food and beverage underground

Park City Food and Beverage Scene Is Here

Park City, 30 miles East of Salt Lake City, was settled as a silver mining community in about 1870. Founded by “non” Mormons, this town, has always been a little removed and more liberal than most in the State. It's history is rich and even comical at times as it one time boasted more than 27 saloons and had a brothel or two! The town survived the bust of the mining times and then the growth that came with the ski industry boom in the 1970's. Park City played host to several events during the 2002 Winter Olympics and brought more attention and growth to this valley in the high mountain range. With over 150 miles of trails in the area, Park City is a mountain biker’s oasis. The panoramic views of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains are perfect for road biking as well so don’t miss an opportunity to experience both.

The Park City ski area consists of the Park City Mountain Resort, the nearby The Canyons and Deer Valley resorts and constitutes Utah's largest ski area, with the season generally running from mid-November to mid-April. In addition, Park City hosts the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, held in mid January every year.

There are 7 basic areas of the city proper which offer everything from shopping to dining...

Redstone

This area is just off the I-80 exit to the Park City area called “Kimball Junction”. It consists mostly of shopping and condos as well as dining options. Bill White, LLC offers Ghidotti's in a wanna be Las Vegas venue that deserves to be overlooked (he owns 3 properties on Main Street; dine there first). However, you can find good options such as Red Rock and Squatter's Breweries for very decent pub food and Good Thymes Bistro with an upscale offering in an admittedly strip mall atmosphere.

Main Street

This is ground zero for dining in the area. There are variations of every region on this quaint sloping street with an expensive shop in between each restaurant. Almost all are independently owned. Many of these restaurants have been mainstays of the dining arena for many years including 350 Main, Zoom (owned by Sundance Resort aka Robert Redford), Grappa Italian, Chimayo, Jean Louis, Wahso and Easy Street. Every year also brings several new incarnations. Excluding the above it's hard to count on any given restaurant to stay in place or survive year to year. However, there are fun places to try when you tire of the lines at the veteran establishments. Some of these this year include The Purple Sage, Cafe Terigo, Bistro 412 and Shabu. There are also several bars and private clubs that include such popular places as The Sidecar (which also serve's Park City's best pizza pie), Cisero's, Star Bar and Celsius among others along with one wine bar, Bacchus, where you can find great wine and decent food.

Park City Mountain Resort

Although a world class ski resort the dining options are limited. For a casual dinner I would suggest the Baja Cantina. The corner store offers the resort's best breakfast. Otherwise it's worth the trip to Main street or Prospector to find better eating establishments.

The Canyons

Great hotels and time shares, short lift lines and average food abounds at this resort recently acquired by the behemoth Talisker. But say what you will the big name will add prestige and worthiness to this small resort with the big local following. I can't name any spectacular food but the service will always be great. There are a few local spots to take notice of including Powder Daze which offers excellence in crepes and other fares (including the best cookies in or near Park City) and pizza at Canyon Pizza. Both are located in the “village” of the resort.

Deer Valley

Amazing accommodations equal amazing dining options. Glitterind and Goldener Hirsch, as well as The Mariposa, are among the great 4 or 5 star options here. The skiing isn't risky but the trails are groomed to perfection much like the entrees are groomed for the stellar. Chefs here take their jobs seriously and earn their stars like none other in Utah. Aspen chefs would eat their hearts out for the offerings here. If your budget allows definitely take a night here. Even if it doesn't, check out a night here just for fun. And if you're coming for Sundance Film Festival for sure stay here because this will be the only available space during the 10 days of Hollywood glamour and attitude.

Prospector/other

Blind Dog earns high points here and leads the pack of restaurants in this area east of Park City proper. Chez Betty has been around as long as I can remember and was the first fine dining restaurant I experienced and still offers the same thrill. Windy Ridge Cafe on the way to Prospector offers great food on a confusing, all over the place, menu but it won't disappoint and is a locals favorite.

Transportation is the best of the state here as you can get anywhere with public transportation and most of it is free. Don't rent a car unless you plan to drive to Salt Lake or other areas. Get a shuttle to the town and rest assured that if you stay too late for the bus service you can a cab readily and easily.

Visit Park City Insider Kevin Packer

Salt Lake / Park Cities Insider

Kevin Packer

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