salt lake city guide

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today’s city guide is a favorite of mine- salt lake city! i’ve been dying to check out utah for years now (home of my favorite blogger!) and designer amy shaffer‘s guide is just the inspiration i needed to start planning. amy grew up in salt lake and then moved away for a bit, but recently moved back after founding her stationery design studio, junky heirloom. now she’s sharing some must-see shops, hang-outs, great restaurants (including great local spots to get a sweet treat!) and other local favorites. i hope you’ll enjoy her city guide as much as i did. thanks to amy for all of her hard work on this guide!

as always, if you have a favorite that you don’t see on the list please leave the details in the comment section below.

CLICK HERE for the full city guide or just click “read more” below.

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Utah is a place shrouded in mystery for many people. Is it a cool place? Or is it just a tragically easy location punch line?

I’ve got some answers.

I grew up in Salt Lake City, moved away and now have come back again. The capitol of a desert state with some of the best outdoor attractions in the world (skiing, Zion’s National Park, Arches, Moab and more), Salt Lake is continually developing culturally as well. It’s being helped by a growing art and film scene (fostered in part by the Sundance Film Festival), a healthy entrepreneurial spirit (that’s egged on by Utah’s tradition of industriousness) and a few well-timed development and renovation projects. Combine that with some of the randomly strict liquor laws being relaxed this year and Salt Lake City is really on the cusp of coming into its own.

These are some of my favorite spots in town, arranged loosely by neighborhood. If there’s a place you know of and love that I’ve missed, please add it in the comments!

BROADWAY

Shop:

Frosty Darling Frosty Darling 177 E Broadway: A bright, playful nod to the very best of both retro and modern, Frosty Darling consistently carries some of the best locally-made products, from stationery to furniture. It will take you a while to explore all of the fun– and it’s easy to get drawn in to connected neighbor Kayo Gallery.

Slowtrain Slowtrain: The kind of independent record store everyone wants in their neighborhood. Friendly, knowledgeable owners and staff, intimate in-store performances by both local and well-established artists, the selection (including a great vinyl section) you want to sit and browse through all day. Can’t recommend more highly. 221 E Broadway

Model Citizen Model Citizen: Carrying peak-of-cool local brands, Model Citizen has enough to keep both guy and girl busy. Particular not-to-miss items include hand-sewn flirty summer dresses and bright neon canvas shoes– but check back often. Their all-local inventory gathers new additions every month. 247 E. Broadway

The Green Ant The Green Ant : Current residence of my dream Florence Knoll settee (someday, someday), the Green Ant is a recent transplant to the humming Broadway area. Whether your heart pines for Saarinen or Nelson, this is the place to get your fix. Owner Ron Green curates this MCM-dominated vintage store with aplomb. 179 E Broadway

Kayo Gallery Kayo Gallery : This great, accessible gallery puts on twelve different exhibitions a year– and gives the artist full control of both the work and the displaying of it. 177 E Broadway

Signed & Numbered Signed & Numbered : This is one of my favorite shops in the city. Located in the basement of Slowtrain, Signed & Numbered specializes in limited edition concert posters, art prints and other creations by contemporary artists. Founded by venerable gig poster artist Leia Bell, Signed & Numbered is a store I hope always stays around. 221 E Broadway

Sip:

Nobrow Coffee and Tea Company Nobrow Coffee and Tea Company : This coffee shop/gallery/cultural gathering spot is a great place to sit around, meet people and find out about all the other cool stuff going on in Salt Lake. 315 East 300 South

DOWNTOWN

Shop:

Elemente: This vintage consignment store strikes the perfect balance for me. More MCM than cottage cute, Elemente still manages to hold a soft nostalgia. With a great blend of central pieces and stylized knick-knacks, this 20-year veteran fills its open renovated loft-style space with ease. 353 Pierpont Avenue

FICE FICE : In one of the most drool-worthy buildings downtown, FICE brings a nice urban sportswear style all its own. Its selection of men’s and women’s clothes and shoes are expertly coordinated by owner/pro snowboarder Laura Hadar. She earns additional style points for the collection of books and prints and schedule of gallery showings that consistently share the space.

CG Sparks CG Sparks : The tagline for CG Sparks is “furniture with soul.” It may sound a little grandiose before you go in– and realize it’s true. Founder Chrisianne Olsen and crew travel the globe every year to find pieces that capture the essence of that statement. Their pieces from India and Tibet (many antique or of reclaimed materials) are stunning. 454 S 500 W

Filthy Gorgeous Filthy Gorgeous : For all of you Project Runway fans out there, this is Utahn Keith Bryce’s (from Season 5) studio. It’s set up as an “artist’s network,” where you can come and find a collection of hand-made clothing by various local designers. Every piece they sell is one-of-a-kind. It can be a little over the top for me, but it’s worth checking out. 351 W. Pierpont Ave

Decades Vintage Clothing: Some people come for a costume. Some people come for that never-to-be-found-again wardrobe addition that everyone will covet. If you like vintage, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t miss their costume jewelry and belt buckle collection. 627 S State

Eat:

Takashi Takashi : Absolutely the best sushi in Utah (and competitive with sushi I’ve had anywhere else as well). Boasting an imaginative menu, head chef/owner Takashi Gibo plays with exotic fresh seafood and fruit in unmatched ways. Be sure to try the Strawberry Fields, ceviche quail egg shooters and the Crunchy Ebi. 18 West Market Street

Bambara Bambara : Located on the main floor of Hotel Monaco, this New American bistro brings flair and sophistication to the Salt Lake dining experience. A fun place to celebrate special occasions– if you ask with your reservation, they’ll make a specialty menu for your evening. 202 S Main St

Faustina Faustina : Don’t know what “carrot dust” is? You’d better head to Faustina. Not only is it a pretty place (their outdoor terrace is spectacular on summer nights) but they also take ordinary ingredients to a whole new level. Sometimes whimsical, other times sophisticated, Faustina is an imaginative place to get a classic American meal. 454 E 300 S

Este Pizza Este Pizza : NY-style pizza FINALLY makes its respectable way to Salt Lake. Este’s two locations (one right next door to FICE) almost satisfy your inner longing for Joe’s. If you like white pizza, it doesn’t get much yummier than here. Also, try the zeppoles (little Italian donut miracle morsels) dipped in a side of agave nectar. 156 E 200 S

The Robin’s Nest Robin’s Nest : Working downtown-ites flock to this little, homey sandwich oasis. Every sandwich comes with their amazing special-recipe Orzo Pasta. Make sure to try The Sink, The Gobbler and occasional special The Big Blue. 311 S. Main St.

Metropolitan Metropolitan : The Metropolitan’s unique three-chef collaboration results in some pretty remarkable New American cuisine. Their popular nightly prix fixe menu is a relatively affordable way to try the seasonally-inspired menu or you can go all out with their seven-course tasting menu. 173 W Broadway

Settebello Settebello Settebello is an authentic Italian pizza place with an imported Italian wood oven (the only one in the state) and a menu (and authentic ingredients) worthy of more expensive prices. Don’t forget to try their on-site fresh gelato. Whether you get nutella or pistachio, it’s guaranteed to blow your mind. 260 S 200 W

Hong Kong Tea House
565 W 200 S
Universally known as the best dim sum in Salt Lake, this uber-authentic Chinese restaurant has been named Best Chinese in Utah by Salt Lake Magazine several years running. It’s an experience– and it’s surprisingly inexpensive. Great to go with friends.

