The drive from Ruby’s Inn & Campground to Salt Lake City is a little under 4 hours, and lucky for us Amelia slept for about half the drive. Even though we were hungry, we ended up driving for about 3 hours before stopping in Provo, Utah for lunch. One thing I definitely want to mention is that if you drive that stretch of the 15 from Bryce Canyon to SLC, be forewarned that there is literally nothing for miles. We ended up stopping for lunch an hour later than we should have because there just weren’t many dining options available.
I’m glad we waited though, because our lunch was amazing. We decided to stop at Block Restaurant in Provo, Utah. Block is a farm-to-table, full-service restaurant that strives to create a welcoming environment for everyone. They create their menu using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients that often come straight from local farmers, purveyors, and artisans.
Now that I’ve introduced Block, I just want to say that they went above and beyond for us. We had been in the car for over three hours at that point, and Amelia was done. After we ordered our food I was trying to get Amelia to calm down a bit but she was just not having it. I was about to head out the door when the owner, Erika, came over and let me know that she had brought pretzels, oranges, and crackers over to the table for Amelia to snack on before our food came out. This was such a small gesture, but it really spoke volumes as to how observant and welcoming Block truly is. Aside from the great service, the food was amazing as well. Benny and I each ordered the avocado bacon cobb, which came with grilled chicken, avocado, hardboiled egg, bacon, Snuck Farm greens (which were heavenly), and an avocado bacon ranch dressing. For Amelia we ordered a side of their sweet potato fries, and I gave her about a quarter of my chicken and salad. A+ for food and service!
From Provo, we drove for another 45 minutes to our Airbnb in Murray, which was about 15 minutes outside of downtown SLC. Our Airbnb was a little 1-bedroom apartment that had everything we needed for our stay. Once we arrived we all napped and showered and then headed to downtown SLC for dinner!
As most of you know I’m a huge foodie, especially when we travel. I always do a ton of research in order find great little spots that the locals love. One account that I love to follow is Melissa Hartwig, the Co-Founder of the Whole 30. She had posted awhile back about a great little restaurant in SLC called Laziz Kitchen. Laziz is a Lebanese restaurant that offers new takes on traditional recipes. They also offer a Whole 30 menu, which was why we went there (although neither of us ended up ordering off of it...because, vacation). For an appetizer we ordered the hummus with veggies, and the batata harra style zaatar fries. I ordered the shish tawook wrap with organic grilled chicken, tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, onion, pickles, red cabbage, garlic, and tarator tahini sauce, and Benny ordered their stew, which was super flavorful.
After dinner, we went to Last Course, which is an ice cream and dessert studio that offers super tasty and creative desserts all made with pure and local ingredients. They had ice cream flavors that I had never seen before, such as strawberry balsamic, cheddar apple pie, and jalapeno berry. It was tough to just choose one, but Benny ordered the dark chocolate and I ordered the breakfast cereal, which is locally made and infused with Trix and Lucky Charms. Last Course also offers vegan scoops as well for those who are dairy-free.
When I travel I’m all about finding the best local restaurants. When Benny travels, he’s all about finding the best coffee. So while we were dining at Laziz, he asked our waiter where we could find the best coffee in SLC, and that’s how we found Coffee Garden. Coffee Garden is an eclectic little coffee shop that offers great coffee and tea, tasty pastries, and excellent customer service. Benny ordered an oat milk latte, and I got the ginger peach iced tea (it was so good!).
One of the reasons why we loved coffee garden was the fact that it was right next to Liberty Park. Liberty Park is a large, 80-acre park that offers all kinds of fun for kids. We had wanted Amelia to be able to run around and play for a bit, so while we were driving around the park to find a playground we happened upon the Tracy Aviary bird conservatory. This place was an AMAZING find. It cost $23.90 to get in, but it was totally worth every penny. Tracy Aviary houses all kinds of birds, from Andy the condor, a bald eagle, Chilean flamingos, king vultures, an owl forest, and a swan pond. We spent about an hour at Tracy Aviary, and I so wish we had something like this in the LA area.
While I was researching restaurants I came across the Female Foodie’s blog, and she had a few posts about the best restaurants in SLC. So after we left the Tracy Aviary, we headed to Handle Salt Lake (or HSL) for lunch. HSL seems to be on every top SLC foodie list, and for good reason. HSL offers seasonal American dishes, food that is sourced locally, and a beautiful, funky space. We had heard great things about the General Tso’s style cauliflower, and oh my, it was amazing. The cauliflower is cooked in a sriracha vinaigrette and served with pickled Fresno peppers. For our meal, Benny and I both ordered the HSL burger. The burger comes with American cheese, tomato jam, pickled red cabbage, and salt & vinegar fries. This burger. This burger was so delicious that I would drive all the way back to SLC just to eat it again. We normally order Amelia her own meal, but I ended up giving her some of the cauliflower as well as half of my burger and fries.
