99) run with the horror-tactic theme giddily. Oh, it’s located on “Redblood road” too…

Cafe Bloomm

Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, this cafe spot over in Roy. ABC4 ran this story on Bloomm spot writing, “Marikh Mathias and Chef Ian Groesbeck have created the perfect coffee shop for any occasion. Their favorite item, the Pretzel Sandwich Bun, is made of eggs, bacon, cheese and a pretzel bun, adorned with their signature mustard sauce. “

Cafe Limon

Cafe Limon is the work of chef and owner Spencer Langi. At the brand new Cafe Limon, Langi fuses his Tongan American heritage with a variety of Latin American-inspired dishes. In this KSLTV interview he speaks to dishes such as chipotle pulled pork empanadas as an example of the approach. The restaurant follows on from Langi’s near 10 year career in the catering biz and finds its home in West Valley City.

Caffeine Station

A new spot for Sandyites hoping for a quick bite and caffeinated pick me up. Caffeine Station is open seven days a week. The breakfast menu comprises a collection of bagels and toasts, before lunch moves onto sandwiches and salads. There’s also a solid range of crepes too. Based on the info supplied by the business themselves, it looks like this might be an under the radar must visit coffee spot:

. . . 

“Caffeine Station is a local business operated by a small family. The owner has been in the coffee industry for more than 10 years since living in Sydney, Australia until coming to USA. He has been working in many states, until settled in Utah. He is so obsessed with Coffee which is considered as a part of his life. He decided to establish coffeeshop in the name of “Caffeine Station”. The inspiration is to be a stopover for coffee lovers with unique food and beverage service to all customers. He deliberately selects coffee beans from the Local roasting company that offers varieties of coffee beans from.”

Casa Linda

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.

Casa Linda sports a similar menu to Morelia and opened with hours of Mon-Sat offering lunch and dinner. The menu also offers a daily rotating lunch special for $11.99, perfect for those wanting to stretch those dollars.

Chappell Brewing - interior
Chappell Brewing – interior (Gastronomic SLC)

Chappell Brewing

The former Apex Brewing has now opened under the reworked name of Chappell. Opening along Main Street in South Salt Lake, the brewwery is the work of Tim Chappell, owner and brewer.

In a previous interview with the SL Tribune Chappell confirmed the brewery would serve, “mostly beers that have gotten popular or gotten traction in the last 20 years or so, the 2000s. So IPAs, double IPAs, hazy IPAs, kettle sours, blonde stouts, that sort of thing. ”

The new brewery includes a modernly-styled tap room (pictured above) with food available from food trucks.

Romina Rasmuseen at Chez Nibs (Aimee Cook)
Romina Rasmuseen at Chez Nibs (Aimee Cook)

Chez Nibs

Romina Rasmussen’s latest adventure in confection is now rocking and rollin’ in downtown SLC (212 E 500 S). We recently wrote about the specifics over in this story – and why you’re eating your bon bons wrong…

Chicho’s Flavors

If you find yourself over in Clinton, you’ll want to seek out this food truck which is now serving up Dominican Republic flavors via the gift of empanadas. Prices start at $3.50 for options that include chicken, beef, pork, and breakfast.

Chubby Baker

One more from the Trib’s Means who wrote about this Asian American bakery in SLC expanding to a second location in Orem. Means wrote that, “the filled doughnuts there feature such Asian-inspired flavors as passionfruit cream cheese, ube cream, hot guava and coconut cream”.

Circle Inn Pizzeria

After a devastating setback from fire, one of Utah’s oldest pizza shops is now back in business. Val Phillips offers the complete story on her Chew And Chat blog.

Citizens Cocktails & Kitchen - table seating area (Gastronomic SLC)
Citizens Cocktails & Kitchen – table seating area (Gastronomic SLC)
Citizens Cocktails & Kitchen - cocktail (Gastronomic SLC)
Citizens Cocktails & Kitchen – cocktail (Gastronomic SLC)

Citizens Cocktails & Kitchens

Pictured above are the swanky new digs for Dave Morris’ latest outing in SLC. Morris is the busy bar-trepreneur behind several local watering holes. With the opening of Citizens in downtown Salt Lake City, Morris has taken a different approach however. The bar (at 33 S 300 E) has a sleeker, more grown up design aesthetic, as compared to the the sudsy sports bar vibe of Ice Haus, or the raucous energy of Piper Down.

There’s an obvious focus on cocktails at the cozy 1120 square foot bar – which launched with a soft opening this past weekend. Initial opening hours are Wed-Thu (4-11) and Fri-Sat (4-12); expect those to expand as the business get their feet under them.

Drinks on the opening cocktail menu run around $12-$16 and include staples such as an old fashioned, and Manhattan. On the food side, small bar bites and a range of flatbreads.

Claypots Caribbean Grill 

Joshua Jones broke news on this new downtown Caribbean option. Here’s the scoop from Josh’s preview in his monthly roundup for the downtown alliance:

“a business incubated at the Downtown Farmers Market has opened a brick and mortar shop in one of the most unique spaces downtown. Walk through the door at 268 South Main Street… nope, don’t go to Vape On Main downstairs or the People’s Bar upstairs… head through the tiny bodega, Market on Main. Up the ramp in the back you’ll find Chef Michelle and her two kids serving simple island fare at down to earth prices. You’ll be pleased by the food… and the experience!”

Coco Loco Sausages

Long term readers will know my obsession with sausages. Long term readers will know my obsession with a great business name. Even new readers will now know, this one has me hook, line and sinker. Coco Loco’s headline promise is one of “the biggest sausage sandwich in America”. You can check out what that looks like in practice over on their Instagram before checking them out in person at the ComCom Kitchen commissary space on 1700 E.

Cousins Maine Lobster

Here’s the full press release for the arrival of this food truck group Utah, which began May 5th with an event at Ogden’s Talisman:

. . . 

Cousins Maine Lobster, leading food truck concept and provider of the tastiest Maine lobster rolls across the country, announces their expansion to the Salt Lake City area at an upcoming grand opening at Talisman Brewery in Ogden, UT. May 5th

CML Salt Lake City marks the eighth corporate-owned unit and is under the leadership of Jake and Erin Mutscheller.

“We were looking for a strategic western city for our next corporate food truck and Salt Lake City immediately stood out. It is one of the top food truck cities in America and we are thrilled to expand to such a strong market. Jake and Erin have assembled an incredible team to take on this new venture,” explained Sabin Lomac, Cousins Maine Lobster co-founder, who will attend the grand opening.

“Salt Lake is a great foodie city with rapid growth and a strong economy. The community has been incredibly welcoming and the Food Truck League has been a great resource for our development. We are getting an overwhelming amount of booking and catering requests; it’s been incredible. We are filling up fast and it just solidifies all we believed in with Salt Lake,” Jake Mutscheller elaborated.

Cozy Coffee Lounge

Here’s what the excellent Mile High Food Fairy about this new coffee spot in town:

“[Cozy Coffee] is a Bosnian coffee shop that recently opened in South Salt Lake. They are known best for their Balkan coffee aka hot sand coffee, and their Bosnian style treats! This is one of the few shops in Utah with Balkan coffee, Kahve Cafe being another well-known Turkish coffee spot in SLC.

The space is cute and lives up to its name as being cozy. There is even a dining igloo globe on the patio where they take reservations for table service s’mores. Definitely try out the Balkan coffee, which is like a shot meant to be sipped and savored, and the Russian hat cake! Their dirty horchata is popular too. They did have a GF carrot cake muffin available, so hopefully will add more GF treats in the future.” Be sure to follow Mile High Food Fairy, one of the best foodie social media accounts out there.

Crack Shack - coup de ville sandwich (Gastronomic SLC)
Crack Shack – coup de ville sandwich (Gastronomic SLC)

Crack Shack Murray

Note: as Fall came, news came in that Utah Crack Shack locations would instead be transitioning to Houston Hot Chicken instead.

Making it five for Utah and ten in the overall group, this San Diego export minted a new location in Murray. The brand first landed in Utah over in the 9th and 9th and have quickly expanded. The new Murray location joins existing outlets at SLC, Lehi, Riverton and St. George. Here’s the full press release on the opening:

. . . 

Now, this is fly. The Crack Shack will open July 14 in Murray, Utah — commemorating its 10th location for the booming brand. The Crack Shack now soars in the markets of Utah, Texas, Las Vegas, and, of course, its homeland of Southern California. 

The Crack Shack originally started as a passion project to transform the pristine, local ingredients from the founding team’s fine dining restaurant in Southern California, Juniper and Ivy, into a more accessible, casual setting. What started as a humble, open-air chicken spot in San Diego in 2015 — before the fried chicken sandwich craze began — has now transformed itself into 10 counter service style eateries, earning the title of one of the best fried chicken restaurants in the US and recognition as a Michelin Plate honoree. 

“We’re eight years in, and 10 stores strong. It’s been incredible to see the beloved brand we built in California find new loyal followings as we’ve brought it to new markets,” said Dan Peña, Director of Operations for the brand. “Customers have fallen in love with our unique menu, fresh ingredients, and addicting flavors, and we’re excited to keep growing and bringing new people into The Crack Shack family.” 

Culinary Director Jon Sloan is behind the SoCal/Baja-inspired fried chicken that combines fresh, non-GMO, “beyond free range” birds and a proprietary “Crack Spice” blend from Le Sanctuaire. While bone-in fried chicken is their signature, the menu boasts chef-driven fried chicken sandwiches, chicken tender combo meals, fresh and hearty bowls for the healthy-ish at heart, and a Lil’ Cluckers menu the kids love and the grown-ups can feel good about serving their families. 

