While Utah is home to an abundance of excellent restaurants with fancy options cooked up by world-renowned chefs, nothing replaces the taste of a home-cooked meal. You’ll find the atmosphere of your family kitchen at the classic mom and pop eateries of Utah. From quaint cafes to historic burger joints, here are the 8 best in the state.
Conveniently located in the famous Avenues neighborhood, Café Shambala isn’t Utah’s standard Mexican restaurant or burger joint. If you’ve never tried Himlayan cuisine (Nepalese and Tibetan), you must. If you’re looking for authentic flavors, cooked up by experts at their craft, Café Shambala is for you.
With a plethora of awards under its belt, Fratelli Ristorante has developed an astounding reputation for delicious Italian food. Run by two Italian-American brothers, the restaurant uses “Grandmother’s cooking secrets” and imported ingredients.
Sill’s Cafe has been attracting families for generations for a comforting, hearty breakfast or brunch. This is a traditional mom & pop’s diner with all of the fixings, including ridiculously delicious scones (think funnel cake topped with melting honey butter), great biscuits and gravy, and about every other wonderful breakfast item you could possibly imagine. The diner is always busy, so make sure you come prepared for a crowd.
Torrey is the gateway to a collection of impressive Southern Utah landmarks, which makes it an optimal location for staying, visiting, or eating. And after a long day of hiking or a few days of backpacking (i.e. instant potatoes, oatmeal, and jerky), a burger, fries, and shake at Slackers are pretty hard to beat.
Not far from Zion National Park, Thunderbird Restaurant is now run by the grandson of the original owner. Known for its “Ho-Made Pies” (as the sign says), the restaurant is a true Southern Utah experience that will knock you off your feet and probably send your stomach into a coma.
A classic mom & pop drive-in, Cluff’s Car Hop pleases visitors from across the country. With good prices, retro vibes, delicious burgers, crispy onion rings, and a killer raspberry shake, this place will bring you back to better days (aka 1950, when Cluff’s Car Hop was first opened).
This is rainy day food at its best. Sandwiches, grilled cheese, and the perfect accompaniment: a nice bowl of hot soup. The Soup Kitchen is straightforward, cheap, simple, and inviting. And if you’re a millennial, it’s like your 1990s childhood rediscovered (but better).
At Ogie’s, the portions are large and the community is key. The minute you walk in, you’re greeted by a friendly staff who relish in the beauty of their old-fashioned diner. It’s been around since the 1960s, so what can you expect? A killer, greasy breakfast prepared with love.