check out zest's blog to learn about all things zest including recipes, events, and tricks/tips about healthy eating and living.

casey's healthy summer salad dressing

casey will be at the yoga festival this weekend, teaching yogi's how to make your own dressings the most healthy. here is the recipe he prepared.

1/2 cup braggs organic apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup hemp seed oil, olive or grapeseed or avocado oil can be used in it's place (can also substitute with white wine if trying to be oil free) 

1/2 cup hemp seeds to add extra creaminess

here comes the fun part! how will you sweeten your dressings? agave? brown sugar? maple syrup? cane sugar?

how about this helpful list of things to substitute with: 

apple juice, orange juice, dates, raisins, fresh stevia leaves if you can find them and like the flavor. we prefer to use real food that has not been processed. if you prefer a little sweeter, go ahead and use raw local honey or maple syrup instead of the fruit but it will double your glycemic index levels.

we are choosing to use raisins & fresh squeezed orange juice today!

1/4 cup raisins 

1/4 cup orange juice (you can leave out if you don't want it too sweet)

2 garlic cloves, 1-2 mint leaves 

1/2-1 whole shallot depending on your taste for it. 

couple dashes of himalayan sea salt 

a couple pepper dashes, then blend it up, in your home blender (if you use dates you should soak them for an hour or 2) 

the glycemic index on this recipe is only 32 for the whole dressing. 

that's it! enjoy yogi's! 


5 ways to spring clean your eating

dining out at zest is the definition of “clean eating”. Eating clean is about embracing the best and healthiest option in each food group. It’s also a great way to refresh your eating habits.  

At zest, we’re committed to serving up fresh and mindful eats all year round. While the spring season is traditionally known to be the perfect time to clean up the house, it is also a great time to clean up your diet! 

To get you started on clean eating this spring, we've put together a list of our 5 favorite tips:

1.      Buy Fresh

One of the biggest rules of eating clean is to avoid packaged and processed foods. Whenever possible eat foods that are made from scratch. Try to shop mostly around the outer areas of the grocery store where all of the fresh produce, meats, cheeses and beverages are stored.  

At zest, you can be sure our dishes are NEVER frozen or from a can!

zest fresh, organic vegatables

2.      Buy Local

When produce is purchased locally the foods are naturally more nutrient rich. Buying local also supports your community’s economy while lowering pollution from the transportation of the food.

Zest buys from local farms such as frog bench farms and mololo gardens. We also support other local business such as Mamachari Kombucha, The Queens Tea, Vive Juicery, and The Chocolate Conspiracy to name a few.

local kombucha cocktails

3.      Go Green

As they say, “clean eating is green eating” and eating green has a two-fold meaning. Consuming green fruits and veggies tend to have more vitamins and nutrients, such as “super foods” like kale, spinach and brussels sprouts. Eating green also means being mindful of how much waste you produce in a given day while you eat.

Zest uses glass water bottles from a eco-friendly water filtration system. Additionally,  90% of our veggie peels during the spring & summer months & all glass is recycled by momentum recycling, zest diverted over 60,000 pounds of glass from the land fill last year!

zest sustainable water

4.      Labels matter

Be sure to read the ingredient list on packaged foods. If the item has several ingredients on it that you cannot pronounce, then it’s time to stay away. Opt for cooking something that is home-made with whole foods, such as fresh vegetables.

At zest, 85% of our kitchen is organic & our entire wine list is organic & sustainability grown.

zest organic ingriedents

5.      Limit the booze

While we’re all for having a good time and letting loose, make sure you are mindful about how much alcohol you consume. Too much alcohol dehydrates the body and increases toxins. You can be sure that a neon-colored cocktail isn't clean and it’s probably best to stay away.

