Best pizzeria

1. The Pie

Locations across the Wasatch Front.
(801) 582-0193‎

A fixture of U of U and Weber State college campuses for years, The Pie serves up the perfect pizza to enjoy with after the game or on a night out with friends. Their most famous location is still in the basement of the University Pharmacy, and it’s the kind of hangout where writing on the walls is encouraged. There’s over 26 years of graffiti on those bricks; that’s some serious history. You don’t have to hang out; The Pie’s four locations also deliver!

Of course, the main attraction is huge slices of cheesy pizza creations with some unique toppings like shrimp, gyro meat or Sicilian spiced tomatoes. Or is it the cheese pull-apart? Or maybe it’s the salads, subs or zappis (The Pie’s version of a classic calzone.) One thing’s for sure: The Pie will be serving co-eds of all ages these Utah favorites for years to come.


2. Papa Murphy’s


3. Settebello
settebello.net, 801-322-3556



Best Italian restaurant

1. Cucina Toscana

307 Pierpont Avenue, Salt Lake City
(801) 328-3463‎

One of the most recognizable restaurant personalities in Utah is Cucina Toscana owner Valter Nassi, and his personal touch with award-winning Italian fare means those who are his guests for dinner are the real winners. No detail is overlooked, from fresh floral centerpieces, to the art and antiques that adorn each of the dining rooms, to careful blends of the finest ingredients, each complements an experience you will remember and want to repeat again soon.

With elegant atmosphere, an extensive menu with chef-crafted dishes and a top-notch wine list, you might expect to pay twice what a meal at Cucina Toscana will cost. Nassi loves serving Salt Lake City authentic Tuscan dishes and it’s clear from the many enthusiastic votes and repeat customers that the city loves him back.

2. Olive Garden (tie)


3. Buca di Beppo (tie)
801-561-9463 (For Union), 801-575-6262 (SLC)


Best breakfast place

1. Ruth’s Diner

2100 Emigration Canyon, Salt Lake City
(801) 582-5807‎

The perfect breakfast out should almost be like eating a cozy meal at home, and Ruth’s Diner offers comfort food so good, you’ll wonder if they didn’t borrow your grandma’s recipe book. The mile high biscuits are famously delicious or if you have a sweet tooth in the morning, try the pecan cinnamon roll French toast which is as decadent as it sounds.

Of course, the menu includes diner classics like steak and eggs and eight kinds of omelets; the kinds of things Ruth herself would be proud to serve. You can even eat in the original dining car that housed the restaurant at its very beginning or on warmer mornings watch the sun rise out on the patio. Starting your day right with a warm meal at Ruth’s Diner has been a tradition for over 70 years and one of Salt Lake City’s best excuses for waking up early.


2. Blue Plate Diner




Best American restaurant

1. Q4U

3951 West 5400 South, Kearns
(801) 955-8858‎

No, you didn’t head out to Kearns and wind up at a pit barbeque in Texas; you’re just at Q4U. Serving southern style home cookin’ and some of the best barbeque ribs around is T and Becci Brown’s passion, and they know what they’re doing. This isn’t their first award, either. In fact, the walls are so crowded with accolades and barbeque competition trophies that it’s likely there won’t be room for any more!

T’s signature rubs and sauces are tangy and delicious and are handcrafted to bring out the flavor in whatever he puts on the grill. Sides like homemade coleslaw and cornbread round out any meal. If flavor is what you crave, join Q4U’s many fans for ribs done right. What could be more American than good barbeque?

2. Spark Restaurant Lounge

3. Acme Burger


Best Asian restaurant

1. PF Chang’s

174 West Broadway, Salt Lake City
(801) 539-0500‎

One of the non-local picks for People’s Choice, PF Chang’s is a worldwide favorite that has brought its Asian flair to Utah. Replica terra cotta warriors and huge horse statues give the restaurant a unique look and striking atmosphere. The savory sauce of Chang’s Spicy Chicken or the Dan Dan Noodles are pretty striking as well…for your tastebuds.

