Utah Stories

Hottest Restaurants in SLC Right Now

SLC has a lot to offer in the restaurant scene. Read our picks for the most sizzling local eateries in the city.


pago slc

pago slc
Pago summer crudites plate.

BTG Wine Bar
Why it’s hot:
BTG seemed an improbable Hail Mary when its doors opened in 2013. With only a temporary liquor permit under its belt, the future was uncertain. Skip forward to 2014, an overwhelmingly positive public response, and now with a full liquor license, SLC’s very first true wine bar is blossoming. BTG (By The Glass) offers oenophiles more than fifty choices of vino by the glass. Imbibers can also choose from preset wine flights, build their own, or enjoy beer and cocktails. The light bites menu offered at this wine lovers’ palace are on point as well, since BTG is owned by Caffe Molise proprietor Fred Moesinger.

Copper Common
Why it’s hot:
If Ryan Lowder, owner and chef of the illustrious Copper Onion, opened up a restaurant serving gourmet cardboard, it’d probably be an instant success, not to mention inexplicably delicious. Lowder and his growing team can do no wrong, both conceptually and executionally. Lowder’s latest venture, Copper Common, replaces the now departed Plum Alley. The Common is an upscale bar that also features Lowder’s spectacular cuisine, focused here on re-imagining bar snacks and lighter bites. Gourmet tater tots with garlic aioli, anyone?

Even Stevens Sandwiches
Why it’s hot:
What’s better than a spectacular sandwich? Two spectacular sandwiches? Close. One spectacular sandwich for you, and one for a person in need. As a community minded business, Even Stevens Sandwiches promises to donate a sandwich to a local charity for every one sold.
The fact that these are drop-dead delicious sandwiches doesn’t hurt, nor does the fact the restaurant opens late, serves beer and does everything with wit and charm.

Naked Fish Japanese Bistro
Why it’s hot:
A familiar face in downtown SLC for years, Naked Fish Japanese Bistro continues to evolve and dazzle. While SLC might possess an embarrassment of Japanese dining, Naked Fish is something very special. Where else in SL can you dine on imported A5 wagyu beef and enjoy the recommendations of a certified sake sommelier? Also worth note is the mind blowing Omakase, a one-off multi-course dining experience created just for you (advance notice required), paired with beautiful boutique wines and sake.

Why it’s hot:
Another stalwart of the SLC dining scene and still rocking out creative farm-to-table cuisine night in, night out. Pago is presently at the height of its powers, with savvy owner Scott Evans directing the incomparable talents of chef Phelix Gardner and sommelier Evan Lewandowski (whose own SLC- made wines are available at Pago too!). Don’t miss Pago’s Sommelier Series wine dinners, each a study in exceptional wine and food combinations.

Why it’s hot:
Now entering its second year in business, no other BBQ operation in the valley has come close to wresting the title of best BBQ from brothers Rod and Roger Livingston. Come at lunch and see the crowds baying for banging brisket and perfect pulled pork. Don’t overlook the sides either; the obscenely tasty okra and hush puppies are as good as the Q!

Why it’s hot:
Don’t weep over the loss of the long-gone Al Forno’s Italian. Rye, its successor, is bigger, bolder and better. Operated and owned by next door’s Urban Lounge, Rye is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. During shows at the ‘Lounge,’ music and video are piped into the trendily-modern space for diners to enjoy over a brew or cocktail. Also making a loud noise is the kitchen team, headed up by former Takashi alum Tommy Nguyen. Nguyen’s Shoyu Fried Chicken dish has been making critics and online reviewers alike sit up and take notice.

To read more about the SLC food scene, visit Stuart Melling’s blog here.

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