10 Best Restaurants Downtown SLC 2021

Only got one night in town, here on business or just traveling through? If so, you might want to get the most bang for your buck. With so many places to eat in the city, here are ten good options for restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City; they cover everything from Italian to Japanese to classic American. We’ve been writing about the Salt Lake restaurant scene for more than a decade and we’d happily spend our own money – any day or night of the week – at all of these downtown SLC restaurants.

1 – White Horse Spirits And Kitchen

White Horse bar area (White Horse)
White Horse bar area (White Horse)

Pony up to the bar at White Horse and enjoy one of downtown SLC’s best menus. The modern American Brasserie is open seven days a week and is a solid option for all occasions. The menu spans everything from bar snacks to fresh oysters through sandwiches and steaks.

That’s all backed by an extensively equipped full service bar and perhaps Utah’s best selection of ciders, with more than two dozen from across the globe – with many on draft pours of 22oz!

325 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 363-0137

2 – Whiskey Street

Whiskey Street dining at the bar (Whiskey Street)
Whiskey Street dining at the bar (Whiskey Street)

Just a few steps down from White Horse you’ll find Whiskey Street. The template is the same – great food and great drinks in an ultra hip environment. That should come as no surprise of course as the two businesses are both part of the same Bourbon Group, responsible for some of the best dining destinations in town.

Again, the restaurant is open seven days a week, early to late and of course, brunch is served at the weekend. While Whiskey might be prominent in the name – the bar program here doesn’t miss a beat – particularly of note is their craft cocktail program.

323 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 433-1371

3 – Bourbon House

Bourbon House - deviled eggs (Bourbon House)
Bourbon House – not your average pickled egg in a bar (Bourbon House)

We round out the Bourbon Group’s trio of downtown dining options with their first outing, Bourbon House. This more laid back casual pub is a great goto for beers and burgers, or indeed plenty of other elevated bar bites; think pizzas, sandwiches, wings and more, all with a refunded twist.

19 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 746-1005

We’re proud to have White Horse / Whiskey Street / Bourbon House as the sponsor for this page.

4 – Takashi

Takashi - maki sushi. Credit Heather L. King
Takashi – amazing sushi downtown SLC (Heather L. King)

Likewise, you can also obtain spectacular sushi in SLC. With the SLC international airport having daily flights to all corners of the globe – plenty of restaurants take advantage of that. Takashi is an award winning sushi spot that wouldn’t be out of place in any major US city – yes its that good. Its also why its packed every single night. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so get there early, or be prepared to stand in line for quite some time.

8 W Market St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 519-9595

5 – Alamexo

Alamexo: puerco tacos
Alamexo: puerco tacos

Refined regional Mexican cooking is the order of the day at this downtown eatery. think of chef and owner Matt Lake like SLC’s very own Rick Bayless; his menu crafts a range of classics with extraordinary attention and care, in a chic setting that’ll impress just as much as the food.

268 State St #110, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 779-4747

6 – Caffe Molise

Caffe Molise – pappardelle al sugo

Just opposite the Salt Palace convention center is this wonderful eatery, one of the best Italian restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City. The menu is stacked with hearty pasta dishes that are executed with a rustic charm. In warmer months the outside patio is one of THE places to be in SLC, a perfectly pretty little spot with lots of shade. The wine list is impeccable, as it should be – the restaurant is attached to BTG Wine Bar next door; a by the glass concept with numerous boutique winery selections and flights.

5 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 364-8833

7 – Taqueria 27

Taqueria 27 - duck confit tacos
Taqueria 27 – duck confit tacos

Gourmet tacos with ingredients such as duck confit. One of the biggest tequila selections in the state. A prime location in the heart of downtown SLC – adjacent to several fun bars. What’s not to love? Head on down to this modern spin on the classic taqueria for an elevated experience. Kick off your night on the town with tacos, or maybe just stop by mid-party to fuel up!

