Off the Eaten Path | Outdoor Recreation Guide | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Off the Eaten Path 

Play hard, then eat hearty at these far-flung Utah restaurants.

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Maybe you’ve just had the most epic day of your life. Or maybe you’ve had a day of nonstop crashes and burns. Either way, that handful of trail mix just isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, whether you’re looking to celebrate or commiserate, there’s no adventurous corner of Utah that’s not also equipped to satisfy your hunger.

Rusty’s Ranch House
Cedar City

Nearby outdoor adventure: Cedar Breaks National Monument

Tromping around at 10,000 feet can kindle a beast of an appetite. So once you’ve had enough of the amphitheater hoodoos, mosey down Highway 14 to Rusty’s and go crazy. For a rustic mountain hideaway, Rusty’s has an impressively robust menu. The ravenous might enjoy the 10-ounce filet mignon and ranch fries (cheese fries with barbecue sauce), while a salmon Caesar salad might be a better light choice for those heading to the Shakespeare Festival later on. 2275 Highway 14, Cedar City, 435-586-3839,


Cowboy’s Smokehouse Cafe
Nearby outdoor adventure: Bryce Canyon National Park

For a national park, Bryce Canyon has a lot of on-the-premises eating options. But if you want to avoid the tour-bus cattle call, head to quaint Panguitch for some quiet barbecue. Big portions and some familiar Salt Lake brews are just what the vacationing Utahn needs to wind down the day. 95 N. Main, Panguitch, 435-676-8030,

Lakeside Pizza & Pantry
Garden City

Nearby outdoor adventure: Bear Lake

Thanks to the good grub and raspberry shakes, we’ll let it pass that Lakeside is technically two blocks away from the water. Boaters, waterskiers, hikers and sunbathers all know to head here to load up on calories when in Rich County. Really cut loose with the Dan’s Request pizza, piled high with extra pepperoni, sausage, onions and peppers. The ice cream is good enough to merit its own pit stop on the way in or out of town. 70 W. Logan Road, Garden City, 435-946-2870,

Huntsville Barbecue Company

Nearby outdoor adventure: Pineview Reservoir, Snowbasin Ski Resort

Head east from Ogden and you’ll end up in the Lone Star State. After a day at Pineview, jump off the boat and paddle over to Huntsville Barbecue Company to satisfy your ravenous sun-fueled appetite with a platter of juicy, slow-smoked barbecue. In the winter, it’s a natural stop after skiing, and the food is good enough to merit a trip on its own any time of year. 235 S. 7400 East, Huntsville, 801-745-2745,

Browning’s Corner Cafe

Nearby outdoor adventure: Flaming Gorge

The fried chicken here comes in two sizes: three-piece and 100-piece, and only sissies want just three. Flaming Gorge is one of Utah’s true remote escapes, and Browning’s combination motel/restaurant lives the part. An oasis between nowhere and nowhere, you’ll find a lot of good food—handmade onion rings, blueberry shakes, even Prime rib—in this fun little hut. 18 E. Highway 43, Manila, 435-784-3088,


Castle Creek Winery
Nearby outdoor adventure: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park

To out-of-staters, a Utah winery sounds like a joke, and it can garner a sideways glance even from Moab regulars. But take the time to head out for a Castle Creek tasting, and you’ll find your trunk piled high with reds and whites. Park yourself at the bar and sample the wares right on the Colorado River while the rush of the day melts away. Milepost 14 Highway 128, Moab, 435-259-3332,

Peace Tree Juice Cafe

Nearby outdoor adventure: Manti-La Sal National Forest

Much more fish-out-of-water than its sister location in Moab, Peace Tree is quite the San Juan County find. With peace signs emblazoned everywhere here, road trippers will find fare that trends firmly toward the organic. So grab a smoothie and a wrap and hit the viney patio. It’ll make you want to schedule an Abajo Mountains vacation every year. 516 N. Main, Monticello, 435-587-5063,

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