We are excited and honored to present a guide to the often-overlooked food scene of West Valley City. For some of you west siders, this may be the guide you’ve been desperately waiting for. For some of you Salt Lakers, this may be the guide you didn’t know you’ve been desperately waiting for. For some of you in Utah County, trekking one-ish hour to get dinner in the “city” might take on a new meaning. Wherever you live, West Valley City is well worth your time — it’s a restaurant goldmine with some of the best places to eat in the Salt Lake area, and we can’t wait to show you around.

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15. La Fountain II

When you want that classic red-orange-yellow Tex-Mex food with soupy refried beans and everything smothered in cheese (you know what we’re talking about), nothing but La Fountain II in West Valley will do. If you haven’t been here before and you want to get a sampling of some of their offerings, try the large combination platter. It comes with a cheese enchilada and burrito (cue everything smothered in sauce and cheese), a crunchy taco filled with saucy chorizo, a tostada, chile verde, and, of course, rice and beans. The people dining at the table next to us told us that they always regret eating anywhere besides La Fountain II and claimed that even the soda tastes better here. While we can’t speak to the soda, we agree that this restaurant hits the spot and is definitely one of the best restaurants in West Valley City.

La Fountain Mexican Restaurant

$ Mexican, Breakfast & Brunch

2836 S 5600 W #4, West Valley City, UT 84120

(801) 955-4420

14. Tuk Tuks

If you find yourself in need of classic Thai food, Tuk Tuks has you covered. Tuk Tuks specializes in authentic Thai and Lao cuisine (think creamy curries, savory fried rice, and luscious noodle dishes) with sauces and spice mixes freshly made on-site. Menu favorites include the red pumpkin curry (if it’s in season) and the pineapple fried rice. Although it may seem gimmicky, the pineapple fried rice is served in a hollowed-out pineapple. However, one or two bites in and you’ll quickly realize this dish that’s scented with warm massaman curry and spices and gets a bit of tang from the bright pineapple and sweet raisins is so much more than a gimmick.

13. Catrachos

The owners of Catrachos pride themselves on catering to many different South and Central American food preferences and cultures, and their menu and salsa selection (and market at the front of the restaurant) demonstrates this. Bring some friends because the list of must-orders is long and the portions are large. No matter what order a pupusa (thick and chewy) and a baleada (a dense, buttery flour tortilla filled with beans, sour cream, eggs, and avocado, it’s as long as your arm!). The breakfast platter, loaded with grilled steak, chorizo, beans, fried eggs, and guacamole, is spectacular no matter the time of day. Catrachos imports their beans directly from Central America – American beans just don’t taste the same. And we have it on good authority that a picky eater or two will only eat beans from Catrachos – you’ll understand why once you’ve tried them. Side note: Try the bright green salsa from Guatemala — the tomatillos in it taste like sour candy in the best way.

Catrachos

$$ Salvadoran, Honduran

3584 S Redwood Rd, West Valley City, UT 84119

(801) 906-0911

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12. Myung Ga

When you’re craving food that is both spicy and mild, hot and cold, and slurpy and crunchy, you know that nothing besides Korean will do. Luckily, West Valley City is home to a standout Korean restaurant, Myung Ga. The classic banchan spread (we especially love the snappy, sesame oil-tinged broccoli and crunchy, zingy cucumbers) and the bibimbap never fails, but if you want to branch out a bit, get the Jjigae. A rich tomato soup that’s served with delicate mounds of tofu, strips of pork, and sprinkled with kimchi, Jjigae is hearty and filling without being too heavy.

Myung Ga Restaurant

11. Thai Issan

We know this isn’t a groundbreaking recommendation of what to order at a Thai restaurant, but hear us out: the Pad Thai is a must at Thai Issan, one of the best restaurants in West Valley City. This Pad Thai is unique — the noodles are coated in a dark sauce that is a little toasty, slightly tangy, and wholly addictive. We love the fried tofu for the protein, but whatever protein you typically love will pair well with this chewy noodle dish. We also recommend the Kaopiek, a house special. This soup is served with delightfully dense house-made udon noodles (the best part!), quail eggs, chicken, green onions, beansprouts, and a fried crueller (similar to the Chinese you tiao). Do yourself a favor and treat it like pho and add a dash of hoisin and chili to really do it up just right.

