Utah Bites

COFFEE SHOP COMFORTS: Little America’s Classic Cuisine

If you’re looking for comfort food classics served in an inviting atmosphere then the Coffee Shop at Little America is the perfect place. 


Although prices have surely gone up through the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the menu didn’t look pretty much the same when the Little America Coffee Shop opened in 1952 as it does today. The Coffee Shop did undergo a major renovation in 2013, but classic American comfort food still dominated the menu then, as it does today. 

There probably wasn’t granola on the breakfast menu in 1952, but I’ll bet the American breakfast ($14) of two fresh eggs, ham, local bacon or sausage, cottage fried potatoes, and toast, muffin or biscuit was. There’s also a selection of omelets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, chicken fried steak and such at breakfast, along with an assortment of fresh baked breads and pastries. 

For many years, Chef Bernhard Götz ran the kitchen at the Little America Coffee Shop, and along with his Sous Chef, Santiago Ramos, who now serves as Executive Chef. Again, Chef Ramos didn’t muck much with the menu of classic American comfort foods like the All American Cobb Salad ($22), Shrimp Louis ($22), Patty Melt ($17), Reuben ($17), Grilled Cheese ($13), Cheeseburger ($18), and more. 

The long diner-style counter at the Coffee Shop is its most distinguishing feature, along with modern chandeliers, banquets, and historic black and white photos of the Coffee Shop and customers that line the walls. The restaurant is spacious and inviting, with patio seating available in warm weather. 

“Jumbo” Shrimp Cocktail

I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed with the so-called “Jumbo” Shrimp Cocktail which, for 18 bucks was a mere five medium-to-large (certainly not jumbo) chilled shrimp on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a skewer of green olives, a parsley garnish, cocktail sauce and a lemon slice. Other starters include soup of the day ($7/cup or $8/bowl), fruit medley ($8), and tossed green or Caesar salad ($8). 

The All American

While having lunch at Little America I saw a Reuben sandwich ($17) go by on its way to another table that looked awesome. But I had already ordered the All American ($17), which is a delicious French dip-style roast baron of beef (and lots of it) on a crusty roll with homemade au jus and a side of fries. 

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

Other sandwich options include hot turkey, hot beef, club, and a BLT ($14) which my wife really enjoyed, especially because the kitchen prepared it with gluten-free toast. One day I’ll return to try the Patty Melt ($17), made with ground wagyu beef, Swiss and American cheese on marble rye bread. 

House Salad

I didn’t try it, but I love the fact that the Little America Coffee Shop serves a throwback classic of beef liver with sauteed onions, bacon and grilled apple ($23). It’s part of the “Complete Dinners” section of the menu which includes a cup or soup or salad, vegetable of the day, a choice of mashed potato, baked potato or fries, plus a scoop of ice cream. 

Alaskan Halibut

Aside from a handful of salads, there’s not a lot to please vegetarians or vegans on the Coffee Shop dinner menu, which leans pretty heavily toward meats like the aforementioned beef liver ($23), chicken fried steak ($24), roast baron of beef ($24), N.Y strip steak ($33), and Sterling ribeye steak ($37). There are a couple of fish dishes available, including fresh Atlantic salmon ($29) and Alaskan halibut ($32), which can be broiled, grilled, poached, or breaded and deep-fried. My wife’s halibut was grilled and came with a baked spud and side veggies – zucchini, tomato and peppers. 

Roast Turkey Dinner

I love that any day can be Thanksgiving Day at the Little America Coffee Shop, where a complete roast turkey dinner ($24) is on the menu. A gargantuan plate of roasted turkey breast comes with mashed potatoes, sage dressing, a side of cranberry sauce, rich and creamy gravy, and side veggies. It’s comfort food at its comfiest. 

Pistachio Ice Cream

The Coffee Shop also features daily specials which include chicken pot pie on Mondays, chicken piccata on Tuesdays, Black Forest-style pork schnitzel on Wednesdays, beef Stroganoff on Thursdays, baked halibut on Fridays, and slow-roasted prime rib on weekends. And of course, the specials come with sides and a choice of ice cream. 

A nice surprise at the Little America Coffee Shop was the beverage selection, which includes craft cocktails, local spirits, a robust beer selection, and a nice offering of wines, as well. We enjoyed sipping creamy Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay along with my roast turkey dinner and Faith’s halibut.

It’s kinda refreshing that at the Little America Coffee Shop nobody is trying to reinvent the wheel; adventurous or cutting-edge dining this isn’t. But if you’re looking for a rib-sticking meal and comfort food classics served in an inviting atmosphere with stellar service, then the Coffee Shop at Little America is the perfect place. 


Photos by Ted Scheffler

Culinary quote of the week: “All food is comfort food. Maybe I just like to chew.” – Lewis Black  

, , ,

Join our newsletter.
Stay informed.

Related Articles