Best of Utah 2020 | The complete list of winners from our readers and staff | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

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Best of Utah 2020 

The complete list of winners from our readers and staff

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Communal Pudding
  • Communal Pudding
Restaurants | Readers' Picks

Best Utah County Restaurant

Communal might just be the best thing to happen to Provo since Steve Young. With crave-worthy dishes like the funeral potato croquette, Clifford Farms pork loin (big enough to share) and butterscotch pudding with salted caramel and cookie crumble, this New American restaurant combines next-level comfort food with locally sourced ingredients and a great wine list. (MW) 102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000,
2. Black Sheep Cafe
3. Station 22

Best New Restaurant

Marmalade darling Arlo recently arrived on the SLC dining scene with a global contemporary menu created by renowned chef Milo Carrier. Look for standouts such as lamb ravioli with roasted mushrooms and celery root, and the chicory salad with sumac yogurt, caramelized carrots and quinoa crumble. They're currently open for dinner, brunch and takeout Wednesday through Sunday. (MW) 271 N. Center St., SLC, 385-266-8845,
2. Cultivate Craft Kitchen
3. Carson Kitchen

Best Breakfast
Blue Plate Diner

Blue Plate Diner is a heavy hitter in the breakfast arena for plenty of reasons. Their chile verde is a wake-up call for the ages—whether it's stuffed inside their gargantuan breakfast burritos or slathered on top of their fluffy omelets. If eggs Benedict are more your breakfast jam, you can't go wrong with their traditional and salmon variations, covered in homemade hollandaise sauce and served up with perfectly cooked home fries. Blue Plate's griddle is always hot and ready to sling out traditional pancakes, thick French toast and hearty country corncakes. Combine that stellar menu of breakfast stalwarts with their excellent location in the heart of Sugar House, and it's no secret why locals love Blue Plate. (AS) 2041 S. 2100 East, SLC, 801-463-1151,
2. Roots
3. Park Cafe

Best Indian Restaurant
Bombay House

Given the caliber of truly great Indian food available across our state, it's no small feat for Bombay House to be such a consistent presence at the top of this list. Perhaps that's because it's been part of Utah's culinary identity for years now—or perhaps their roster of curries and chutneys are just that good. Either way, it's clear that they're rocking an impressive menu of Indian favorites and the casual-yet-classy atmosphere is perfect for both special occasions and low-key social calls. Bombay House has been special to the Wasatch Front for years, and we're always happy to see them hanging at the top of this list. (AS) Multiple locations,
2. Saffron Valley
3. Kathmandu

Best Atmosphere
Carmine's Italian Restaurant

Looking for classy dining in Cottonwood Heights? Reserve a white-linened table next to the fireplace and enjoy 5-star service at Carmine's, an authentic Italian restaurant (the chef is from Naples) with stand-out favorites like homemade pappardelle with wild boar sauce, wood-fired pizzas and homemade tiramisu. (MW) 2477 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-948-4468,
2. HSL
3. Log Haven


Best Wine List
BTG Wine Bar

It's been quite the year for BTG Wine Bar. A move to a new location, COVID and an earthquake that broke windows didn't deter BTG, which is currently open and pouring more than 75 wines by the glass, plus cocktails, beer and small bites. Sink into one of the deep, leather booths and sip to your heart's content. Flights starting at just $12 are a great way to test your sommelier skills. (MW) 404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-359-2814,
2. Pago
3. Cucina

Best Thai Restaurant
Chabaar Beyond Thai

If you like your Thai food extra spicy, Chabaar Beyond Thai is the place to be. In fact, first-time diners and takeout orders can't go beyond spice level 3. (The restaurant keeps a log of who can handle the heat!) For Thai classics with a twist, try the mango curry, curry pot pie or owner Anny Sooksri's namesake salad with fried chicken, pineapple and sesame vinaigrette. (MW) 87 W. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5100,
2. Sawadee
3. Chanon Thai

Best Coffee Shop
Coffee Garden

In spite of all the craziness of 2020, it's nice to know you can still get a cup of joe from your friendly neighborhood Coffee Garden. Their takeout-only model hasn't deterred customers from bringing their own lawn chairs and setting up socially distanced circles on the patio, conjuring up images of pre-COVID coffee talk. Treat yourself to a scratch-made pastry and don't forget to tip your barista. (MW) 878 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-355-3425,
2. Beans and Brews
3. Publik

