guide to SLC

guide to SLC
tomorrow we are off to home sweet salt lake city for the holidays!
to celebrate this, i made a little guide to salt lake city.
it includes some of our very favorite places to eat + things to do!
we will be taking full advantage of these while we’re home to visit,
and hope you’ll save them to check out if you’re a salt laker or a visitor! xo
• the well-traveled wife’s 
guide to salt lake city 

Citris Grill

2991 East 3300 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84109
(801) 466-1202
probably our very very favorite place…the neighborhood squeeze! this is our default place 
to eat in salt lake city, and it’s just a cozy little place with the best food. our favorites 
are: the southwest chicken wrap, cobb salad, and #2 pizza. it’s also always fun to try 
the “grilled cheese of the day” with corn chowder soup. live music on thursday nights!

The Dodo
1355 East 2100 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84105

(801) 486-2473
a classic salt lake spot famous for the smoked turkey sandwich with house-made bbq dipping
sauce. {amazing..get it with swiss cheese + avocado}. you can also get the salad version, though
it’s not on the menu…order the “dirty bird.” any special or other menu item is great, but they
are famous for that bbq so try it first. their tollhouse pie is also a must!

Porcupine Grille

3690 Fort Union Boulevard | Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 942-5555
same owners as the dodo, but a different feel right at the base of the ski resort canyons. 
you truly can’t go wrong at porcupine. we love the thai chicken pizza, any pasta, the 
nachos, and the unbelievable chicken noodle soup with their baci rolls…best we’ve
ever had! there is now a location more central in salt lake city too!

Stoneground Kitchen
249 East 400 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84111

(801) 364-1368
right across from the downtown library in a second-story loft, this restaurant is always fun
to go out to, and the food is fabulous. all of their pasta dishes are top-notch, they have
their own homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and the tiramisu is a perfect end to any meal.


260 South 200 West Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 322-3556
authentic italian pizza that will knock your socks off. we always love coming here.
*it can be crowded on the weekends, so walk next store and try red rock brewery if so.
**they just opened a gelato shop next to the restaurant..amazing!

Sawadee Thai

754 East South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 328-8424
we are constantly on the search for the best pad thai anywhere we go, and this is still 
the one to beat. enough said. the curry is also great here, and the atmosphere is 
so nice. you won’t be disappointed here. *for more casual, try thai siam.

Cucina Toscana

307 West Pierpont Avenue Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 328-3463
arguably the best italian in the city. we love italian food, & this place won the job of
catering our wedding dinner. celebs dine here with 
they come to salt lake for sundance,
and it’s 
some of the best food you can find in the city! the ravioli is a must. go for a
special occasion, since it’s pricey. bon appetito!

357 South Main Street | Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 328-0304
you know this place is good, because oftentimes you’ll see NBA players eating here downtown..

great food and fun classed- up sports bar atmosphere…get the fat boy pizza!

Cafe Rio

Multiple Locations Salt Lake City, UT 
this place may be americanized mexican, but it’s the best americanized mexican you can 
dream of. secret tortilla recipes + the best sweet pork you’ve ever tried = amazing food. 
our favorite is the pork salad on whole wheat with black beans. try their specials
and their tres leches..along with some mint limeade. we dream about this food 
now that we live away from it! 

Rose Establishment
235 400 W | Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 990-6270
the rose has established itself in its prime location right off pierpont avenue downtown. the feel of the

place is similar to a san francisco or new york city eatery: flooded with sunlight, rustic wooden tables,
and a healthier menu which is plated well with in-season ingredients. the salt-sprinkled avocado toast
and bakery items are must-orders, as well as the light lunch menu. come for coffee or brunch,
and stay to work in the comfortable environment until it’s time for lunch.

Penny Ann’s Cafe
1810 Main St | Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 935-4760
two words: heavenly hotcakes. they live right up to their name and they’ll disappear from your plate

quickly along with all of the comfort food offered here. this family-owned operation is located on
main street as well as a new location in draper. both locations feel like local favorites with a personal
touch from penny ann and her siblings (and parents). it’s a very unassuming place, but when you walk
in you’ll find it packed full of regulars — and you’ll want to become one too. try one of the many flavorful
omelettes themed after PAC-12 schools to balance out your hotcakes. the menu is extremely reasonable,
so add in a scone with homemade honey butter too. don’t forget to take some pie to go!

Pig and a Jelly Jar
401 E 900 S | Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(385) 202-7366
pig and a jelly jar is as fun and spunky a brunch as the name suggests. located right near lively

liberty park, true brunch lovers will appreciate the serious and satisfying menu here. arrive very
hungry and ready to eat the likes of chicken & waffles and homemade biscuits with coconut strawberry
jam. this is breakfast done right. pig II will soon be opening in ogden on historic 25th street.

Cafe Trio

680 South 900 East Salt Lake City, UT 84102 
another great spot…love the feel of this restaurant, and the food matches the setting.
great italian food with a flair, and the flatbread is the best way to start the meal!

