10 Best Outdoor Dining in Salt Lake: Uniting a Sunny, Dry Climate with Outstanding Restaurants

Salt Lake City has been gifted with amazing weather. In any season, the city enjoys unjust amounts of sunny days and low humidity. Though the summers can get quite toasty - and the winters quite chilly - you’ll nevertheless find an occasion for outdoor dining in all seasons. After all, nothing feels better than pleasant, summer evening air - or a warm patio on a sunny, winter afternoon.

When choosing a destination for your next outdoor meal, you’ll first have to determine your goals, in terms of cuisine and formality. If you’re looking for a refined and romantic dinner, consider visiting one of the city’s best New American, farm-to-table restaurants, Em’s. Located within walking distance of the Capitol Building, this restaurant offers some of the city’s most enjoyable outdoor dining - as well as some of its freshest meals.

Another of the top recommendations for any occasion is Cafe Trio. This modern Italian gem stands just north of the 9th and 9th intersection. Offering a spacious patio with an elegant and user-friendly menu, Trio avails itself to those craving a light salad, as well as to those hankering for a four-course meal. In the heat of the summer, Trio also cools its patio with an amazingly pleasant misting system.

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

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


The Bayou has invented a niche its own, and a brilliant one at that. At once a restaurant, high-end beer bar, pool hall, and jazz venue, The Bayou offers something for everyone. On the restaurant side, The Bayou offers a lengthy and varied menu...  Read More



This two-story cafe is one of Salt Lake City's longest-running, most classic cafes. Serving delicious, roasted coffees (ranging from lattes to dark espressos) throughout the day, alongside a fairly extensive food menu, this is a go-to favorite...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


In a sea of fabulous restaurants, Tuscany manages to be among Salt Lake's best. Winning four Utah Best of State awards in 2010, including "Best Chef," "Best Tuscan," and "Best Hospitality," Tuscany has also earned recognition from Zagat as one...  Read More



With its warm, burnished interiors and soothing decor, Log Haven is a perfect place to dine - even moreso if you're celebrating a special occasion. Nestled among pine trees, waterfalls, and beautiful landscaping, the well-regarded restaurant...  Read More

Temple Square
Caffe Molise
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Specializing in Italian cuisine from Italy's Molise region, this full-service restaurant serves fresh, brilliantly simple cuisine in a handsome, upscale enviornment. During any month, you can enjoy dinner accompanied by live, Friday night jazz...  Read More

Ruth's Diner
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Located in a renovated 1930s trolley car parked right in the heart of Emigration Canyon, Ruth's Diner serves all your favorite American and southwest breakfast dishes, from sausage and pancakes to huevos rancheros. The popular eatery has gained...  Read More

Café Trio
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


Cafe Trio, located on the northern periphery of Salt Lake's 9th & 9th neighborhood, is one of Salt Lake City's most consistently busy restaurants. Serving a contemporary and fresh version of Italian cuisine in a bright and stylish dining...  Read More

Avenues/Capitol Hill


Located in a beautifully restored, century-old brick building, Em's offers some of Salt Lake City's best farm-to-table dining. Crafting all dishes by hand with exclusively local and organic ingredients, Em's is a staple neighborhood bistro in...  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