Best Downtown SLC Restaurant
Copper Onion

When Copper Onion first opened its doors, Utah didn't really have a place that combined culinary innovation and trendy concepts with local ingredients. As it grew in popularity, Copper Onion honed an authentically Utah perspective. The downtown location makes it the perfect jumping off point for a night out or for taking in a flick at the Broadway Centre Cinemas. Its carefully curated New American cuisine always has something craveworthy. On top of the stellar menu and knowledgeable staff, the atmosphere at Copper Onion is among the best Salt Lake has to offer. (AS) 111 E. 300 South, Ste. 170, SLC, 801-355-3282,
2. Takashi
3. Current

Best Desserts
Fillings and Emulsions

It's been a busy year for Fillings and Emulsions. On top of expanding their dessert empire to West Valley and into Salt Lake City International Airport, Chef Adalberto has been organizing fundraising bake sales that have raised thousands of dollars for RAICES. Such growth and community involvement wouldn't be possible without the team's uncanny knack for creative baking. Their signature, gem-toned macarons are what catch your eye while their savory meat pies and decadent dulce de leche cruffins steal your heart. It's hard to enter Fillings and Emulsions without being immediately entranced by the welcoming environment and jaw-dropping desserts constantly on display. (AS) Multiple locations,
2. Gourmandise
3. Les Madeleines


Best Brunch
Piper Down

What's your definition of brunch? If your tastes lean toward pub grub and a breakfast that includes $1.50 mimosas, plenty of vegetarian options and Sunday football, then look no further than Piper Down. Pretend you're across the pond and order a Henry the VIII, Piper Down's take on a traditional English breakfast, or try one of the many mouthwatering breakfast burritos, or ... who are we kidding, you're here for the mimosas, right? (MW) 1492 S. State, SLC, 801-468-1492,
2. Little America
3. Ruth's Diner

Best French Restaurant
La Caille

With 23 pastoral acres surrounding a turreted stone French-country chateau, La Caille reopened Sept. 25 following a COVID closure. This elegant eatery boasts a new decorative fire feature and has tripled the size of its front entrance. At press time, the restaurant's classic brunch service is scheduled to return in mid-November. La Caille's charcuterie board—filled with local and French cheeses, meats, housemade crostinis, chutneys and a local pickled mustard-seed honey—is a don't-miss, as is the French onion soup—on the menu since La Caille opened—capped with layers of French cheeses and served with a toasted baguette and garlic spread. For entrees, executive chef Billy Sotelo recommends the grilled Wagyu with toasted shishito pepper or the sea bass, paired with La Caille's wines, two of which—the Seyval Blanc and Chateau Rose—are made from grapes from La Caille's own vineyard. Sotelo notes that La Caille plans to offer Thanksgiving dinner with limited-seating—reservations only—on Wednesday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week. (CC) 9565 S. Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942 1751,
2. Eva's Bakery
3. Franck's

Best Middle-Eastern Restaurant

Fans of Mazza bemoaned the recent closures of their 9th and 9th and Sandy locations, but the original Mazza at 15th and 15th is alive and well. It'll be worth whatever drive is needed to dine at the original location. Readers can't do without Mazza's bold Middle Eastern flavors in dishes like baba ganooj with fresh roasted eggplant, traditional mana'eesh Lebanese flatbreads, house-made lamb sausage with Armenian pickles and plant-based pumpkin kibbeh. And those french fries! (MW) 1515 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9259,
2. Laziz Kitchen
3. Afghan Kitchen

Best Vietnamese Restaurant
Oh Mai Sandwich Kitchen

As far as consistently delicious pho and banh mi goes, Oh Mai rarely disappoints. Their curry chicken banh mi next to a big bowl of meatball pho are essential cold-weather fare in Utah. Looking for a damned near perfect breakfast? Try the sunny-side up egg banh mi with a cup of pho broth for dipping. Even for lunch or dinner, the meal captures the heart and soul of the Vietnamese comfort food, making it easy to understand how Oh Mai, with its nine locations, has become a favorite of all of the "pho-natics" out there. (AS) Multiple locations,
2. Little Saigon
3. All Chay


Best Bakery

What can you say about an institution like Gourmandise? The quaint, Euro-by-way-of-Utah vibe had made this local bakery a dessert destination for years. Whether you're there to snack on a buttery croissant or planning to indulge in one of their many French-inspired meals, you're always in for a treat. Their chocolate mousse cake is decadence incarnate, and their strawberry mille feuille is a creamy dream of a dessert, and that's just to name a few. Sure, we all have our favorites, but exploring that stocked display case in the center of the restaurant is ever a fun adventure. (AS) Multiple locations,
2. Fillings and Emulsions
3. Les Madeleines


