Chow in Moab, UT?

Not sure if there is an appropriate board for this one, but we’re heading to Moab for three nights and would be happy to get any info on dinner options there. We’ll most likely be buying picnic stuff for hiking lunches, so suggestions for good sandwich or grocery stores are also welcome.

You will appreciate this free publication. In paper form in hotel lobbies, campground offices, shop entryways or view it online Moab Menu Guide.
A couple of less known items: Sunset Grill occupies a former Uranium Millionaire home. Parking is limited. Call to make reservations for a free shuttle between your downtown hotel or campground and the restaurant. Also, Club Rio has terrific food, not just bar food and has also begun to provide free shuttles. As of 2015 anyway.

Lunches: Moab Restaurants and Dining Guide — Discover Moab, Utah Red Rock Bakery, Love Muffin, Leger’s Sandwiches, and Sweet Cravings prepare boxed lunches which are delicious. Moonflower Market, Village Market and City Market will have picnic supplies. Town is small. Easy to find everything once you get here.

Thanks for that.

I wish I could report more favorably about chow in Moab, but the dining scene–at least in December–was fairly dire. We ate breakfast in our hotel (fine–Best Western Canyonlands) and got lunch stuff from the grocery store (also fine) but had three dinners to fill. It was tough finding places that were (a) open and (b) halfway decent. Probably the best, although it was a very low bar, was Sabaku Sushi, open only Wednesday through Sunday in low season. We got a smoked squid salad, the poke small plate, and the spicy raw kelp noodle salad. The squid was very nice, with a delicate taste and sesame dressing, and reasonably sized. The poke “small plate” was way too large to be a small plate, and unfortunately, a chore to eat as it was pretty drenched in soy dressing that really overwhelmed the taste of both the fish and the avocado it was made with; you really couldn’t taste any of the fish flavors. The kelp noodle salad was OK though not memorable, and also quite large; of the various things on that plate, we liked small pile of “sea veggies” the best. We were pretty full after eating just those three things, but wanted to try some sushi, so we got one order of salmon roe and another order of freshwater eel. They were just fine, but again, not memorable or super flavorful. The service was friendly, but a bit weird and confusing, because we were seated at the sushi counter but had to order some things (it wasn’t clear which) from a waitress, and others from the sushi chef. Grade: B-.

Another dinner was at the Moab Diner. We liked the food we had there, although the giant advertisements covering every tabletop were kind of insane and off-putting (this was a Moab theme, we discovered). We were not wildly hungry, so just ordered an appetizer of green chile sauce with flour tortillas–superb, and enough for 4 people as an appetizer–and the Kokopelli Dip, a French dip with green chiles and what were advertised as “Spanish seasonings,” but were totally untasteable. The sandwich was just fine although the bread was quite soggy. Service was very friendly. We suggested to put a dish of French fries with green chile sauce on the menu, and were told that it was something that could be requested, which made us sad because we would have definitely requested it if we had known! Grade: B

Our final meal was at the Moab Brewery. Here also, the whole restaurant was completely filled with advertisements for other area businesses. In fact, the advertisements made up the entirety of the decor. Really, I’ll pay a few dollars more for food rather than get bombarded with ads, guys. While service was friendly, the food was pretty dreadful–a spinach salad with very little of interest, too much dressing, and two giant slabs of “jalapeno” (again, untasteable) cornbread that had come straight from a box of Jiffy mix, and a green chile-pulled pork burrito in which the pork was the consistency of baby food, served with bland and overcooked rice. The beer was, well, $2.50, which kind of limits anything bad you can say about it; it wasn’t terrible but certainly nothing I’d order again. We probably should have just ordered hamburgers, but we didn’t want to eat hamburgers that day. Grade: C-.

Two other restaurants that we’d hoped to try, Desert Oasis and Miguel’s Baja Grill, were both closed for the season. We really thought Moab would be a little better for food, but we were disappointed. Luckily, the national parks were even better than advertised.