BEST of UTAH 2023 | The BEST restaurants, bars, entertainment, nightlife, dishes, drinks, media, and politics in Utah. | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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    BEST OF UTAH 2023

    How can you tell when something still matters? Plenty of things linger out of sheer inertia, like Grey's Anatomy, or Republican control of Utah politics, but that doesn't mean people still actually care about them. So, as we creep towards the 40th anniversary of Salt Lake City Weekly, and bring another Best of Utah issue to you, what tells us that it all still matters?

    To put it simply: You tell us. You tell us by your participation, by your eagerness to weigh in about the people, places, businesses, artists, food and more that make Utah amazing. In 2022, 8,337 unique voters sent in a total of 163,758 votes in our various readers' choice categories; in 2023, those numbers skyrocketed to 21,543 unique voters and nearly 236,000 total votes. Not only does this provide us with a much larger sample size to rely on for our winners, but it tells us that making your voices heard about these awards is something you care enough about to spend time on voting.

    In these pages, you'll find some 550 winners—some of which will tell you how many people love the same things you love, and some of which might guide you to new discoveries that could become new favorites. Like you, we value all the enjoyment and excellence those winners bring to us. But you'll also find in these pages a testament to you, the voters, who continue to let us know that celebrating the Best of Utah matters. Consider this the write-up for one additional award: Our City Weekly readers and Best of Utah voters are also the best.

    —Scott Renshaw
    Scott Renshaw is City Weekly's longest-tenured editorial staffer, serving as film critic and arts and entertainment editor since the early aughts. He's also written the book Happy Place: Living the Disney Parks Life.

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    Utah's official state food is the sugar beet; the state snack is Jell-O. For reals! The official state cooking pot is the Dutch oven. Funeral potatoes are no doubt our signature dish. Sounds a little bit quaint and vanilla, right? But "quirky" might be a better word. Utahns are all about outdoor adventure, odd religious customs, comfort food (pastrami burgers, donuts and, of course, fry sauce!) and the art of consuming caffeine cold, or else disguised as hot chocolate. Many of us also have odd fascinations with mommy blogs and survival gear. Yes, we're a mystery inside an enigma, wrapped in Navajo fry bread: We're Utahns! Judge us by our shared obsessions in the following section we like to call: "This Is the Place." And then discover your own crazy cravings.

    Game-day delights - at RubySnap Fresh Cookies - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Game-day delights at RubySnap Fresh Cookies

    Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
    RubySnap Fresh Cookies

    There are a great many cookies in this world, each with its own special flavor. With so many to choose from, sometimes it's simplest to go with a classic. Thank goodness for RubySnap for supplying us with the "Trudy," an old-fashioned dessert snack gleaned from a family recipe. Keep a glass of milk nearby! 770 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-834-6111, rubysnap.com
    2. Chip Cookies
    3. Crumbl Cookies

    Best All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
    Little America Lucky H Buffet
    Start your day with Lucky H, fuel your noon with Lucky H, and now, end your day on a high note with Lucky H's dinner buffet. They are turning up the heat in the kitchen and carving out a feast for your senses. All your beloved Little America classics are lined up from primo prime rib to tantalizing turkey. Be sure to save room for some made-from-scratch desserts. The buffet bell is ringing; make your reservation now! 500 S. Main, SLC, 801-596-5700, saltlake.littleamerica.com/lucky-h-buffet
    2. Chuck-A-Rama Buffet
    3. Snowbasin Resort

    Best Brownies
    City Cakes & Cafe
    Once you say "vegan," most people expect a bland, tasteless product—but this place is the opposite. For more than a decade, they have impressed customers with scratch-made baked goods that are delicious. Their huge kitchen is on display to showcase their artistry and sheer volume of wonderful treats. Their vegan and gluten-free brownies are made with applesauce, leaving them super-moist even before they are frosted with chocolate, raspberry or vanilla vegan buttercream. 1860 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-359-2239; 7009 S. High Tech Drive, Midvale, 801-572-5500; citycakescafe.com
    2. Tulie Bakery
    3. BYU Creamery on Ninth

