Nestled in Utah’s scenic southwest region, Kanab is a desert flower of color and culture, where vibrant arts and delicious cuisine blend with a backdrop of multi-hued cliffs and canyons. The town was planted with cowboy grit, but has blossomed under Hollywood lights and a flow of travelers.
A long-time classic of the American West, Kanab was once the setting for Western films, but is now an international crossroads for visitors to national and state parks, monuments, and recreation areas. Spirit of adventure and diversity of culture has inspired a wealth of cuisine in Kanab, but true to its cowboy roots, you will find homegrown tradition and small-town friendly service with every meal. You won’t find much fast food or many chains, but rather restaurants that are uniquely Utah, run by local families who welcome faces and flavors from all over.
Houston’s Trail’s End Restaurant : The Trail’s End Restaurant has been a Kanab staple since 1945, and for the past 40 years the Houston family has kept the Old West legacy alive by serving up homestyle country cooking in their saloon-style diner with cowboy decor. Come on in to enjoy sandwiches, wraps, soups, or salad for lunch, and burgers, steak, ribs, chicken or shrimp for dinner. DayLean’s fresh-baked rolls with Grandpa Bob’s country gravy are a local favorite, served warm on the side or a la carte.
Peekaboo Wood-Fired Kitchen : Named for the stunning slot canyon that attracts people from all over the world to southern Utah, Peekaboo does the same with their vegetarian-only menu, blending international flair with local fare. Pizzas are the trademark here, always made to order in their wood-fired oven. Toppings range from classic to creative, and gluten free crust is an option. There are also burgers and sandwiches, salads, rotating specials, and a full brunch menu to boot. Shady patio seating set back from the street is enough reason to wander into Peekaboo, and the variety of tastes is reason to come back.
Big Al’s Burgers : Before hitting the road out of Kanab, don’t forget to fill up–your belly, that is. Big Al’s retro-style diner makes the perfect pit stop. Try the Big Red burger which is sure to satisfy with ham and bacon plus a patty. Add on a family order of fries and a side of their special-made fry sauce to keep the whole car happy, and finish it off with a old-fashioned milkshake in your choice of flavor.
Sego Restaurant : Consistently rated as one of the region’s top restaurants, Sego never fails to impress. Even big-city foodies will be pleasantly surprised by Sego’s refined dining concept that highlights local specialties while blending far-flung flavors. It’s all about sharing favorites and providing an overall social experience, which is furthered by the tapas-style menu. Portions are designed to be passed around the table for a little taste of everything. Be sure to ask about locally sourced specials and the fish of the day.
Wild Thyme Cafe : A newer arrival to Kanab’s dining scene, Wild Thyme is quickly becoming a popular choice for gourmet dishes in a casual setting. Their carefully curated selection has just the right variety of craft recipes and includes vegetarian and vegan options. Crowning the menu is filet mignon, which is a strong contender for best steak in Kanab. Other delectables include dry-rubbed ribs, salmon filet, fish tostada, vegetarian baked penne, vegan tostada, vegan gumbo, and rich desserts. Don’t miss a chance at a side of their country cornbread with sweet agave butter.
Kanab Creek Bakery : A local favorite, Kanab Creek specializes in artisan breads and other baked goodies. You can of course grab a morning coffee and treat and be on your way, but you’d be missing out on what else they have to offer: a meal made fresh to order. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch and features hometown staples as well as exotic delights–breakfast burritos, shakshuka, quiche, country breakfast, waffles, paella, asada steak, hot sandwiches, salads, sorbet, gelato, and the list goes on. Enjoy inside or on the patio.
Willow Canyon Outdoor : To fuel up for your day and gear up for your adventure all in the same place, stop into Willow Canyon Outdoor. This outfitter store also has a coffee and espresso bar staffed by fellow adventurers who are happy to share info on nearby destinations.
Moon Saloon : This Wild West-looking storefront is right at home in Kanab, and conveniently set next to the movie theater making it a popular grab-n-go at all times of day. They pack way more than just coffee into their little canteen, however. Grab more provisions like snacks, cold drinks, smoothies, hot dogs, and vegetarian items before you hit the ol’ dusty trail.
More to Try
International : Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant: Authentic Mexican with indoor and outdoor seating; Luo’s Cafe: Chinese dishes made to order
Sweets : The Three Bears: Homemade ice cream, drinks, breads, sandwiches, and soups; The Soda Fountain: Old-fashioned ice cream sodas, shakes, and sandwiches
Originally written for Utah Office of Tourism.