Best Restaurant to Impress Newcomers / Best Mexican Restaurant
Red Iguana

Local foodies have long been impressed with Red Iguana's spectacular menu, bulwarked by its selection of primo moles, so it's a no-brainer to stop there when friends and family come to visit. We know that most every sane person loves Mexican food, so when we find a place like Red Iguana that takes such a sincere and hard-working approach to this beloved cuisine, it holds a special place in our hearts. I can't remember how many times we've suggested Red Iguana as a recommendation for our Utah visitors, and based on this year's Best of Utah results, neither can all y'all. (AS) Multiple locations,
Best Restaurant to Impress Newcomers Runners-up
2. Copper Onion
3. Table X
Best Mexican Restaurant Runners-up
2. Chile Tepin
3. Blue Iguana

Best Chinese Restaurant
Red Maple Chinese

The people have spoken. Red Maple is the readers' choice, even if the doors to the dining room happen to be closed due to COVID. Fear not, you can still order to-go or via delivery. No pandemic can come between the people and Red Maple's savory, spicy favorites such as salt and pepper pork, beef with Chinese broccoli, Singapore noodles with stir-fried shrimp, French-style beef steak, barbecue pork lo mein, beef chow fun, Hong Kong duck and ham fried rice along with a full dim sum menu served all day. Flavors are sublime, and portions are generous. Consider a party platter for a family gathering. We'll one day return to this bustling eatery for weekend dim sum, but in the meantime, don't deny yourself—order it to-go. (JW) 2882 W. 4700 South, Taylorsville, 801-747-2888,
2. Mandarin
3. Mom's Kitchen


Best Park City Restaurant
Riverhorse on Main

Offering a menu of eclectic American dishes, Forbes-rated Riverhorse on Main shines when it comes to spotlighting flavors of the West, like their trio of wild game with North American buffalo, venison and elk expertly paired with herb shallot butter and Oregon huckleberry, hand-cut buffalo tartare or pistachio-crusted local rainbow trout. Be sure to save room for apple bread pudding with award-winning Promontory cheddar from Beehive Cheese Co. (MW) 540 Main St., Park City, 435-649-3536,
2. Handle
3. Grappa

Best Italian Restaurant
Sicilia Mia

After a brief closure, Sicilia Mia diners are happy to be wowed once again by the tableside preparation of carbonara inside a warmed grana padano cheese wheel that's two feet wide. Grana padano, according to Sicilia Mia co-owner Giuseppe Mirenda, is the best cheese in Italy. Additional parmagiana pecorino cheese is added to the hot housemade noodles before they are blended inside the cheese wheel with other ingredients, including eggs and pancetta. Mirenda says the rich and delicious mushroom ravioli is returning by popular demand to Sicilia Mia's three currently open locations in Holladay, Farmington and 15th and 15th (the new La Trattoria de Francesco). Antica Sicilia is set to reopen mid-November, with all locations reducing their seating capacity by half while taking care to follow health department edicts, including wearing masks and seating guests six feet apart, Mirenda says. But if takeout is your thing, consider the highly flavorful Margherita pizza. "All pizza ingredients are premium—from the mozzarella to the tomato, to the basil," says Mirenda. (CC) Multiple locations,
2. Caffe Molise
3. Carmine's Italian Restaurant

Best Salt Lake Valley Restaurant
SLC Eatery

With its rustic-industrial interior and the constant motion of servers pushing dim sum-style food carts among its tables, SLC Eatery is in a league of its own. It's one of those places that bet big on a risky concept and quadrupled its return—which is why it's so fun to eat there. While it should be counted among Utah's most sleek and hip places to snag a bite to eat, there's an air of culinary mischief that permeates the revolving menu and rides invisibly among the amuse-bouches that wheel around the space. A visit to SLC Eatery is never short on surprises. (AS) 1017 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-7952,
2. Oquirrh
3. Provisions

Best Innovative Menu
Table X

If you've got a culinary rut that you'd like to get out of your system, then Table X needs to be on your list. This is a place where summer squash turns spaetzle into a work of art, and where perfectly cooked wild mushrooms are just as satisfying as a medium-rare steak. The innovative menu on display at Table X bespeaks impeccable taste. Only a few local places embrace the chaos of invention like Table X, which is why it continues to show up among Utah's finest restaurants. (AS) 1457 E. 3350 South, SLC, 385-528-3712,
2. Oquirrh
3. SLC Eatery