    Best Cake Bakery
    Tulie Bakery
    Walk into Tulie, and you feel peace—there's just something about the rows of perfectly frosted cakes, sumptuous French pastries and bags of buttery cookies. Maybe that something is the quality you can taste in each cake crumb and smooth slick of buttercream frosting. Whatever it is, Tulie provides richness and luxury in every sweet bite. 863 E. 700 South, SLC, 801-883-9741; 1510 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-410-4217; tuliebakery.com
    2. Mrs. Backer's Pastry Shop
    3. Granite Bakery & Bridal Showcase

    Best Cinnamon Rolls
    The Dough Lady
    While they make cookie dough and dinner bread, the star of this online kitchen is the cinnamon roll, which comes in classic brown sugar as well as other exotic flavors on a rotating menu. The Dough Lady sells frozen packs of homemade goodies to bake at your leisure. You can order and pick them up or find them at select local coffee shops; delivery's also an option. SLC pickup location: 386 N. Redwood Road, Ste. 107, North Salt Lake, doughladyslc.com
    2. Sweet V
    3. Shirley's Bakery & Café

    Best Cupcakes
    Sweet Tooth Fairy
    Founder Megan Faulkner Brown recalls waking up to the smell of honey and wheat as her mother baked bread every Saturday morning. Just as Brown's mother infused love into each loaf, Brown creates unique cupcake flavors in her kitchen, adding love to every recipe. A Cupcake Wars winner, Brown and her five locations offer her best-selling fresh strawberry cupcake, cake bites, brownies, cookies, Rice Krispies treats and almost anything sweet you can envision. Multiple locations, thesweettoothfairy.com
    2. So Cupcake
    3. Cravings—Alisha's Cupcakes

    Best Dinner Roll
    Maddox Ranch House
    Nearly every sit-down restaurant has their version of pre-meal bread. Usually it's rolls, so it's hard to stand out as No. 1, but Maddox has the edge. You know as soon as you're seated when you're greeted with the soft, tasty bread morsels that are a perfect precursor to the meal you're about to have. You may want to come for Maddox's famous fried chicken, but you'll stay for the rolls. 1900 S. Hwy. 89, Perry, 435-723-8545, maddoxfinefood.com.
    2. The Little America Hotel
    3. Kneaders Bakery & Café

    Best Dirty Soda Shop
    Swig
    It's hard to say whether Utah's dirty soda scene is more of a mixologist's mocktail vibe or snow cone-stand-for-adults, but at this stop, you can not only get your fancifully flavored soda fix, but flavored and sparkling waters, plus energy-drink-driven "revivers." A Salt Lake Valley-exclusive, this is the place to pop in for some personalized pop when you need a pick-me-up. Multiple locations, swigdrinks.com
    2. Thirst Drinks
    3. FiiZ Drinks

    Best Family Fun
    Hogle Zoo
    Thanks to successive reforms, zoos have made notable strides over the years. The best ones no longer foster neglect and shallow gawking, but rather conservation and education. Hogle is a great way to introduce the family to the beautiful creatures that populate this world in a variety of ecosystems. From daily programs and exhibits to playgrounds and a splash pad, everyone will have a full and informative day here. 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., SLC, 801-584-1700, hoglezoo.org
    2. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    3. Topgolf

    Schmidt’s Pastry Cottage - chocolate eclair - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Schmidt’s Pastry Cottagechocolate eclair

    Best Eclair
    Schmidt's Pastry Cottage
    With so many bakeries to choose from across the proverbial beehive, it's not easy to maintain a top spot on the strength of one's confections. But Schmidt's has been in the game for a long time now and, after all these years, their puff pastries still bring the goods. Topped with their signature flower of frosting, their take on the custard-filled dessert is indeed a winner. 5664 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville, 801-967-9766; 1133 W. South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, 801-280-7200; schmidtspastry.net
    2. Carol's Pastry Shop
    3. Éclair French Pastry

