What to Devour in the Beehive State: Utah’s Most-Iconic Dishes
Snowcapped mountains, gorgeous lakes, and Southern Utah’s epic National Parks make the Beehive State a unique place to visit. Here are some of its most-captivating dishes and drinks.
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Utah’s Best Bites
There’s more to Utah than apres-ski fare. Whether pickle pie, a Bear Lake raspberry shake, honey-lavender Cheddar or the best cup of single-origin coffee around, lots of signature foods beckon in the Beehive State.
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As morbid as they sound, funeral potatoes are a strong and storied part of Utahâs food culture. The surprisingly tasty conflake-crusted casserole gets its name from its popularity as a post-funeral side dish. Garage on Beck in Salt Lake City revamps Funeral Potatoes as balls of Idaho potatoes, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, bacon and scallions in a cornflake crust, all "baptized in hot oil."
Iceberg Drive Inn has been an iconic Salt Lake City sweets spot since 1960. It's so popular that there are several locations throughout Utah, as well as in California and Arizona. Their milkshakes are touted as the thickest around, and each is poured to tower over its cup. Strawberry and peach are local favorites, as theyâre crafted with real chunks of fruit.
There are few better ways to enjoy french fries than with a side of fry sauce. Consisting of ketchup, lemon juice, eggs and some secret ingredients, fry sauce tastes similar to Thousand Island dressing. Though many restaurants and fast food joints serve their own versions around Utah, Arctic Circle, a popular Midvale-based hamburger chain, claims to have put the elevated dipping sauce on the map in the 1950’s. Due to popular demand, the chain now sells 16-ounce bottles. And no judgment here if you decide to slather it on your cheeseburger, too.
Collegiate Ice Cream
While Utah might be home to both the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City, Redmond is the place that's really salty. The town contains an underground salt deposit thatâ s left over from millions of years ago, when it was under a sea. Containing over 60 natural trace minerals, Real Salt is coveted not just for its flavor, but its noteworthy nearly pink color. At Under Current, a craft cocktail bar in downtown Salt Lake City, the Dutch Bicycle features genever, lime, chamomile syrup and Génépy des Alpes, with a rim of Real Salt.
Bear Lake Raspberries
More many Utahans, summers are synonymous with fleeing to Bear Lake for fun in the sun and, more importantly, Bear Lake raspberry shakes. The plump, juicy berries, only grown in Bear Lake Valley, make for one of the sweetest cool-down treats ever invented. After a long day of water recreation, LeBeau's Drive-In, in Garden City, is a worthwhile stop. Fresh raspberries are blended into soft-serve ice cream and piled over the rim for the added indulgence.
Creminelli Fine Meats
High West Distillery
Mile High Biscuits
There are entire pie routes along Utah's Highway 12 and Highway 24 scenic byways. The unique recipes at The Sunglow Restaurant & Motel in Bicknell, a cafe that has been around since the mid-1950's, are what draw crowds en route to see Southern Utah's scenic desert landscapes. Of the several pie options, it's quirky pickle (which tastes shockingly similar to pumpkin pie), pinto bean (which could stand in for pecan pie) and buttermilk pie that have earned it destination status. Pie baker Bessie Stewart has been at the ovens for over three decades now, and her pies have become a local staple at Thanksgiving and beyond.
There are few more pleasing American pastimes than noshing on locally grown summer corn, and Utah grows some of the best. Get a taste of the real deal at Waldorf Astoria Park City's Powder restaurant, where Executive Chef Ryker Brown uses the vegetable during the season — typically July through October — in several creative main dishes and sides. Utah Corn " Chowder" is bolstered with bacon, leeks, potato and garlic, and is a crowd favorite.
Wild Game Chili
Morgan Valley Lamb
At J&G Grill at The St. Regis Deer Valley, sip on a drink composed of rich history and local booze. The not-so-average Bloody Mary — named for the resort’s elevation — uses housemade tomato juice mix, local vodka, wasabi and celery foam, all topped with black lava salt that pays homage to the area’s mining history. The pipette of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces lets guests control the cocktail’s spice level.
Hell's Backbone Grill Canned Goods
Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder (Utah, not Colorado), is considered one of the country’s most-remote restaurants — in one of the most-remote towns. Serving dishes made from ingredients sustainably grown on-site in the organic garden, the farm-to-table restaurant offers an authentic taste of Utah. Co-owners and chefs Jen Castle and Blake Spalding can their own food to sustain them in winter months when the restaurant is closed. Their canned pickles, jams and sauces have gained a cult following, and can be found at The Downtown Farmers’ Market and Winter Market in Salt Lake City.