We recently had dinner at the infamous Road Island Diner in Oakley, Utah which is about a 30 minute drive to the west of Park City. There is a long story about how this diner arrived in Oakley which is explained on the back of their menu or you can read the history at their website, Road Island Diner. The diner is actually on the National Register of Historic Places and is Utah’s only standalone restaurant on its historical list. Also, the Road Island Diner has been selected for the “2010 Best of State Award” as best museum/attraction in the state of Utah.
Let me preface that if you love old diners and can appreciate their architecture, then you probably would enjoy a trip to this one, regardless of the food. Order a old fashioned soda, float, sundae, shake or malt and I don’t think you can go wrong. I have also heard that they offer a pretty good breakfast. But we stopped in for dinner. We walked into the diner around 6pm, were greeted within a minute or so and told we could sit wherever we liked. We weren’t given menus, which is typical at diners, and eventually found them at the table. //Side Note: The menu on the website is not the same menu we had at the table, so either changes have been made to the menu or we weren’t offered the full menu.// Now I grew up back east in diner central, so I was kind of expecting that kind of menu – you know the kind, with several pages of items. This menu was rather short with its offerings. Restaurants that offer a lot of items aren’t necessarily better mind you, especially if they are a master of none of them. We would be plenty satisfied if the shorter list of dishes were each exceptionally awesome. But for our visit, we did not find this to be the case.
My friend ordered the hot wing and quesadilla appetizer combo ($7.89). You have a choice of meat to go in your cheese quesadilla and he chose pork. When we went by the diner earlier in the day, we could see the smoker out back which gave
us high hopes for good smoked pork. The diner wasn’t very busy, but it seemed to be a long wait until we received our meals. I ordered the 1/4 pound “Build your own Burger” ($6.99) with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo (ketchup & mustard provided on the table) with a side of potato wedges. My burger was delivered to me on the bun, broken in two pieces which didn’t look promising. They say on the menu that their beef is locally cut, but I didn’t think that meant carelessly flopped on a bun, broken in two pieces. And the pork we had high hopes for, well…you can see from the photo that the pork was rather dry. On the menu, it says the quesadilla come with some kind of sauce, but it didn’t come. As the food got cold we flagged down our waitress finally to ask for some sauce. She went over to the pickup window and put in the request. Then a minute or so later the sauce finally arrived. It was a tiny cup like the kind you get when you order salad dressing on the side. That one cup could barely saturate 2 slices of the quesadilla. Now I’m guessing we could of asked for more sauce, but didn’t want to go through the whole ordeal of waving down and waiting for the order to be placed for sauce. The wings, also in the photo, did not come with any sauce either and were also very dry. Who gives you chicken wings with no sauce or blue cheese dressing, or as Utahns prefer, Ranch dressing?
I did have to request the mayo on my burger when I gave my order. But my burger didn’t have the mayo on it and I chose not to again ask for any. There must be a shortage of sauces and condiments because they were making us work hard to get it. I must say, I did like the potato wedges even though they were luke warm. I bet they’re really tasty when hot. The burger was not anything special, especially not for $7. We did not order dessert, but like I said before, they have an old fashioned soda fountain and I bet the ice cream desserts would be just fine.
Park City to Oakley Map
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Would we go back again? No, not for lunch or dinner at least. Perhaps we would try the breakfast if we were in the area. As another side note, the reason we were in Oakley is because we took a ride up to the Smith and Morehouse Reservoir further up Weber Canyon Road. It’s a very pretty mountain reservoir with two big camping areas and a trailhead that leads further into the Uintas. Anyway, Oakley is a quaint little town and the diner itself was fun to eat in because of its history and uniqueness. So if you happen to be hungry and driving through Oakley, which is a short drive from Kamas (entryway to Mirror Lake Highway), you may want to stop in the Road Island Diner and give it a try. It may have been just a bad day for quesadillas and burgers at the diner. You may find the best meal ever on your visit. If nothing else, it’s a cool place to visit.
The Road Island Diner, 981 Weber Canyon Road, Oakley, UT 1-435-783-3467
Favorite Park City Utah Restaurants
Angie Borodemos says
My husband’s family owned the Diner when it was called Tommy’s Deluxe Diner for many years, and it was a fabulous place to eat and socialize. It was a sad day when they had to close their doors for good. The travel to Utah was an amazing story in its self, as was the restorztion of this great American Icon.
Park City Guide says
Hi Angie, thanks for stopping by.
I wish there were more Diner’s like good ol’ Tommy’s. They don’t make them like they used to. They did do a great job at it’s restoration and it is amazing how they moved it across the country.