Where to eat during Outdoor Retailer – it’s a question we might have been asked more times than ‘do you want fries with that’. Almost. SLC has a ton of great dining options and we know them all in detail. In fact SLC has more variety than you might expect, diverse, vibrant and delicious. From Vietnamese to Serbian, Nepalese to Irish and much, much more.
Through the following Outdoor Retailer dining guide, we’ll run down the best and most interesting restaurants in Salt Lake City. Starting with the closest to the Salt Palace convention center and then moving farther afield, every restaurant on this list is worth your dining dollar.
Naturally we have limited space and cannot list every single restaurant. If you have a specific query or dining request just drop an email to our chief taster, Stuart via firstname.lastname@example.org – he’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
With more than 45,000 visitors all vying for the most delicious dishes, advanced reservations are essential to secure a spot at SLC’s best downtown restaurants during the OR show. If you haven’t snagged reservations before you arrive in town, do call the restaurant in advance, just to be sure of avoiding a wasted journey.
Chef Matt Lake offers a refined take on classic Mexican dishes in a grown up restaurant space. The restaurant opens seven days a week offering a menu that changes regularly as the kitchen experiments. A house specialty is the guacamole, which is made table side in a molcajete bowl.
Pictured dish: Tamale De Elote
268 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Located on the ground floor on the Monaco hotel, Bambara serves up seasonal New American cuisine with an eye on local ingredients. After your meal step through to Club Bambara, the chic bar that offers a fun range of cocktails and beers.
Pictured dish: Steak Frites
202 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Ask anyone to recommend the best restaurant in SLC, and Copper Onion will be a name you hear time and again. Always busy, always a great atmosphere and always a great menu – focused on New American dishes with a sprinkling of European influence.
Pictured dish: Bone Marrow Appetizer
111 E Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Serious Japanese cuisine for true aficionados. While the sushi alone is first rate (with some supplies coming from Tokyo’s famed Tsukihji fish market) there’s much more to discover from exceptional robata grilled meats and veggies, to stunning ramen.
Pictured dish: Fresh Prawn
67 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Outer Downtown Core
With just a brief few minutes drive, or a 10-20 minute walk – you will find yourself outside the immediate downtown zone. These restaurants will be
Not just the best BBQ in Utah, R&R serve some of the best BBQ you will find in the mountain West. The work of serial BBQ competition winners, Rod and Roger Livingston, R&R is BBQ that means business. The restaurant opens for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and also serves beer with their stunning smoked meats.
Pictured dish: Ribs
307 W 600 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Oasis Cafe is a self described “sanctuary”, “located in the heart of the city but tucked away like a well-kept secret”. While best know for its brunch and healthy eating vibe, the kitchen is equally serviceable for dinner, also offering a full bar of wine, beer and cocktails. The serene atmosphere offers a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the convention.
Pictured dish: Mahi-mahi served over purple sticky rice
151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Owned by the same dining group as the previously mentioned Oasis, Faustina is another restaurant just far enough away from the hubbub of downtown SLC to escape the crowds. Offering a full bar, dining for lunch, brunch and dinner, and a killer back patio – it works well for all occasions.
Pictured dish: Rabbit
454 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Many of SLC’s more interesting restaurant’s can be found peppered around our various neighborhoods, easily accessible via car or taxi, ten minutes from downtown SLC.
Frederick Perez’ Peruvian cuisine raises the bar so high – that he was nominated for best South West chef 2014, by Food and Wine magazine for his restaurant Del Mar Al Lago. Expect stunning renditions of dishe slike lomo saltado and paella plus some truly sublime ceviche dishes.
Pictured dish: Ceviche sampler
310 Bugatti Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Finca is Salt Lake’s premier Tapas focused eatery open seven days a week. Although located away from the downtown OR show crowds – still call ahead – as this restaurant is routinely hopping. Guests come from all over the valley to experience Finca’s unique take on Spanish small plates using as much locally sourced product as possible – plus mixologist Scott Gardner’s excellent cocktail program. The Spanish centric wine list is no slouch either.
Pictured dish: Tri Tip Asadero
1291 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
South Salt Lake is home to one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in the state of Utah. Ho Mei BBQ greets diners on arrival with an array of hanging BBQ’ed meats, offered every day of the week and late into the night. You’ll find everything from Sichuan cooking through to hot pots and an array of delicious Cantonese cuisine.
Pictured dish: Three BBQ plate with roast pork, duck and chicken
3370 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
The finest Indian and Nepalese cuisine can be found at Kathmandu. While the restaurant has a second location closer to downtown, the original in the Sugarhouse neighborhood is our pick of the two. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the food at Kathmandu is matched by the exceptionally friendly and accommodating service.
Pictured dish: Samosa chat
3142 S Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT
Reservations needed during OR: definitely
Good for taking clients: yes
1080 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Cuisine: Burgers, Beer, Whiskey
Reservations needed during OR: walk in only
Good for taking clients: no
135 W 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
If you’re happy taking a longer trip, or maybe looking to explore a little while you’re in town, be sure to check out the following restaurants.
Cuisine: Fine dining in the mounatins
Reservations needed during OR: call ahead
Good for taking clients: yes
6451 E Millcreek Canyon Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Disclosure: While Bambara, Faustina, Kyoto, Log Haven and Oasis Cafe are local partners of GSLC – only the best SLC restaurants are accepted into this program.