Tucked into the Rocky Mountains lies Salt Lake City, ripe with culinary talent, and cuisine that reflects the urban-meets-agriculture culture combo native to this Western locale. This gridded city is set up in a series of cozy neighborhoods, each with a unique community feel. Here are my picks for the best bites in SLC. Tulie Bakery / 863 East 700 South, Salt Lake City / www.tuliebakery.com
Nestled just a block north of the 9th and 9th neighborhood, this busy little bakery serves up some of the best treats in town. My favorites: their huge, flakey house croissants, chocolate sandwich cookies (or ‘Blackmoons’ as the term I grew up with), and fresh fruit tarts. Visit Tulie for a breakfast pastry, or warm artisanal panini for lunch.
Fresco Italian Cafe / 1513 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City / www.frescoitaliancafe.com
As part of the Trio restaurant family, Fresco stands out for creative, gourmet Italian fare. Fresco is the perfect summer date night spot. Located in the cozy 15th and 15th area, reserve the patio ahead of time, and take a leisurely neighborhood stroll before and / or after dinner to enjoy the local shops, galleries, and twinkling street lights. My favorite dishes include the Cafe Salad, wrapped in Fresco’s version of a crouton, Fettucini Carbornara- fresh pasta, house made pancetta and local eggs (salivating now…), any of their specialty risottos, and of course dessert: Zeppole, italian donuts with lemon curd and fresh berries.
The Copper Onion / 111 East Broadway, Ste 170, Salt Lake City / www.thecopperonion.com
A downtown hotspot known for it’s spectacular brunch and open kitchen counter service, The Copper Onion prides itself on ‘Regional American Fare’ and offers a comfy dining room with a rural vintage vibe. Their spin on Poutine (traditionally, a French fry and gravy dish from our neighbors to the North) is a luscious treat that is so melt-in-your-mouth delectable you will forget about its not so healthy aspects. To balance the rich poutine, try a triple veggie side platter. The broccoli raab is a local fav.
Pago / 878 South 900 East, Salt Lake City / www.pagoslc.com
Pago is, by far, my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake. As the city’s leader in the ‘Farm to Table’ movement, Pago’s menu is comprised of ingredients from local famers, purveyors, producers and artisans. Truly unique, rustic, belly-warming dishes complimented by an excellent wine selection and friendly, knowledgable waitstaff make this restaurant a must-try on any visit to Utah. Tip: try the Artisanal Cheese plate for a true sampling local flavors. Lunch on the patio is also a can’t miss with delicious specialty items such as their signature tuna melt or local Wagyu Beef Salad.
And last but not least…
Coffee Garden / 2 Locations, 9th & 9th neighborhood and 225 South Main Street, Salt Lake City
Start your morning, or wind down your evening with the best coffee in town. Friendly, and eclectic baristas serve up creamy, rich lattes, and refreshing iced coffee. Bonus: they have a massive tea selection, and in-house baked goodies to go along side.