The Best Festival For Foodies in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City's annual Living Traditions Festival has been around for 34 years now. But I had never heard of it until a couple months ago when Josiah's coworker mentioned it. He said there would be a ton of vendors offering foods from all kinds of cultures.

Well, we love trying new foods, so we were totally on board. Josiah and I have a mini bucket list of different cultural restaurants that we want to visit, and the list just keeps getting longer!

Of course, there is a lot more to the Living Traditions Festival than the food. For a few days every spring, there are craft booths and dance performances all day at Library Square! Plus there is no admission fee!

Being the foodies that we are, Josiah and I set out to try as many cultural foods as possible in one day at the festival. We only got to 12 out of 22 booths, but it was so fun. My favorites were the Vietnamese and Native American vendors.

Without further ado, here's a little inspiration for your adventurous taste-buds and a look at the kinds of food you can experience at the festival next year.

Let me know which of these foods strikes your fancy in the comments below!


We tried their chicken shish kabob with peanut sauce. The chicken was tender and the creamy sauce had a great flavor. 


At this booth, they gave out samples of Cevapi which is a kind of sausage served on bread. We also liked the Sarma which is a cabbage roll stuffed with ground beef and pork with rice and seasonings. They served it with mashed potatoes and a light roll. 


We liked their fried pork spring rolls with Sriracha sauce. They gave us a really big bag of them for $5. A couple other people talked about the Cambodian stand gives you so much food!


Here, we purchased a savory beef momo. It was delicious, but we preferred the chicken momo served with curry sauce which we tasted at the Nepalese stand just a few minutes later. 
It's fascinating to learn the similarities and differences between cultures and their traditional foods!


As I said before, this was my favorite stand. For one thing, they gave out more samples than any other vendor. I wish the Jawyhawks Club had a restaurant where I could buy there sweet fry bread any time. They had Brazilian limeade and peach & mango otai too. We loved the oati so much that after we finished our first cup, we went back for a large. They sold Navajo tacos too but we didn't get one. 
There were just so many different foods we wanted to taste and only so much room in our stomachs! 


This was my favorite dessert of the day! (I had too many.) We got a coconut turnover which is not something I would have expected when it comes to Vietnamese food. It was so flaky, and not too sweet. I'm a sucker for most fruits and coconut is no exception. 


I really like elote so I thought it would be fun to try the Blovian version called Choclo. I love that cotija cheese on my corn. We also got a drink called Chich Morada red corn and pineapple which had a very unique flavor. 
I wish we bought their Bolivian cookies at this stand, but I thought it would be wise to limit the desserts just a little. Fortunately, the food was served by a restaurant . . . 


At this stand, they had Basque style chorizo, churros, and croquetas! This little fried ham croqueta was tasty but I liked their curly little churros the best. This was one of the most popular stands. It seemed everyone around us had Basque churros. 


We also treated ourselves to a crispy Thai spring roll, a kiwi Italian cream soda, and Ghanaian style chicken with peanut sauce! 

There were so many exciting things to choose from, I almost wish that we set aside two days to try everything. And that way, we would have had more time to explore the arts & crafts booths and to see some of the traditional dances. 

Pictured above is the booth for Mama Africa, a restaurant in West Valley that has been on our "to eat" list for several months. They sell African Creole food such as beignets, samossa, curry, and fish dishes. We thought it would be worthwhile to actually have a sit down meal at their restaurant. Hopefully they will be there next year for those of you who would like to try their food. 

Well, that about sums up our cultural food adventure of the week! It would be great to travel the world and eat foods from every culture. It's nice too that so much is available right here in Salt Lake City. 

Check out my post about cultural Salt Lake restaurants for even more inspiration to get out and try new things! 

Which of these foods would you most like to try? 

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog. 


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