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Woodbine Food Hall restaurant reviews

Enjoy ramen, tacos, pizza and beer under one roof at Woodbine Food Hall


  • Alex Springer

Whenever I check in on the Granary District, it seems like there's always something new—and unabashedly cool—to explore. While the lightning-fast development of this area means I could be talking about any number of destinations, today I am talking about Woodbine Food Hall (545 W. 700 South, 801-669-9192, woodbineslc.com), a collection of small cool places within the confines of one large—and very cool—space. Currently, Woodbine is home to seven local restaurants and a bar that features a dope rooftop patio offering diners a front-row seat to this rapidly evolving neighborhood.

Those familiar with the area will know that Woodbine's digs are already saturated with local foodie power. This is the space that once housed Rico Foods' bean and tortilla plant until a few years ago. Earlier this year, owners Zachary Howa, Ryan Reich and Max Coreth oversaw the renovation and inclusion of its original roster of eateries, with a few others that have joined up since the grand opening—most recently the California-based Vuture Food, which is known for its plant-based takes on fried chicken and mozzarella sticks.

Having visited most of our local food halls, it's clear that Woodbine had a solid plan for its particular food hall concept. Not only have they selected eateries that provide diversity and quality, but they've made a successful grab at each of the major dining arcana—breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bar space for the night owls. This savvy combination of concepts coupled with a rustic space that features awesome patio dining for warmer weather has turned Woodbine Food Hall into a foundational social hub for the Granary District as it develops.

In order to hit this particular sweet spot, you've got to start things off with a solid coffee shop for the morning commuters and remote freelancers. Enter 3 Cups (3cups.coffee), an established local brand that has been elevating Utah's coffee game for years. At 3 Cups, diners can indulge in all manner of artisanal caffeination, along with some sugary pastries as needed. In the early hours, Woodbine is a cozy place to hang out—especially now that they have decked the food hall with boughs of holly—and doing so with a hot cup of fresh-brewed coffee is a great way to kick off the day.

The lunchtime hours are when the bulk of Woodbine wakes up to feed the wandering clusters of urban professionals getting a bite in while they synergize and shit. Everything is a safe bet at Woodbine—their diversity is one of the food hall's greatest strengths. You've got personal, freshly-fired pizzas from Mozz Artisan Pizza (mozzartisanpizza.com), where the serrano and honey pizza ($15.50) will dazzle your tongue with sweet heat. Then there's the toasty, stacked sandwiches from Deadpan Sandwich right next to Taco Lady (tacolady.net) who will take care of all your street taco needs. Toward the north side you've got Taste of Louisiana (tasteoflouisiana.com) in all its Southern comfort food glory, and Yakuza Ramen whipping up traditional ramen recipes.

With a lineup like that, it can be hard to decide where to hitch your gastronomic anchor. It's best to go when you're hungry so you can try two or maybe three different spots—this seems a bit taboo for the business lunch crowd, but I give you permission to go forth and gorge thyself. It's tough for me to pick a favorite, but I have to say the Oh Schintzel! ($14) was the most surprising dish I tried. Dig if you will, a schnitzel, flattened and fried to a crisp. The dill of the ranch-kraut covers the sandwich—can you my darling, can you picture this? Ah—sorry. You ever try something so good that you must express your thoughts to the tune of Prince's "When Doves Cry." No? Huh. Moving on, then.

The seafood gumbo ($21 for regular, $26 for large) from Taste of Louisiana is a nice way to warm up your rattling bones in this cold weather. They make a point to turn the spicy level down in consideration of our dainty Utah tastebuds, but if you're into spicy food just let them know, and they'll ramp up the heat level pronto. Regardless of the heat level, this gumbo has just about everything you'd want in a gumbo, including shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken, scallops, crawfish and rice. This is also going to be a nice spot for breakfast soon when their menu starts to feature chicken and red velvet waffles.

I still find myself considering the pros and cons of the food hall trend, but my experiences at Woodbine have me feeling grateful. I'm glad some local talent has been assembled into one place that will inevitably become more populous and popular within the Downtown area, and any good neighborhood needs good places to hang out and eat. Based on my experiences, Woodbine Food Hall has the potential to be the backbone of the Granary District.