Thai Issan Restaurant and Mini-Mart

10. Tortas y Jugos El Morenlense

Tortas Y Jugos El Morenlense's al pastor, which is juicy and salty, cut into large strips with crispy edges

Nestled inside the Latino Mall is Tortas y Jugos El Morenlense, home to some of the best Mexican food in West Valley City. This restaurant serves all the standard Mexican offerings, but whatever you decide on, make sure you get the al pastor. Cut into large strips with crispy edges, this al pastor is juicy and salty and some of the best we’ve had in the Salt Lake valley. Looking for something a little more substantial than a taco? Try a plate, which is essentially a deconstructed taco, with tortillas piled high with al pastor, gooey, melty cheese, and chunks of pineapple. Add the spicy house green salsa and lots of diced onions and cilantro for a truly authentic Mexican meal.

Tortas Y Jugos El Morelense, Inc.

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9. El Paisa Grill

Best restaurant in West Valley: Molcajete Supreme by El Paisa Grill

The facade of El Paisa Grill may be underwhelming, but the inside is brimming with colorful decor, orange walls, and optical illusions. Think Saul Goodman’s office on the outside, Pirates of the Caribbean cantina on the inside. You’ll even get a firework candle if you go on your birthday, and there’s live music on the weekends. While all of this is fun, what you’re really here for is the Molcajete Supreme. Generous chunks of beef and chicken, nopalitos, and queso fresco come sizzling in a cauldron bubbling in green sauce with shrimp resting on the rim and fresh tortillas on the side. We also love the queso fundido—a blend of monterey jack and queso fresco topped with slices of fresh jalapeno and slivers of browned and slightly caramelized grilled onions. Order the queso fundido to snack on while watching whatever is on one of the many TVs, chatting with friends, and waiting for your molcajete.

El Paisa Grill

$$ Mexican, Seafood

2126 S 3200 W, West Valley City, UT 84119

(801) 973-6660

8. Cocina Familiar

Cocina Familiar's birria and tacos

Wander through the red and yellow tile maze of Azteca Indoor Swap Meet until you find Cocina Familiar (located in stall 2), yet another wonderful restaurant to eat some of the best birria and tacos in the city. The beef birria at Cocina Familiar is rich and tender and the consome it’s served with is tomato-y and studded with cilantro and diced onions. And while we love the consome, we think the salsas at Cocina Familiar might be even better. The salsa roja is smoky with just a hint of spice, and the salsa verde is limey and tangy. For most bites, we opted to eat our taco with salsa rather than dip it in consome, so that’s how you know it’s a standout salsa.

Cocina Familiar

7. Pho 777

Best restaurant in West Valley: Pho 777's The Oxtail Pho

If you’re a Vietnamese food or pho lover, venturing to one of the best restaurants in West Valley City for hot noodle soup is well worth your time. At Pho 777, the oxtail pho is king, with chunks of tender beef that fall off the bone nuzzled up against noodles swimming in a clear yet flavor-packed broth. The obligatory plate of hoisin, bean sprouts, and jalapeños is served alongside all orders of pho – customization is encouraged. If you aren’t in the mood for pho, try the beef stew with egg noodles. This stew is dark and rich with generous pieces of succulent beef, carrots, and springy egg noodles.  

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6. Tonkotsu Ramen Bar

Tonkotsu Ramen Bar's Tonkatsu

Even though we can never say no to a bowl of even mediocre ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen Bar knocks it out of the park with their anything-but-mediocre ramen. When you’re looking for a hot, slurpy bowl of ramen in West Valley City, this is the place to go. We love the namesake Tonkotsu for a bowl of classic ramen with a generous slab of pork belly chashu, bamboo shoots, and a rich, creamy broth that has been simmered for 24 hours. The Tantanmen is the way to go if you still want something familiar but slightly spicier. If you want to venture outside of ramen (and we think you should), the Brisket Dry Noodles are wonderful. Dense, chewy noodles are topped with beef brisket, bok choy, and slices of fish cake and are all tossed in a shot of salty concentrated broth. 

