For years, local skiers, hikers, bikers (mountain to Harley) and fishers heading down from the Cottonwood Canyons after an invigorating day at altitude have made the trek to the Cotton Bottom Inn—a tiny roadside beer joint known for its juicy grilled garlic burgers. An authentically retro, faded sign with a Bugs Bunny look-alike marks the still-popular spot in an area known as Knudsen’s Corners and the burgers are still unrivaled.
But over the past decade, the Cottonwoods—a loosely defined area from Wasatch Boulevard west to 900 East and from 4500 South to Fort Union Boulevard at the mouth of the canyons—has become a restaurant enclave. Today, the area’s dining options go far beyond the Cotton Bottom’s burgers—as addictive as they can be.
Here are some favorites—all locally owned and all just minutes from Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, accessed from the 6200 South exit off of I-215 South.
Tuscany: A big, bold Italian restaurant in a chalet with the most enchanting and expansive patio garden in town—surrounded by towering cottonwood trees. www.tuscanyslc.com
Franck’s: Salt Lake’s newest, most intimate restaurant serves French food with a global sensibility. Located in a cottage on Tuscany’s grounds. www.FrancksFood.com
Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar: The Cottonwoods outpost of the Gastronomy group’s popular seafood restaurants. A rooftop deck opens to stellar mountain views. www.gastronomyinc.com
Trio: Modern Italian/American in a big, lively restaurant and bar, patio dining and a small ‘crow’s nest’ loft with views all around. A sister restaurant to the original Trio in Salt Lake’s 9th and 9th neighborhood. www.triodining.com
Loco Lizard Cantina: Fresh, original Mexican fare, full bar, family friendly, big and noisy. Tortilla soup and chile rellenos are specialties. www.locolizardcantina.com.
Mikado: Sushi and full Japanese fusion menu by a master chef, plus a DJ spinning tunes on Thursday nights. www.latituderg.com
Porcupine Pub and Grille: Right at the mouth of the canyons, this casual spot has a ski chalet feeling, 32 beers on tap and lunch and dinner menus that go way beyond pub grub. www.porcupinepub.com.
La Caille: Keep going toward Little Cottonwood Canyon to the roadside sign for La Caille, a grand French chalet and Continental restaurant on 22 acres of exquisite manicured grounds. La Caille is an “old school” Salt Lake favorite, one of the earliest restaurants in this area. www.lacaille.com.
Lone Star Taqueria: Authentic fresh Mex in a colorful diner—popular, cheap, local.
Boulevard: White linen tablecloth dining with an American/eclectic menu served in a beautiful space. www.boulevardslc.com.
Cafe de Normandie: French country atmosphere, fresh pastries and breads. Menu includes daily soup, quiche and sandwiches.
Pine: Chef Greg Neville recently opened his second restaurant (see New Dining Options) on the banks of Big Cottonwood Creek. Seasonal, wine-country inspired food and all American wine list. www.pinerestaurant.com
Lugano: Chef Greg Neville’s cozy bistro-style neighborhood Italian restaurant. Featuring atmosphere with the rich textures of Italy, Lugano is celebrating six years of award-winning Italian fare. www.luganorestaurant.com.
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RoomIn The NewsOctober 21, 2016SALT LAKE CITY (October 21, 2016) — Utah’s capital city adds yet another feather to its cultural arts’ cap today with the grand opening of ...moreOctober 8, 2016By Thrillist — Last year, Americans left a whopping 650 million vacation days on the table -- four per working person. When asked why, peop...moreOctober 1, 2016By Patrick Clarke, Travel Pulse — Americans don't have to travel far to find great craft beer these days, but with so many choices, it's in...moreSeptember 29, 2016By Gina Demillo Wagner, TravelWeekly — When Ski Utah invited me to experience several of its world-class resorts in just four days, I was s...moreFrom the BlogPosted on October 4, 2016byWith the reception of Google Fiber, Salt Lake has firmly established itself as a technology standout in the West.Between our Silicon Slopes moniker, our Utah Unicorn companies (tech startups worth at least $1-billion on paper), and the thriving industry up and down the Wasatch Front, Salt Lake is not only making a name for itself in the tech industry—we’re breaking trail.Recent accolades have shown a bright light on Salt Lake, and we’re on the verge of going from diamond-in-the-rough …morePosted on October 4, 2016by Joe KukuraYes, as a matter of fact, there are bars in Salt Lake. Many of them are indeed top shelf! Despite what you may think about an alleged lack of alcohol in the Beehive State of Utah, the great Salt Lake is actually teeming with craft breweries, high-end cocktail lounges and fun dive bars at which to let your hair down while downing a few cold ones. Here are some of the top spots for “bottoms up!” in Salt Lake, where a little glitz, glam and celebrity is often mixed in with your mixed drinks.Bar-X …moreadvertisement
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InfoIn The NewsOctober 21, 2016SALT LAKE CITY (October 21, 2016) — Utah’s capital city adds yet another feather to its cultural arts’ cap today with the grand opening of ...moreOctober 8, 2016By Thrillist — Last year, Americans left a whopping 650 million vacation days on the table -- four per working person. When asked why, peop...moreOctober 1, 2016By Patrick Clarke, Travel Pulse — Americans don't have to travel far to find great craft beer these days, but with so many choices, it's in...moreSeptember 29, 2016By Gina Demillo Wagner, TravelWeekly — When Ski Utah invited me to experience several of its world-class resorts in just four days, I was s...more
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