Local’s Guide to Food & Entertainment at SC16 in Salt Lake City

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grillSC16 returns to Salt Lake City this year. And while SLC is known for its gorgeous views of the mountains, what our readers may not know is that Salt Lake City is full of Hip, yes hip restaurants, cafes, bars, and things to see and do.

In this feature from the Print ‘n Fly Guide Guide to SC16 in Salt Lake City, we offer you some great restaurant recommendations from the locals.

Casual Lunch

Spitz 35 Broadway • 801-364-0286. This is home of the Döner Kebab, which translates to “rotating meat” and is a cousin to the Greek gyro. Sit down in this casual downtown restaurant and order one of these incredibly satisfying meat-filled creations and a side or two and perhaps a German beer and take a break from the hectic day.

Tony Caputo’s Deli • 314 W 300 S • 801-531-8669. Located just around the corner from the convention center, this super casual deli has really well prepared food for on-the-run or to order-in in the industrial chic dining room. The sandwiches are crafted with home-made bread and made to order and Tony’s has the best Muffaletta this side of New Orleans. Of course the soups, salads and hot entrees are recommended as well in this SLC downtown favorite.


Copper Onion • 111 East Broadway • 801-355-3282. As our Can’t Miss Pick, the Copper Onion menu has perfectly prepared house-made pasta and in a Italian-like tradition should come after you first course. Order the lovely clams and chorizo with cavatelli or the tagliatelle puttanesca for the table to share and the last few sips of bubbly or Pinot (or another, if needed) will be perfect for this course. While you can not go wrong with any of the entrée choices, the locally sourced lamb riblets with peach chutney and a white bean and kale salad is absolutely outstanding. If lamb is not your thing, the Ballard Farm pork chop with polenta, ancho sauce and topped with a fried egg will be and is just short of life altering. Despite the fact that the entrées are full dinners, the table must share an order of the golden parmesan fries and sautéed shishito peppers. A bottle of the well-priced 2011 Muga Rioja Reserva will be perfect for the table and should go with just about anything thing ordered.


Current Fish & Oyster 279 E 300 S • 801-326-3474.  Conventional thinking may say that if you are not close to the ocean then don’t order fish. Throw those thoughts completely out of the window for a dining experience at this downtown hotspot. The industrial, yet inviting, dining room will draw you in and the regional seafood will keep you desiring more. Start with the obvious choice of California oysters flown in literally daily then have the perfectly prepared branzino served with in-season, locally farmed veggies. Forgo dessert in favor of an after dinner drink from an excellent cocktail menu or another glass of wine from the well-curated menu. Reservations recommended.


Takashi • 18 W Market Street • 801-519-9595. The same fish theory goes here. Set in a vaguely modern, yet somewhat traditional room, the menu’s concepts reflect the restaurant’s decorations. The salmon gyoza are a great way to start and sets up a nice second course for ultra fresh Thai sashimi with tomatillo salsa. The ginger soy glazed BBQ pork ribs are incredibly flavorful and are a must have. Of course no Japanese meal should go without a nice bottle of chilled sake and the small list has some gems including a Portland, OR offering called Momokawa.


Red Iguana • 736 W North Temple • 801-322-1489. This super casual and lively Mexican mainstay is located just West of downtown but is a quick Uber or a calorie-burning mile walk. Of course a margarita is the way to start, but in this case it is recommended to go off the beaten path and get a jalapeño version made with a surprising shot of brandy. In keeping with the theme of going in an untraditional direction, forgo the the obvious taco and enchiladas and opt for a mole dish–specifically the mole coloradito. The sauce is gorgeously infused with flavors of sweet smoke, chocolate and spice and generously ladled over a pork loin. There is usually no room for dessert here but the arroz con leche is still a must.

Great for groups of 5 or more

Cannella’s • 204 East 500 S • 801-355-8518. Established in 1978, this beloved downtown Italian spot is what every neighborhood should have–a warm, inviting, family owned restaurant with generous service. Start with a classic margherita-style bruschetta then go with Cannella’s old-school Italian salad, which is exactly what you’d expect. The chicken marsala and the pappardelle bolognese are sure hits for main course. The well-gathered wine list should not be ignored with several well-priced Northern Italian classics by the glass. Reservations recommended.


Sage’s Cafe • 234 West 900 S • 801-322-3790. Eight blocks South of the convention center this is a short and well-worth-it Uber ride for the Vegetarian and GF lot. Serving lunch, dinner and brunch, this veggie only, casual cafe has a menu that even meat eaters would enjoy. The Asian lettuce wraps for lunch are full of flavor and nutritious and the panzanella salad is fantastic (yes, this and all items can be made GF). For dinner, choose from the raw food menu or have one of the hot entrees including the ultra savory polenta with applewood smoked tempeh.


The Red Door • 57 200 S #102. Dimly lit, sexy and swank this bar was one of the first to lead the cocktail revival in central SLC. Martinis are king here and the prohibition era classics are the undisputed specialty. Order a perfectly made Manhattan, a Rob Roy or a simple gin martini up with a twist and let the chill soundtrack take you away while hanging with hip locals.

Copper Common • 111 East Broadway #190. A newish joint from the people that brought you The Copper Onion, the bar keeps up the well-earned reputation of quality in service and product. The exposed metal and wood interior is a beautiful space to settle in and relax over an expertly made cocktail. Try the Juan Claude Van Damme with mezcal and alpine herbal liqueur or a Copper Bulleit of bourbon, rhubarb tea liqueur and orange cream bitters–interesting, smart and delicious. They also have an nice selection of local beers as well as wines by the glass.

Microbeers & Brew Pubs

Squatters • 147 West Broadway. Ground zero for many at SC12, this local brewpub will undoubtedly get more than its fair share of conference goers. The eclectic pub fare from the food menu pairs perfectly with the expertly crafted in-house beers. Check out the Full Suspension Pale, the Nitro Red Ale or the Russian Imperial Stout which are excellent examples as to why SLC has become known as a serious beer town. Secret sauce: If you order from the bottle and open in-house you can skirt the state’s super strict liquor laws on alcohol content and enjoy these beers they way they were meant to be—at dizzyingly high ABVs.

Red Rock Brewery • 254 South 200 West 801-521-7446. Just around the corner from Squatters, Red Rock is another local brewery that puts SLC on the map in beer circles. Try the White IPA, the India Dark Ale or the superb Munich Dunkel and pair it with some of the nicely done pub fare.


Jeanie’s Smokeshop • 156 State Street. A short hop from the convention center, Jeanie’s has a wall of humidors with an excellent selection and a knowledgeable staff to help you find the right stogie for you. Piper Down Pub 1492 State Street Utah law forbids smoking indoors but The Piper Down Pub has an outside, covered and heated patio where smoking is allowed in an old world-style pub atmosphere.


Keys on Main • 242 Main Street • 512-473-2279. While SLC is not really known as a music town, there are a few lively spots for those that want to hear some live tunes. See dueling pianos in a raucous, fun atmosphere while having a drink from the down-scale—in a good way—drink list. Be sure to check out Karaoke Tuesdays as the party gets loud and the energy is high.


The Grand Spa • 533 S 700 E 801-258-6000. Do you or a significant other need a little pampering during a long day at the big convention or afterward? A short walk to The Grand America Hotel will be just the remedy for a variety of expertly done spa services. Choose from the list of massages to facials to nails or get a truly luxurious package deal that comes with a wide variety of choices you’ll want/need for a super relaxing day. Reservations required.

pnfslcThis post is just one of the great features in the new Print ‘n Fly Guide to SC16 in Salt Lake City. Inside this guide you will find technical features on supercomputing, HPC interconnects, and the latest developments on the road to exascale. It also has great recommendations on food, entertainment, and transportation in SLC.

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