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If it’s after midnight, Molca Salsa is easily the best food available on the east side, if not the city. The mouth-watering greasy meals are sure to soak up some of that Barton’s Vodka and Old Milwaukee that you were chugging all night. The salsa is deadly good, and a horchata helps to wash down any of the great menu choices. Be warned, however, there is a directly proportional relationship between the temperature outside and number of over-eager, undersexed, testosterone filled high-schoolers waiting in line for a midnight meal.
2901 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-3850
BEST COFFEE SHOP (WITHOUT THE SHOP)
This drive-through coffee shop offers delicious drinks served with a chocolate-covered espresso bean. The lines are usually short, but if you come during peak hours, at least you get to sit in the comfort of your car and enjoy some music. While the coffee is strong and plenty hot, the best part is that you don’t have to actually go into a coffee shop and be subjected to the guy in front of you ordering a tall half-caf-de-caf mocha latte with a hint of caramel and cinnamon. And if you are the guy ordering that, then no one else has to hear you.
902 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2077
BEST MORNING-AFTER BREAKFAST
Nothing mixes with the 12-hour-old drum of alcohol slopping around in your stomach quite like the delicious eats of the Park Cafe. Situated at the south end of Liberty Park, this is a small eatery is for anyone struggling from bad decisions from the night before. If you find your wallet’s reserves depleted because you spent all your money buying drinks for someone at the bar who ended up skipping out the back door, you’ll be happy to find that the prices on the menu are more than agreeable. Don’t limit the Park Cafe to just your hangover cure, however—it’s great food regardless of your BAC.
604 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-1670
BEST $5 CHINESE LUNCH
Joy Luck Restaurant
Inexpensive lunchtime eats do not require a drive-through window. At this Bountiful restaurant, a mere $5 will score you a lunch that begins with soup or salad and gives you tasty favorites like cashew chicken or kung pao, along with fried rice and an egg roll. For just 50 cents more, you can upgrade to specialties like the tangerine chicken. It’s the kind of place where regulars know which section to sit in to get their favorite waiter—and with affordable fare like this, you can see why they keep coming back for more.