Best Restaurant Patio
Ruth's Diner

Few dining areas convey Utah's natural beauty as effectively as the patio at Ruth's Diner. It's lovely no matter when you visit, but if you're lucky enough to enjoy some of Ruth's homemade favorites as the sun sets on the Wasatch Mountains, it's impossible not to appreciate your backyard. Of course, fantastic patio dining can't happen without memorable food, which is something of a specialty at Ruth's Diner. A dinner of meatloaf or Atlantic salmon chased with a tall dish of Ruth's chocolate malt pudding while listening to the wind in the trees is usually enough to solve all of our problems—for a few sublime minutes, anyway. (AS) 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, SLC, 801-582-5807,
2. Tuscany
3. The Cliff Dining Pub

Best Greek Restaurant
The Other Place

In addition to The Other Place's buzzy breakfast-joint vibe, its traditional Greek lunch and dinner items are what secured its place as the "Sakis Rouvas" of local Greek food. Their gyros and kabobs are marinated and roasted to perfection—the gyro omelet is one of the finest cultural crossovers you can experience. For dinner, The Other Place serves up everything from traditional dishes like dolmathes and moussaka, to leg of lamb over rice. Though The Other Place rubs elbows with some of Salt Lake's hippest real estate, its staying power over several decades has made it a crucial part of the local community. (AS) 469 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-6567,
2. Manoli's
3. Greek Souvlaki

Best Ogden Restaurant

When it comes to Ogden, we're always amazed at two things: 1. the sheer number of great restaurants and clubs to be enjoyed there; and 2. why more Salt Lakers don't make the quick jaunt up Interstate 15 (or take FrontRunner to 25th Street). Tona is but one example of an O-town culinary destination that must be experienced; it's simply one of the finest eateries along the Wasatch Front. From bento and udon to sushi and sashimi and beyond, a Tona meal is well worth the journey. (MS) 210 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-8662,
2. Rooster's
3. Slackwater

Best Gluten-Free /Best Vegetarian

A haven for health-conscious foodies, Zest offers delicious dishes like nachos made with cashew sour cream and house veggie cheese, Cuban tacos with orange marinated jackfruit and vegan carrot cake. Everything on the menu is plant based, gluten-free, soy-free and vegetarian or vegan (owner Casey Staker is vegan himself), including creative takes on cocktails made with cold-pressed juices, fresh fruit and CBD oil. (MW) 275 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-433-0589,
Best Gluten-Free Runners-up
2. City Cakes
3. Good Food Gluten Free
Best Vegetarian Restaurant Runners up
2. Buds Sandwich Shop

3. Seasons Plant Based Bistro

Breakfast Nochos
  • Breakfast Nochos

Restaurants | Staff Picks

Best View & Brew
Brewvies Cinema Pub

There were few COVID-19 yearnings these past months like those of longing to sit back at your favorite theater to watch a movie. After a pause, Brewvies is back at it, once again serving up drinks, pool and movies (with reserved and safely distanced seating). They were the originator in this region for the cinemapub concept, and we're all happy to see the reels spinning once again at both locations. Play it again, Sam. (MS) 677 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-322-3891; 2293 Grant Ave., Ogden, 801-392-2012,

Best Taste of Argentina
Argentina's Best Empanadas

Ana Valdemoros makes damned good Argentinian empanadas. Without the big bucks for a brick-and-mortar restaurant, she put heads together with other talented chefs at the Square Kitchen incubator. Her food is cooked there and sold elsewhere. Thus, she doesn't cook food in her store—just sells the finished product. The lemon beef is to die for. (BDL) 357 S. 200 East, SLC, 801-548-8194,

Best Cross-culture Combo
Angry Korean

The cross-cultural comfort food boundaries get deliciously blurry at South Jordan's Angry Korean. Chicken wings, poke, sushi, tacos and the unapologetic Korean cheesesteak can all be found under one roof. Of course, fans of traditional Korean food will feel right at home with their menu of bulgogi and japchae, but The Angry Korean's ability to throw down so many different favorites and make them all taste amazing is what makes them special. One visit and they'll become a regular fixture in your takeout roster. Did I mention they also do po' boys, chicken sandwiches and steamed buns? Because they do all that, too. (AS) 11587 S. District, Main Drive, Ste. 300, South Jordan, 801-307-8300,

Best Breakfast Delicacies
Beaumont Bakery and Café

At Beaumont Bakery, bakers arrive at 3 a.m. to allow the dough to rise for the French pastries pre-laminated with layers of butter before being baked to perfection in the form of cruffins, croissants, stars and kouign-amann. Two or three turkeys are baked daily for the turkey sandwiches served on cranberry spice bread with a hint of cinnamon. Bacon jam, truffle aioli and a sprig of watercress highlight the truffle bun. Smoked paprika aioli adds zest to the french fries. The most popular dish is the avocado toast. "I recommend customers order avocado toast with the silkiness of our medium egg," says manager Jacob Johnson. "We feel like we give customers what they want: great setting, great view and great food," he says. "There's no compromising on the quality." The s'mores and peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are among the dessert favorites. (CC) 3979 Wasatch Blvd., Millcreek, 801-676-9340,

