Kait Miller is the blogger of Real Food Gypsy. Originally from North Carolina, she now calls Salt Lake City home. Kait reveals the hiking trails to go for, where to head for lunch, and why you should steer clear of the Great Salt Lake.
What should travellers know about Utah before heading there?
In the summer, bring a jacket! It’s hot during the day, but it’s dry heat. At night it cools down a lot and there’s no humidity. It’s like the desert, so definitely bring the jacket.
What do you feel defines the cuisine in Utah?
Utah is unique. Since it’s in the West and close to California, Arizona, and New Mexico, you may think that the cuisine is Southwestern. At least that’s what we thought when we found out we were moving here three years ago. We were so wrong! Utah is a lot like the South, where I’m originally from (North Carolina). It’s traditional American-inspired food and you can find diners and burger joints all over. What’s also unique is that there are a ton of Italian and pizza restaurants.
What is the one local dish you feel travellers can’t leave Utah without trying?
This is easy! Hands down the beef stroganoff from The Copper Onion. The noodles are handmade, the beef is from Snake River Farms in Wyoming, and the sauce is incredible. Everything is locally sourced and it shines in every dish, especially this one.
I’ll also say fry sauce. It’s not a dish, but a condiment. Utah is known for it, and it just tastes better here.
What about your favourite restaurants?
I have several favourite spots, most happen to be in Park City or Salt Lake. The Copper Onion for their burger and stroganoff, HSL for their pork shank and general tso’s cauliflower, Publik for their delicious coffee and thick toast, Fletcher’s for their salmon, Alamexo for their chicken enchiladas, Harvest for a delicious breakfast, and Pizza Nono for the best wood-fired pizza in the city.
Name some tourist traps travellers should avoid in Utah
Yes – the Great Salt Lake! It is the most underwhelming thing you could do. It stinks and it’s just really sad to look at. A complete waste of time.
Describe the perfect way to explore Utah
I would start in Salt Lake City and adventure through the canyons and mountains. There are beautiful hikes in Cottonwood and Millcreek Canyons. A few of the prettiest places to hike are Lake Blanche, Bell Canyon’s Waterfall, Cecret Lake, White Pine Lake, and Albion Basin to see the wildflowers. You may even see a moose or two! Then escape to Park City to experience Main Street or some world-class skiing. On your way to Southern Utah, stop by Fifth Water Hot Springs in Provo. After you’ve exhausted Northern Utah, head down and explore the National Parks. Moab, Zion, and Bryce Canyon will take your breath away. There is nothing like it.
Name one best kept secret of Utah
Fifth Water Hot Springs in Provo. It is absolutely stunning in rain, snow, or shine, sunrise or sunset. It’s a fun experience.
What about your favourite spot for a weekend getaway in Utah?
Park City! We love escaping there. It doesn’t matter if it’s during ski-season or summer time, there’s always a ton of outdoor activities going on. They have amazing restaurants on Main Street and all the resorts have farm-to-table dining. It feels like a vacation and it’s only a 30 minute drive from Salt Lake.
What should travellers bring home with them from Utah?
Honey! We are known as the Bee State and there is local honey everywhere. Creamed cinnamon, raspberry, blueberry, you name it. It’s incredible.
WHERE TO EAT IN UTAH
Where: 111 East Broadway #170, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
For: Beef stroganoff
Where: 418 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
For: Viewspork shank and general tso’s cauliflower
Where: 975 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
For: Coffee and thick toast
Where: 562 Main St, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Where: 268 State St #110, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
For: Chicken enchiladas
Where: 140 N 400 W, St George, UT 84770, USA (and more)
Where: 925 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA
WHERE TO GO IN UTAH
Where: Cottonwood Heights, Utah, USA
Where: 3800 Millcreek Canyon Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84124, USA
Where: Lake Blanche Trail, Salt Lake City, UT 84121, USA
Where: Moab National Park, Utah, USA
For: National parks
Where: Zion National Park, Utah, USA
For: National parks
Where: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA
For: National parks
Where: Diamond Fork Rd, Springville, UT 84663, USA
Where: Park City, Utah, USA