There are so many cheap restaurants in Utah Valley, it can be hard to find the best ones. You'll find different places to eat on almost every street corner in Provo and Orem. I’ve traveled around to several different states trying food and still some of my favorite restaurants are here in my hometown! If you really want to find the best restaurants in Utah Valley, I've done the digging for you! 

While these favorite restaurants are well known, there are a few hidden gems that stick out above the rest. If you’re looking for a great cheap place to eat, or if you’re just ready to try some new food, keep reading. You might not have heard of these, but these are the top 5 best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Utah Valley.

  1. Cravings Bistro
  2. Asa Ramen
  3. Marley’s Gourmet Sliders
  4. Street Tacos Don Joaquin
  5. 5-Star Barbecue

Cravings Bistro

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Address: 25 W Center St, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062

Phone: (801) 785-2439

I imagine that a large percentage of us grew up with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, especially when our parents didn’t feel like cooking. Cravings Bistro in Pleasant Grove, will give you the best kind of nostalgia with every bite of their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Found on Center Street in Pleasant Grove, Cravings Bistro stands out with its colorful sign and clever decor. At Cravings Bistro you have your pick of a plain grilled cheese to the elegant Gourmet grilled cheese.

Each sandwich is carefully crafted on French bread and to-die for condiments such as the Carmelized red onion mayo. Not only do they have that comforting tomato basil soup to pair your sandwich with, but they have some great salads and desserts. Cravings Bistro is a little piece of home in the middle of old Pleasant Grove. 


Asa Ramen 

Bowl of Ramen

Address: 1120 State St, Orem, UT 84097

Phone: (801) 842-1898

Driving down State St. in Orem, you can easily miss the Asa Ramen, but believe me when I say that you should make that U-turn. This place has ramen that is good for the soul. Behind the bright red sign in front of the restaurant lies a little hole in the wall that is lined with tables, wall art, and a ramen bar. 

Going in on a Wednesday afternoon, I hardly expected to see as many people as I did. There was a waitlist for this place, and so I knew I just had to get in! When you are seated don’t jump right into the ramen because the appetizers are worth exploring. 

I started my meal with the deliciously crispy karaage (fried chicken) and a chashu bun. I completely drenched each piece of chicken in the incredible lemon and sesame dressing. The chashu bun was like biting into pork heaven. 

The doughy bun is sticky in the best way. When it comes to the ramen, your go to is going to be the Tonkotsu with pork broth and thin noodles. It is a great introduction to Japanese noodle soups. However, I’ve also got the Tonkotsu/Shoyu blend which is pork broth mixed with chicken broth and wavy noodles. 

The flavor was delightful! If you aren’t a huge fan of asian cuisine, you’ve gotta trust me on this one. An evening surrounded by lively customers and heart-warming food is just what this world needs.


Marley’s Gourmet Sliders

Sliders and fries

Address: 555 S Geneva Rd, Lindon, UT 84042

Phone: (801) 229-2469

Marley’s Gourmet Sliders isn’t just a great spot for grub, it is a whole experience. I stumbled on this place at random after always passing it on I-15 going south. Boy! Was I in for a treat? Tucked in the corner of the Timpanogos Harley Davidson is a vintage dream with food that is even more dreamy. 

As stated by the restaurant’s founders, the vintage decor and atmosphere has to goal of creating memories of a bygone era when “the pace was slow, neighbors were friends, and customers were valued guests” and a time when “rock and roll really rocked and sitting down to a meal with friends meant memories were about to be made.” 

This place has a menu that rocks and rolls! You get a wide selection of delicious mini sliders, different types of fries, and salads that rival the Utahn favorite, the Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad. 

However, the best part of your meal is going to be the famous Banana Nutella Shake! This shake is something that you are going to remember forever. Crafted with delicious custard, this shake beats all. Banana AND Nutella? How could you not? 

With a retro atmosphere and great atmosphere, this place will give you all the good vibes on an evening out with the family. 


Street Tacos Don Joaquin

Tacos

Address: 150 W 1230 N St, Provo, UT 84604

Phone: (801) 400-2894

Sitting near the corner of Cougar & Freedom Boulevard is Don Joaquin Street Tacos. They serve a wide variety of tacos at a great price. For $7-$8, you can get 3 tacos (chicken, carne asada, or fish), salsa, and a drink. This makes Don Joaquin one of the best cheap date ideas in Provo.

Their tacos are made with fresh ingredients and are served with a side of fresh salsa. They also have a variety of tacos for vegetarians and vegans. One of their most popular menu items is the Gringa, a taco with fresh-grilled mozzarella that you can see them cook right as you walk into the restaurant. The kitchen is behind some glass windows where you can see the tacos being grilled and prepared. 

Once you have your taco, you can choose your toppings like fresh cilantro, limes, salsa, and spicy pico de gallo. To wash it all down you can grab yourself a Mexican coke or Jarritos. 


5-Star Barbecue

Barbecue and corn bread

Address: 70 Geneva Rd, Orem, UT 84057

Phone: (801) 225-2685

Five-Star Barbecue is a small, family-owned barbecue restaurant in Orem. They are known for their amazing barbecue sandwiches, ribs, and sides. You’ll fall in love with their beef brisket and go crazy over their full meal sides. 

They have a wide variety of barbecue sandwiches, including classic ribs, pulled pork, and barbecue beef. They use a slow cooking technique to make their brisket extra tender. They also serve creamed corn, fried-funeral potatoes, and some of the best cornbread I’ve ever had!

On weekends they will often stage a local live musician to come and play in their upstairs dining hall. The whole ambiance makes you feel like you're back home having a warm, tender-loving family gathering. 5-Star Barbecue is the perfect place to have an authentic home cooked meal without doing any of the cooking.

If you're still looking for more things to do, check out our other date night ideas in Utah County.