It's time to Sundance! On Thursday, January 21 Sundance Film Festival opens in Park City, as well as in Salt Lake City and Ogden, UT. This year, we expect over 40,000 festival-goers, filmmakers and celebrities to descend on our tiny mountain town for the 10-day festival.  While we welcome the crowds, it does make for some logistical challenges - especially when it comes to snagging a hard-to-get dinner reservation. I often joke that it's sometimes easier to score a ticket to a Sundance premiere than to get a table at your favorite Main Street restaurant. But with a little advance planning and flexibility, it can be done. Here are some tips to dine your way around the Sundance Film Festival:

1. CHECK AHEAD - Many popular Park City restaurants get booked for private parties during the Festival. Your best bet to score a dinner reservation is to check ahead. OpenTable works with over 40 Park City restaurants and is a great option to search for restaurant availability. The Park City Area Restaurant Association also has a current list of area restaurants that are open to the public throughout the Festival.

2. GO OFF PEAK - If you can, avoiding the peak dinner rush (6:00-9:00 PM) can yield more dining options. Think about going for brunch, lunch, or try late-afternoon small plates before a screening. Noted eateries near screening venues like The Boneyard Saloon & Kitchen, Good Karma or a longtime local spot The Grub Steak (all located near the Eccles Center and Prospector Square venues), will be open for lunch during the festival.

3. GO LOCAL - Ok, I'll share. There are a few off Main Street spots that locals know we can still go to grab a quick bite without much of a wait during Sundance. Try El Chubasco the reigning champion for best "cheap eats," or get your vegan and organic fix at Fair Weather Natural Foods, serving a variety of homemade soups, salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.

4. THINK OFF MAIN STREET - The free Park City Transit Bus will take you out to the Kimball Junction area (convenient to the Redstone screening venue), where you'll find several familiar chain restaurants plus a few eateries unique to Park City - Red Rock Brewery, Ghidotti's, Sushi Blue, Cortina Italian Café, Loco Lizard Cantina and Maxwell's East Coast Eatery are a just few local favorites.

5. DINE AT THE VENUE - If your day is full of screenings, consider grabbing a bite at many of the film venues offering more than just popcorn. The Library Center, Eccles Center, and the MARC offer rather expansive and yummy concession menus.

With over 150 award-winning restaurants, Park City is ready to keep you fed and happy during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. For a complete list of area dining options visit our restaurant directory.

See you at the screenings!