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OUT OF THE BOX: Alternative Approaches to Dining & Drinking in Utah

There are numerous ways of alternative eating and drinking and restaurants that offer it. Here are a few favorites in Utah.


City Cakes Vegan Cupcakes.

Let’s face it, we all get into ruts. I know I do. With hundreds and hundreds of restaurants to eat at and support, how many of us tend to default to just a handful? Maybe it’s a matter of just thinking a bit out of the box. You know, choosing perhaps to enjoy a non-alcoholic alternative to a classic cocktail, or something like a raw food meal rather than a steak and potato? There are numerous ways of alternative eating and drinking. Here are a few favorites. 

Who doesn’t love a tasty dessert? About a dozen years ago, Nanette Wessels opened City Cakes & Cafe, specializing in delicious vegan and gluten free cakes, cookies, muffins, donuts and such. Yes, vegan. I’m not vegan, but I can testify to how yummy City Cakes & Cafe baked goods are. In fact, they are so popular that a second City Cakes & Cafe location was opened in Draper. They offer cakes that are vegan, gluten free, soy free or a mix of all three all custom made from scratch.

Customers can select cakes ranging in size from four inches to 12-inches in flavors like red velvet, lemon coconut, orange poppy, carrot, and more. Beyond cakes, City Cakes offers gluten free sandwich buns, gluten free whoopie pies with plant-based “fudge”, and dairy-free buttercream, cinnamon rolls that are vegan and gluten free but taste like the real deal, and much, much more. 

WB’s Acapulco Smoke Box Whiskey.

At Ogden’s WB’s Eatery in The Monarch, you can indulge in specialty cocktails such as the White Widow Colada, Acapulco Smoke, Skywalker Margarita, and the delish Lemon Diesel Caipirinha. But WB’s also caters to cocktail lovers who prefer to eschew the alcohol. The talented bartenders at WB’s Eatery can craft cocktails using low alcohol ingredients or no alcohol, such as Ritual Zero Proof, Kentucky 74, Lyres, and Monday, to make dry cocktails. 

Or, enjoy Thomas and Scott vegan, dealcoholized, organic sparkling Chardonnay or Giesen Sauvignon Blanc with the alcohol removed. There’s even 0% alcohol Surreal Juicy Mavs IPA beer to enjoy. WB’s also offers gift boxes and ingredients for making alcohol-free drinks at home, such as their Acapulco Smoke Whiskey alternative box.  

Way back in 2005, Omar Abou-Ismail saw that there was a market and a need for a restaurant serving healthy, organic, sustainable, gluten free, non-GMO foods prepared with low temperature techniques or raw (Omar has a B.A. in Science Degree), and so he opened the original Rawtopia in Sugarhouse before relocating more recently to Olympus Hills. 

For example, the sushi-style Seaweed Roll is made with a choice of macadamia nut rice or forbidden rice and cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, hemp seed, scallion, carrot, romaine, served with sweet curried almond ginger sauce, sweet basil sauce, or sweet & spicy tamari sauce. And that’s just one example from a menu that includes an abundance of tasty temptations like the Beanless Tostada, Labneh Pizza, Egousi, Dandelion Salad, Nut Burger, Vegan Tacos, and much more. Oh, and there’s even a robust beverage selection that includes cocktails, wine, beer and cider. 

For some of us, the pandemic isn’t over. If you’re wanting to dine out but not wanting to encounter restaurant crowds, the Alpenglobe company has you covered. Alpenglobes are private, enclosed wood and glass dining modules that can be outfitted with mood lighting, infrared heating, fresh air circulation, sound systems, and more. Most importantly, they allow you and your close-knit dining party to enjoy a restaurant meal without having to rub elbows with people you don’t know. 

Designed and fabricated right here in Utah, Alpenglobes can be found at restaurants such a Midway’s Cafe Galleria, the Montage, Stein Eriksen Lodge, High West Distillery, Nelson Cottage, and Butcher’s Chop House in Park City, as well as La Caille, Wasatch Brew Pub, and Franck’s in Salt Lake City. It’s a safe and fun alternative way to dine.  

And, let’s not forget about our fur babies. Would you want to eat mass-produced kibble from a big box store? I didn’t think so. And neither does your dog. That’s why Kris Johnson and Sadie Gabler created Drool Small Batch Dog Treats as a healthy alternative to the treats most of us give our dogs. These are literally dog treats that humans could eat. They’re made using natural, human-grade ingredients. For instance, Drool Chicken Soup Biscuits are made like you cook a stew at home slow cooking an entire chicken with tasty ingredients like carrots and celery, ultimately ending up as biscuit treats that your dog (and maybe you, too) will absolutely love.


Enjoy Farm-to-Fork Vegetarian Cuisine and Creative Drinks at Zest Kitchen

Vertical Diner Offers Vegan Cuisine to Salt Lake for over Two Decades

Build a Better Burger

Where to Find Vegan Replicas of Your Favorite Candy Bars in Murray, Utah

Time Traveler’s Bread: Provo’s Bakery Makes Avoiding Gluten a Thing of the Past



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