The Crack Shack prides itself on its house-made sauces, produce sourced from boutique local farms, and fresh bread by local bakeries. For those with a sweet tooth, the seasonally-rotating milkshakes and giant housemade cookies are musts.

What’s more, its devotion to community is unwavering. From sourcing local vendors like bakeries and creameries to partnering and fundraising with schools, sports teams, and non-profits, The Crack Shack is committed to uplifting every neighborhood it’s a part of. 

In 2020, Savory Fund, a private equity firm focused on scaling emerging restaurant concepts, invested into The Crack Shack with plans to expand the brand. Since then, it’s taken it from four stores to 10 — with plans for an additional 10 locations over the next year. 

“When we invested in The Crack Shack three years ago, we knew it was a concept that could become beloved coast to coast,” said Andrew K. Smith, managing partner and co-founder of Savory Fund, primary investor of The Crack Shack. “Not only is it the best chicken sandwich you’ll ever have (get the Coop Deville tossed with Sweet Heat and thank me later), it’s also a dining experience you’ll want to have again and again.”

Curry Connect

Over in Sandy’s Aspen Plaza, this new Indian eatery takes over the kitchn of the former Namaste Kitchen. Curry Connect offers a familiar South Asian menu but offers a few interesting selections I’ve not seen before; a gobi 65 reads as a fun twist on the more commonly seen spicy chicken dish, while curry leaf fried chicken sounds equally intriguing.

Curry Pizza Lehi

Lehi should make a quintet of locations for this home grown pizza chain that started life in little Bicknell. The brand posted this confirming their South valley arrival.

Dave’s Hot Chicken 

Still not had enough fried chicken? Don’t worry, here’s another one for you, and I know of plenty more headed your way soon. This one from Sean Means over at the SL Trib who writes that Dave’s “is opening its first Utah location, at 386 E. University Parkway, Orem ” ABC4 also covered the opening as well. Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for tipoffs from their team.

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.

Drunken Kitchen

Now open each Friday, noon till midnight, this new take out / delivery spot. The business calls itself a “Chinese and Taiwanese fusion” and features a menu spiked with tingling Sichuan flavor. Mapo tofu, three cup chicken and handmade noodles appear to be highlights.

El Cholo

After nearly eighteen months of eager anticipation and a boat load of press inches, this Mexican restaurant is now open and by all online accounts – generating wait times out the door. The El Cholo story is a century long one that spans six generations. Regarded as an L.A. institution by many, the Sugar House opening is the first foray outside of California for the group.

The menu copies that of the SoCal original, replete with each dish marked by its respective launch year; some go all the way back to 1923. The 9,000 square foot space certainly looks the part from online snaps, the ground floor is anchored around a large bar area – which is also open, given the restaurant recently secured a full service restaurant license. For now the rooftop patio is a work in progress.

Egg Break

New for South Salt Lake (193 W. 2100 S.), this breakfast concept. Founded by Clay Beck and Chad Rigby, Egg Break will offer “a combination of twists on some classic breakfast sandwiches like the “NYC Bodega B.E.C.” their take on a Bacon Egg and Cheese while also introducing some more out-of-the-box options such as the “Pastrami Nom Nom”, an in-house brined and smoked pastrami breakfast sandwich with Dijon aioli and a fried egg with house brined pickles.” More info here via Utah business.

El Morelense Tacos Tortas Huaraches

This South Jordan opening sees  El Morelense double in size, building on the success of their Redwood Road base. The restaurant is regarded by many as home to the best tacos in town not least a contender for the best al pastor in the state.

FEASTbox - loaded hot dogs
FEASTbox – loaded hot dogs (Gastronomic SLC)

FEASTbox

Note: FEASTbox has since closed.

A raft of FEASTbox locations debuted in the Beehive earlier this year. The Sugar House offering pitched up at the old Habit Burger along McLelland. The opening saw free boxes to the first 100 punters, you know I was there at 11.00 a.m. sharp. Look, I’ll even attend your time share presentation for a free pen, it’s a problem. I know.

This big bucks backed brand rolled out in major fashion. The spot in the heart of Sugar House offered a walk up, dine in, or grab and go option – for a larger model that is clearly built around delivery channels. The food, neatly boxed as the name implies, is served in nifty branded containers, the interior removable and marked as microwave safe.

The menu is a simple one, various construction formats supported by several protein options grouped under Texas, Korean and Hawaiian. From there you can choose a hefty box stuffed with a variety of meats, or opt for a simpler sandwich, loaded dog, or topped fries. Pictured above the Lonestar and Janchi dog, topped respectively with pulled pork and beef bulgogi. The prices and portion sizes are notable. Each of the above dogs priced at $10.95 (side included), probably puts it as one of the most affordable and heartier deals in the neighborhood.

Finca Pintxos Bar

The latest outing from Scott Evans’ Pago Restaurant Group is Finca Pintxos Bar, now open in downtown. Fingers crossed it’s third time’s the charm for the spot; recently home to the relatively shortlived Fenice, and Fireside On Regent before that. The 21+ only space (licensed as a bar) still sports the Fireside emblazoned wood fired oven which powers several of the dishes on the menu. Speaking of which, I posted some snaps of the menu over on SLC Menu.

Phelix Gardner is part of the kitchen-brains at work, with Pete Hines is listed as executive chef. Spain’s love of Gin and GinTonic are a central star on the liquor side of things, with Evans’ expert wine knowledge also making a strong showing.

Evans tells me that the restaurant layout is “perfect for a Pintxos display that you would see in San Sebastian as well as Finca 15th’s tapas menu.” Evans also added, “our desire with the space is to create a destination restaurant and bar that is also a perfect option pre-theatre, pre-show for attending a show at the Eccles theatre.

Fisher Brewing Company

Another local brewer spreading their weekends. The new tap room at Fisher recently opened according to their Facebook account. Building Salt Lake previously had this great story before the expansion began proper. The bolt-on to the East side of the Fisher space adds nearly 1,500 square feet of usable space, more than doubling indoor capacity.

Forty Three Bakery

This Salt Lake City baker debuted their permanent home in 2023, and quickly started to garner a huge array of admires. Want to check them out over the Christmas holidays? You’re in luck. December 22-24th, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. they’re offering an “all-you-can-eat Sicilian style pizza and seaonal pies”. $15 for just pizza or $20 with pie.

Frankie And Essls

News of this new Liberty Park business first came across my desk by way of our oft-contributor Christy who posted this from the restaurant’s soft opening, “There’s a new breakfast sandwich in town. Frankie And Essls is soft-open on the southwest corner of liberty park, frying delicious free range eggs (when you see those rich orange yolks, you know) and adding them to soft, buttery, toasty brioche buns. this one is the green goddess with avocados, veggies, pickled serranos, and a lil cup of hot salsa i dumped all up in there (always). great drip coffee from.” Frankie you ask? That’s the owner’s dog.

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

Now open in Draper. Yes it’s a chain, but hey, who can say no to more gyro. Not me. As well as a solid looking wrap the menu is quite the extensive one offering salads, bowls, and various plates. Out of state reviews for the brand look positive.

Hamachi

I believe this opening in Lehi might be a second effort from the well rated Hamachi on the edge of downtown SLC. As the name suggests, sushi is the big item here, but the restaurant also offers up several other Japanese dishes.

Happy Lamb Hot Pot

Now open on the streets of Murray is Happy Lamb. My understanding is that HLHP is a larger chain, but I can’t quite corroborate that with an online site, social profile etc. At any rate, initial reviews for the Chinese hot pot spot are very positive indeed.

Hash Kitchen

Head on over to Utah Business for this press release which has all the details on the latest Savory Fund business to begin deployment in Utah. The restaurant is the work of Joey Maggiore and outside of Utah is known for their “build your own Bloody Mary Bar”. The Utah opening over in Draper (264 E 12300 S) takes a more Beehive-appropriate direction mind you – sporting a build your own donut bar. The restaurant’s opening in Utah is the first outside of their home state of Arizona, and is part of the current trend du jour for all day brunch and breakfast spots.

As the name suggests the menu features a range of hashes, everything from the self explanatory hangover hash through to creations with braised beef and smoked ham. Other brunch staples such as benedicts, burgers, burritos star.

Hero Hotpot Orem

Opening in early Fall, Hero made it to for Utah with the opening of this Utah county location. You might recall the first location for the group opened over in South Salt Lake are back in 2020.

Hog & Tradition - stacked brisket sandwich up close
Hog & Tradition – stacked brisket sandwich up close (Gastronomic SLC)

Hog & Tradition

Not a new opening per se, but certainly a notably new change. Geoff Patmides’ BBQ business has now made the leap over to the HallPass food hall in The Gateway. The move comes after news that Patmides’ other food hall business – Lamb & Feta – also made a similar recent migration. Both of Patmides’ business made the journey West across down, leaving food hall The Local.

Homecoming Southern Kitchen

The latest outing from the BonPatt Restaurant Group (Fat Jack’s Burger Emporium, Christopher’s Prime and many more) opened their doors over on the corner of 200 S. and West Temple in downtown SLC. Yep, that’s the old Olive Garden spot. The menu taps Southern inspiration and brings a rib sticking lineup to the core of the city.

Hot Buns

Now finally opened after nearly four years in the nebulous making is Hot Buns, a new walk up window from Ryan Lowder and crew. Attached to the East side of Copper Common in downtown SLC, those with wizened enough memories might recall this was once upon a time slated to open with Tommy Nguyen at the helm – slinging a compact menu of Chinese cuisine.

Since that first 2019 concept though – and a couple of years Covid interlude – the business has launched under a different guise. Burgers and dogs and things loaded with luscious pastrami is now the order of the day. The window opens late at the weekends too – should you be in the market for post pub calories.