Best Sunday Funday
Carson Kitchen

Getting all sorts of buzz for everything from their "social plates" to secret-ingredient baked mac and cheese, newcomer Carson Kitchen really shines when it comes to their Sunday brunch menu—the drink menu, that is. Their "Day Drinking" offerings include soon-to-be cult faves like That's My Jam with bacon jam vodka, house bloody mary mix and fresh lime; The Dude Abides with citrus vodka, almond milk, cold brew liqueur and orange bitters; and the Water Malone featuring gin, watermelon, mint, fresh lemon and balsamic vinegar. (MW) 241 W. 200 South, SLC, 385-252-3200,

Best Mega Margaritas
Blue Iguana

The Blue Iguana has attracted diners for years to its colorful décor and decidedly fine array of Mexican dishes. But, let your eye wander the menu to the drinks section. There, you discover not only your standard tequila-lime drinks like the traditional Iguanarita, but the 16-ounce Grande Margarita (with brandy and Grande Marnier) and the 32-ounce (yes, a quart) Mega Margarita, which adds mango, peach, strawberry or lime to the standard Patron, triple sec and agave. If that sounds heavy, opt for the Coronarita—yep, a margarita with Corona beer. (MS) 165 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-533-8900,

Best Nostalgia Delivery
Buttered Bake Shop

One of the best things about growing up is discovering that talented professional bakers share your childhood love of Pop Tarts and Dunkaroos. The folks at Buttered Bake Shop understand the hardwired devotion that adults have for the boxed snacks that they grew up on, and they've made such great improvements. Their Pop Tarts are flaky, buttery and packed with fruity tartness, and their crisp shortbread Dunkaroos with rainbow sprinkle frosting are infinitely munchable. Buttered Bake Shop is currently delivery-only, but their user-friendly Instagram ordering process makes getting a tasty goody box easy—and pandemic friendly. (AS)

Best Double-Date Dinner
Cafe Trio

The challenge of any double date is splitting the check with the other couple—just about every time they offer to "go down the middle," they've had two more drinks than you or the other date ate most of the appetizer. Dinner math is the easiest with pizza and flatbreads, and at Cafe Trio, you get fantastic grub, an expansive wine list and the benefit of impressing your significant other sans any awkwardness at the cash register. (MS) 680 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-533-8746,

Best Rock-Solid Dining
Red Rock Brewery

Red Rock, now with three brewpubs—two in Salt Lake, one in Park City—plus a beer store in the Marmalade District, has been a rock-solid force in the Utah brewing scene since the mid-1990s. Always good, always consistent, always top drawer quality. A major reason for their success has been their strong commitment to superior foods to complement their equally superior beers. From the start, the pasta and wood-fired pizzas were a hit, and we can't resist the Cobb salad. Others die for the French onion soup. The burgers are stellar. Trust us, everything is good. Always. (MS) Multiple locations,

Best New Lebanese
Beirut Cafe

For many years, the cherished Cedars of Lebanon reigned supreme in this category. As a longtime City Weekly favorite, of course, we were sad to hear of Cedars' closing, but fear not. Head out to Murray to the unassuming Beirut Cafe for your traditional Lebanese favorites. The thyme pie is a dish you'll likely not find anywhere else. It also would be impossible to go to a traditional Lebanese joint without ordering the baba ghanouj and falafel, both of which are flawless. (MS) 1326 E. 5600 South, Murray, 801-679-1688,


Best Masala Meets Mangia
Curry Pizza

It was a good day for the world when the owners of Curry Pizza decided to combine traditional Indian dishes with pizza. Their stroke of genius makes us wonder why no one in our neck of the woods had thought of it before. Now that the idea is in full flight, Curry Pizza has expanded from its origins in the small Southern Utah town of Bicknell to locations in South Jordan and West Valley. With a concept as brilliant as combining the convenience and party appeal of pizza with the vibrant flavors found in traditional Indian cuisine, it's no surprise that Curry Pizza has taken off in such style. (AS) Multiple locations,

Best Healthy Mediterranean
Couscous Mediterranean Grill

With nearly nothing unhealthy about Mediterranean food to start with, it's hard to make it even healthier. Enter Couscous. Besides all the vegetarian, lean meats and seafood options, Couscous takes it up a notch by preparing and cooking all their servings with heart-healthy olive oil. For toppers, they present a gluten-free category that includes quinoa or zucchini noodles. Try their Mediterranean nachos made with garbanzo chips. (MS) 5470 S. 900 East, Ste. A, Murray, 801-938-8307,

