Food & Drink

Hidden Restaurants: Explore Utah’s Vibrant Food Scene

Don’t you love having a secret dining hideaway that only your closest friends know about? Here, we’re pulling back the curtain and revealing five of our favorite hidden spots along the Wasatch Front that are worth finding and enjoying.


Billed as “Asian StEat Food Fare” this little Indonesian and Southeast Asian restaurant in Sandy packs a flavor punch you won’t forget once you try it. Start with something familiar like the lollipop wings on the appetizer menu. These crunchy-skin wings are well-coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. If you’re new to street food, try the Family Makan combo with a choice of three dishes like fried rice or stir fry noodles plus sides and rice.

Serving Utahns since 2017, this colorful restaurant is a bright spot for south valley diners and on your way out you can grab some anchovy chili sambal or spekkoek (an Indian layer cake) from the grocery racks on the east wall.

33 East 11400 South
Sandy, UT 84070

“Ricotta is the soul of cannoli,” says co-owner of Sapori, Azzurra Cuchel along with her husband Luca La Mantia. The couple hail from Sicily and always dreamed of opening a bakery. Their dream came true in 2019 with the opening of Sapori Italian Bakery & Café on Ogden’s 24th Street.

The bakery cases filled with Italian pastries and chilled gelato transport customers right to a café in Italy where one can sip Italian Lavazza coffee next to a Vespa and savor the cannolis filled with sweet creamy ricotta.

You’ll find pasta, lasagna and parmigiana selections for lunch too, but don’t leave without a gorgeous zeppole pastry or scoop of cappuccino gelato.

325 24th Street

Ogden, UT


Alligator Nachos from Neutral Ground Lounge.

Head west of downtown Salt Lake to get southern flavors inspired by the Cajun and Creole cuisine of New Orleans at Neutral Ground Lounge.

Don’t miss the fried green tomatoes coated in cornmeal and served with a slightly sweet red pepper jelly and spicy mayo. Want to try alligator and crawfish? This is the place with alligator nachos served with pickled jalapenos and Cajun sour cream and crawfish cakes and cornmeal-crusted pickled crawfish.

The 21-and-over lounge side pays homage to NOLA with a dark interior with pops of bright colors in the furnishings and art and equally interesting cocktails to match like a New Orlean’s original Sazerac variation featuring a hint of lavender.

2110 W. North Temple

Salt Lake City, UT 84116


BBQ Shrimp & Grits at Localz Bistro.

Located in a strip mall in Sandy, Localz is one of the kindest family-run establishments you’ll find these days. Servers are attentive and knowledgeable, making recommendations that reflect diverse tastes.

Tuna lovers will delight in the tuna crudo salad. The arugula salad is brimming with charred broccoli and carrot slaw dressed in a kicky lemon basil vinaigrette and topped with perfectly seared ahi tuna slices fanned across the bowl.

For stick-to-your ribs hearty entrees, order the jambalaya filled with shrimp, chicken and sausage, or the low country shrimp and cheesy grits studded with mushrooms, peppers and bacon.

1850 East 9400 South

Sandy, UT 84093


Charbroiled chicken kabob made with chicken breast from Zaferan Cafe. Photo by Kaelyn Korte.

Servings are plentiful at this Persian restaurant in Cottonwood Heights, and if you can take a table of adventurous diners, you’ll try so many colorful dishes.

The four-starter appetizer is ideal for sharing. Eggplant lovers will delight in two eggplant dishes — one featuring sauteed eggplant and mint with fermented cheese and the other tomatoes, garlic and egg. Two kinds of Persian yogurt compliment the aubergine.

The Zaferan Family entrée platter comes with barg, chicken kabob and two skewers of ground beef plus rice. Rest assured, your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

If you love lamb, don’t miss the shank (special entree menu item 13) which literally falls off the bone with a fork and melts in your mouth.

Most dishes at Zaferan Café are served on beautiful metal platters that really do make the food a feast for the eyes.

7835 S. Highland Dr.

Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121


, ,

Join our newsletter.
Stay informed.

Related Articles