Best of Utah 2017 | Our annual celebration of the Best our state has to offer is here! | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah 2017

Our annual celebration of the Best our state has to offer is here!

Page 13 of 15


Best Food Truck

Putting together these blurbs is hard. You mean I have to track down Cupbop's truck of deliciousness and indulge in one of their near-fabled combo bowls? Fine. Anyone who's ever tried one of their famous Korean BBQ-fusion knows it's love at first bite. Accompanied by rice, noodles and veggies, Cupbop raises barbecued pork, beef and chicken to an art form and keeps locals lining up at street fairs, music festivals and their brick-and-mortar locations begging for more. Now pass the sriracha. (Enrique Limón)
Several permanent and roving locations,
2nd place: Waffle Love
3rd place: The Breakfast Guys

Best Appetizer
Gracie's Nachos

Here's the deal: While they might be considered just an appetizer, anyone who's ever ordered the signature nachos at this downtown hotspot knows the side dish is a meal in and of itself. For the uninitiated, imagine if you will, a heap of house-cut corn tortilla chips with any and all the fixin's you could ever want—tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, black beans, your choice of meat and enough cheese to to make even a Wisconsinite rejoice. (EL)
326 S. West Temple, 801-819-7565,
2. The Garage's funeral potatoes
3. Eva's Brussels sprouts

Best BBQ

Many an aesthetic attraction caused a line to form outside vendor booths this past summer during the 41st annual Urban Arts Festival, but none longer than the one leading up to R&R. The reason? A special fair-only iteration of roasted corn so good it made even the most arrhythmic do a little jig. For the full treatment, one must simply stop by one of R&R's multiple locations (including a recently unveiled one at the Vivint Smart Home Arena) and get your fill of pulled pork, brisket and St. Louis spare ribs by the plate, or how the real gangsters order them—by the pound. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Pat's Barbeque
3. Sugar House BBQ


Best Brew Pub

Every local beer aficionado worth their hops is familiar with Squatters' kilometric, award-winning brew selection. But did you know their food is boss as well? Wash down those celebrated Buffalo wings with a Full Suspension ale or that Niman Ranch top sirloin with a Hop Rising double IPA. Room for dessert? That peanut butter chocolate pie in the corner is calling out your name, big guy. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
3. Wasatch Brew Pub

Best Bakery
Gourmandise The Bakery

It doesn't take much to lure folks into Gourmandise. Here you'll find scrumptious pastries (whipped custard-topped strawberry mille-feuille, anyone?), hearty croissants—like their famous ham-and-cheese one to fuel you on the go—and cakes for which even the word delectable is not an adequate descriptor. The cherry on top is a full lunch and dinner menu flecked with items like a Brie-and-bacon grilled cheese and saumon en croûte. Did we mention they also have a beer and wine menu? Yeah, sold. (EL)
250 S. 300 East, 801-328-3330,
2. Tulie Bakery
3. City Cakes Bakery & Café

Best Burrito
Blue Iguana

With a menu packed with all the essentials—quesadillas, enchiladas, encurtidas and "killer" nachos—Blue Iguana doles out the good stuff seven days a week. The readers have spoken however, and it's their burritos that take the (tres leches) cake. Be 'em stuffed with carne asada, carnitas, chile verde or tinga, these forearm-width babies are top-notch. Either dry or ahogado-style (smothered in chile colorado), these handheld pieces of heaven are hard to beat. (EL)
165 S. West Temple, 801-533-8900; 255 Main, Park City, 435-649-3097,
2. Café Rio
3. Lone Star Taqueria

Best Hard Cider
Mountain West Hard Cider

There's gold in them thar hills. Specifically, golden apple cider sourced from the Mountain West region and made with expert craftsmanship. Light, crisp and naturally gluten-free, even beer loyalists are broadening their horizons and heading to the Light Side to enjoy a Ruby, 7 Mile Session or the slightly bitter Cottonwood Dry-Hopped. For a different twist, their prickly pear purée-infused Desolation hard cider provides an year-round taste of summer no matter the weather—just add a paper umbrella. (EL)
425 N. 400 West, 801-935-4147,
2. The Hive Winery


Best Burgers
Lucky 13

Perhaps it's time to retire this category as Lucky 13 wins year after year—and with an expanding arsenal of juicy burgers, they show no signs of relinquishing the crown. Be it the Bacon Stinky burger featuring blue cheese crumbles, the roasted jalapeño-topped Ring of Fire or the 28-ounce Big Benny, you just can't go wrong here. Want a trophy yourself? If you finish a Benny and the Lucky 13 burger in one sitting in an hour or less, they'll pay your bill and send you home with $200 cash. (EL)
135 W. 1300 South, 801-487-4418,
2. Proper Burger Co.
3. Crown Burgers

Best Brewery
Epic Brewing Co.

