Mexican and Southwestern
Red Iguana (736 W. North Temple St., 801/322-1489, http://rediguana.com, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun., $6-11) is one of the city's favorite Mexican restaurants; it offers excellent south-of-the-border cooking with a specialty in Mayan and regional foods. Best of all, flavors are crisp, fresh, and earthy. The Red Iguana is very popular, so arrive early—especially at lunch—to avoid the lines.
Hector's Miramar (342 West 1300 South, 801/484-5737, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $7-15) serves traditional Mexican tortilla-based dishes, but its real focus is the excellent cuisine of other Latin and South American regions. Seafood dishes are a specialty. The food is authentic (for example, Hector's offers a selection of ceviche, deep-fried whole fish, and menudo—tripe soup), so expect exciting and unusual flavors.
Right downtown, Blue Iguana (165 S. West Temple St., 801/533-8900, www.blueiguanarestaurant.net, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri., noon-10 p.m. Sat., 4-9 p.m. Sun., $6-15) offers high-quality Mexican cooking in a lively basement dining room. In addition to standard tacos and burritos, you'll find seven different moles.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition