A ‘modern’ Mexican restaurant opens in South Salt Lake. Here’s what we found there.

Also from Utah Eats: A cinnamon roll shop’s anniversary; a new liquor store; and the Sun Trapp is coming back.

This article is excerpted from the Utah Eats newsletter, compiled by Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune’s food and drink reporter. To get the full newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday, become a subscriber by going to sltrib.com/newsletters.

Hello, Eaters!

I’ve had my eye on Contento Cafe in South Salt Lake ever since I saw its exterior’s cute peach-and-white color scheme a few months back.

Contento Cafe — a “modern” Mexican restaurant and espresso bar at 2280 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, in the former home of Vertical Diner — got its liquor license in April and held its grand opening on May 4. But I still wanted to give them about a month to settle in before I paid them a visit.

I stopped by on Saturday for dinner, and was immediately struck by how beautiful Contento Cafe is, inside and out.

The outdoor signage is gorgeous. Inside, there are charming little painted details everywhere, including an archway that was decorated with periwinkle flowers (pictured above). Potted plants occupy every ledge and shelf, and wicker lanterns illuminate the space, creating a warm, welcoming vibe.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Potted plants occupy a window ledge at Contento Cafe, in South Salt Lake, on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

But does the food hold up to the vibes?

I experienced some sticker shock while looking at the menu — $7.50 for chips and salsa?

But I saw on their Instagram that their food is organic as much as possible and made from scratch, without any seed oils, so I think the price for my entree was mostly justifiable. Also, I want to support restaurants that are sourcing locally; all of Contento’s beef, pork and eggs, for example, come from Utah Natural Meat.

I ordered the Contento bowl with steak along with some kombucha. Read more about the steak bowl in the Dish of the Week section below.

I’d like to return for breakfast and try the chilaquiles with an Americano.

Live deliciously,


P.S. There is a beautiful vine-covered area behind the restaurant, where the owners plan to put in seating. As far as patios go, this would be a lovely one.

Food News

(Cinnaholic) Signature cinnamon rolls from national vegan bakery chain Cinnaholic.

• On Monday, national plant-based bakery chain Cinnaholic is celebrating the first anniversary of its location in Vineyard, at 596 N. Mill Road, Suite 105. To mark the occasion, Cinnaholic is offering its vegan signature cinnamon rolls — like the Cookie Monster, Campfire S’mores and Caramel Apple Pie, all piled high with toppings — for $3.

• Yogurtland — which has Utah locations in St. George, Panguitch, Jordan Landing and Orem — has partnered with Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. for a promotion featuring the iconic video game PAC-MAN, a news release said. For a limited time, fans of frozen yogurt and PAC-MAN can try Cherry Chomp Sorbet and Pineapple Power-Up Sorbet, and top their treats with gummies shaped like cherries and PAC-MAN, the release said.

• In celebration of Hawaiian Foods Week (June 9-15), Dog Haus — at 10261 State St., Sandy — is introducing a couple of Hawaii-inspired menu items, a news release said. The Ohana Chicken Sando features a crispy fried chicken tender on a King’s Hawaiian bun, served with chili crisp, spicy mayo, teriyaki aioli and Haus coleslaw. The Mighty Moa Wings are bone-in wings tossed in teriyaki aioli and topped with spicy mayo, chili crisp and scallions.

Booze (and Drink!) News

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Patrons wait outside ahead of the opening of a liquor store in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, June 3, 2024.

• Utah’s newest state liquor store opened Monday at 151 E. 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City. It’s the first liquor store in Utah to feature two floors, and it has 37 doors of refrigeration space for beer and other products. Here’s what you need to know about the new store. And here’s my story about the artifacts that crews found while building the store — some of them believed to date back to an outhouse from the 1890s.

The Sun Trapp, an iconic gay bar at 102 S. 600 West in downtown Salt Lake City, has a liquor license once again after the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s latest meeting on Thursday. According to its Instagram, The Sun Trapp is scheduled to reopen Saturday.

Dish of the Week

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Contento bowl is shown at Contento Cafe, in South Salt Lake, on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

The Contento bowl I got at Contento Cafe on Saturday included red rice, black beans, steak, queso fresco, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, pickled onions, shredded cabbage, chipotle aioli and green poblano cilantro sauce. Two blue corn tortillas came on the side.

I thought this dish was eye-catching and comforting, if a little small for the price of $24. Since the “bowl” (it was really more of a deep plate) contained so many different elements, it was fun to create different bite combinations with the ingredients.

I think the simple flavors of the food matched the simple, homey feel of the restaurant itself.