You should move to Salt Lake City for two reasons: skiing and nachos. Just kidding! But if you are looking for motivation to move to or visit Utah, skiing and nachos are two very good reasons. SkiUtah.com is the best place to find information on skiing, and this is the place to learn about the best après ski nachos that Utah has to offer. Each eatery was evaluated with the same criteria. Read-on so that you can plan your next Utah ski trip based on nachos.
Porcupine Pub & Grill: Located at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon, Porcupine Pub & Grill is the prime location for après ski after a day at any of the 4 nearby resorts. You can expect a crowd any day of the week, and the reasons are obvious. The atmosphere is great, and so is the food and the service. Nachos are a fan favorite at Porcupine Pub & Grill, and when the server walks by with a plate of tall, steaming nachos, everyone’s eyes follow with envy.
• Size: 5 - Very large portion, but falling over the edge of the plate. Fed 4 hungry people.
• Quality of ingredients: 3 - All of the ingredients were good enough for nachos, but nothing special. The cheese was good, and this is the most important ingredient for nachos! I have a hard time finding salsa I don’t like, but this salsa wasn’t really doing it for me. I think it was out of a jar.
• Distribution of ingredients: 3 - The baked cheese was almost overwhelming on the top layer of chips, but there wasn’t as much to be found as we made our way to the bottom layer of chips.
• Price: 2 - $9.99 plus $1.99 for beans. I have no issue for paying $10 for a huge plate of nachos. I can understand charging extra for chicken or steak, but it seems excessive to charge extra for beans.
• Overall presentation: 3 - The whole presentation is definitely very appetizing. When the server walks by with a heaping pile of nachos, everyone takes notice! However, “heaping” can be bad too. As soon as you dig in, the nachos start tumbling off the plate – creating quite a mess. A bigger plate would be nice. (but not less nachos!)
Total Score: 16/25
Silver Fork Lodge: Silver Fork Lodge is a quaint restaurant and inn located a few miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Its proximity to Brighton Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, and backcountry skiing/snowshoeing in Wasatch National Forest makes Silver Fork Lodge the perfect destination for après-anything in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The vibe is rustic and comfortable, and the view is beautiful any time of year. Silver Fork Lodge isn’t known for its nachos, and they hide on the small après ski menu. But I was pleasantly surprised!
• Size: 4 - I think the general assumption when ordering nachos is that they should be plentiful. This is definitely the case at Silver Fork Lodge. The portion could comfortably feed four, although two of us finished them off (don’t judge me).
• Quality of ingredients: 3 - Blue corn chips were a pleasant surprise and different from the norm. The jalapenos and olives were canned instead of fresh.
• Distribution of ingredients: 4 - The cheese was minimal, which I can’t decide if I like or dislike. All of the ingredients were distributed all the way to the bottom. The very last chip had a little bit of everything on it, and I think that is ideal!
• Price: 5 - $7.95. Can’t beat that!
• Overall presentation: 5 - I enjoyed the blue corn chips and the distribution. And the portion fit perfectly on the plate! A great place for nachos.
Total Score: 21/25
Bearclaw: I skied Sundance Resort on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning in January after over 2 feet of fresh snow had fallen the night before. Needless to say, this was an exhilarating (and exhausting) morning of powder turns! By afternoon, the clouds, snow and wind started to move in again, so we were ready for a break! It turns out Bearclaw – located at the top of Arrowhead lift – is the only mountaintop lodge in Utah, and they are famous for their nachos!
• Size: 3 - The portion is perfect for 2 starving ski bunnies!
• Quality of ingredients: 3 - While I want to make sure to evaluate all nachos fairly, it is important to note that Bearclaw is, after all, located at the top of a mountain. There is no road to Bearclaw! So I am guessing everything is brought up by snow cat or on the lift? Either way, I was a bit disappointed to see that the “cheese” was cheese sauce.
• Distribution of ingredients: 4 - While most of the ingredients were concentrated at the top layer, the cheese was distributed throughout.
• Price: 4 - I think $10 is a fair price considering the venue!
• Overall presentation: 3 - The nachos are served in a foil container. This doesn’t stop them from looking appetizing, and perhaps there isn’t a dishwasher at the top of the mountain. While they looked and tasted great, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by the cheese sauce.
Total Score: 17/25
Molly Green’s: Located slope side at Brighton Resort, Molly Green’s is a full-service bar and grill complete with a cozy fireplace and amazing views. If you ask a local, Molly Green’s is synonymous with Utah’s best nachos. I think I might agree!
• Size: 5 - Nachos of epic portions! They fed 8 hungry people. • Quality of ingredients: 5 - Crunchy chips, a perfect blend of cheeses, fresh vegetables, and excellent salsa.
• Distribution of ingredients: 5 - The distribution of these nachos sets the bar for all others. The ingredients were spread evenly throughout. After we made it through the top layer of chips, cheese, and vegetables, we were pleasantly surprised to find a whole new layer of cheese, vegetables, and salsa beneath! (See picture for reference.)
• Price: 5 - $19 is reasonable given the size and quality of these nachos.
• Overall presentation: 5 - Just look at that beautiful, hot mess. Isn’t that what nachos are supposed to look like?
Total score: 25/25 (WINNER!)
Legend’s Bar & Grill:Legend’s Bar & Grill is the upscale après ski option at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. I visited Legend’s after a day of skiing with three of my girlfriends visiting from Chicago. We were intrigued when we heard Legend’s had “legendary” grilled chicken nachos, but we were swayed to stop in when a passer-by told us we “must try” the seared Ahi nachos! Who can say they have ever had Ahi nachos? We can!
• Size: 3 - Great snacking size for four lady ski bunnies. The dish may have left a larger group hungry.
• Quality of ingredients: 4 - Definitely not your average nacho ingredients. There wasn’t even any cheese! These nachos feature pepper-crusted Ahi tuna with mango salsa and wasabi crème fraiche served on crispy wontons atop Asian slaw. Yes, these nachos were as good as they sound.
• Distribution of ingredients: 5 - With only four “chips” on the plate, the delicious, upscale ingredients were perfectly distributed across each wonton.
• Price: 5 - $11.95 is a fair price for a dish featuring fresh Ahi tuna.
• Overall presentation: 5 - Beautiful presentation and a fresh, tangy departure from normal nachos! Total Score: 22/25 Honorable Mention: Best Nachos for a Group of Gals
Log Haven: Known for refined ingredients, gracious service, unbeatable atmosphere, and quaint location up Millcreek Canyon, Log Haven is a fine dining icon in Utah.
• Size: 2 - The portion is small, but when the ingredients are this remarkable, less is more.
• Quality of ingredients: 5 - Homemade house chips are baked with Raclette cheese, smoked prosciutto, and forest mushrooms. This divine concoction is unlike anything I have ever tasted. The warm, melty cheese keeps this dish true to its nacho roots, but the creation is unmatched in quality.
• Distribution of ingredients: 5 - Since there were only a few chips on the plate, each and every one was draped with the mouthwatering ingredients.
• Price: 3 - $11 may be too expensive for such a small plate of ordinary nachos. Considering the decadent ingredients, $11 is a good price for the portion.
• Overall presentation: 5 - It’s hard not to take the wonderful service and atmosphere into account while experiencing these nachos. Nachos definitely don’t get more upscale than this. If a “fancy” version of nachos is more your taste, don’t miss the Alpine Nachos at Long Haven.
Total score: 20/25
Come on, we know you're a nacho connoisseur, what other nacho plates should have made this review?