Budget Eating in Salt Lake City Synonymous with Fresh and Tasty Food

Great news for those on a budget: you don’t need to spend a lot of money to eat like royalty in Salt Lake City. In fact, some of the city’s best and most popular restaurants serve their food for as little as $10 a plate. Delicious, authentic flavors of many cuisines await those with hardly more than pocket change to spend on a meal.

One of the most to-die-for eateries in all of Salt Lake City is Red Iguana. Owned and operated by Mexican-born geniuses, this restaurant serves nationally-famous moles slow-cooked according to secret family recipes. However, if you feel like grabbing a speedier bite hailing from the same country, swing by Barbacoa Mexican Grill for an enormous, build-your-own fresh-Mex burrito. Pack it with vegetables, grilled meat and tasty salsa, and you’ll be able to get two meals out of it.

Another of the most in-demand restaurants in all of Salt Lake City is the Himalayan Kitchen. Visit during the evening for a totally affordable and delicious dinner, or during lunch for their legendary, all-you-can-eat buffet–a remarkable deal, and a great way to sample the cuisines of the Himalayan Mountains.

Chanon Thai is yet another of the city’s most coveted restaurants. A tiny hole-in-the-wall just north of Liberty Park, Chanon Thai is filled with fresh aromas of herbs and is usually packed with customers. This eatery, which serves some of the best and most flavorful Thai food in all of Salt Lake, is an excellent candidate for takeaway. 

Soup Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Perhaps the most classic lunch meal of all time is the "soup and sandwich" partnership. And while many restaurants offer one or two choices in this category, the Soup Kitchen offers eight soups on any given day, as well as 15 deli sandwiches,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Located on 700 East and 2100 South, and quite near I-80 and I-15, Sampan is easily accessible from any location within the Salt Lake Valley. As such, it has become the area's go-to restaurant for fast and affordable Chinese food. And when...  Read More

Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Tony Caputo's offers deli-style Italian cuisine in a prime downtown location. Creating incredible sandwiches made-to-order, and sitting in the center of Salt Lake's business and conference district, this restaurant is likely the most popular of...  Read More

South Salt Lake City
Curry in a Hurry
Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC


Situated on State Street and immediately north of I-80, Curry in a Hurry provides tasty, filling curries designed for quick takeaway. Offering a handful of meat and vegetarian dishes daily, Curry in a Hurry allows you to pick and choose as you...  Read More

Siegfried's Delicatessen
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Lunch provides the perfect opportunity to sample new cuisines. A relatively fast and small meal, it gives you the chance to try something different without committing to an expensive, multi-course dinner in a totally unfamiliar flavor spectrum....  Read More

Barbacoa Mexican Grill
Photo courtesy of Symic


Located in Salt Lake's fun and hip 9th & 9th neighborhood, Barbacoa serves a fast and nutritious version of Mexican food. Rather than sit-down service and cheese-smothered burritos, this Mexican grill offers fresh wraps, made-to-order at the...  Read More



Lunch is all about flexibility. Business persons require fast service. Solo travelers might enjoy catching a basketball game at the bar, and eating a plate of nachos. Old friends might want to relax for a few hours over a beer. And those on a...  Read More

Chanon Thai Cafe
Photo courtesy of Jennfer Boren


If you're a fan of Thai food, you're in luck whilst visiting Salt Lake City. Chanon Thai may seem like just another hole-in-the-wall Asian restaurant; however, within the small confines of this tiny establishment, you'll experience some of the...  Read More

Himalayan Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Given the immense popularity and customer loyalty of the Himalayan Kitchen, it is astounding that the restaurant has only been in business since 2005. Located in central downtown, the Himalayan Kitchen serves savory, traditional Nepali and...  Read More

Red Iguana
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


The Red Iguana has been in operation since 1985. One of Salt Lake City's most popular restaurants, The Red Iguana draws queues of waiting customers - stretching as much as half a city block from their door - during peak dinner times. Given...  Read More


Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine