Being a foodie on a budget can be a difficult thing to achieve sometimes. While visions of perfectly seared foie gras and artisan burgers topped with housemade condiments dance through your head, you might have resigned yourself to thinking that a life of boxed macaroni and cheese is all you can afford. It's time to think outside of that box.
If you're in Salt Lake City looking for a great meal that won't break the bank, you're in luck, as this Southwestern town is full of nice restaurants that are moderately priced.
20 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Opened in 1971 by a German immigrant, it's only fitting that Siegfried's serves the most genuine German food. Experience this European culture through taste by trying the wiener schnitzel or a traditional bratwurst with a side of spaetzle or imported sauerkraut.
Every meal is less than $10— a small price to pay for an authentic German dining experience. And once you're done with your meal, head over to the shop inside the restaurant for souvenirs and traditional German candy and snacks.
2041 S 2100 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
This eclectic diner has everything you'd expect and more. It was featured on the Food Network for being a funky and delicious place to eat. Along with the exceptional classic diner food it offers, the Blue Plate Diner also serves vegan options, including vegan milkshakes, which can be hard to come by even in a big city like Salt Lake.
During the winter, you can admire the vintage signs and license plates that line the walls and during summer, opt for sitting outside on the patio to soak in the quaint 1930s homes in the area.
2110 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Serving a variety of street foods, Nomad Eatery offers a fast and casual dining experience. Choose from a menu of pizzas, sandwiches, salads and sides. Whatever you decide on, don't pass up the house salt and vinegar chips made fresh to order.
And whether you're a local or a traveler with a few hours to kill while waiting at the airport, you're sure to find good food and good company.
736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
If you're a fan of Mexican food, you're in luck because Red Iguana is the best you'll find in the state of Utah. The restaurant has been featured in multiple magazines and it's even received positive reviews from "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host, Guy Fieri.
Experience a friendly, festive ambiance and eat the best mole of your life. There really isn't much more to be said about this one — good atmosphere and good food make for a good time.
754 E South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
At this family-owned and operated Thai cafe, the food isn't the only thing that's authentic. Upon entering Sawadee, you'll be greeted in traditional Thai fashion: with a slight bow and hands pressed together at the palms.
Once you've settled in, you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to taste unique appetizers, like Curry Puff and Shrimp Sawadee. As for your entree, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but Sawadee is especially known for its Pad Thai dish and savory peanut sauce.
This is something you'll want to eat every day, which is a good thing because portion sizes are known to feed three people — or just one person for three meals.
146 S Regent Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Pretty Bird makes ordering extremely easy — if you like chicken. Instead of spending 10 minutes staring blankly at the menu, your choices are narrowed down to only two menu items: fried chicken or a chicken sandwich.
Although the menu is limited, this crispy fried chicken is exceptional and has beat out Bobby Flay's cooking two times. And along with the amazing taste comes large portion sizes to satisfy even the hungriest of customers.
604 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Unlike most other restaurants, The Park Cafe doesn't cater to the dinner crowds as it's only open for breakfast and lunch. Located right next to Liberty Park, it's the perfect place to enjoy your meal and some good ol' people-watching from the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You won't find anything too wacky here, but you will find lots of traditional breakfast and lunch favorites. With the most expensive item on the menu costing a whopping $11.50, you can stop by with a friend after a relaxing stroll through the park and grab yourself some pancakes and eggs or a turkey bacon melt every day of the week.
111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Fusing together standard New American cuisine with a distinctly Salt Lake City-inspired aesthetic, The Copper Onion is helmed by chef/owner Ryan Lowder, who has experience cooking his way through Barcelona, New York City and South America.
Prep your palate with one of their creative cocktails, like the Bee's Knees, which combines applejack brandy, fresh lemon juice and honey. Then, dive into one of their delicious appetizers, like the bone marrow or mussels with creamy black pepper sauce, or choose a meat and cheese pairing from the charcuterie menu. Anything you get is guaranteed to be inventive and satisfying.
779 E. 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Niche prides itself on preparing creative meals using the freshest, most simple ingredients. Wherever possible, the expert chefs at this local, slightly upscale eatery use locally sourced cheese and produce, cage-free eggs, bread and pastries baked locally and local and regional cuts of meat.
Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Niche places a focus on small plates for sharing, but you'll also find salads, larger entrees and desserts. Their cocktail list is classic, comprised of standbys like mojitos and Manhattans.
165 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Meditrina offers tapas-style dining that encourages sharing with your companions and gives you the chance to taste a multitude of different flavors. The romantic patio is perfect for a date on a warm summer evening, and the cozy, intimate interior is great for sharing a few small plates over dinner by candlelight.
Regulars go for the Bulgogi Pork Belly with house-made kimchi and the Grilled Octopus with blueberry mostarda. And if you're really on a budget, hit up Meditrina's happy hour – you can choose from five tapas for only $30.
Salt Lake is not a small city and there are hundreds of restaurants. These are our favorite affordable places to eat, but there are lots more.
Don't be afraid to explore and keep in mind that an affordable menu doesn't mean low-quality food.