Houston Hot Chicken

Houston, we have a problem. At least that’s the phrase you might find yourself uttering should you find yourself signing HHC’s waiver and ordering up the spiciest of their fried chicken sandwiches. Should you have made such a grievous sagacious decision you will be given a sandwich replete with two million scovilles of punishment. And also a side of paramedics I presume.

Houston Hot Chicken then is the latest contender when it comes to the ongoing competition for best chicken sandwich. Landing in Lehi, those who find themselves capsaicinally challenged should note sandwiches are available in a variety of heat levels, including honey butter. Sandwiches start at $12.99. The chain opens in Utah by way of Texas, and finds itself part of a Mountain West / South West expansion push. Other locations include California, Arizona and Nevada.

I Heart Mac & Cheese

The Tribune’s Kolbie Peterson caught this one writing, “If you’re craving macaroni & cheese, I Heart Mac & Cheese is the place for you.” I Heart Mac & Cheese is a chain out of Florida- with its first location in Utah opening in Spanish Fork.

Jack In The Box SLC

Now open along 2100 South, here’s what I wrote in previewing this newcomer to Northern Utah:

Yes, I know it’s a chain. And yes, I know we’ll all throw up our arms in faux horror. But I also know rabid hordes of us will be furtively lining up around the block when the lights go on; such is our collective love for the new and novel when it comes to fast food in the Beehive. The same happened when In N Out ambled over from SoCal, when Shack Shack caused tremors in Sandy, and when Raising Cane’s debut resulted in a 150 car long jam.

News on JITB’s Northern Utah expansion plans were first reported by QSR Magazine back in 2021; I followed up on those plans back in August last year. At the time the chain was actively seeking franchisees, ones who could deploy a cool investment of around $1.7 – $2.7 million per new location.

Well, it looks like the day many have been praying for is now here. Sometime very soon, Salt Lakers will be able to share in the late night charms of Jack’s tiny tacos. Doing some digging into planning permits shows thisthis and this filed with Salt Lake City’s planning department; while the following post on our local Reddit would seem to confirm the restaurant are in the final stages of preparation. Quick, get the banner up Bob.

Jersey Bagels

Remember to follow along with our sister IG account New In Utah. That way you’d already be ahead of these posts on what’s new, getting the updates in real time. If you do follow over there you’ll already know about this new food truck that specializes in bagels. Starting from $6.95 with a variety of toppings, here’s the menu.

Jet’s Pizza

Another hat tip to the Tribune’s Sean Means who confirmed the opening of the first location of a Jet’s Pizza in Utah. The restaurant can be found at 817 W. Antelope Drive in Syracuse.

Jinya Ramen Bar Lehi

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

Jollofology

Over in the Tribune, Sean Means provides the following heads up on this new business operating out of Danny Cheng’s ComCom Kitchen, “Jollofology, a Black female-owned business serving vegan Nigerian fusion cuisine. Topping the menu is a Jollof 101 dish, designed to teach newcomers about the cuisine.” Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for weekly Utah food updates from their team.

Kafe Mamai

I believe this one just recently opened up on Gallivan Avenue in downtown SLC. Spice Kitchen Incubator graduate Abudujannah Soud serves up a menu of African-Caribbean fusion; initial talk over on the local Reddit was excited and universally full of praise.

Katsu City

Focused on Korean-style katsu, I’ll leave all the talking on this new West Jordan (1389 W 9000 S) restaurant to Pho King, who recently sampled the restaurant writing:

Katsu City is a Korean style Katsu joint that opened just 2 weeks ago! They relocated from Provo after being closed for a year. This might be the best Asian style katsu I’ve had in Utah. We ordered the chicken katsu and tenderloin katsu. The chicken katsu was clearly better here. The breading is great. Incredibly crispy, even my leftovers a day later were awesome. Served with rice, cabbage slaw with sesame dressing, spicy pickled rashish, pickled onion, and katsu sauce. The katsu sauce was nice, but generic to me. It’s like a sweet Worcestershire sauce.”

Kin Sen Asian Noodle Bar - boat noodles
Kin Sen Asian Noodle Bar – boat noodles (Gastronomic SLC)

Kin Sen Noodle

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.

Later in the year I managed to stop by myself and was blown away by the menu. I wrote the following story on their opening in Millcreek.

Kona Grill

Joining a roster of other national names in Riverton’s Mountain View Village – this steak and seafood chain. This is the first Kona location in Utah. MVV is also notably home to Utah’s first proper Panera, and also the first Utah Shake Shack with drive-thru. Locally built brands at the complex include Las Botellas and Dirty Bird Chxx.

Kona are part of The One Group family of brands, which also features STK Steakhouse, coming to downtown SLC any day now.

K-Pot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot

Following their full service restaurant license award at the March DABS meeting – this Taylorsville hot pot stop is open for business. Hot pot dining has been all the rage of late, with K-Pot offering a mix of DIY dining styles; both Korean BBQ and hot pot bubbling pots are offered in tandem. As far as I know this is the only spot in town that offers both side by side.

Kumo Cafe

Mochi waffles plus sweet and savory crepes support a range of drinks at this new South Salt Lake Japanese cafe.

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.

La Dahlia Mexican Kitchen

Enfrijoladas, entomatadas, huevos rancheros – each and every one a mere ten bucks; and all available from this new cloud kitchen concept that serves as pickup or delivery spot.

Land Of A Thousand Hills Coffee

Here’s the full press release on this Daybreak arrival, the opening of the first LOATHC in Utah:

. . .

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee (LTH) opened its first Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Social in Utah, located in the new NOVEL Daybreak apartment community at 10678 Lake Run Road in South Jordan. Known for its specialty-grade coffee crafted with independent farmers in Rwanda;  Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee is dedicated to making delicious coffee that makes a difference. 

Looking out to the Wasatch Mountains, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Social at NOVEL Daybreak’s indoor and outdoor seating offers a comfortable spot to sip on an expertly prepared cappuccino, catch up with friends, get some work done, or unwind with a good book. A cozy coffee shop focused on community, the new location offers a varied beverage menu of specialty coffee drinks along with fresh pastries, paninis and smoothies. The homey cafe is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

“We believe that everything we choose to do, say, or purchase can do good in our world. One of the ways we’ve been led to do good is through coffee,” says Jonathan D. Golden, Founder and CEO of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee. “Your daily choice of coffee can make a difference — everyone who visits Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee at NOVEL Daybreak plays an important part in providing fair, livable wages for our coffee farming partners and community development projects in Rwanda. We can’t wait to serve you!”

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Ruli, Rwanda, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee co-labors with farmers in Rwanda, pays fair wages and works closely with the farming communities through its Do Good Initiative projects that support locally organized development programs. The brand’s coffee is available for order online and at 14 cafes across the U.S.

Last Botellas - fire dancer
Last Botellas – fire dancer (Gastronomic SLC)

Las Botellas

Anticipated by many, the lights are now on at this grand concept in Riverton’s Mountain Village complex. The restaurant bills itself as, “a high-end, Mexican-inspired experiential restaurant with heavy emphasis on entertainment. Offering guests an exclusive opportunity to enjoy food prepared by a Michelin star experienced culinary team while enjoying live music, fire dancers — and so much more.” A core part of the experience are the live entertainers (such as the pictured fire dancer) that make appearances during your meal.

La Stellina

This one comes by way of press release. La Stellina is a new Italian option over at Deer Valley’s St. Regis. Here’s the presser:

The St. Regis Deer Valley, one of the world’s most luxurious mountain resorts, today announced the opening of a new high-design Italian restaurant, La Stellina (“Little Star”), serving timeless Italian cuisine guided by local star Chef Matthew Harris.  La Stellina features elaborate mosaic floors, and welcoming wood, marble, and brass finishes with stylish black-and-white prints that evoke vintage Italy- retro-inspired elegance meets family flair. 

Inside the La Stellina kitchen a team of passionate chefs knead pizza dough using timeless Italian techniques, inspired by Chef Harris’ one-on-one training with Italian cesarine— home cooks who teach from the comfort of their own family kitchens. Safeguards of Italy’s cultural heritage, cesarines’ recipes have been passed down for generations. Mozzarella is hand-pulled to perfection as a copper-tiled pizza oven soars above 500°F to achieve the right temperature for classic, crispy pies.  Simple, fresh ingredients translate into sophisticated flavors at this innovative restaurant.  Locally sourced produce combines with authentic Italian meats, cheeses, and pastas to create dishes that appeal to every age and every palate.

Starters include Compressed Melon with Prosciutto and Aged Balsamic; and La Stellina Panzanella with Focaccia, Cured Tomatoes, Olives, Chicory, Basil and Ricotta Salata.  Main Courses include “Cioppino” with Clams, Mussels, Shrimp, Squid, White Wine, Basil and Focaccia; and Whole Roasted Branzino with Broccolini and Lemon; Crispy Chicken Piccata with Lemon, Capers, Black Pepper, Arugula and Parmesan.   

Pastas include Ricotta Agnolotti with Swiss Chard, Mortadella and Truffle Butter; and Spaghetti Pomodoro with Crushed Tomato Sauce, Basil and Pecorino.  Pizza offerings feature White Clam pizza with Fresh Shucked Clams, Garlic and Oregano; Spicy Sausage with Broccoli Rabe, Lemon and Mozzarella; and Fresh Spinach with Herbs, Chili and Ricotta.  The menu is rounded out with side dishes such asMagnate’s Meatball, and Spinach, Garlic, Lemon and Parmesan.  A Children’s Menu is available featuring Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce, Chicken Parmesan and Cheese Pizza. 