Red Iguana Red Iguana : Red Iguana has been the local hole-in-the-wall Mexican of choice for years. It can get busy but it’s worth the wait. The fresh horchata and mole are amazing (tip: if it’s your first time, ask for the mole sampler plate. Not only is it a great appetizer with chips, it’ll help you see exactly which one you’re in the mood for). 736 W North Temple

Thai Lotus Thai Lotus : Thai Lotus is the only Thai place I’ve found in Salt Lake that captures the complex blend of flavor that authentic Thai food represents. Amazing massaman curry and mango sticky rice. 212 E 500 S

Moochies Moochies : Can you handle the Moochies? These are some serious sandwiches, people. With their crowning achievement Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, Moochies has crafted a singular (if a little eclectic) following. See everyone from teenagers to suits, cramming their faces with monstrous meat sandwiches. 232 E 800 S

Tony Caputo’s Tony Caputo’s : More than just great sandwiches, the family-owned Caputos Market and Deli specializes in regional Italian and southern European foods. Try one of their amazing mufalettos and stop in the market to pick up one of their over 60 varieties of olive oil. 314 W 300 S

Carlucci’s Carlucci’s : This bakery/sandwich place has it all going on. Great sandwiches on freshly made bread (don’t miss the rosemary bread– ahhh), beautifully delicious pastry creations and famous sliders on Friday. Outdoor seating in warm weather is particularly pleasant. 314 W Broadway

Bruges Waffle and Frites Bruges Waffles and Frites : Waffles. And french fries. And that’s it. Dip the perfect double-fried frites into different specialty sauces flavored by chives, green onions and basil (among others). And then it’s on to your traditional European gaufre (or waffle). Whether you top it with chocolate, cinnamon or creme fraiche, this is a great combo. 336 W Broadway

Koko Kitchen : Japanese food has largely gone the Americanized route. Not at Koko Kitchen. This is authentic Japanese homestyle cooking. It’s affordable, cozy, unassuming, with a surprisingly large menu with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. 702 S 300 E

Cafe Rio Café Rio : This fresh Mexican fast casual restaurant can be described as nothing less than a local phenomenon. People have been known to wait in line for an hour to get their food. Their signature sweet pork salad with fresh guacamole, tomatillo dressing and tortilla strips in a fresh, hand-made tortilla is one of my staples. 532 E 400 S (locations throughout the city)

Cafe Niche Café Niche : This great modern cafe not only has amazing paninis and sandwiches (you have to try the Dame), coffee and baked goods, it also has impeccable design in every aspect of the restaurant, from their toile frosted windows to their stained concrete floors to their gallery-style art from local up-and-coming artists. 779 E 300 S

Acme Burger Acme Burger : Acme Burger knows how to keep a burger classy. Whether you want an ostrich burger, sushi grade ahi burger or a kobe burger, you can expect something intriguing and delicious. But then comes the brunch. Available on Saturdays and Sundays, they have a little something called Rabanada, which is Brazillian French Toast but is essentially a super churro. For breakfast. Amazing. 275 S 200 W

Les Madeleines Les Madeleines : Charming and delicious, with amazing food inspired by chef/owner Romina Rasmussen’s world travels. Wild Boar BLT. Multiple kinds of French macaroons (raspberry and pistachio are my favorites). Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart. Cozy little location, right by the Salt Lake Library. 216 East 500 South

Treat:

Mini’s Cupcakes Mini’s Cupcakes : Mini’s is a gem hidden in an odd part of downtown, but there’s nothing odd about the heart and soul they put in their food. The leader of all of the cupcake places cropping up (in my opinion), they also offer box lunches with high-end sandwiches and salads. 14 E 800 S

Dough Girl Dough Girl : Born out of a desire for a perfect cookie, the Dough Girl offers fresh cookies– but also sells frozen gourmet cookie dough to take home in nine different varieties. Don’t miss the Silly Lilly– their signature cookie with lemonheads baked inside. 770 S 300 W

Sip:

Salt Lake Roasting Co. Salt Lake Roasting Company : A hotspot for students trying to stay awake while studying, the Salt Lake Roasting Company combines bold coffees from around the world and delicious italian sodas with freshly baked pastry and cakes. Oh, and really great free wifi. 320 E 400 S

Caffe D’Bolla Caffé D’Bolla : Caffe D’bolla is Salt Lake’s first artisan micro roaster and siphon bar. But what really brings me in is the bubble tea (my favorite is the honeydew). 249 E 400 S

Enjoy:

Twilight Concert Series Twilight Concert Series : Every year, some of the best bands in the world play a series of outdoor summer shows in the heart of downtown. Past participants have included Yo La Tengo, Andrew Bird, the Roots, Broken Social Scene, Calexico and Camper van Beethoven. Oh yeah, and it’s free. One of the coolest things going in Salt Lake (and getting better every year), every night of music includes an outdoor market as well. Can’t wait for season opener Bon Iver/Jenny Lewis this year. 239 S Main St

Gallery Stroll Gallery Stroll : Dotting over a dozen galleries and cafes throughout the city, Gallery Stoll is a great walkable way to access the best local art in Salt Lake. Taking place on the third Friday night of every month, it’s also a way to meet other art enthusiasts and see the most up-to-date installations and shows.

Farmer’s Market Farmer’s Market : Every Saturday morning during the summer months, the Farmer’s Market draws folks of all kinds (and their dogs) to Pioneer Park. Not only a collection of the area’s finest locally grown and sustainable food, it is also one of the premier places for local artisans to display and sell their goods. 300 W 300 S

Capitol Theater: The place to catch Ballet West, the Utah Opera and touring Broadway shows. The theater itself is a beautifully preserved early 20th century architectural piece. 50 W 200 S

Rose Wagner Theater: The home to Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater, the Rose Wagner Theater always has some kind of performance going on, including film screenings (for Sundance and otherwise), poetry readings and dance. 138 West 300 South

Salt Lake Library Salt Lake Library : Designed by award-winning architect Moshe Safdie, the Salt Lake Library is an architectural and design gem in downtown. Using glass and a unique serpentine structure, the library brings an open-air feel into a dynamic interior space. For all of you fans of design trivia, Pentagram did all of the identity, signage and type throughout the library.

Salt Lake Art Center Salt Lake Art Center : I am continually impressed by this little organization. Committed to the support of contemporary art in Salt Lake, they bring in high-quality exhibitions from both up-and-coming and established artists from around the country. They also host art forums, classes and a modern art media room that the public can use. And entrance is always free. 20 S West Temple

Temple Square Temple Square : As the world headquarters of the LDS church, Temple Square is a unique experience. Beautiful architectural and landscaping details (the temple was built by Mormon pioneers and took over 50 years) make this a great place to take a walk and explore. The flowers in the spring and lights during the holidays are well-known attractions and you can stop in to hear the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir any Sunday morning.

Urban Lounge Urban Lounge : One of the best hole-in-the-wall clubs to catch the most obscure of bands amongst an intimate, diehard audience. Stellar upcoming shows include Frightened Rabbits, Phoenix and A.A. Bondy. 241 S 500 E

Kilby Court Kilby Court : This venue is a right-of-passage type of place: catch bands on the cusp of moving on to bigger things– playing a show in what is essentially a cheerily appointed shed. 750 Kilby Ct.

The Depot The Depot : By far the most conveniently located and superior sounding club around, but needs to get a new booking agent. If you can catch a good band here, don’t hesitate. 400 W. S Temple

Brewvies Brewvies : Brewvies brings together pool, tasty bar food and three built-in movie theaters with current releases (where each row of seats has its own “bar,” where you can put all the food and drinks your heart desires). Half-off movie Wednesdays and free classic movie Mondays make the traditionally worst days of the week so much more fun. 677 S 200 W

AVENUES/UNIVERSITY

Shop:

Graywhale Graywhale : The mainstay in the Utah independent music scene. They now have five stores across the state, but the original University store has something special. In the trademark blue house, you can find hidden gems in their unparalleled used section or any album you’re looking for, no matter how obscure. 208 South 1300 East

Eat:

Em’s Em’s : This quaint eatery (housed in one of the original markets in Salt Lake) is an absolute delight. Tucked up on Capitol Hill, Chef Emily Gassmann has created a constantly changing menu that relies heavily on fresh ingredients from the local farmer’s market, making every dining experience there new. One of the best places for New American in the city.

271 Center St

Ruth’s Diner Ruth’s Diner : Located a short, picturesque drive up Emigration Canyon, nostalgic Ruth’s Diner serves all meals of the day. But it’s really the brunch that takes first prize. Maybe it’s the gigantic fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuit and homemade raspberry butter that precedes your meal. Maybe it’s their idyllic creekside patio seating. Maybe it’s their mouthwatering Salmon Eggs Benedict or Banana Walnut French Toast. 2100 Emigration Cnyn

The Pie The Pie : Fueling college students and families alike, this dimly lit, cheerily graffitied basement hangout provides a classic pizzeria/pub atmosphere complete with sports on the TV and friendly staff. Don’t miss out on the divine cheesy pull-aparts; they are almost a meal in and of themselves. 1320 E 200 S

Treat:

Hatch Family Chocolates: This family owned and run chocolaterie has all your basic hand-dipped goods, but is notable for its tweaks of creativity, including frozen hot chocolate, vegan chocolates and their trademark pots du creme. 390 E 4th Ave

Enjoy:

Memory Grove Dog Park: When you are needing to socialize your dog and go for a delightful walk, nothing beats Memory Grove. With a pond meant for puppy swimming and plenty of room for dogs to run around and play, the park is also beautiful and includes trails along City Creek that are perfect for jogging or biking. 300 Canyon Rd

9TH AND 9TH

Shop:

koo de ker koo de ker : Find a shirt or accessory you can’t live without– at the right price to snap up right then and there. Spot-on selection and some of the most unique jewelry around. Stylish owner Kyong An is often in the shop and is a joy to meet. 1037 E 900 S

The Children’s Hour The Children’s Hour : Don’t let the name fool you. While Children’s Hour is definitely the style source for hot-to-trot tots, you can find a whole lot of stuff that’s all grown up too. Amazing women’s shoes selection (including names like Giraudon, Camper and BCBG), thoughtful kid’s toys and books and impeccable baby and kid clothes. 898 S 900 E

apartment 202: You have to love a place where the first thing you come across upon entering is a whole wall of the greatest hats you’ve ever seen. Smart and sophisticated, you can find a great little Cynthia Vincent smock, pick up some great stationery and meet the resident yellow lab Iger at the same time. 850 E 900 S

hip and humble Hip and Humble : A definitive source of stylish houseware and more, Hip and Humble is exactly what you wish your house was like every day: something new to discover around every corner, fresh cookies for the taking, and bright original things to love for your kitchen, bathroom, closet and more. 1043 E 900 S

Emilie Jayne
If you want unassumingly friendly vintage at the absolute best prices, you have to check out Emilie Jayne. And check back often– the sweet price tags on their eclectic collection keep the turnover remarkably brisk. 801 S. 800 East

Eat:

Mazza Mazza : Mazza is the best Middle Eastern food in Salt Lake. But it also might be one of the more inviting places to eat out as well. The restaurant itself manages a perfectly restrained sense of mystery that matches both casual and more formal dining expeditions. Don’t miss the chicken kebab sandwich, lamb shawarma and mutabbak plate. 912 E 900 S

Cafe Trio Café Trio : This New Italian-style cafe is the best place to come when you can’t figure out what you’re in the mood for. Because everything is good. Try the Panzanella Steak Salad (topped with oversized fresh croutons lightly dipped in balsamic), Butternut Three-Cheese Ravioli and Rosemary Goat Cheese Flatbread. 680 S 900 E

Treat:

Tulie Bakery Tulie Bakery : Right next door to Cafe Trio, this pastry and cake shop makes decadent creations out of organic ingredients. Which means it’s good for you. 863 E 700 S

Sip:

Coffee Garden: Long-time Utah coffee hangout with a great location for just lounging. Great patio area for summery Saturdays. 898 E 900 S

Enjoy:

Tower Theater Tower Theater : The sister-theater of Broadway and fellow member of the Salt Lake Film Society, Tower Theater is a Salt Lake landmark. One of the coolest things they do is the occasional “Open Mic Short Film Night,” where local film-makers and amateurs can screen their films for an audience– and you can attend for free. 876 E 900 S

Liberty Park: This park has it all, no matter what age you are. With private lit tennis courts (you have to call ahead to schedule), the Tracy Aviary (one of only two freestanding aviaries in the US), a swimming pool, ponds with paddle boats, a small old-style amusment park and a water maze for kids (patterned after the seven canyons in Utah), there is enough to laze away an entire afternoon. 700 E 900 S

SUGARHOUSE/FOOTHILL

Shop:

Cactus and Tropicals Cactus and Tropicals : Go to find a special cactus of your own. Or just go for a little therapy. Walking through Cactus and Tropical’s beautifully lush garden center is enough to make anyone feel like things are right with the world. Personal favorites include their breathtaking Bonsai pieces and fountains. 2735 S 2000 E

Abode Abode : This vibrant vintage store gets even more fun in the summer– when its parking lot plays host to one of the best local craft/vintage flea markets around. 1720 S 900 E

Ten Thousand Villages Ten Thousand Villages : Part of the Ten Thousand Villages network, this store carries products made by artisans from Fair Trade organizations around the world. That means that not only do you get something entirely unique but you can also feel good that the money you spent went directly to support the person who made it. 1941 S 1100 E

Liberty Heights Fresh Liberty Heights Fresh : Liberty Heights Fresh is the holy grail of freshness. Everything from gorgeous fresh flowers to locally grown fruits and vegetables to homestead cheeses. They also arrange “foodie” trips around the world (the next one is a “Basque and Mediterranean Culinary Routes” tour of Spain!) 1290 S 1100 E

Second-hand Chic Second-hand Chic : This big-personality eclectic retro store has the self-proclaimed biggest selection of vintage aprons in Salt Lake. Haven’t checked them on it, but I believe it. Also has nice smaller vintage knick-knacks and women’s clothing. 900 E 2006 S

Emigration Market: A friendly local market and cafe with an emphasis on locally produced foods. Nestled in the beautiful Harvard-Yale area of Sugarhouse, find everything fresh here. 1706 E 1300 S

Eat:

Fat’s Grill: Great paninis and burgers with free pool at lunch. If pool isn’t your thing, you can sit and people-watch the Sugarhouse crowd at the big windows at the front. 2182 Highland Dr

Bombay House Bombay House : One of my favorite places to eat and the best place to find authentic Indian food in Utah. Too many favorites to list, but don’t miss the Malai Kofta, mango lassi and the Peshawari Naan (it tastes like Froot Loops– and like amazing). 2731 Parleys Way

Lugano’s Lugano’s : Awarded “Best Italian In Salt Lake City,” Luganos is reknowned for classic Italian set apart by their uncanny fresh ingredient selection. 3364 S 2300 E

Finn’s Finn’s : Recently reopening after a ten year absence, Finn’s Cafe features the best traditional Norwegian breakfasts in a really cool updated modern diner. If you’re looking for a little more formal brunch, this is the place to go. 1624 S 1100 E

Blue Plate Diner Blue Plate Diner : A perfectly idyllic classic diner with a surprising number of vegetarian options. Great malts.