Best Crepes Catering
Dali Crepes

If your summer European trip was canceled due to COVID-19, try pretending West Temple is the Champs-Élysées as you stroll to Dali Crepes, Utah's newest creperie. Along with their brick-and-mortar location, Dali Crepes wants to bring their crepe cook to cater your next Christmas party, wedding reception or work event. Don't limit yourself to the nutella and fruit—their crepes can include protein, cheese and other savory items. (MS) 2854 S. West Temple, SLC, 385-228-4280,

Best Tomahawk Tuesday
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Fleming's is a local favorite for the carnivore/meat-lover crowd. Do you consider yourself a steak aficionado? If so, you're likely familiar with the Holy Grail of steaks, the tomahawk. Featuring a most-impressive amount of meat, Fleming's version of the tomahawk is a 35-ounce ribeye steak for two (obviously) that's served with salads, sides and desserts—if you have room. (MS) 20 S. 400 West, SLC, 801-355-3704,

Best Orange Chicken
Ginger Street

Ginger Street wows in so many ways. From its funky vibe highlighted by its distinct, bright-pink neon sign to its walk-up ice cream window, the ecletic downtown eatery is as upbeat as it is tasty. Say goodbye to Panda Express—the casual Asian restaurant has killer orange chicken, with a nice blend of zest, scallion, chili powder and rice. (MS) 324 S. State, SLC, 385-477-4975,


Best Presentation
HSL, Handle Park City

Partners Briar Handly, Melissa Gray and Meagan Nash created Handle Park City and Handle Salt Lake (HSL) with a vision of curating a masterful American cuisine dining experience, interesting wines and thoughtful cocktails. Every dish at the restaurants is artistic and tasty—each a carefully crafted, Instagram-worthy (oh, those Millennials!) presentation. (MS) 418 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-539-9999; 136 Heber Ave, Park City, 435-602-1155,

Best Reason to Be a Mall Rat
HallPass at the Gateway

Remember hanging out at the mall food court in high school, where the scent of freshly baked Cinnabon rolls swirled with aromas of Sbarro and Hot Dog on a Stick? Gateway has taken that memory to a whole new level with HallPass, a food court concept catering to adults featuring offerings like Nashville hot chicken, lobster rolls, ramen and cocktails—yes, cocktails!—in a contemporary, art-forward space that encourages you to not take this whole "adulting" thing too seriously. (MW) 153 S. Rio Grande St., Ste. 107, SLC, 801-415-9886,

Best Hard-to-Find Appetizers
Hearth & Hill

Hearth & Hill, a welcoming gathering place in Park City, has a collection of some of the tastiest and "out there" appetizers. The shrimp bagna cauda is a must try, which is a traditional Italian dish made with garlic and anchovies. Hearth & Hill also serves up tostadas, pierogis, gyoza, truffle mac 'n' cheese, ahi poke bowl and other specialties from around the world. (MS) 1153 Center Drive, Park City, 435-200-8840,

Best Asian Farm to Table
Hong Kong Tea House & Restaurant

As one of Utah's fantastic Cantonese restaurants, Hong Kong Tea House is a go-to for delicious small bites such as dumplings and dim sum. But it's also one of few downtown ethnic restaurants that's farm-to-table. Hong Kong Tea House has a booth at the Downtown Farmers Market each week selling greens and veggies. Then, they add those ingredients to their huge menu of dim sum and Chinese recipes. Ah, farm fresh! You've never tasted better. (BDL & MS) 565 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-531-7010,

Best Anniversary Dinner
Log Haven

Just because COVID has made us nervous about dining out doesn't mean all our special occasions come to a screeching halt. Log Haven hasn't forgotten what it takes to keep the magic alive, and to that end, they've created a spectacular meal, one that can be pre-ordered, picked up and enjoyed at home after a delightful canyon drive with your honey bunch. Executive chef David Jones' Beef Wellington dinner for two is a boneless beef filet wrapped in layers of finely chopped mushrooms and puff pastry, then baked to perfection. It's served with fingerling potatoes, a side vegetable and a red-wine demi-glace. Plus, you can kick things off with a classic Caesar salad and top it off with a decadent dessert, all for $125. Before 2020 came around, would you have ever entertained the idea of ordering a heavenly meal such as this as takeout! Log Haven's Anniversary Dinner is one to tell the grandkids about. (JW) 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, SLC, 801-272-8255,


