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Salt Lake City Area's 10 Best Restaurants

By Zagat Staff
October 4, 2013

There's much more to the Salt Lake City area than its proximity to ski resorts and film fests - it's also home to a formidable and varied dining scene. But which restaurants are the best? Click through the slideshow to see which ones surveyors like the most, and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the current survey

  • No. 10: Copper Onion

    “Delicious” “twists” on regional “comfort foods” that are as “unique as its name” make this New American a “refreshing” option Downtown; it’s “a great place to grab a bite before a flick at the Broadway” next door, not least of all because the atmosphere is “unpretentious”, the “staff is knowledgeable and friendly” and the “prices are really good.”

    111 E. Broadway; 801-355-3282

  • No. 9: Pizzeria 712

    This “fashionable, hip place” in “bland-national-chain-addicted” Orem specializes in “innovative”, “fantastically delicious” wood-fired pizzas based on seasonal ingredients and paired with “tasty starters” plus “wonderful wines”; it’s “ridiculously cheap” for being relatively “classy”, and contrary to its locale in a “giant” office complex, it boasts an “intimate” feel.

    320 S. State St., Orem; 801-623-6712

  • No. 8: Red Iguana & Red Iguana II

    “In the mood for mole?” – Downtowners declare “this is the place”, as the “fantastic selection” of the aforementioned sauce is the star of the “outstanding”, “authentic, cheap” Mexican menu; “charming” staffers are “pretty quick for being so busy” – still, expect “lines winding out the door” for both the “funky”, “cramped, always bustling” original and the sequel, with “bright, cheerful colors”, “chrome accents” and a small patio.

    736 W. North Temple St.; 801-322-1489
    866 W. South Temple; 801-214-6050

  • No. 7: Seafood Buffet

    For a “seafood fantasy come true”, dig into the “amazing” variety of fish “you wouldn’t know came from a buffet” (plus “plenty of prime rib” and “yummy” desserts) at this “rustic” retreat in Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge; it’s “expensive”, but given the “extravagant amount of food”, it could be “the best deal in town” if you’re “really, really hungry”; “alas, only in ski season” is it open.

    2250 Deer Valley Dr., Deer Valley; 435-645-6632

  • No. 6: Hell's Backbone Grill

    At this “remote jewel” at the “wonderful Boulder Mountain Lodge” in Southern Utah’s Red Rock desert, the “inventive”, “outstanding” American menu is “prepared with love” using “fresh veggies and spices” from its “own farm” plus “locally raised” meats; everything’s “served with honest pleasure” by the “professional staff” in the “funky, fun” setting, which is “casual” enough for “families” but sufficiently “romantic” for couples; P.S. open March 15–Thanksgiving.

    20 N. Hwy 12, Boulder; 435-335-7464

  • No. 5: Tree Room

    “The room exudes warmth while the food and service say opulence” at this “lovely place for a splurge” at Sundance, where owner “Robert Redford’s American Indian artifacts” fill a “rustic, elegant” room that “surrounds a tree” and is “surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful mountains”; well known for its “impeccable game” dishes, the regional U.S. menu boasts a “sustainable, local” pedigree and is matched by a “worthwhile wine list.”

    9521 Alpine Loop Rd., Sundance; 801-223-4200

  • No. 4: Mandarin

    “Extraordinary”, “gourmet Chinese” offered in “abundant” servings, at “reasonable” prices and with “to-die-for Western desserts”, make this Bountiful “staple” “worth the drive” from SLC – or even “from Idaho”; the “classic” setting with “lovely” “carved screens and ornamented ceilings” makes for an “entertaining” atmosphere, but be prepared for “long waits” to be seated – the “locals are very aware how special this place is.”

    348 E. 900 North, Bountiful; 801-298-2406

  • No. 3: Takashi

    “Who needs to go to NY or LA for great sushi” when “master craftsman” Takashi Gibo whips up “an exceptional selection” of “creative”, “super-fresh fish” with “Peruvian tangents” right at this Downtown “hot spot”?; the “cool green room with splashes of bright artwork” plus the “extensive sake selection” befit the “hipsters, stars-in-town” and other “trendy clientele”, and all things considered, everything comes “at a good price.”

    18 W. Market St.; 801-519-9595

  • No. 2: Forage

    “Edgy, exciting” combinations of “seasonal produce” “will shock and awe your palate” at this “unique” Eastside New American, whose “superbly crafted”, “artistically presented” prix fixes come from two “passionate” chef-owners; “imaginative wine pairings” bolster the “cosmopolitan experience”, and if some find the intimate, “minimally decorated” space “too stark”, at least the staff is “warm” (“efficient” too); BTW, “it’s dinner or the mortgage, not both.”

    370 E. 900 South; 801-708-7834

  • No. 1: The Mariposa

    “Amazing” New American cuisine – earning the No. 1 Food score in the Salt Lake City/Mountain Resorts Survey – and an “excellent wine list” make this “beautiful”, “romantic”, winter-only Alpine lodge a “Deer Valley must” for a “special occasion”; tabs are unsurprisingly “expensive, but you get what you pay for”, including “knowledgeable”, “ingratiating” service.

    7600 Royal St., Deer Valley; 435-645-6715

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