What To Eat in Zion and St. George
I'm all about balance, so you know that a winter trip out to Zion for hiking, biking, canyoneering means that there's gotta be good food in there somewhere. St. George County has some shockingly good eateries to fuel you up after all your adventuring. (You can check out the vid we put together below, too.) Here are my faves:
This former East Angeleno makes some killer 'que out in a dusty little town called Leeds. As soon as I saw the smoker off the highway as we headed into Yant Flat at Dixie Canyon to do some droning, I knew we'd have to double back on our way out for a plate of his fantastic, almond wood smoked pork ribs. They did not disappoint. Unfortunately Gus was out of brisket the day we stopped by because he had a catering gig the night before, but I've heard it's a best seller. His fresh house made slaw is a winner -- not at all heavily dressed -- and his sauce was so good that I wished I could take a bottle home with me to L.A.
545 N Main St #9, Leeds, UT 84746, (435) 216-7084
Michael and I are all about finding quality family owned coffee shops and roasteries when we travel, and this food truck/coffee house spot did not disappoint. I was a huge fan of their version of a Bulletproof latte, the perfect way to get your metabolism kick started with MCTs before a hike. Theirs is called the Davis & Clark, and it's made with coconut oil and unsalted Kerrygold butter, 5 spices, raw cacao, collagen and coconut sugar. I added a little peppermint into the mix per the instruction of the lovely owner Elise, and have been trying to hack the recipe since I got back home. Sure beats those hokey Starbucks holiday drinks!
446 West 100 South, St. George, Utah 84770, (801) 898-9378,
Look, as a native Angeleno I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to Mexican food. So I was naturally skeptical when our photog buddy Mike told us that we should stop in for some guac at Oscar's, just outside Zion in Springdale. Boy was I in for a surprise! Their smoked chicken burrito from their "classics" menu, which is only available during the winter holidays months, was seriously one of the best burritos I've had in my life. I ordered it smothered with their chile colorado sauce and, which admittedly a gut bomb, was a warm, satisfying treat that I needed after being soaked to the bone from hiking The Narrows. Bonus: they serve Moab Brewing's beers too, including the cheekily named Polygamy Porter. Do it!
948 Zion, Mount Carmel Hwy, Springdale, UT, (435) 772-3232, https://oscarscafe.com/
Bear Paw Cafe
I am a sucker for a cute little local diner, and Bear Paw is just that. We saw so many cute Mormon families dressed to the nines after their Sunday services enjoying their hearty brekkies, a fave of which is the stuffed French toast. Order it with the apples, and don't forget to try their perfectly crispy, silver dollar shaped home fries. The wintertime also means they have a bevvy of froofy hot cocoas with winter fixins, like peppermint and gingerbread sprinkles. It's the ultimate decadent treat to enjoy on your way out of town, or before a huge day of hiking. (Can you tell that I love working this stuff off almost as much as I enjoy eating it?)
75 N Main St, St George, UT 84770, (435) 634-0126
If you've never tried wild game meat, this spot near Snow Canyon State Park is an ideal spot for a "treat yourself" meal. Originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this second outpost is where locals dressed in bolo ties and barrell hats take their sweethearts for a night out. We really enjoyed the perfectly cooked elk -- which tasted like a hybrid between kangaroo and beef. And their mashed potatotes are to. die. for. Again, this is tummy padding, stick to your ribs fare, which you've totally earned if you've done some winter hiking.
1091 N Bluff St #1400, St George, UT 84770, (435) 652-0550, http://utah.gunbarrel.com/