May 24, 2024

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World's finest Food

Bubble tea, Korean fried chicken, Chinese hot pot and more.

Bubble tea, Korean fried chicken, Chinese hot pot and more.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Honey-garlic boneless chicken wings from ChickQueen at Chinatown Market in South Salt Lake.

While the Chinatown Supermarket in South Salt Lake is known within Utah’s Asian communities for selling hard-to-find products — including authentic Chinese breads and Hong Kong-style barbecue — the shopping center also has many ready-to-eat offerings.

The owners of Salt Lake Chinatown oversee every restaurant that goes into the complex, reviewing menus to make sure there’s as little overlap as possible.

Here are seven businesses in Salt Lake Chinatown that offer food and drink you won’t find anywhere else in Utah:

Tiger Sugar Based in Taiwan, this cult boba chain is known for the “tiger stripes” in its drinks, made by pouring flavored syrups into the creamy tea, which is sweetened with brown sugar. This is the only location of the chain in Utah — and only one of a handful west of the Mississippi.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) A bubble tea from Tiger Sugar, in the Salt Lake Chinatown shopping center in South Salt Lake.

ChickQueen Fried chicken is a common street food in Korea, but it’s hard to find the Korean style in Utah. (It’s not as greasy as the American style, and it’s traditionally cut into strips and served with dipping sauces.) ChickQueen was the first Korean fried-chicken spot in the state, started by Guljoo Kim and managed by her son, Ryan Moon, a Salt Lake City native.

Hero Hot Pot At this Chinese all-you-can eat hot pot restaurant, you pick your own broth, meat, vegetables, noodles and sauces — with many choices you won’t find on more Americanized menus, including chrysanthemum greens.

San Fran Burrito N Fryz The owners operated Jasmin’s Cafe in San Francisco, before relocating to Utah to launch this Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant. The menu features such items as kimchi burritos, pork dumplings and Korean-style hot dogs.

Meet Fresh Another well-loved national chain, this Tawainese dessert restaurant specializes in taro balls and herbal jelly desserts. The chain has locations in 16 states; this is the only one in Utah.

K-Recipe This isn’t a sit-down restaurant, but offers cooler cases of Korean side dishes to go, including kimchi and gamjatang (pork bone soup).

Moon BakeryTouted as Utah’s first Korean bakery, it also sells other Asian baked goods, including mochi. It also serves bingsoo, a shaved-ice dessert made with red bean paste and sweetened condensed milk.

[Read more: Ever wonder what’s inside Salt Lake Chinatown? We go behind the gate to find out. And watch our video tour of the Chinatown Supermarket.]

Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.