Best of Utah 2016 | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Best of Utah 2016 

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Best Thai
Sawadee
Although Sawadee has only been around for about a decade, it has garnered an impressive list of awards this year, including this one for Best Thai, yet again. The family-owned restaurant specializes in wholesome, authentic Thai food in a warm and inviting atmosphere at its South Temple location. They offer all the traditional Thai favorites, like tasty curries, savory noodles and delicious barbecue. For something off the beaten path, try the honey ginger duck. (MS)
754 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-8424, Sawadee1.com
2nd place: Chanon Thai Café
3rd place: Thai Siam

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Best Atmosphere
Current Fish & Oyster
Erected in 1906, the rustic brick exterior of Current Fish & Oyster complements the ultra modern interior, which features an open kitchen and bustling dining floor. The fish served here is flown in fresh from all across the United States and is presented in a beautiful array from an ambitious menu created by Executive Chef Phelix Gardner. The restaurant incorporates tastes new to Utah for a memorable and contemporary dining experience in a historic atmosphere. (MS)
279 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-326-3474, CurrentFishAndOyster.com
2nd place: Finca
3rd place: The Rest

Best Bakery
Tulie Bakery
Owner and self-taught pastry czar Leslie Seggar knows exactly what's she's doing on every level—from croissants to hot-pressed sandwiches. Her gourmet pastries include only the finest ingredients, and the treats are enhanced by the store's layout, right down to communal tables that create a warm and contemporary environment. The sticky buns are out of this world, but that is only one of many seasonal creations worth a taste test at Tulie. (MS)
863 E. 700 South, Salt Lake City, 801-883-9741, TulieBakery.com
2nd place: Gourmandise The Bakery
3rd place: Eva's Bakery

Best Breakfast
The Park Café
The early bird gets the worm. At The Park Café, they get a table. People line 1300 South daily for a seat at the homestyle breakfast and lunch joint. Grab a table inside or on the porch and treat yourself to what just might be the tastiest breakfast potatoes in the history of spuds. There's not a bad choice on the menu, but you definitely can't go wrong with the Odeloy omelet (sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese) or the fluffy and delectable banana pancakes. (MS)
604 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-1670, Facebook.com/ParkCafeSLC
2nd place: The Blue Plate Diner
3rd place: Ruth's Diner

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Best brew pub
Squatters Pub Brewery
Squatters Pub Brewe has been the go-to brewpub for Salt Lakers since its inception in 1989. It has been a refuge for beer and burger lovers alike for all these years, but the pub has much more to offer its patrons: The diverse menu ranges from an insanely tasty Thai Yellow Curry to grilled salmon drizzled with wasabi aioli. Not only is Squatters Salt Lake City's first brewpub (1989), it's consistently retained its spot as the best in town. (MS)
147 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2739, Squatters.com
2nd place: Red Rock Brewing Co.
3rd place: Wasatch Brew Pub

Best Brunch Spot
Ruth's Diner
The year 2016 marks the 86th anniversary of Ruth's Diner, making it the second oldest restaurant in Utah. All it takes is a quick drive up Emigration Canyon and you'll arrive at the historic diner. In fairer weather, enjoy the scenery on the sprawling outdoor patio. Take shelter inside in the colder months, warm up with a cup of joe and the famous mile-high biscuits and gravy. Along with traditional breakfast options, be sure to try contemporary dishes such as Erik's raspberry chicken—a lunch favorite. (MS)
4160 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-582-5807, RuthsDiner.com
2nd place: Pig & A Jelly Jar
3rd place: Hub & Spoke Diner

Best Cheap Date
Brewvies Cinema Pub
When you add beer and movies in one convenient downtown location, you get Brewvies Cinema Pub—what's not to like about kicking back to watch new a flick with a frothy beverage and specialty dishes in front of you? They offer showings of the latest blockbusters, independent films and free Film Buff Night every Wednesday, as well as a separate bar area lined with pool tables, video games and televisions. (MS)
677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-5500, Brewvies.com
2nd place: Oh Mai
3rd place: Watchtower Café

Best Chinese Sit-Down
Mandarin

In 1978, Greek-American Gregory Skedros opened the doors to Mandarin, which has been Utah's premier Chinese restaurant ever since. The kitchen is manned by chefs from Hong Kong and San Francisco, whose woks fire up some of the best Chinese fare you'll find in the area. The family-run restaurant has sustained success in its Bountiful location with a combination of well-versed chefs, loyal customers and a menu that can't be topped. (MS)
348 E. 900 North, Bountiful, 801-298-2406, MandarinUtah.com
2nd place: Red Maple
3rd place: Asian Star