To drink we tried the Garwood’s ginger beer. Benny and I both love a good ginger beer, but this one was the best we’ve ever tried. Benny ordered the mild ginger, and I got the grapefruit and honey ginger beer. The flavors were on point, and I so wish our local health stores carried it. Garwood’s ginger beer is crafted and bottled by hand in SLC where every batch is made from the fresh cold-pressed juice of high-quality citrus, organic ginger, and organic cane sugar. I’ve done quite a bit of research to see if I could order Garwood’s online, but I haven’t found anything quite yet. If that ever changes, I will let you know because you’ll definitely want to order!
After lunch we went back to our apartment so Amelia could nap, and when she woke up we decided to head back to downtown SLC to do a little exploring. First we took a little tour of the famous Temple Square, then we walked around Regent Street. One thing I want to say about downtown SLC is how clean and pristine it is. From what I’ve experienced, most downtown areas in large cities can often be a little dirty and stinky, but every corner of downtown SLC was beautiful and clean.
For dinner we ended up going to Spitz SLC. Spitz offers Mediterranean street food with a touch of California flavor. Our dinner did not disappoint. We ordered the Doquitos for the table, which are basically Mediterranean taquitos (but better). They’re made with lavash bread rolled with chicken, zesty feta, onion, and garlic aioli, and then fried and smothered with feta, aioli, onion, pepperoncini, green peppers, tomato, and olives. For Amelia I ordered a kid sized lavash wrap with chicken and veggies, and a side of sweet potato fries. Benny and I each ordered the Street Cart Doner, with chicken, garlic aioli, fried lavash chips, romaine, cabbage, tomato, onion, green pepper, cucumber, and tzatziki.
Although we did enjoy the food at Spitz, Benny and I both agreed that we loved our food at Laziz more.
On our drive home we got a little turned around and ended up stopping at The Big O for a couple doughnuts. The Big O Doughnuts is a little family run gourmet doughnut company that offers only 100% plant based products. They handcraft each doughnut and glaze from the highest quality real foods, locally sourced when possible, in order to ensure that everything is 100% amazing. Their doughnuts were definitely tasty! I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.
Saturday morning we got up and packed the car, grabbed coffee and tea at Coffee Garden, and headed to the local Harmons to buy some groceries for the remainder of our trip. If you remember from the beginning of this blog, there’s a long stretch of the 15 freeway that is just open land. We learned our lesson on the drive out to SLC, so we decided to grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Harmons. We grabbed yogurt, berries, and granola for breakfast, and kale salad, chicken, potatoes, and roasted veggies for lunch and dinner. Getting food for the day at Harmons allowed us to not worry about finding a decent restaurant for lunch, as well as a restaurant for dinner in Mesquite.
Benny also searched for a park that we could stop at between SLC and Mesquite, Nevada. He was able to find Pioneer Park in Beaver, Utah, so we stopped there to eat lunch and to let Amelia run around for a bit. If you’re traveling with kids I highly recommend finding a parks along the way! Plan your stops, grab a snack, and let your little one run around while you stretch your own legs!
We decided that since the drive home from SLC was about 10 hours that we would stop for the night in Mesquite. We stayed at the Eureka Casino Resort, and really loved our stay there. The rooms were super clean and spacious, and spending some time in the swimming pool was a perfect way to end our trip.
Sunday morning, we got up early and headed to Toast Society for breakfast. I’ve been following Rachael DeVaux for a couple years now, and was very excited that she opened her gourmet toast and coffee bar just a couple weeks before we would be driving through Vegas. Toast Society is the first gourmet toast bar in Las Vegas, Nevada. and offers various toast recipes, nutritious smoothies, and coffee. Benny ordered the avocado sweet potato toast with eggs, I got the beet hummus with eggs, and we ordered Amelia their chia pudding. Benny said this was the best meal he had on our trip. Everything was light and super flavorful. I’m hoping that one day we’ll be able to get back out there!
From Toast Society it was about a 4 hour drive back to Long Beach.
We had such a great trip. I know that one day we’ll go back when Amelia’s older so she can truly witness the beauty of Utah. I highly recommend going if you haven’t already! If you’re planning a trip to Utah and have any questions about our trip, please don’t hesitate to ask!