Just outside the entrance to Zion National Park , near the Springdale shuttle stop, Sol Foods (95 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-0277, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily) is a short walk from either park campground and a good place for a salad or sandwich ($8-10). Sol Food also runs the town's only supermarket (995 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3100) and stocks groceries and camping supplies at the location near the park entrance.
Mean Bean Coffee (932 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-0654, 6:30 a.m.-afternoon daily) is the hip place to hang in the morning. Besides excellent coffee drinks, the shop serves breakfast burritos and a few pastries and sandwiches.
For a more substantial meal, head across the way to Oscar's Café (948 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3232, 8 a.m.-two hours after sunset daily, $8-19), where you can get a good burger or a Mexican-influenced breakfast or lunch. The patio here is set back off the main road and is especially pleasant.
An old gas station has become the Whiptail Grill (445 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-0283, noon-evening daily, $8-15), a casual spot serving innovative homemade food such as incredibly good spaghetti squash enchiladas. There's very little seating inside, so plan to eat at the outdoor tables or take your meal to-go.
Also good, and reasonably priced, is Zion Pizza and Noodle (868 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3815, 4 p.m.-close, $11-16), housed in an old church and serving a good selection of microbrews.
Springdale's other good place for pizza is Flying Monkey (975 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3333, 11 a.m.-9:30 or 10 p.m. daily, $8-10), tucked into the back of a newer development near the local supermarket. Here, a wood-fired oven turns out very good pizza and sandwiches.
The following restaurants all offer full liquor service. The Spotted Dog Café (at Flanigan's Inn, 428 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3244, 5-9:30 p.m. daily, closed Mon. in winter, dinner $13-25) is one of Springdale 's top restaurants; it uses high-quality ingredients in its "American bistro" cuisine. Be sure to order a salad with (or for) your dinner—the house salad is superb. If you want to eat outside, try to get a table on the back patio, which is quieter and more intimate than the dining area out front. A breakfast buffet is served 7-11 a.m. from spring through fall.
Another good, and very popular, place for dinner in Springdale is the Bit & Spur Restaurant (1212 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3498, 5 p.m.-close nightly, $15-23, reservations recommended during busy season), a lively Mexican-influenced place with a menu that goes far beyond the usual south-of-the-border concoctions. The sweet-potato tamales keep us coming back, year after year.
A strong newer player in Springdale's fine-dining scene is the refined but still casual Parallel 88 (1515 Zion Park Blvd., 435/772-3588, 7-10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.-close daily, dinner entrées $15-25), at the Driftwood Lodge. Dinners include a delicious braised lamb shank and the equally tasty vegetable parmentier (layered spinach, yams, and other veggies topped with red pepper coulis). The wine selection is relatively extensive for Utah, but pretty pedestrian.