It seems everyone and their meemaw have gotten into the craft beer business as of late, and with a national market estimated by the Brewers Association to be worth $23.5 billion, it's not hard to figure out why. Still, the State Street OG stands proud as being Utah's first brewery to exclusively produce high-alcohol content beer. Not ones to rest on their laurels, Epic regularly adds creations like their Tart 'n' Juicy and Los Locos Mexican-style lager to the roster. We'll say ¡salúd! to that. (EL)
825 S. State, 801-906-0123,
2. Wasatch Brewery
3. Squatters


Best Doughnuts
Banbury Cross

Banbury's crullers, old-fashioneds, apple fritters and yes, oh yes, maple bars have filled local bellies since 1986 and brought a smile to faces of countless kids, adults and even curmudgeonly journalists. Seriously, drop one of their pastel-yellow-hued boxes inside our newsroom and watch the sweet carnage ensue. It's like Shark Week, only with sprinkles. (EL)
705 S. 700 East, 801-537-1433,
2. The Big O Doughnuts
3. Dunford Bakers

Best Distillery
High West Distillery & Saloon

It was a fortuitous trip to the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Ky., that inspired David Perkins to establish High West in 2006. It turns out the former biochemist was onto something big, and what started as a 250-gallon still-and-saloon housed inside a historic livery stable and garage, soon grew to a globally recognized brand with four locations. Whether you're checking out the tasting room, savoring a five-star meal at Nelson Cottage or grabbing one last signature spiked lemonade before departing at their SLC airport outpost, High West is the embodiment of a Utah success story. We'll drink to that. (EL)
703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300,
2. Ogden's Own
3. Sugar House Distillery


Best Ethnic/Specialty Market
Southeast Market

Since opening its doors in 1997 as a specialty Vietnamese grocer, Southeast Market has grown to be one of the Wasatch Front's foremost Asian marts. And they don't sell just Vietnamese fare anymore. Products from across China, Burma, India, South Korea and more now line the shelves. Bogged down by the seemingly never-ending selection? Their blog suggests which ingredients to use for what, as well as provides recipes for spring rolls, pho and other dishes guaranteed to make your next dinner party the stuff of legend. (EL)
422 E. 900 South, 801-363-5474,
2. Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
3. Black Cherry Mediterranean Market


Best Coffee Shop
Beans & Brews

An open-records request on the hand may be quite continental, but coffee is a journalist's best friend. Given the state's reputation, first-time visitors might be surprised to learn about Utah's brewing coffee culture (the same can be said about the micro-brew scene), and Beans & Brews has been there since the beginning. Established in 1993 with a commitment to freshness, quality and integrity, the family-owned business continues to thrive thanks to those values and the cult-like following of their high-altitude roasted coffee. Starbucks, eat your heart out. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Publik Coffee Roasters
3. Coffee Garden and Sugar House Coffee (tie)


Best Gyros
Greek Souvlaki

Utah's culinary scene is peppered by its strong immigrant roots. Enter Lee and Mary Paulos who were the first to bring gyros to the local masses back in 1972. All these years later, the original is still the best, and the Paulos' influence is felt in Greek Souvlaki's six locations. A half a dozen gyros call the menu here home, and they're in good company alongside brown butter and mizithra cheese spaghetti, savory dolmathes and renown pork and chicken souvlaki. Whatever you do, save room for some loukoumades (honey-doused fritter balls) available in half and full orders. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Crown Burgers
3. Greek City Grill

Best French Fries
Lucky 13

You've really achieved master culinary ninja status when you nab the best burger and the best french fries awards in the same year, so hats off, Lucky 13. Available in a basket as an appetizer or as a side on any of the wraps, sandwiches and hamburgers, fries here— sprinkled with finger-licking Cajun or rosemary garlic seasoning—quickly take center stage. (EL)
135 W. 1300 South, 801-487-4418,
2. Bruges Waffles & Frites
3. Crown Burgers

Best Pizza
The Pie

Sure, the menu includes pasta, subs and calzones, but as their name indicates, pies here reign supreme. Build your own or try any of their hand-rolled and hand-tossed classics: the sweet balsamic reduction-drizzled Wise Guy, the pineapple-chunk-topped Hawaii Pie-O or the aptly named Holy Shiitake, which is loaded with mushroomy goodness. Looking to mix it up? Their cheese-stuffed pull-a-parts are sure to do the trick. Wash it all down with a micro-brewed root beer made from scratch and served from a keg. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Este
3. Settebello

