Tag Archives: utah county restaurants

How to Find the Best Mexican Restaurant in Utah County

We all know that there are good restaurants in Utah County and bad ones.

What is the best way to determine whether or not a Mexican restaurant is good? Having a bad meal is always a disappointing experience; the good news is that there are a few things to look out for when deciding which Mexican restaurant to visit.

Family & Friend Recommendations

It’s always best to get recommendations from friends and family. Do you have friends who enjoy making or eating traditional Mexican foods? If so, they can probably name a few Mexican restaurants to visit or stay away from.

There is a world of difference between a good Mexican restaurant, which serves top quality authentic Mexican food and an inferior restaurant that uses poor quality ingredients and does not serve tasty Mexican food.

Restaurant Reviews

You might like to read the restaurant reviews in your local newspaper or visit the restaurant itself if it is nearby. If it looks busy, that is normally a good sign. An empty or near-empty restaurant can be, but is not always, a bad sign. The food might not be as fresh and if nobody else wants to eat there, there might be a good reason for it.

Restaurant Advertisements

Advertisements are not a good way to choose a restaurant because an advertisement, whether in print, on the radio or on the TV, just says what the restaurant owner wants it to say.

An advertisement might advertise a Mexican restaurant as “top quality” or as having “the best traditional Mexican foods” or something similar, but how far can you trust advertisements? Word of mouth is always more reliable and if your Mexican food fan friends have a favorite Mexican eatery, that is the best way to determine where you should go.

What’s your favorite Mexican restaurant in Utah County?

The Best Burger in Utah County

By: Mindika Thiebaud

In the last year or so Utah County has seen an influx of new trendy burger joints. I’ve been shocked by the hype and excitement. I personally would never stand in line for 24 hours or sleep out in the cold for a burger; no matter how delicious I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a food lover, but let’s be real folks!

burger-supremeFortunately for me, I think the best burger in Utah County doesn’t come from one of the new joints on the block. In fact its home has been a staple of the county for more than 20 years; a Utah icon, a family & friend tradition. Even better, I’ve never had to wait more than 5 or 10 minutes for it. Drive through, take out or sit down, Burger Supreme located on University Parkway in Provo, reins supreme!

Their burgers are thick and juicy. Made from fresh, never frozen beef, delivered daily. They’re charbroiled, which in my opinion is the only way to have a hamburger, then piled high with fresh toppings. Their fries are thick, but not too thick, crispy and like heaven dipped in their original recipe fry sauce. But it doesn’t end there. Variety is always key for my family.

We love options, and Burgers Supreme delivers. From the Guacamole Burger, Western Burger, Gyro Sandwich, Teriyaki Chicken, salads, shakes…you name it, the options are plenty. They have also started catering. This last summer we were lucky enough to have them cater our huge neighborhood 4th of July bash! Deliciousness delivered!

Now I’ve heard many loyal patrons of above mentioned trendy joints, argue tradition, nostalgia, etc…etc… for their love of a burger. I get that! I sympathize with nostalgia, but when it comes to taste bud satisfaction there’s just no contest. Burger Supreme takes the buds every time.

Mindika Nordfelt Thiebaud is a local food blogger. Her love affair with food and cooking began as a child when she got her first “easy bake” oven. She grew up as an Air Force Brat traveling the world with her family, experiencing food and cooking from all parts of the globe. She did however spend every summer of her life in Utah visiting family, and feels as though Utah has always been her home. She moved here 17 years ago to attend college and has never left.

Mindika is married to Arnold Thiebaud. They have 1 little girl, Reese, who is 1 year old and they are expecting their second child next summer.

Shoga Japanese Sushi Restaurant

The Best Sushi Restaurant in Provo Utah.

Shoga Restaurant and Sushi Bar fresh sushi is the best way to describe this hidden gem in the Utah county dining scene. After trying all of the competitors for the last several years of living here, My dining companion and I were lucky enough to “stumble in” after a trusted recommendation.

Image Courtesy of Shoga Restaurant
Image Courtesy of Shoga Restaurant

The decor is modern simple and quaint, this quiet sushi bar tucked “literally” behind the Chevron on the corner of State and University Parkway.

This little Japanese Restaurant and Sushi bar is fantastic place to have a quiet date with your wife, ( my favorite dining companion) ever time we have visited the experience has been positive, the servers friendly and prompt and we usually sit at the bar and are able to talk to the Owners.

These two sushi chefs (owners) are fantastic, the seafood is the best I have had in the area. Fresh is the term that comes to mind as fresh as it can be in Utah flown in daily. I have visited other sushi restaurants and the tuna is several days old, not here this is spot on every day (This has been consistent with four visits over the course of 45 days) Below you can sample some of items at Shoga Restauant and Shushi Bar.

