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Best Avenues Hideout
Two Creek Coffee
In order to assess the overall appeal of a coffee shop, one must look at many factors: location, friendliness of staff, tastiness of drinks, seating, etc. Two Creek Coffee House is hard to beat in all of these areas. Located in the Avenues, it has a chill, neighborhood feel. The staff are friendly yet professional as they serve up many tasty concoctions. Best of all is the seating: Inside are several comfy armchairs as well as tables, but in the summer you’d be foolish not to go outside and enjoy your mocha in the shade of the charming yard.
502 E. Third Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-363-3238, TwoCreekCoffeeHouse.com
Best Corner Greek Diners
Royal Eatery & Roula’s Cafe
The east side of 400 South and Main marks a downtown staple—Royal Eatery. Here, you’ll find inexpensive yet reliable fare. The breakfast menu and burgers are customer favorites among downtown patrons. On the southeast corner stands a new kid on the block—Roula’s Cafe. Serving more from a cafe-style menu, look for Roula’s weekly Greek specials. Also, like any typical Greek eatery, you’ll often find Greek mothers standing behind the counters. As such, when visiting Royal Eatery and Roula’s, be sure to say “hello” or “ya sou,” as they might be inclined to treat and feed you as if you were their own child.
Royal Eatery, 379 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4301; Roula’s Café, 405 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-924-0330, RoulasCafe.com
Best Exotic Groceries
Walking down the aisles of the Southeast Market is like taking a brief excursion to another country. Despite the name, its selection of goods is much more all-encompassing, with ingredients from China, the Philippines, India, Burma, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. It’s fascinating to take your time and peruse the different candy, tea, frozen foods, baked goods, produce and other items unlike anything at a typical grocery store. The service is great, so don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know what something is or how to use it.
422 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-5474, SoutheastMarket.com
Best Apres-Ski Nachos
Porcupine Pub & Grille
If you dare to get messy, do yourself a favor and dig into Porcupine’s mouth-watering nachos. After hitting the slopes, or just any regular day, nothing is better than sitting down to such a colorful plate with more than enough to go around. The crunchy blue- and white-corn tortilla chips are topped with diced tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, scallions, cilantro, lime, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar-jack cheeses—a generous amount of toppings indeed. If you need the protein, add on some chicken or beans to make these nachos that much better.
3698 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-942-5555, PorcupinePub.com
Best Curry Potpie
Chabaar Beyond Thai
If you’ve ever searched for and not found the Tea Rose Diner in Murray, you should have no trouble finding its Midvale sister. The authentic Thai cuisine, homemade desserts, and American and Thai breakfasts are giving the Savers strip mall at 7200 South and State Street a kick in the pants. If you order the drunken noodles, your reward will be spicy noodles spiked with savory sauteed vegetables. And the sumptuous curry potpie, with its pie crust soaked in red, yellow or massaman curry sauce? Ridiculously tasty.
87 W. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5100, Chabaar.com
Best Handheld French Food
We’re still waiting for crepes to take off and become the next big food thing, but in the meantime, make sure to get a taste of this Logan cafe’s sweet and savory mashups. Go super-sweet with the Scout camp—marshmallow fluff, chocolate sauce, graham cracker—or make it a meal with the Medusa—chicken, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, asiago cheese and arugula. Each crepe is made right in front of you in The Crepery’s cozy cafe setting.
130 N. 100 East, Logan, 435-787-4080
Bucket O’ Crawfish
Prepare to get messy when you go to work on the big piles of steamed crawfish, crabs, shrimp, clams and more at the fun and funky Bucket O’ Crawfish. The name derives from the fact that buckets of food are literally dumped onto your table and you eat (mostly) using nothing more than the hands and mouth you were born with. Thankfully, plenty of paper towels and wet wipes are supplied for cleanup purposes, but you’ll still be finding Cajun seasoning under your fingernails for days to come.
1980 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-419-0900, BucketOCrawfish.com
Best Bang for Your Buck
With a primo location next to Liberty Park, you will often find a steady stream of customers lining up at the doors of the Park Café; Utah Jazz point guard Earl Watson even tweets regularly about his meals here. It may be bad form to write in absolutes, but literally everything offered at the Park Café is tasty and filling. Aside from the high quality and mass quantity of food, the prices are cheap, cheap, cheap. With the most expensive item on the menu—the “French toast foolishness”–coming in at $8, know that your wallet will be spared a beating for your indulgence.
604 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-1670, TheParkCafeSLC.com