Treat:

Dolcetti Gelatto Dolcetti Gelato : Owners/couple Elizabeth and Mark England learned the art of gelato from some of Italy’s masters. And then brought it to Salt Lake. Dozens of flavors of fresh gelato make choosing difficult. 1751 S 1100 E

Sip:

The Tea Grotto The Tea Grotto : For the serious tea connoiseur (or anyone who wants a great cup of tea), the Tea Grotto is a haven. Owner Rebecca Sheeran is one of only 15 certified tea specialists in the US and has spent time on tea plantations around the world. Not only does she serve the very best tea, but also helps customers to learn more about it. 2030 S 900 E

OUTSIDE

Skiing Ski Utah : One of Utah’s biggest natural resources is our incredible snow. There are over fourteen ski resorts within a short distance of Salt Lake. My favorite resorts include Alta (for skiing purists– they don’t allow snowboarding– but it gets absolutely DUMPED on with snow), Snowbird (just a well-designed resort), Brighton (the best snowboard park in the state) and Park City (for pure nostalgia).

Park City: If you’re in Salt Lake, it’s worth a day trip to Park City. In the summer, you can have fun on the Alpine Slide or take in a concert at the Deer Valley Music Festival. In the winter, Main Street is a fairy-tale winter wonderland. But there’s also world-class food and boutique shopping. And it’s only half an hour away.

Sundance Film Festival Ski Utah : If you’re looking for a reason to come to Utah, this is it. Every January, people descend on Utah to sample the best of independent film. With Q &A sessions with directors, writers and actors, forums and special musical performances, Sundance is packed with interesting options to fill your days. Some people have complained in recent years of it losing its independent nature, but I have loved it every year I have gone.

our little love nest

What a great little look into Utah! I have always wanted to check it out. Maybe one of these days we’ll pack it up and head out that way. xo

Brittany

THIS is amazing and much needed. It’s about time cool SLC unites. I wish I would have had it when I was going to school in Provo! thanks so much!

jen

Yay! I’m going there at the end of July, so this is PERFECT! Thank you!

Carolina

This is a fantastic guide–I’ve lived in Utah for many years now, but I need to explore my own town a little better.

Magen

What a perfect list! All of those places are tops, although I would have added Tromadance as one of the awesome events that takes place in SLC (http://tromadance.com/)

Brooke

This makes me so homesick for my college town. My husband and I live in Long Beach now, but you have found all of our old haunts. Food is so affordable in Salt Lake and you can have a really fun day exploring everything because the city is planned on such a nice neat little grid. I miss D’Bolla and Niche so much. I can’t wait to go home for a visit.

Jill.

Au Natural in Sugarhouse is a newer addition to the restaurant scene and it’s delicious. I always try to stop in for a bowl of chicken chili when I’m in town!

Kate

Ooo, I love it. I was born in Sandy but moved when I was pretty little. My parents are always reminiscing about their ski-bum days in Utah and I definitely recognize some of these places from nostalgic stories and visits out West especially walking Park City’s main street, Ruth’s and the Red Iguana. Last March I was out skiing and visiting a friend and we got dollar beers and some amazing pizza at Gepetto’s in Holladay – I recommend it!

Sarah

Great guide. I was in SLC last year to go to the Spiral Jetty: http://www.spiraljetty.org

It’s an incredible piece of land art by Robert Smithson, about 100 miles north of the city. I highly recommend the trip for the more adventurous, although you definitely want to go with something that has 4-wheel drive (as I learned the hard way).

Shelah

I just moved to Salt Lake City, so this is the perfect list. Thanks so much! I’m adding it to my bookmarks!

Karisa

Thanks Amy! This list looks awesome and your company is even better. Wow, your stationery is amazing!

Adriane

Don’t forget the Bee hive tea room! Tea Time at 2pm! Tea for Two and Two for Tea!!!
Here are details from their website!

The Bee Hive Tea Room is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City in the historic Clift Building, on the corner of 3rd South and Main Street. Decorated with an eclectic mix of second-hand furniture, the Beehive gives an atmosphere of having “stepped back in time” when tearooms in cities like New York and San Francisco were bohemian hangouts frequented by artists and writers.

At the Beehive we have over 35 loose-leaf teas served English style in teapots, delicious David Rio Chai, French Press Coffees from Rimini, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, and tea smoothies. Drop in for some of our homemade English scones, or order from our light-lunch menu of daily soup, sandwiches, salads, and specials. The traditional “Afternoon Tea” service is also available every day beginning at 2:00. We prepare Afternoon Tea according to our reservations, therefore, we require reservations at least one day in advance. The Afternoon Tea is served in the traditional style, with finger sandwiches, scones & jam, sweets, and a choice of Tea, American hot chocolate, or French Press coffee

Cheryl

Oh how I miss me some Cafe Rio Fajita Steak Salad with creamy tomotilla dressing.

sigh.

CapreeK

What a great guide on Salt Lake! I can’t really think of any other places to add, but I do have a small correction. In the Sugar House / Foothill area you listed one of the best Italian places in Utah. The only problem is the name and subsequent link are incorrect. The correct name is Lugano and the website is http://luganorestaurant.com. No possessive “s” in this name! :)

Amy

Thanks for all the additional places, guys (and helpful corrections– I’ve been calling it Lugano’s forever! oops!).

Alicia Montana

so this is AMAZING!! I’ve been living in the SLC for a year and clearly I have some places to visit!!

For the knitters in the area: Blazing Needles (1365 South 1100 East) is the best game in town! With a cozy home-like atmosphere and a great selection of yarns and classes to suit all crafters, you can’t go wrong. Plus there’s free begining knitting on Saturday mornings!!!

Melany

i saw jenny lewis and the watson twins play at kilby court in 2006. needless to say, it was AMAZING. can’t wait to see her for FREE at the twilight concert series!

thank you for this awesome slc guide!

Laura

This is a great guide! How do you pick cities for this? I’ve lived in St. Louis my entire life and I think it’s time to uncover the River City’s hidden gems!

grace

hi laura

i’d say about 50% of the time locals email us offering to do a guide for their favorite city, and 50% of the time i email local artists and shop owners looking for help building a guide. but if you’re game to help with st. louis, just shoot me an email at designsponge [at] gmail [dot] com- we’d love to work with you on this :)

grace

ashley

We’re in the process of moving to Salt Lake. Thank you for this guide. It’s perfect!!

Bridgette

I’d like to add Home Again in Sugar House to the list. Home Again is a fabulous furniture consignment shop that not only takes old furniture, but also remakes and refurbishes pieces. You’ll want everything in the store.
1019 E 2100 S

emily

I’ve been living in Salt Lake for 5 years and I was ready to get on the defense; however, I have to say this is a great list.

My favorite eats are all there (Bombay House, Ruth’s Diner, Mazza, …) but I don’t recall seeing Sage’s Vegetarian Cafe (500 East 300 South) I’m not a vegetarian, but the food is incredible, and as often as possible, it is local and seasonal.