Menu Items

Shoga serves a core menu of soups, salads, noodle dishes, Don-Buri, teriyaki meats, steaks and of course a wide variety of sushi rolls. The best part of the menu is “Shoga Special Rolls” my favorite “The Shoga Special Roll” and “Black Eye Roll Unagi”

Shoga Special Rolls

Seaweed and Chuka-Ika

Japanese salads.  This salad just rocks, great flavor and the seaweed has the perfect texture $4.25

Image Courtesy of Shoga Restaurant
Image Courtesy of Shoga Restaurant

The Shoga Special Roll

This roll is a monster, a full meal, absolute flavorful built from Tempura, green onion, avocado, and hamachi. Topped with fresh tuna, crab salad, cilantro, and bell peppers, with house sauce and sesame oil $13.95


Black Eye Roll Unagi

Cucumber, shishito, topped with spicy tuna, black tobiko and unagi sauce $11.95

Mango Tango Roll Unagi

Avocado, bell peppers and cucumber, topped with mango and unagi sauce $10.95


Mango Coconut Mousse

Layers of spiced sponge, mango and passion fruit mousse, topped with honeycomb and mango glaze $5.95

Consistancy Quality Specials

Shoga currently offers these specials

(check the website for updated specials for lunch and dinner )

Current Specials Sushi Lunch Special 2 Traditional rolls 1 Miso soup (until 3:00 p.m.) $9.75

Sushi Happy Hour Buy one Specialty roll, get one Traditional roll for half price! Mon-Wed after 4:00 p.m.

Shoga Where: 374 E. University Pkwy., Orem


11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday,

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday,

2-9 p.m. Sunday Prices:

$4-$20 Info:



Shoga is a laid back environment there is no white table cloths the staff is friendly unobtrusive nor intrusive. The Chef’s, (Owners) are easy to talk to and they have fun, it is obvious they enjoy their business and do a great job managing the quality of the seafood.The menu even though covers the basic core items expected at a restaurant with a specific type of cuisine, the special part of the restaurant is in the signature dishes and special items, a few of which are listed above. Visit Shoga Restaurant and Sushi Bar, and enjoy.


Monty Cassel
Restaurant Pros

Bombay House Indian Restaurant in Provo Utah

Kid Friendly: kid friendly business utah
Food Quality:


Bombay House Cuisine of India
463 North University Ave
Provo, Utah 84601
(801) 373-6677

The other night, while my family was soaking up the sun in Phoenix, Arizona, I had the chance to stop in at the Bombay House Indian Restaurant in Provo Utah!

If you haven’t tried the Bombay House on University Avenue in Provo, YOU MUST! Not only is the food extremely authentic (“…minus a bit of spice” says owner Daniel Shanthakumar, who you’ll always find greeting customers with a happy smile), but it’s clean, very well decorated, and a great price for the quality dining experience.

What to Order Your First Time: Chicken Cocunut Kurma – this boneless chicken cooked with coconut milk, onions, garlic, ginger tomatoes, cashew nuts and spices is TO DIE FOR! In addition to the Cocunut Kurma, you have to get Garlic Naan Bread. My mouth waters…

Timing is everything! My wife and I have been to the Bombay House a few times now and have realized one thing – either call ahead or plan to wait for a bit. During the week isn’t bad at all. But come Friday and Saturday night, the Bombay House in Provo Utah is hopping with customers. It’s well worth the wait though, and the service is very timely once you’re seated. I’ve only taken kids there once. I give it a “Smiley Face” for kid-friendliness, mainly because there’s music playing so children wouldn’t be a big distraction. Because the food is quite authentic, kids may not have the biggest selection so just be aware. Parking can be a bit tight so be prepared for that too.

The Bombay House Indian Restaurant in Provo, Utah is a definite must and one of the “Hidden Treasures in Happy Valley!”

Tell Daniel we recommended it the next time you visit!

Macaroni Grill in Provo, Utah

Kid Friendly: not kid friendly restaurant in utah county
Food Quality:


Macaroni Grill
4801 N University Ave # 50
Provo, UT 84604

There are so many quality restaurants in Provo, Utah anymore. It’s hard to know where to go with all the options to chose from.

Today 14 business friends and I went to Macaroni Grill in Provo, Utah for a high quality “quick lunch”. Unfortunately, there was nothing “quick” about this experience.

I know, Macaroni Grill isn’t supposed to be an “In and Out” joint, but let me share with readers some interesting statistics that I took note of while patiently waiting:

  • Arrived at Macaroni Grill – 11:55 a.m.
  • Bread and Oil served to lunch party – 12:05 p.m.
  • Drinks orderd – 12:10 p.m.
  • Orders taken – 12:20 p.m.
  • Side Salads served – 12:45 p.m. (50 minutes total to get a side salad)
  • Refill of drinks – I don’t recall this happening, although some say it did.
  • Orders finally arrive – 12:55 p.m. (some of our party had to leave so their orders had to be brought in boxes)
  • Free Chocolate Cake for entire party, of which some of us didn’t have time to eat – 1:10 p.m.

Like I said at the forefront of this Provo Utah restaurant review, the Macaroni Grill has always been one of my favorite places to eat. I totally recommend the Chicken Scallopine with Angel Hair pasta. However, if you are looking for a quality lunch and are in a time crunch, Macaroni Grill may not be the best pick.

