City Cakes & Cafe – my favorite gluten free bakery in Salt Lake City

You want to know how I know I’ve had a really great meal? When I’m still thinking about it almost, 2000 miles away. City Cakes & Cafe opened in Salt Lake City nine years ago inside a small coffee shop, serving vegan and gluten free bakery goodies. And I was smitten instantly.


Since then, they’ve expanded their menu and location. They have a much larger space in Salt Lake City, and a second small store in Draper. They even provide goodies to Whole Foods, last I heard.

City Cakes Bakery & Cafe – lunch options

They make everything from scratch (except maybe the sandwich bread?), mostly vegan goods but some traditional goodies as well. Soups, sandwiches, salads.

Nanette, my friend’s mom and owner, (who happened to be working when I went in), told me that her vegan cooking and baking adventures began when her oldest son became a vegan. Her younger son complained about having vegan desserts all the time to satisfy the other brother, so she promised to make vegan desserts that “didn’t taste vegan” and that people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

For lunch, I ordered the Southwest Black Bean Burger. The sandwich was out of this world. It was served on a nutty whole grain bread with lots of veggies and avocado. The black bean burger had tons of flavor and wasn’t dry like many black bean burgers.

gluten free salt lake city

I had a cup of vegan butternut squash soup with my sandwich. My lunch was served with a mini chocolate chip cookie, which was a nice surprise. The soup was also amazing; warm, rich, creamy. Seriously, I was tempted to lick my bowl.

My favorite gluten-free bakery in Salt Lake City

For dessert, I ordered a Key Lime Coconut cupcake and my mom had a chocolate peanut butter cupcake. I’m not generally a cake person – I’m a brownie or cookie girl. But these were so good. Let me say it again: so good. My cupcake was gluten free and vegan, but my mom’s were “normal”, and I actually liked the vegan one better.

city cakes and cafe slc gluten free salt lake city

The next day, my mom and I went back again before I went to the airport since I was still fantasizing about all the things I didn’t get to try the day before. We shared a Belgian waffle and each got a muffin, all of which was vegan and as tasty as everything the day before. They even reheated the muffins before serving them, which is a nice touch.

In short, I’m obsessed. It’s reasonably priced, the food and desserts are awesome, and service is quick and friendly (even the next day when I was served by a total stranger). If you’re anywhere in Utah, I definitely recommend checking out  City Cakes & Cafe. They were busy both times I went in and seemed to have a loyal clientele, but you’ll still get served quickly. Whether you’re vegan or not, gluten-free or not, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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  • Jacquie

    Cookies all the way, especially since I just wrote a business plan for a cookie business. At the same time, if it’s really really good, cake is a special occasion 🙂

    I’ll send you cookies soon after I get back!
    .-= Jacquie´s last blog ..survey analysis: part 4 =-.

    • Teri

      That is awesome that you wrote a business plan for a cookie business! I’d love cookies in the mail. 🙂

  • Heidi

    It seriously looks amazing and I NEVER thought I’d say that about a vegan restaurant . . !
    .-= Heidi´s last blog ..Wake Up =-.

    • Teri

      I know – crazy, right?

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter

    All of your eats there look absolutely fantastic! Wow! I would love to go there 🙂
    .-= Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter´s last blog ..Shopping and Saving Part 1 =-.

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]

    Goodness, that black bean burger looks bomb!

    I love cakes and cookies, but probably cookies more…unless the cake is super super dense — no fluffy stuff for me : )
    .-= Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]´s last blog ..Vegan for a Day + GIVEAWAY! =-.

  • Deveree

    OK, first. I’m so sad I missed you while you were here 🙁 Give a girl a heads up!
    Second, I’ve been meaning to try this place since I heard Dan’s mom opened it! This post has confirmed that I must try it tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  • Lizzie

    That food looks WAY too good!!! I am super hungry now. I am an ice cream person that is addicted to Baskin Robbins ice cream cake. That has cake in it so I must like cake more than cookies. Who’s mom is it that started that adorable place? Do I know them? I can’t wait to get back to Utah and try it out. Heart you and Love your last post too about exercising on vacation. Your pics are so cute. I especially love the shopping photo with no smile… so legit!