Instead try cocktail like zests’ fresh beet juice sangria made with red wine or the buzzy navel with fresh squeezed basil-orange juice

hand crafted cocktails

Eating clean is a choice that will leave you feeling energized and fully nourished. While we know it’s not easy to have a completely clean diet, try out a couple of these tips during this spring season and be mindful of any positive effects. While your at it, stop by zest – you’ll be dining out clean and you can let us know how your spring clean eating is going!  

let zest be your new year’s resolution!

if diet and health are at the top of your new year’s resolution list, let zest help you achieve your goals. we’re all about maintaining a healthy and sustainable diet and lifestyle throughout the year. we’ve all tried the gym membership and the zero carb diet resolutions. this year, it’s time to resolve towards something that provides long lasting health and happiness.

add our 3 tips to your existing resolutions and you’re on your way to a healthy, happy new year.

zest organic fruit and vegetables

1. practice moderation and balance.

anything in excess is unhealthy, even something like exercise. Going to the gym seven days a week is great, but it might seem like a lofty goal as the year progresses. If you want your goals to be sustainable, know your limits and maintain balance. we like adding a little yoga from our friends at salt lake power yoga to our routine for both exercise and some r&r. 

everything in moderation, including moderation
— oscar wilde

2.  avoid using extremes

when making a resolution, avoid words such as never, no more, quit, stop, eliminate, zero (you get the idea…) because you are essentially setting yourself up for failure. for example “no more sugar” – c’mon now, let’s be realistic. Instead, get real and commit to things like “limit sugar” or “cut down on sugar” and suddenly your goal is much more realistic and obtainable.

3. treat yourself

ohh, you worked out for two hours today? feel free to live a little. if chocolate cake or a night out on the town are calling your name then go for it! and might we suggest, have your cocktails at zest - made with freshly squeezed juice or mamachari kombucha, we have drinks that are actually good for you! think of it as "earning" our cocktails....

pomegranate, grapefruit, carrot orange, orange basil, beet ginger lemon, and our house green juice of the day which includes kale, apple, spinach, swiss chard, yeah we know it sounds weird but its amazing!

pomegranate, grapefruit, carrot orange, orange basil, beet ginger lemon, and our house green juice of the day which includes kale, apple, spinach, swiss chard, yeah we know it sounds weird but its amazing!

keep your healthy resolutions going this year by dining and dancing at zest!

let us know your healthy new year's resolutions! comment below and share with us on facebook.

all wrapped up in 2014

a zest year in review. 

zest cocktail bar

in case your missed it, we're wrapping all the fun and festivities from 2014. tv appearances, hot blogger reviews, fabulous food, and glamorous parties - sprinkled with a little zest! 

a visit from kutv - the refresh

watch the video  here !

watch the video here!

from salt lake city's finest:

You won’t leave hungry or feeling like you dined on rabbit food. Each dish has layers of vibrant flavor and different textures
— amanda eats slc
My LUV for Brussels sprouts was elevated with Zest’s take on my favorite veggie.
— foodluv

the fun.

zest cocktail pours
zest summer nights
zest bar and cocktails
zest halloween

the food.

zest stir fry
vegetarian zucchini noodels
vegetarian pear salad
zest brunch omelet
vegan baked ziti

we're looking forward to 2015 and serving salt lake city all the fresh and healthy goodness that is zest.

the healthiest food on the planet...

is all here at zest.

When dining at zest expect a mouth full of flavor and ingredients that are packed full of health.

we did a little research on foods that are considered the healthiest on planet. it was no surprise that the healthiest foods listed are also all on zests' menu. we selectively choose high quality and often organic ingredients to feature on our menu that are filled with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Find out what foods made the cut as the healthiest on the planet! And where can you find them on Zests’ menu.

#1: Spinach

Why it’s good for you:

  • helps protect against inflammation and cancers such as stomach, skin, and advanced prostate.
  • Antioxidant rich including vitamin A, C, and
  • Promotes bone health (spinach is packed with calcium and magnesium)
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Protects against eye related problems such as macular degeneration

#2: Kale

Why it’s good for you:

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits with high amounts of vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Supports the body’s detoxification process
  • Cancer prevention benefits (especially in prostate, ovarian, and bladder cancers) 

Try our Kale Salad!

zest fresh kale salad

#3: Brussels Sprouts

  • Excellent source of vitamin C, K, and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Helps with inflammation-related conditions such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, and ulcerative colitis
  • Strong supporter of the body’s detoxification process
  • Prevents cardiovascular problems such as heart failure and heart disease
  • Great for digestive system support

Try our brussels sprouts & silvered almonds w/ masala almond sauce.

Check out how one of our guests fell in LUV with our brussels sprouts again!

