Salt Lake City's best and freshest ingredients available in these fine restaurants



Utah has an amazing climate for agriculture: ample sun, warm temperatures and a long growing season. So it comes as no surprise that Utah has a thriving local farming scene. As such, many of Salt Lake City’s restaurants have joined the growing farm-to-table trend, selecting local ingredients first, and creating dishes that match the season. This environmentally savvy movement, called Restaurant Supported Agriculture, means that Salt Lake City’s visitors and residents can not only enjoy a mighty tasty meal, but can do so knowing that their food is a fresh and nutritious as possible.

The number-one restaurant in Salt Lake City subscribing to the policy of farm to table is Pago. Serving meat and vegetarian dishes in the New American genre, Pago offers a diverse menu crafted from Utah-grown ingredients. And though Pago fills a very specific culinary niche, it doesn’t just accept that as good enough. Rather, this restaurant crafts excellent food that, together with an outstanding wine list, has earned the eatery national recognition in numerous publications.

Another top contender in the Salt Lake Valley for best farm-to-table cuisine is Sage’s Cafe. First a foremost Salt Lake City’s top vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Sage’s knows how to produce a mighty tasty, gourmet dish. Creating meals with 100% plant-based ingredients, Sage’s already goes a long way to provide healthy food to its guests, all the while reducing its environmental impact. On top of this, these plant-based ingredients come from local sources whenever possible.



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Red Butte Café


 

Located in Salt Lake City's east side, the Red Butte Cafe offers its guests a special chance to enjoy high-end, casual eating. Combing a laid-back atmosphere with top-notch foods, Red Butte Cafe has invented an eclectic/ Southwestern menu comprised of tasty items, all offered at a moderate price. Enjoy a brunch and a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine over lunch or dinner. Or come in between mealtimes and enjoy a dessert with an espresso and a conversation with friends. The dessert menu at the Red Butte Cafe exceeds the ordinary ice cream-and-cake selection; Red Butte's bakery offers a dozen or more truly unique and delicious items at any given time.


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The Paris Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Joopey


 

The Paris is hands-down one of Salt Lake City's most romantic fine dining establishments. Serving New American cuisine, The Paris Restaurant draws from Old World cooking traditions, utilizing the freshest regional ingredients possible. It pairs these with organic vegetables and fruits, seafood, and excellent meats. Combining these in an elegantly simple fashion, the kitchen creates rich dishes using a slow, classic cooking style. An equally important part of its dining experience, the wine list at the Paris is extensive. If you require, the knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the best varietal to match your meal. An evening at The Paris will satisfy all of your senses.


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Flora Restaurant at the Boulevard


 

A locally owned and operated restaurant, this modern American restaurant brings healthy, inventive and delicious cuisine to the eastern side of the Salt Lake Valley. New in 2012, Flora serves artisan fare crafted with locally grown ingredients, and an accompanying beer and wine selection. Fresh and bold flavor combinations bring out the best attributes of the high-quality, whole ingredients used in each dish. Try any of their homemade pastas, Cajun pork spring rolls, goat cheese and kale ravioli, roasted beets tower or the New York strip with a jalape?o-maple bourbon glaze. No matter your selection, your meal will begin with a complimentary side of homemade bread and olive oil with fresh herbs.


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Oasis Cafe
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

The aptly named Oasis Cafe is a hidden retreat in the heart of Salt Lake City. Located beside the Golden Braid Bookstore, this restaurant offers not only a treat for the food seeker's taste buds, but also a quiet place in which to relax. Serving handcrafted foods featuring the finest, freshest ingredients possible, the Oasis Cafe offers creative, locally-inspired cuisine designed to be as refreshing and delicious as it is nutritious. Believing in the Local First mentality, the Oasis Cafe utilizes Utah-made ingredients whenever possible. Though the Oasis Cafe has a very favorable reputation among Salt Lake City's vegetarians, this restaurant also proudly serves many meat dishes.


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Metropolitan


 

"Handcrafted New American Cuisine" is Metropolitan's claim to fame, along with their tasty, tapas-sized dishes served in an elegantly modern dining room - set within a renovated warehouse. In business since 1995, this locally-owned eatery clearly has been doing something right. Both casual and upscale dining are available in this sophisticated place, depending on your preference. Exquisite appetizers include a Maytag blue cheese crepe souffle; main course fare is built around perfectly prepared rabbit, scallops, caribou, elk, quail, and local trout. Finish up with chocolate pomegranate roulade or just-right Dutch apple pie. The Metropolitan offers more than 30 wines by the glass and over 200 bottles.


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Copper Common
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

The Copper Onion is one of the new additions to the growing Utah foodie scene. Former NYC chef (and native Utahan) Ryan Lowder now brings his personal take on New American cuisine to his own kitchen with an approach inspired by his passion for Utah's outstanding farmstead ingredients and his experience as a chef cooking his way through Barcelona, NYC and South America. The Copper Onion serves a wide array of vegetable side dishes and a menu designed to explore and share, with plates such as Ricotta dumplings with lemon, sage and brown butter and Braised Pork Belly with shaved Brussels sprouts and pickled celeriac. Entrees include Fresh house-made papparedelle with lamb ragout and Duck Confit with butternut squash and roasted mushroom caps. An insistent focus on the freshest and best is paramount; sausages and burgers are ground daily, bread is baked and ice cream is made in house, offering casual diners an exceptional experience at affordable prices.


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Sage's Cafe is Salt Lake City's most popular, go-to restaurant for healthy, gourmet vegetarian food. In fact, this restaurant serves 100% plant-based foods only. Selecting local first, Sage's offers an ever-changing menu to match the season. On the national circuit, Sage's has received dozens and dozens of awards and shout-outs from vegetarian and non-vegetarian publications alike. Sage's uses traditional cooking techniques - that is, no fryers, microwaves, or heat lamps - to ensure that each dish is as fresh and healthy as possible when it arrives at the table. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians will all enjoy a delicious, healthy and gourmet meal at Sage's.


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Pago
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

If you're looking for farm-fresh, artisan food, Pago is your number-one choice in the Salt Lake City area. Whether you're looking for brunch, lunch or dinner, you can expect a diverse menu filled with tantalizing meat and vegetarian dishes of the New American persuasion. Constantly seeking the finest in locally produced foods, Pago offers an ever-changing menu to match the seasons and their fruits. Located in the heart of the hip 9th and 9th neighborhood, this restaurant occupies a renovated space in an historic building. A highly decorated eatery, Pago has received awards from Best of State, City Weekly Best of Utah, OpenTable.com and Wine Enthusiast Magazine.


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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

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