“La Stellina is a chef’s dream,” said Chef Matthew Harris.  “Under the tutelage of several Italian cesarines, I learned to cook true, authentic Italian food.  I am thrilled to offer the timeless combination of locally-sourced fresh ingredients with Italian meats and cheeses to create the finest in Italian dining for our guests.” 

General Manager of The St. Regis Deer Valley, Mr. Tyler Mugford, said, “We are delighted to introduce our new dining experience, La Stellina.  Perfect for diners of every age after a day on the slopes or exploring Park City’s Main Street, La Stellina is the centerpiece of the Resort’s new Snow Park Building, a hub of activity that also includes the Astor Bar and Topgolf Swing Suites.” 

La Stellina, open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, is located in the Resort’s Snow Park Building, easily reached from the Resort’s main building, and also accessible from the Resort’s Lower Funicular Building via covered walkway.  If arriving by car, complimentary Valet Parking is available at the Snow Park Building, located at 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, Utah 84060.  Reservations for La Stellina can be made at https://srdvdining.com/dining/la-stellina, or by calling 435-940-5700.

Lazy Sunday

Not much info I can dig up on this one beyond their Yelp profile, which was recently tagged as a new opening by the review site. This Poplar Grove spot appears to open early at 7.00 a.m. every day of the week.

LemonShark Poke - custom poke bowl with seaweed salad
LemonShark Poke – custom poke bowl with seaweed salad (Gastronomic SLC)

Lemon Shark Poke

The lights are now on at this downtown poke shop. Part of a regional chain, the Utah location (in the city’s Judge Building) offers both build your own bowls and set signature bowls – prices start from $13.50. Also of interest, a range of bento boxes featuring pork ribs, chili salmon and kalua pork.

Les Barbecue Sandwiches

Draperites will want to sit up straight and take notice of this one. The city is the first location for Les Rhodes Jr. latest BBQ outing. Rhodes’ output was previously found at his Tooele based food truck, selling out at incredible speeds on a daily basis. Part of the reason I’ve yet to actually sample some myself beyond spotting Les BBQ sporadically at events like the Utah Arts Festival.

In the past twelve months Rhodes reputation has exploded on social media, the Texan seeing huge national interest, especially around his unique smoked oxtails. In the linked IG post above Rhodes also teased the next opening for husband, “Oxtail Shack Location Coming soon”. Can’t wait.

Level Crossing Post District

With the Post District rapidly coming into sharp focus, this South Salt Lake brewer have now opened their sophomore location on the North edge of the project. Saddling up next door to the impeccable Urban Hill the new Level Crossing location has seemingly brought everything that made the original a massive hit. It’s a simple and effective formula – pizza and craft beer.

Loco Burger - salchi burger
Loco Burger – salchi burger (Gastronomic SLC)

Loco Burger

Opening at the start of 2023 was 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.

The Local Market + Bar - interior dining room
The Local Market + Bar – interior dining room (Gastronomic SLC)

The Local

previewed the opening of this food hall back in February, with the doors opening shortly after. Opening names on the food front included: Lamb & Feta, Hog & Tradition BBQ, Green Chile House, Crave, Luna Pizza Cafe, The Cereal Killerz, Pop’s Burger. By year’s end much had changed with the lineup now reading: Jojo juice, Pokeologist, Pop’s Burger’s, Portena.

Loki Coffee

This new SLC coffee shop (325 East 900 South) is one more to add an ever burgeoning brew scene. Here’s the full presser on their opening.

. . . 

Loki Coffee, new specialty coffee shop founded by dynamic husband and wife team, Jake He and Herminia Dela Cruz He, is excited to announce it’s official Grand Opening on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM MT. The event will take place in downtown Salt Lake, at 325 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111.

With an unwavering commitment to hospitality and providing guests with an unforgettable farm-to-cup experience, our mission is to create an inviting space enhancing your day-to-day experiences with awesome coffee, people, and vibes.

The team at Loki coffee will kick off with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with the founders, family, and friends. Doors will open at 9:00 AM with events, giveaways, and tastings planned for the day. Come by for a cup of coffee, tea, seasonal, or signature Loki Coffee drink and enjoy some pastries and more!

“We are excited to share our passion and love for coffee and hospitality with the salt lake community, and to work with equally passionate partners, vendors, and team members,” Herminia Dela Cruz He. “The cafe scene is what drew me into this industry. I fell in love with the community a coffee shop created with regulars and the ongoing creative vibe complemented by an interchanging of seasonal drinks, events, food, and pastries. After working in the specialty coffee industry for nearly 8 years, I’m excited to bring you Loki Coffee with my husband Jake and share what we’ve learned and what we love.”

“It’s always a goal of mine to dedicate myself to mastering a craft, and I fell in love with the coffee industry, drawn to latte art and the coffee culture,” Jake He. “With our background and experience, we want to build a cafe in Utah that embodies our belief and passion for coffee. We hope to create an open space for experience and learning for individuals in all walks of life. Coffee has helped me flourish great lifelong relationships and I look forward to making many more through it.”

Long An Market

I recently heard news on this new Vietnamese market in Midvale over in this Facebook group. What really caught my eye in that posting was huge, stuffed banh mi sandwiches. The price? Just $6.50. Based on the comments and interest in that post, I am guessing my interest wasn’t the only one piqued.

Lulu’s Hot Oven

A newcomer for South Jordan and one that promises pizza, hot wings and Mexican sorta. The City Weekly’s Alex Springer covered the restaurant in this writeup.

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.

Mambo

A fusion of Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican cuisine located in the heart of downtown Provo. So goes the spiel for this newly minted operation. The restaurant appears to be build on the foundation of a similarly styled food truck, whose menu starts with a handsome looking Cuban sandwich before moving onto loaded fries, bowls, tacos and quesadilla. Hands up who’s noticing all the truck>bricks transformations going on right now.

Marcato Kitchen

Kyle Williams and Kris Davis are the names behind Marcato; the duo meeting while working at HSL. Despite their CVs featuring other notable high end spots in town – their focus here is on the humble stromboli. MK’s version uses a dough fermented for 72 hours before being deployed in creations as the Papa (Gerome’s fennel sausage, pickled onions, garlic bell peppers, provolone cheese, mozzarella cheese) and the Cuban (Citrus marinated pork shoulder, mortadella, gruyere cheese, pickles, passion fruit mustard). A full menu can be found on their website at marcatokitchen.com. The business opened days ago offering pickup out of Square Kitchen in SLC (751 W 800 S.)

Mandy-Joes Brownies & Bars

KPCW has the scoop on this one. The short story is that this new Kamas spot opened by Mandy Keddington will specialize in specializes in brownies and “blondie and is located next to Kamas Theatre.

Matcha Cafe Kyoto

Our very own Pho King recently wrote about the opening of Matcha Cafe Kyoto in Sugar House. I’ll let him do the talking on this one. “The verdict? It’s good. With the popularity of matcha, I think it’s great to see Salt Lake’s first matcha-dedicated cafe open. I visited twice in a single day and I’m certain I’ll be back. Prices are a bit steep, but they’re using ceremonial grade matcha. I’m told that the term “ceremonial grade” is unregulated and has become a sort of marketing buzzword that may or may not be indicative of quality. Regardless, I think their matcha is noticeably on a higher tier than other shops. The vibes are great, the store looks beautiful, and the staff is friendly. The store is still in a soft opening and finding their footing.”

Matteo Ristorante Italiano (Heather L. King)
Matteo Ristorante Italiano (Heather L. King)

Matteo Italian Restaurant

Repurposing the former Ascent Kitchen space at 439 E 900 S, is this new Italian spot. Matteo has gotten off to as good as any start as I’ve seen in recent years – achieving a perfect five stars on Google’s reviews platform. Practically unheard of. The menu offers a traditional Italian multi-course experience, pasta dishes tun $22-32 with big proteins $26-$54.

Our contributor Heather L. King wrote this great piece on the restaurant in recent weeks.

Mana Thai

Here’s the scoop from Axios’ Eric Alberty on a new Thai option for Millcreek/Holladay. On Mana Thai, Alberty writes that: “My family’s dishes were notably fresh, with perfectly cooked veggies and noodles that didn’t gum up during the drive home from the takeout window..”

Marmalade Brunch House

Here’s one more to add to the growing list of brunch focused restaurants in the valley. Previous examples include the likes of Sandy’s Sunday’s Best (also doubling up in size at the new Post District soon), as well as the recent Plated Dreams over in Woods Cross. Marmalade (located in the similarly named neighborhood) takes a similar aesthetic path to Plated, bedecked with salmon pinks, chandeliered lighting and flowers galore. The main affair starts around $14 for blueberry and lemon curd pancakes, raising through to $32 for an aged flat iron steak with eggs.

Matchstick Bar & Grill - interior and seating
Matchstick Bar & Grill – interior and seating (Gastronomic SLC)

Matchstick Bar & Grill

In the mood for Mongolian kebabs? This new West Valley restaurant starts the menu with precisely that, a first as far as I know for the state. A long list unfurls with gizzards, belly, heart, wing, sausage and more – they all get the skewer treatment at Matchstick. Prices run $3.99 – $6.99 per grilled stick.

Mayor Voss

The transition of Brick & Mortar to Mayor Voss completed earlier this year.

Melty

I believe this one is possibly a rebrand of Melty Way? Let me know if you, err, know.

Mi Buena Vida - bar area
Mi Buena Vida – bar area (Gastronomic SLC)

Mi Buena Vida

This new 15th and 15th spot caused waves in the neighborhood as it neared opening – it being the latest venture to pick up the baton of the former Paris. That was the last restaurant that made a long term success at the spot. I popped into Mi Buena just after they opened, 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.

