Listen, I have one lane: teacher. I’m a 6th year middle school English teacher who spends 70% of her paycheck on Salt Lake City takeout and the occasional Grubhub fee when the end of the semester is near. Work hard, play hard, you know? And I’ll be honest, every penny has been money well spent, thanks to my very formal internet research.
Being a middle school teacher means that I can tell you what 95% of the new slang means, I’m too comfortable with telling teenagers at the movie theater (remember those?) to put their phones away, and I come home from work with 0% desire to cook and 80% desire to mindlessly scroll my social medias until I panic that all the restaurants are about to close and all I’ve eaten was whatever I could shove in my mouth during my 20 minute lunch break. So though I have a lane, I have traveled the highway of Utah foodie Instagram accounts and I am here to tell you my favorites.
I’ll be presenting my Instagram research with a rubric, the thing that describes how to get an A on an essay that middle school English teachers everywhere spend weeks preparing and are immediately thrown out by 8th graders as a rite of passage. I can feel the glaze in your eyes as I preach to you about school but look, this is who I am and this is what I know. Here’s what it takes for a SLC foodie account to get a follow from me:
Sure, social media perpetuates the idea that all meals taste better when they are photographed in perfect lighting, have edible flowers on it, and/or take well to the Nashville filter. But this is what we’re here for isn’t it? I want to see the cheese ooze, the ramen steam, and the beverages bubble. It’s up to the influencer to post a picture that pleases the eye and causes the stomach to growl.
I’m from Taylorsville so allow me to explain that “street” means area and “cred” is short for credibility. When you put it all together it means that the influencer knows and respects that Hires is the best burger in town, but they also introduced you to Chedda Burger’s tots that actually made you cry when you had your first bite. They earn their cred by holding the OGs as sacred and celebrate all the newbies in the city.
That spells respect and unlike street cred, this category is all about diversifying the Salt Lake foodie palate. They are posting about boba tea, Banbury Cross, and burritos all in one day. These folks are searching every corner of this fine state for good food at a fair price and also Valter’s. They’re advocating for us not to just go to The Melting Pot, but to become a melting pot, while also rescuing classic joints being hit by the pandemic. We are making our Beehive a more inclusive, supportive place by merely following them.
With this as my ruler, I present to you the Salt Lake foodie account teachers’ pets, according to me and my trusty rubric:
Coming in at #5 is @tasteutah
I’d choose Taste of Utah as Student of the Month for every month because of their dedication to giving us a wide spread of Utah food offerings, including restaurants from all corners of our state, as well as what to buy at Harmons. Their special attention to local businesses like Salsa Queen, Rio Grande Winter Market, Taproot Soda, and even Slug Magazine gives them all the street cred you could ever hope to have.
@slcfoodie is my rubric’s choice for #4
This account would definitely run for Student Body President due to all their fun giveaways, weekly features on Fox13, and their frequent posting of mouthwatering food from Ogden to Provo. I’m awarding them an extra gold star for their highlight on curbside food since I personally like to have the freedom of not putting on a bra (or makeup, or real pants, or substantial footwear) when I order my Zao.
#3 is @utahfoodandtravel
Utah Food and Travel would be my permanent choice for line leader in my class. They especially got to me by posting adequate praise and glory for Hires AND featuring local restaurants that are feeding kids who normally rely on school districts for food and aren’t able to access those resources due to the pandemic. Let’s give this account and especially those restaurants our support for earning the Classroom Helper award!
Our #2 choice is @gastronomicslc
GastronomicSLC would absolutely get letters of recommendation from this teacher for a number of reasons, but especially for: their Vogue-worthy food photoshoots, appropriate appreciation for my latest addiction Pie Fight, their experience of 12 years in the online food magazine game, and their die hard support for struggling SLC staples because of COVID. I relied so heavily on this site during those first few months of the pandemic that I personally gave them like 10% of my income.
And coming in as my pick for valedictorian of Utah foodie accounts: Salt Plate City. Beyond a brilliantly punny handle, they are building community with their page by emphasizing LGBTQ+ and Black owned businesses. They are encouraging us to travel the world through our palates by recommending restaurants like Curry Up Now and Caffe Molise, Queen Tea and El Morelense. They remind us to celebrate our cities by supporting local and choosing restaurants that enrich our already beautiful community. Can you imagine what food they’d pick for their graduation party?
But don’t just take my word for it— follow these accounts, put them to the test and your use your metaphorical red pen to give them a 100 with a smiley face or a “try harder next time.”
Class dismissed for lunch.