I second the the notion to do lunch at the Beehive Tea Room, and also recommend checking out D’Bolla (400 South 200 East– North side of the street across from the city library) for coffee. Cafe D’Bolla is an in house roaster and they will custom roast single pounds for customers according to any preference a coffee connoisseur can conjure up. Best espresso in town–hands down.

For plants go to Broadway’s (300 South and 300 East next to NoBrow Coffee) Paradise Palms. They are super knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and have a huge selection of succulents, cactus, bonsai, orchids, broomeliads, etc.

For books one *must* go to Sam Wellers (on Main) and The King’s English (15th and 15th) and, of course, the Salt Lake City Public Library. I do heart library square

For adult dance classes RDT offers some jazz technique, hip hop, flaminco, and a killer african dance class (inside the Rose Wagner Theater downtown). Ballet West Academy offers some great adult ballet classes as well (3rd floor of Capitol Theater).

Again great list … will someone please start one for Memphis, TN?

Kathy Daume'

This is a great list! I’ve got a few places that you just HAVE to add!!!

Fresco– pricey but worth it
Sugarhouse BBQ
Sage Cafe — All Vegan and all delicious
Oasis Cafe
Omar’s Rawtopia — All raw food
Diva’s Cupcakes– they even have a drive-thru!

Brendan

Just a couple of notes. Dolci Gelato has moved into the Tea Grotto on 900 E and Mini Cupcakes has taken over their old location on 1100 E.

Nice Guide and even a couple of places I wasn’t aware of.

Laurissa

Another little known but very unique spot is the Gilgal Sculpture Garden inbetween 7th and 8th east on 5th south.

http://www.gilgalgarden.org/ From their website:

Formerly the secret garden of Salt Lake, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is now a public city park, open daily for the enjoyment of all. Located at 749 East 500 South in Salt Lake City, Gilgal Sculpture Garden was envisioned, designed and created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. in the mid-twentieth century. Tucked in the middle of the block behind houses and businesses, many are still unaware of its existence and enjoy a true sense of discovery when they visit the garden for the first time. Gilgal Sculpture Garden contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts. As a whole, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is significant as the only identified “visionary art environment” in Utah.

And I’d definitely 2nd Emily’s suggestion not to miss Sam Weller’s–you could easily get lost pouring over their 3 levels of used and new books. They’re also a great resource for unique local books.

Sandi

Ahhh. I left Salt Lake 10 years ago for the UK and I still miss it. Some lovely old haunts I miss and lots of exciting new ones I’d love to visit again some day.

Ashleigh

Dolcetti Gelato just moved by the Tea Grotto! Now you get two great places in one. :)

April~Living The Sweet Life

I live in Utah Valley just south. Use to live in Salt Lake. I decided I am going to have a day trip to go to all the places listed. Since my blog is about living The Sweet Life in Utah Valley I think I will make a Utah Valley Guide for those who want to mosie on down to some of our greats like the Sundance Resort and Pizzeria 712. Great Salt Lake City list. Thanks!

Janelle

Are there any fun places to stay? My husband and I will stop there on a roadtrip, and we don’t like staying at chain hotels.
Thanks!!

Azucar

DO NOT forget to get the Kouing-aman at Les Madeleines–she’s one of the only American bakers to make this caramel-y pastry in the entire U.S.

I just had a conversation with Ron, who owns The Green Ant, that I hate when his shop is publicized because it feels like my little paradise of MCM chic, but he deserves to be more well known. He has a great eye and his prices are rock bottom.

Liberty Heights Fresh is INSANE–you must go for their wall of imported cheeses and meats.

And for you book fiends (you know who you are) Ken Sander’s Rare Books (right around the corner from The Green Ant) is a must visit.

I also love Vosen’s Bread Paradise on 2nd south and 3rd west–great German bakery with Kipferl, krapfen, Nusskipferl, baurenbrot, and you name it.

Amy

@Janelle The Peery Hotel is a nice option that’s centrally located, has decent prices and has a nice, boutique hotel feel. Hotel Monaco is fun (even though it is technically part of the Kimpton Hotel chain). If you want to stay in a nice place outside of the city, the Clif Lodge at Snowbird is really beautiful.

Nathan

Great writeup Amy! I’m very keen to check some of these places out this month. And Junky Heirloom is the real deal. Way to bring it.

Sara

one more place to add for sugarhouse would be AgeCage on 21st S and 9th E. my new favorite place to shop – this store has super cute retro/vintage furniture, knick knacks, and don’t miss out on their killer dead-stock sunglasses. the owners are very friendly and helpful. their inventory sells itself!
http://grassrootsmodern.com/2008/03/18/age-cage-salt-lake-city/

Cara

The Inn on the Hill is in downtown and is a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast
http://www.inn-on-the-hill.com/
Also for Italian in the Sugarhouse area Michaelangelo’s should be added to the list. Their gorgonzola gnochi’s are fantastic. I also second the Home and Again shout out. It is one of my favorite consignment shops. I can’t wait to go back to Salt Lake this summer!

Deb Schiff

This is so useful! Thanks a bunch. We go visit my in-laws in the Alta foothills a few times a year — in fact, our next trip is the end of July. Now I’m looking forward to it even more.

AT

I second Takashi being one of the best sushi places around. I’ve had sushi in CA, Hawaii, Beijing and Hong Kong–and Takashi is still by far the best. They have awesome, creative rolls.

ROXY MARJ

YAY!! How cool! My dear friend Jenny Kwok [cutxpaste.com] just forwarded this to me & was just visiting me last weekend. I just moved to Salt Lake City [trolley square area] 3 weeks ago from New York City!! :) it has been quite the adjustment [because I don’t have a car and I desperately miss the subway] but riding around on bikes here is soooooooo fun! And everyone is soo friendly! Plus, the thrift stores! Always amazing finds!! :)

Susie

Yay, thank you so much! I grew up in Sandy and moved to Phoenix when I was 21. My husband and I were just back there for a visit and I was delighted at how SLC has grown. Even he had to admit we found some cool little spots. I’m emailing this to him now to aid in my quest to move back home!

Alison

Great guide–I went to grad school in SLC and this brings back a lot of memories!

JamieLynne

My Oh My… I have been waiting for a SLC guide.. I have lived here all my life and feel like I haven’t even skimmed the surface… what a wonderful guide. Thank you so much..

Kim

I moved away 4 years ago and this brought back some great memories. The Avenues Bakery was great (best grilled cheese sandwiches!). Also loved the Red Iguana for its moles and Ichiban has the best sushi! Oh, and I sure miss the scones at Coffee Garden!

mateo

as a long-time native (but happy to have moved on)…one must not forget to eat at Lone Star Taqueria. I think its on Fort Union Blvd in the burbs.

Marque Holt

Holla! SLC in the house! I live on broadway, LOVE the gallery stroll every third friday of the month!

But also, don’t forget Yellow Bird Fabrics 2828 East 3300 South SLC, UT 84109 801.466.3110
Cute Lady, cute shop, cute fabrics!

And if you’re going to Model Citizen, buy something by designer local designer Jordan Halverson, you won’t be disappointed!

Lulu

I almost moved away from Utah but as I grew older I realized how much I LOVE UTAH!!! There’s sooo much to do. Recreation, food, people, shopping, the view, entertainment, close to Vegas, close to LA (flights are 30-60mins) Don’t let the “mormon” thing scare you. Lots of us aren’t.

eva / sycamore street press

Amy, you’ve done an amazing job with this guide. Perfect timing for us, since we just moved back to the beehive state and I’m excited to start exploring it again.

