Fun Places to Eat in Salt Lake City + What to Order

Food, glorious food. It’s one of THE reasons to travel, is it not? If I told you that Salt Lake City is ranked in the top 30 US cities for food, would you believe me? Well, I guess it doesn’t matter if you do or you don’t because it is! 😜 Check out these fun places to eat in Salt Lake City and get recommendations on what to order. I truly enjoyed my time in this foodie destination and I hope you will too!

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Fun Places to Eat in Salt Lake City

So, I’m guessing if “foodie” didn’t come to mind for Utah’s capital, “fun places” to eat in Salt Lake City didn’t either? No worries either way; however, I can assure you that both fit quite appropriately. From dynamic menu options to the different ambiances and unique craft cocktails, SLC will leave a lasting memory on your taste buds!

I have the different restaurants broken down by neighborhood to help with your trip planning. Let’s get them to, shall we?

Lehi Restaurants

Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar

double rows of quite colorful sushi rolls from Tsunami in Lehi Utah

The first night in SLC, my friend took us to this neighborhood favorite, Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar. The vibe is chic, the dress casual, and the food is absolutely delish!

What to Order

As far as what to order, you can’t go wrong. We each ordered something different and then wound up trying everyone else’s food and everyone loved everything!

red martini served with the salmon rangoon on a black plate
plate of salmon rangoon sprinkled with scallions and served with a dipping sauce on a black plate

I personally ordered the Salmon Rangoon (fresh salmon and cream cheese fried in a wonton) for an appetizer. It’s just like crab rangoon but with salmon. I would order it a thousand times over it was so good!

For other recommendations, members of our group ordered the Shrimp Poppers (shrimp fried in a lightly spiced batter, served with spicy aioli and habanero teriyaki sauces) and the Regular Edamame (they have different kinds). I enjoyed both but would order the Shrimp Poppers over the edamame for the unique aspect.

Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Options are reservations via OpenTable (recommended) or walk-ins are accepted.

Lehi Country Bakery

a square donut held up against a colorful background under a sign that says "hello"

Want a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Or something fun to start your day? Try Lehi Country Bakery, home of the Square Donut! How cute is it?

Personally, I love the creative take. Most donuts are round so why not create a square? Most rings are round but I have a square one that I wear daily. Same concept! The Square Donut is glazed and perfectly made to melt in your mouth.

However, if you want to try other options besides or in addition to the Square Donut, choose from the many options on the Lehi Country Bakery menu!

Lehi Country Bakery
Options are grab-and-go, place an order online or order via Door Dash!

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Cottonwood Heights Restaurants

Porcupine Pub & Grille

The Porcupine Pub & Grille is an all-around American grill type of place. With a rustic, log cabin feel, it is the perfect place to unwind after you’ve been out in the snow all day!

What to Order

grilled salmon with a green sauce served with mashed potatoes and veggies on a white plate

I definitely have several recommendations for the place with interesting menu twists such as the Cherry BBQ Salmon (grilled fresh Coho Salmon topped with a black cherry bbq sauce and aioli). It was served with garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, AND a cup of soup or side salad. I had the Cream of Mushroom Soup.

I was so intrigued by my favorite fish (salmon) combined with one of my favorite flavors (cherry). But a black cherry bbq sauce? SOLD! It was FANTASTIC!

However, the star of the show was the Salted Caramel Cheesecake. Honestly, that’s what I was there for (the entree and drinks were bonuses). I was so excited, I made a rookie mistake and forgot to get a photo! πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ SO. GOOD.

Porcupine Pub & Grille
Options are getting on the waitlist, walking in, or curbside pickup.

Salt Lake City Restaurants

Takashi

a line of people forming outside Salt Lake City's Takashi
the colorful interior with large round ball lights at Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah

Voted Utah’s best sushi many times over, Takashi sits in the heart of SLC’s downtown. We wanted to try out the state’s best sushi and we weren’t disappointed. At all…in the slightest…

What to Order

tuna tartare with a large yellow quail egg at Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah
purple drink with a garnish of two blueberries at Takashi from Salt Lake City Utah
gyoza pork dumplings in a pinwheel shape on a white plate at Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah

Everything from the Toro Tartare (fatty tuna with scallions and quail egg) to craft cocktails such as the Kind of Blue (vodka, blueberry, shiso, yuzu, and lemon) and small plates like the Gyoza (pork dumplings in a spicy sauce) was fantastic.

sushi roll with lots of greens from Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah
colorful sushi roll from Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah

CONFESSION: I’m the kind who “makes her own” type of roll. I love things like fresh salmon, fresh shrimp, avocado, crab salad, fresh mango, eel sauce, etc. Basically, as long as it isn’t spicy and doesn’t have cucumber (😝), I will typically find the closest thing on the menu to this and then have them adjust to make this kind of combo. Admittedly, it was much harder to get my “craft roll” here so I don’t recommend trying that route. πŸ™ƒ

If you like spicy food then I would order the Strawberry Fields (escolar, strawberry, spicy sauce, and fresh chili peppers inside with toasted almonds and eel sauce on top). Straight up if I liked spicy food, then this is what I would have ordered. Straight off the menu. 😱

SIDE NOTE: I come from a family who can’t order straight off the menu. Annoying? Yep. Even for us. Original and creative? Absolutely. And you know what? Originality-that’s 100% okay! 😍

a pair of Wagyu beef nigiri from Takashi in Salt Lake City Utah

The highlight? The A5 Wagyu Beef! Your choice of nigiri or sashimi will melt in your mouth! Pricey? Yes. That’s why we split it. Worth it? Absolutely!

