The Female Foodie guide to the best restaurants in Salt Lake City is brought to you with hours of deliberation, thought, and 100% unbiased honesty after sampling culinary offerings in the valley for over 20 years. Each of these restaurants are tried and true– places we’ve dined at several different times, sampling as many menu items as possible over the passing months and years. This guide is not a comprehensive list of all great restaurants in SLC, but rather our absolute favorites.
We hope you’ll enjoy dining at the best restaurants in Salt Lake City! If you’re interested in more Salt Lake City restaurant recommendations, be sure to check out our Salt Lake City archives. Please note that this post is updated annually at the beginning of each year.
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15. Takeout: Bombay House
Restaurants have all upped their takeout game over the past couple of years, and while there’s still nothing better than eating your meal in an actual restaurant, we’ve become particularly informed on which spots are doing it right, or– which food travels the best. Bombay House serves not only some of the very best Indian cuisine in Salt Lake City, but their food is just as delicious in the restaurant as it is re-plated for takeout at home. It’s almost as if the curries taste slightly better after that 15-minute drive home (almost). We highly recommend the chicken tikka masala, shrimp coconut kurma, and chicken makhani (AKA butter chicken). Always order more garlic naan than you think you’ll need!
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Bombay House SLC
14. Fried Chicken: Pretty Bird Chicken
Fried chicken has taken SLC by storm over the past few years, but the best above the rest is still Pretty Bird Chicken, no contest. Opened by Chef Viet Pham (Iron Chef winner and former Chef at Forage) his clean and vibrant fast-casual restaurant features one thing and one thing only: hot chicken. You only have two choices here but you can’t go wrong with either the fried chicken sandwich or the quarter bird. We recommend first-timers try the fried chicken sandwich with a side of crinkle cut fries and a sugary soda to wash it all down at either of their two locations. Come hungry leave glutinously happy.
Pretty Bird Hot Chicken, Downtown
$$ Chicken Shop, American (Traditional), Fast Food
13. Mexican: Red Iguana
If you’re looking for the best sit-down, full-fledged Mexican restaurant in Salt Lake City, take your friends and family to Red Iguana. This Mexican restaurant has an enormous menu with a following to match it (two restaurants within a 1/2 mile proximity from each other #word), and undoubtedly serves some of the best food in Salt Lake City. We have eaten here more times than we can count and love their Puntas de Filete a la Norteña (#1 selling menu item, pictured above), Tacos La Iguana, and the Chile Verde. While you’re looking at the menu, be sure to ask your server for a side of guac and the sampler of their moles– a small plate of quarter sized samples of each mole they make in-house! Their original location (Red Iguana 1) is located four blocks from the local Trax station which connects to the Salt Lake City International Airport if you’re on a time crunch.
12. Neighborhood Restaurant: Nomad East
Going on its second year in one of our favorite pockets of Sugar House, Nomad East is an excellent neighborhood joint that serves artisan pizza (we dig), appetizers worth ordering, and some of the very best salads in the entire city. First time? Get the wedge or smoked salmon salad to start with, and for pizza we highly recommend the Pretty in Pink or Betty White. Also noteworthy is their Nomad Burger, made with Niman Ranch beef, American cheese, homemade pickles, potato chips, and a healthy dose of fry sauce.
$$ Pizza, Sandwiches
11. Tacos: La Casa Del Tamal
Salt Lake City isn’t a taco mecca by any means, but there are a handful of solid taco spots. The Best? La Casa Del Tamal in West Valley City. This family-owned Mexican restaurant not only serves tacos, but a slew of delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine from their namesake tamales to sopes to gorditas, and more. The best thing to get here though, bar none, are the tacos de birria con consome. Picture this: juicy, flavorful beef tacos topped with melted cheese and housed in homemade corn tortillas. All tacos de birria are served with a side of consome (oh-so-flavorful juices from the beef) for your dipping delight. La Casa Del Tamal has only been around for a couple of years, but they’re already one of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City.