    Best Emergency Preparedness Store
    General Army Navy Outdoor
    If there's anything good about a swollen military budget, it's cheap military surplus available for any American, outdoorsy or not. At General Army Navy, you can get everything you need to stay prepared for all things, whether you just like to update a home stash, you live the "van life" or the ex-roommate you don't speak to anymore took off with your nice tent and camp stove after that chaotic camping trip in college. 4974 S. Redwood Road, SLC, 801-966-5556, generalarmynavy.com
    2. Smith & Edwards
    3. My Patriot Supply

    Best Family Fun: Indoor Attraction
    Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    It's hard to pursue an interest in marine biology while living in a landlocked state, but there's always something new to explore within the aquatic wonderland of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. From their core exhibits like the enormous penguin research station and the otter habitat to their outdoor playground and seasonal events, there's always something fun and educational to experience here. 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway, Draper, 801-355-3474, livingplanetaquarium.org
    2. Clark Planetarium
    3. Natural History Museum of Utah

    Best Family Fun: Theme Park
    Lagoon Amusement Park
    Try looking this good when you're 137 years old. Generations of Utahns have found out "what fun is" while screaming over the clickety clack of Lagoon's roller coasters. The park regularly adds fresh attractions, but it still feels unchanged in all the ways that count. Nothing says "it's summertime" in Utah like blasting off on The Rocket, kissing your sweetie at the top of the Ferris wheel, getting drenched on Rattlesnake Rapids or cooling off in the lazy river. 375 N. Lagoon Drive, Farmington, 801-451-8000, lagoonpark.com
    2. Evermore Park
    3. Cowabunga Bay WaterPark

    Best Hobby Shop/Gaming Store
    Game Night Games
    The pandemic found many of us playing our favorite old board games. But when we wanted to play new ones, we weren't sure which ones would be fun. GNG's staff is happy to crack open a game to show how it's played, or offer a space for you and yours to have a game night at the store. They offer collectible card games, board games, historical games and all the accessories for a fun game night at home. 2148 S. 900 East, Ste. 2, SLC, 801-467-2400, gamenightgames.com
    2. The Nerd Store
    3. Hastur Games

    Glazed and suffused: - Banbury Cross Donuts - CITY WEEKLY FILE PHOTO
    • City Weekly file photo
    • Glazed and suffused: Banbury Cross Donuts

    Best Glazed Donut
    Banbury Cross Donuts
    They cover them with icing. They fill them with jam. They even make fritters and cinnamon rolls. When it comes down to it, though, Banbury rocks the glazed department—and the sooner you discover this for yourself, the better. Handcrafted fresh each day, these sweet treats make for a delectable start to one's day. Locations in SLC, Centerville and Layton, banburycrossdonut.com
    2. Fresh Donuts & Deli
    3. Lehi Bakery

    Best Missionary-Suit Store
    Mr. Mac
    With nine Utah locations, Mr. Mac has become intertwined with LDS missionaries. Most are on a tight budget, and Mr. Mac accommodates by offering a package deal—a two-pants suit, a pair of quality shoes, four shirts, three ties and a belt—for only $595. The clothing chain was founded in the early 1960s by Fred MacRay "Mac" Christensen who died in 2019 at age 85. Asked by an interviewer how many missionaries he'd outfitted over six decades, Christensen was genuinely stumped. He'd never kept track. Finally, he smiled: "Only the good ones." Nine Utah locations, mrmac.com
    2. The Missionary Store
    3. Latter Day Suits & Formal Affair

    Best Fried Scones
    Navajo Hogan
    It may be easy to miss, but this South Salt Lake mainstay has been serving delicious frybread since 1989. Large, crisp and puffy, these succulent saucers can be served with cheese, as a dessert of honey butter and cinnamon, or as a component of the traditional Navajo Taco. Unpretentious and filling, the Navajo words shil likan ("it tastes good") are quite apt here. 447 E. 3300 South, SLC, 801-466-2860
    2. Sill's Café
    3. Jeremiah's Restaurant

    Best Fudge
    Hatch Family Chocolates
    Hatch Family Chocolate is where fudge dreams come true. Using a recipe that's been passed down for generations, Hatch's rich and creamy fudge features a unique chocolate flavor. You can choose plain or with walnuts. When you savor their fudge, you're not just eating dessert—you're experiencing a sweet Latin beat that'll make your taste buds dance the cha-cha. 376 E. 8th Ave., Ste. A, SLC, 801-532-4912, hatchfamilychocolates.com
    2. Chocolate Covered Wagon
    3. Homestead Resort