One of the best things about eating out at PF Chang’s is it won’t break your wallet. Dining family style from the countless options of eastern inspired entrees means you get to try a little of everything and enjoy a tasteful—and tasty—meal with family and friends.


2. Pei Wei Asian Diner


3. Asian Star



Best Mexican restaurant

1. Red Iguana

736 West North Temple, Salt Lake City
(801) 322-1489‎

The Red Iguana’s “killer Mexican food” has become a must-visit place for folks visiting Salt Lake on reputation alone. Of course, locals have been enjoying authentic, spicy, amazing dishes from the Cardenas’ kitchen for years. In fact, Red Iguana has become so popular that they recently had to open a brand-new location…only a couple of blocks away from the original!

It’s all about the molé. Many Mexican restaurants offer the same favorites—enchiladas, tacos, tamales—and these entrees at Red Iguana are no slouch, but the signature mole sauces add a special unique flavor to dishes like emoladas and enchiladas suizas. Here’s a hint: order a side of one of the seven different varieties and make even a simple burrito or quesadilla absolutely amazing.


2. Cafe Rio


3. Blue Iguana


Best bakery

1. Paradise Bakery

Locations across the Wasatch Front.

New to Utah, but quickly becoming a favorite with locations popping up along the Wasatch Front is Paradise Bakery. Its roots began in California in the ‘70s with a mission to make the best cookies and muffins around. It slowly added menu items like several varieties of fresh-made sandwiches and a daily selection of three soups which can easily become addictive.

The cookies at Paradise are still the most sought after item. Wanna be a favorite at work or with the kids? Pick up a dozen and share. As impressive as the food is Paradise’s fantastic service. No special request is denied and the friendly staff will even bus your table when you’re through.


2. Great Harvest


3. Schmidt’s Pastry Cottage


Best brew pub

1. Bohemian

94 East 7200 South, Salt Lake City
(801) 566-5474‎

Even on a weeknight, you can eat in one of the Bohemian’s lodge style dining rooms and it’s likely the place will still be packed. Hearty Czech dishes and pub fare, unique atmosphere and great lager brews crafted with almost fanatical care mean you’ll be leaving full and happy.

Joe Petras brings Old World tastes and traditions to Salt Lake and brewmaster Bobby Jackson helps create the “old school brew” that has made the Bohemian famous. There is no shortage of local brews, but the careful month-long process required to make to produce four varieties of beer results in a truly fine pint. At the Bohemian, good times and great food are served up every evening in equal measure.

2. Squatters

3. Red Rock


Attractions>>Best family attraction

1. Lagoon

375 Lagoon Drive, Farmington
(801) 451-8000‎

It’s Utah’s one-of-a-kind theme park; a family tradition for generations. People from all over the state have flocked to Lagoon to enjoy rides, games and attractions for over 100 years. Of course, the park has changed quite a bit since then and every year there are at least a few new rides and surprises to enjoy.

Lagoon is best experienced with kids of all ages, and the whole family can brave Wicked, a high speed roller coaster not to be missed or relax on the log flume…until the end that is. Live entertainment, a water park, Pioneer Village and even a small zoo are all included in the price of a ticket. Plan on at least one fun-filled day at Lagoon this summer or you’re missing out.


2. Hogle Zoo


3. Thanksgiving Point



Best music venue

1. USANA Amphitheater

5400 West 6200 South, Midvale
(801) 352-5522‎

This attractive outdoor arena was created to attract some of the most well recognized acts in music and it has delivered. World famous acts like Rush, ZZ Top, Sting, Metallica and Jack Johnson have filled the night air with music from USANA’s stage. “Built for music” is the venue’s motto, and it was designed with the 20,000 fans it is capable of seating in mind.

Buy tickets for reserved seating or out on the lawn, but there’s not a bad seat in the house. Concessions and a private club are also available for attendees’ convenience and enjoyment. USANA has been so successful in hosting big name talent that it has become a big name for Utah concertgoers itself.