Tonkotsu Ramen Bar

$$ Ramen, Noodles, Asian Fusion

1898 W 3500 S #10, West Valley City, UT 84119

(385) 202-5241

5. Paik’s Noodles/ Hong Kong Banjum

Best restaurant in West Valley: Gochu Jjamppong by Paik's Noodles/Hongkong Banjum

We know this isn’t a revelation, but when you come to Paik’s Noodles, you are here for the noodles. While the classic and most popular dish is the Jjamppong, we recommend the Gochu Jiamppong, which is packed with a delightful combo of flavors and textures. Tart pickled radish, chewy squid, mussels, and pork, slurpy and bouncy noodles (made in-house), crunchy cabbage and carrots, and wavy wood ear mushrooms all come together in a silky, spicy broth. It’s the perfect antidote to a cold, winter day. 

Paik’s Noodle / HongKong Banjum 0410

$$ Korean, Noodles, Chinese

3513s Constitution Blvd #100, West Valley City, UT 84119

(385) 900-8607

4. Bucket O’ Crawfish

Bucket O' Crawfish's seafood

Bucket O’ Crawfish is not only where we go to eat delicious food (duh), but also to celebrate. Sure, Bucket O’ Crawfish is a no-frills restaurant with plastic over the tables and graffiti on the walls, but cracking open crabs, pouring a bag of steaming hot seafood onto your table, and munching on crispy, fried calamari all while wearing a plastic bib screams party. As far as what to order, go for the seafood you normally gravitate to and you won’t be sad. We love the delicate snow crab and plump green mussels. Opt for fried calamari with fried jalapenos and onions in lieu of fries. As far as flavor goes, you might as well lean into the celebratory vibes and get the crazy mix (lemon pepper, cajun, and garlic butter) – we are here to party, after all!

Bucket O’ Crawfish

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3. Los Tapatios Taco Grill

Best restaurants in West Valley: Birria Tacos by Los Tapatios Taco Grill

Los Tapatios Taco Grill is one of the best restaurants in West Valley, especially if you’re craving birria tacos. The tacos here double up on corn tortillas and are fried to achieve the ultimate crunchy exterior. They’re stuffed with tender, shredded beef and gooey, melty cheese. The consome has a strong tomato flavor and is served alongside onions, cilantro, limes, grilled onions, and a grilled jalapeno. Note that this Los Tapatios Taco Grill is not to be confused with Los Tapatios Taco Grill in Salt Lake City — although it’s not the worst mistake you could make since they are both phenomenal.

Los Tapatios Taco Grill

2. Nepali Chulo

Channa Masala by Nepali Chulo

If you love Indian food and want to try something slightly different, Nepali Chulo is our go-to and is one of the best restaurants in West Valley City. The channa masala is always a great place to start. Although this is typically a simple dish and sometimes lacks interesting flavor, Nepali Chulo’s channa masala is spicy, smooth, and creamy. The smoky paneer chili is another top recommendation that is full of flavor, and the chulo vegetable platter and chulo meat platter are both good ways to try a sampling of menu items. Favorites include the lamb kebab (the lamb has a full-bodied flavor with hints of toasty cinnamon) and the shrimp, which has a delightful char.

Nepali Chulo

$$ Indian, Himalayan/Nepalese

3376 S 5600 W, West Valley City, UT 84120

(801) 987-8404

1. La Casa Del Tamal

Best restaurants in West Valley: La Casa Del Tamal's Torta Cubana, stuffed with fried, breaded steak, ham, sausage, eggs, and chorizo.

La Casa del Tamal is always busy and, while this isn’t always the case, the masses are on to something: La Casa del Tamal is our top recommendation for the best restaurant in West Valley City. This may seem obvious but you’ll want to start your meal with tamales. Follow your heart and order whatever flavor profile you tend to love because you truly can’t go wrong. All the tamales have fresh and flavorful meat and/or veggies surrounded by smooth masa. Next, move on to the tacos de birria con consome. This birria is made fresh daily, has hints of tomato, and gets its robust flavor from its six-hour simmer. We also love the torta cubana, which is stuffed with fried, breaded steak, ham, sausage, eggs, and chorizo. It’s a lot but is a thing of culinary beauty. Whatever you order, dip it in their house salsas—the smoky red salsa is good on literally everything.

La Casa Del Tamal