  • Ashley

    Ahhh tough question about cookies or cake. I guess it depends what kind for each! I’m not a big frosting person because it’s usually WAY too sweet for me. Very nice review. Love the interior shots. What a unique fun place. I absolutely LOVE restaurants like that! xo
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..really.important. =-.

    • Teri

      I thought of you when I ate the frosting because it was perfect – not too sweet!

  • Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries

    I think I may have drooled, just a bit. Or a lot. That black bean burger looks fantastic! And those cupcakes?! YUM! I forgive you for using the word “moist,” sometimes it just has to be done. =P
    .-= Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries´s last blog ..almond joyful =-.

    • Teri

      I’m so glad you understand my need to use that disgusting word. Sometimes there isn’t a better adjective!

  • Lauren

    Oh my goodness, what an adorable place!

    I am definitely more of a cookie person, unless it’s carrot cake. I have no control with carrot cake! 🙂

    Happy Friday hun.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Just a Typical Tuesday =-.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman

    I’m a cake AND cookie person. And I’m definitely a cupcake person. Those cupcakes are so cute and they look so good. I love the Key Lime Coconut idea. What I’m not is an ice cream person.

  • Amanda

    Fantastic post! And I do love some vegan eats (I eat Paleo, so a lot of the restrictions are similar).

    That said – I’m an ice cream person! Gelato, sorbet, fro-yo….any of it. YUM

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health

    I am a cake, cookie, ice cream, AND pastry person. If I absolutely had to choose one – I’d say cookies (mainly because they come in so many forms and flavors!). I’ve also been dying to try a “gourmet” cupcake. I’ve never had one! I’ve only had homemade, or those yucky, fake/plastic-y tasting ones from the grocery store.
    .-= Gracie @ Girl Meets Health´s last blog ..slow it down. =-.

    • Teri

      That’s exactly why I like cookies – there are so many kinds!

  • Karlee

    I am definitely going to have to check this place out! I am realizing more and more how unhealthy most restaurants are…there’s got to be places still serving real, fresh food right?? Thanks for sharing. I would have never known this gem even existed!

    Oh and I’m a cookie girl all the way! Except if a red velvet bundt cake from Nothing Bundt cakes is involved 🙂

    • Teri

      You will LOVE it.

      I’ve never been to Nothing Bundt Cakes. I’ll have to try it next time.

  • kate

    Im a sweets person – period! Yum! Such a cute cafe.

  • legalstyle


  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)

    Cake person. Cookie person. Tanto faz!!! (Meaning, they’re all good/the same to me.) For me its so long as they are moist (sorry for people who hate that word)… like, not crumbly cake or really dry cookies… then they are all amazing.

    • Teri

      I’m almost didn’t approve this comment because you used the word “moist.” 😉

  • Lisa

    Cake OR cookies? That’s like Sophie’s Choice for me! 😉 I’d prefer cheesecake but I love all of it.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Pesto Delish Dish =-.

  • Samantha @ Foodedu

    A cookie person for sure–there are only two cakes I like….1) cheesecake 2)pink champagne cake from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CA. Im picky about my sweets!

  • Teri

    Pink Champagne Cake sounds amazing!!

  • Jennifer

    Wow that looks so good! I wish I lived near that place, I would def. frequent it!

  • Emilyeatsclean

    Ohhh looks delicious!!!!!!!! I’m definitely more of a cake person though!
    .-= Emilyeatsclean´s last blog ..McMuffin =-.

  • highonhealthy

    I’m a cake AND cookie person. 😀

    Thanks for the great review! Everything looks fabulous and if I didn’t live so far away, I would definitely hit it up and have multiple food babies.

  • claire

    I am also a cookie person over cupcakes but treat myself to them occasionally! That place looks and sounds super yummy…mmm…
    .-= claire´s last blog ..quick & sweet =-.