Springdale sits in the southwestern corner of Utah at the entrance of one of the state’s busiest national parks; a stopping place for visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re a local or a visitor coming to enjoy the outdoor playground of Zion Canyon, The Culture Trip offers 10 great lunch spots to fuel your adventure.
Your own grandmother may not live in Springdale, but at Blondie’s Diner, you can feel like she does. From the street, this may look at first like a brick single family home from the ’50s or ’60s. The interior is decorated with a hodge-podge of antiques, western memorabilia, and decorative signs with phrases like, ‘Come early, fish late.’ Every day, this charming spot dishes out straight-up American classics with a decidedly southwestern flair. Try a Navajo taco: Native American fry bread with chili, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Or you could sample some local game with a buffalo or elk burger and a steaming pile of crispy french fries.
Café Soleil isn’t your average health-food restaurant; it’s funky, yes, but it’s laid back and not a bit pretentious. Not only is it a great place to dine, but many customers stop by to get a sandwich or wrap on their way into the canyon for a day of hiking. Because all of the food at Café Soleil is made from fresh, healthful ingredients, you can be sure you’re fueling your body in the right way. One of their most popular sandwiches is grilled panini-style with chicken breast, cheese, onion, pesto, and balsamic vinegar. The chef and owner also comes up with creative daily specials, like a prosciutto and salami sandwich with a lemon-kale pesto.
The summit of Angels Landing | Mountain Walrus/WikiCommons
Every neighborhood needs a good coffee shop, and Deep Creek is the one for Springdale. Of course, the cafe serves excellent coffee, with skilled baristas that can craft the perfect beverage. But the baked goods and light breakfast and lunch menu elevate this to a whole new level. Deep Creek makes pastries from scratch daily, and customers can’t get enough of them. Along with muffins and pastries, the house specialty are fluffy, flavorful scones. Varieties like raspberry lemon or pumpkin chocolate chip would be a perfect complement to a fruit and veggie smoothie for a light yet satisfying lunch.
MeMe’s Café has shot to the top of the list of the best restaurants in the city. The owners are young and enthusiastic and bring a vibrant energy to their space. The menu offerings are light-hearted and honest, with something for everyone. During the lunch hour, you can expect to see items like sweet and savory crêpes, soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps on the menu. For a unique lunch that will satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores, try the behemoth Angels Landing sandwich. Named after one of the most popular hikes in Zion Canyon, the sandwich features a pile of lightly steamed fresh veggies, cheddar cheese, and a house-made red pepper aioli.
Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy the scenery over a great meal? Oscar’s may just have the best patio in town. Sidle up to this quaint joint for a mix of American favorites and south-of-the-border classics. The restaurant’s lunch menu boasts a dozen different gourmet burgers, like the avocado chip burger with fresh, creamy avocado, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo, and crunchy corn chips. For a little Latin flavor, order a burrito heaped with homemade pork chili verde or a plate of meat and cheese tamales. Oscar’s has been in business for over twenty years, and with amazing food and top-notch service, it’s easy to see why.
Located inside of a resort and lodge, Pioneer Restaurant is open to both guests of the inn and walk-ins. The dining room is rustic and simply decorated, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. The lunch menu is a nostalgic throwback to down-home western cooking. Most of the options are the kind that stick to your ribs, so it’s best to come hungry. Of course, there are a number of beef options, from rib eyes and sirloins to prime rib. All are served with salad, rolls, and potatoes. You can also get burgers, sandwiches, pastas, and a breakfast favorite: biscuits and gravy.
If classic American or homestyle standards aren’t quite your cup of tea, check out Thai Sapa. It’s really the only option for something a bit more exotic in town, and it’s a superb option for a midday meal. The restaurant’s founder is a delightful woman that immigrated from Thailand with an arsenal of family recipes and a love for the food of her culture. Now, she shares that with eager customers looking for a meal that is fresh and exciting. Her menu features the cuisine of her native country, along with dishes from across the Asian continent. Everything from stir-fries and rice bowls, to curries, and even boba tea are offered.
Describing their cuisine as Mexican-fusion, the folks at Whiptail Grill claim it is the best in Springdale. There is a reason this place has amassed a loyal following. The restaurant is housed in a building that is over 50 years old, lending charm and funkiness to the vibe. Of course you can get Mexican standards like enchiladas and tacos, but there are several deliciously innovative creations on the regular menu as well. How about a spaghetti squash enchilada, or goat cheese chile relleno? In 2016, Whiptail will celebrate its 10th anniversary, so it would be a perfect time to plan a trip.
With a name like Wildcat Willies, you know this place has to be fun. Step inside and you might feel like you just warped back in time. The interior is decorated like an old-west saloon, with knotty, pine-stacked walls and cowboy memorabilia proudly displayed. If you’re getting a late start to your day but still looking for breakfast, Wildcat Willis offers their breakfast menu until 1:30PM. So while you’re noshing on an omelet and a short stack, your friends can still have their lunch-time burger or sandwich. For something heartier and a little different, try the buffalo meatloaf with a Guinness sweet onion gravy, Red Mountain Utah trout, crusted pistachios, and pumpkin seeds.
In a small town obsessed with outdoor adventuring and getting its hands dirty, there has to be a place to get a good beer. Zion Canyon Brewpub is just that place, but with an added bonus: its own brewery for unique, craft brews. Get a midday buzz with one of its six brews on tap, but be sure to not miss the food. House favorites include the fish and chips with English fries, steamed clams, and rustic chili. During the high-season, the pub also hosts bands and musicians, making this a sweet place to grab a cold one and relax to live music.