#4: Avocados

Why they’re good for you:

  • Promotes heart health (with vitamin E, K, B, potassium, magnesium)
  • Their anti-inflammatory nutrients help with various forms of arthritis
  • Promotes blood sugar regulation
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • High in anti-cancer benefits
  • Excellent source of health-supportive fats

Try our Stuffed Avocado Salad!

zest vegan avocado salad

#5: Quinoa

Why it’s good for you:

  • Serves as an excellent complete protein source
  • Contains all nine essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of health-supportive fats
  • Serves as a healthy grain substitute for gluten-free allergies
  • May assist in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes

Try our Ratatouille with Spinach Quinoa 

ratatouille with spinach quinoa

We hear the phase “you are what you eat” time and time again, so why not eat the right food to keep you healthy!  

please click to make a reservation or call the restaurant at 801-433-0589 *reminder we are a 21+ establishment*

zesty winter soups - all december long!

it's time to get in the holiday spirit with zest.  

cozy up with our delicious winter soups. each day this month we'll feature healthy & hearty soups.

zest soup calendar

let us know your favorites and share it with us on facebook!

zest soups

holiday side dishes

it's time to switch things up this year and try something new! spread the holiday cheer at your next get-together with our delicious gluten free side dishes - call us to order 801-433-0589

our raw cranberry sauce is just the right amount of sweet & sour - pair it with raw lemongrass blueberry bark from The Chocolate Conspiracy and you have yourself a festive dessert - order it all season long! 

zest cranberry side dish

 is your mouth watering yet?

This week only...20% off zest gift certificates!

purchase online, print it out & give your gift today (offer ends 12/7)

zest kitchen and bar gift certificates

check back to our blog for more holiday specials and updates!

saturday brunch is back!

saturday brunch is back at Zest and just in time for the winter season! Get out of the cold and into zest for our simply scrumptious brunch entrees.   

every saturday 11am-4pm  (sunday brunch coming soon!)

brunch menu

Buckwheat pancakes w/ fruit compote & maple syrup

buckwheat pancakes zest brunch

Warm quinoa cereal w/ banana, berries, pecans, almonds, candied pumpkin seeds, almond milk, & maple syrup

organic quinoa cereal zest

Savory chickpea pancake w/ sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach, & smoked cashew crème sauce

zest vegan chickpea pancakes

Greek omelet w/ three eggs*, spinach, feta*, Kalamata olives, red onion, red bell peppers, & cracked pepper

brunch beverages

Need a little pick-me-up from the night before? Let zest help out with our happy hydrators and cocktail menu – b/c brunch just wouldn't be the same without fresh juice mimosas!

Cozy up with our signature hot tea & rum drink – trust us, you’ll feel warm all the way to your bones with this one!

hot tea and run drink

zest holiday dining w/ a healthy twist

bring a little zest into your holidays this season with our freshly prepared side dishes, warm soup selections and festive event space to spread the love and joy this year. 

zest is offering salt lake a healthy twist on traditional holiday dining as the only 100% gluten-free downtown restaurant. one bite of our savory stuffing and scrumptious carrot cake, it’s hard to imagine you’re partaking in some guilt-free dining!

if your’re a meat eater and that “scares” you - please, don’t let it stop you. zests’ food is hearty and filling, not to mention, delicious!
— chelsea of heartbeat nosh blog

holiday side dishes:

tired of cranberry sauce in a can? switch it up this year! impress your guests with our homemade cranberry sauce. You make the turkey; let zest help out with the rest. now until december 31st, enjoy our freshly prepared side dishes, such as our brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and cranberry sauce. for the full holiday menu, go to

 a zest holiday tip: cranberry sauce served with raw chocolate blueberry is absolutely delicious! - don't miss out out on a new holiday tradition! order here.

weekly winter soup:

stop by zest and cozy up with our healthy homemade soup selections. each week we will feature a new winter soup made with love. be sure to pair the soup with our mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwich (you choose: local beehive cheese or diaya vegan cheese). 

zest lunch soup and sandwich

holiday event space:

our local beers, organics wines, and infamous fresh squeezed juice cocktails, make us the destination spot for your holiday party or adult get-together. zests’ chic and relaxing dining area and event space can hold up to 100 guests per event. reminder, zest is a 21+ establishment, which gives you the perfect excuse for a night out downtown.

zest cocktail

let zest brighten up your holiday celebration with delicious seasonal sides, yummy winter soups and the perfect dining space for your office get-togethers and friendly gatherings.

please email or call 801-859-8505 with any questions.


