The Best Restaurants and Bars in Salt Lake City

Dining in Salt Lake City means lots of international cuisines (thank you, Mormon missionaries, for introducing the foods of the world to Utah!), and you’ll also find all the favorites of the skiing and hiking crowds: strong coffee, great pizza and pasta, fresh sushi, and great drinks.

2005 E 2700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, USA
Feldman’s—modeled on the classic Jewish deli one would expect to find in New York City—has landed and is thriving on the east side of Salt Lake City. The deli’s hot half-pound sandwiches include multiple variations on the Reuben (sauerkraut or slaw, pastrami or turkey, corned beef and pastrami, etc.) as well as items like beef tongue, which are hard to find in Utah. At breakfast, order a plate of eggs and salami, try a bagel with a schmear or one of the sandwiches for lunch, and go for a bowl of matzo ball soup with some pierogis for dinner. If you know New York delis, the available-all-day dessert selection will make you happy: rugelach (rolled pastry filled with cinnamon and nuts) or blintzes with fruit compote, or maybe a nice slice of Black Forest cake? Feldman’s also regularly offers live entertainment in the evenings.
155 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Chef and owner Charlie Perry spent many hours by his great-grandmother’s side as she shared her love of cooking with him. Her name was Eva Coombs, and Perry opened this boulangerie in her honor. While there are a few gluten-free options on the menu, they’re limited to salads and the fruit-bowl sides. This is not a place that makes adjustments to its bread. The baker serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays for brunch.
279 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
The beauty of running a seafood restaurant that’s not located near the sea is that there’s no regional bias—and Current takes full advantage of this. Chef Alan Brines is able to draw inspiration from seafood meccas such as San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Seattle, and others. Located just east of downtown, the simple single-story brick building has been refurbished with a modern feel and can be rented out for private events. Current also hosts special events from time to time, including wine pairings from notable American winemakers.
736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, USA
There’s almost always a wait at this Mexican eatery, but it’s worth it. Located just off the northwest corner of downtown and within easy striking distance of a number of hotels, the flagship location serves around 700 hungry guests a day. When Ramon and Maria Cardenas opened the restaurant in 1985, it seated only 18 guests, but that location eventually burned down. After reopening in its current location to great fanfare, they’ve since opened a second location, the Red Iguana 2, just a few blocks away. Most recently, they launched “Taste of Red Iguana” in the new City Creek Mall, serving their classic meals food-court style.
202 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night fare, this bistro-style American eatery is located in the lobby of the historical Continental Bank, right in the middle of downtown. Chef Nathan Powers and his team draw locals working nearby, tourists from afar, and businesspeople looking to impress and woo clients. The menu for each of the meals served throughout the day is sophisticated but not overwhelming, and Powers slowly rotates items as the seasons change and new inspiration strikes. Bambara offers a number of seafood dishes and provides a range of portion sizes to accommodate different appetites.
235 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
In a world where coffee is ubiquitous, it’s refreshing to find an establishment that cares equally about tea. Behind the bar at the Rose Estb is a shelf of jars hosting three varieties of each kind of tea: black, green, white, herbal, rooibos, oolong, and a category for an assortment of others, maté among them. This does not, however, compromise an attention to good coffee (the Rose sources it from San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee), which is still what most people come for. Open for brunch and lunch, the simple café menu includes frittatas, soups, salads, and sandwiches. The Rose is located on the southwest edge of downtown in a brick building that was remodeled by the owner, Erica O’Brien, and her father, and is deliberately Wi-Fi free.
2110 Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106, USA
The Utah Brewers cooperative, a partnership between Wasatch Brewery and squatters craft beers, has an eye for where people drink. The latest proof: Wasatch Brew Pub, which serves playful beers (Polygamy Porter, anyone?) in a spot just off the new Sugar House plaza.
2212 S W Temple #14, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, USA
Thanks to loosened liquor laws, Utah’s distilling scene is flourishing—the Sugar House Distillery is the third small-batch distillery to open in the state in the last year. On an informal tour you can buy bottles of owner James Fowler’s vodka and malt whiskey.
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