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Looking for Dives in Salt Lake City

Hey everyone,
I'm taking a vacation soon to Salt Lake City and would love some suggestions on where to eat. I'm definately not going to Olive Garden or Burger King so if you could direct me towards more of a non-chain, one of a kind, home-made kind of place that would be great. I'm feeling Diners, Drive-ins and Dives style; any recommendations?

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  1. For a cheap, but really good burger, we love B & D Burgers
    222 S 1300 E
    Salt Lake City, UT 84102
    Phone: (801) 582-7200
    Try the bacon bleu cheese burger. Fries are good, too.

    For a good gyro, especially their pork souvlaki gyro along with fries, we love Mad Greek--
    4504 S 900 E
    Salt Lake City, UT 84117
    Phone: (801) 266-4501

    There are other Mad Greek restaurants around the valley, but I can't vouch for their quality. We like this one, though.

    Cancun Cafe serves yummy carnitas for about 8 bucks that we love, along with good fajitas, and pretty good chimichangas. Make sure and ask them for their hot salsa. It is smoky and spicy and great on the gratis chips.
    Cancun Cafe
    1891 Fort Union Blvd
    Salt Lake City, UT 84121
    (801) 942-1333

    We love love love Nielsen's Frozen Custard
    3918 Highland Dr, Holladay - (801) 277-7479
    The frozen custard is like eating velvet. I like the vanilla, but the chocolate is great, too.

    Those top our list of cheap eats here in beautiful SLC!

    1. For the best garlic burger in town go to the Cotton Bottom (2820 E 6200 S) or the Busy Bee (2100 S State St), the recipes are very similar (used to have same owner).
      For a killer cheese steak go to Moochie's (232 East 800 South), and maybe check out some of their pottery.
      For tasty Tibetan try Cafe Shambala ( 382 4TH Ave).
      The Himalayan Kitchen (73 E. 400 South) has a tasty lunch buffet.
      Good wings can be found at the Wing Coop (3971 Wasatch Boulevard or 4095 S Redwood Road) or Trolley Wing Company (500 Trolley Sq).
      Rusted Sun (2010 S. State) and Wasatch Pizza (multiple locations) make a good pie or calzone.
      For a great bar try X Wife's Place (465 S 700 E) or the Republican (917 South State Street).
      For breakfast you gotta try the Left Fork Grill (65 W. 3900 South); fresh, homemade everything, including the best pie in town made first thing that morning, plus decent coffee.
      There's also great mexican, indian and greek all over the place.
      Go to any of the greek diners and get a pastrami burger, you won't regret it (maybe).

      1 Reply
      1. re: funklight

        I second Cotton Bottom, the Garlic Burger is YUMMY!!! ( 21 and up only keep in mind)

        I love Moochies cheese steak but I always ask for light onions. (I love onions, but love steak more and as is, they are a little overkill)

        A MUST is RED IGUANA, but go early, like RIGHT when they open it is always busy. The best mexican hands down. (my fave is the Shrimp Sonora or something like that)

        Down in Utah County is a place called Marlys - Gourmet Sliders. I was a little skeptical, but they have not let me down. I love the signature slider with their homemade buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and bacon.. all on a homemade honey burger bun. They serve shoestring potatoes. (getting hungry thinking about it!) It is located inside the Harley Davidson in Lindon.

        There is a great mediterranean place called Cafe Med in south SLC or maybe that is taylorsville? But just south of SLC. Really good food, and definitely a dive. lol.

      2. Molca Salsa by REI for a great greasy 24-hour burrito joint. And Lone Star Taqueria at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon for fish tacos. They're not 24-hour but so good.

        1. Este Pizza in Sugarhouse. You've got to try Nobrow Coffee at 315 E 300 S. Not really food but certainly within your parameters :)

          1. If you're in the downtown area, you should definitely stop by Crown Burger at some point and get the signature Crown Burger, which is a huge pastrami cheeseburger. There are two locations downtown, so one of them should be within walking distance. You might also want to check out the Rio Grande Cafe. It's an old style American Mexican cafe in a historic train depot in a fairly sketchy part of downtown (not really dangerous, but not at all glamorous). Somebody is likely going to recommend the Red Iguana, and I'll go along with that as well, but it can be extremely busy on some nights. If you're on Main Street, you could stop by Lamb's. It's Utah's oldest restaurant. It's not a dive, but it has an aged quality to it, and Main Street is one huge construction zone now, so it might feel more like a dive than it ever has in the past.