Best Ribs & Relics
Kaiser's BBQ & General Store

Among the number of rib and BBQ joints in town, Kaiser's is the one that proudly hails itself as a Texas-style eatery. Good choice, since Texas is regarded as the king of BBQ, and Kaiser's brings it home to Utah with an array of slow cooked and tasty selections such as brisket, pork ribs and rib tips on their menu. While you're waiting, don't forget to peruse of the general store offerings including yard decorations made of metal and wrought iron. (MS) 962 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-355-0499,

Best Ogden Pizza
Lucky Slice

Historic 25th Street in Ogden is home to Lucky Slice, a welcoming pizzeria with gourmet sauces and ingredients, with pies sold whole or by the slice. Since opening, Lucky Slice has seen a hockey stick spike in popularity and has expanded to locations in Logan, Clearfield and Powder Mountain. Salt Lake resident? No problem. Lucky Slice frequents the city in their food truck. (MS) Multiple locations,

Best Greek Fusion

Partners Manoli Katsanevas and Katrina Cutrubus opened Manoli's with a goal to serve their ancestral Greek heritage favorites with modern flair. One of the finest restaurants Salt Lake has to offer, Manoli's serves up classic Greek meze (appetizers and shared plates) such as yemista (stuffed peppers), tiropita (cheese pie) and kritharaki (orzo and cheddar). Seafood lovers will enjoy the psari psito, a pan-seared branzino served with out-of-this-world lemon roasted potatoes. (MS) 402 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-532-3760,

Best Reason to Drive to Orem
Mora Iced Creamery

With over 70 rotating gourmet flavors to choose from (48 on any given day), Mora Iced Creamery has earned accolades from the likes of Food + Wine magazine and has quickly become a Utah County favorite with offerings like dulce de leche, swiss chocolate, green tea and lemon bar. Drop by the store to taste test all the flavors or order pints of ice cream online for home delivery. (MW) 541 E. University Parkway, Orem, 385-236-3319,

Best Eastern Expansion
Nomad East

Situated near the Salt Lake City International Airport, Nomad Eatery is often the first stop for travelers in search of Justin Soelberg's irresistible comfort food. But the American-style eatery recently expanded to the city's east side in the form of Nomad East. The second venture specializes in shared plates and boasts two large pizza ovens and patio seating—it's quieter here without jets coming and going overhead, but both locations are worthy of a night out. (MS) Nomad Eatery, 2110 W. North Temple, SLC, 801-938-9629,; Nomad East, 1675 E. 1300 South, SLC, 801-883-9791,


Best Party Baskets
Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers

There are few things as beautiful as a party basket from Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers. You bring in this hefty aluminum tin and peel off the covering to reveal a stack of freshly made chicken fingers, heaping piles of crinkle fries and a stack of buttered toast slices just waiting for you to dive in. I don't know if it's the arrangement, the absurdity or the simplicity that makes one's heart fill with joy at the sight, but there's something magical about this big ol' plate of chicken fingers. Whether you're throwing one of those things we used to have—parties, I think they were called—or just want to chow down with your family, the party baskets at Mr. Charlie's do not disappoint. (AS) 554 W. 4500 South, Murray, 801-803-9486,

Best Patio Dining With a Side of Enlightenment
Oasis Cafe

The beautiful courtyard patio and adjacent covered breezeway at Oasis Cafe has long been a favorite of diners in search of al fresco fare, but perhaps even more so this year. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cafe's socially distanced dining among planters blooming with summertime buds shaded under canvas canopies already has us longing for next spring. (MW) 151 S. 500 East, SLC, 801-322-0404,

Best Locally Sourced Menu
Oquirrh Restaurant

With a name like Oquirrh (OH-ker, for you California transplants), you know owners Andrew and Angelena Fuller's have a commitment to the local community, including using locally grown and produced food. COVID closures have hit them hard, and we're crossing our fingers their GoFundMe campaign keeps them going so we can continue to enjoy this cozy downtown bistro. For newbies, try the housemade spaghetti, made with Bolognese, house ricotta and chili flake. Dessert is provided by another local establishment, Normal Ice Cream. (MS) 368 E. 100 South, SLC, 801-359-0426,

Best Escape From the City—in the City

Step into Pallet in downtown Salt Lake City, and you'll feel like you're anywhere but. The decor and ambiance are rustic-yet-modern. Pallet's dim lighting and muted brick with wood flooring create an atmosphere unlike any other dining experience in the neighborhood. The menu is unique and creative, offering hearty and delicious cuisine—a few drinks and a meal here make you feel like you've escaped your daily grind. (MS) 237 S. 400 West, SLC, 801-935-4431,

