Best of Utah 2017 | Our annual celebration of the Best our state has to offer is here! | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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    Best Bar Menu
    Whiskey Street

    Don't you loathe a lame menu riddled with spelling errors and a design concept including and definitely limited to a logo and Comic Sans font? Whiskey Street's 16-pager includes Brigham Young's endorsement of profiting from "spirituous liquors," Mark Twain's review of Mo-made Valley Tan whiskey, and much more local historical info re: booze. What's more, it anticipates noob queries with edifying blurbs about types of beer and whiskey, along with food pairing suggestions. Also, it has jokes. (RH)
    323 S. Main, 801-433-1371,
    2nd place: Piper Down an Olde World Pub
    3rd place: The Bayou and Purgatory Bar (tie)

    Best Beer Selection
    The Bayou

    It's easy to be stunned to inaction by the cornucopia of choices on The Bayou's brew menu. The beauty of this place is, if you find yourself in such a dilemma, you can close your eyes, circle your finger and point to anything on the list and pick a winner. And, as a bonus, you'll expand your horizons. (RH)
    645 S. State, 801-961-8400,
    2. Beer Bar
    3. Beerhive Pub

    Best Craft Cocktails

    "Craft cocktail" is a fancy way of saying you've come up with a fancy way to get drunk. And that's fine, because innovation is awesome—without it, we'd be stuck swillin' jungle juice and Jack-and-Cokes. So high-five, Bar-X, on your crafty signature concoctions made with fresh ingredients and a diabolical mixological mind. (RH)
    155 E. 200 South, 801-355-2287,
    2. Water Witch
    3. Zest Kitchen & Bar


    Best Dance Club
    Area 51

    You can dance anywhere, but go ahead and do it in a club if you've gotta be a vanilla mainstream dial-tone of a person. Area 51 is the Baskin-Robbins of dance clubs. There aren't quite 51 flavors, but on most nights, three rooms pump out everything from Top 40 to retro '80s to EDM and goth-industrial. And when orchestral stoner opera-core becomes a thing, you'll hear that, too. (RH)
    451 S. 400 West, 801-534-0819,
    2. Sky SLC
    3. The Westerner

    Best Dive Bar
    Cheers to You

    Like most dives, there's a strange duality to Cheers. At first, it's a place in which to hide—but soon enough, it's also where everybody knows your name. It's cozy, but not Martha Stewart spotless. But mostly, it's somewhere you don't have to pretend. You can do you and, if the night goes well, maybe somebody else. Failing that, you can get American Idol-drunk and sing karaoke. (RH)
    315 S. Main, 801-575-6400
    2. Twilite Lounge
    3. X-Wifes Place

    Best Gentlemen's Club

    For Utah's flesh aficionados, your first visit to Trails is a rite of passage. It signals the time when the Legislature—which has already generously bestowed upon Younger You the right to vote, smoke and die for 'Murica—declares you ready to view in real life the bewbs you've already seen unobscured by pasties online. And with the enhancement of alcohol! If Trails had a school song, now would be the time to sing it. (RH)
    921 S. 300 West, 801-363-2871,
    2. Exotic Kitty
    3. Southern X-Posure on Beck

    Best LGBTQ Club
    The Sun Trapp

    Named in honor of the oldest gay club in town, The Sun, and another classic LGBTQ haunt, The Trapp, it's a neighborhood bar in front and a party in the back, with a bumpin' dance floor, great DJs, cold drinks, good food and fun, friendly people. And if the power ever goes out, the party keeps raging (see bartender for story). (RH)
    102 S. 600 West, 385-235-6786,
    2. Club Jam
    3. Club Try-Angles

    Best Late-Night Grub
    Pie Hole

    It's surprising how difficult it can be to find late-night munchies that don't come from diarrhea merchants, convenience stores or strangers. And yet, there's this oasis where you can stuff your hole with all kinds of pie (you know what I mean) until as late as 3 a.m.! Even better: It's damned tasty pizza. (RH)
    344 S. State, 801-359-4653,
    2. Alberto's and Beto's (tie)
    3. Dee's

    Best Karaoke
    Piper Down

    When you're blotto, you can sing. It's true. You can decide that ginger equals Irish. The two together, plus a passing knowledge of music from Eire, can lead to mush-mouthed, often off-key recitations of classic lyrics like, "If I should ever fall from grace," "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral," "Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak" and "Ooooooh Danny Boyyyy, the somethin'-somethin'-sooomethin'." And that's just fun. (RH)
    1492 S. State, 801-468-1492,
    2. The Tavernacle
    3. Highlander Club