What’s your experience? Where do you recommend for a nice, quick lunch in Provo, Utah?

Chuck-a-Rama Restaurant in Orem, Utah

Kid Friendly:
Food Quality:


408 S State St
Orem, UT 84097
(801) 225-9300

When they say, “The choice is yours at Chuck-a-Rama” they aren’t kidding. We hit this Orem, Utah restaurant on a Saturday night…and for those of you who’ve tried to get seating at a restaurant at 7:00 on a Saturday night…you’ll know that we appreciated the fact that we were able to be sitting and eating after only a 5 minute wait.

The food was good, the salad was fresh, and the atmosphere was loud…which was nice for us with our two toddlers. Chuck-a-Rama in Orem, Utah certainly wasn’t a formal dining experience, but it was quick, it was good (fresh rolls with honey butter…mmm), it was filling, and it was an excellent value with kids under four eating free. If you need a quick bite on a busy weekend, this buffet is a decent option.

Carabba’s Italian Grill in Orem, Utah

Kid Friendly:
Food Quality:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Orem, Utah
683 University Pkwy
Orem, UT 84097
(801) 765-1222

I know we’re supposed to give a fair and objective opinion at Utah County Reviews, but I have to admit that if I am looking forward to a fancy night out, Carabba’s in Orem, Utah is one of my very favorite restaurants in Utah County.In my opinion, the Steak Marsala is the best steak in Utah County (sorry, Outback), and when it’s paired with their fettucine alfredo, it is an absolutely heavenly indulgence.Carabba’s hits every detail “spot on” even before your meal arrives with an excellent house salad and delicious warm Italian bread dipped in herbed olive oil.

While this restaurant is not cheap whether you’re counting your pennies or your calories, it is a necessary occasional luxury (and is definitely worth getting a babysitter). We love Carabba’s…and don’t worry, you can always take some home in a box!

A couple “heads up” tips, however:

  1. Not the best place for kids: it’s not Carraba’s fault on this one, just a bit nice to take a “terrible-two year old”. We’ve taken kids once; if they sit you in a booth where you can keep the kids in it’s not terrible, but if you are seated at a table in the middle of everyone else, better bring your patience and lots of games for the kids to keep the occupied.
  2. Timing is everything: although Carrabba’s in Orem is fairly prompt once you’re seated, you better plan to wait if you go on a Friday or Saturday night. Going at about 5:00 worked great for us with a group of about 20 people. But at around 5:30 on it’s chaos (and they don’t really take reservations). I say “really” because it seems like its on a case-by-case basis depending on the mood of the manager. In addition to the traffic, there isn’t a great deal of space to just hang out and wait – it’s a struggle to even put your name in when the place is packed. So – go early or go somewhere else is our recommendation.

What do you all think of Carrabba’s Restaurant in Orem, Utah?

The Pita Pit in Provo, Utah

Kid Friendly:
Food Quality:


The Pita Pit in Provo, Utah
1240 N University Ave
Provo, Utah
(801) 356-7482

The Pita Pit in Provo, Utah has got to be one of the best places I know of to find fast, healthy food that is to-die-for-good and really fills you up.  My personal favorite at The Pita Pit is “The Aloha”, a savory blend of teriyaki-grilled chicken, ham, and pineapple with all the veggies you want and, of course, I top it off with plenty of tzatsiki sauce.  Even my husband, who groans at the healthy suggestions I often give for eating out, is sold on this one.  This pita is stuffed with all the good stuff and leaves you feeling stuffed…but without the greasy hangover.

The only warning I’d give is that it can get pretty crowded.  If the parking lot is full, you may be waiting around for quite awhile.

At around $7 per person, you definitely get your money’s worth at The Pita Pita – an innovative and delicious fast food restaurant in Provo, UT.  And they know how to treat their customers.  Last time we were there, they made a small mistake on my husband’s order, and quickly offered him a $1 off coupon for our next visit.  Isn’t it those small gestures that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy?  You’ll definitely leave The Pita Pit in Provo, Utah feeling warm, fuzzy, and satisfied.

El Azteca Mexican Taco Restaurant in Provo, Utah

Kid Friendly:

Food Quality:



(See Key for Rating Break Down)

utah county mexican restaurant - el azteca

El Azteca Mexican Taco Shop

46 West 1230 North

Provo, Utah


El Azteca Mexican Taco Shop is conveniently located right off Bulldog and University Avenue in Provo, Utah.  The price is around $7 for a good size meal that’s filling.  They have free refills on drinks too!  It’s a great place for kids with booth seating to keep things closely knit 🙂 .  It’s fairly clean – the salsa area was a bit cluttered but this can be expected. The promptness was probably our favorite thing about El Azteca in Provo.  We had barely sat down to wait for our Mexican food and our number was called (probably 5 minutes max).  The workers were friendly and seemed happy to be there – which is a plus too.