Best Salads
Café Rio

A Beehive staple in the vein of general niceness and questionable driving, Café Rio has fed Utahns for generations—from Logan to St. George—with their downhome and no-nonsense grub. Calling it "almost too good to be true," their signature 4th South salad comes loaded with cilantro-lime rice, beans, pico de gallo, guac, crumbled cotija cheese and your choice of meat. Oh, and some lettuce, too. The coup de grâce? The whole thing comes served in a tortilla bowl baked with cheese? (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Café Trio
3. Zest Kitchen & Bar


Best Sandwiches
Moochie's Meatballs & More

Just what exactly is the "more" here, you ask? It comes in the form of authentic, Italian-inspired East Coast fare like cheesesteaks, chicken Parm and a sausage-and-peppers hero made with amore. On the hunt for a one-of-a-kind treat? Try their Pizza Steak—a hulking ribeye steak sub embellished with black olives, onions, pepperoni, mozzarella and enough marinara sauce to flood the Hudson. "Tastes like a really great pizza!" the menu boasts. Yep, accurate. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Even Stevens
3. Buds Sandwich Co.

Best Seafood
Current Fish & Oyster

This summer, the day a new law ending the dreaded Zion curtain took effect, Joel LaSalle, owner of Current, hosted a media event wherein the downtown eatery's bar divide was shattered in a cathartic display. The glass wall reduced to mere pebbles, LaSalle rejoiced that diners would finally be able to get the full Current experience. In the mood to indulge? Try the West Coast kumamotos or the poached tuna melt. Oh, and to celebrate the curtain-less environment, pair it with a Brown Derby or any of the many other drinks poured in their now airy bar. (EL)
279 E. 300 South, 801-326-3474,
2. Market Street Grill
3. Takashi


Best Vegan
Zest Kitchen & Bar

Many national food brands are starting to cater to vegan consumers, tossing that old belief that vegan food is akin to chewing on cardboard out the window. First making a splash on the local dining scene in 2012, Zest has been serving up delicious and outside-the-box dishes like baked zucchini-and-cheese and their mouthwatering enchilada skillet—delighting an underserved chunk of the population and converting even sworn meat-lovers—along the way. (EL)
275 S. 200 West, 801-433-0589,
2. Buds
3. Vertical Diner

Best Sushi

Is anyone really surprised? A decade into its run, Takashi has become the gold standard of Beehive sushi bars. Start off with one (or several) small plates from the establishment's surf, turf or earth lists, and make your way through some of the best nigiri, sashimi, maki and signature rolls this side of Tokyo's Tsukiji Market. (EL)
18 W. Market St., 801-519-9595
2. Tsunami
3. Sapa

Best Tacos
Taqueria 27

SLC shows no shortage of good Mexican food, so Taqueria 27 should wear this badge of honor with pride. Owner/chef Todd Gardiner has given old classics a new spin, and infused his street-food-inspired menu with items like citrus pork carnitas tacos, caramelized onion guacamole and a clucking good duck confit quesadilla. Jonesing for a new take on weekend brunch? T27's iteration, laden with options like Oaxacan steak-and-eggs tacos, is sure to do the trick. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. Blue Iguana
3. Lone Star Taqueria


Best Wings
Trolley Wing Co.

Leave your expectations at the door. Trolley's twice-baked wings are unparalleled. Pick either traditional or boneless wings and go to town with any of their flavors, like Cajun lemon and Jamaican honey garlic. Are you a non-meat eater shedding a tear right about now? Don't fret, vegetarian and vegan wings paired with their killer signature sauces are also available. (EL)
2148 S. 900 East, 801-538-0745; 736 Blue Vista Lane, Midvale, 801-312-9532,
2. Wing Coop
3. Wing Nutz

Best Soups
The Soup Kitchen

If you're the kind of person who prefers orange-hued leaves, cable-knit sweaters and pumpkin spice everything over sand, tank tops and messy SPF lotion, you know few things can beat a good bowl of soup. Luckily, the Soup Kitchen is here to fill all your chicken noodle, clam chowder or split pea with ham needs. Soups here are made from scratch every day with no added preservatives, and are sold by the quart, cup, bowl and even gallon. We're gonna need a bigger spoon. (EL)
Multiple locations,
2. The Dodo
3. Harmons