Salt Lake City is never one to rest on its laurels when it comes to food and drink, and the last three months have been no exception.  If it’s been a while since you’ve checked out the latest and greatest changes to our foodie scene, we’ve got just what you need - a recap of some  of the very best new openings in town.

Mar | Muntanya 

We’d be remiss not to start with this jewel in the glittering crown of the barely opened Hyatt Regency hotel—located right next door to our main offices in SLC. Mar | Muntanya can be found on the sixth floor of the newly minted convention center hotel and the name tells you all you need to know about the menu, translating as “Ocean | Mountain."

Overseeing proceedings, chef Ryan Peterson is a returning Utahn and brings with him a wealth of Spanish cooking experience from prior postings around the country. Peterson’s interpretation of the sea and mountain moniker means Northern Spanish cuisine featuring classic dishes such as seafood-strewn paella and fresh oysters topped with beef tartare; as well as more unique Mountain West inflected concoctions like roasted elk tenderloin with Iberico bacon and blackberry jus. The cocktail menu at Mar | Muntanya is also worthy of exploration, headlined by a focus on gin and tonics—as well as a variety of sangria preparations.

It’s worth mentioning the dazzling new Hyatt also features a ground floor restaurant (Salt Republic) with plenty of Utah-influenced surprises, as well as a lively cocktail bar (Contribution) on the South East corner of the building, a perfect people watching spot in the heart of the city.

170 S. West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

mar-muntanya.com

Pretty Bird

This new opening in Midvale makes it four locations for celebrity chef Viet Pham, which means it’s easier than ever to grab Pham’s award winning fried chicken. If you’re new to the name, the house specialty is Nashville-style hot chicken available via their hefty signature sandwich, as standalone pieces, or via newer menu additions such as tenders and nuggets. Whatever spice level you opt for, we guarantee you’ll enjoy the restaurant’s savory blend of secret spices balanced by a subtle sweet hit of cinnamon. Want to push the boat out? This is only the fried chicken shop in town that we know of that offers a bottle of Dom to pair with your chicken. You know you want to.

7169 Bingham Junction Boulevard, Suite 103
Midvale, UT 84047

prettybirdchicken.square.site

Noemi’s Cafe

After several years chugging along our roads as a popular food truck, the Chilean charms of Noemi’s have now found a permanent home in Midvale. Noemi’s menu begins with some of the best empanadas you can find in the state. From the deep-fried ham and cheese through to the baked meat, these are the perfect pastries to see you through a snowy day in the Beehive. The brick-and-mortar spot also offers heartier dishes like the corn-rich Chilean classic pastel de choclo or the South American treat lomo saltado—wok-fried beef with soy sauce, tomatoes, peppers, and onion. Save some room for dessert mind you. Noemi’s offers a ‘stop you in your tracks’ duo of pastry cases that flank either side of the ordering counter. Their dulce de leche stuffed alfajores are almost as great as the prices—empanadas run $4-$5 a pop with desserts even more wallet friendly still.

777 East Fort Union Boulevard
Midvale, UT 84047

(801) 979-7888

facebook.com/noemiscatering

Italian Graffiti 

Italian Graffiti is latest effort from chef Marc Marrone, who is becoming an increasingly known name on the Utah dining scene. Marrone was the brains behind the dazzling-neon of the 80s-themed Snowmobile pizza, as well as the bao buzz of Graffiti Bao in the HallPass food hall. Marrone switches up the gears again with Italian Graffiti, with contemporary Italian cuisine offered in an upscale dining space kitted out in natural woods. Handmade pasta and rustically finished proteins like Duroc pork with braised fennel litter a handsome menu. Keep your eyes peeled for the bread cart too, loaded as it is with a tempting selection of freshly baked, seasonal breads. Blink and you might think you’re dining in the heart of the Italian countryside. 

156 South 400 West, Suite 113
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(385) 281-8373

italiangraffiti.com

Aqua Terra Steak and Sushi

Tired from a long day of shopping at City Creek Center? What better way than to relax and recover with a stop at this elegant new restaurant, handily located along Main Street in the center of the mall; you can find it on the west side of Main, just past the sky bridge through the main mall doors. As you might have garnered from their name, the core of the concept at Aqua Terra is a robust line up of steaks, sauces, and sides; ably supported by wild game such as boar, elk, and bison. And of course, there’s a creative line up of maki and nigiri sushi too. Sit at the large sushi bar and enjoy your dinner omakase style or take a lingering long look over that wine menu, and enjoy a slow recuperating meal.

50 South Main Street, Suite 168
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(385) 261-2244

aquaterrasteak.com

Quarters Arcade Bar

There’s no shame in reliving those youthful memories with a trip to this 21+ only bar. Quarters began life in downtown SLC, with the team recently opening this sophomore effort along busy 21st South in Sugar House, handily situated amidst the beating heart of the area’s nightlife. Not that you’ll stray far from this fun bar, that as you might have guessed by now, offers an eclectic range of arcade machines. Grab a roll of quarters and sip on an adult beverage while you decide what to snack on. Unlike the downtown original, this new space also brings a few dishes that are bound to appeal to your inner gaming nerd—tetris-shaped tots?

1045 East 2100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

quartersslc.com/sugarhouse

Santo Taco

Another business expanding their wings is this quickly growing local taco empire. With their recent arrival in downtown Salt Lake City, the brand now encompasses five locations; that doesn’t count their elevated Mexican bistro Monarca just down the street too. The freshly opened Santo on state street (once home to Fatboy Phillies) retains all of the fan favorites that launched the Rose Park original; that means an extensive array of tacos, supported by a stellar salsa bar. Trendy birria also now features on the menu and is available via tacos, nachos, quesadilla, or burritos.

380 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 968-6800

santotacos.com

 

Umi Shabu Shabu

Hot pot restaurants have been one of the most popular concepts across the Wasatch in recent times. A never-ending roster of bubbling broth businesses have sprung up this year. This new opening in South Salt Lake rides the trend train a further stop than most, because wait, what’s that bringing your appetizer to the table? A robot waiter? No that’s not a misprint. As for the rest of the experience, shabu shabu is a hands on affair you’ll control yourself at your tableside hot pot—simply choose your veggies, protein, and sauces from the all-you-can-eat buffet setup and get that pot steaming away to beat the winter blues.

2701 South State Street
South Salt Lake, UT 84115
(385) 229-4216

umishabu.com

Caffe D'Bolla

Lastly, but by no means least, coffee aficionados will want to take note of Caffe D’Bolla’s recent westward move. John and Yiching Piquet’s boutique coffee shop has upped sticks and moved slightly closer to the center of the downtown action. With their migration they bring with them their storied obsession with precision and expert quality. For example, in recent years D’Bolla was the first shop in the whole state to bring siphon brewing to SLC—a technique that many will argue as definitively the best way to “let the ‘beans speak.” D’Bolla continue to practice a unique form of excellence at their new home—and those equally coffee-focused will want to make a beeline here immediately.

299 South Main Street, Suite 130
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Caffedbolla.com

 

Further reading

Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s something new and interesting happening every week on our food scene. For more up-to-the-minute news, check out the following local publications:

GastronomicSLC.com
CityWeekly.net
SaltLakeMagazine.com
SLTrib.com

Salt Lake City is never one to rest on its laurels when it comes to food and drink, and the last three months have been no exception.  If it’s been a while since you’ve checked out the latest and greatest changes to our foodie scene, we’ve got just what you…

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