Unusual Eats in Utah
Renowned for everything from its world class skiing to the Sundance Film Festival, Utah has another, wackier, claim to fame – it’s also home to some of the quirkiest eateries in America
You wouldn’t initially think it but Utah – one of America’s most ruggedly beautiful states and home to the ‘Mighty Five®’ national parks – is also a hotbed of experimental cuisine.
Scattered across the Beehive State’s cities, towns and parks are some of America’s most unusual restaurants, serving up unique cuisine in a collection of unconventional settings.
With new nonstop flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, which started this spring, experiencing these interesting and distinctive restaurants has never been easier.
1. CAFE DIABLO, TORREY
Just chew on this for a minute – ‘rattlesnake cakes’. According to the owners of Cafe Diablo, perched amid the red rocks of Torrey, they’re just like crab cakes, but with more bite. If that doesn’t tempt you, the view from Cafe Diablo’s patio, overlooking Capitol Reef National Park, is spectacular.
Order this: Free range rattlesnake cakes, served with pistachios and ancho-rosemary aioli
2. THE VIKING YURT, PARK CITY
The jury’s out on whether Vikings actually lived in yurts, but either way this is an incredibly cool restaurant. Situated high in the mountains, it’s accessed via a star-lit sleigh ride, followed by a four hour tasting menu. Yes FOUR HOURS. Talk about feasting at Odin’s table.
Order this: Glogg, a hot, non-alcoholic berry drink spiced with cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. CAMPFIRE LOUNGE, SALT LAKE CITY
Pack your guitar and head over to this funky restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City, serving gourmet campfire cuisine to city dwellers. The idea is simple: all of the fun and romance of traditional outdoor food, without having to sleep in a tent afterwards.
Order this: Campfire trash plate – a lotta goodies in one: eggs, cheese, fries or tots, chopped sirloin, brat or hot dog, topped with chilli or country gravy
4. LOG HAVEN, WASATCH FOREST
Talk about getting away from it all. Log Haven is, as the name suggests, an enormous log cabin (or ‘log mansion’) in the middle of Wasatch National Forest. Built at the base of a cliff, you’ll eat from the award-winning fine dining menu to the sound of the thundering waterfall outside. Like dining in a Timotei commercial.
Order this: Korean chicken lollipops, with sweet and spicy gochujang glaze
5. RUTH’S DINER, EMIGRATION CANYON
The eponymous Ruth was a Utahn legend – a cabaret singer turned chef who could ‘swear like a sailor and smoke like a chimney.’ Her restaurant – which she opened in a derelict railway carriage in 1949 – is still going strong, with people travelling from miles around for the famous comfort food.
Order this: Grandma Claire’s mac and cheese, breaded, deep-fried and served with marinara sauce
6. COPPER ONION, SALT LAKE CITY
One of the most forward-thinking restaurants in the state, Copper Onion is famed for its experimental meat menu, with dishes including Snake River beef served over homemade pappardelle, with a creme fraiche, mushroom and chive sauce. Nothing goes to waste here either: the bone marrow will have even the most timid of eaters licking their fingers.
Order this: Wagyu bone marrow, with parsley salad
7. COMMUNAL, PROVO
At Communal – a family, farm-to-fork style restaurant – they believe that good food should be shared. As a result, when you arrive you’ll be seated at a long table with a bunch of complete strangers. Although presumably they won’t be strangers for long, once the locally brewed Wasatch beers come out…
Order this: The phone number of the person next to you
8. HELL’S BACKBONE GRILL, BOULDER
Pretty much the furthest from Hell you’ll find, this is a pretty restaurant run on Buddhist principles. Think sustainability, social responsibility and community, served with a smile. Then think delicious organic food grown a few metres from where you’re eating it. There’s even a tractor parked outside!
Order this: Spicy cowgal chipotle meat loaf
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, comments: “We are proud of Utah’s enormous culinary diversity and are privileged to have some incredibly creative chefs working in our state. Salt Lake City in particular is a major gastronomic hub in America’s Mountain West.”
Get a taste of Utah: America As You Like It (0208 742 8299 / www.americaasyoulikeit.com) has a 10-night fly drive to Utah from £1,589 per person, including return nonstop flights on Delta Air Lines to Salt Lake City, ten days fully inclusive car hire, three nights in Salt Lake City at the Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown (room only), two nights in Provo at the Baymont Inn & Suites (B&B), three nights in Torrey at the Capitol Reef Resort (room only) and two nights in Park City in the Hampton Inn Suites (room only), based on two sharing and valid for travel on 7 November 2016.
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For more on food in Utah: www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/food-nightlife/dining
For more information on Utah, visit www.visitutah.com