    Best Funeral Potatoes
    Garage on Beck
    For Garage on Beck to win this award after experiencing a devastating fire on Oct. 21 makes it sadly ironic. But owners hope to bring the popular roadhouse back, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that we will soon be enjoing this Midwestern marvel that's loaded with creamy, cheesy goodness and the heartiness of hash browns. If you feel inclined, donate to the staff relief fund at gofundme.com/f/garage-on-beck-fire-relief-fund. 1199 N. Beck St., SLC, 801- 521-3904, garageonbeck.com
    2. Tradition
    3. Wasatch Brew Pub

    Best Hot Chocolate
    Hatch Family Chocolates
    For the hot chocolate obsessed, Utah is blessed that Hatch has perfected a drink fit for the gods. Far from the powder mixes used by other purveyors, Hatch's proprietary process involves steaming a blend of solid chocolates (you can choose milk or dark chocolate), resulting in a rich, creamy, velvety cup of heaven with an ideal texture—not too thick or thin. It can even be made vegan, or frozen, for gosh sakes! 376 E. 8th Ave. Ste. A, SLC, 801-532-4912, hatchfamilychocolates.com
    2. Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade
    3. Ritual Chocolate

    Nothing beats a swirl of Normal Ice Cream. - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Nothing beats a swirl of Normal Ice Cream.

    Best Ice Cream Shop
    Normal Ice Cream
    Ever since Normal Ice Cream first manifested itself as a chrome airstream van inside Trolley Square, Alexa Norlin and her team have worked wonders in the medium of soft serve. Sophisticated flavors like ube, olive oil and that decadent dulcey dip have become the norm at Normal, and it's a perfect pit stop for ice cream fans with discerning palates. 169 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-696-4556, normal.club
    2. Leatherby's Family Creamery
    3. Monkeywrench

    Best Milkshake
    Iceberg Drive Inn
    A local tradition for more than 60 years now, Iceberg built its reputation on burgers and onion rings but, most of all, on its shakes. From grasshopper and Reese's to black raspberry and pistachio, there are flavors to suit every taste. Thick and towering above the rim, these daunting dairy treats are best enjoyed with others. Multiple locations, icebergdriveinn.com
    2. Nielsen's Frozen Custard
    3. Monkeywrench

    Best Ice Cream Sundae
    Leatherby's Family Creamery
    Many popular ice cream joints are content to just let their menu stagnate, but Leatherby's keeps things interesting. Sure, they've got some solid favorites like Traci's Peanut Butter Cup or Amy's Hot Fudge Brownie, but Leatherby's is no stranger to adding new sundaes that feature churros and cookie butter to the mix. Whether it's an old favorite or a new indulgence, you can pretty much guarantee you'll find something you like at Leatherby's. Multiple locations, leatherbys.com
    2. Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
    3. Normal Ice Cream

    Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
    Leatherby's Family Creamery
    Nothing appeals to younger diners quite like a mountainous Leatherby's sundae or a gooey basket of cheese fries. Watching kids of all ages light up as colorful heaps of ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallow and caramel pool on the saucer never really gets old. On top of their kid-friendly menu and wide variety of ice cream sundaes, Leatherby's casual soda-shop vibes are a welcome sight for visitors of all ages. Multiple locations, leatherbys.com
    2. Nielsen's Frozen Custard
    3. Maria's Méxican Grill

    Best National Chain Guilty Pleasure: Burger
    In-N-Out Burger
    Utah diners tend to go a bit crazy when a new fast-food chain arrives within our borders, but few of them have deserved the hype as much as In-N-Out Burger. No matter where you are in the state–or Western United States, for that matter–a Double Double from In-N-Out is going to make you happy. The quality and consistency you get here are leagues above its fast-food counterparts. Multiple locations, in-n-out.com
    2. Five Guys
    3. Shake Shack Fashion Place

