words by Melissa Fields
Taking a meal on a patio surrounded by views of the Wasatch Mountains is one of the sweetest joys of a Utah summer—and one that, for this summer, we’re particularly grateful. Not only does al fresco mountain dining offer a relatively safe way to break up the monotony of the last few months of at-home eating, it provides many restaurants an option for surviving this marathon-like pandemic.
Following is a selection of Utah mountain town and resort restaurants serving up great food—with a side of fantastic views—on outdoor patios for the 2020 summer season. And, as with all public gathering places these days, please wear a mask, maintain social distancing and stay home if you are feeling sick.
Little Cottonwood Canyon
At Alta Ski Area, The Snowpine Lodge's Gulch Pub patio is open daily from 12 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday.
The Alta Lodge will open for Saturday lunch (dine-in and take-out, noon - 2 p.m.) on August 1; Sunday Brunch service begins on August 2 (9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., reservations required).
Down canyon at Snowbird, the patios at Snowbird SeventyOne and The Forklift are open daily. Or head into the Snowbird Center to grab a sandwich from Snowbird General Gritts, a pie from Tram Car Pizza or coffee and housemade pastry from Baked & Brewed to enjoy on the ‘Bird’s large Plaza Deck.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
The iconic Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant located just 1.5 miles west of Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is open daily for the summer season (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.). Dine inside the restaurant or on the lodge’s large back patio. Or grab food to-go from the Silver Spoon Food Truck, parked in the lodge’s upper parking lot Wednesday through Sunday (noon - 7 p.m.).
The rustically charming Log Haven serves dinner nightly on its cool and verdant patio surrounded by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
While several restaurants operate seasonal patios along Park City’s Historic Main Street in warm weather months, on Sundays this summer, the entire thoroughfare is dedicated to walkers, cyclists and outdoor dining. During Car-free Sundays, cars are prohibited on Park City’s Main Street from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. through September 6, 2020. On-street dining, shopping and experiences will vary each week.
At Deer Valley Resort, the deck is open (8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) at the Deer Valley Grocery ~ Café—as is Pebble Beach, the stand-up paddleboard beach and pond located adjacent to the café’s deck. On June 26, the patio Royal Street Cafe opened for the summer season (11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., daily).
The patio at the High West Distillery and Tasting Room—with its bucolic views of rolling, sage-covered hills—opens on July 2. Distillery tours, lunch and small plates are served there Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and brunch is served on Sundays, 10:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sundance Mountain Resort is serving up tasty meals at the Foundry Grill by reservation only with plenty of outdoor seating, as well as grab-and-go options from The Deli and Foodtruck on the lawn. Snag a table and enjoy a sandwich with breathtaking views of Mount Timpanogos.
Over in the Heber Valley, the same culinary team responsible for Tupelo Park City, is opening Heber City’s newest eatery, Afterword, on July 1. There, local producers will be highlighted in a farm-to-table experience on Afterword’s spacious patio.
For hungry hikers, climbers and bikers traveling to or from the 450,000-plus-acre High Uintas Wilderness (located east of Kamas along the Mirror Lake Highway), a stop at Samak Smokehouse & Country Store for a sandwich, stickie, smoked trout or cold drinks (and Uintas Recreation Passes) is de rigueur. For those looking to stick around awhile at this Wasatch Back institution, check out the Smokehouse’s Summer BBQ, held outside on the lawn next to the smokehouse on Sunday nights (5 to 8 p.m.) through Labor Day weekend.
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