Best Chinese Take-Out
Dragon Diner
Although there's a pint sized sit-down area at Dragon Diner in Millcreek, most people prefer the take-out option. The inexpensive Chinese eatery prides itself in its authenticity and fast delivery services, which are available until 10 p.m. every day except Sunday. Start off with the cream cheese wontons before you make your way to the dinner favorite, Dragon and Phoenix—served with General Tso's chicken and spicy shrimp. (MS)
1331 E. 3900 South, Millcreek, 801-272-9333, TheDragonDiner.com
2nd place: Little World
3rd place: Red Maple

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Best Coffee House
Coffee Garden
Our readers have spoken and have declared that Coffee Garden is the best place in town to get a cup of java. City Weekly employees concur, as we stop in the Main Street location routinely for our daily fix. Baristas here treat regulars like family, and both locations (downtown and 9th & 9th) are irreplaceable in their respective communities by providing high-quality coffee along with great customer service. Each location has a distinct personality: Main Street's is literary and incisive; 9th & 9th is cinematic and expansive. (MS)
878 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3435; 245 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-0768
2nd place: Beans & Brews
3rd place: Publik Coffee Roasters

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Best Desserts
Gourmandise The Bakery
Making a decision on one of the endless arrays of delicious desserts can be troublesome at Gourmandise, so why not order two? On the weekends, double parking and lines out the door ensue as people so eagerly anticipate sinking their teeth into one of the tasty cakes, tarts, breads and breakfast pastries. No sweet tooth? No problem. The café menu features an extensive list of salads, sandwiches and entrées as well. (MS)
250 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-328-3330, GourmandiseTheBakery.com
2nd place: The Dodo
3rd place: Zest Kitchen & Bar

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Best Downtown SLC Restaurant
The Copper Onion
Owner and chef Ryan Lowder was born in Utah before traveling the world, gathering inspiration, experience and cooking techniques. He then pieced them together into the gold mine in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City—The Copper Onion. The hip and welcoming restaurant serves some of the best small plates in town, such as ricotta dumplings and patatas bravas. For dinner, the melt-in-your-mouth lamb riblets in a balsamic glaze are to die for. (MS)
111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3282, TheCopperOnion.com
2nd place: Takashi
3rd place: Zest Kitchen & Bar

Best First-Date Restaurant
Tin Angel Café
Tin Angel integrates a fun, lively ambiance with quality local ingredients and food creations to assemble the perfect atmosphere for first-daters. The family-run restaurant has found the recipe for success with their specialty tapas—featuring bites like a Moroccan spiced-shrimp skewer, spiced almonds and Gorgonzola, and white-bean hummus. In warm weather, the patio is a great place to take in the neighborhood sights and sounds, including downtown Salt Lake City's frequent live music. (MS)
365 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4155, TheTinAngel.com
2nd place: Eva
3rd place: Spitz

Best French
The Paris
With an experienced staff of cooks and courteous service, The Paris Bistro gives its dining guests an experience much like you'd find on The Champs-Élysées in Paris. The filet mignon with squash blossoms and zucchini gratin, or lemongrass crème brûlée satisfy even the most picky of palates. An extensive wine list perfectly complements the exquisite French cuisine. (MS)
1500 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-5585, TheParis.net
2nd place: La Caille
3rd place: Franck's

Best Greek Sit-Down
Aristo's
Leave your expectations of hand-held gyros at the door. Owner Aristides Boutsikakis has brought a taste of Greece with him back here in Salt Lake City at Aristo's Greek Restaurant. The mezedakia (Greek small plates) are sensational. There's sautéed baby octopus, thick cuts of battered and flash-fried calamari, baked eggplant whipped with olive oil, Greek meatballs, sautéed shrimp in marinara and much more. (MS)
224 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-581-0888, AristosSLC.com
2nd place: Manoli's
3rd place: The Other Place

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Best Greek Take-Out
Greek Souvlaki
A perennial Best of Utah winner, Greek Souvlaki knew how to create a lasting following long before the inception of this award. The doors to the first location were opened in 1972 by Lee and Mary Paulos and served just three items: gyros, souvlaki and beefteki. The business has since expanded to five restaurants and has stayed true to the Paulos vision of serving high-quality Greek food to the Salt Lake community. (MS)
Multiple locations, GreekSouvlaki.com
2nd place: Yanni's Greek Express
3rd place: Padeli's Street Greek

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Best Japanese
Takashi
Not only does Takashi have the best Japanese food in Utah, but it might be the best on this side of the Mississippi. Takashi Gibo's eclectic and ever-changing list of sushi rolls and dishes traditional to his native Japan makes one wonder if sushi is appropriate for all three meals of the day. For the mild palate, try the Crunch Ebi roll with shrimp tempura. If you're feeling adventurous, order a round of citrusy mussel shooters with a quail egg yolk. There's no such thing as a bad meal here. (MS)
18 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-519-9595
2nd place: Kyoto
3rd place: Sapa

