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8 Utah Restaurants Worth the Trip

For those living in and around Salt Lake City, there are plenty of local restaurant options to keep satisfied for weeks — if not months or years. But the rest of the state has some mighty tasty dining spots that can't go without mention. Many of them are near vacation destinations, but even if you aren't planning a weekend getaway, these spots alone might be worth the drive.

1. Dairy Keen (Heber City, UT)


This charming small-town spot has one 15 "Best of State" medals in the last 10 years, mostly for their legendary shakes. From classics like strawberry and Oreo to specialty Pina Colada or pumpkin flavors, Dairy Keen has loads of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. And they've got burgers, fries and onion rings to go with it. The circling train, kids' toys, and touch-screen soda fountain add to the perks of the long-time family-owned restaurant.

2. Snake Creek Grill (Heber City, UT)


Another Heber City gem, the Western-themed Snake Creek Grill kicks things up a notch with its higher-end menu of ribeye steaks, crusted trout, lamb and more. The homey, slightly quirky atmosphere make it a unique dining experience those passing through Heber City are lucky to experience.

3. Tarahumara (Midway, UT)


If you've heard anything about Midway's Tarahumara, it was most likely rave reviews about the Mexican joint's massive fresh salsa bar. And with more than ten different types of salsa to try at any given time, the salsa bar is certainly something to talk about. But Tarahumara also boasts award-winning dishes like pork loin chile verde burritos, Mahi Mahi tacos, and a tasty Mexican pastry section.

4. Milt's Stop and Eat (Moab, UT)


You might not expect a good ol' fashioned greasy spoon to be serving grass-fed, hormone-free beef burgers, but Moab's oldest restaurant delivers high-quality ingredients for every item on their extensive menu. And they keep the prices cheap too. This tiny spot has been a favorite of bikers, hikers and locals alike since it's opening in 1954.

5. Ekletifcafe (Moab, UT)


Funky knickknacks dominate the inside and an earthy, hippy garden decorates the back patio of this truly eclectic breakfast and lunch spot. The menu is an assortment of hearty and healthy dishes, like curried zucchini soup and sweet potato pie. The varied atmosphere and diverse menu makes this a great spot for vegans, meat-lovers, and everyone else in between.

6. Maddox Family Drive-In (Brigham City, UT)


Though the sit-down side of this restaurant gets most of the hype, the drive-in restaurant has its own merits, including chocolate malt shakes, classic burgers and fries, and fresh fruit pies. The tender, flaky fried chicken is another highlight. A fun change from the typical chain restaurant, Maddox Family Drive-In gives a taste of the more expensive side of the restaurant for a fraction of the cost.

7. Pettingill's Fruit Farm (Willard, UT)


Okay, so this place isn't technically a restaurant, but in early September, Pettingill's fresh fruit stand boasts some of the best peaches in the state. These huge, juicy peaches can change just about anyone into a peach-loving fanatic. The stand features a variety of fresh produce, as well as local jams, honey and freshly made milkshakes.

8. Oscar's Cafe (Springdale, UT)


They say hunger is the best seasoning. But the hungry visitors to Zion's National Park (just across the way from Oscar's Cafe) would argue it's not just hunger that makes Oscar's Cafe such a home run of a restaurant. Their own website says, "Oscar's Cafe ... is the main reason people visit Zion Canyon, second only to Zion National Park itself." The fish tacos, burgers and entire breakfast menu have diners eagerly nodding their heads in agreement.