Sunday, June 10, 2012

Costa Vida

Address: 4361 State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107. 801.268.6200.

Review: Anyone who has read my reviews knows I am loathe to compare one restaurant to another. Each should stand or fall on its own. There are exceptions to this approach, however. The most notable exception is when one restaurant is more or less a carbon copy of another restaurant. Such is the case with Costa Vida. I'm pretty sure the conversation leading to the founding of Costa Vida went a little something like this: [Person 1] "Wow, this Cafe Rio food tastes great. I think we should simply copy Cafe Rio's menu, its ambience, and its business plan in hopes that we can steal its market share." [Person 2] "That's a great idea. You're so smart. No wonder you got an A in our learning-to-rip-off-another's-idea class in business school." 

Unfortunately for Person 1 and Person 2, they forgot to copy Cafe Rio's quality. Thus, not only is Costa Vida hopelessly derivative, its food is vastly inferior when compared to its exemplar. Don't waste your time; just go to Cafe Rio.

Rating: Go to Cafe Rio/10.

Costa Vida on Urbanspoon


  1. the creator of Costa once worked at Cafe Rio. Initially the sweet pork and tomatillo dressing were quite similar, which lead to a law suite. (I can't confirm this, but I work at the Gateway theatres right by Costa Vida, so this is secondhand info) Costa Vida had to change a lot of their recipes. I still love their nachos however.

  2. Agreed! Cafe Rio >>>>> Costa Vida!