Best New Home for Tapas Tuesday

The owners of Porch—who also owned the now-closed small-plate sensation of Meditrina—have woven crowd-pleasing tapas into the Porch menu but with new touches. Along with some of their past hits, Porch offers patrons American classic cuisine, Southern comfort food and shared plates. Enjoy their Tapas Tuesday special, a selection of five plates for just $30, or weekend brunch. (MS) 11274 S. Kestrel Rise Road, South Jordan, 801-679-1066,


Best German
Siegfried's Delicatessen

With the growth of downtown the past few years, we've seen many newcomers already come and go. We're so happy that Siegfried's has held its own for more than 40 years. As one of the last bastions of the "under $10 lunch" downtown, it's easy to see why lines form early and stay strong throughout the lunch hours. You just can't go wrong with the bratwurst and real mustard. Yes, real German mustard that you can buy from their market to level up your home-grilled brats and burgers. (MS) 20 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-355-3891,

Best Hawaii in Herriman
Salty Pineapple

We've got a fair selection of traditional Hawaiian grills along the Wasatch Front, but there's something that stands out about Salty Pineapple. For starters, it's the slice of fresh pineapple you get with your order. Another is their perfectly sweet-and-spicy pineapple jalapeño sauce. All I can say is, it's been a long time since I've visited Herriman this much. Lately, my go-to order is the pineapple jalapeño chicken with the kalua pork, but their katsu chicken and teriyaki beef are also fantastic. They give you more than enough food to fill you up, but should you be in the mood for some sweet to go along with your savory, their guava cake is a light and fluffy confection that's oh-so-pretty in pink. (AS) 13262 S. 5600 West, Herriman, 801-890-0532,

Best Park City Hangover Cure
The Cabin

Night out on the town in Park City? Partygoers at The Cabin are quick to return to the origins of their debauchery for breakfast or lunch, where they find a nifty patio and welcoming interior. The breakfast sandwich is a masterful blend of housemade maple habanero sausage, avocado, brown sugar bacon, cheddar, egg and kimchi aioli. The Main Street bar has a number of delectable pizzas, sandwiches and shareables. (MS) 427 Main St., Park City, 435-565-2337,

Best Family-Style Dining in Ogden
Union Grill

After being tucked cozily in Ogden's Union Station for 25 years where it catered to locals, newcomers, travelers and train workers, Union Grill moved to 24th Street in 2016. The move gave the eatery the chance to enhance their offerings for Ogdenites. They famously serve up a delicious family-style menu, including their legendary pasta salad, an Ogden classic. (MS) 315 24th St., Ogden, 801-621-2830,

Best Apres-Ski Hob-Nobbing
Porcupine Pub & Grille

Nestled at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Porcupine in Cottonwood Heights is a much-beloved watering hole for apres-ski refueling since 1998. Skiers, snowboarders, cyclists and hikers frequent the pub and grill for their famous nachos, fish tacos and expansive selection of local beers, wines and spirits. Further north, by the University of Utah, Porcupine is a noshing and brews hub for students. (MS) 3698 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-942-5555; 258 S. 1300 East, SLC, 801-582-5555;

Best Mini French Vacation
The French Spot

International travel not in the cards? Simply head south to Cedar City and drop by The French Spot. Owned by Lyonese chef Michael Attali and managed by his daughter Leah, their walk-up window offers homemade croissants, crepes, quiche and macarons alongside the most perfect cappuccino you've ever sipped. Don't let its tiny facade fool you; the daily lunch and dinner specials hold their own against any Michelin-starred French restaurant—and, no passport is required.(MW) 5 N. Main St., Cedar City, 347-886-8587,

Best Study Spot
Publik Coffee

Roast, grind, brew. Sit, study, sip and repeat. Publik Coffee and Kitchen's four locations (though two are temporarily closed due to COVID-19) are havens for college-age folk to hunker down over a cup of joe, avocado toast and textbooks. Publik has a contemporary vibe and offers enough privacy and Wi-Fi bandwidth for students to complete their studies. Among the coffee shops in town, Publik's fantastic food fare is tough to beat. (MS) Multiple locations,

Best Restaurant Personality
Valter's Osteria

Ciao bella! Valter Nassi, the proprietor of Valter's Osteria, is often seen going table to table, welcoming new diners into his establishment as if they were lifelong friends. The ringmaster is a huge restaurant personality in Utah, and his fare is an ode to traditional Italian cooking. A classy selection is the gnocchi all'arrabbiata. Or if you're looking for an adventure, allow Nassi to make your dinner choice for you. (MS) 173 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-4563,

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

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