    Best Muffin
    The Greenery Restaurant at the Rainbow Gardens Center
    Eating at The Greenery is an experience in itself: First, you drive up to the gardens center at the mouth of beautiful Ogden Canyon. Then, you enter a greenery-adorned restaurant, one that seems unchanged over time. Everything on the menu is a comfort, but the muffins are not to be missed. You'll get lost in the sweet, soft pillows that are the famous Mormon Muffins. And they're served with honey butter! 1875 Valley Drive, Ogden, 801-392-1777, rainbowgardens.com
    2. Vosen's Bread Paradise
    3. Red Moose Coffee Co.

    Best National Chain Guilty Pleasure: Sandwich
    Chick-fil-A
    Chick-fil-A is as dependable as the clock on your computer. The breading's texture and amount are as well-distributed as if a grandmother dipped it. The buttery bun is always soft and fresh, and the sauces range from honey mustard to barbecue to Polynesian. Despite numerous controversies and boycott attempts, the 2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index found that Chick-fil-A remained the country's favorite fast-food chain for the eighth consecutive year. Multiple locations, chick-fil-a.com
    2. Jersey Mike's Subs
    3 Firehouse Subs Millcreek

    Pie Fight: - Home of the best fruit pies - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Pie Fight: Home of the best fruit pies

    Best Fruit Pie
    Pie Fight
    Pie Fight's No. 1 spot on this list is not just a victory for this beloved 9th & 9th neighborhood bakery, but it's a victory for all of us who want more than a syrupy sweet filling in our pie. The Pie Fight team has popularized nuance and sophistication in their hand pies, and each one is a special exploration of what a dessert can be. 937 E. 900 South, SLC, 385-528-1184, thepiefight.com
    2. Pie Party
    3. Flake Pie Co.

    Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
    Laurel Brasserie & Bar
    The soberwave continues to wash over SLC, and now you can get a fine-crafted mocktail in as fine and fancy a setting as any cocktail-drinker. At The Grand America, Laurel Brasserie & Bar offers a variety of inspired zero proof bevs—among them a tamarind ginger spritz, a zingy strawberry and mint shrub and elevated teas and lemonades. 555 S. Main, SLC, 801-258-6708, laurelslc.com
    2. Urban Hill
    3. Evo Hotel Crown Bar

    Best Peanut Butter Cookie
    RubySnap Fresh Cookies
    Hardly an amateur in this field, RubySnap has concocted a truly delightful take on the peanut butter cookie with the "Penelope." A mound of moist, buttery goodness partially dipped in milk chocolate, just try not to eat the whole thing. You will discover your self-control to be less robust than originally thought. 770 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-834-6111, rubysnap.com
    2. Picnic Café
    3. Crumbl Cookies

    Best Cream Pie
    Flake Pie Co.
    Flake Pie Co. has changed the rules of pie eating. While it used to require buying two or three 9-inch pies to accommodate everyone's taste, Flake now offers personal-size pies in 4-inch disposable foil tins. Now, everyone can choose a flavor-preference all the time. Flavors loom large in classics like pumpkin and cherry and more innovative ones, such as chocolate meets caramel and cookie dough. 1665 Towne Center Drive, Ste. 3, South Jordan, 385-342-2620; 471 E. St George Blvd., St George, 435-628-2056; flakepie.com
    2. Left Fork Grill
    3. Pie Fight

    Best Meat Pie
    Fillings & Emulsions
    Though Fillings & Emulsions has made a name for itself through its creative desserts, locals know that their savory meat pies are worthy of the Best of Utah mantle. It's all about the buttery crust that Chef Diaz and his team have perfected. Come for the jewel-toned macarons, but stay for the savory Cubano meat pie and leave happy. 1475 S. Main, SLC, 385-229-4228; 1980 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 385-549-1167; fillingsandemulsions.com
    2. Crust Club
    3. The Dough Miner

