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El Matador was the first Ogden restaurant I ever went to. I was in Junior High, and my older and cooler, High School stepsister took me along with a group of her friends, and I thought that this was the life. I thought that there couldn’t be a cooler place. Everyone got a strawberry or a banana strawberry virgin margarita, and again, I was beside myself in adoration. I asked my mom to take me there for my birthday shortly after. In a lot of my most memorable celebrations, my family has gone to El Matador, and it will forever have a special place in my heart. I love the hot (in temperature) salsa with cheese. I love the burritos, and tacos, chimichanga, and the ever fanous Veracruz platter, but what I will always save room for when I go is their strawberry virgin margarita.

El Matador Restaurant and Cantina
2564 Ogden Avenue
Ogden, Utah 84401
Open 7 Days a Week

Average cost for two people: $25

Don’t forget the bring cash or check! They don’t have a credit card machine.

I have never really been a fan of Chinese food, I will be honest. However there is one thing that I love when ordering from the Oriental persuasion, and that is pot stickers. It doesn’t matter which of the four chinese restaurants you go to on Washington, that are all a stone’s throw away from eachother, you can hardly come to one without great pot stickers. At Maple Garden, they give it to you with a wonderful sauce, that you mix up yourself. It is a chili paste and soy sauce. It is mighty delicious. I liked how one side was grilled, and the other boiled in consistency. If you like Chinese food, then tell me, what do you save room for at Yu’s Maple Garden?

Yu’s Maple Garden
3798 Washington Blvd
Ogden, UT
Average cost for two people $35

The Ogden Pizzeria is so classic. When you first walk in, to your right, there are classic arcade games. The kitchen is directly next to that, and it’s open for all to watch. It’s buzzing with employees, heat from the ovens, and it smells amazing. It is a sit-down, full-service pizza joint, and even though I am pretty young, it reminds me of the good old days. You see teams that come in after games, and families that bustle all of there kids together, corporate meetings, and high school group dates. They have garlic bread, garlic cheese bread, and their ever famous meat-lovers and BBQ chicken. However, it seems that after all the flavors, different sauces, breads, salads, and orange whips, we forget the original reason for going: the classic pepperoni pizza. That is why this item is the item to save room for, because it sometimes gets skipped when you see all the other great choices, but next time, try for simplicity. You have three choices of sauce, hot, mild, or mixed. They stack the peps first, then the cheese after. It is chewy, gooey, greasy, and a little bit spicy. There is no other pizza like it around. Next time you are in the mood for pizza, don’t miss out on Ogden’s premier pizza place, The Ogden Pizzeria.

Ogden Pizzeria

936 Washington Blvd
Ogden, Utah

Average cost for two people: $15-$20

Farr’s is a place that you should never miss out on if you are anywhere near Ogden. Technically, though, it is called Farr Better Ice cream, but if you are from around here, it is just “Farr’s.” This place has been around since 1920, and is a part of the everyday culture around here. The gentle whiff of the waffle cones and the cool of the creamery are reminders of coming here after baseball games, youth activities, temple trips, and date nights. There are 75 different flavors and when you first walk in, that is usually the attraction that people flock to, however, you should make a special trip for their amazing and recommended Brownie Sundae with a cherry on top. Try it with any flavor, but you can’t go wrong with the classic French Vanilla. A local bakery makes the brownie, and it is specially crafted to your liking by the wonderful staff. The fudge is our favorite part. It chews like fudge, but runs like syrup. It is the perfect treat to share after a small meal, or to have for yourself for that special occasion.

Farr Better Ice cream
274 21st Street
Ogden, Utah 84401

Average cost for 2 people: $7

On Ogden’s Historic 25th Street, there is a brewery that has been quenching our thirst with house-brewed ales since 1994. Housed in an over 120 year old building, Rooster’s is one place almost every Ogdenite has been too, or at least heard of. When going, one might want to try any of their numerous brewed-on-site beers, however, I encourage you all to save room for the understated root-beer. Utahns love their root-beer and Rooster’s brews it just right. It has that earthy, rich flavor that standard shelf-bought root-beers try to dumb down. It is thick, and runs down the throat slowly. My favorite part is that the refills are free.

If you are looking for a good drink, spare the alcohol, Rooster’s root-beer satisfies. It is the unsung drink of the brewery.

Rooster's Root beer

Rooster’s Brewery & Company
253 Historic 25th Street
Ogden, Utah
801-627-6171

“Exceptional Beer
& Excellent Food”

Average cost for a party of 2: $30-40

You are my kind of town. You are the place I love to spend all my time. I work in your heart central, I study on your mountain campus, I play in the Historic district, I eat at your restaurants, I shop in your shops, and I visit your attractions. In the morning you smell like doughnuts. Can anyone else look at their city and remark that it smells like doughnuts? If they do, it is because they live in Ogden. Your homes are beautiful, your residents care, and your civil servants work tirelessly to further aide in your recovery. You are my home.

At the end of the week, my husband, my friends, coworkers, and I like to “save room for” Ogden, and have fun in your streets. We have a goal of visiting every locally owned restaurant in your city, and highlighting that in this blog. Your amazing, unique restaurants deserve more exposure. On a Saturday night, your residents go to one of your love-child restaurants rather than a chain in a neighboring city. They are the kind of people who go to the local brewery  for a cheeseburger at Roosters, rather than a greesepatty from fast food. They try your cold cucumber soup on a Summer day, and eat it on your outdoor patios. They play on the trains, walk on the cobblestone, go for an Art stroll, plummet down the Rampage, then all go to eat a cone from a shop that lived through the Great Depression. These are the kind of people we target.  All we hope is to get some more people a little bit more excited about Ogden’s incomparable dining scene.

“Save room for Ogden” will be the heart of this blog. It seems that many restaurant reviewers like to use that saying when describing that “extra-special” item that the place offers, “Save room for dessert!.”  I am going to be showcasing that one-thing from each restaurant that everyone needs to save a little room for, and not miss out on. It isn’t going to be a review of the place, describing my experience, or a synopsis of  the entire menu. It is all about that one-thing that you can’t miss out on. And honestly, is not that Ogden to Utah? That extra-special item that everyone must try? When you come to Utah, save room for Ogden.

Thank you Ogden, for being the place that we all save room for in our lives. God bless!

The Pretty Smitty