Unique Restaurants in Utah: 12 Coolest Places to Eat in UT

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Utah
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Are you searching for unusual places to eat in Utah? From the stunning landscapes of the Wasatch Mountains to the bustling streets of Salt Lake City, here are 12 of UT’s coolest places to eat.

If you’re anything like me, finding unique places to eat in Utah is like hitting the jackpot on a road trip through this stunning state.

Picture this: dining under the stars inside a cozy yurt, sipping cocktails in a 1920s speakeasy vibe, or exploring the rich tastes of Afghanistan without leaving the state. I’ve been on a quest to find Utah’s best restaurants, and the treasures I’ve discovered are too good not to share.

In Utah, dining out is an adventure with surprises around every corner. I found a Thai gem that’s all about bold flavors in an unassuming spot, and a log cabin where gourmet meets the great outdoors. Think that’s exciting? We’re just getting warmed up.

Ready for a dive into the coolest restaurants in Utah? Let’s get started!

The top restaurants to visit in Utah right now

Coolest Places to Eat in UT

Ready to uncover Utah’s best restaurants? We’re about to dive into an incredible selection of eateries, from high-end dining marvels to charming hidden spots. Let’s embark on a journey to the most unique places to eat in UT, enticing you to stay in this state and savor the culinary flavors.

Ever imagined dining under the vast, starlit Utah sky or inside a cozy yurt nestled in the mountains? Or what about enjoying gourmet dishes in a place that celebrates the roaring ’20s? Utah’s dining landscape is as varied and majestic as its natural wonders. Here’s your ultimate guide to the most unique restaurants in Utah, one of the top places to visit in the Southwest USA.

1. Afghan Kitchen

Afghan Kitchen is where Salt Lake City gets a taste of Middle Eastern magic. For six years, this gem in Utah has been dishing out authentic flavors straight from Kabul. Think you know Afghan cuisine? Wait till you try their specialties.

From the get-go, Afghan Kitchen aimed to share a slice of Afghanistan. They serve up a mix of spiced meats and colorful vegetarian options. The magic lies in their dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients and fair trade spices, ensuring every dish is a hit.

The vibe? Imagine walking into a place where you’re immediately wrapped in warmth and welcome. Believe me, every visit here is a memorable one. A tip from me: Ask the chef for a recommendation. It’s a guaranteed delight.

For those searching for fun places to eat in Utah, Afghan Kitchen is a standout choice. It’s an experience that goes beyond dining, offering a peek into the rich, flavorful world of Afghan cuisine. Definitely a spot I recommend for a taste adventure that’s hard to top.

Afghan Kitchen is one of the unique restaurants in Utah.
Afghan Kitchen offers a six-year taste of authentic Middle Eastern flavors from Kabul.

2. Prairie Schooner

Heading to Ogden, Utah, and looking for a dining experience that’s out of the ordinary? Prairie Schooner is where you want to be. Picture this: dining inside a covered wagon, with the warm glow of an open prairie fire nearby. It’s a step back into the American Pioneer West, recreated right inside the restaurant.

The menu is as impressive as the setting, featuring hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and desserts that’ll have you loosening your belt. Whether it’s a date night, a special celebration, or a big gathering, the vibe here makes every occasion feel extra special.

I’ve been to my fair share of cool restaurants in Utah, but Prairie Schooner truly stands out. Dining under the canopy of a covered wagon, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time, but with all the comforts of modern dining. Make sure you try the steak – it’s phenomenal.

So, if you’re cruising through Ogden and craving an experience that’s as memorable as the meal, Prairie Schooner is my top recommendation. It’s one of the best restaurants in Utah that you won’t want to miss.

Discover Prairie Schooner, where you can dine inside a covered wagon amid the warm glow of an open prairie fire.
Discover Prairie Schooner, where you can dine inside a covered wagon amid the warm glow of an open prairie fire.

3. Japan-Sage Market

If you’re on the hunt for authentic Japanese food in Salt Lake City, let me point you to a spot that’s been a local favorite for a century. Yes, you read that right—100 years! This place is a one-stop shop for groceries, gifts, and some of the best ramen you’ll ever taste.

I’m talking about Japan-Sage Market. Whether you’re craving their famous ramen, a hearty bento, or just some home-style cooking, this place has it all. And let’s not forget about the shopping. You can find unique gifts and all the ingredients you need to try your hand at Japanese cooking at home.