Em’s Restaurant

271 Center Street Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 596-0566
this restaurant has a great name, don’t you think? :)
we love this charming little spot with great, unique gourmet food, right up by the capitol.
we even met phil dunphy here once, so what’s not to like? {pricier}

Root’s Cafe

3474 South 2300 East | Salt Lake City, UT 84109
(801) 277-6499
healthy, fresh, organic, natural food. what could be better?

we love the juice bar, quinoa of the day, the wraps, salads, etc.
you always feel good after eating here!

Red Iguana

736 West North Temple | Salt Lake City, UT 84116
(801) 322-1489
this is one of the most popular authentic mexican joints in town. it has incredible reviews, and
people love it! we are not big fans of the spicy food, so we get combo plates with less 
but there are plenty of options for all ends of the mexican food spectrum!

Caffe Niche

779 E. 300 S. | Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
(801) 433-3380
YUM!!!!! this is the perfect lunch spot. it is a darling restaurant with the most amazing and
unique food which is all locally grown. 
we always get the new specials since 

they have never failed to impress us!

Cucina Deli

1026 East 2nd Avenue | Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 322-3055
one of our most common stops for a quick dinner/ treat. we have so many good memories
here, since we would come here all the time when we were first dating! 
it’s right by the U campus
in the avenues, and i can’t get anything there other than the 
pesto cranberry pasta because it is
my very favorite. love the bread pudding too!


454 East Broadway | Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 746-4441
classy italian spot with lighter pastas and great atmosphere..
we’ve always had amazing service eating here.

Soho Food Park

4747 S Holladay Blvd, | Holladay, UT 84117
SLC’s food truck park with all of the best! Look it up to see which trucks are there which nights.

Ruth’s Diner

4160 Emigration Canyon Road | Salt Lake City, UT 84108
(801) 582-5807
a classic roadside diner up emigration canyon..our favorite thing is to bike up the canyon 
to have breakfast here {including their amazing scones}, but it’s a fun setting for dinner too! 

Les Madeline’s Bakery
216 East 500 South |  Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 355-2294
simply heavenly..we loved meeting here for little lunch dates back in college. 
the pastries are to die for, and all lunch items are great.

Cafe Terigo

424 Main Street | Park City, UT 84060
(435) 645-9555
we’re obsessed with this park city restaurant.. so classy with incredible food! plus, it’s a perfect 
excuse to go to one of the best places in utah: park city {my hometown}. only 20 minutes from
SLC, this restaurant {and town} is a winner. we love the salmon!

The Robin’s Nest

311 South Main Street | Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 466-6378
some of the very best sandwiches and bread you can find. the chicken salad 
sandwich is our go-to. we also love nearby evens stevens sandwiches for lunch!

Red Butte Cafe

1414 S Foothill Dr | Salt Lake City, UT 84108
(801) 581-9498

very healthy and gourmet food. the fajitas are always a good order, along with the french onion soup,
house pasta salad, and the southwest chicken salad. great desserts as well!

Market Street Grill
48 Market Street | Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(801) 322-4668
an SLC classic with the best seafood you can find in the city. we love the clam chowder,
salmon, caramel ice cream, and especially the raspberry almond torte…and chocolate
cake..and fruit tart..and sabayon.. their desserts are the best in the west!

Bruges Waffles & Frites
336 West Broadway Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 363-4444
you haven’t had a true belgian waffle recipe until you go to belgium, or to this little shop
run by a belgian man. pierre is the owner, and he is the best. he makes you feel like you’re in europe!
they make carmelized liège waffles, 
and you can choose between vanilla or cinnamon. they are good
any way you like. our favorite is to top them with creme 
fraiche and strawberries or peaches
{when they’re in season}. 
the frites and all of the dipping sauces are also great! give it a try.

250 S 300 E | Salt Lake City, UT

(801) 328-3330
is it obvious yet how much we (i) love french places? this is also a gem
and you can’t 
go wrong with your order!

Hatch Family Chocolates
376 8th Avenue | Salt Lake City, UT 84103

(801) 532-4912
this place had been made famous from being on TV, and it lives up to the hype.
if you’re a dark chocolate fan, go get the hot won’t be disappointed!

Mini’s Cupcakes
14 East 800 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 363-0608
every city guide has to have at least one good cupcake shop.. i think all cupcakes are 
overrated, but this place is darling and actually has some cute cupcake flavors (including 
a “breakfast at tiffany’s”) that can make cute gifts or treats for a party.

Sweet Tooth Fairy
1334 Foothill Drive | Salt Lake City, UT 84108
(801) 582-9703
another darling sweets shop where you can find the cutest and yummiest treats!

Ruby Snap Cookies
770 South 300 West  Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 834-6111
darling gourmet cookie shop with cutest names for their cookies. it’s an absolute favorite
of mine and definitely worth dropping by! we love the audrey cookie: made with almond
dough, cranberries & white chocolate.


