SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

The SLC Foodie blog started off much like any other blog. It was a way for Becky and Josh Rosenthal’s friends to keep up with them on their travels and culinary adventures in their newly adopted home, Salt Lake City.

 

As the trajectory of the Salt Lake food scene rocketed upward, so did views for the Rosenthals’ humble blog. They saw an opportunity to help bolster Salt Lake’s bourgeoning restaurant community through their blog, and build their own brand at the same time.

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Josh and Becky Rosenthal have built a brand for themselves as SLC Foodie © Billy Yang

The Rosenthals have since released a book, Salt Lake City Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Crossroads of the West, and they’ve even gone into the food business themselves with La Barba Coffee, a roaster and café.

 

We met up with Josh Rosenthal at La Barba to find out more about SLC Foodie’s formative years, and where to eat in Salt Lake City right now.

 

Tell us about the beginning of the SLC Foodie blog.

 

“Twitter was just starting to get big and Becky just grabbed that name. She wanted to show this place off. She wanted everyone to know that this city is way better than you might think. That was ’09.”

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Josh is CEO of La Barba coffee and they have a café set up in the same space as one of his favourite restaurants, Finca © Billy Yang

And that’s when things were starting to pop off here in Salt Lake. Places like Copper Onion, Pago and Forage opened.

 

“Yeah, when I talk to people about food, I jokingly say I’m of the Pago generation. Becky is more informed about what was happening before that, but for me it’s all about when Scott Evans opened Pago.

 

So yeah, back then we ate at Pago. We went to Copper Onion. A friend of ours got tenure at the University of Utah and wanted to go somewhere nice to celebrate and that’s when we went to Forage. We were blown away.

 

And that’s the story that Becky wanted to tell with SLC Foodie. Forage chefs Viet Pham and Bowman Brown are here but they’re world-class. Pago is here but they could just as easily do this somewhere else and it would still be good.”

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

The Copper Onion, a brasserie serving New American cuisine, is one of Josh’s recommendations © Billy Yang

Did you and Becky expect the SLC Foodie Blog to take off like it did?

 

“No. It was truly a labour of love. I was in music full-time. I was a singer-songwriter. Becky was doing freelance food marketing at the time. But yeah, it came about because we both loved Salt Lake. It killed us when people would come here and just complain about it.

 

If people came and saw the city for what it was, they would love it. There just weren’t a lot of people here showing it off. But there were a lot of people doing cool stuff.”

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Eating at Forage was one of Josh’s most memorable Salt Lake City dining experiences © Billy Yang

Was there a turning point for you, a moment when you realized you could make SLC Foodie more than just a blog?

 

“Matt Caputo was awesome. Once we started thinking about doing more, we emailed Matt and he responded. Matt, is a food geek and a marketing genius. And he gave us his time and practically money “” gift cards to Caputo’s, which was like gold to us “” to help him do promotions. It was the same with Liberty Heights, but that was later. We would do monthly grocery exchanges.

 

We never viewed ourselves as real journalists, I think that’s real important to say. We were just trying to hype the city. We knew so many people that would move here and we wanted them to be proud of this place, so we were just trying to get content out about why we thought it was cool. The goal was never to be an objective journalistic voice. If we were going to get groceries in exchange for a promotion, that never really bothered us.”

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Pago was, and still is, one of the reasons why Josh and Becky want to showcase Salt Lake City restaurants on their blog © Billy Yang

Let’s talk about the food scene today. What do you like? Where do you like to go for an occasion? Where do you go regularly?

 

“I love RYE. I think RYE is one of my favourite everyday places. It’s just a place I can always go to get some eggs. They do an awesome job with their scrambles. They also do a great job with their vegetarian stuff – It’s an incredible environment.

 

Finca. I know that seems bias. [Rosenthal’s coffee shop, La Barba is located in the same building.] But for the price point of their menu, it’s incredible.

 

Special occasion? Fresco. Becky and I have celebrated every anniversary at Fresco, literally our last seven anniversaries. Except our most recent one. We were in Italy celebrating our 10-year anniversary.”

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Finca offers a modern take on Spanish tapas in downtown Salt Lake City © Billy Yang

What are your recommendations for where to eat in Salt Lake City? If you had to suggest places for breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks, where would you choose?

 

“I’m biased on the coffee, but I feel like we have a great European vibe at La Barba Coffee. Otherwise, The Rose Establishment is a good choice. If you really want to dig in like a local over breakfast, try The Park Café.

 

For lunch, I like Feldman’s, even though that’s not necessarily downtown, and for dinner I’d suggest Current for fresh fish and seafood, the Copper Onion for a relaxed meal, or omakase at Naked Fish – Scott Gardner also mixes up some great drinks here. If I could drink at Scott Gardner’s house, I’d be there.

 

Beer Bar is also a nice place to go for local brews. If I’m going out with some buddies, I’m probably going to Beer Bar. Under Current has a cool vibe, too.”

 

SLC Foodie: Where to eat in Salt Lake City

Current is one of Salt Lake’s newest and finest seafood restaurants © Billy Yang

Connecting you to numerous destinations across the United States and Canada, our partnership with Delta makes visiting these Salt Lake City restaurants simple.

 

What do you think of SLC Foodie’s recommendations of where to eat in Salt Lake City? Have we left out any of your favourite restaurants and bars? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Written by Billy Yang

About Billy Yang

Billy Yang is a freelance journalist specialising in travel and food writing. His passion for journalism stems from the idea that everyone has an interesting story to tell and it is a reporter’s job to find those stories and helps share them. More of his work can be found at billyxyang.com.
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