    Best Neighborhood Bar
    A Bar Named Sue

    A neighborhood bar doesn't need much beyond a liquor license, refrigeration, ATM, walls, roof, seating and working, semi-clean bathrooms. Sue spoils Millcreek residents with its good eats and cold drinks, plus plenty of stuff to do: pool, foosball, beer pong, trivia, live music and a whole lot more. Plus, you know, all of the staples mentioned above. (RH)
    3928 S. Highland Drive, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222,
    2. Dick 'N' Dixie's
    3. Campfire Lounge

    Best New Bar
    Lake Effect

    When you can name your place after SLC's stankiest stank and still nab the readers' pick for Best New Bar, your place is something special. Or hipsters love irony. 'Cause this Lake Effect smells like a rose, with Mexi Mondays (half-price tacos all day), Tasting Tuesdays (learn while slaying brain cells!), Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays drink specials, live music and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays and food specials all weekend long. Cheers to that. (RH)
    155 W. 200 South, 801-532-2068,
    2. Water Witch
    3. White Horse Spirits & Kitchen

    Best Ogden Bar

    What makes Alleged the alleged best? It's mainly the classy atmosphere and ambrosial imbibe-ables. And there's that rooftop bar—Ogden's first, where they book local (Night Marcher, Sego) and touring bands (Dead Meadow, The Outer Vibe) for incredible fresh-air shows. It helps that it has historical coolness in its past identity as the best little whorehouse in O-Town. (RH)
    201 25th St., Ogden, 801-990-0692,
    2. Funk 'n' Dive
    3. Brewskis

    Best Open Mic

    Is there anything better than the randomness of an open-mic night? You can sit in judgment of others and thrill to a rainbow of talent that arcs from hilarious to horrible. On a good night, there's representation from both ends and, hopefully, little from the middle. Because good stand-up comedy is evergreen, and awkward humor is so in right now. (RH)
    194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233; 269 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-5588,
    2. The Royal
    3. Greenhouse Effect

    Best Park City bar

    Owned by Danny Masterson—aka Hyde from That '70s Show—"Downstairs" might refer to Eric Forman's basement, where the gang got razzle-dazzled on Topher Kush. Now, don't expect to do that here, or the décor to include ugly couches and old Maytags. It does, however, boast a "comfortable and contemporary atmosphere," with a large dance floor and local and touring DJ bookings. And legend has it that Masterson hits the deck on occasion. (RH)
    625 Main, Park City, 435-615-7200,
    2. Park City Live and OP Rockwell (tie)
    3. The Spur Bar & Grill

    Best Pool Bar
    Big Willies

    Nope, it's not a swim-up bar—but there are sharks that can smell green felt, blue chalk and easy money from miles away. Usually, you'll find 'em stalking around Big Willies' seven Diamond pool and snooker tables, doing crazy geometric calculations in their heads, all toward sinking balls and pocketing the money of unsuspecting fish like you. Fancy a game? I'm not very good. (RH)
    1717 S. Main, 801-463-4996,
    2. Johnny's on Second
    3. A Bar Named Sue


    Best Sports Bar

    The Bible says that, on the annual federal holiday Super Bowl Sunday, "Thou shalt eat the meat of pigs while watching overpaid athletes toss their skins." So thank you, Lumpys, for enabling us to stay faithful to the Holy Trinity: Sports, food and booze. Anyone who's been there knows that, while watching The Game on their gaggle of screens, you can feast and swill like a king on their cheap wings, tacos, pizzas, mimosas, Jameson shots, et cetera, and leave with a burning in your bosom. (RH)
    145 W. Pierpont Ave., 801-883-8714; 3000 S. Highland Drive, 801-484-5597,
    2. 'Bout Time Pub & Grub
    3. Fiddler's Elbow

    Best Theme Night
    Fetish Ball at Area 51

    Dear Lady Marmalade, I would consider it an honor and a privilege if you would accompany me to the fetish ball and dildo cotillion at Lord Roswell's estate. Area's long-running monthly event is all about pretending and playing dress-up, letting your freak flag or stockings fly high. To wit, there's a different theme every time, ranging from all-leather to stuff like health-care professionals. But you don't have to dress up to participate; voyeurism is a fetish, too. So come forth, adult babies and eyeball-lickers! (RH)
    451 S. 400 West, 801-534-0819,
    2. Reggae Thursdays at The Royal
    3. Burlesque & The Beats at Prohibition


    Best Dance Classes
    DF Dance Studio

    Our miscellaneous grab-all category lives to see another year. From Argentine tango to hip-hop, from ballroom to Brazilian zouk, you can get a taste for the way people move in every corner of the world at DF. Take a private lesson if you'd like to keep your inexperience between you and your instructor, or take an adult class that matches your level of experience. With a six-nights-a-week schedule, there's no excuse not to unleash your inner dancer. (SR)
    2978 S. State, 801-466-0490,
    2. Best swimming—Jewish Community Center
    3. Best permanent makeup—Bareface Artistry

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