Looking for something good to eat, but tired of the same old chain restaurants you can find just about anywhere? It’s tough work finding a good hole-in-the wall in Southern Utah. However, lucky for you, I happen to be a self-proclaimed connoisseur of fine food discovery.
Here, I have outlined the best, and I mean the very BEST, restaurants that are a must for foodies in Southwestern Utah. From $.89 tacos to 5 star French cuisine, you’re sure to find something you’ll fall in a food coma for.
A personal favorite of mine, Oscar’s menu is almost better than their views! Located in Springdale just outside Zion National Park, Oscar’s offers Mexican options like their signature Chile Verde Burrito, Chile Verde Tamales (my fav) & classic options like ribs, deluxe burgers, and steak sandwiches. Finish up the night with their famous carrot cake while enjoying their lit patio and red cliff views.
An art village + canopied patio + exclusive, red cliff views + desert oasis + delicious food + charismatic servers = Xetava. Too good to be true? Only in prestigious Kayenta will you discover a restaurant as fabulous as Xetava! Immerse yourself in delectable cuisine, like their spicy hummus plate (highly recommend), butter poached salmon tacos, peach glazed chicken, or any of their specialty salads, like the herb & berry or chilled beet. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a jamocha frappe on your way out. Ask for a shot of peppermint to give it an extra minty freshness.
If you’re looking for a notably “hip” place, look no further. River Rock Roasting Co is by far the coolest place in Southern Utah. With incredible views, the best brews, and a line up of Subarus in the parking lot, River Rock will have you wearing Chacos and yoga beads before you know it. Enjoy one of Aunt Becky’s Bodacious Buns (aka the best cinnamon rolls in Southern Utah) and a veggie delight breakfast sandwich or a ham apple cheddar panini (sounds weird, but I PROMISE it’s life changing). And if coffee isn’t your thing, they also have a variety of herbal teas, smoothies, and Italian sodas.
This one’s a little off the beaten path, but totally worth the adventure. Located literally in the middle of no where off Highway 12 Scenic Byway in Escalante, Kiva Koffehouse offers an experience unlike anywhere else! Surrounded by unobstructed views and a rugged terrain, this quaint adobe building was created by artist and engineer, Bradshaw Bowman, as a relaxing stop for travelers. Menu options include homemade soups, breads, pastries, classic “Southwestern” options, and a full espresso bar.
I have good news & bad news about this place… The bad news: it’s closed until March. The good news: March is just around the corner! Located in Cedar City, The French Spot is owned and operated by trained chef & pastry chef, Michael Attali. Earning his culinary education in France, he then went on to work in premiere restaurants across Europe and New York. As if his resume wasn’t enough to convince you, I’m sure the food will! Enjoy authentic French cuisine, like buttery croissants, crepes, gratin, sauteed Atlantic salmon, chou, creme brulee, macaroons, & much more!
I have no shame in driving 30 minutes for a slice of pie, especially when coconut cream is an option. Other flavors include classics like apple, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, banana cream and the notorious Veyo Volcano (graham cracker shell with a layer of sweet cream cheese Then layers of butterscotch and chocolate with a whipped cream top). If sweets aren’t your thing, then give their chicken pot pie a try (honestly though, their chicken pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods, especially on the cold, rainy days we’ve been having lately).
I love pizza. Absolutely love it. But, when I moved to St. George I was terribly disappointed to discover the lack of good pizza joints. Now, I’m not talking about Domino’s or Little Caesars (heaven forbid). I’m talking about hand tossed, Neapolitan style crust, globs of mozzarella, garnished with basil and drizzles of olive oil, fresh from a wood fired oven, kind of pizza. You know what I’m talking about. Now, if that’s what you’re looking for, then Rigatti’s is the place for you! My pie of preference is the half Margherita, half pepperoni: the perfect combination of fancy and fatty!
Sorry Honolulu Grill fans, but Island grinds is definitely where I prefer to get my “grindage” on. Home to the world’s best macaroni salad and pupu chicken, Island Grinds delivers an authentic Hawaiian experience with family recipes passed down for generations. Curb your cravings with kalua pork, teriyaki beef, katsu chicken and a hearty helping of rice.
I experienced this gem only a few weeks ago, and, I must say, it was *insert heart eyes emoji* *insert drooling face emoji*. Many of you may be a little hesitant to try Thai, but i’d highly recommend starting off with their shrimp tempura and tofu pad thai or yellow curry. It never hurts to be adventurous!
Dubbed one of the only true 5 star restaurants in St. George, Aragosta features contemporary American and fine European cuisine created by renowned cook, Chef Imi. Now, I’ll be honest… I haven’t actually eaten here yet because it’s a little $$$, but I’ve been told it’s worth it. Menu options include starters like prosciutto con melon, escargot, & lobster mac n’ cheese. As if the appetizers weren’t enough, entrees feature delicacies like lobster ravioli (as pictured above), Alaskan Salmon, Filetto Gorgonzola (Italian style filet mignon topped with steak sauce and Gorgonzola cheese), Lamb Osso Bucco (Rear Lamb Shank braised with carrot & celery. Drizzled with demi-glace) and Hungarian Tenderloin Goulash (Beef tenderloin tips Stewed in Hungarian Paprika sauce. Served with dill & goat cheese mixed).
D.U.B.’s BBQ holds the title as the only family owned & operated BBQ joint in St. George. All of their signature dishes are prepared with original rubs and bbq sauces – guaranteeing you won’t taste anything quite like it. Their menu features classic southern cooking, like fried catfish, hot link sausage, baby back ribs, brisket, and more mouth watering entrees – all at an affordable price! Don’t forget to order a side of their cajin fries & mac n’ cheese .
Okay, I know I’ve said other restaurants on this list are my favorites, but Coyote Charro is my number one – especially on Wednesdays. Why Wednesdays, you ask? Because it’s Taco Wednesday, of course! At only $.89, their Al Pastor tacos can feed this poor college girl just fine. I go a little wild with toppings, adorning them with cilantro, frijoles, lime, seared onions, and their signature avocado sauce. Personally, I think the food is a little better at the Washington location, however, I like the milieu of the Bluff location more.
So… I have a confession to make. I tried Mad Pita once a few years ago and wasn’t too impressed. However, I recently gave it another chance and, oh my goodness, was my first impression wrong! Ever since eating there, it’s all I can think about! Long story short, second chances are well deserved. If you’re like me, and don’t have a clue about Greek food, I’d highly recommend the spicy chicken pita or the Falafel pita (for my vegetarian friends), their Mediterranean fries, and their hummus and pita for a side.