A few months ago we mad a short trip to three of the National Parks in Southern Utah: Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches. The parks are spectacular as is some of the country between them. Once or twice we roughed it, but we did eat at a few restaurants. We found a couple of places that we would recommend for a meal and one or two that we counsel avoiding.
The first place we visited was Zion. We ate dinner at the Pizza & Noodle Company in Springdale, the town just west of the Park. Its nice place inside an old Mormon temple. The pizza was pretty good, better than any chain. It is licensed. If you are in a need of a good pizza after a long hike, this restaurant will fit the bill. If you only eat (insert any regional type of pizza here) then you may consider looking around town for another. We had pie at the Bumbleberry Restaurant for dessertthe bumbleberry pie is overrated. Our breakfast at the Pioneer Restaurant was pretty typical American diner fare.
Near Bryce Canyon is Tropic, Utah. This is where one goes when it is too cold or full to camp in the park. All of the hotels and restaurants are right on Hwy 12. We decided to eat at the Hungry Coyote Restaurant. It didnt have half of the items on its dinner menu available, understandable considering the location of Tropic. Unfortunately what it did have available was forgettable. Perhaps we should have gone next door to Dougs Restaurant.
We stopped off at Blondies at the junction of Hwy 24 & 95 for burgers, fries and milkshakes. Its around 40 miles east of Capitol Reef National Park. Blondies had pretty good burgers and really nice strawberry milkshakes. They also had those strange little booklets to read (and for sale) that you see in most diners in Utah. $5 booklets with titles like All About Rhubarb."
Moab is the town next to Arches National Park in Southeast Utah. We had our best meal in Southern Utah in Moab at the Fat City Smokehouse. The two of us had one order of their BBQ pork ribs and one order of the baby back ribs. They were dry rubbed and then really BBQed--they had those required smoke rings on the inside of the meat. These ribs were good. I liked the taste of the pork ribs better than the baby backs, but that was probably because they had a bit more fat on them. And Fat City is licensed. The Teton Ale went well with the ribs.
We also found a good bakery in Moab. The Knave of Hearts Bakery had some nice pastries and bread, perfect to take out on the trails. The Pain au Chocolate was nice. I would have liked to try their cider, but their machine was broken.
I should add that we were in Moab during the Fat Tire Mountain Bike Festival. If you are ever in Moab during this time I recommend that you make reservations at any restaurant you visit. It is a very busy time.
Zion Pizza & Noodle Co.
868 Zion Park Blvd.
Springdale, Utah 84767
838 Zion Park Blvd.
Springdale, Utah 84767
Blondies Eatery & Gifts
2 S Highway 95 (at Hwy 24)
Hanksville, Utah 84734
Fat City Smoke House
36 S. 100 W.
Moab, Utah 84532
Knave of Hearts Bakery
84 West 200 North