At the beginning of each New Year, we find ourselves in the midst of another award show season. The Golden Globes come every January, followed quickly by the Oscars. Though the award shows generate a lot of media buzz, most ordinary people care very little about the actual accolades. Sure, plenty of people tune in to see the stars, their dresses, and their controversial comments, but most viewers simply don’t care about who wins “Best Makeup and Hair Styling.”

Are you tired of recognizing people that are already rich and famous? We hear you. How about a little recognition for the everyday all-stars—the people and organizations doing things that make all of us ordinary folks happy. That’s the purpose of the Golden Lobes: to listen to the general public, then recognize and reward those making a difference in the little areas that we all care about.

And, with that introduction, what better place to start than with salsa? Here are our nominees for the best salsa along the Wasatch Front.

Red Iguana

Coming up with an acceptance speech should be no problem for Red Iguana. After all, this downtown Mexican joint has more awards than Meryl Streep. Opened in 1985, this family-owned restaurant cooks up traditional Mexican cuisine with a unique twist. If you’ve never heard of Red Iguana, you haven’t been listening. With three locations in downtown Salt Lake, loyal patrons always have easy access to their favorite items on the menu. And, of course, each meal comes with a complimentary helping of perfectly salted chips and their amazing made-in-house salsa. The perfect preamble to any meal, this delectable sauce provides the perfect balance of spice and flavor.

Joe Bandidos

Located off the beaten path for most Utah diners, this Springville eatery has been serving up classic Mexican fare for years. Old Joe’s is famous for the El Bandido, a delicious cross between a tostada and a burrito that will have you licking your plate clean. Before you dive in, of course, you’ll want to indulge in the complimentary bowl of their famous chips and salsa. A chunky salsa with a fresh flavor, their impressive take on this special sauce will get your taste buds warmed up for almost anything on the menu.

Baja Cantina

Officially labeled as a California-Mexican restaurant, the food at Baja Cantina will never let you down. The only thing as good as Baja Cantina’s food is its amazing location. Nestled right up against the mountain at the Park City Mountain Resort, this awesome eatery is adorned with an eclectic mix of skis and sombreros. The cantina also excels in its ability to blend sauce and spice into a delicious tomato-rich salsa. Just listen to what Greg, an avid fan of Baja Cantina, had to say: “Because of its amazing location, this is one of my favorite places to spend special occasions. And, of course, the amazing salsa only makes it better!”

La Costa 

While anything on the menu at La Costa will leave you satisfied, patrons also wouldn’t mind visiting for just a taste of their amazing salsa. With a location in Sandy and another in American Fork, this local Mexican joint serves the pre-dinner appetizer with a twist. Along with their much-lauded warm chips and salsa, La Costa also brings a warm bowl of refried beans for a more hearty dipping experience. While listening on Yelp, we heard from Julie W., all the way from New York: “The food is great, salsa is one of the best salsa’s I’ve had.”

A great bowl of salsa can change a bad day to good and a good night to great. It’s time we recognize these fine eating establishments for mastering the science of the salsa. And, if this list doesn’t give you the urge to grab a bowl of chips and start dipping, nothing will. Of course, we want to hear from you; who gets your Lobey for The Best Salsa in Town? Or, better yet, let us know who we missed—we’re all ears!

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