In a testament to Provo’s burgeoning food scene, Black Sheep Cafe was recently included in Urban Spoon’s list of most popular new restaurants.
Bigger and generally more self-important Salt Lake City — where I’ve recently had a bunch of conversations with people who talk smack about Provo and think mediocre hipster corrals are great places to eat — had the only other Utah restaurant on the list. Oh, and that restaurant wasn’t actually in Salt Lake, it was in the separate city of South Salt Lake.
As I’ve said before — here, here, and here — Provo is really the best place to eat in Utah. Downtown in particular combines quality and quantity in a very small area, with literally dozens of independent restaurants within blocks of each other. There are few other places like that. And Black Sheep Cafe exemplifies the great things going on in the city.
But this is bigger than just getting a great bite to eat in downtown. In a recent Q&A with Sustainable Cities Collective, Sarah Ordover explains how food can help create a unique sense of place. Ordover has worked in Cedar Rapids and is talking more specifically about food markets, but I think the underlying point is that food and food-related settings are fundamentally tied to what make a place special. In that context Provo’s restaurants are turning it into a more generally great place.