I think one of the very best ways to expose kids to culture is through food! We love taking our kids to traditional Indian restaurants, Vietnamese sandwich shops, Chinese noodle houses, and Middle Eastern shawarma places…you name it. We’ve found that almost every restaurant has something almost every kid will eat since they all have starches ranging from naan to rice to pita bread.
Utah has a surprisingly eclectic restaurant scene with so many great options! Here are a few of our family’s favorites and, as always, I’d absolutely love it if you’d share some of your favorite spots as well.
This little french place is as darling as it is delicious. It’s worth a visit if nothing else just to take a cute picture in front of that bright blue exterior!
The stuffed blueberry french toast was a favorite with my 18 month old who hogged the whole thing. I loved the avocado toast.
Emme was a fan of the raspberry macarons.
CY NOODLE HOUSE
This is a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese noodle house where you build your own noodle bowls. There are a bunch of different noodle, meat, broth, and vegetable options and you can “choose your own” hence the name CY Noodle house.
It’s right on State Street in Salt Lake in “China Town” which we will loosely define as such. There’s a fun Asian Market next door that we like to explore too. I took my girls on a little scavenger hunt to find the most unique stuff they could find. Then they got to pick out their favorite Asian candy for dessert.
The bottom dish was my favorite–I think it was called the chow mein bowl with udon noodles, all of the veggies, and chicken. The chicken was so tasty!
There are two locations for this fun new restaurant in Provo. Basically they’re rethinking the taco and filling it with all sorts of global flavors from Korean BBQ to Buffalo Chicken to Thai to traditional carne asada. This place was fresh and such a bargain! Tacos are $2.50 a la cart or you can get a 12 pack that will feed the whole family for $25.
These little Portuguese donuts called malasadas were hot and sticky and fresh and the perfect way to end our taco feast. The chimichurri mac and cheese was another favorite, although my kids weren’t as into it as I was. My kids liked the steak asada tacos with nothing but meat and cheese. The Buffalo chicken tacos are a best seller for grown ups.
This Peruvian restaurant in Orem was a favorite of mine in college and it’s been fun to take the kids back. The owners are a mother/daughter duo who opened the restaurant 24 years ago. I love supporting small businesses like this!
The Lomo Saltado is my personal favorite–it’s basically a steak dish mixed with veggies and french fries served with rice.
My kids loved the Salchipapas which is a traditional dish (seriously though!) of grilled, sliced hot dogs with french fries. (:
This fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant with locations in Murray, Sugarhouse, and Farmington Station. They serve fresh, healthy great quality food. My personal favorite is the Pesto Chicken with Artichokes over couscous with tons of grilled veggies added. The shawarma salad and the wraps are also delish!
Our kids loved the flat bread pizza and shawarma plate.
I’m saving the best for last here. We are obsessed with Oh Mai and eat at this Vietnamese sandwich shop way too often! They have fresh ingredients and bold flavor and it’s just.so.good.
The glazed honey pork rice bowl is our go-to for the kids–it’s basically just grilled pork, with rice and some cucumbers on the side.
My six-year-old loves the pho, but she’s definitely a more adventurous eater than my other kids.
It’s an order at the counter kind of casual place and the food is super cheap–less that $5 for the sandwhiches and $6.95 for the rice bowls and pho.
Dan loves the glazed honey pork bahn mi and my newest favorite is the garlic ribeye bahn mi. Mmm…it’s so flavorful!
I hope this restaurant round-up helps you find some new spots your family will love. Few things make me as happy as watching my kids experience new culture through food!