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 NewsNovember 29, 2016November 28, 2016. Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake’s booming dining and nightlife scene continues to wow après skiers and general visitors t...moreNovember 5, 2016By Matthew Holland, BLT — These spectacular libraries are a bookworm's Narnia. Public libraries are one of the main components of a success...moreNovember 4, 2016By Brion O’Connor, The Boston Globe — Traditionally, ski vacations consist of finding a top-notch resort, good deals on lift tickets, airfa...moreNovember 2, 2016By Alex Pasquariello, JetSetter — If you want to save on your ski trip this winter you better book your vacay ASAP. Alex Pasquariello outli...moreOctober 27, 2016By Matt Alderton, Successful Meetings — Whether you want to see a hit Broadway musical or host a private group event, Utah's capital city h...moreFrom the BlogPosted on November 28, 2016by Megan Eileen McDonoughSalt Lake already has serious street cred among foodies for its brew scene and artisan coffee roasters, but the area is just as alluring for art connoisseurs. From thought-provoking murals splattered against building facades to interactive art classes, Salt Lake is the perfect place to channel your inner artist or learn a new craft. Here’s our insider guide to the best interactive and street art views. Street Art Creativity knows no bounds in Salt Lake. Here are five of …morePosted on November 10, 2016by Toni IsomThe bands and musicians that play Salt Lake inevitably come back, despite it being relatively far away from other tour stops—this city is full of passionate music makers and fans, and the stoke is infectious. And in addition to its popular outdoor music festivals and superstar arena concerts, Salt Lake has some awesome smaller venues that are booking killer shows. Here’s a guide to the best small and mid-sized places to see live music in SLC, and who’s playing this month. The DepotLocated in …moreadvertisement
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InfoIn The NewsNovember 29, 2016November 28, 2016. Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake’s booming dining and nightlife scene continues to wow après skiers and general visitors t...moreNovember 5, 2016By Matthew Holland, BLT — These spectacular libraries are a bookworm's Narnia. Public libraries are one of the main components of a success...moreNovember 4, 2016By Brion O’Connor, The Boston Globe — Traditionally, ski vacations consist of finding a top-notch resort, good deals on lift tickets, airfa...moreNovember 2, 2016By Alex Pasquariello, JetSetter — If you want to save on your ski trip this winter you better book your vacay ASAP. Alex Pasquariello outli...moreOctober 27, 2016By Matt Alderton, Successful Meetings — Whether you want to see a hit Broadway musical or host a private group event, Utah's capital city h...more
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