The beloved Rose Establishment boasts a well-stocked menu of drinks, light fare and pastries, all made with care and as many seasonally available, rooftop garden–grown ingredients as possible.

The Rose Establishment: Cultivating Craveable Fare

Food Reviews

325 S. 400 W. Salt Lake City, UT
T: 801.990.6270 |

Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Walking into The Rose Establishment, my dread for the workday would diminish the moment I placed my coffee order and made a sweet selection from the pastry case. It was a good place to start the day with friendly folks, good food and excellent coffee. I’d often return for lunch, enjoying a cup of veggie soup or a fresh sandwich.

Although I don’t work by The Rose Establishment anymore, the charming café remains a sacred space. The old brick building with pretty neon signs is welcoming. Whether you sit outside on the cozy patio or inside, surrounded by wood, white brick and simple light fixtures, this is a coffee shop you’ll enjoy spending time in.

Celebrating six years of business, The Rose Establishment has blossomed into what Salt Lake City needed: an excellent combined coffee shop and café that serves seasonal ingredients with a rotating menu. “We planned to just be a high-end cafe serving the insanely good Four Barrel Coffee and a variety of premium loose-leaf teas,” says Rose Manager and SLUG Senior Staff Writer Cody Kirkland. Over time, the menu evolved, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t take coffee seriously. “Either my assistant manager Brian Lord or I go to Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco once a year for in-depth training and to learn new methods so we can train our baristas in the ‘cutting edge’ of drink preparation.” You can enjoy this distinct coffee in everything from a simple pour-over to an artfully crafted latte.

Always a few steps ahead, fizzy, refreshing Nitro Coffee ($4.25) made its Utah debut at The Rose Establishment. Infused with nitrogen, the cold-brew coffee takes on a creamy, fizzy property similar to beer—there’s even a head of foam. Morning or night, it’s a tasty accompaniment to The Rose’s freshly baked pastries and light fare.

Kirkland’s affinity for cocktails influenced the drink menu furthering The Rose’s reputation for innovation. “I realized many of the methods, flavor combinations, concepts of balance and ingredients in cocktails could be applied to coffee, tea and soda beverages,” says Kirkland. “Cocktail bitters were one of my first crossover ingredients. They play nicely with the complex, strong and subtle flavors in coffee and tea.” This winter season, warm your bones with The Cozy Drink ($4), a soothing combination of brewed honeybush, spiced maple syrup, bay leaf, fresh ginger and steamed milk, topped with a dusting of nutmeg. Using the Apple Ginger Bitters from local gem Bitters Lab, The Cozy Drink is sweet and spicy—exactly what you want to curl up with on a blustery day.

Just as comforting, The London Fog ($4) is pretty with delicate lavender buds floating atop a layer of foam. Earl Grey tea offers citrus and black tea notes, paired with lavender bitters and creamy steamed milk. Opt for the cashew milk for $1 more for an extra treat. Made in-house, the cashew milk is decadent, thick and creamy with a silky-smooth texture.

While Kirkland curates the beverage menu, Chef Cori Norton takes care of the food. “Cori and I constantly bounce food and drink ideas off each other and swap ingredients,” says Kirkland. “She uses cocktail bitters, coffees and teas in her pastries and marinades. I’ll pick through the rooftop garden for fresh herbs and edible flowers for my drink garnishes.”

Frequenting the nearby farmer’s market as well as her rooftop garden, Norton offers interesting and wholesome dishes. According to Kirkland, “[Norton’s] main focus is cross-utilizing ingredients to minimize waste and maximize efficiency and using seasonal and locally produced ingredients.”

The Smashed Avocado Tartine ($6.50) is a thing of beauty. Simple and delectable, the Eva’s Bakery five-seed bread is thickly sliced, perfectly toasted and topped with avocado. A drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of flaky salt is all that’s needed to bring out the rich natural flavor. Served with greens dressed in a brightly flavored lemon vinaigrette, this is an exquisite small meal. For an extra $1.50, add tart, pickled red onions or coffee-marinated roasted beets. I’m a huge fan of their beets: They impart a sweet and earthy flavor that rounds out the dish.

The Cauliflower Sandwich ($9) is a new addition to the winter menu. The sweet carrot butter mingled well with the earthy kale pesto, but the roasted cauliflower was overpowered by the tart pickled tomato. The Mushroom Soup served alongside was hearty and flavorful. Norton’s soups change daily—each is intriguing, inspired by whatever’s in season.

Eat the rainbow with the Vegan Brunch Bowl ($8). It’s a nourishing combination of heirloom black lentils, tart arugula, butternut squash and roasted carrot. Topped with pickled veggies, slices of ripe avocado and crunchy breadcrumbs and pepitas, this dish is gratifying to tuck into. Eating all my veggies makes me feel better about indulging with a treat from the pastry case. Whether it’s a vegan muffin or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, I can’t resist. Lately, I’ve been smitten with the chocolate chip cookie ($2). It’s thin, crisp and studded with melty chocolate chips.

Whether you simply need a cup of coffee or you’re looking for a new favorite brunch spot, The Rose Establishment is your answer. Follow The Rose Establishment on Instagram (@theroseestb) to keep up with drink and food specials and some extra insight into the unique menu.