Mormon Temple Mysteries: Best Places to Eat

I’ve noted a significant omission in the typical temple preparation workshops that are held for new members or others preparing to go to the LDS temple: info on where to go to eat afterwards. For many Latter-day Saints, going to the Temple is a special trip that involves a lengthy drive and eating out somewhere on the way back, preferably somewhere close to the Temple. But where? Members of wards eventually hear recommendations from seasoned members, but it would be great if there were a Web resources compiling recommendations for various temples around the world. Anybody know of such a thing?

Here are a couple of my recommendations. For the San Diego temple, there are quite a few choices just across Interstate 5 (“the Five” as they say in southern California) in the La Jolla Village Square shopping center. Daphne’s Greek Cafe, facing the temple, is a great choice. The food and the staff impressed me on my visit this week. Such delicious food. Took a little longer than normal, we were told, so the manager brought out a free plate of hummus and pita bread (some of the best I’ve tasted of both), and then after our delicious meal, brought out a baklava plate for us as well (one piece each for four people) – another gift. I like that kind of attention to customers. In the same area are many other choices – Schlotzky’s Deli, California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and several more. All about 1 block away from one of the most beautiful temples in the world.

For the Chicago Temple, the one closest to my home, I really like the Korean restaurant, Seoul Garden. For Chinese, the Empire Szchuan restaurant is outstanding. Both are on Milwaukee Avenue just down the street from the Temple.

If you know of a forum for compiling dining recommendations near LDS temples, let me know. Otherwise share your recommendations here.

Ideas for feeding youth groups on baptism trips would also be appreciated. Low cost is often the key here.

Oh, and don’t forget the temple cafeteria itself in temples offering that service. Anybody have a list of which ones do?


Author: Jeff Lindsay

21 thoughts on “Mormon Temple Mysteries: Best Places to Eat

  1. Youth returning to Sacramento from the Oakland Temple like to stop at Cordelia Junction right off the freeway where there are several fast food places within walking distance of each other. With everyone scattering in different directions, the brown baggers feel less conspicuous. The only problem, of course, is getting everyone back in the correct car aftewards.

  2. The St. Louis temple used to have a working cafeteria, but a couple new temples were built in the district and not enough people from other states were coming in (I think), so it’s now available if a group wants to have dessert afterwards or something. And there are some vending machines if you want something quick.
    As for restaurants in the area, none come to my mind since I don’t go to that part of the state for much else, other than the temple. But I’m sure there are a few good places along the way, mainly fast food.

  3. I wish the Atlanta temple had something real close to it, but Roswell Road about a mile to the west is loaded with restaurants.

  4. When I used to go to the Cardston Alberta temple we would either stop at Dairy Queen or Mings chinese restaurant (it’s a small town).

  5. Living within 5 min walking distance from the DC temple sort of eliminates this problem for me, but there’s a great pizza chain in DC called Armand’s. Hard to find though, but I would definitely suggest it.

  6. After you visit the Los Angeles Temple, take the 405 freeway south 4 miles to Tito’s Tacos (directions).

    Tito’s is the classic hole-in-the-wall taco stand. The menu only has a few items, and all prices include tax. Be prepared to wait in line — it’s a very popular place. Have someone from your group patrol for a table while you order.

    The tacos are simple and simply great.

    I moved out of the L.A. Temple district a year ago. I miss Tito’s more than anything else.

  7. I go to Chicago on business and like to stay near the temple, so that I can catch a session or two. I went to the Seoul Garden by the Chicago Temple once. I wasn’t terribly impressed. When I walked in the patrons all turned to stare at me. They were all middle aged men. I had the impression that I had walked into the Korean equivalent of a mob restaurant. Having served a mission in Korea, I have some favorite dishes. Some of them weren’t available. The duk (round flat rice noodles) soup was stale. It tasted as though they had made it from a package of instant duk soup that had sat on the shelf too long.

    I like eating at the Chicago Temple cafeteria. Unfortunately, I had a problem convincing my boss that I was eating properly when on the road; the meals cost too little. I guess I could solve that by also paying for the next five people in line.

    I liked the restaurant just under the overpass from the temple, across from the TGI Friday’s, the Glenview Delight. The Empire Szechwan, near the Seoul Garden, was pretty good. Also, if you go up Pfingsten near Willow, there are several good restaurants near the strip malls.

  8. Chicago has a GREAT Japanese restaurant. I’ve never been to Japan, but, judging by the fact that my wife and I are usually the only Americans in the place, I would say that the food is pretty authentic.

    If I remember right it is called Ma-noo-ben (stands for maki, noodle, bento), and it is just a few doors down from the LDS bookstore on the very end of that strip mall (on the end farthest from the temple).

    I definitely recommend the bento boxes. For ~$13.00 you can get something with teriaki (salmon, chicken, scallops, pork, beef, etc…), a California roll, deep fried tofu, rice, potato salad (yeah, I didn’t expect it either, but it’s good!), and tempura.

    It’s a small, fun restaurant. Check it out!

  9. SLC: There is Cafe Molisse next to the Marriott (one of my favorites in SLC)

    Seattle: The indian joint next door is good.

    Chicago: Its a ways south, but Cucina on Ogden Ave is good. Also Cafe Ba-BA Reeba’s downtown is excellent for tapas.

    I’m looking forward to the Kansas City temple, for, among other reasons, the Smokhouse. Best BBQ in KC.

    On a side note, I’m going to Nauvoo this weekend as my nephew is recieving the endowment before his mission. I’ll report if there is anything tasty.

  10. To Mr. Brown, masquerading as a “concerned citizen,” I can only say what Nehemiah told Sanballat and Geshem: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.”

    Or, more succinctly: I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

    Go back to your cave, troglodyte.

  11. Links to offensive sites, especially those with porn, are likely to be deleted. Several have been.

  12. Back when our stake was in the St. Louis district, I was convinced they blessed the chocolate pudding, it was so good. Everything in the cafeteria was good. I’ve heard it’s closed since then because the numbers dropped.

  13. And one more thing –

    The Winter Quarters temple is 2 blocks away from a little hole in the wall called Harold’s Koffee House on the SE corner of 30th & State. It is one of the best greasy spoons around Omaha. This is only for those early Saturday sessions as they close daily around 2pm. Also, the Zesto’s ice cream place on 30th is good too in the summer and there’s an LDS bookstore across the street.

  14. To: T.
    Re: vending machines in the cafeteria in the St. Louis Temple.

    Were there money-changer machines right next to them?

    (Rim shot goes here.)

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  15. Back when we were in the Chicago district (now Nauvoo) we used to go to this restaurant down the street (can’t remember the name of the street) called Dapper’s. If I remember correctly, it seems to be catty-corner from the Dunkin Donuts and that little strip mall thing where the bookstore is.

  16. If you want to create a central location for restaurant information, you could set up a free wiki site where anyone could contribute. I’ve used Peanut Butter Wiki ( in the past and it’s pretty easy to use.

    Just a suggestion.

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