La Casa Del Tamal
10. Brunch: Roots Cafe
Our favorite spot for brunch in Salt Lake City is Roots Cafe. Nestled in the cozy neighborhood of Millcreek, this cafe has it all: a carefree and inviting ambiance, great service, a thorough menu to satisfy any craving, and really good food. The food at Roots is nourishing, yet lacks no flavor. Whether you’re ordering a stack of their buckwheat pancakes or diving into some huevos rancheros, everything is equal parts delicious and satisfying. Menu favorites include the eggs benedict (“The Benni), biscuits and gravy, buckwheat pancakes, and crepes. Always ask about their pancake special of the day.
$$ Cafe, Breakfast & Brunch, Healthy
9. New Restaurant: Lola
$$ Mexican Bistro
8. Sandwich: Feldman’s Deli
If you’re looking for the best sandwich in town, or better yet something like you’ve never tasted before, zip on over to Feldman’s Deli for one of the best bites you can have in all of Salt Lake City. Feldman’s Deli is a New York-style delicatessen offering a variety of traditional Jewish deli sandwiches alongside some of the more old-time “classics” in a gorgeous, vibrant cafè setting. Make sure to try the Sloppy Joe (nothing like your mom’s sloppy joe and unquestionably their most popular sandwich) or the Trisha if it’s your first time, and don’t forget a side of their hand-cut fries. You’ll be simultaneously licking your fingers clean and counting down the days until you can come back.
$$ Delis, Bagels, Breakfast & Brunch
7. Comfort Food: Oquirrh
$$$ American (New)
6. Mediterranean: Manoli’s
5. From The Sea: Freshies Lobster Co.
In the state of land-locked Utah fresh seafood isn’t always easy to come by. Lucky for SLC natives, Freshies (one of THE best restaurants in Salt Lake City) flies their lobster in from Maine fresh every single day. Between the OG food truck, their first brick-and-mortar in Park City, and their relatively new Salt Lake City location on 9th south downtown, there’s always a way to get your lobster fix if you’re in the area. You’re unquestionably going to get the lobster roll here- delicious fresh Maine lobster served on a New England hot dog bun with mayo, hot butter, and seasoning. Simple yet sublime, this lobster roll will change your life.
Freshies Lobster Salt Lake City
4. Pizza: Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
The best pizza in town (and in the great state of Utah) is hands down from at Settebello, just a couple of blocks from the Salt Palace Convention Center. You’re here for authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked at nearly 1000 degrees, producing the absolute perfect pizza with light and fluffy crust, imported San Marzano tomatoes, and toppings so flavorful and fresh that you’ll feel instantly transported to Napoli. This restaurant became a reality after owners Mike Brooks and Brad Otton lived in Italy, became enamored with the art of authentic Italian pizza, and decided to bring it back to the states. Since then their family-owned business has expanded to two locations in the Vegas area, several in southern California, and one in Salt Lake City. If it’s your first time dining at Settebello, order the Margherita– the #1 selling pizza, made with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Our second favorite (and the employee favorite as well) is the Diavola, made with red bell peppers, garlic, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Don’t forget to save room for some homemade gelato.
$$ Pizza, Italian
3. New American: Handle Salt Lake (HSL)
HSL provides one of the best New American dining experiences you can find in Salt Lake City. The restaurant is absolutely gorgeous, the food is sourced locally, and the service is always fantastic, but above all the seasonal dishes are absolutely and phenomenally delicious. If you’re headed here for the first time we confidently recommend general tso’s cauliflower (the best cauliflower you will ever consume) and getting at least one thing from each portion of their menu– bites, cold, hot, hearty, and dessert. HSL is the perfect spot for a weekend dinner, celebrating a special occasion with friends, girls’night, and any excuse you can muster for some really great food.
$$$ American (New)
2. Sushi: Takashi
Unanimously the best sushi in Salt Lake City, Takashi serves exceptional sushi and innovative Japanese cuisine in a fresh and modern environment. Fish is always flown in daily and no matter what you’re ordering from their menu, you can plan on it being absolutely swoon-worthy. Takashi is constantly packed, so be prepared to wait– especially on the weekends. Our advice? Show up right when then open for lunch or dinner hours, or go with a few friends if you can secure a group reservation beforehand. Favorite menu items include the deconstructed azekura, the nigiri sampler (our very favorite menu item), and the crunchy ebi, sunshine, and summit sushi rolls. If you still have room, make sure to try their house-made panna cotta, which is some of the best panna cotta you will ever have. Promise.
$$$ Sushi Bars, Japanese
1. Italian: Valter’s Osteria
If you’re going to splurge on one restaurant this year in Salt Lake City, make it a night at Valter’s Osteria for the best high-end dining in town and the best of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City. Owner and founder Valter Nassi has created an authentic Tuscan experience that will quite literally transport you to his mother’s kitchen in Italy. Menu offerings may change and specials are not to be overlooked, but favorite mainstays include the chopped agnelli salad, tutta pasta di valter (pasta sampler, pictured), lasagna made with Valter’s mother’s meat sauce, butternut squash and sage ravioli, “pizza” carne, or chicken piccata. The lemon gelato served with local honey and salt is a must!