Now, let me tell you about the ramen. Trust me, it’s a game-changer. The first time I tried it, I knew this wasn’t just any bowl of noodles. It’s the kind of meal that makes you plan your next visit before you’ve even left.

For anyone looking for unique restaurants in Salt Lake City, Japan-Sage Market is a must-visit. It’s an experience that brings a piece of Japan to Salt Lake City. So, do yourself a favor and check it out. Your taste buds will thank you!

Japan-Sage Market is one of the unique restaurants in Utah.
Japan-Sage Market offers a variety of Japanese culinary delights along with a shopping experience.

4. Tea Rose Diner

Oh, have I stumbled upon a gem for all you Thai food lovers out there! Located in Murray, Utah, Tea Rose Diner might just serve the best Thai food you’ll find outside of Thailand. It’s an incredible hole-in-the-wall spot where the magic of authentic Thai cooking happens.

Here’s the scoop: the spice level game is real, ranging from 1 to 5. If you’re new to the spice rodeo, I’d say start with the 1-3 range, where they fine-tune the heat in 0.5 increments. Feeling brave? A level 2 might just be your sweet spot. But a word to the wise, if spicy isn’t your middle name, tread lightly.

Now, let’s talk must-tries: the khao soi and masaman curry. Believe me, these dishes are a flavor explosion you don’t want to miss. The khao soi is a creamy, dreamy noodle delight, and the masaman curry? It’s the kind of comfort food that hugs your soul.

This Thai spot is a winner for anyone looking for unique Utah restaurants. Remember, parking can be tight, but it’s worth it for a bite of their heavenly khao soi and rich masaman curry. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem in Murray, UT!

Tea Rose Diner offers the best Thai cuisine outside of Thailand in an authentic hole-in-the-wall setting.
Tea Rose Diner offers the best Thai cuisine outside of Thailand in an authentic hole-in-the-wall setting.

5. Log Haven

Hunting for the best places to eat in Utah? Log Haven in the Wasatch National Forest is a standout choice. Minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, this restaurant offers a dining experience enveloped in natural beauty. Recognized as one of the Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. by USA Today, it’s a destination for those who love their meals served with a side of spectacular views.

Why do I keep coming back to Log Haven? The ambiance and the menu. Dining in a historic log mansion, you’re surrounded by the tranquility of wildflowers and waterfalls. The dishes here are a celebration of flavors, carefully crafted to complement the setting.

For anyone seeking an extraordinary dining experience in Utah, Log Haven is my top pick. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a special celebration, offering both an impressive menu and an atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere. Trust me, a meal here is an experience you won’t forget!

Log Haven is a top dining choice offering a natural beauty dining experience.
Log Haven is a top dining choice offering a natural beauty dining experience.

6. Black Sheep Café

In my opinion, one of the best places to eat in Provo is Black Sheep Cafe. Here, the magic of “from-scratch” cooking transforms every dish into a masterpiece.

Why choose Black Sheep Cafe? First off, their commitment to freshly made food sets them apart. With about 80% of their offerings made from scratch daily, you’re guaranteed a meal that’s not only innovative but also bursting with flavor. From hand-peeled fries to sauces that sing with freshness, every bite tells a story of dedication and passion.

But what truly makes Black Sheep Cafe a unique place to eat in Utah is its Native American Southwestern fusion cuisine. It’s a celebration of cultures, creating dishes that are as delightful to the palate as they are to the soul. And if you’re looking for an extra special experience, their “Pop-Up Dinners” are a must-attend. These one-night-only events showcase the best of what fusion cuisine can offer, in an atmosphere that’s both intimate and exhilarating.

If the allure of trying something new and adventurous in Provo excites you, this is your spot. I recommend starting with the Cactus Pear Lemonade and Sweet Potato Wedges. At Black Sheep Cafe, expect the unexpected and leave with memories of a meal that’s truly one of a kind.

Black Sheep Cafe is one of the unique restaurants in Utah.
Black Sheep Cafe offers unique Native American Southwestern fusion cuisine and must-attend “Pop-Up Dinners”

7. Burgertory

Burgatory has quickly become a go-to in West Valley City for anyone craving a burger with a side of the extraordinary. This spot surprises with its horror movie poster-clad exterior. Inside, the ambiance is a tribute to classic cinema thrillers and monster movies. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most fun restaurants in Utah.

The menu plays along, offering burgers with names like ‘Exorswiss Mushroom’ that promise a thematic dining experience. The burges here hit all the right notes: thick, juicy, and cooked just right. While I personally could go for a few more toppings, the thick-cut fries and delicious onion rings leave little room for complaint.

