Park City Stories and Tips

Where to eat in Park City

We have lived about 20 miles from Park City for the last 17 years. That gives us a lot of opportunities to eat in Park City. Here's a general assessment, without detail, of the places we know. For details, see separate restaurant specific reviews.

The Park City Chamber of Commerce sometimes advertises that Park City "has more chefs per person than Paris" Park City barely has 8,000 residents, but offers more than 16,000 hotel beds every night. The presence of three world class ski resorts in Park City attracts a lot of visitors and they have to eat and Park City assures they will eat well.

Here are the Park City restaurants we have eaten at to date:
Ghidotti's (a fave)
Restaurant Jean-Louis (once Park City's best but now out of business)
Grappa-- if your palette can tolerate mind blowing amounts of salt, this is Park City's best Italian and best decor
Riverhorse- on Main- a quintessential Park City restaurant---I hate it.
Bistro 412-- its lamb shanks are the first choice if you want to eat on Park City's Main Street.
The Eating Establishment-- excellent comfort food
350 Main Street-- pretentious California Yuppie cuisine at its worst.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse-- Very expensive, superb quality
Nick's Greek Cafe-- hand's down, Park City's best buy.
Mustang Grill-- typical Park City California Yuppie Cu sine, well done, but I'm sick of this style.
Bancok Thai on Main St-- overpriced decent Thai, but then, everything in Park City is overpriced.
Cicero’s-- decent basic Italian that can't touch Grappa or Ghidotti's
Chez Betty-- may be Park City's best for dinner
Flippin Burgers-- midway in price and quality between McDonald’s etc and the $10-29 burgers at the high priced joints.
Goldner Hirsh-- Once PC's best, but the last time we ate there (new chef), the food did not justify the stratospheric prices, and the décor, again once the best, had fallen on hard times.
Glitretind (Stein Eriksen Lodge)--- never has been as good as its cracked up to be
Mariposa-- Deer Valley's best and pretentious and over priced
Skiers Buffet, Stein Eriksen Lodge-- You have to go a long way to top this for food quality and, stop you ski day at 2:00 pm, pig out at this glorious buffet, and you cover both lunch and dinner for less than $50 per person
Schezwan Chinese- OK standard Chinese fare.
Windy Ridge Cafe-- a stand out for its high quality at relatively low prices.

As for on the mountain ski lunches, I've eaten here:
Deer Valley Snow Park Lodge-- my favorite lunch spot; Deer Valley's least crowded lunch venue and terrific food.
Deer Valley Empire Canyon Lodge-- same food as Snow Park Lodge
Deer Valley-- Silver Lake Lodge-- same food as Snow Park Lodge
Deer Valley: Skiers Buffet, Stein Eriksen Lodge-- You have to go a long way to top this for food quality and, stop you ski day at 2:00 pm, pig out at this glorious buffet, and you cover both lunch and dinner for less than $50
Deer Valley Goldener Hirsch-- best burger I ever had, but that chef is long gone.
Park City Mountain Resort-- Summit House-- potentially great food, in actuality, screwed up
Park City Mountain Resort: Legacy Lodge Cafeteria- all I had was a superb bowl of soup.
Nick's Greek Cafe-- Park City's best buy for lunch (and for a light dinner).

IF YOU HAVE A CAR, you can expand your dinner choices and save a lot of money by heading for Heber City or Kamas. .

The Gateway Grill (215 S Main St in Kamas -- turn right when you reach Main St.);
The Snake Creek Grill (650 W 100 S in Heber City-- turn right at the third stop light in Heber City and Look for the Old West movie set on your right);
The Blue Boar Inn, Midway UT near Heber City (you need your GPS to find this one) all offer typical high quality Park City California Yuppie Cuisine for about 2/3 the cost in Park City. All are about 15 minutes from Park City. The basic route to get there is to note that all roads in Park City that run parallel to Main St. intersect Kearns Blvd at a stop light. Turn right on Kearns. For Heber City and Midway, turn right at US Rt 40 (stop light in the middle of nowhere). For Kamas, do not turn onto US Rt 40. Continue straight ahead.

But the big attraction of trip to Heber City for dinner is not that California Yuppie Cuisine, is cheaper here than in Park City, but that you can escape another meal of California Yuppie Cuisine

Most restaurants in Heber City are on Main St., which is US Rt 40, the road you will be on in driving from Park City to Heber City. In sequence as you come into Heber City, here are the Main St Heber City restaurants:
Holiday Lanes (Bowling Alley). There are three reasons to recommend the bowling alley as a place to eat. About two years after we moved to Heber City, I shared a lift ride at Deer Valley with a guy from New Jersey. He asked if I had eaten at the bowling alley?. I said no, but we high tailed to the bowling alley for dinner because, if the fame of the food at a bowling alley in Utah reaches to New Jersey, try it. The New Jersey guy was on to something.
Second, the menu at Holiday Lanes is limited: mostly sandwiches and soup de jour and chicken tenders or shrimp basket.
The homemade soups are heavily salted but otherwise outstanding The burgers, fries, and grilled cheese sandwiches are all you could ask for.
And third, prices are staggerliy cheap-- $2.50 for burger, $3.80 for a double burger.

The Canton Cafe (Main St on the right) is as good or better Chinese than anything in in Park City, and at notably lower prices. On Main St. (US Rt 40 from Park City) on the right just two blocks past the first stop light.

Spin Cafe (Main St on the left) very good smoked brisket, pork and chicken which they ruin with excessively peppery BBQ sauce. Spin Cafe also serves a meal sized Buffalo Burger, a must have if you have never eaten Buffalo.

Chick's Cafe (Main St, on the right) is probably the one and only 'you must eat here if you are in the Park City region' restaurant in all of northern Utah. To understand why, see my full review. Be sure to order a scone, which is not a scone. When you get it, put butter and honey on the scone which is not a scone. What it is is modified Navajo Fry Bread.

Next on the left is the Dairy Keen. One upon a time, this was a Dairy Queen franchise until its owner revolted against rising franchise fees and dumped Dairy Queen to strike off on his own. He did a pretty good job. Everything is better than what you will find at a Dairy Queen, and the ambiance-- toy trains running around the top of walls, will entertain kids.

After several more blocks we come, on the left, to the HUB Cafe. Locals say that as cafe food goes, the HUB is better than Chick's Cafe. They may be right, but we prefer Chick's Cafe for its incomparable 1950s ambiance (including the food) and for the scones.

Finally on the right just across the intersection with US Rt 89, the Claim jumper Steakhouse, which is, along with the Snake Creek Grill, Heber City's effort at fine dining. Ugh. Ick. I ordered Prime Rib medium rare. Turned out the Prime rib was a frozen slab, not fresh grilled, and being frozen, medium rare turned out both to be without flavor and cold in the center. Ugh. Ick. That was 31 years ago, and I have never been back. And I never intend to go back. If you are inclined to eat at this joint, stay in Park City for dinner. (Note the Claim Jumper in Park City seems to not be asociated with the one in Heber City).

Now let's go just off Heber City's Main St. Turn right at the third stop light and go six blocks On the right, is something that looks like a movie set for a cowboy movie. This is the home of The Snake Creek Grill and Texas Tommy's BBQ. Like the Snake Creek Grill, Texas Tommy smokes great BBQ and then ruins it with a sauce with too much pepper. Ugh. Ick.

You might note that I have said nothing about the many Mexican restaurant that operate in Park City and Heber City. That is because the term "Mexican food" is an oxymoron. We do not waste our money on Mexican restaurants. Neither should you. To paraphrase the Bible, 'Mexican food is abomination in the eyes of the Lord'.

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