I can’t think of anything to add – in SLC anyway. Now we need one for Provo and another for Park City/Heber.

alana

This is a great list! The only thing I would add is: Keys on Main (a great piano bar downtown where everyone sings along), and right next door is Sam Wellers(the oldest independent book store in Salt Lake.

traci

Kim- sorry to say, the avenues bakery has closed. They said that rent got too costly.
I moved to salt lake 6 years ago and I love it. Thanks for the guide, we now have some new restaurants to check out.
My favorite sandwich spot downtown is Toasters on the south side of the salt palace, across the road on 200 s. They toast their sandwiches and put a perfect amount of balsamic vinaigrette, mmmhhmmm.

Amy

@Traci I can’t believe I forgot Toasters! I love that place. I wholeheartedly second that one. Also when you’re there, check out the Milka chocolate and illy coffee.

Bobbi

I laughed out loud when I read “i’ve been dying to check out utah for years now” because it reminded me of how naive I was 5 years ago before I moved here! But really, SLC is a wonderful place to live:) Your list has most of my favorite spots, plus a few. I would add Aristo’s, a delicious locally ownded Greek restaurant. Also, SLC has some wonderful community events such as the Living Traditions and the Arts Festivals!

Shannon

I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and enjoy it!
Cool post! We just got back from a trip to see family in SLC. They introduced me to Cafe Rio. WOW, YUM! I had to eat there three times on our trip.

holly - livingston & porter

So timely! Off to SLC in a week or so and haven’t been in a long time! Thanks for all the scoop- will definitely use this as my guide and appreciate all the feedback!

jenny

I’d like to add the downtown restaurant MARTINE.
located in downtown’s only brownstone, chef Tom Grant rocks! great wine list and fabulous food from around the mediterranean sea. check it out.
http://martinecafe.com/

Diana McKee

I grew up in SLC and just moved back to Utah after 20 wonderful years in Austin, TX. As a Realtor, I am always looking for good sources of information to send to my clients. Your guide to SLC is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah

what about cucina’s in the ave’s one of my favorites for when i go home.

Michelle

what a great, comprehensive guide. I wish I’d had it with me 7 years ago when I was in Salt Lake city!

This is not in SLC, but I visited a really cute boutique in Park City (about 45 min away) called Bunya Bunya.

Becky

Wonderful guide! A few more worthwhile spots to add to your great list:

Cucina- in the avenues (1036 2nd Ave) for Deli style soups, sandwiches, lots of varieties of salads, and gourmet groceries.

Gourmandise- Salt Lake’s only traditional french bakery with numerous pastries, cakes, tarts, and other desserts. They also serve great lunch items like curry chicken salad!

Desert Edge- a great local brew pub at the historic Trolley Square Mall. All original brews with patio seating, and amazing house pasta salads.

Frescas- (which someone already mentioned) for delicious fine dining at a fun neighborhood cafe. Must try the gnocchi appetizer.

Aristos- located on 1300 E across from the University. Best Greek food in town. They also have live music on Thursdays and a great upscale atmosphere.

Lily's Dad

Great stuff, Amy!

I would like to suggest a great eating and wine drinking spot in the Aves… The Wild Grape on S. Temple and E Street. It’s like getting out of Utah for an evening. Great wine list, superb servers (request Eric, he’s the best of a great bunch) and great specials. Lamb burger is also a tasty little treasure. Rick Longoria from Los Olivos’ own Longoria will be there on the 11th of July I think, pairing his wines with the Grape’s dishes.

Lily's Dad

And actually it’s “Fresco’s” on 15th & 15th (behind The King’s English bookstore).

Emily

Ooooh- I loved that. I used to live in Utah but never took full advantage of it. PLEASE do Charlotte, NC

Grace

Emily- we already did charlotte :) just click on guides in the left menu and scroll down

Grace :)

Andrea

don’t miss seeing the chihuly piece in the symphony hall (abravanel hall)- even from a distance at night it glows thru the windows! i go to utah almost every year for skiing, but always head straight for the hills. last year was the first time i spent some time in SLC, and was so impressed! can’t wait to take this list with me next march!

Karley

This guide is fantastic! I’d like to add a few:

The Tin Angel Cafe (365 W 400 N) they use all local, fresh ingredients.

Normandie (just moved to 1984 Murray Holladay Rd) great lunch spot for delicious salads and sandwiches and most importantly a sugar cookie(butterdream) that makes me weak in the knees!

Ben’s Cookies (The Gatesay, 158 S. Rio Grande Street) the most amazing cookies! and the only other place to get them is in the UK.

Hagermann’s Bakehouse Cafe (15 W South Temple, plus 2 other locations) the turkey pomodoro sandwich with tomato bisque is pure bliss.

Now and Again (501 E 300 S) the hip new consignment shop with mid-century modern finds.

Sean

Pretty great list! SLC is such an amazing city, and I haven’t regretted moving here from NY for a single moment.

kate

Thank you so much! I live in Salt Lake and people are always asking me why I live in Utah. Now I have the perfect answer all wrapped into one neat package. And this will make my parents’ next visit so much easier – so many fantastic suggestions.

I also second the person who mentioned the Kouing-amans. Amazing.

Pam

BEVALO! Bevalo, located in the old meat pies space, has the BEST COFFEE EVER! They also show art that rotates monthly and they participate in the downtown arts walk. BEVALO!

Venessa

Thanks for this!! I live just outside of SLC and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming of other places and you forget that SLC is actually really cool!

Large Marge

This list is pretty amazing but there is a bit of an east side bias. If you are looking for amazing authentic Thai food check out “My Thai” on 14th South and 3rd West. It looks like a dive but their food is spectacular! Totally worth the trip to the other side of the valley.

Dale

Thanks for this article!
Salt Lake City is the best kept secret in the West. It has more arts, culture, amazing architecture and inspiring people than I have ever found ina any other city, let alone a city of its size. My partner and I are moving there full time in the fall and I can’t wait. If you haven’t gone; go. (But I do recommend you keep within the liberal downtown area… )

Britta

Check out the new restaurant Pago at 9th & 9th. Only a month out of the gates, it definitely ranks about SLC’s finest and hippest.

Kim Cherrine-Bell

I am going to be the third to recommend shopping Home Again (consignment housewares) in SLC. This one of those places that changes merchandise so quickly ,it needs to be visited weekly. One of the only shops in the area that not only carries vintage and some antique furnishings, but several times a year gets a large portion of the inventory from several of the different parade of homes in different parts of Utah (high end at DEEPLY discounted prices)…The owner Emily is more than happy to let customers know when these items will be coming in, just ask. They also carry a line of furniture made LOCALLY from reclaimed wood and locally discarded furniture that is reclaimed and made into new and funky designs…… think bed benches, unusual kitchen center islands, potting benches, door sofas, door hall trees and other goodies…(small disclaimer my husband and I make this line of furniture and sell here and at EmilyJaynes)…..Also putting it out there that people who want to come here to shop, can have unique and free accomodations by joining couch surfing.org…….Many of us in Salt Lake City love to host strangers(not to stange though) and put them up for a few days(SLC really is a very friendly place, just not always in the MONEY ends of town)…..We also offer tour of our terribly messy studio to anyone who stays with us(around the corner from Kilby court……many of the artists in SLC have their studios in this area)……Come explore our city! You will Love it, if you have people who can give you the 411…….Loads more than is listed here………

Alison

YEAH! Salt Lake City is the best people. As a local I give your guide two big thumbs up!

As mentioned by another, I love to Sugarhouse BBQ too! It’s a great place to take visitors, it really is fun, not too pricey, and they’ve got yummy sides!