Located in West Valley City, Burgatory is a top choice for those looking to spice up their dining routine with a bit of fun. The unique setting and playful menu make every visit memorable. If you find yourself in the area and in the mood for something different, Burgatory’s blend of great flavors and a horror-themed vibe is sure to satisfy.

Burgatory in Utah features extraordinary burgers with a horror movie-themed exterior and a tribute to classic cinema thrillers.
Burgatory features extraordinary burgers with a horror movie-themed exterior and a tribute to classic cinema thrillers. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

8. O’Falafel

Let me tell you about a spot that’s close to my heart: O’Falafel. This place is a slice of Jerusalem right here in Salt Lake City, thanks to the vision and passion of owner Osama Khader. Opening its doors in 2008, it’s been a go-to for anyone craving authentic, healthy Mediterranean cuisine.

Osama’s story is as flavorful as the dishes he serves. Coming from a family with a rich culinary background in Jerusalem, he brought more than recipes to Salt Lake City – he brought a legacy. His love for Mediterranean flavors and a heritage steeped in baking and cooking are the secret ingredients that make dining at O’Falafel a unique experience.

Every visit feels like being welcomed into a family gathering, where the food is not only delicious but also tells a story. If you’re in the mood for a meal that’s packed with history, flavor, and heart, O’Falafel is the place. You’ll quickly see why many locals call this place one of the hidden gems in Salt Lake City.

O’Falafel is a go-to for authentic and healthy Mediterranean cuisine, offering a taste of Jerusalem.
O’Falafel is a go-to for authentic and healthy Mediterranean cuisine, offering a taste of Jerusalem.

9. Laan Na Thai

Laan Na Thai in SLC is a hidden gem that’s stolen my foodie heart. This cozy mom & pop shop serves up the kind of drunken noodles that’ll have you dreaming about them for days. Their fast, friendly service shines through, even on the busiest nights or when you’re grabbing takeout.

Watching them whip up dishes fresh right after ordering is like getting a front-row seat to culinary magic. It’s no wonder I consider Laan Na Thai one of the best Utah restaurants. It’s like a culinary teleport back to Thailand, outshining any Asian restaurant I’ve tried back home in Boston.

Run by the sweetest Thai couple, the place is small and inviting, a perfect backdrop for a menu that, while not extensive, is crafted with expertise and love. The Pad Thai? Phenomenal. And don’t get me started on the yellow curry chicken – it’s a flavor bomb in the best way possible.

If you find yourself in Salt Lake City with a craving for Thai, Laan Na Thai is where you need to be. Trust me, you won’t find a more genuine Thai experience anywhere else.

Laan Na Thai is a hidden gem offering unforgettable drunken noodles and fast, friendly service.
Laan Na Thai is a hidden gem offering unforgettable drunken noodles and fast, friendly service.

10. Five Alls Restaurant


Heading out for a special night in Utah and searching for that perfect spot? Look no further than The Five Alls. This place is a slice of fine dining history in Utah, charming locals and visitors alike since 1969 with its gourmet English fare.

Celebrating something big? An anniversary, a birthday bash, or just made it through another Monday? The Five Alls is where you want to be. Picture this: golden sunset views over the Salt Lake Valley as the backdrop to a lavish five-course meal. And let me tell you, choosing between their famous Chicken Kiev and the decadent Filet Oscar is going to be your toughest decision of the night.

It’s not just about the main course, though. Their house-made bread and unique sauces kick off the experience with a bang, setting the stage for what’s to come. You absolutely can’t skip their cheesecake, either. It’s the kind of dessert that dreams are made of, crafted from scratch and the perfect finale to an unforgettable meal.

So, if you’re on the hunt for unique places in Utah to eat for that special evening, The Five Alls should be at the top of your list.

The Five Alls, charming since 1969, is the perfect spot for a special night with gourmet English fare.
The Five Alls, charming since 1969, is the perfect spot for a special night with gourmet English fare. | Image Source: https://fivealls.com/

11. The Viking Yurt

Heading to Park City, Utah, and looking for an epic dining adventure? The Viking Yurt is your ticket to a Nordic winter wonderland that’s as magical as it sounds. You’ll enjoy a four-hour journey through the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, designed to be savored like a fine wine.

