Utah Stories

Utah’s Best Outdoor Burger Spots

What do you get when you pair a juicy burger with a magnificent view? The best outdoor burger destinations in Utah! For burger enthusiasts across the state, Utah’s culinary scene has much to offer, from vibrant urban settings to quaint desert vistas. 


More than just a meal, bite into an experience you’ll savor with the perfect blend of ambiance, flavor and scenery. Whether indulging in a juicy patty after a day of hiking or savoring every bite under the stars, these burger spots promise a memorable dining experience that combines the best of nature and gastronomy.

Capitol Burger

Head south to Torrey, Utah to find one of the state’s best burgers along Highway 24 near Capitol Reef National Park. 

“Most people are just so shocked that out of a food truck in the middle of nowhere we’re serving this burger,” Luke Fowles owner and chef of Capitol Burger says. “I think that’s part of the charm. They’ve heard it’s great, but their expectations are blown when they have the best burger of their life.” 

Fowles and co-owner/pastry chef and wife Sunny Clark focus on doing everything they believe makes the best food. They work directly with the rancher who raises the Hereford cows that provide the ideal fat content. They dry age the beef for 21 days before grinding it daily. They make the American cheese, pickles, mayo, and aioli served on the six burgers fresh in-house, and smoke the pork on a Traeger for the Pulled Pork Burger. The FiggyPiggy special features fig mash from Etta Place Cider cooked into a jam and served with blue cheese and a balsamic reduction. 

“Everybody deserves to have access to a great burger,” Fowles concludes. And you’ll find one of the best anywhere in the middle of nowhere at Capitol Burger.

Smash burger from Central 9th Market.
Smash Burger. Photo courtesy of Central 9th Market.

Smashburger Mondays at Central 9th

Good things always seem to happen when the local businesses at Central 9th team up. Some time ago, Central 9th Market started Monday smashburger night where you stand in line as the flat-top grill fires up and order from a small whiteboard menu whatever they’re serving that night — typically the greasy-good smash they’re known for, another sandwich/burger offering, a side or two, and dessert. But there’s no option to sit down and eat. 

Enter Scion Cider Bar just to the south on Jefferson Street. They coordinated with Central 9th Market and are now open on Mondays from 4-10 pm so you can walk your smashburger dinner into Scion (must be over 21), order a hard cider, beer, wine or cocktail, and enjoy it all on the patio for a picture-perfect evening of smashburger-eating happiness. Cheers to this delicious collaboration.

The Cotton Bottom

Say “garlic burger” and it’s almost a sure bet that any Salt Lake resident will point you to The Cotton Bottom. A decades-long fixture at the mouth of Cottonwood Canyons, a big part of The Cotton Bottom’s charm is the laid-back patio that blooms with flowers in the warmer months. As patrons recount their adventures in the canyons over a garlic cheeseburger on a French loaf bread, a bag of potato chips and a local cold brew, it’s hard not to marvel at the breathtaking landscape before you. Dining at The Cotton Bottom’s picnic tables reminds us to celebrate the simple pleasures of Utah living in this casual mountain ambiance — and you can even bring your furry friends with you. 

Lucky 13 Pastrami Burger. Photo by John Taylor.

Lucky 13

A visit to the original Lucky 13 location is one you won’t soon forget. Great for patio people watching as Salt Lake Bees fans arrive or depart the TRAX station, this bar surprised everyone when the gourmet burger menu began attracting fans far and wide. The roadhouse offers up 7 oz. of local ground chuck cooked to medium on a fresh baked bun, and fries with every order. Adventurous creations like the Nut Butter Burger featuring creamy peanut butter and house-smoked bacon and cheddar cheese, or other palate-pleasing options like the Fungus Amongus, piled with mushrooms sautéed in red wine and garlic topped with Swiss cheese, bring every kind of patron (21+) to nosh. Kick back with the Ol’ Man for a taste of roasted jalapenos, grilled onions and Swiss cheese while you wait for the post-game fireworks show. 

Bout Time Pub & Grub

Whether you’re looking to catch an NBA playoff game or finishing up a round of golf with friends, there’s probably a Bout Time Pub & Grub patio (21+) that’s calling your name. Each location has its own charm and view, but all serve scratch-made burgers like the brunch-worthy B.A.B.B. with ham, corned beef hash, bacon and a fried egg. 

The Original Chubby Melt pairs two classic sandwiches together — a juicy ground chuck beef burger, melted cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand  Island dressing served between two Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese sandwiches. 

And for those who like it hot, the Jalapeno Jack Burger comes with pepperjack cheese, fried jalapenos and a stuffed jalapeno popper. The patios are spacious and clean and ideal for catching up with friends, celebrating victories, watching a game on the outdoor TVs or simply raising a glass to a weekend filled with warm Utah sun. 

Millie's Burger
Photo by Dung Hoang.

Millie’s Burgers

For a memorable burger experience in Sugar House, treat yourself to the nostalgic ambiance of Millie’s, where everything is made from scratch. As a Sugar House landmark for generations, this quaint, retro burger shop on 2092 S 10th E has satisfied generations of customers with its assortment of burgers and sandwiches, delicious homemade fries, and old-fashioned, above-the-rim shakes. You can enjoy your meal inside or outside.

Owned by Dan and Stacy Neilson since 2001, the iconic sign and the friendly family atmosphere make Millie’s a familiar dining destination for burger lovers, and no trip to Sugar House is complete without stopping at Millie’s. 

Outdoor Burger Bliss

From perfect patios to dining in the great outdoors, these burgers all come with a side of fresh air and sunshine — elevating the classic burger to an art form against backdrops of majestic mountains, fiery red rocks, and the hustle of the city.

Feature Image Courtesy of Capitol Burger.

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