Best Indian
Bombay House
Bombay House is Salt Lake City's undisputed champion of genuine Indian cuisine and hospitality. Using traditional cooking methods—including a charcoal-fired tandoori oven—Bombay House creates the finest naan, paratha and roti flatbreads, which are perfect for sopping up every last drop of the luscious curries. Heat lovers, give the vibrant vindaloo a go. They also offer plenty of vegetarian options, along with Indian tea and coffee, rose milk, and strawberry or mango lassis. (MS)
Multiple locations, BombayHouse.com
2nd place: The Kathmandu
3rd place: Himalayan Kitchen

Best Italian
Fratelli Ristorante
Fratelli Ristorante has won this award five times in the past six years, and there's little doubt why: Fratelli ("brothers" in Italian) owners Pete and Dave Cannella created a menu traditional to their homeland, preach and practice the use of fresh ingredients, and treat everyone who walks through the door like family. The menu boasts an expansive list of pizzas, pastas and salads, as well as beer and wine. Save some room for the delectable tiramisu. (MS)
9236 S. Village Shop Drive, Sandy, 801-495-4550, FratelliUtah.com
2nd place: Valter's Osteria
3rd place: Caffé Molise

Best Korean
Myung Ga
Myung Ga takes Korean barbecue to another level with their sizzling, hefty portions of chicken, pork and beef. Along with barbecue options, the restaurant also dishes up delicious dumplings, soups filled to the brim with scallops, shrimp and other seafood, and a cucumber kimchi that is out of this world. These chefs can whip up a quick dish for your lunch break or an extensive, authentic Korean meal for a pleasing dinner. (MS)
3353 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City,801-953-0478
2nd place: Cupbop
3rd place: It's Tofu

Best Late-Night Grub
Pie Hole
With its ovens firing until 2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, and till 3 a.m. on weekends, there's little surprise that the Pie Hole downtown is at its busiest after midnight—what sounds better than a hot, cheesy pizza waiting for you after a night of bar-hopping? Order by the slice or get a whole pie—there's even a rotating vegan option—and satisfy those late-night hunger pangs. (MS)
344 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-359-4653, PieHoleUtah.com
2nd place: Beto's
3rd place: Alberto's

Best Mexican Sit-Down
Red Iguana
Owners of Red Iguana, the Cardenas family has been in the restaurant business for more than 50 years with humble beginnings, as their first location opened with a dining area that could seat 18 guests. They've since attracted a national following for serving some of the finest Mexican fare in America. It's been featured on the television show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and The New York Times, and countless pictures and autographs of celebrities adorn its colorful walls. For authentic Mexican fare, turn to dishes like their signature cochinita pibil, papadzules and puntas de filete a la Norteña (sirloin with bacon). (MS)
Multiple locations, RedIguana.com
2nd place: Blue Iguana
3rd place: Taquería 27

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Best Mexican Take-Out
Hector's
Salt Lake Valley in its entirety let out a collective wail of mourning when Hector's announced it would no longer serve its unparalleled Mexican grub 24 hours a day, choosing instead to close its doors at a reasonable hour of the night. Although you can't get your smothered burrito fix in the early light of dawn anymore, Hector's is still at the pinnacle of Mexican take-out and the go-to for customers of all walks of life. For a meal on the go, there's no wrong choice at here, but the carnitas torta is not one to forgo. (MS)
2901 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-3850
2nd place: Red Iguana
3rd place: Beto's

Best Middle Eastern
Mazza Middle Eastern Cuisine
Mazza offers an assortment of Middle Eastern cuisine such as lamb and rice dolaa, musakhan, shawarma and kebabs, delectable baked kafta, maghmoor and much more. Owner Ali Sabbah takes a deep sense of pride in keeping his restaurants as authentic as possible, so the service and food is always top-notch. Mazza wouldn't be complete without its sizable wine list with bottles from Lebanon, Morocco and Greece. (MS)
912 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-4572; 1515 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9259, MazzaCafe.com
2nd place: O'Falafel
3rd place: Cedars of Lebanon

Best New Restaurant
HSL
Derived from the same proprietors who brought us Handle in Park City, HSL in Salt Lake City is the latest installment from partners Melissa Gray and Meagan Nash. The concept behind HSL—which has thrived in the robust downtown dining scene—is to incorporate locally grown and produced ingredients into a dining experience second to none. Dinner options include steelhead trout, a beef cheek burger and savory grilled flap steak. (MS)
418 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-539-9999, HSLRestaurant.com
2nd place: Stanza
3rd place: Veneto