Mint Sushi Sugar House

The opening of chef Soy’s (Ariunbold Batsaikhan’) latest Mint location is now complete. Moving deftly into the large space left vacant by Flatbread Pizza’s departure in Sugar House, the restaurant is the latest in an ever changing lineup. The opening is perhaps the grandest yet for the group that now encompasses four locations across the Wasatch.

The format remains the same as the prior openings though the restaurant’s website notes that seating at the Sugar House location is on a first come first served basis (no reservations). If you’re in the area, consider a visit sooner than later – remember roadworks are expected to transform 2100 S for most of next year.

MMK’s

Lumpia, pancit, adobo, halo halo, lechon kawali – Filipino flavor has now hit the streets of Provo courtesy ofMMK’s (or MMK’s Your New BFF Filipino Food to give them their seeming full moniker). Prices look solid for a mix of ala carte and combo dishes, and the reviews so far are stellar.

Namash Swahili

An eagle eyed reader was quick to turn me onto news of this one. It looks like Abaadir restaurant is no more. In its place is Namash, an East African restaurant, successfully grown out of the Spice Kitchen incubator. The business previously operated a food truck, now taking on more permanent digs just outside of downtown SLC.

On their story, Namash write, “Originally from Somalia, (chef) Najati came to the United States in 2008. She learned to cook at age 12 from her mother, who also owned her own food business. Najati spent her childhood selling her mother’s cooking and eventually her own on the streets in Kenya. Najati wanted to start her own business, Namash Swahili Cuisine, so that the Salt Lake community could share her experience of being home. She prides herself on great customer service and serves authentic Somali and Kenyan family recipes. Najati recommends trying the chapati, chicken curry, and coconut beans!”

Nick The Greek

St. George is the first Utah location (I think) for this national Greek chain. The company writes that Nick the Greek, “was born after one of three close-knit cousins, Nick (Baby Nick), traveled home from a trip to Greece and realized that there was nowhere near home where he could get quality gyros. As second-generation restaurateurs, Nick and his two cousins, also named Nick (Big Nick and Little Nick) decided to start their own modern restaurant concept. The Nick the Greek concept was born.” Gyros and pita wraps comprise the majority of the menu and start from $11.95.

Nomad @ Desert Color

Hat tip to Salt Plate City for spotting this relatively under the radar opening. Justin Soelberg’s Nomad will now be part of Desert Color in St George. The planned community confirmed:

“Desert Color is excited to announce the opening of its first food and beverage location at The Shores Resort. The pool deck café space is now open and operating from 11 am to 6 pm every day of the week. Nomad at Desert Color will be operating the space and brings an amazing culinary experience to the community. Chef Holly Cloyd trained and graduated with a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from the prestigious culinary school The International Culinary Center located in New York City. This group has developed multiple successful food concepts including the following; Cluck Truck, Normal Ice Cream, Nomad Eatery, Nomad East Welcome Nomad at Desert Color to the community.”

Number One Thai Fusion

Bountiful is home to this newcomer. The fusion? The menu at Number One menu straddles Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese cuisines. Bento boxes sit alongside pho and tempura – though are never quite formally fused together. Mind you a brief examination of their menu does provide some interesting changes of pace; lobster curry, Thai style sausage and a cheese finished pad Thai?

The Oakley Diner

The Park Record wrote this comprehensive story on new owner Steve Smith and the venerable diner that has echoes of Ruth’s in SLC.

One Noodle Bar 100

A third location for this largely Japanese driven restaurant is now open in Midvale (867 E 4500 S) joining Sandy and West Jordan. One Noodle Bar’s menu features ramen, soba, udon, teriyaki, fried rice dishes as well as five different bao, both sweet and savory.

P.F. Chang’s Murray

A second Salt Lake County location for the popular nationwide Chinese chain is now open. Here’s the complete press release issued by the company for the opening:

. . .

P.F. Chang’s announced the opening of the new full-service Bistro location at the Murray Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah today as part of its continued growth across Utah and nationwide. From inspired menu favorites to elaborate decor, guests at the new Bistro are guaranteed a best-in-class experience.

Embracing a nationwide brand refresh, P.F. Chang’s Murray – Fashion Place sets the stage for unforgettable spring celebrations with its upscale ambiance and lively decor. Guests can indulge in an array of delectable scratch-made dishes, including the original Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crispy Honey Chicken and Mongolian Beef, alongside indulgent specialty items like Wagyu Steak and Oolong Chilean Sea Bass.

“We are thrilled to open our newest Bistro location in Murray, Utah, providing residents with an exceptional dining experience that showcases the bold and elevated flavors that P.F. Chang’s is renowned for,” said Genaro Perez, senior vice president of marketing at P.F. Chang’s. “As we continue our expansion in the region, this opening represents our commitment to offering unforgettable moments for our guests as they celebrate graduations, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and everyday special occasions with us.”

For guests who wish to order takeout or delivery, P.F. Chang’s is now offering the brand-new Celebration Kit for Four, including all the details needed to bring an authentic P.F. Chang’s celebration to their own table. This specialty package features gold chopsticks used for special celebrations at P.F. Chang’s, dragon confetti mix to adorn the table, hand-folded origami crane card holders with notecards to personalize guests’ names, and more. The Celebration Kit for Four is $18 and available for purchase as an add-on when ordering online for takeout, catering or delivery and can also be purchased in-restaurant when picking up an order.

Spanning 6,059 square feet and accommodating 155 guests, the P.F. Chang’s Murray – Fashion Place Bistro marks the company’s fourth location in the Salt Lake City area. This milestone opening arrives nearly 24 years after the debut of P.F. Chang’s Salt Lake City, cementing the brand’s enduring popularity and growth. Furthermore, P.F. Chang’s is planning for additional Bistro openings nationwide throughout 2024, solidifying the polished-casual restaurant’s position as an industry leader.

Guests can visit the new P.F Chang’s Murray – Fashion Place at 6191 S. State Street #N045, Murray, Utah 84107, operating daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Extended hours to include P.F. Chang’s lunch menu will begin on June 14 and will be open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Panera

Now open in the Mountain View Village over in Riverton – our first fully fledged Panera. Here’s the preview story I wrote when news broke earlier in the year:

Love Panera? Today’s the day you’ve been waiting for – the brand announcing the opening of their first proper store in Utah. I use that caveat as fans of the restaurant group previously needed a plane ticket to order from a Panera menu in Utah; right now the only location in the Beehive can be found through ticketed security at SLC International.

That location was long mooted as a beach head operation, set to spur further growth into the state. And here we are, fans of their toasted baguettes can start their happy dance. Riverton has been selected as the launch location, looking to join the increasing roster of names at Mountain View Village. A variety of national, regional and local names have opened up shop in the development over the past 12 months. Buzzy Las Botellas, replete with ritzy menu and entertainment from live fire dancers was the latest.

Panera are famed for their soups and sandwiches, with plenty of hearty options offered. French onion soup routinely tops best of lists for the brand, while classic sandwiches built on freshly baked bread are always well regarded; indeed the 2,000 location strong chain are notable for having an on site baker – typically creating the good stuff each and every day. Salads, rice bowls, and flatbreads (the most recent menu addition) roundup a relatively affordable menu. Like many large national operations, they attract a loyal following wherever they open. One expects that more locations will follow on from the Riverton launch, but at the time no further moves are confirmed at time of press.

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.

Pink Sweet Cafe

Love pink? Love sweets? You’re gonna love these guys. All new for Riverton and open just a few days ago is Pink Sweet Cafe. Open seven days a week the newly minted spot promises, “We are a brand new Middle Eastern pastry & sweets shop.”

Pitada Brazil

Now open in Orem, and with a promise of authentic Brazilian food is Pitada Brazil. The menu reads an affordable one, starting with a classic – feijoada. Also today I learned that Brazilian stroganoff is a thing. Who knew.

Pizza Nono

Open for a little while now, but I am making a final note in this article, by way of completionism. Expanding from the original 9th and 9th location, the new restaurant sets up shop in the rapidly finalizing Millcreek Commons along 3300 S. Go grab a slice of Nono’s thin slice, Neapolitan style pizza, dine al fresco, and check out the new Millcreen town hall construction as it tops out.

Pork N Roll

“We’re masters of pork”, goes the introduction on this Facebook post where I spied their launch. “We do pork belly plates, burger, garlic sauce and some more delicious dishes with Colombian inspiration.” From that brief snippet alone I’m sold. A little Google magic unearths this menu for the Midvale based truck – and it’s one packed to the gills with porky goodness.

Ramen Garden

Now open in Syracuse (2058 W 1700 S) is this ramen restaurant. Open seven days a week the restaurant offers ten varieties of the popular noodle dish as well as several other Japanese staples.

Prime Corn

The Tribune’s Sean Means conformed this one via his weekly Utah Eats newsletter. This Square Kitchen Incubator business will be operating a popup inside City Hall through December 29th according to Means. Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for tipoffs from their team.

Red Fuego

Saratoga Springers will be able to enjoy the Peruvian charbroiled chicken of this group very soon. The company confirmed a Utah county location will be landing sooner than later.

Robeks

Another Utah first chain launch – this health forward option landing recently in Draper. Here’s the full presser:

. . . 

Robeks, the destination for creatively crafted fresh smoothies, juices, açai bowls and premium toasts, is now open in Sandy (25 E 11400 S.), marking the brand’s first location in Utah.  The store is owned and operated by business partners and longtime friends Pao-Ho Wan and Samer Merchant. 

