Grabbing a bite to eat in Ogden is an adventure. You can find dishes from all over the world, and in some restaurants, you can even find them all in the same place.
Being an incredibly diverse city brings along a bright food selection, and the people of Ogden love it. Ogden has always been a melting pot in some regard. Being the junction city, it has always been a common place for people to pass through, stop in, or relocate to. The point at which Ogden’s dining experience evolved from primarily burgers and steaks to the various additions of globally inspired, eclectic food spots you see today, is hard to pinpoint directly, but it is easy to see that the evolution has happened and is still happening.
The Oaks in Ogden Canyon was built as a mountain resort in 1902, which was later relocated further up the canyon. It was a hot seasonal commodity, where you could walk up and order a burger and a shake. As times progressed and tourism increased in the 80’s, new ownership expanded seating at The Oaks, making it a year-round eatery. It closed in 2019, only to be bought again, reopened by popular demand, and then damaged by a wildfire. The Oaks is back again after the fire, and people are glad, which goes to show that Ogdenites stay loyal to their favorites.
Timbermine and Prairie Schooner are long standing steakhouses that have been community staples since their openings. Ogden is in no short supply of American cuisine, however, many dining establishments recognize that in order to keep locals dining in town, there has to be more options.
The first Mexican restaurant ever opened in Ogden still stands today. The opening of El Matador was in 1963, and it very quickly gained popularity. Many residents of Ogden are of Hispanic heritage, which brings a continuous increase to the number of places to get authentic Mexican food. From a sit-in dinner to food trucks and snack shops, there are lots of places to try.
Tona Sushi Bar and Grill has won various awards and has consistently made it to recommended dining lists for Ogden’s visitors and tourists.
Thai restaurants are on the rise, too. Interestingly, a local favorite, Thai Curry Kitchen, is owned by Steven Ballard, who is also the owner of the popular Mexican restaurant, Sonora Grill.
You can find establishments serving exclusively ‘Hawaiian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Indian, Korean, Greek, and Mongolian foods as well. While the variety is ever increasing, Greg Evans, a resident of Ogden, says, “I definitely agree there’s been a shift, but I think we still have a way to go.”
This brings up the point that the community seemingly enjoys its exclusive-to-Ogden places best. Ogden doesn’t want more repeat chain restaurants — they want fresh, new and exciting. “Quality is still lacking from some establishments, and I think this will improve as the competition increases. I think our community is craving a variety of cuisines, instead of the standard fare,” Evans says.
Ogden focuses heavily on ensuring a diverse and communal experience. That, alongside the culture of Ogden City being built on support of local businesses, makes it the perfect place to bring a wide variety of restaurants. The people of Ogden want to try new foods or eat things they’ve found elsewhere, and they also want to support the businesses in their communities. By bringing a little bit of everything right to their doorsteps, they will potentially stay in town to dine, visitors will come for the food, and supporting community businesses is good for the local economy.
It isn’t that Ogden doesn’t love a burger and a steak ― they just love other things, too.
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