New Year, New You? Healthy Dining Hot Spots in Utah

By Pam's Plate Jan 17, 2017
Utahn Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of the original Whole30® program and superstar in the world of healthy living, shares her local dining favorites.
New Year, New You? Healthy Dining Hot Spots in Utah


Being a food blogger and trying to maintain a reasonable weight is a challenge, but dieting is a word I despise. I try to balance big eating days with lots of skiing and regular trips to the gym, as well as an overall balanced approach to food. Everything in moderation, as my Mormon roots instilled. I haven't tried the Whole30® program, but I know lots who have and love it. It is a lifestyle change, but you can take some wisdom from its guidelines when perusing menus and making choices.


Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of the original Whole30 program, is also a New York Times bestselling author of The Whole30 and It Starts With Food. She’s presented more than 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide, and provides support to more than 1.5 million people a month through the Whole30 website. Here’s her scoop on some local eats.

“All I want is something delicious and hearty—but I still want to stick to meals that I know will keep me feeling energetic and healthy.”—Hartwig says that after an active day of snowboarding, skate-skiing, or snowshoeing.  

She says that means following a Whole30-ish template, basing my meals on meat, seafood, or eggs, lots of vegetables and fruit, and natural healthy fats.


Luckily, there is no shortage of options for me in Salt Lake City. Here’s where I head post-winter adventuring:

Roots Café, Millcreek: Serving breakfast until 3 PM, this is my favorite spot straight out of the canyon. They source local ingredients, have their own garden, and offer many Whole30 compliant meals. My favorite is the Eggs Benedict—but skip the English muffin and ask for it over spinach or arugula.


Taqueria 27, Holladay: Hearty Mexican fare with a health-conscious approach. I’m good with corn, but you can order their GOD (Guacamole of the Day) served with sliced cucumber if you don’t want chips. I usually do their grilled fish tacos, but their mole is delicious too.


Copper Kitchen, Holladay: One of the best burgers in the city. Period. (But they do have other stuff on the menu, including a salmon dish over zucchini noodles—how perfectly Whole30). I order my burger with no bun and no cheese, but after a day of winter sports, I absolutely get the fries, hashtag worth it.


Café Rio, 3300 South, SLC: It’s not hot, but their salads are hearty, and sometimes you just wanna grab your food and eat it on the couch. What I get: salad, no rice, no beans, no tortilla, double grilled chicken, extra guac, extra pico, fresh cilantro. (That whole order is Whole30 compliant, but if you’re not on the program, spring for the house dressing… it’s divine.) Bonus: they’re now open on Sundays!


Sushi Groove, Highland Drive, SLC: Do you want cold sushi after winter adventures? Just choose some rolls featuring jalapeno or serrano peppers (and maybe add some sake to the order) and you’ll recover in style. I love the funky flavor combinations and casual environment, and always order at least one riceless variety. BYO Coconut Aminos and you can keep your whole meal pretty Whole30-ish.


Vessel Kitchen, Park City: If you just can't even with the bustle of Park City downtown apres-ski, head out of town-ish and stop at the new Vessel Kitchen in Kimball Junction. Super healthy, super Whole30-friendly, hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners 7 days a week; their Hash Hash (hold the feta) is at the top of my list next time I'm in town.

Here's Hartwig capturing a meal at Current Fish & Oyster 



If you want to more about Melissa, here's some candid back story, in her own words.