With only one seating each evening for up to 40 guests, exclusivity is the name of the game, ensuring every moment is intimate and every bite is personal. But the real kicker? Your evening kicks off with a breathtaking 25-minute sleigh ride up the mountain, climbing 1,800 vertical feet under a blanket of stars. It’s like stepping into your own private fairy tale, with panoramic views of Park City unfolding below.

Once inside the yurt, the warmth of rustic charm wraps around you. The menu is a love letter to Nordic traditions, each of the six courses a masterpiece crafted from the finest local and seasonal ingredients. With a selection of wines and spirits to match, your taste buds are in for a treat.

The Viking Yurt is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that blends fine dining in Utah with the enchantment of a Nordic adventure. From the sleigh ride under the stars to the last spoonful of dessert, it’s an evening you’ll talk about for years to come. Believe me, for a night out in Park City, this is as unforgettable as it gets.

The Viking Yurt offers a four-hour journey through the Wasatch Mountains, a Nordic winter wonderland to savor.
The Viking Yurt offers a four-hour journey through the Wasatch Mountains, a Nordic winter wonderland to savor.

12. Prohibition

Craving a blast from the past with a twist? PROHIBITION in the Salt Lake Valley is where the roaring ’20s come alive, complete with a modern culinary spin. This bar is a time machine to an era of elegance, speakeasies, and jazz, mixed with the flair of today’s dining.

The food here is a delightful surprise of traditional meets unique. Imagine kicking off your brunch with Green Eggs, or diving into a Wagyu Steak that’s been kissed with a Moonshine Cherry glaze.

At PROHIBITION, the Craft Cocktails are in a league of their own. Made with fresh juices and top-notch ingredients, these drinks are about savoring flavors, not just sipping them. And for the beer lovers, all 16 of their Draught beers are local – a nod to the vibrant brewing scene right here in Utah. Plus, with over 40 domestic and import options by the bottle, you’re spoilt for choice.

Without a doubt, PROHIBITION is one of the most unique bars in Salt Lake City. Whether you’re in for brunch or a night out, it’s a spot that promises not just a meal, but an experience. If you’re in the Salt Lake Valley and looking for something out of the ordinary, PROHIBITION is where you’ll find it, nestled in this beautiful spot in Utah.

PROHIBITION brings the roaring '20s to life with a modern culinary twist, blending speakeasy elegance, jazz, and contemporary flair.
PROHIBITION brings the roaring ’20s to life with a modern culinary twist, blending speakeasy elegance, jazz, and contemporary flair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Utah’s Coolest Restaurants

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Utah? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Utah’s most unique restaurants.

What foods are famous in Utah?

There’s a few foods that Utah is renowned for. First up, you can’t visit without trying the scones. But forget what you know about British scones; Utah’s version is deep-fried goodness served with honey butter. Then there’s the iconic Funeral Potatoes – a cheesy, creamy, crunchy potato casserole that’s a comfort food staple. And let’s not forget about the Utah staple, Fry Sauce. It’s a simple, yet irresistible mix of ketchup and mayonnaise, perfect for dipping those fries.

Is Utah known for chocolate?

Utah might not be the first place you think of for chocolate, but it’s home to some award-winning chocolatiers. Places like Caputo’s Market in Salt Lake City offer a treasure trove of local and international chocolates. And then there’s Ritual Chocolate in Park City, crafting bean-to-bar goodness that’s won them national acclaim. So, yes, Utah’s definitely got its chocolate game on point.

Ritual Chocolate Bar is an exquisite local indulgence, a taste of artisanal perfection.
Ritual Chocolate Bar is an exquisite local indulgence, a taste of artisanal perfection.

What food is Salt Lake City known for?

Salt Lake City is famous for its vibrant brewery scene, incredible Mexican food thanks to its diverse population, and, of course, those unique Utah dishes like Funeral Potatoes and Fry Sauce. Plus, the city’s burgeoning foodie scene means you’re never far from an innovative dish or a twist on a classic, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Utah.

What are 3 interesting facts about Utah?

  • Diverse Landscapes: Utah is home to five national parks (the Mighty 5). Each offers breathtaking landscapes from the red rock formations of Arches to the canyons of Zion.
  • Outdoor Recreation Capital: It’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s skiing in the world-renowned powder snow or mountain biking in Moab, Utah’s got it all.
  • Historical Richness: Utah has a fascinating history, from the ancient Ancestral Puebloans to the Mormon pioneers. Plus, it played a significant role in the development of the transcontinental railroad.
The top restaurants in Utah for all types of travelers
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