Provo, a town with a little over 100,000 inhabitants, lies one of the great areas of American landscape, the Utah Valley. With the great Rocky Mountains towering over the city, and wild deer, cougars and moose roaming the mountains and occasionally the streets, the Americana of the Utah Valley pervades the town, right down to the gastronomy: a mixture tradition and experimentation, the following 10 restaurants showcase the best of Provo’s eating experiences.
Black Sheep Cafe is the best place in town to taste contemporary Southwestern blended in with Native American cuisine. Modern techniques with traditional Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi influence perfectly match together thanks to the use of local ingredients like Utah honey, hormone-free meat, traditionally grown blue cornmeal and flour. From modern touches on traditional dishes like Navajo Tacos and Green Chile Stew, to the new and unique flavors of the Cactus Pear Lemonade and Orange-Habanero Crème Brulee, everything is made from scratch, even the fresh family-recipe frybread. The interior design pays tribute to Native American aesethtics: wild and rustic, with rough wall decorations and a waxed board floor.
With its smart and modern design, its clean lines, and its genuine hospitality Communal is the perfect location for a business lunch. The dining room is designed to host meetings and large gatherings, with its long communal wooden tables and its convivial ambiance. All the products are fresh, with farm-to-table dishes making up the philosophy of the restaurant; partnerships with local farmers, purveyors and artisans assure seasonal food throughout the year.
Sandwich lovers should definitely check out Cubby’s Chicago Beef. As the name suggests, Cubby’s is a beef specialist, and the enormous cow sign at the entrance of the restaurant makes sure no one forgets that. A cute and cozy venue, Cubby’s uses all local, fresh and organic ingredients to create its famous sandwiches: only high-quality meat and grass-fed, hormone-free beef is used. Two must-trys are the tri-tip steak sandwich and Cubby’s burger, which are clear favorites, as well as the three-cheese grilled cheese and the buffalo bleu cheese fries. Rustic and casual in style, this place is perfect for an informal meal out.
It may have started in a shack covered with peeling concert posters, but J Dawgs has gone from being a one-man operation run by a broke student to a hotdog empire. More than a mere hotdog stand, J Dawgs is the place to get the most sublime ‘dawgs’ in the Utah Valley. What makes the perfect hotdog, according to J? A combination of 100% beef dogs, fresh locally baked buns and J Dawgs special sauce, a sweet southern barbecue sauce which is the secret recipe of the restaurant and the best part of its dogs. Appreciated by meat connoisseurs as well as regular folks, J Dawgs remains one of the eateries in Provo with the longest queues outside.
Born out of the desire to create the most flavorful steaks west of the Mississippi, Ruby River Steakhouse takes care of its customers in traditional style, creating a dining experience with authentic outback ambiance. Voted Utah’s Best Steak time and time again, Ruby River’s meat is hand-cut in the restaurant daily for freshness and 21-day-aged for tenderness. However, this great steakhouse doesn’t just serve high-quality steak; for those who want to try something different there is a good choice of dishes ranging from chicken, fresh seafood, ribs and delicious desserts, as well as hand-crafted soda and gold metal beer from Ruby River’s own brewery.
From the Napa Valley to Provo, restaurant entrepreneur Richard Gregory has opened branches of Station 22 Cafe, tapping into the American atmosphere found only in the raw landscape of the West. With its sage-fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, giant gourmet hamburgers, and other American staple cuisines, Station 22 Cafe’s goal is to re-create a comforting old-time era combined with fresh reinvented versions of classic dishes and family recipes. The menu is designed to remind customers of the flavors of grandma’s house, family gatherings and small family-run restaurants, in a cozy and warm location that reflects the soul of the West.
Here you will find Mexican food, but organic, local and fresh. Located inside an old gas station, Mountain West Burrito is the perfect place for a burrito made from real family-farmed organic ingredients. From its pasture raised meats to brown rice and beans, everything is made from scratch and grown locally, and the homemade vibe is apparent in every dish. There is also a vast selection for vegetarians and vegans, which distinguishes this venue from other ordinary Mexican restaurants. There’s only one rule: eating a burrito with a fork is forbidden- hands only.
First opened in the early 1950s, Stan’s Drive In is the original birthplace of ‘fry sauce’, a condiment akin to ketchup. The story goes that one winter evening two high-school student employees developed the original fry sauce recipe while working the night shift together. They began sharing it with their friends as an alternative to ketchup, and soon the sauce has being served with all French fries at the drive-in. Later, one of the two students, Stan, took over the restaurant, and with it the fame of the original fry sauce. With its vintage 1950s Americana atmosphere, Stan’s Drive In is a required stop for trips to Provo.
India Palace is the perfect venue for Provo’s Indian food aficionados. This cozy restaurant offers a unique dining experience where original recipes and high quality ingredients meet at an elegant location in downtown Provo. Their naan bread is a must try, while the mango lassi, coconut korma and saag are among the top specialties. A taste of Bombay in the heart of Utah, India Palace is a great spot for foodies who enjoy sampling exotic fare and are unafraid of spicy, flavorful food.
When summer is too hot a tasty ice cream is ideal; even better if that ice cream comes mixed with pie. Sammy’s Cafe is the place in Provo to indulge your sweet tooth. Sammy’s Pieshakes are exactly as described: dangerously delicious milkshakes made with real pie and real ice cream. The pumpkin pie cheesecake shake and the chocolate cream Oreo pie shake are must-trys, as is the raspberry lemonade cupcake shake and the peanut butter and chocolate cupcake shake, accompanied with an Italian soda. In addition to this, Sammy’s Cafe also serves other ice cream treats as well as burgers, sandwiches and fries. Shakes are 50% off during Happy Hour.