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Best Fancy Tacos
Of course, we all love the simple street tacos purchased from sidewalk taco carts. However, those are to Taqueria 27 tacos as a can of Campbell’s soup is to a big bowl of Vietnamese pho—both are liquid nourishment, but there’s really no comparison. At Todd and Kristin Gardiner’s T27, you’ll find tacos stuffed with duck confit, pork belly, bison, fresh fish, turkey chorizo, wild mushrooms, grilled veggies and more, including unique gourmet toppings, making them the best fancy taco choice around.
1615 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 385-259-0712, Taqueria27.com
Best Bombay Meets Kentucky
Curry Fried Chicken
The colonel couldn’t have done it better himself had he hailed from Bombay instead of Kentucky. This fast but fresh eatery specializes in Indian and Pakistani cuisine—with a twist, when it comes to the curry-fried-chicken plate. For about $10, you get two juicy, right-out-of-the-fryer pieces of chicken that are battered in a crunchy curry-spice breading, plus basmati rice, vegetable curry and pita bread. Add an extra piece of the finger-licking-good chicken for just $1.49. If the spice kicks a little too much, you can always wash it down with a cold, yogurt-based lassi drink.
660 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-924-9188
Best Family-Farm Fillings
Mountain West Burrito
It would be easy to pass by Provo’s Mountain West Burrito and dismiss it as a nondescript restaurant attached to a gas station. But you’d be missing burritos stuffed with fresh, local ingredients, including steak from Double R Ranch and pork from Snake River Farms. With such local goodness, stuffing yourself becomes almost a guilt-free indulgence.
1796 N. 950 West, Provo, 801-805-1870; 815 N. 700 East, Provo, 801-607-1766, MountainWestBurrito.com
Best Miraculous Mexican Cuisine
Milagros, meaning “miracles” in Spanish, is a heavenly take on Mexican fare. This Orem restaurant was started by Dave Tuomisto, the restaurateur who also founded the popular Bajio chain. His newest dining destination is a restaurant that offers a sometimes-sweeter take on traditional Mexican cuisine, such as the seafood tacos that come with pineapple salsa and roasted-red-pepper chutney, or the muy popular grilled onion ball that’s injected with honey and spices while in the oven. You also can’t go wrong with Barry’s pollo fundido—a chicken breast wrapped lovingly in a fried tortilla and smothered with sour cream, cream cheese, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, along with a smattering of sumptuous chilies and spices.
970 W. 800 North, Orem, 801-655-1555, MilagrosUtah.com
Best Cheap Date
Brewvies Cinema Pub
You’ve heard of “dinner and a show?” Well, at Brewvies, it’s dinner and a show and libations, to boot—all at unbelievably low prices. Brewvies probably isn’t the ideal place to find your sugar daddy, but if you’re into good pizza, a great selection of brews (as well as liquor and wine) and some of the best and worst films ever made, then Brewvies is for you. Don’t have a date? Meet yours at one of City Weekly’s free movie nights.
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-322-3891, Brewvies.com
2. Pie Hole
3. Lucky 13
Best Soothing Cheese
Beehive Cheese's TeaHive
Nothing soothes a stressful afternoon like some much-needed protein and a feel-good bite of tea—yes, bite of tea. Beehive Cheese’s newest offering, TeaHive, is made with creamy cheese and rubbed with black tea and bergamot, which gives the cheese a fresh, almost-citrus scent. It might be the most refined piece of cheese you’ll ever eat.
2440 E. 6600 South, No. 8, Uintah, 801-476-0900, BeehiveCheese.com
Old Bridge Cafe
It would be hard to find a warmer spot to eat, with better homestyle food, than Ibro and Milojka Sameric’s Old Bridge Cafe. It’s an ode to Bosnian cuisine, with dishes like phyllo-stuffed zeljanica, Bosnian-style goulash, delicious handmade cevapi (small, thumb-size sausages) and excellent baklava. But best of all are the Samerics themselves, who are terrific company during an Old Bridge meal.
249 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-466-4330, OldBridgeCafe.com
Best Waffle Truck
On weekdays, waffles might be just simple toaster treats, but on the weekend, Saturday’s Waffle gives them a warm, tasty twist, served from a 1955 Shasta trailer. Dive into a Canadian apple-pie waffle, wolf down a bananas-foster waffle—with real bananas drizzled with buttery rum sauce—or, for something more adventurous, knock down a maple-bacon waffle, soaked in a jalapeño-infused maple syrup whose heat is offset by vanilla-bean sauce.
3900 S. Wasatch Blvd., Holladay, 801-631-6041, SaturdaysWaffle.com
Best Dessert for Living Dangerously
Sammy's Cafe's Pieshake
Sammy’s Cafe eliminates a dessert seeker’s agony of having to choose between two tasty treats by simply combining them together. A full slice of pie is blended into a milkshake, creating a double dose of deliciousness in one cup. The Oreo-cream pieshake is an excellent option, while the banana-cream pieshake will appeal to the health-conscious—it’s got banana in it, after all.
26 E. 600 South, Salt Lake City, 801-953-1445; 27 N. 100 West, Provo, 801-805-9208, SammysPieshake.com
Best Food Truck
It seems appropriate that SuAn Chow—the first in Salt Lake City to venture into the upscale food truck scene—should garner the Best Food Truck prize. With so many more trucks having entered the fray in the past couple of years, she’s had to work hard to stay at the top of her game. And she’s done so with consistently innovative fare like Asian-inspired sliders, scrumptious flash-fried calamari, and selections such as baby beef tongue tacos from guest chef Viet Pham of Forage.
3. Lewis Bros.