Best of Utah 2018 | An ode to the people, places, products and services that make life the Beehive State exceptional. | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

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Best of Utah 2018 

An ode to the people, places, products and services that make life the Beehive State exceptional.

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click to enlarge JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Best Atmosphere

Cliff Dining Pub
Elegant and extravagant, Cliff Dining Pub in Draper bespeaks excellence. Its broad range of signature dishes from across the world—wings, nachos, chicken and waffles, as well as a full sushi bar—make this eclectic dining experience as wonderful as it is tasteful. Mood lighting from modern chandeliers, a sunny patio and a slew of regular live music performances sweeten the pot.
12234 Draper Gate Drive, Draper,
801-523-2053, cliffdiningpub.com
2. Log Haven
3. La Caille

Best Bakery
City Cakes & Café
Careful, once you experience these vegan and gluten-free cakes and baked goods, you might just have to make the lifestyle switch. Since 2010, owner Nanette Wessels has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality products with exceptional customer service. With offerings such as cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins and so many more baked treats derived from organic ingredients, there's ample reason to give City Cakes a try.
1860 S. 300 West, 801-359-2239, citycakescafe.com
2. Tulie Bakery
3. Ruby Snap

Best Breakfast
The Park Café
On any particular morning at The Park Café, you might spot superstar athletes from the Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake or the University of Utah. Or, you'll recognize the familiar faces of regulars lining the tables. No matter your background, The Park Café's exceptional staff welcomes you with open arms and a friendly smile. Start your morning with French Toast Foolishness—an inch-thick serving with a side of savory bacon and house potatoes.
604 E. 1300 South, 801-487-1670, theparkcafeslc.com
2. Ruth's Diner
3. Roots Café

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Best Brunch
Rye
Rye always has a homey feel to it. Are you brunching with your mom and pop? Got a business meeting? Out with friends? All feel acceptable here. Stick with the traditional two-egg breakfast, brioche French toast or waffle with house potatoes, or branch out with the marinated duck bowl—a helping of pomegranate roasted duck, pear confit, rice, chevre and duck egg. Delicious.
239 S. 500 East, 801-364-4655, ryeslc.com
2. La Caille
3. Ruth's Diner

Best Chinese
Mandarin
How does any restaurant survive four decades like Mandarin? Family atmosphere, excellent staff and, of course, a phenomenal menu. That culture is what the son of Greek immigrant Gregory Skedros created back in 1978. Today, Skedros' daughter Angel, along with her husband, Paul Manfredini, operate Mandarin. Skedros, 91, ensures his restaurant reigns supreme by preparing his salivating Szechuan and kung pao secret sauces.
348 E. 900 North, Bountiful, 801-298-2406, mandarinutah.com
2. Asian Star
3. Little World

Best Coffee Shop
Beans & Brews
It's the American Dream—working your way from humble beginnings into an industry juggernaut. That's what happened to the Laramie family when they opened the first Beans and Brews near Liberty Park in 1993. Now, dozens of cozy coffee shops line Utah streets and have spread through Idaho and Nevada over the past few years. Thanks for ensuring Utahns don't have to succumb to Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks.
Multiple Locations,
beansandbrews.com
2. Publik Coffee Roasters
3. Coffee Garden

Best Desserts
Fillings & Emulsions
Pastry chef and owner Adalberto Diaz has been refining his pastry skills for the past 30 years. "Chef Al" took his talents to the Food Network back in 2015, where he was recognized as a finalist on Holiday Baking Championship. Within the glass cases at Fillings & Emulsions, you'll find an array of masterfully crafted macarons, quick breads, tarts, petitte gateaux, custards and more mouth-watering pastries.
1475 S. Main, 385-229-4228, filingsandemulsions.com
2. Gourmandise The Bakery
3. Chip

Best Downtown SLC Restaurant
The Copper Onion
Copper Onion owner Ryan Lowder found the secret ingredient when it comes to restauranteuring. The native Utahn traveled the globe—from Colombia to Barcelona to New York—for inspiration for Copper Onion's creative menu. Favorite dinner options include the classic Roman dish cacio e pepe as well as the melt-in-your-mouth patatas bravas.
111 E. 300 South, 801-355-3282, thecopperonion.com
2. Takashi
3. Blue Iguana

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Best French

La Caille
From the moment you step onto La Caille's scenic grounds, you'll find yourself in awe of the calm forest, and the proud peacocks roaming the gardens. For first timers, the roasted filet mignon—paired with potatoes, broccolini, roasted cauliflower, wild mushrooms and foyot sauce—will leave your stomach and your heart happy. This French chateau oozes romance and is guaranteed to impress your significant other on your next date night.
9565 Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942-1751, lacaille.com
2. Paris Bistro
3. Franck's