A Zest Guide to Vegetarian Diets

zest vegetarian mix

In honor of world vegan day and Zest's delicious vegetarian, vegan and 100% gluten-free options, we thought we would provide a quick guide to the main vegetarian diets. With all the veggie-diet variations out there, it can get a little confusing. (Think Jimmy Kimmel and the gluten-free episode). So the next time someone tells you that they’re “flexitarian” you won’t have that deer-in-headlights look.

A Zest quick-guide to vegetarian diets:

Vegan: No meat, meat bi-products (including gelatin and meat broths), and animal bi-products (including dairy and honey)

Vegetarian: No meat or seafood consumption. Will eat animal bi-products (such as dairy and eggs)

Flexitarian: Eats mainly a vegetarian diet, but still consumes meat, fish and seafood.

Latco Vegetarian: No meat and seafood consumption. Will eat dairy.

Ovo Vegetarian: No meat, meat bi-products or dairy. Will eat eggs.

Latco Ovo Vegetarian: No meat and seafood consumption. Will eat dairy and eggs. (basically the same thing as a vegetarian).

Pollotarian: No red meat or seafood. Will eat poultry, eggs, and dairy.

Pescatarian: No red meat or poultry. Will eat fish, seafood, eggs and dairy.

While Zest is a vegetarian restaurant with vegan items, all carnivores and veggie-diets are welcome!  

Come on in to zest to experience our new fall entrées   

5 little things about zest that make a big difference

there’s something different about dining out at zest. yes, we are among the few vegetarian/gluten free restaurants in Salt Lake City but we also bring a lot more to the table than you might think. every detail of your dining experience is considered from the water we pour at your table to the organic hand-picked produce on your plate.

here are some of the little things you may not have noticed while dining at zest:

those plants on your table - those were cultivated in Casey’s (the owner) living room.

local plants at zest

we only cook with coconut oil - why? coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with since it can withstand higher temperatures than other oils, eliminating cancer-causing carcinogens in your food.

we use natural sweeteners - instead of sugar, which can cause obesity and health problems, we use natural sugar substitutes such as organic agave nectar and maple syrup.  Go ahead and try our chocolate cake and let us know if you still miss sugar…

we use reverse osmosis water - whether we are serving you a craft of drinking water or washing our local produce, we use reverse osmosis water. reverse osmosis water is a type of filtered water than takes out unhealthy contaminants and minerals that can be found in regular tap water.

sustainable water bottles

we support local - whenever it is possible we will use local farms, vendors, and businesses in all areas of our restaurant. We know that when we use local goods and services we are supporting the environment and our community.

we recycle - all of our containers are made out of recycled materials, including our glassware. throughout the year we have compost bins in order to recycle wasted food.

we use natural himalayan crystal salt - no table salt used here. himalayan salt is known to have enormous health benefits such as regulating a healthy pH balance in the body and promotes anti-aging.

we help the environment - did you know that eating one meatless meal a week for a year can save 84,000 gallons of water, 10 billion animals, and 7,000 square feet of land? Since we serve vegetarian food every day we are certainly helping out the environment in a big way – not to mention a healthier lifestyle.

we like to take a close look at the big picture of serving food. the next time you're dining out at zest just remember all the love, care, and concern that went into making that zucchini manicotti – and enjoy!

we want to know! - what small things do you do in your life that make a big difference? 

fall into zest!

the fall season is finally upon us and with that means crisper air, colorful leaves and a seasonal harvest of mouthwatering cuisine at Zest! fall, to us means taking advantage of the ripe butternut squash, pumpkins and apples and turning them to delicious entrees all season long.

check out our new fall menu preview:

coconut curry forbidden black rice w/ sesame stir fry vegetables

carmelized butternut squash with candied ginger cashews with cinnamon oil & sage

farmers market eggplant ratatouille with quinoa spinach

bbq lentils with farmers market root veggies

not sure which one to choose?

join us during Fall Zest Fest on October 23rd where we will be featuring a five-course tasting menu that will be sure to add some zest to anyone’s pallet this fall season!

what to expect at Fall Zest Fest?