“Being the first Robeks in Utah is a dream come true for us. I’ve always envisioned owning a business that aligns with my passion for food, and Robeks is the perfect fit,” said Wan. To have the opportunity to embark on this journey alongside my trusted and hardworking friend is a blessing. Together, we are thrilled to introduce our friends and neighbors to the refreshing world of Robeks and have the community indulge in the tastiest smoothies, juices and bowls around.”

Whether visitors are seeking a refreshing delicious beverage, a quick snack, or a wholesome meal replacement, they can rely on Robeks to deliver unparalleled taste, quality, and nutrition.

The brand is known for its vast selection of delectable smoothies, signature juice blends, and premium toasts, all hand-crafted with the freshest, high-quality ingredients. Customers can enjoy a diverse menu that caters to various tastes and dietary preferences, ensuring there is something for everyone. Robeks’ signature blends, bursting with flavor and packed with essential nutrients, will tantalize the taste buds and fuel customers with the vitality they need for their busy lives.

“We are proud to partner with Pao and Samer in bringing Robeks to Utah—a state that’s ripe with opportunity,” said President and CFO of Robeks David Rawnsley. “Their passion for promoting health and wellness, as well as their commitment to exceptional guest service, makes them ideal owners. Together, they are dedicated to providing new, nutritious dining options without compromising on flavor. We eagerly anticipate becoming an integral part of the Sandy community.” 

Robeks has established partnerships with leading third-party online and mobile food-ordering delivery providers to provide customers with a hassle-free option for delivery. This collaboration enables guests to relish the finest, flavorful smoothies, juices, and bowls in the convenience of their own homes or workplaces. Placing orders is made convenient through the Robeks Rewards app, which can be freely downloaded from any mobile platform’s app store , as well as through Robeks.com. Even when choosing delivery through the Robeks mobile app, customers can still accumulate “Robeks Rewards” points and savor the same exceptional taste and quality found in-store. 

Rise By Good Day

A second location for the Polish charms of this much loved business opened at 7872 South Old Bingham Hwy. New to the name? RISE prepare a variety of hand crafted pastries, artisan style breads, soups, pierogi and proudly explain that they use “the freshest ingredients, real butter, traditional recipes and old-fashioned techniques to ensure the highest quality.” We carefully search for the most authentic selection of grocery items for you to share with your friends”

Roots Coffee Sugar House

The second location of this local coffee company opened the doors on September 30th. Here’s the details direct from the businesses marketing team.

. . .

Local owners, Kenzie Packard and Ginalen Soto can’t wait to brew up this exciting adventure in a community they admire and love. Kenzie and Ginalen’s love affair with coffee blossomed during their travels, with the coffee-rich city of Cartagena, Columbia, leaving an incredible mark on their hearts. It was here that the idea of Roots Coffee first took root–an idea to create a cozy and inviting cafe that would encapsulate the richness and warmth of genuine connections forged over a cup of coffee. Upon returning to Salt Lake City, Kenzie and Ginalen applied the knowledge gained from their global adventures to establish Roots Coffee & Co., which would go on to earn them the title of Best Coffee Shop in Salt Lake City for three consecutive years (2021, 2022, 2023) due to their commitment to the community and dedication to putting “people first, coffee second”.

Roots Coffee’s expansion into Sugar House was a natural progression for Kenzie and Ginalen, who were drawn to the neighborhood’s unique charm and historical significance. “We are so excited to be a part of the Sugar House community. This community has soul, charm, and so much vitality; we can only hope to add to its beauty”, said owner Kenzie. Their journey as business owners has taught them the value of perseverance, adaptability, and the joy of creating a space that welcomes all.

As a token of appreciation to their new and loyal customers, Roots Coffee is offering an exclusive loyalty program bonus. All customers who sign up during the first two weeks of operation will receive an extra 5 beans added to their account. Roots Coffee’s grand opening promises to be a celebration of coffee, community, and meaningful connections. Join Kenzie and Ginalen on September 30th and become a part of the Roots Coffee family.

Salt City Sliders

This all new food truck is now roaming around town offering up a menu that’s simple and to the point. There are sliders and they all cost six bucks. They all read pretty fabulously too.

Salt Egg City - breakfast sandwich (Ryan Kendrick)
Salt Egg City – breakfast sandwich (Ryan Kendrick)

Salt Egg City

Salt Egg City is a shiny new option opening at 8.00 a.m. daily and looking to sate those early morning cravings. Sandwiches run eight bucks including the pictured egg, bacon and cheese. And just look at that thick cut bacon. The business looks like it operates out of the ComCom Kitchen space, you can find them on DoorDash. One to bookmark for next time you’re struggling to start the day on the right foot.

Most recently our contributor Ryan Kendrick wrote this piece, on what might be the ultimate breakfast sandwich in Salt Lake City.

Sara Thai Kitchen

You might recall I spoke about a possible new Thai restaurant moving into the 2400 sq ft Schmidt’s Pastry Cottage in Sugar House (609 E 2100 S). That’s now conformed as Sara Thai Kitchen who are now open in this location, making the move North from the edges of downtown SLC. I first wrote about these folks back in 2022 over in this article. My favorite dish at the time?

“the Khao Man Kai, a sort of Thai spin on Hainanese chicken. Simply cooked skin-on chicken is sliced and served over steaming Jasmine rice. On the side there’s a pot of liquid that needs no explanation, the surface quivers with rendered chicken fat making it clear this is for splashing over in gloriously waterfall fashion. The finishing touch to the otherwise subtle flavors is an assertive garlic and ginger sauce.”

As for the old location (60 E 800 S) – once home to the likes of The Woodshed, The Eklektik and Pasha Middle Eastern Cuisine – Aranya Thai Kitchen now calls it home.

Savage Fish Poke

Another hat tip to Mile High Food Fairy, about this new poke spot in Millcreek. According to MHFF the business, “specializes in the most delicious authentic Hawaiian poke and is located in Millcreek and Orem. They keep the menu super simple – they have shoyu, spicy tuna & crab, and a daily special poke that can vary. They don’t do toppings here and honestly you shouldn’t ever need toppings. The quality and taste of the poke speaks volumes by itself. The poke here is so flavorful!

Besides poke, they also have a cheesecake and li hing mui gummy candies. I’ve been several times and the first time I ever tried their poke was back when they were just starting out in Provo. Their poke has always been delicious, this is a solid spot!”

Sayonara

Promising “Tokyo nights in SLC” this brand new 21+ bar in downtown SLC recently took the wraps off their renovation of the former Ginger Street space. Sayonara is open every day of the week, five through 1.00 a.m. Japanese whiskies naturally star on the menu. Hand painted Japanese artwork litters the space as do numerous imported Japanese decorations. The launch drinks menu includes a range of appropriately themed cocktails ($11-$14) featuring ingredients such as yuzu, wasabai and pickled plum.

The opening follows June’s DABS meeting, where the business was awarded one of the state’s few bar licenses. At that time, I wrote about co-owner Ashton Aragon who speaking to the commission explained that, “Sayanora is a project 4-5 yeas in the making, with the business hoping to replicate the feel of a back alley Tokyo bar. The downtown SLC bar (3rd and State) features imported Japanese decor with Aragon stating it’s going to be completely unique and different for the city. Also notable, Aragon is co-owner of the Liberty Park facing Tradition restaurant.”

Seasons Plant Based Kitchen - exterior
Seasons Plant Based Kitchen – exterior (Gastronomic SLC)

Seasons Plant Based Kitchen

After taking an extended hiatus during the depths of the Covid-era, this well regarded vegan restaurant is now back in business. Making the move from State Street, the plant-based menu can be found this time in the trendy Central 9th neighborhood. Located right next door to the fabulous Scion Cider, it makes for another addition to the buzzy area; this might be one of the hottest blocks in town. The line up in the immediate vicinity now includes SeasonsScion, Bar Nohm, Laziz, Central 9th Market, Water Witch, Snowmobile Pizza, Blue Copper Coffee and The Pearl.

Back to Seasons though, which remains true to their original location – a fine dining plant-based menu. The soft opening was barely a handful of days ago, with the restaurant posting their re-launch menu here on Facebook.

Scelto

As the year wrapped, this new Italian eatery opened in Sandy. Here’s the full press release from the team on their opening:

. . .

This December, Scelto (pronounced “Shell-toe) is opening their first flagship kitchen and restaurant to welcome friends, neighbors, locals, and visitors to their Sandy location to try their modern and unique take on Italian cuisine. “This great opportunity of opening a restaurant was driven by my deep love of food and real estate, and the scarcity of dining options in the southeast end of the valley,” says Waleska Iglesias – Co-Owner of Scelto. “My business partner, Scott Dilley, and I are excited to embark on this culinary enrichment and community-building journey, bringing a much-needed dining experience to Sandy. Our goal is to fill this gap and become a great gathering place for everyone.” The Scelto team expects to grow their business throughout the valley, and are applying for the new concept of the year award given by the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Scelto, recently featured in Gastronomic Salt Lake City , is excited for their official Grand Opening this December, where guests can enjoy the new Scelto atmosphere, menu, and what Waleska and Scott are bringing to the Sandy community.

Shhh Up Cafe

New for Provo is this Japanese cafe spot. Boba, ramen and rice plates all feature on a relatively affordable menu that barely strays away from $9-$12.

Shwe Letyar Sushi

One of the latest additions to the previously mentioned Spice Kitchen Incubator – Burmese cuisine. Of Shwe’s owner and business the incubator writes:

“Jadim Lahpai is an Asian immigrant from Myanmar. She and her husband arrived in Utah in the summer of 2011. Since then, they have added three children to their family. Jadim initially learned to cook rice alongside her mother when she was a young child. As she got older, her mother taught her how to make many more dishes to feed her family, including her five siblings.