NIKI CHAN
  • Niki Chan

Best Gluten-free

Zest Kitchen & Bar
As former owner of the W Lounge, Casey Staker sought to combine his passion for mixology with vegan cuisine. Since its inception in 2012, Zest Kitchen & Bar has been the premier vegan restaurant around town, providing fresh, organic and healthy options for its guests. Sharing plates among the table is the way to go at Zest, with options including Brussels sprouts, baked mushrooms, jalapeño poppers and delectable deviled avocados.
275 S. 200 West, 801-433-0589, zestslc.com
2. Vertical Diner
3. Rawtopia

Best Greek
Aristo's
Since he was a young boy, Aristo Boutsikakis had a vision to create a restaurant honoring his family's home, the Greek island of Crete. Staying true to Greek culture and tradition, Aristo's grows herbs, makes cheese, kneads bread and butchers meat all on their own. Whatever they possibly can't make in house, Aristo's sources locally. The meze (small plates) are spectacular, as are the charbroiled lamb chops served with fresh-cut fries and sautéed garlic rapini.
244 S. 1300 East, 801-581-0888, aristosslc.com
2. The Other Place
3. Manoli's

Best Indian
Bombay House
The early bird gets the worm, or in Bombay House's case, a seat at the table. If you are indeed late to the dinner rush, no need to worry—you can simply call in your order (though even the pickup line can get crowded) and enjoy one of the scrumptious curries, masalas and kurmas at home. What is everyone swarming Bombay House for, anyway? The chicken makhani prepared tandoori-style with oven-toasted garlic naan is life changing.
Multiple locations, bombayhouse.com
2. Saffron Valley
3. Kathmandu

Best Innovative Menu
HSL
Foodies in Utah should already be aware of Briar Handly, Melissa Gray and Meagan Nash's other successful restaurant, Handle in Park City. They've since ventured into the Salt Lake Valley to create HSL, an oasis of locally sourced vegetables and ingredients that come together to form one of the finest menus around. For a different taste, dig into the General Tso's-style cauliflower or the market fish plated with a serving of corn fondue and foraged mushrooms.
418 E. 200 South, 801-539-9999, hslrestaurant.com
2. Table X
3. Boltcutter

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Best Italian
Sicilia Mia
It didn't take long for the family-run Sicilia Mia to exert a strong presence on the local Italian dining scene, quickly opening up three more iterations around the valley. For starters, try the burrata quattro stagioni, a mouthwatering burrata mozzarella served with housemade Italian sauces and bread. For the main course, watch in awe as skilled waiters prepare spaghetti alla carbonara tableside in a wheel of aged parmigiana for a night to remember.
4536 S. Highland Drive, 801-274-0223, siciliamiautah.com
2. Cucina Toscana
3. Caffé Molise

Best Japanese
Takashi
It's surreal to think that Takashi is now more than 13 years old, a testament to its service and the care Takashi and Tamara Gibo give their pristine cuisine. This summer, they've taken on another venture with tapas-inspired Post Office Place just next door, but Takashi still reigns supreme when it comes to Japanese. If you appreciate artfully crafted dishes, the azekura is a must. Seared beef is balanced on top of tempura-fried portobello mushrooms and green beans for a picturesque meal.
18 W. Market St., 801-519-9595
2. Kyoto
3. Jinya Ramen Bar

ENRIQUE LIMÓN
  • Enrique Limón

Best Korean

It's Tofu
A fast-casual joint in Midvale, It's Tofu offers a number of quick and easy options for all Korean and other cultural hankerings. If you're a fan of killer kimchi and traditional Korean soon dishes, It's Tofu covers all the bases. Specialties include the seafood, Asian beef rib and pork bulgogi soon tofus prepared in three levels of spice—mild, medium and very spicy, which is hotter than hell but well worth the burn.
6949 S. 1300 East, 801-566-9103, itstofu.com
2. Myung Ga
3. Korea House

Best Mexican
Red Iguana
Why would you build a second restaurant two blocks from the first? That's what Red Iguana did with Red Iguana 2 to alleviate the seemingly endless out-the-door line of customers wanting to indulge on the best Mexican food this side of the border. While all dishes are sure to blow you away, the signature moles come highly recommended. The mole negro tops them all, which is a combination of dried chile mulato, negro pasilla, Mexican chocolate, raisins, peanuts, walnuts and banana. Trust us when we say it's exceptional.
Multiple Locations, rediguana.com
2. Blue Iguana
3. Salsa Leedos

Best Middle Eastern
Mazza
The Best Middle Eastern Restaurant award has gone to Mazza for 17 straight years, and for good reason—nowhere else can you enjoy as exquisitely prepared, authentic Middle Eastern cuisine such as falafel, shawarma, kebabs, dips and salads. At either the 9th and 9th or 15th and 15th locations, patrons can devour tasty plates such as the bone-in lamb shank or pumpkin kibbeh.
912 E. 900 South, 801-521-4572; 1515 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9259, mazzacafe.com
2. Laziz Kitchen
3. Cedars of Lebanon

