by Matthew Brooks
The Salt Lake Valley is home to a variety of cultural restaurants. Some of the restaurants in the area are so authentic that you will feel like you just stepped off of the airplane into another country. From large dining restaurants to cozy cafes in the back of a market, the following restaurants are sure to entice you with the great variety on their menus and will leave you satisfied as you make your way back home.
It is no exaggeration to say the food at at Antica Sicilia is as close as a Utah restaurant might get to the authentic cuisine of a romantic cafe near an Italian piazza. Antica Sicilia may be overall the most the expensive location on this list as well. The carbonara is dependable favorite with its rich sauce and clever cheese wheel presentation. For lighter fare, the eggplant parmesan is pleasantly mild option. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Antica Sicilia is located at 2020 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City. It is only open for dinner, service begins at 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It closes at 9:00 Monday through Thursday, closing at 9:30 on Friday and Saturday, closed all day Sunday.
Los Machetes is a decorated with wall-to-wall images of Mexico. The service is excellent. The portions are plentiful. No one should leave Los Machetes feeling hungry. The smothered burrito is the very definition of comfort food. The pambazo bread has just the right amount of crispiness on its flavorful crust. You may find yourself coming back again just for what might be the best horchata in Utah.
Los Machetes located at 2592 W 4700 S, Taylorsville. It is open for most of the day, opening at 10 a.m. Tuesday – Friday; it opens at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday; closing times are 8 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; on Friday and Saturday it closes at 9 p.m.
Thai Issan is inexpensive compared to many Thai restaurants. The curries are deep, but subtle. If you are unfamiliar with massaman consider yourself fortunate because you have yet to discover an iconic Thai dish. The egg rolls are spicy, just like Thai egg rolls should be. The staff can make your meals as spicy as you are willing to endure or as mild as you prefer. You can’t go wrong with any of the desserts, but if you only get one dessert, you won’t be disappointed with the sticky-rice mango.
Thai Issan is located at 2644 W 4700 S, Taylorsville. It opens everyday at 11:00 a.m. Its closes Monday through Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and closes at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Flavors of India
It is easy to miss this Indian restaurant because it is off of the main road, hidden behind the Wingers restaurant. Don’t let this inconspicuous location deter you from enjoying this Indian gem. The butter chicken is melt-in-your mouth fantastic. The samosas are top quality. Even though chicken tikka marsala is not traditionally an Indian dish, it has become such a staple that you can be confident that you will find an excellent version here. The mango lassi is worth the trip on its own!
Flavors of India is located at 1650 W Fox Park Dr, West Jordan. It opens at 11:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is open 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday.
Venezuela knows how to make an empanada. The Andinitas Restaurant knows how to do that and more. The crust of the shredded beef empanada is flaky and tender, the meat is juicy and well-seasoned. The pastilitos are a reliable, economic menu item.
Andinitas Restaurant is located at 4139 Carriage Square, Taylorsville City. It opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Tuesday it is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Pho Saigon Noodle House
The area of 2000 W and 3500 S is a haven for Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants. The Pho Saigon Noodle House stands out among its excellent competition for its fantastic pho and its competitive prices. The Korean BBQ ribs are tender, juicy and well-seasoned. Each of the vermicelli dishes are packed with flavor and fresh ingredients.
Pho Saigon Noodle House is located at 2222 W 3500 S, West Valley City. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is open on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Vientiane Oriental Market
The Vientiane Oriental Market is one of many markets that has a restaurant hidden inside. The red curry and the sticky rice are highlights of this location. The spring rolls are fresh and hot. It is a great place to go if you haven’t tried pad Thai before. The papaya salad is properly spicy. The beef pho soup is tender and comfortable.
Vientiane Oriental Market is located at 4090 W 5415 S #122, Kearns. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Authentic Middle Eastern
Schwarma, like the Greek gyro, is packed with marinated meat and an abundance of toppings. The Schwarma King excels at schwarma. It does fine work with its tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, and ful mudammas. If you are in the mood for a spicy falafel, you are in good hands at Schwarma King.
Schwarma King is located at 725 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. On Tuesday it is open 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Closed Sunday.