Utah has some rich, interesting history, but how many Salt Lake City stories do you hear that involve a brothel, a trolley car and a saucy single woman? Read on to learn more about Ruth’s Diner, and get ready to hop in your car afterward, because you’re going to want to visit.
Ruth's Diner is located about one mile from the mouth of Emigration Canyon.
The restaurant has been here since 1949, but it was a Salt Lake City icon years before that.
Ruth opened her first restaurant in Salt Lake City in 1930.
Her diner, "Ruth's Hamburgers," was located in the Meredith Building on Second South, which was notorious back then as Salt Lake's small "Red Light District." Ruth fed the girls from the brothel across the street and listened to their stories about local politicians, police and judges.
Ruth was saucy, independent and opinionated. She wasn't particularly keen on local laws and did her best to avoid or ignore them all together. When the health department required that she provide a non-smoking section, she finally acquiesced and posted a sign that said, "Non-Smoking, First Bar Stool Only." Local fraternity boys were regulars at the diner, where they could often get a cold beer. Ruth didn't care too much for local liquor laws and figured that if the boys were underage, legislators could "enforce their own laws!"
When the building housing her restaurant was torn down, Ruth bought an old trolley car and had it towed to Emigration Canyon.
The front part of the restaurant is the trolley car.
Though the front of the restaurant has undergone a makeover, you can definitely get the full trolley car experience when you sit in this section.
Ruth built an apartment on the back of the trolley, and lived there for 40 years.
The area that was once Ruth's apartment has now been converted to the lower dining room, which allows more patrons to enjoy Ruth's incredible recipes.
Ruth passed away in 1989. She was 94 years old.
Ruth left behind some incredible recipes that are still served at the diner today. Her mile-high biscuits are simply amazing.
Mile high biscuits can't get any better...unless you smother them with gravy.
The mac n' cheese is a classic here, too.
Ruth's meatloaf will melt in your mouth.
You'll definitely want to visit Ruth's during the summer, so you can enjoy the outdoor patio.
The patio is spacious and shady, with tons of trees and a great atmosphere.
Visit Ruth’s at 4160 Emigration Canyon Road. The diner is open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.