when: Thursday, October 23rd

time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

where: 275 S, 200 W

what: five-course tasting menu, including appetizers, small entrée tasters and seasonal desserts. We will be pairing the fall-themed entrees with local pumpkin beers.

make your reservations for Fall Zest Fest here!

support the ching farm animal rescue & sanctuary by eating at zest

zest supports ching farm rescue

The Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary works to rescue farm animals from cruelty and to educate the public about cruelty-free living. Some of the animals that can be found here include traditional farm animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs to the more exotic emus and llamas and the everyday cats and dogs. Founded by Faith and Mike Ching in Utah in 1998, this organization was incorporated into a non-profit in 1998 and now relies on the assistance of donations and volunteers to help out. As part of our effort to help improve the lives of these animals, besides supporting animals everywhere by eating vegan, zest will donate 25% of your ticket if you mention you would like to donate to the Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary.

big budah visits zest

if you're a regular viewer of fox 13 news, than this is probably old news. zest played host to a visit from big budah to kick off downtown alliance's dine O'Round. during his visit, big budah spoke with zest kitchen & bar owner casey staker about our special $30 dinner menu offered during the two week event. you can see the videos in fox 13's blog Big Budah stops by Zest Kitchen & Bar. These are some of the photos taken during his visit: Budah with Casey from Zest Zest Budah Casey Cocktails   Budah Casey Zest outside 1 Budah Casey Zest outside 3

Do You Believe What the Meat Industry Tells You about Protein?

The age old question that's plagued vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike: am I getting enough protein.  Sunfood has answered it with some staggeringly impressive facts.

Fact 1: heat actually alters molecular structures, causing 50% of the protein in meat to be destroyed in the cooking process.

Fact 2: T. Colin Campbell's The China Study, published in 2006, noted that 6,500 Chinese, observed over a period of 20 years, were more prone to modern ailments such as cancer and heart disease the more they consumed animal protein.

Fact 3: Many of our larger mammalian friends in the Animal Kingdom--such as hippos, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, and cows--are able to sustain large muscle mass solely on plant-centric diets.

Now, about the protein question.

Protein is constructed from amino acids that make up the muscles, tissues and enzymes present in our body.  There are 20 different of these amino acids.  Almost half can't be produced in our body, meaning that they need to come from food.  While it is possible for humans to receive protein from animal sources, Sunfood has presented some rather incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.  Health professionals recommend that 10-35% of our daily calories come from some protein source--this is, of course, dependent upon age, gender and lifestyle.  So what are some other, more efficient options?  Green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are all great sources and can easily be added to just about any meal.

Naturally, we at zest are happy to hear this because every dish on our menu features at least one of the protein sources on the list with many providing up to three.  And the best part is: they taste great!

Via Sunfood

zest stir-friday

zest's nightlife stands second to none in salt lake city. one of our regular fan favorites is none other than our stir-Friday event with our resident deejay flash & flare. check out these amazing photos by ian matteson.

zest dance club dance party dance floor salt lake socializing nightlife zest kitchen and bar after hours 8446303483_d2dcc829c2_b[1] 8446305345_c36af61462_b[1] 8447387136_9c325d4fde_b[1] 8447389430_a7e65181f7_b[1] 8447390266_e66aeeee12_b[1] 8447390526_74fb042c1f_b[1] 8447392054_32816f43c5_b[1] 8447394368_7ff89f651e_b[1] 8876359184_b73460d4dc_b[1]

omnivores welcome: why zest will satisfy any eater

here at zest we recognize that, while our celiac and vegetarian patrons might jump at the chance of having a wide selection of gluten-free food and beverages, not everyone might have those same dietary restrictions.  read the reviews at yelp, urbanspoon, and foursquare and you'll see ringing praise from self-proclaimed omnivores.

so, why is this?

zest defies societal consensus that vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food and drink needs to be dissatisfying, unappetizing, or bland because  we take a creative approach to our ingredients, utilizing proteins like nuts, non-gluten grains such as quinoa, rice, lentils and seasonal vegetables and fruits for our menus and drinks.  not only that, but everything that goes from our kitchen to your plate is home made, capitalizing on the full flavor potential of the ingredients we use.  it's possible to count on your hands the number of items we don't make on site such as specialty pastas, organic & gluten-free chips, and coconut milk. other than that, everything you're tasting is pure zest.