A place called O’Falafel had better have great falafel, right? Well, O’Falafel, Etc. does, in addition to other delicious Middle Eastern dishes such as shwarma, baba ghanoush, kifteh and mujaddara. But, the falafel—fried, subtly spiced, garlicky, garbanzo-bean orbs with a crispy crust—is indeed outstanding.
790 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-7747, OFalafelEtc.com
Best Ogden Gourmet Market
Zucca Market & Deli
Salt Lakers have Caputo’s; Ogdenites have Zucca. This market and deli, located adjacent to Zucca Trattoria, offers the best and biggest selection of imported goods from Italy and southern Europe in northern Utah. From boutique olive oils and vinegars to foodstuffs like prosciutto, mortadella, imported cheeses, Creminelli salamis, gourmet sandwiches and much more, Zucca delivers the gourmet goods.
1479 E. 5600 South, South Ogden, 801-475-7077, MyZucca.com
Best Park City Restaurant
High West Distillery & Saloon
With the abundance of high-end eateries in Park City, High West Distillery’s win for Best Restaurant is impressive; there’s no lack of serious competition. But this fun zone for lovers of good food, great whiskey and other libations is a sort of Disneyland for adults. Who wouldn’t enjoy pairing one of “Whiskey” Dave Perkins’ award-winning High West whiskies with Executive Chef James Dumas’ culinary creations—say, his Rolling Hills Ranch bison rib-eye with High West’s American Prairie Reserve?
703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300, HighWest.com
3. Yuki Arashi
Best Artisan Jam
If you’re in the hunt for locally produced artisan jams, jellies and preserves, look no further than Amour Spreads, available at various gourmet and natural-foods markets. Salt Lake City-based Casee and John Francis make spreads crafted with sustainably grown Utah fruit in heavenly flavors like blood-orange rosemary, apricot ginger, elderberry orange, Meyer lemon rose geranium, pear lavender and pomegranate citrus, to name just a few.
Coast 2 Coast Seafood
After decades of managing the fish markets for Gastronomy, Inc., Jim Pilarczyk struck out on his own and opened Coast 2 Coast Seafood Market in Layton. There’s nothing about fish and seafood that Jim doesn’t know, so, whether you’re a bewildered customer who doesn’t know wahoo from ono, or a fish-savvy expert looking for sushi-grade tuna or petrale sole to take home, Coast 2 Coast is where you wanna be.
354 N. Main, Layton, 801-721-1537
Best Meatball Wraps
Whoever dreamed up the idea of wrapping oven-baked meatballs in marinara sauce, provolone and Parmesan cheese into a warm pita? The folks at Pepper’s did, that’s who. This tasty treat is as good as it sounds. The sauce sometimes escapes the wrap, and it becomes necessary to lick your lips and fingers. If that all sounds too messy to you, then order the more healthy chicken Caesar pita—there’s no squirting but still lots of flavor.
14 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-220-0516, PeppersPita.com
FRISCH // PHOTO BY NIKI CHAN
Best Vegan Dishes
Frisch Compassionate Eatery
In March 2012, VegNews Magazine voted Salt Lake City “America’s Next Great Vegan City.” Have we finally set aside our love of funeral potatoes? Well, no, but healthy eating and conscious cuisine are certainly on the rise. And “vegan” doesn’t have to mean “bland.” At Frisch, which opened this year, the vegan chefs make vegan sound—and taste—supremely delicious. Try the lighter side with tempeh kale salad, the “obligatory veggie wrap” (which, despite the name, is far from ordinary) or the broccoli burst. It’s not all health-centric dishes, though; there’s also an abundance of comfort-food options for carnivore crossovers—try the mac & cheese or Chantelle’s sesame chick’n.
779 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2216, FrischEats.com
2. Sage’s Cafe
3. Vertical Diner
Beyond the barbecue, Korean fare is a celebration of tofu. Soft, silky, custard-like tofu is standard-issue in bubbling soups and stews. And the folks at Myung-Ga have the art of soft-tofu soups down. Judging by the number of Korean nationals filling the tables at this west-side restaurant, it’s obvious you’re eating the comfort food of the homeland. While your American sensibilities may steer you toward the barbecue and bulgogi offerings (which won’t disappoint), live large and order the tofu soup with all its tasty side dishes and a crock of rice. They’ll even bring an egg that you can crack open and let cook in your soup as it cools. How very Anthony Bourdain of you!
1839 W. 3500 South, Suite 2A, West Valley City, 801-908-0124
2. Korea House
3. E Jo Korean Restaurant
Best Mexican Bakery
Panaderia at tarahumara
As if the awesome-in-every-way Mexican food at Tarahumara and its adjoining cantina weren’t enough, now they’ve gone and opened a full-on panaderia, right next door—all in a little strip mall in the Swiss Miss burg of Midway. You’ll want to pick up classics like tres leches cake and churros, but also consider the donas—pastry-filled sugar donuts made on weekends only.
380 Main, Midway, 435-654-3465, Tarahumara.biz
Best Hidden Market
Black Cherry Mediterranean Market
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this little treasure trove of Mediterranean goodness. Go for halal meats, honey-soaked trays of baklava, halva and fresh, affordable flatbread. Find huge bags of basmati rice, pickled everything and superb hummus—and that’s just a taste. If you have questions, the personable owner is happy to help.
4346 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-904-3989, BlackCherryMarket.com