Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Taste of Provo

If there's one thing that Provo/Orem does well, it's restaurants. Over the course of my two years spent here, I have been to quite a lot of Utah Valley's various eateries, and I just wanted to share some of my favorites. So here goes:

Favorite Pizza - Brick Oven (111 E 800 N)
First of all, it gets 100 points just for its location :) I love oven-roasted and deep dish pizza, and Brick Oven's is pretty good considering it's not Chicago. The service is pretty good and you have to get the frozen raspberry lemonade with your meal. Simply the best. They also have a good takeout deal - 6" pizza with cookie and drink for only $4.99.
Favorite item(s) - spinach artichoke dip w/ garlic bread, deep dish meats-a-pizza, garlic chicken pizza.
Favorite diner: Sammy’s Cafe (27 North 100 West)
Pieshakes and sweet potato fries. Mmmm. Service is a little slow, especially on nights and weekends, but definitely a cool place to hang out with friends and eat good food. Ask to get your picture taken and hung on the wall!
Favorite item(s) - Oreo cream pieshake, sweet potato fries

Best hot dogs -J Dawgs (858 N 700 E)
Starting out as just your meager hot dog stand, J-Dawgs' popularity had grown so much that they can now afford a real sit-down place. The hot dogs are simply amazing, even without the special sauce, which everyone but me seems to love. Oh well.
Favorite item(s) - J Dawg with mustard and onions :)

Favorite fro-yo - Spoon It Up (2250 North University Parkway)
Sometimes it feels like there are more frozen yogurt and ice-cream places than there are fast food restaurants in Provo, and many of them are really good, but the one I keep coming back to is Spoon it Up. (maybe because it's right next to J-Dawgs). I always get way too many toppings, which makes my weight and price kinda ridiculous, but if you can keep it in check the prices are pretty decent. Tons of good flavors.
Favorite item(s) - chocolate with all the candy toppings :)
Favorite Latin American - Tie between Joe Vera's (250 W Center St) and El Salvador (332 W Center St)
There is also a plethora of these types of restaurants around, each trying to market something different. Joe Vera's has the best chips and salsa, as well as great menu choices. El Salvador is really hole-in-the-wall, but their pupusas are to die for. (See my review of it here). And of course, there's my guilty pleasure, Costa Vida, but we won't mention that :)
Favorite item(s) - Joe Vera's - chips/salsa, chicken chimichanga
El Salvador - chicarron and cheese pupusa
Miranda's first sushi - she loved it!
Best Sushi - Sakura (171 West University Parkway)
I've been trying for the past two years to find a sushi place that comes close to my favorite place from back home, Kyoto. The thing that set Kyoto apart was their tempura sushi and that they drizzled it with eel and spicy sauce (sounds gross but is sooo delicious). The place that has come closest to this is Sakura. Best time to go is at lunch for the $15 all-you-can-eat special. I recommend sitting at the bar so you can directly tell the chefs what you want (and see how they make it!) It's also a hibachi restaurant, so if you don't feel in the mood for sushi, hit up some delicious hibachi!
Favorite item(s) - Crispy California Roll

Favorite Indian - Bombay House
(463 N University Ave)
I love Indian food. The naan and curry here are delicious. The Indian waiters have the most ridiculous sense of humor. I love it. Don't ask for beef :)
Favorite item(s) - garlic naan, lamb curry


Favorite Thai - Spicy Thai (3368 N University Ave)
Offering curry and of course, pad thai, among other delicious items. My favorite part is the Thai soap operas in the background. Really cheap lunch specials.
Favorite item(s) - pad thai, fried rice

Other Good Places


Guru's Cafe (45 E Center St)
It's kind of hard to describe Guru's - it offers pasta as well as enchiladas and burritos along with salads and sweet potato fries. Whatever genre they're going for, it's all delicious. Really, any menu on the item is amazing.
Favorite item(s) - Cilantro-lime enchilada, sweet potato fries

The Chocolate (212 S. State Street)
I just discovered this precious little place yesterday. I guess someone converted their cute little house into a dessert cafe. The decor is really cute, and it offers all sorts of various cakes and dessert items.
Favorite item(s) -Chocolate Chip Cazookie (warm cookie baked in a cake pan covered with ice cream)

So there are some of the favorites places I've been to. I haven't been to near as many restaurants as I would like (struggles of not having a car) so I would love to hear about your favorite places and recommendations! (I still have yet to find a great Italian place). What am I missing out on??


  1. Spicy Thai is my favorite! I'll definitely have to try a few of those places that I haven't been to!

  2. Have you tried Cafe Pesan for Italian? It's basically an Italian version of Cafe Rio, I think they are owned by the same people. But SO GOOD. It's down State Street in Orem by the Smiths.

  3. yeah i have heard of it and i wanna check it out! cafe rio isn't my favorite (i prefer costa vida) but i'm always down for a new italian place. thanks for the recommendation!

  4. My picture is on here twice! I'm honored!