Foothill | 1615 S Foothill Dr., SLC, 84108 | (385) 259-0712
Holladay | 4670 S Holladay Village Plaza, Holladay, 84121 | (801) 676-9706
Downtown | 149 E 200 S, SLC, 84111 | (385) 259-0940
Murray | 6154 S. Fashion Blvd, Murray, 84107 | (801) 266-2487
Lehi | 1688 W Traverse Parkway, Lehi, 84043 | (801) 331-8033

8 – Pretty Bird Chicken

Pretty Bird fried chicken plate, credit Pretty Bird and Billy Yang
Pretty Bird – fried chicken plate (Pretty Bird and Billy Yang)

The best fried chicken you’ve ever had? Maybe, just maybe. At least that what regulars at Pretty Bird loudly proclaim. This blink and you miss it chicken shop is fine dining chef Viet Pham’s return to the SLC restaurant scene; following the departure of his much missed and lauded Forage restaurant. Pretty bird serves up Nashville style hot chicken by the plate or sandwich – and it’s worth the inevitable queues rain or shine.

146 Regent St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

9 – Copper Onion

Copper Onion - duck confit banh xeo with crispy pork belly special (Copper Onion)
Copper Onion – duck confit banh xeo with crispy pork belly special (Copper Onion)

Owner Ryan Lowder brought his wealth of experience cooking in Europe and NYC back to SLC when he opened this perfect New American eatery. Now a stalwart of the downtown dining scene, the restaurant is packed every night. Grab reservations for this one for sure.

The menu is built around steak, fish, chicken but surprises with infusions of Asian and European influence. Wonderful food is matched by great cocktails, a fun patio and ultra cool vibe make this always a destination to hit up. Can get a little loud when busy. Afterwards check out their sister cocktail bar Copper Common next door.

111 East Broadway #170, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 355-3282

10 – Stanza

Stanza - lobster pasta
Stanza – lobster pasta (Salt Lake Magazine)

This chic restaurant on the East side of downtown is perfect for everything from a romantic dinner to a business lunch. Making their own pasta in house every day, the contemporary take on Italian that Stanza crafts is some of the best food in SLC hands down.

Part of the larger La Salle group (all good by the way: Current, Kyoto, Cafe Niche, Oasis) the restaurant often hosts focused wine dinners; which tells you all you need to know about their wine smarts. The restaurant also sports a fun patio and an upstairs private dining space – with its own private patio too.

454 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 746-4441

Questions about dining in downtown Salt Lake City

If you’re new to SLC, or just coming in for work or leisure, you might have a few questions about our downtown area.

How walkable is SLC downtown?

The downtown Salt Lake City core is relatively small. You can easily walk from one side to the other in 10-15 minutes. SLC also offers the popular bike rental service, green bike, with pickup/drop off spots around town. Things can be challenging in both Winter and Summer though – snow, freezing temperatures or searing sun can put a real crimp in even the most ardent walker’s plans.

In the middle of Winter temperatures can drop to below zero; in Summer, days over 100f are not uncommon. Don’t feel afraid to take a Lyft or Uber a couple blocks away if needs be. You’ll find plenty of ride share availability in downtown SLC all around the clock seven days a week.

How safe is downtown Salt Lake City?

Compared to other cities, SLC is relatively, safe all hours of the day. We’d recommend you use sensible street smarts as you would in any major town or city – stick to well lit streets with other pedestrians.

How busy is it downtown in Salt Lake?

Traditionally the downtown area of Salt Lake has been more commercial than residential, so weekdays are typically more busy than weekends. That’s slowly changing in recent years, with more and more downtown housing coming online. The city is still relatively quiet once the office crowds head back to the suburbs each night. If a major convention is downtown, this can add significantly to the crowds. The same goes for a major concert or NBA game at the Vivint arena.

Do I need reservations to eat in downtown SLC

At the most popular restaurants, definitely. Even on weeknights, some of our more popular restaurants can have extensive waits without a reservation. Typically you should be able to walk into most restaurants with a reservation during weeknights, but hey, why take the risk?

How to get around downtown Salt Lake City?

We have both Lyft and Uber all over the Salt Lake valley, including the downtown area; moreover both services are allowed to pickup and drop-off at the airport too. As well as that you’ll find the popular Bird and Lime scooter services across downtown SLC, not to mention the popular green bike rental service.

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