Takashi
Options are lining up right before the 5 pm opening for immediate seating or arriving later and waiting…and hoping.

Tucanos Brazilian Grill

One of our group trip planners pre-planned a visit to Tucanos Brazilian Grill. To be honest, I wasn’t all that thrilled but I was grateful that it wasn’t Mexican food. Nothing against Mexican food, it’s just not my favorite. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The reason I wasn’t thrilled is that I typically can’t eat enough to justify the cost of a Brazilian restaurant. The food is always fantastic but I’m used to Fogo de ChΓ£o and I’ve never been able to reconcile the amount of money spent with the amount I’m able to eat.

What to Order

That said, I found this Brazilian restaurant to be much different. I only got their salad bar since I couldn’t justify the price of the meat. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. πŸ™„ However, I researched this ahead of time.

The salad bar is glorious because there were options like loaded mashed potatoes (heavenly), macaroni and cheese, breads, soups, pastas, and even…wait for it…SUSHI! 😱

Finally, a Brazilian restaurant that I can justify! They do carefully watch if you are sharing meat as this is not permitted. That said, I did try a bite here and there but I kept it to a very discreet minimal “bite”.

Tucanos Brazilian Grill
Options are reservations via Yelp, waitlist via Tucanos website, or ordering online.

Sapa

By now, you can probably tell that our group is very much pro-sushi. And, you would be correct. So, if you aren’t a sushi fan, I apologize as this list is very sushi-heavy. With that, I will present our third (but not least) sushi place, Sapa.

mural of a girl with dark hair, butterflies and flowers at Sapa in Salt Lake City Utah

What I like about Sapa is that not only does it have crazy-good craft cocktails and sushi but it is also very artsy. Creative murals and a fun vibe. What more could you want as a sushi-lover?

What to Order

colorful sushi roll with a peach martini at Sapa in Salt Lake City Utah

My recommendations for Sapa are the Peach Martini and a roll (again with the custom, craft ordering issue I have πŸ™„) to your liking. My sushi roll was a custom order off the Luscious Lover to sub fresh salmon for unagi, cream cheese for cucumber, and to add mango to strawberries, in addition to its native shrimp tempura and avocado. If that sounds amazing to you…just know that it was!

They also have Bento combos, entrees, and all-you-can-eat rolls (M-Thur 5p-6:30p, NO substitutions)!

Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill
Options are reservations via Sapa website (for 8-20 people) or walk-ins are accepted otherwise.

Lake Effect

lobby interior of Lake Effect with its gigantic wine rack and tall, velvet plush chairs

After dinner (say at Sapa, for example), if you want to find a very upscale place to have drinks with friends, try Lake Effect. One of our other local SLC friends took us here as she knows the owners.

tall, dark bar shelves with elaborate wood sculpting and multiple bottles of alcohol at Lake Effect in Salt Lake City Utah
a glowing candle with light pink lighting and multi-colored bottles of wine on a wine rack in the background

I’m fairly certain I could have just marveled at the beauty of the place for days. The photographer and architectural lover in me went crazy! Definitely had a chic vibe and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

In case you’re wondering, it has over 150 beers and over 100 types of wines. Yes, that is in addition to its craft cocktails and the fact that it includes liqueurs from all over the world as well as vintages!

What to Order

closeup from a pink alcoholic drink from Lake Effect, a restaurant in Salt Lake City Utah

My recommendations here, since you basically have unlimited choices, are to order what you like. I promise they have it! And if you want a unique option, take a gander at the Lake Effect craft cocktails and classic cocktails! Or you can always download the entire Lake Effect drink menu!

I mean, with names like “Art of Choking”, “I Shaved My Legs For This”, “Let’s Go Barbie”, and “Pear of Smokin’ Barrels”…aren’t you the least bit curious? πŸ˜‰

NOTE: This might be one of my favorite bars ever. I just love the upscale vibe, the chicness, and the creativity with the craft cocktails and visual appeal.

Lake Effect
Options are reservations via their website or OpenTable or trying to walk in. I highly recommend resys.

Keys On Main

two men playing dueling pianos at Keys on Main in Salt Lake City Utah

Now, are you looking for some animated after-dinner entertainment? Then try Keys On Main, a dueling piano bar! I wouldn’t call it upscale and it definitely isn’t a place to go for great conversation. But if you are wanting to sing your favorite songs and have a highly energetic time, this is your place!