2. Red Butte Garden

3. E Center


Best arts attraction

1. Utah Arts Festival

Library Square

Over 30 years of hosting outdoor summer arts festivals has helped the Utah Arts Festival hone its massive annual event into, well, almost a work of art. It is the largest outdoor multi-disciplined event in Utah, and each June local artists and craftsmen descend on Library Square and the surrounding area to set up shop in hopes of selling some their creations.

80,000 patrons take in the film, food and music from blown glass to ethnic dance troupes and the hard work and dedication of the folks at the Utah Arts Festival have made it one of the top 50 arts festivals in the country.

2. Utah Museum of Fine Art

3. The Leonardo


Shopping>>Best mall

1. Gateway

Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

When the Gateway opened in conjunction with the 2002 winter Olympics games, it changed how Utah shops. Movies, restaurants and high-end shops all in one place ended up being a brilliant plan for a shopping destination. Outdoor concourses and sky bridges connect the entire complex turning typical mall shopping into a relaxing stroll outdoors.

One attraction of the Gateway that perhaps no one realized would be so popular is the dancing waters fountain at the north end of the property. On warm summer days there are usually at least a dozen kids splashing happily in the jets of water. There’s more than shopping and dining to experience; outdoor music and events, a children’s museum and planetarium all deserve a visit…right after you get that perfect pair of shoes.

2. Fashion Place

3. South Towne


Best clothing store

1. Nordstrom

6191 South State, Murray
(801) 261-4402‎

Shopping at Nordstrom has become synonymous with class. High end merchandise and only the most fashionable clothing, shoes and accessories line the racks for all ages. Exclusive cosmetics brands and fragrances mean that shopping at Nordstrom all but guarantees a unique, cultured style.

What makes Nordstrom the people’s favorite, though, has a lot to do with service and reputation. The staff in every department is friendly, exceptionally helpful and can make recommendations with impeccably good taste. The music, atmosphere and décor are also elegant without being intimidating. When you’ve finally tired of shopping, the café and espresso bar offer a deliciously tempting break from the action.

2. Dillard’s

3. Macy’s

Best gift store

1. Blue Boutique

1383 East 2100 South, Sugar House
(801) 485-2072‎

Proof Utahns still have a naughty side, the Blue Boutique take best gift store honors. Their motto is “shopping made sexy,” but there’s more here than just risqué picks for bachelorette parties or Valentine’s Day (there are plenty of great items for those as well). Unique clothing lines, jewelry, costume items and decorations for any taste or type make great gifts for any occasion.

Another sometimes overlooked area in which Blue Boutique specializes is Halloween costumes and accessories. Dress up in spooky style and get ready to get noticed. For people who like to attract attention everyday, Blue Boutique has a wide selection of high quality body piercing jewelry and supplies. Did I mention knowledgeable, cheerful staff? If the mark of a great gift shop is something for everyone for any occasion, this place has it covered.

2. Gardner Village

3. Cahoots


Best outdoor store

1. Cabela’s

2502 West Grand Terrace Parkway, Lehi
(801) 766-2500‎

Cabela’s holds claim to being the world’s foremost outfitter since 1961 and a visit to their showroom will leave you convinced they’re telling the truth. It’s saying something when hunters, campers and fishermen willingly, even enthusiastically, make the drive to Lehi.

Utahns love the outdoors, and Cabela’s has everything you could need for your next contact with nature. An impressive 150,000 sq. ft. showroom not only holds the biggest selection of outdoor gear, giant life size dioramas containing trophy animals in lifelike poses and massive aquariums capture the spirit of the great outdoors. Cablela’s isn’t just a store, it’s a destination.

2. REI

3. Smith & Edwards (tie)

3. Sports Authority (tie)


Outdoors>>Best ski resort

1. Snowbird

Snowbird is truly a world famous ski destination. Ask anyone from around the country to name the first ski resort that comes to mind and there’s a strong chance they’ll mention Snowbird more often than not. Lodging, restaurants and après ski wit


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