Best Pub-Quiz Night
The Big Shiny Geek Show Pub Quiz
Leave it to a pair of pop-culture masters to put together a quiz for Wednesday nights, just when people need a pick-me-up. Rather than simply hosting a trivia program, founders Shannon Barnson and City Weekly contributor Bryan Young create their own set of questions every week to challenge even the most knowledgeable music nerds, history junkies and Jeopardy watchers. It doesn’t hurt that the evening is set at Lucky 13, where patrons can snag a tasty bite and a pint while yelling at Barnson for his musical taste, or at Young for liking films made before 1954.
Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m., 135 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-4418
2. Geeks Who Drink, Piper Down
3. Adult Trivia, The Green Pig
BAR DELUXE // PHOTO BY AUSTEN DIAMOND
Best Big Stage for Small Bands
Sure, the large Bar Deluxe stage hosts its share of big-name rock & roll, hip-hop, DJ and even burlesque and gypsy shows, but more often than not, it’s just local bands you’ve barely heard of. Instead of working up their chops on a dime-size “stage” in the corner of some bar that supplies a 40-watt bulb for a light show, one power outlet and maybe a P.A. system (if they’re lucky), bands get full access to a pro stage and sound—and not just on random weeknights, either. At Bar Deluxe, Salt Lake City outfits like ’90s Television (pictured) and many others have a place to spread out and get freaky, thanks to proprietor Kaci Tokumoto.
666 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-532-2914, BarDeluxeSLC.com
Best Booze Breath Check
If you’re not sure if that last Jager bomb put you over the edge or not, you can, for a small fee, use a BreathAdvisor kiosk to check your blood-alcohol level yourself. The info is private and isn’t stored in the machine, and the kiosk—which currently can be found in the Canyon Inn, Lumpys South, Zest Kitchen & Bar, with more coming soon—can even help you get a cab. Even for those with designated drivers, the BreathAdvisor could become the newest bar-game craze, allowing you to keep a high score of just exactly how plastered you can get—right down to the thousandth decimal point.
Best Latin Gay Party
Karamba Pachanga Nights
What happens when you mix cross-dressing go-go dancers, a pinch of Red Bull and vodka, a dash of dem-bow bass lines and lasers—lots of lasers? You get Pachanga Night at Karamba. Every Sunday evening, CJ Lara of JCL Promotions takes over Sugar House’s best Latin nightclub and offers up an LGBT-friendly night of DJs, graffiti artists—and did we mention cross-dressers?
1051 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-696-0639, Facebook.com/Club-Karamba
Best World-Rocking Mai Tai
With its music, great drinks, upscale pub food and outdoor patio, there’s lots to love about Gracie’s. But nothing starts out a dinner or bar crawl like a good buzz—and the mai tai will get you on your way. Sure, it’s pink and sweet, but there’s nothing ladylike about this rum-infused drink. After just two, you might start to forget you’re in Utah.
326 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-819-7565, GraciesSLC.com
Best Comedic Alternative
Many of Salt Lake City’s newest talents coming up through the stand-up scene are appearing at Club DJ’s for K-Town Komedy. The monthly showcase in Taylorsville has become the new place to see risk-takers and up-and-comers, as well as the occasional semi-famous comedian. If you’re looking for funny at a cheap price, K-Town is your destination.
Club DJ’s, 3849 W. 5400 South, Taylorsville, 801-964-8575
DAVID'S // PHOTO BY AUSTEN DIAMOND
Best Hemingway-esque Hideaway
If Ernest Hemingway were still alive and found himself in Utah, he would probably find the liquor laws absurd, but at least he could feel at home at David’s, telling exaggerated fishing tales in a leather seat at one of the tables in the charming, oaky steakhouse. And he’d have plenty of inspiration, too. Bar patrons can look upon the 12-foot-6-inch encased marlin behind the bar while eating a sirloin steak and drinking a cold one. The 450-pound behemoth took bar owner David Van Wagenen an hour and a half to reel in and won him first place at the 1983 International Billfish Tournament in Kona, Hawaii.
2324 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-972-9688
Best Magically Delicious Charms
The Leprechaun Inn
It’s easy to feel at home in the Lep’s full-service bar and restaurant, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only can you park by the front door, there is lots of room to spread out when you come inside, thanks to a recent expansion. You’ll be charmed by the Lep’s covered patio, its 15 HD TVs and satellite TV channels—all tuned to your favorite games—Golden Tee golf, free Wi-Fi, pool, darts, bands, daily drink specials (such as $2 Bloody Marys on Sundays) and maybe the tastiest selection of steaks, sandwiches and burgers this side of the Emerald Isle (try the blarney burger).
4700 S. 900 East, No. 6, Salt Lake City, 801-268-3294, TheLeprechaunInn.com
Best Dinner & Dancing
Habits is a 12,000-square-foot dance club armed with a huge menu, ranging from sushi to steak—any and all taste buds are welcome here. As such, Habits is a great venue for a quick meeting, events, snacks or dinner. Once the food coma wears off, you and your cohorts can get your groove on the large sunken dance floor in the center of the club.
832 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-268-2228, ClubHabits.com