And if you’re into cheap fatty food hit up a Crown burger too. Mmmmmm fry sauce.

xoxo

Lisa

WOW! I have never seen a list that is so complete. Great job!
I frequent many of places on your list.
Thanks!
I would love to add just a plain old Ice Cream shop, Leatherby’s. The one to go to is on North Temple, across from the Red Iguana, it is the best location.
The owners use fresh ingredients and make everything from scratch.

The best HOT FUDGE ever. But also the home made soups and bread. Thanks again!!!

katie

This makes me miss SLC even more. My husband and I went to school there, but left 2 years ago. I miss all these great places you listed, and how easy it is to get around and really know your city.

Does “One World Cafe” still exist downtown? I loved that place because they always had different dishes to try, and you paid whatever you could afford/thought the food was worth. It was a fun, eclectic experience for all!

Jen of Sparrow Originals

I am so excited that you mentioned Model Citizen! It is such a cool shop and is definitely worth a visit. The prices are reasonable and your purchases directly benefit local designers. And, for the sake of full disclosure, my handmade bags are for sale there, too :)

amelia

AWESOME list. I moved here from LA and LOVE SLC. Visitors: downtown proper is pretty torn up (the old shopping centers, ZCMI and Crossroads, are being rebuilt) and will be until 2011. Don’t let that scare you from visiting though!

If Red Iguana is too packed, Rio Grande is a second favorite Mexican food spot for us. Big City Soup is another favorite.

@katie – One World Cafe is definitely still open.

Karen Berg

Thank you so much for posting on one of my most favorite cities! Having gone to school in Utah, I truly feel like it is my 2nd home. What a fabulous list, am sending this link to all my friends and family who still reside there. Thanks for the mention on Cafe Rio, we just did a dinner party with a menu inspired by this fab restaurant! Am saving this info for my next trip up there!

judybritsch

If you go south of SLC, be sure to add “Spark”, a fabulous upscale restaurant in Provo that shouldn’t be missed. Owned by a young man from Utah, who worked in the Bay Area and picked up love of gourmet cuisine, hired a terrific chef, and opened a one of a kind restaurant/lounge (non-alcoholic).

Madison

I love this guide! I now have a lot of new places I will need to check out.

But it’s actually Apt 202, not “Apartment 202″ and what is with all the doubled up names?

Lisa

Does anyone have recommendations for a place to stay in SLC? We are looking for something under 100/night for the end of July. Don’t want a big hotel-prefer small and unique space. Thanks.

Kristin

Lisa- check out B&B’s in the area.. personally Ive heard great things about “Wildflowers B&B” and “Armstrong Mansion”.

Hey for those of you visiting our area…
Dont forget to come check out Ogden, everyone… 25th street is truly amazing. Literally just steps off the front runner commuter train. Farmers market every Saturday, Perry’s egyptian theatre, 30 minutes to THREE ski resorts…
Boutiques include: Ume, Slavy, 25th street apparel, Little Cherry Blossoms (for the kids), and 25th street boutique.
AMAZING restuarants too.. from Union grill, the Athenian, Bistro 258, Artisan Grille, Tona Sushi Bar & Grill, Jasoh, Roosters Brewing Company… and some really fun bars too!

Ogdens a great place to come visit as a day trip or overnight trip in addition to a SLC trip.

Bobbi

Be careful going to Gilgal Gardens (@ Laurissa) too close to dusk. We got locked in and had quite an adventure trying to get out!

Lisa

Thanks Kristin! We are staying at wildflowers next week :)

becky

don’t forget about the Broadway theater. one of the only places around to see foreign and independent films. it’s a great place!

JD

Awesome guide. Koko Kitchen has been one of my favorite little Japanese hangouts for years.

Also love the Sugarhouse area – so many little places tucked here and there. Another couple stores in Sugarhouse worth mentioning are
“Back Yard Birds”. Perfect for bird lovers, but also an awesome place to find unique “yard art” or a very special gift. And the other one is the Sundance Outlet which is all the cool stuff from the Sundance Catalog at a lot lower prices – one of a kind jewelry, clothing, furniture, rugs, leather bags and suitcases, shoes and a whole lot more.

Rochelle

Oh, thank goodness for this guide! Yay, SLC! I’ve spent my entire life in the Sugarhouse area, and I knew it would pay off eventually! Just have to throw my two cents in.

Red Iguana is great, but they get packed really quickly. Unless you’re going for lunch, get takeout or plan on waiting for a loooong time! If you aren’t a mole fan, the enchilada sauce is incredible. No- incredible doesn’t sum it up adequately. It’s beyond fantastic! As someone else suggested, the Rio Grande is another awesome Mexican choice, with really great atmosphere (in an old train station- paper mache woman stuffed in a taco hanging from the ceiling, surrounded by a train set, with local art on the walls). I’ve heard the margaritas are killer, too.

Yes- One World Cafe is still around, but I believe Big City Soup closed this year. I heard they have a cookbook waiting in the wings, though. If you’re in the mood for soup, though, and you’re in the Sugarhouse area, check out the Soup Kitchen. Best tomato soup ever. Seriously. And it should be noted that in Utah, if you order a “scone,” you get fry bread, not a biscuit-like baked good.

And I’m shocked that no one has mentioned this, but when in Utah, you have to try fry sauce. It’s basically mayo and ketchup, and I know how gross that sounds, but good gravy it makes or breaks a french fry! Every restaurant here makes their own version- some with barbecue, some with mustard, some with “secret” ingredients- but they’re always good.

Oasis is my favorite restaurant, and they have an awesome bookstore in the same building. Best breakfast in town, in my opinion.

If you’re looking for a brew pub, don’t miss Red Rock. Great food, great beer, and home-brewed soda, too.

And as for Ogden, I work there, and I have to say, don’t waste your time. The farmer’s market doesn’t even compare to Salt Lake, and you will be disappointed if you’ve ever been to a farmer’s market before. There’s some decent restaurants, but amazing? No. If you’re going to make a day trip, make it to Park City or skip over Ogden, go to Brigham City in the summer, and visit all the roadside fruit stands. They do have a cool museum in the old train station, great trails in the greater Ogden valley (visit Weber Pathway’s website for details), and a dinosaur museum, if you have little ones. If you’re already in Utah, it could be worth the trip, but if you’ve never been here, don’t bother.

Thanks for finally doing a Salt Lake guide! You made my day!

James Webster

Great list. I am also a fellow expat and make it out to Salt Lake for work every once in a while. One addition though… for those vegetarians out there Sage Cafe (just east of nobrow) is a must. I would rank it one of the better casual Veggie cafe’s that I have been to in my travels.

Krissy

The king’s English is fantastic. It’s on 15th and 15th, it is the little book store if you are looking for a good read and a great experience.

I absolutely hate Model Citizen, don’t waste your time going in there unless you are dressed perfectly indie and in style. They look at you like you’re not cool enough to shop there. Not to mention their merchandise is mediocre

Anna

I’ve lived in Salt Lake my whole life (except for a brief bout in colorado for school) and I have missed out on so many of these great places, can’t wait to be re-introduced this weekend! Thank you!

Utah Photographer, Amanda

Oh wow! What a comprehensive list. I was just going to write something similar to this to publish online with my favorites, but many already appear here ! I hope it’s ok to forward this to visiting family and friends. I may print it out and just highlights some favorties.

~Amanda

Dave

Anybody remember a musician from Salt Lake name Phil Buble aka Spider Blue…. played a lot at DB Coopers’ back in the early 1980’s? I’d love to learn more about him or connect with folks who know/knew him.