…other favorites worth mentioning…
  • Hires- Classic burger joint in the city. Order the Big H, cheese fries, and a cherry limeade.
  • Zao Asian Cafe- A new favorite with Asian fusion! Try the tacos or salad.
  • Noodles & co. -just a pasta chain, but we’re obsessed with pesto cavatappi on whole grain noodles.
  • Zupas- husband’s favorite spot for a quick lunch..soup, pasta, sandwiches, desserts.
  • Copper Onion- unique and pretty good, but a little fancy. people love it though! 
  • Blue Lemon- great spot right downtown across from the temple. .we love all the salads.
  • Pizzeria Limone-fun unique flavors of pizza!
  • Millcreek Cafe- great breakfast
  • Einstein’s Bagels- Favorite spot for a bagel and soup (and mudslide cookie!) Also try Rich’s Bagels for their asiago.
  • Eggs in the City- very fun breakfast spot
  • Protein Foundry- Smoothies and toasts and acai, oh my!
  • Spitz SLC- For your Mediterranean kebab fix!
  • R&R BBQ – best in town.
  • Vosen’s Bread- authentic european bakery in a darling old house downtown.
  • Lone Star- best tacos
  • Banbury Cross- for your doughnut fix 
  • Swig- All the rage for flavored sodas and the BEST COOKIES ON EARTH!

beautiful always, especially with the lights at christmastime or the gorgeous flowers 
in the springtime. you can visit the temple visitors center, see the conference 
center across the street, and just stroll and enjoy the grounds. the temple is
one of the most stunning buildings you’ll ever see!
right off temple square, this new and updated mall/restaurant area is one of the
nicest places in SLC. stroll the shops with a creek running through the middle,
and get some food at one of the many options there.
this theatre is always showing unique documentaries
and movies from film festivals that you wouldn’t find at a regular theatre.
one of my very favorite buildings in the city! the capitol sits up on the hill
and bears resemblance to our national capitol. visitors can go inside
anytime, and the grounds and inside are beautiful. i used to work there
at the legislature and later in the governor’s office, so it is near and dear to my heart.
even if you don’t ski, at least go visit the gorgeous resorts: alta, snowbird, brighton,
solitude, park city, deer valley, the canyons, etc. our favorite is alta.
there is always some fun show playing here, and it’s a great historic 
building to see broadway shows/ballets/ musicals at. 
our favorite theater in town..we didn’t miss a show when we were in college
and living on campus right by it! check out the shows and go to one!
i grew up literally around the corner from the mouth of this canyon,
so it is my very favorite. it has amazing hikes, campgrounds, and
a peaceful road to run. also great for cross country skiing in the winter.
if you’re a sports fan, go to vivint arena to watch our utah jazz!
this is a fun shopping/dining area converted from old trolley carbarns
into the fun place it is today. fun to stroll around..there are chain stores 
as well as unique little boutiques that are worth checking out.

you can ice skate here in the winter, or go to great concerts in the summer!

we love the farmers market at pioneer park in the summertime..
this really is a fun place to go on a date. the building is beautiful, and they
have some great collections, as well as interesting exhibits always coming through.
if interested, you can always go by rice-eccles stadium to see the olympic park
and see the torch that held the olympic flame, as well as the site of the
opening and closing ceremonies from the 2002 winter olympics.
the cutest local shopping/eating area. go park and walk around! don’t miss thai garden,
dolcetti gelato, children’s hour book store & boutique, or hip & humble.
my hometown! park city is the best, and everyone who goes there falls in love with it.
it’s a darling ski town 30 minutes from downtown salt lake, and there is a lot to do
there..good eating, skiing, art galleries, and shopping. don’t miss main street!
{home of the sundance film festival and the 2002 winter olympics.}
i could keep going and going, but that’s all for now.
i’m sure we will be adding to this list and remembering lots of other favorites,
but this is a start. if you know SLC, comment with any other tips!
the well-traveled wife


11 thoughts on “guide to SLC”

  • Oh my goodness thanks so much!! Hubby and I moved to downtown Salt Lake when we got married in September and are still trying to figure out our favorite places. We LOVE Sawadee and will have to try a bunch of the other places you listed. So excited about this, thanks!! :)


  • so funny…i went to the dodo last week and got the smoked turkey sandwich (with swiss!) and the tollhouse pie ;) great minds think alike i guess.

    yep, i think you pretty much covered all the greats!

  • Thank you for this!! My husband and I both live in downtown SLC, but we’re both from Texas so we’re still trying to figure out our favorite SLC spots! We love Settebello, and I can’t wait to try some of the other restaurants when we get back from Christmas vacation. Enjoy time with your family!

  • So now I’m officially starving! And I want to go back to SLC! I visited a few years ago for Christmas and fell in love! Everything was so beautiful there! I’ve been invited to go with the family I nanny for in February and hoping I can save up enough $ to go!

  • WOW…I wanna know how you’re gonna hit up ALL those restaurants while you’re there….keep me posted!

    Bruges….Oh my waffles and frites. We drove by that delightful little hole in a wall today and I LITERALLY had to stop myself from going in there and inhaling everything!

  • oh! and by the way…..the turkey burger at blue lemon…..try it (if you haven’t already). you won’t be disappointed! have fun in slc! maybe i’ll see you around :)

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