Top 5 Restaurants for College Students in SLC


By Published on August 16, 2018

You might not think of Salt Lake City as a culinary destination, but the food scene here is rapidly changing that perception. For college students looking to nab a bite of cheap, but delicious, food, there are a plethora of options in the area. Here are the top 5 diners that are sure to please any discerning college student’s palate and wallet.

The Park Cafe

The Park Cafe is a staple in the Salt Lake food scene. Established in 1984, its close proximity to the University of Utah and its excellent food makes it easy to see why the cafe is always busy. The great food and prices are perfect for college students or anyone on a budget.

The Park Cafe’s casual atmosphere is reflected in its no-frills classic American fare. When you drop by, order anything with hash browns—they are fantastic. After you have indulged, you can enjoy a game of frisbee or beach volleyball with your friends at Liberty Park located directly across the street from the diner. The Park Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ruth’s Diner

Located on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, this diner is one of the oldest food establishments in the city. It was established in 1930 and has been going strong ever since, providing excellent food to locals for decades. City Weekly Magazine’s food critic Ted Scheffler said that “in a perfect world, every town would have a diner just like Ruth’s.”

But what makes this classic American diner so praiseworthy? Just about everything, it turns out. They are mostly famous for their delicious, fluffy biscuits and gravy but their eggs Benedict is not to be missed. If homemade biscuits and gravy can’t convince you to give it a try, perhaps the cinnamon roll French toast with maple syrup and lemon cream cheese will.

Hub and Spoke Diner

This diner features locally sourced ingredients and makes a lot of their staples in-house, like their made-from-scratch bread, sausage, and in-house smoked bacon. Unlike many locally sourced restaurants, the prices at Hub and Spoke Diner still are within range of the budget-conscious college student.

They offer a twist on traditional American diner food with dishes like their crab salad eggs Benedict, or their lemon pound cake French toast with fruit compote and blueberry maple syrup. Are you getting your car keys yet?

Blue Plate Diner

Featured on the hit TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, this Sugar House diner has a vintage feel inspired by the 1950s. Blue Plate Diner is most famous for their pork chile verde which you can get in the chili verde omelet or pork chili verde burritos.

The diner also features some amazing vegan and vegetarian options, especially when it comes to veggie burgers. If you’re looking to head over on a weekend, plan ahead and get there early to avoid a long wait for a table.

Penny Ann’s Cafe

Penny Ann’s Cafe is the last on our list, but it may just be the best. Their personal motto is “Home of the Heavenly Hot Cakes.” Doubtful? Don’t be. They are the winner of Best of State Best Breakfast because of these amazing hot cakes. Pile your pancakes high with butter and syrup, or get the “pancake sandwich” with eggs and bacon nestled between three fluffy hot cakes.

Penny Ann’s Cafe isn’t just known for their hot cakes; they also have amazing pie. With delicious flavors like chocolate peanut butter, strawberry cream, and lemon raspberry cream, there’s a flavor for everyone you bring along.

Even if you are on a college budget, it is still possible to eat out and keep to your budget. These wallet-friendly diners in Salt Lake City are both delicious and affordable and are a great place to grab a bite with your family or friends. While you are in Salt Lake, stop by Stevens-Henager College and learn more about the educational opportunities we offer. Our friendly staff at our campus in Murray will happily show you around and introduce you to the faculty on campus. Learn more information today!