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Best Ogden Restaurant
Tona
Tony Chen and Tina Yu's sushi restaurant is one of the hottest and most bustling establishments in Ogden. The extensive tapas list includes a delicious gyoza plate (pot-stickers with sesame seed vinaigrette), Brussels sprouts and agedashi tofu, to name a few. Not into sharing? The bento boxes are bountiful and beautiful, as are the traditional sushi rolls. The Ogden eatery also has a sizable sake and wine list. (MS)
210 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-8662, TonaRestaurant.com
2nd place: Roosters
3rd place: Slack Water

Best Park City Restaurant
Riverhorse on Main
This is a pioneering eatery of sorts. Established in 1987, Riverhorse set the tone as one of the first fine-dining restaurants in the competitive Park City market. The expertly prepared meals look like artwork (and it feels almost sacrilegious to eat them), and the ultra slick, modern interior is equally impressive. As far as fare goes, there's just something special about their grilled local rack of lamb, served with cumin-scented couscous, honey, cucumber-mint relish and cauliflower. (MS)
540 Main, Park City, 435-649-3536, RiverhorseParkCity.com
2nd place: High West
3rd place: Handle

Best Patio
The Green Pig Pub
There's quite a thirst for a stellar outdoor patio in downtown Salt Lake City, and The Green Pig Pub quenches it with a view of the Wasatch Mountains. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot to grub out and sip on a frothy beer on your lunch hour than the upstairs patio at the Pig. With concert venues and other bars in the surrounding area, just relax and watch the comings and goings Salt Lake City has to offer. (MS)
31 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City,801-532-7441, TheGreenPigPub.com
2nd place: Gracie's
3rd place: The Hog Wallow Pub

Best Place to Take Mom
Ruth's Diner
We get it—you want to do something for your mom, like make her a home-cooked meal in return for all the times she fed your needy ass growing up. Save yourself the embarrassment and take your loving mother to Ruth's Diner, one of the most historic eateries in Salt Lake City. Just a few minutes up Emigration Canyon, it takes no time or effort on your part to give your birthgiver a meal—such as the cinnamon roll French toast—as sweet as she is. (MS)
4160 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-582-5807, RuthsDiner.com
2nd place: Oasis Café
3rd place: Little America Coffee Shop

Best Romantic Spot
Log Haven
The century-old log mansion in Millcreek Canyon that's home to Log Haven is known for its rustic beauty and fine dining, and as one of Utah's premier destinations for weddings and other special events. With its impressive indoor and outdoor venues and surrounding foliage, there's always romance in the air here. It feels like another world yet is only minutes away. (MS)
6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-272-8255, Log-Haven.com
2nd place: La Caille
3rd place: Veneto

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Best Salt Lake Valley Restaurant
Provisions
Provisions is an American craft kitchen that champions seasonal, organic and locally produced ingredients. The house-inspired architectural design might even convince you that you're sitting at your own dining room table. The small plates are all wonderful, including the steamed buns and roasted-beet salad, but don't leave until you try the taglierini—braised rabbit coated with a sage brown butter sauce that melts in the mouth. (MS)
3364 S. 2300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-410-4046, SLCProvisions.com
2nd place: Fratelli
3rd place: Log Haven

Best Utah County Restaurant
Communal
Communal serves its dining guests farm-fresh and in-season cuisine using locally sourced and produced ingredients. It's best to go as a group as the dishes are served family style—hence the name. Entrées like roasted chicken, Utah trout and grilled hangar steak are prepared in a no-nonsense, simple but sensational style. We're darn jealous of you, Provo. (MS)
102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000, CommunalRestaurant.com
2nd place: Black Sheep Café
3rd place: Pizzeria 712

Best Vegetarian
Sage's Café
Located since late 2013 in the iconic former Jade Café building, Sage's specialty is vegetarian, organic cuisine. For vegetarians, there are "Meatless Monday" specials, as well as a number of veggie pizza and pasta options. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, with late-night weekend dining and an extended brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday. (MS)
234 W. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-322-3790, SagesCafe.com
2nd place: Zest Kitchen & Bar
3rd place: Frisch Compassionate Eatery

Best Vietnamese
Oh Mai
Whether you have the classic pho with fragrant broth in mind, a banh mi sandwich served in a French baguette, or traditional noodle and rice bowls, Oh Mai has you covered on all things Vietnamese. The restaurant—which now has four Salt Lake area locations—first took off as a banh mi and sandwich shop, but now covers all bases with their extensive Vietnamese menu. (MS)
Multiple locations, OhMaiSandwich.com
2nd place: All Chay
3rd place: La Cai Noodle House

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