After graduating high school, Jadim spent five years in Malaysia. It was there that she met her future husband and was also introduced to sushi, which has become her favorite food. After lots of experimentation and practice to perfect her sushi-making skills, Jadim now wants to share her love of sushi with her customers. For now, she is introducing Shwe Letyar Sushi, and will then broaden her menu to include some of her family’s favorite childhood dishes. Please come, taste, and support her business.”

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.

Silverside Deli - Italian Beef sandwich
Silverside Deli – Italian Beef sandwich (Gastronomic SLC)

Silverside Deli

This new for 2023 sandwich spot replaces the former Corleone Italian Restaurant along the popular McLelland Street in the heart of Sugar House (just a few doors down from FEASTbox mentioned earlier). The menu is a compact one affording slightly more than a half dozen options. The Italian beef makes a showing again (pictured here), and one wonders if the The Bear might inspire even more. Also on the Silverside menu, a chopped cheese, a mid-West classic that you don’t see around these parts too often.

Simplicity Cocktails

Simplicity opened earlier in the year as 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.

Slopestream

Another one from the folks over at the Trib who report, “The luxury ski resort Montage Deer Valley has added a new dining destination, called Slopestream. It’s a converted Airstream RV on the patio outside Burgers & Bourbon, and boasts “an elevated take on street food.”

Smokin Roadside Grill

Now open in Salem, this brand new BBQ spot. Smokin started life as a food truck, before owner Rob Pierce made the recent leap to bricks and mortar.

Spice On 9th

August saw the launch of an all new cafe concept from Spice Kitchen, the business incubator that assists entrepreneurial refugees in launching their culinary future in Utah. Spice On 9th cafe (422 W. 900 S.) is operated by Spice entrepreneurs on a rotating basis, giving the public the opportunity to try differing world cuisines each week. The 1200 square foot space is located in the quickly evolving Granary District (home to the likes of The Dough Miner, Fisher Brewing etc).

Several of the featured entrepreneurs will be selling packaged food products, grab-and-go items, coffee drinks as well as produce offered by refugee farmers participating in the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program.

Spudnik Donuts

This one courtesy of Sean Means over at the SL Trib, “Spudnik Donuts, a doughnut maker that specializes in potato-flour creations, opened last week in Provo. It’s inside Heart and Soul Karaoke, at 52 W. Center St., Provo.” Be sure to signup to the Trib’s weekly Utah Eats newsletter here for weekly Utah food updates from their team.

Srivari Caffee

Another top tip from Salt Plate City who recently confirmed this transition on Instagram. SPC writes, “Srivari Caffe has replaced Sri Balaji Caffe—they still offer some of the best South Indian dishes in the valley and now their menu is even better! They have all your favorite South Indian dishes from Dosa to Idlis, they also offer Indian street food items like Pani Puri (my favorite), they’ve added Indo-Chinese dishes, and they’ve added a few Indian desserts; when we visited they had homemade ladoo and ras malai. Head to West Jordan and check out the new vegetarian/vegan menu”.

Stack 571 Burger & Whiskey Bar

This new spot joined the ever expanding Mountain View Village roster Riverton this year. The chain also currently operate in WA and ID. A cursory Google also suggests that the same company that runs 571 also operates WildFin.

571’s menu is an extensive list, centered around a dozen patty piles, everything from a poutine burger ($17.95) through a PB&J ($16.95). Joining the burger party, sandwiches, shakes, salads and a full bar.

Stacked Sandwich Co.

TownLift reported on this recent opening for Summit County, which sees Jason and Katie Greenberg bring a new sandwich option to Prospector. Locals might already know the Greenbergs from their previous efforts with Nosh, the Israeli-informed Park City restaurant. Prices for salads and stacks alike start from $13 and rise through $18 or so – including spins on classics like the BLT, banh mi, caprese and more.

Susy’s Kitchen

This formerly air stream hosted mobile business has now found perma-digs in Midvale. The menu at Susy’s features dishes from chef and owner Susana McMahon which include a range of house made pasta dishes, pizza and burgers.

Tacos El Guero 3

I first jotted down this opening after stumbling across a recent Reddit discussion which noted their top notch birria and amazing enchiladas Michoacana. Based off of Google, it looks like the third location for Tacos El Guero is now open in the old Mi Lindo Nayarit (145 E 1300 S) just outside of downtown SLC.

Jose and Selena Gutierrez are the husband and wife team behind the opening, which marks the third installment in a growing expire. Locations in Heber and Kamas precede this most recent Salt Lake County posting. Those aforementioned empanadas Michoacana by the way – they come five fried corn tortilla to an order, topped with guajillo sauce and served up for a wallet friendly $11.49.

Tacos Lopez 2

Recently opened in West Valley City is a second location for Tacos Lopez. The opening follows on from a first location in West Jordan.

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant - maki roll
Tanabata Japanese Restaurant – maki roll (Gastronomic SLC)

Tanabata Japanese Restaurant

This South Salt Lake City restaurant opened after the long running EJO Korean BBQ closed their doors.  Tanabata offers an affordable menu of cooked dishes such as oyakodon, agedashi tofu, sukiyaki, and yosenabe; as well as a modest range of maki rolls. I ended up stopping by for lunch during the year, here are some menu snaps.

Taqueria Martini

The Trib ran this profile piece on the family owned business. The story recounts the tale of owners Martin Galicia and wife, Patricia Martinez, who operate this Taylorsville Mexican restaurant. The article calls out the Mexican New York steak, and a version of the “weekend parrilladas” as standout items to try.

Thai 101

If my memory isn’t lying to me, this spot on the edge of downtown SLC was home to Indian restaurants Kiraak and Copper Bowl down through the years. It’s now living life as a brand new Thai restaurant opening at the start of this month. The Thai 101 menu features familiar staples, not least a few more interesting dishes such as soft shell crabs pong garee – “fried giant soft-shell crabs stir fried with eggs, milk, onion, bell peppers, green onion, cilantro and yellow curry powder”.

Tokyo Tower

This new sushi joint is the (co)-work of restaurateur Hailiang Lin – the name behind Korean BBQ group OMBU Grill. Tokyo Tower restaurant opens along State Street at 1158 S – the former home to Royal Hot Pot, Dim Sum House, and Rice.

Top Pot & K BBQ

One of the latest additions to South Salt Lake’s Chinatown complex. The menu here is one for the indecisive offering a duo of DIY table side dishes: Korean BBQ and hot pot. The business seems to be part of this larger chain of businesses (I received a mailer in the post advertising the SoSL location with the same logo).

TY Fish & Chips
TY Fish & Chips (Gastronomic SLC)

TY Fish & Chips

With all the recent food trends in the city (ramen, hot pot, Italian beef and more) here’s one more my Blighty heart hopes will take hold. Hot on the heels of Murray’s relatively recent Fish On, one more location to get your fish and chip game on.

TY is the work of Ty Hoang and the menu features an interesting spin on the British staple. A signature tartar sauce is quickly followed by Asian twists: mango curry, honey wasabi, miso garlic and lemon sweet chili. You might know Hoang already, as the co-founder of Chopfuku.

Umbrella Cafe

Now open seven days a week in SLC’s Umbrella Bookstore (511 W 200 S), this new coffee shop.

Uncle Hot Pot 

Hot spot continues to be all the rage, new locations presently switching the lights on as fast as boba shops two years ago. Maybe still not quite as fast as fried chicken maybe. One of the latest to open is Uncle Hot Pot. Sean Means in the Trib wrote that this spot “opened recently in Salt Lake City’s Marmalade neighborhood, at 569 N. 300 West.”

Uncle Jeffi’s Place

Now officially open in the former Holladay location of Pig & A Jelly Jar. Open daily 7.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Uncle Jeffi’s is the work of restaurateur Anny Sooksri – owner of the adjacent FAV Bistro (amongst many others). The menu is one of classic diner foods, as well as several Thai dishes.

Urban Sailor Coffee

Another newbie to the Post District, also now open. Here’s an earlier press release by Urban Sailor a couple of months ago about what to expect at the new location

. . . 

Urban Sailor Coffee announced plans to open a second location in Salt Lake City’s Post District. Urban Sailor’s flagship location is in Sugar House; their mantra focuses on specialty “Third Wave Coffee,” which means using the best green beans they can find, then roasting and extracting skillfully using the best equipment and techniques available. Urban Sailor strives to make the best coffee cup while providing a unique and memorable experience.

“We are thrilled to bring Urban Sailor Coffee to the heart of Salt Lake City and share our passion for quality coffee with the community,” said co-founder Tyler Anderson. “We believe in creating a unique and welcoming atmosphere where everyone can come and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.”

Urban Sailor Coffee leased nearly 1,000 SF inside Post District, Salt Lake City’s Post District is home to four of the newest apartment communities in Salt Lake City- The Register, Post House North, Post House South, and 801 Flats. Each residence offers its unique style of living, all anchored by a community unlike any other. Building three at the Post District is zoned mixed-use, mixed family.

MWCRE agents Andy Moffit, Garrett Blomquist, and Scott Brady represent Post District’s development firm.

“We are excited to welcome Urban Sailor coffee to the Post District development and provide residents and visitors with exceptional coffee and a vibrant atmosphere,” said agent Andy Moffitt. “We believe Urban Sailor’s commitment to quality and community aligns perfectly with our client’s vision for Post District.”

Urban Sailor Coffee joins other notable Post District Tenants like Sunday’s Best, Level Crossing Brewing Company, MENSHO Ramen, and Urban Hill.