Best New Restaurant
Tradition
Passion for cooking fabulous food is what inspired owners Ashton Aragon and Max Shrives to open their up-and-coming restaurant. For a starter that is sure to swarm your brain with a flood of memories, try the tasty pigs in a blanket. And the fish and chips exceeds all expectations. Sit down and enjoy your favorite meal inside the newly renovated interior or quiet patio, all while making new traditions of your own.
501 E. 900 South, 385-202-7167, traditionslc.com
2. Boltcutter
3. Seasons Plant-based Bistro

Best Ogden Restaurant
Tona Sushi
A perennial Best Of winner, Tona Sushi plates its dishes so masterfully and artistically, you'll wonder if it's permitted to deconstruct the food. The dining area offers seating at the bar, where you can watch the artists—err, chefs—handcraft sushi, or you can kick off your shoes and sit in traditional low-rise tables in the O-Zashiki Room for an intimate and romantic setting.
210 25th St., Ogden, 801-322-8662, tonarestaurant.com
2. Slackwater
3. Roosters Brewing

Best Park City Restaurant
Riverhorse on Main
With such a unique ambiance and menu, it's no surprise that Riverhorse on Main is Park City's Best Restaurant yet again. Thanks to its ever-changing menu—seasonally as well as demand based—no two experiences at Riverhorse are the same. Classics joined with new concepts make this menu one you cannot duplicate anywhere else, such as the Riverhorse classic—a macadamia nut crust on Alaskan halibut.
540 Main, Park City, 435-649-3536, riverhorseparkcity.com
2. Blue Iguana
3. Handle

Best Patio
Ruth's Diner
In 1930, Uruguay defeated Argentina in the very first World Cup, Neil Armstrong and Sean Connery were born and the television was barely an idea. Ruth's Diner was also established in 1930, and is now entering its 88th year of serving Salt Lake natives hearty meals. Located a short drive up Emigration Canyon, patrons flock to the serene patio to take in the surrounding sights and sounds of the mountains.
4160 Emigration Canyon Road, 801-582-5807, ruthsdiner.com
2. Cliff Dining Pub
3. Blue Iguana

Best Salt Lake Valley Restaurant
Cliff Dining Pub
"From Draper, for Draper." That's the motto Cliff Dining Pub has lived by since its inception, creating an eclectic, globally inspired menu. In 2017, it took home honors for Best New Restaurant, and now enjoys a statewide reputation well beyond Draper. If you need help deciding what to order, the cast-iron burrata is as masterfully presented as it is tasty.
12234 S. Draper Gate Drive, Draper, 801-523-2053, cliffdiningpub.com
2. La Caille
3. Log Haven

Best Thai
Sawadee
Sawadee takes its reputation as the most authentic Thai restaurant in the state to heart. The family-run establishment is widely known for preparing spectacular Thai dishes such as nam phrik oong, soups and curries. The dumplings are a must—rice-flour packets stuffed with minced shrimp and bamboo shoots with a sensational sesame-oil chili sauce.
754 E. South Temple, 801-328-8424, sawadee1.com
2. Skewered Thai
3. Chabaar Beyond Thai

JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor

Best Utah County Restaurant
Communal
Communal offers guests a family-style, farm-to-table experience like no other in Provo, priding itself on its reputation as a home away from home. Next time you cross the Point of the Mountain and are in Utah County, don't forget to try Communal's popular spinach zucchini dip and the hanger steak with chimichurri.
102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000, communalrestaurant.com
2. Black Sheep Café
3. Bombay House

Best Vegetarian
Zest Kitchen & Bar
Zest Kitchen & Bar is unlike any dining experience in Salt Lake City. Its extensive menu is sure to appease your appetite whether you prefer gluten-free, meat-free or soy-free entrées. Even if you don't have any dietary restrictions, Zest is sure to impress. For something different and delicious, try their baked zucchini and cheese. Don't forget to pair your meal with one of their unique cocktails, such as the spicy jalapeño margarita.
275 S. 200 West, 801-433-0589, zestslc.com
2. Vertical Diner
3. Boltcutter

Best Vietnamese
Oh Mai
With three locations around the valley, Oh Mai has got Utahns covered with delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Their banh mi sandwiches have garnered the most notoriety, but you'd be remiss if you didn't scarf down the filling pho served with your choice of beef cuts, herbs and traditional hearty broth. Oh Mai will gladly cater your next event, too.
Multiple Locations, ohmaisandwich.com
2. Somi Vietnamese Bistro
3. Pho 33

Best Wine List
La Caille
It's easy to see why La Caille has the best (and probably most) wines in the state—while it sources its wines internationally, the estate also has its own in-house vineyard and winery. The winery sits in Little Cottonwood
Canyon at an elevation of 5,380 feet, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and purely in the high altitude. The wine cellar at La Caille is expansive, storing hundreds of bottles within the chateau.
9565 Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942-1751, lacaille.com
2. BTG Wine Bar
3. Log Haven


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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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