Café tables on the other side of the Silver Star’s wide patio offer views of the Park City Golf Course and Deer Valley.  

Most Park City itineraries, particularly those lasting into the evening hours, include Main Street. And rightly so. Bars and restaurants are as thick as thieves along Park City’s main vein, offering both food and music on a level commensurate with towns 50 times Park City’s cozy size. But if crowds aren’t necessarily your thing, save Main Street for when you have out of town guests and head over to the Silver Star Café, located just north of Park City Mountain Resort’s base area in the Silver Star Village. The place not only serves up great food and quality entertainment, but exemplifies all the best of Park City in the summertime: clean, mountain air, amazing views and that feeling of getting away while in your own backyard.

Jeff and Lisa Ward purchased the Silver Star Café back March 2009. They ran the business as they’d purchased it—a grocery café—for the remainder of that ski season. But as soon as the lifts stop running the couple renovated the space and revamped the menu. The Silver Star Café reopened the following June as an eclectic, table-service eatery featuring live music on the weekends. “The Silver Star Café is really a reflection of Lisa and me,” Jeff says.

Have dinner or drinks and small plates while enjoying views of Park City Mountain Resort on the Silver Star Café’s cozy and inviting patio.

I’d heard great things about the place and expected quality and attention to detail similar to 350 Main, the award-winning restaurant Jeff ran on Main Street for more than 15 years. What I found when I visited this weekend was so much more. The décor is funky and a bit artistic, the staff attentive and the food fresh, creative, reasonably priced and what I would describe as high-end homespun. And the setting is absolutely stunning.

The Silver Star’s main entrance faces Park City Mountain Resort and the Silver Star chairlift. (The lift doesn’t run in the summer, but two of the resort’s best mountain biking/hiking trails—Armstrong and Spiro—empty right next to the base of the lift.) The wide patio is furnished with inviting upholstered wicker sectional seating, low-slung tables and overflowing flowerpots. Café tables are clustered closer to the entrance, allowing diners sweeping views of the Park City Golf course, Old Town and past Deer Valley all the way to the Uinta Mountains. And don’t worry about getting too cold when the sun goes down: Heat lamps are interspersed among the table and fuzzy Silver Star snuggies are available for guests eating outside.

The music offered at Silver Star Café (Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer) focuses on singer/songwriter-driven folk and bluegrass primarily, though the Wards say they are committed to featuring local musical talent whenever possible. “Word has gotten out about incredible setting and atmosphere which had made booking music really easy. I regularly get calls from acts from throughout the West and West Coast wanting to play here,” Lisa says.

Grammy-nominated folk artists Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud play the Silver Star Café last Friday evening.

The best way to describe an evening of live music and dinner at the Silver Star is slightly exclusive but at the same time very laid back and authentic; kind of like being privy to a really cool secret.

The Silver Star Café serves lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Plaza Palooza, a more casual, picnic and blanket-friendly concert series, is held on Thursday nights; “Park City Limits” dinner and music shows (reservations required) are held on Saturday evenings.

Melissa Fields is a Utah-based freelance writer. Her blog about Utah things to eat, see and do is