Van Ryder - view from rooftop bar
Van Ryder – view from rooftop bar (Gastronomic SLC)
Van Ryder - chips
Van Ryder – chips (Gastronomic SLC)
Bar at Van Ryder
Bar at Van Ryder (Gastronomic SLC)

Van Ryder

After I recapped the opening of Adelaide, the ground floor restaurant that serves the attached duo of Le Meriden and Element hotels (both Marriott properties) – the property unveiled their signature rooftop bar and donned the cowboy hats. Seriously. These guys love a good hat. It’s all Western vibes at the 21+ only space, named after cowboy artist, Jack Van Ryder.

Van Ryder is accessed via elevator – just outside of the Adelaide restaurant, and also directly from the street facing the Charles apartments. A quick ride to the twelfth floor (if memory serves) takes you to the ritzy joint; where the outside patio space is the main draw. It’s an expansive space that runs the whole side of the building’s Western roof line. The Northern aspect is covered, heated and features all season fire pits. Grab a menu, snuggle up around the fire and gaze off dreamily.

The prices are as impressive as the views mind you. A trio of pork belly bao are priced at $17 while more humble house made potato chips, a mere $13. A glass of Gruet rose costs as much as the whole bottle in the liquor store. But those views, boy those views, they are salve for many a sin. Come Spring and Summer this will be one of the destination spots in the city. The sunsets over the Oquirrhs should be spectacular. Take my money already.

Vegan Daddy Meats

Now open in the Marmalade, this plant based “butcher”. At the new Vegan Daddy spot you’ll be able to pick up a range of their house made vegan proteins as well as dishes such as a beaf n cheddar sandwich, wings, buckets of fried chikn, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, steak sandwiches, Phillys, and and more.

Vessel Kitchen - trout, cous cous, guacamole
Vessel Kitchen – trout, cous cous, guacamole (Gastronomic SLC)

Vessel Kitchen

The sixth location for Vessel is now open. GSLC contributor Val Phillips had some insight into the opening here.

Via 313 Murray

A further location for this Savory Fund backed pizza spot is now out of the oven. Confirmed on Instagram, the chain’s Detroit style pizzas hit the streets of Murray this year.

Woodbine Food Hall and Tavern sign
Woodbine Food Hall and Tavern sign (Gastronomic SLC)

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. Sadly Future ultimately closed down the operation towards the latter end of the year.

The White House

Now open in Old Town Park City. Here’s an excerpt of what to expect from a much bigger story by TownLift: “O’Shucks is set to open in Old Town this summer at 628 Park Avenue, the former brief location of Church Public House on the corner of Park Avenue and Heber Avenue. The O’Shucks Restaurant Group is expanding beyond its long-standing Main Street location and offering a unique blend of breakfast, sushi, and bar food.”

Wildfin American Grill

This Pacific North West arrival is one more addition to Riverton. The chain which also operates in OR, WA and ID serves up a large menu, all tied together with a strong seafood theme. The menu features a particularly noteworthy commitment to sustainability – something I’d love to see more of in landlocked Utah. WildFin state that they work with both the James Beard Smart Catch program and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to serve up only sustainable seafood.

Wild Peru

A new Peruvian eatery for the strip mall lot at 145 E 1300 S. All the familiar favorites are here at Wild Peru from lomo saltado through cau-cau. The menu is a relative rich one featuring a couple of lesser seen options (here in Utah) – duck with rice and huancaina sauce for example. Also worth checking out, a lineup of combo platters allowing guests to sample a little of this and that at once.

Xiao Bao Bao - Romina Rasmussen making bao
Xiao Bao Bao – Romina Rasmussen making bao (Gastronomic SLC)

Xiao Bao Bao

Here’s the preview I wrote about XBB – an all new grab and go bao spot in downtown SLC. The restaurant also recently opened fully, following on from several pop up events:

Here’s one you’ll want to keep a very close eye on, and one I’d been sworn to secrecy on. Until now. I’m giddy, you should be too. As you might recall then, 2022 ended with the sad news that Romina Rasmussen would be shuttering the doors to her iconic Les Madeleines bakery and cafe. Rasmussen signed off with an enigmatic promise to return in 2023. Today’s the big reveal for what comes next.

Rasmussen’s newest project takes her in a direction some might not have anticipated, namely, bao. The steamed Chinese buns are a staple street food in Asian countries, but are notably absent (for the most part) on the streets of Salt Lake City.

Joining Rasmussen to correct the matter are brothers Derrick and Dwight Yee. The Yee’s have historical connections to the Utah food scene too; grandfather Jack was behind the China Doll Cafe on Redwood Road, some fifty or so years ago. The trio’s new venture will be called Xiao Bao Bao and will launch with a quintet of the soft and fluffy snacks.

Much like Rasmussen’s prior attention to ingredient detail at Les Madeleines, a similar approach to quality will underscore XBB. Free range chickens are tapped for a curried chicken bao, while a brace of pork offerings feature Heritage pork, a blend of Duroc and Berkshire breeds. Two vegan friendly options will star alongside those, a bok choy and shiitake blend as well as an eggplant based bao.

From there the menu will evolve through a series of rotating specials to keep things fresh. “So many cultures have a corollary, who knows, we might offer a pierogi one day”, Rasmussen muses, “and of course I’ll be leaning into my former pastry chef past on the sweet side too”. “The point is we don’t want to be overly precious, we want to experiment”, Yee adds. He goes onto confirm that dumplings will follow on from the bao, as will a frozen range for fans to steam up at home.

And the name? A colloquialism for a big ol’ hug, something we all need once in a while; and almost certainly what this new grand grab and go spot will serve up by the bao load.Friday…

Xing Fu Tang

This year saw this Taiwanese brand launch their first location on the streets of Utah – specifically in the heart of the 9th and 9th, with a menu that leads with brown sugar boba drinks. A glance of social media today already shows lines down the street with eager locals looking to grab some of their eye catching drinks.

Yama Ramen

Ramen and donburi are the specialties at this new Park City (1700 Park Ave) eatery. The restaurant invites guests to a “taste of Fukuoka” and sports a menu that includes plenty of interesting items – tamakoyaki anyone?

The Yard Milkshake Bar

Recently opened in Orem, this all new spot for lovers of milkshakes.

Zeppe’s

Layton is the latest location for this Italian ice chain that operates postings in nearly ten Utah cities.

1886 Grill Smokehouse

New to Midway’s Homestead Resort is this new smoky addition. The business writes, “we are a high-quality barbecue in an ultra-relaxed setting, situated near a picturesque golf course. If that’s not the recipe for a good time, we don’t know what is. Featuring a robust menu of signature smoked meats, craft beers, full service bar and other barbecue favorites, we are an instant classic — not only with the nearby golfers, but with families, couples and other resort-goers looking to kill anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours. It’s convenient, it’s casual, it’s craveable, and it’s damn good.”

2 Row Brewing

After a successful crowd funding effort, the Midvale expansion of this popular local brewer is now open. The State Street location (7200 S.) features a full bar setup as well games such as pool, and darts. The opening promises expanded taproom space, a new retail area and even more brewing facilities for the company. I believe a menu of cold and hot sandwiches are available too.

85C Bakery Cafe

July 16th was the big day over at South Salt Lake’s Chinatown – seeing the much awaited opening of this Asian bakery – a popular chain making its first foray into Utah. The Taiwanese bakery/cafe chain offers coffee, tea and a range of international desserts and breads. The name apparently stems from founder Wu Cheng-hsueh who reckons that 85C is the optimal temperature to serve coffee. Here’s the full press release form the company on their opening in Utah:

. . . 

85°C Bakery Cafe, an international bakery cafe specializing in bread, cakes, coffee and tea, is pleased to announce the grand opening of its 1st location in Utah in South Salt Lake City (3370 South State Street, South Salt Lake City, Utah 84115) on August 11th, 2023. Come enjoy a five-star cafe experience!

“The Utah Store is located in the Salt Lake Chinatown Plaza on S State St. We can’t wait to bring our selection of bread, cakes, and beverages to this community!” said, Monica Chua, Regional Director. Utah 85°C will open its doors on Friday, August 11th with regular business hours from 8am to 10pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9am. The Grand Opening weekend will run from 8/11 to 8/13. Grand Opening promotions include free coffee mugs with a $35 purchase and free tote bags.

Families or just about anyone who enjoys sweet treats and drinks will relish coming by for affordable
pastries and desserts. With a European twist on Taiwanese desserts, everyone can find something they
like, ranging from ultra-soft and fluffy brioche breads to our signature sweet and salty sea salt cream
coffee.

9th Street Coffee and Donuts

Moving into the space left vacant by the now departed Big O Doughnuts (just across the road from Golden Gyros) is this new addition to the Central 9th neighborhood. Detailed info on 9th Street Coffee seems sparse on the ground for now; though I imagine coffee and err donuts, are a safe bet.

Previously mentioned with no further update

We’ve previously written about the following restaurants in posts tracking new restaurants around Utah. We’ve heard no further news on these at this time – but that’s not to say they didn’t open! If you know of any business opening that eluded our gaze, please do get in touch.

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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2 thoughts on “More than 160 restaurants opened in Utah this year – how many have you tried?”

  1. Good job…quite the comprehensive listing. Are there any newer restaurants that you might call “fine dining”…places with table cloths? Places like Franck’s or Log Haven…
    Thanks for all the hard work in researching all of this.
    Cheers🥂

    1. Thanks Mike. Not really any new higher end / more formal places since the opening of Urban Hill which was circa December 2022. It’s fabulous by the way. Bambara had a remodel this year, and the new chef is a little over a year into the new job too with relatively new menu, maybe worth a look in?

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