What Food Is Salt Lake City Known For?

Exploring Salt Lake City Through Its Cuisine: A Food Lover's Guide


7/19/20234 min read

What Food Is Salt Lake City Known For?
What Food Is Salt Lake City Known For?

What Food Is Salt Lake City Known For?

Salt Lake City (SLC) is not just a destination for lovers of the great outdoors but also a foodie's paradise. The city's culinary scene is a melting pot of cultures, with flavors from around the world infusing into a vibrant and diverse food landscape. SLC offers a wide array of dishes that go beyond the classics, making it a must-visit for any gastronome. Salt Lake City has got you covered, whether it's a savory brunch, a gourmet dinner, or some mouthwatering desserts you crave.

A Medley of Global Flavors

One of the city's many strengths is its ability to draw influence from different parts of the world, giving food lovers an international tour without leaving the city. You can dive into the world of sushi at Takashi or sample the exotic flavors of the Himalayas at The Himalayan Kitchen.

Craving Italian? Valter's Osteria and Stanza Italian Bistro and Wine Bar offer authentic Italian cuisine that is sure to satisfy. If you're looking for a twist on American classics, Current Fish and Oyster or Log Haven are the places to go.

Brunch Spots and Coffee Houses

When it comes to brunch, Salt Lake City is home to some of the best spots. Pago, located in the 9th and 9th neighborhoods, is famous for its farm-to-table approach. Another hot spot is The Paris Bistro, known for its delectable French pastries and coffee. Table X, on the other hand, brings innovation and sustainability to the table, offering a locally sourced menu that changes with the seasons.

From Farm to Table: Embracing Local Produce

Farm-to-table dining is another prominent feature of Salt Lake City's food scene. Restaurants like The Copper Onion, Forage, and HSL (Handle Salt Lake) offer menus that reflect not only the season but also the local produce and meat sourced from nearby farms. These restaurants take pride in creating dishes that highlight the quality and diversity of Utah's local ingredients.

Exploring Utah’s Signature Dishes

While Salt Lake City is known for its varied international cuisine, there are certain dishes unique to Utah that are a must-try for any foodie.

Fry sauce, a simple yet iconic mix of ketchup and mayo, is a Utah original. First introduced by a local fast-food chain, it has now become a staple in almost all Utah restaurants. Red Iguana, known for its authentic Mexican cuisine, serves a killer fry sauce that complements its dishes perfectly.

Salt Lake City also has a strong Greek heritage reflected in its cuisine. Manoli's offers traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist, and their moussaka is a must-try.

For dessert, be sure to sample the Utah scones, which are more akin to fluffy deep-fried bread than the traditional English scone. They are often served with a generous helping of honey butter. The scones at The Wild Grape are simply delightful.

Sweet Treats and Unique Eats

And what's a foodie tour without exploring some sweet delights? For an unforgettable dessert experience, pay a visit to Franck’s, a fine dining restaurant known for its extraordinary dessert menu. Their crème brûlée is arguably one of the best in the city.

For those with a more adventurous palate, SLC offers some unique and unforgettable culinary experiences. Pretty Bird specializes in hot chicken, a fiery Nashville specialty that has been embraced by locals and visitors alike. Then there's Kyoto, a Japanese restaurant that serves fresh and flavorful sushi and a matcha ice cream that is to die for.

What Food Is Salt Lake City Known For?

While it might be a surprise to some, Salt Lake City is a veritable culinary hotspot with an array of food specialties that are uniquely it's own. Here, we’ll explore some of the distinct food items that Salt Lake City is well-known for and the popular restaurants where you can enjoy them.

Fry Sauce

Fry Sauce is the unofficial state condiment of Utah. This delightful combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, and a few secret ingredients is the perfect accompaniment to a wide array of dishes. For a taste of this iconic sauce, head over to Red Iguana, a restaurant renowned for its authentic Mexican cuisine and delicious fry sauce.

Green Jell-O

It’s a tradition for Utahns to serve Green Jell-O at gatherings, and this quirky culinary staple even made it to official records when Utah declared Jell-O its official state snack in 2001. While not served at restaurants traditionally, it's an amusing part of SLC's food history worth mentioning.

Utah Scones

Unlike the dense and sweet scones you might be accustomed to, Utah scones are a completely different breed. They are more similar to deep-fried dough or fry bread and are served hot with a dollop of honey butter. Get a taste of these heavenly creations at The Wild Grape.

Greek Cuisine

Owing to a large Greek population, Greek cuisine holds a special place in Salt Lake City's food scene. From souvlaki to gyros, there are plenty of Greek flavors to explore in the city. Manoli's offers a fusion of traditional Greek recipes and contemporary styles.

Pastrami Burger

The Pastrami Burger, another Salt Lake City favorite, is a hamburger topped with a thick slice of pastrami. This unique twist to the traditional burger is a must-try when in Salt Lake City. You can savor this gastronomical delight at various spots, but local joints always have their unique take.

Artisan Chocolate

Salt Lake City is also making its mark in the world of artisan chocolates. With several local chocolatiers making waves nationally, SLC is a sweet spot for chocolate lovers. Although not specifically a restaurant, no foodie tour would be complete without mentioning the chocolate haven that is SLC.

The food scene in Salt Lake City offers a rich tapestry of flavors, showcasing the city's diverse culinary influences and unique creations. It's the perfect destination for food enthusiasts who enjoy discovering new tastes. So, the next time you're in SLC, make sure to try these iconic foods that the city is known for.

Final Thoughts

Salt Lake City offers a gastronomic adventure for every palate, whether you're a resident or just passing through. Its vibrant and diverse food scene reflects not just the city's multicultural heritage but also its commitment to high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

So, pack your appetite, leave your diet at home, and dive headfirst into Salt Lake City's culinary landscape. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what this mountain city has to offer.

And remember, whether you're looking for the perfect Airbnb, a luxury hotel, or a comfortable guest house, be sure to check out our comprehensive guides to the best accommodation options in Salt Lake City to make the most of your stay in this incredible city. Happy eating!