Utah’s first national park sits 160 miles northeast of Las Vegas on I-15, about an hour southwest from Bryce Canyon National Park. Steep red cliffs, a scenic drive that leads to forest trails hugging the Virgin River and the Emerald Pools with their waterfalls and hanging gardens, and the Zion Narrows, a wading hike through the deep chasms of the cliffs, beckon outdoor fans to Zion National Park. Adventurists head to Angel’s Landing for a five-mile hike with a view worth the five hours on the trail. Before or after touring the park, Springdale, Utah, is the fueling point for quick bites to eat and leisurely meals. Here’s a look at some of the restaurants to try near Zion National Park. Restaurants are organized from north to south.Read More
10 Restaurants Near Zion National Park to Try Before a Hike
Quick bites and leisurely meals await in Springdale, Utah
1. Thai Sapa
Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese fare define Thai Sapa, also known for its views of the mountains. Thai curry, bach sio noodle (a not-spicy street dish with stir-fried noodles), fried rice, and more make the menu here. The restaurant serves sake from Oregon as well.
2. Cafe Soleil
Hikers head to Cafe Soleil for breakfast and lunch dishes that include vegan and vegetarian options. Wraps, sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and breakfast items, including a croissant breakfast sandwich, stacked scrambled eggs, and loaded granola, keep outdoors enthusiasts full.
3. Spotted Dog Cafe
The restaurant inside Flanigan’s Inn offers a breakfast buffet with standard fare like fresh fruit, muffins, and eggs and bacon. Diners can stick around for dinner with Rocky Mountain red trout, Ahi tuna steak, and Cedar Mountain-style lamb shank. There’s also wild game meatloaf — elk, buffalo, and beef — wrapped in bacon. The wine list here is not to be missed.
4. Whiptail Grill
While most restaurants in Springdale are pretty unassuming, Whiptail Grill does it with Mexican flair. This former gas station converted into a Mexican cantina serves spaghetti squash enchiladas, fire tacos with beef tenderloin or marinated grilled chicken, goat cheese chile relleno, and Whiptail pineapple porker sandwich with pulled pork.
5. Oscar’s Cafe
For more than 20 years, owners Hank and Kathy Moore have run this full-service restaurant in Springdale. Aside from hearty breakfasts with omelets and pork verde breakfast burritos, the menu features tamales, a robust list of burgers, barbecue pulled pork, and vegetarian-friendly fare in a colorful space with scenic views.
6. Deep Creek Coffee Co.
Hikers grab breakfast or lunch at this laid-back local coffeehouse. Bagel sandwiches, Belgian waffles, and breakfast burritos appear at breakfast while lunch brings sandwiches such as the William Francis with turkey and cream cheese on wheat, a BLT, and the Monkey Wrap with peanut butter, banana, honey, and cinnamon inside a wheat wrap.
7. MeMe’s Cafe
This quaint, artsy cafe dishes out barbecue sandwiches and sweet and savory crepes. A cheddar bacon ranch grilled cheese, a Hawaiian sandwich with slow-roasted pork and teriyaki sauce, and the bacon and egg burger make the menu.
8. Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon
The Bit & Spur started as a roadside bar in the 1970s before becoming this restaurant in 1981. Current chef and partner Brad Tarran serves a tofu tacos, sweet potato tamales, and a rib-eye steak that all come with views of the mountains. Vegetarian dishes are marked, and many can be made gluten-free. On the bar side of the Bit & Spur, Utah-based spirits, Wasatch and Squatters beers from Salt Lake City, a game of pool, and a live music scene rule the roost.
9. Switchback Grille
Switchback Grille brings a contemporary restaurant with views of Zion’s West Temple and the Three Marys. Inside, artwork from Utah artist Kirk Randal lines the walls with natural cherry wood woodwork. New York strip and rib-eye steaks wet-aged for 28 days as well as halibut, sushi grade ahi tuna, Alaskan king crab legs, and jumbo shrimp join a list of wines rated 90 or higher.
10. King’s Landing Bistro
The seasonally changing menu at King’s Landing brings salmon, a pork porterhouse, a burger with Vermont white cheddar and caramelized onions, and Mediterranean tofu cassoulet. Seasonal cocktails and local beers also make the menu.