International students share their recommendations for authentic restaurants

Red House, a Chinese restaurant located at 1465 S State Street in Salt Lake City, offers a variety of options for a traditional meal called hot pot. People put different things inside of hot pot—it varies from person to person—but the most common thing to put inside is thinly-sliced meat and vegetables, according to Tina Sun, an international student from China. Photo by Stella Zhang.

Red House, a Chinese restaurant located at 1465 S State Street in Salt Lake City, offers a variety of options for a traditional meal called hot pot. People put different things inside of hot pot—it varies from person to person—but the most common thing to put inside is thinly-sliced meat and vegetables, according to Tina Sun, an international student from China. Photo by Stella Zhang.

Students from over 26 different countries call Westminster College home. Though some are here to pursue a degree and some are here on cultural exchanges, most of them agree that food is one of the most important parts of any culture—and every country has its own twist on what tastes best. 

Westminster's international students said having the opportunity to eat authentic food in Sugar House can help ease their homesickness. The Forum sat down with some of these students for local restaurant recommendations in the Salt Lake area that serve authentic cultural food from their native countries. 

Best Chinese Food: Red House 

Tina Sun, an international student from China, said she recommends Red House, a Chinese restaurant located at 1465 S State Street in Salt Lake City. 

“We go to Red House almost every other weekend," Sun said. "We go there for holidays [and] special celebrations. They are very famous for their hot pot.” 

Hot pot is a traditional meal where a pot of broth is brought out on the dining table and simmers during the entire meal. People put different things inside of hot pot—it varies from person to person—but the most common thing to put inside is thinly-sliced meat and vegetables. 

“Hot pot is great for friend gatherings," Sun said. "It is time consuming to prepare, [so] we would rather get it from Red House, where everything is already prepared and ready to eat.” 

Sun also recommended the dry pot ribs, boiled fish and potato and pork ribs. 

Best Bosnian food: Café on Main 

Bardhi Ballata, an international student from Kosovo, said he recommends Café on Main, a Bosnian restaurant located at 2701 S Main Street in Salt Lake City. 

Ballata said eating authentic food from Kosovo not only helps ease his homesickness but also makes him feel nostalgic. 

One dish he said he misses most is Mish Me Speca – stuffed peppers with beef and rice. 

“I think students at Westminster College will love it too," Ballata said. "Sometimes they ask me about our traditional food and I tell them.” 

Ballata said the restaurant's atmosphere is cozy and the Bosnian owner provides friendly service. 

Aside from the Mish Me Speca, he recommended the kebabs. "They put beef kebabs in a pita bread and pair it with a special sauce named ajvar," he said. "It’s kind of spicy. It also comes with plain yogurt and onions on the side.” 

Best Nepali food: The Kathmandu 

“Nepali food makes me feel homely even when I am so far from my home,” said Diwas Poudel, an international student from Nepal. 

Poudel said he misses a traditional dish called Momo the most. 

"That was one of the easy to get and tasty foods to eat," he said. "It's a fast food. Its outer layer would be made of white flour and water dough. Minced meat/veggies filling with spices according to taste goes on the inside of the wrap.” 

When Poudel misses home and wants to eat authentic Nepali food, he said he and his friends visit a local Nepali restaurant – The Kathmandu, located at 3142 S Highland Drive in Salt Lake City. 

“I often go to The Kathmandu," he said. "That's the best I can get. We actually brought food from the Kathmandu during International Fest and people at Westminster liked it a lot.” 

Poudel said he thinks people at Westminster would also love Momo and said he would like to see Westminster's Shaw Student Center offer food from his home country. 

“It would be awesome if [Shaw] would be doing it the Nepali way along with dipping that goes with Momo.” 

Poudel also recommended Kathmandu Samosa Chat and chicken korma.