They serve typical bar food and the drinks are on par with your typical bar atmosphere. The draw here is the dueling pianos and your energy level!

Keys On Main
Options are reservations via the Keys On Main website. They do fill up quickly and sometimes there is only standing room available, if that.

Park City Restaurants

I know you were wondering where the Park City restaurants were…well, your wait is finally over!

Silver Star Cafe

snow stacked high on tables outside of Silver Star Cafe in Park City Utah

We had brunch on one of our Park City mornings at Silver Star Cafe. Typically, I only recommend places that I just love. However, I also try to keep it real. This is going to be one of those “real” moments.

snowy winter scene with a lake, house, trees, and mountains in Park City Utah

In theory, this place looked fantastic. It had a really cool ambiance and unique decor with spectacular views. The menu appeared to be dynamic. What’s not to love, right?

burger with fries on a white plate with a side of ketchup

Well…I ordered the Seared Elk Burger. In addition to it being a regional dish, the toppings (things like smoked white cheddar and a blackberry gastrique) got my taste buds spinning.

Unfortunately, it was fairly bland, our orders got messed up (a large group, granted) and it just didn’t live up to the hype I was hoping for.

The place gets great reviews though and I believe in second chances (for most things) so I would go back and give it another try.

If I did go back, I would stick with my original pre-planned choice of the Shrimp and Avocado Benedict (Cajun-dusted shrimp, herbed polenta cake, two poached eggs, spinach, and classic hollandaise). I’m a HUGE benedict fan and that along with unique flavored mimosas is typically my winning choice for brunch.

Silver Star Cafe
Options are reservations via Resy, ordering online via the Silver Star Cafe website, or try walking in.

High West Saloon

mason jars with yellow lighting hanging in a pattern on a reclaimed wood wall in Park City Utah

Needing an afternoon break while perusing Park City’s Main Street? Maybe, it’s the end of the day and you want to warm up with friends after a day on the slopes. Either way, High West Saloon is a great choice as it is a walk-in OR ski-in distillery!

For our group, it was the former. We stopped in for a mid-afternoon break. Honestly, I was still VERY full from brunch so I enjoyed a diet coke and took photos of my friends’ food. 😁

two donuts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting in a cast iron skillet

Since most of us were still full from brunch, this was more of a rest stop and an opportunity for some to try out the much anticipated Grillswith, aka the dessert that is cinnamon roasted Krispy Kreme Donuts with vanilla ice cream and their Rendezvous Rye Caramel.

I passed as I am not a cinnamon fan and grew up eating (and always had access to) Krispy Kreme Donuts. However, our group shared this and raved about it. So, there you go. The foodies spoke!

They do have a full menu for lunch and dinner too!

High West Saloon
Options are walking-in or skiing-in only. Seating is first come, first served from open to close.

Fun All Around Bonus

In-N-Out

close up of a cheeseburger and cheese fries from In N Out

Did you really think that I was going to leave this out? I love In-N-Out and Utah is one of the more recent states that has had the pleasure of INO gracing it with its presence! It’s always the first place I head to after I land in California and often, the first place I head to whenever I land in another state lucky enough to have a franchise!

My go-to order is always a cheeseburger combo (#2) without onions and cheese fry (sometimes well-done), with spread on the side. I top it off with a diet coke! However, the most popular order is the Double-Double with animal-style fries. Your choice, there is something for everyone (even on the not-so-secret menu) and it’s so fresh!

In-N-Out
Options are walking in or driving through. That’s it. No delivery, they don’t need that help. They’re that good!

Where to Stay in Salt Lake City

Sunset view of Lehi with snow covered mountains on both sides

Where to stay is very subjective and also depends on your itinerary. The city center is always a good choice and that’s no exception here in SLC. If you want a totally luxurious option, try The Grand America Hotel for its location, views, posh style, and of course, proximity to fun places to eat in Salt Lake City!

However, if you need closer access to Lehi as I did, try staying in the SpringHill Suites at Thanksgiving Point. They have nice, large suites with separate living spaces as well as amenities like a microwave and mini-fridge. There are pretty areas here to walk around and it provides fairly central access to both the Salt Lake Valley and Provo!

MAP IT!

PIN IT!

Pinterest graphic with "where to eat in Salt Lake City" on it
Pinterest graphic with "where to eat in Salt Lake City" on it
Pinterest graphic with "where to eat in Salt Lake City" on it
Heather (me) from Trimm Travels sitting in a really tall chair in a Salt Lake City restaurant

Is your mouth watering yet? It should be! Foodies are a united bunch. We love to eat and we love to explore destinations via food. SLC is no exception and provides so much satisfaction to foodies of all kinds everywhere!

Have you visited any of these fun places to eat in Salt Lake City? If not, what is the first restaurant you want to head to after you land in SLC? Let me know below!

‘Til next time…

Trimm Travels,

Heather

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