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Salt Lake City Dining


Though Salt Lake City has a perfectly good selection of restaurants, it lacks an atmospheric - let alone hip - dining district. If you like to compare menus, the only downtown area with much potential is the block or two to either side of West Temple Street, south and east of the Salt Palace.


Bambara Hotel Monaco, 15 W 200 South tel 801/363-5454. Chic, post-Deco and pricey downtown restaurant, with a fabulous menu ranging from buffalo carpaccio or crab cakes to lamb sirloin on du Puy lentils.


Lamb's Restaurant 169 S Main St tel 801/364-7166. Great breakfasts, best eaten at the long shiny counter, and excellent-value set meals throughout the day. Closed Sun.


Market Street Grill 48 Market St tel 801/322-4668. As close as Salt Lake City comes to a New York City bar and grill. Fresh seafood, especially oysters, plus steaks in all shapes and sizes. $8 lunch specials, full dinners $15-30.


Martine's 22 E 100 South tel 801/363-9328. Formal, dimly-lit but high-class Southwestern restaurant, in central location facing the ZCMI mall; most menu items can be served as "tapa" (appetizer) or entree. Closed Sun.


Oasis Café 151 S 500 East tel 801/322-0404. Classy but inexpensive café, serving very good food (dinner entrees $13-20) with plenty of appealing vegetarian options. Live acoustic music or jazz in the evening.


Orbit Café 540 W 200 South tel 801/322-2808. Large, (post)modern diner, which serves tasty sandwiches and ethnic specials for lunch, and then fancier late-night meals (until 4am Fri & Sat).


Rio Grande Café 270 S Rio Grande tel 801/364-3302. Spirited and stylish Mexican cantina in the old Denver and Rio Grande railroad station, still used by Amtrak, three blocks west of downtown.


Ruth's Diner 2100 Emigration Canyon Rd tel 801/582-5807. Good-value indoor and patio dining, often accompanied by live music, set in and around old railroad carriages in a narrow canyon just three miles east of town. Wide selection of fresh dishes, great salads and Utah's best breakfasts. For more sophisticated and expensive fare, Ruth's sister restaurant, the Santa Fe, is next door.