Disha

Thanks a lot for the entire information on SLC. Well, Amy I must say that you are an excellent guide. It is really amazing that you have portrayed the whole Salt Lake City in your post. And trust me, the list of attractions that you have added in the post is awesome. Keep up the good work.

Allie

Great guide! I frequet all mentioned and can vouch for the list. I have really appreciated the growth of boutiques in the Salt Lake area over the past couple years. One I haven’t seen mentioned and really like – Q Clothing on 1300 South and 900 east. Great prices and finds.

I haven’t seen the restaurant Pago mentioned yet. It’s pretty new and will most likely need a reservation. It’s artisan food in 9th and 9th area uses a lot of locally grown stuff. Meals are mostly in $20 dollar range and is fantastic!

If you are in town for skiing at one of the cottonwood canyon resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude) Best Burger and hole in the wall place is Cotton Bottom. Porcupine is a good all around american food spot at the mouth of those canyon’s as well and carries local beers.

Really great local painters that I have found – Bradford Overton and Zach Hixson. I believe both have websites (just google name).

Best two Thai food places hands down – Chanon Thai 9th south and 2nd east. Pawitt’s don’t know exact address but it’s by cottonwood mall.

For huge list of imorted beers go to Bayou(retaurant/bar) on State street and 7th or 8th south or Beer Hive (bar) Main Street and around 2nd south.

Coffee on the go I love Cafe Esspresso for my drive thru fix (great quality stuff and happy staff). They have several locations: 9th &9th, 2100 south and 6th east, highland and abouth 3900 south……

Allie

One more resaurant – Pat’s BBQ on an off street by 2100 south and west temple ish area. They were featured on one of the food network shows and have the best bbq

Marie

Okay, I live just south of downtown and didn’t know about half of these great places! Thanks for helping guide me into my own city!!

I’m excited to meet you this weekend!

Carly

Don’t forget about Sam Weller’s Bookstore, one of the greatest new/used book stores in the country! And the bets cajun food to be had in the state is found downtown at The Bayou, which also boasts a truly impressive beer list.

Matthew

Though, I’ve never been to SLC I’ve become pretty obsessed with moving there. It looks amazing!

Katie

Great! It was such a thrill to read this.

I would suggest Eva’s restaurant on Main street…great tapas late at night.

Also the Broadway theatre!! *you mentioned Tower* but Broadway is bigger and better! All independent movies

Morgan

Local SLC-ians, if you could pick ONE location to spend a day shopping, grabbing coffee, enjoying lunch, etc, where would it be? I have a six hour layover of sorts, and I’d like to take a cab to one destination and see this beautiful city :).

Nicole

I love this list, but am suprised not to see SLC’s local breweries. Squaters, Red Rock, and Desert Edge don’t have mind blowing food, but it’s not bad. You’ll also get to try beer brewed the Utah way (3.2 alcohol).
I would also recommend Red Butte Gardens in the University area. Beautiful gardens and they have a great summer concert series as well.

Keith W

Your list of Salt Lake high points is practically perfect. One thin missing: when you go to Les Madeleines you must have their signature pastry, the Kouing aman (pronounced Queen A-Mon), flakey croissant-type layered deliciousness, with crystalized sugar, tender on the inside. Featured on the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Also, must include the Cooper Onion in best new eats (on Broadway next to the theater. Wonderful mussels and (I know this will sound weird) chicken soup to die for.

Tabitha

love the local business support! I work at Retro Rose on Broadway… 50’s, 60’s & 70’s Retro and Kitsch’

nicole Schweppe

Cafe Rio is the best! Ive gone there nearly once a week for over 8 years. One of my favorites, always fresh and nice employees. Tiburon in Sandy is me and my husbands favorite sit down restaurant, Its in Sandy, just south of SLC. Best steak Ive ever had, and in the summer they have live music out on the patio.

Marlene

I used to live about 45 mins north of SLC but loved to go into town and shop at Green Ant and Elements. My everyday dishes came from Green Ant, Heath Sea and Sand, a complete set for 75 dollars, what a deal.

Lisa

In Sugarhouse we must mention Home Again (10 E 21 S) and the Soup Kitchen (11 E 21 S)…

Anika

AHH!! No Beehive Tea Room?! I’m pretty sure there could be an entire Design Sponge article dedicated to the visually glorious nostalgic mastery of this quaint throwback (which also happens to serve delicious food, has an incredible selection of tea AND cold beer!)…sigh. I want to lift it up and bring it to where I live.

Beth - Australia

Was searching the net for info on SLC and came across this blog. Thanks so much for a great site. We are visiting SLC in September 2011 and this has been a great help, sounds like a great place.

julie

just an update…acme burger is closed and dolcetti moved to the old starbucks location on the southeast corner of 9th & 9th.

Mendy

My friends and I are obsessed with Sawadee’s (Thai Restaurant – 754 East South Temple, SLC) and La Cai Noodle House (Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisines- 961 South State Street, SLC). We are never disappointed at either place! Great atmospheres and delicious food!

Jo

Just an update. Hatch’s Family Chocolates has moved to 8th Ave, just east of LDS Hospital. Love the list!

Dan

Born and raised in the great state of Utah. You have covered the bery best features found in our state. The newest addition, to add to your shopping guide, is the opening of Pebbles & Twigs Consignment Furniture located at 150 S. State Street right in downtown Salt Lake. You can also check us out at http://www.pebblesandtwigs.com.

rachel

i visited salt lake city my husband over the past weekend and used this post as a guide. we got some delicious cookies at Ruby Snap (used to be Dough Girls) and pizza at Settebello. We spent a day snowboarding at Solitude, thanks to a tip from the Utah Ski & Golf, where we rented our boards for a GREAT price (cheaper thean shipping our own boards!) and got discount lift tickets. Thanks for the tips!

liz

i will be near the convention center this week with a group from work. what neighborhood should i look at for restaurants?

thanks.

Sharee

The new City Creek mall just opened up and has lots of great shopping and food options. Johnny Kolache is a cute little European type deli with yummy little sandwiches 248 west 900 south. The owners are super nice. Another favorite is a Czech restaurant Bohemian Brewery. I don’t drink but I heard the beer is amazing. 94 Fort Union boulevard in Midvale. Their Garlic fries are yum plus their Goulash is amazing! I am excited to check out some of the places on your list.

Debalina

More updates-
Closures: Metropolitan restaurant
Renamed: Dough Girl is now Ruby Snap
Salt Lake Art Center is now the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
Cafe Niche is now Niche
Relocated: ten Thousand Villages moved downtown from Sugarhouse, to 120 S. Main St

Fishing4Deals

The absolute best bargain place to stay is the Little America Hotel, which you can often get on Priceline for about half of the rack rate.

Lucilu

The Natural History Museum of Utah NHMU is a bucket list item! If you are in Salt Lake and have any interest in natural resources, don’t miss this national treasure. This exquisite new museum is an architectural marvel as well as offering all sort of awesome hands on exhibits: paleontology, dinosaurs, plants, water, geography, Native Amercian, astronomy. Something for everyone kids and adults alike.

Pig & A Jelly Jar is a funky little restaurant on 401 E 900 South – great waffles & fried chicken. Netx door to The Tea Grotto which has all sorts of teas.

If you are an indepedent bookstore junkie – don’t miss The King’s English on 15th South and 15th East. Lots of nooks and cranies to explore and offers many readings and meet the author type events. Friendly employees eager to help you.

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