    Best Remote Workspace
    Publik Coffee Roasters
    Publik, the quintessential workspace oasis, is where productivity meets artisanal charm. The coffee shop is a harmony of caffeinated creativity, where the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans harmonizes with the gentle hum of focused minds. Owner Missy Greis believes in planet-over-profit, which we love. With its sleek design, private rooms and spaces (including a large event space), abundant natural light and an ambiance that whispers "genius at work," Publik is a perfect remote work hangout. Multiple locations, publikcoffee.com
    2. Old Cuss Cafe
    3. Kiln

    A snow cone above all others: Hokulia Shave Ice - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • A snow cone above all others: Hokulia Shave Ice

    Best Snow Cone
    Hokulia Shave Ice
    Save your Delta SkyMiles and head to the nearest Hokulia for your Hawaiian sno-cone fix. Drench their extra-smooth shave ice in 50 flavors, from cotton candy to strawberry daiquiri, then scoop Farr's ice cream into the creamy core. Be warned that even the smallest size ("Short Board") can refuel two people. Sadly, Hokulia is only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Multiple locations, hokuliashaveice.com
    2. Bahama Buck's
    3. Icy Mountain

    Best Returned Missionary First Stop to Eat
    Purple Turtle
    Since 1968, the Purple Turtle has been serving old-fashioned burgers, sandwiches, fish, chicken and ice cream in their uniquely low-key manner. Often providing a first job for its youthful personnel, this eatery provides an appealingly relaxed atmosphere for those reconnecting with home turf. For the elder or sister seeking their bearings, few things say "welcome home" quite like a testudinal sign in a Tyrian hue. 85 E. State Road, Pleasant Grove, 801-785-2444, purpleturtlediner.com
    2. The Other Place Restaurant
    3. Crown Burgers

    Best Social-Media Follow for Kid-Friendly Activities
    Hogle Zoo
    Hogle Zoo's Instagram page is an animal-forward photo stream that's clever in highlighting upcoming events for kids (and adults, too, such as with events like Brewlights). Hogle's also good at reminding the community about notable "days" (think: World Gorilla Day and International Red Panda Day), while giving birthday greetings to animal residents. Also on Facebook, X, TikTok and other sites, Hogle's IG page is truly delightful. Kudos to the social media managers there; you do good. 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., SLC, 801-584-1700, hoglezoo.org, IG: @hoglezoo
    2. SLCMoms
    3. Utahs Adventure Family

    Best Social-Media Momstagram
    Jane
    Jane Williamson is the Utah mom (as she puts it) whose Insta-feed is a river of self-deprecating seasonal and topical posts. With more than 550K followers, Jane offers up a jolly satire on Utah moms and the influencer life. Doing flips off her bed and schlepping boxes of products around her house, her physical comedy alone will bring a smile to many a harried Utah mom. Instagram.com/jane
    2. Utahfunwithkids
    3. Salome Andrea

    Best Summer Camp
    Girl Scouts Camps of Utah
    Utah is very lucky to have two fantastic camps (Cloud Rim, off Guardsman Pass, and Trefoil, behind Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon) open to girls of all ages, whereas many other states have closed their camps and have been forced to sell off properties due to increased costs. Cloud Rim is a lake experience by the shore of Brimhall Lake which opened in 1937, and Trefoil is a horseback-riding camp. Both sell out every year. 445 E. 4500 South, Ste. 125, SLC, 801-265-8472, gsutah.org
    2. Wheeler Farm
    3. Rock Camp SLC

    Best Utah Heritage Site
    This Is the Place Heritage Park
    Taking pains to represent both the role of Latter-day Saint pioneers and the land's existing Native American residents, This Is the Place attempts to tell the stories of the varied stakeholders in the Utahn experience. While the set pieces will catch the eyes and ears of attendees, it's the park's large cast of cosplayers who make history come alive as prospectors, train operators, even pharmacists (who'll tell you all about 19th-century diseases). Hey, realism counts! 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave., SLC, 801-582-1847, thisistheplace.org
    2. International Peace Gardens
    3. Cove Fort

    Best Utah Small Town
    Torrey
    You could drive past it in a blink, but despite its size, this artsy town of 259 people is home to nonprofit publisher Torrey House Press, art galleries, shops and music festivals like Fort Desolation. Did we mention its proximity to Capitol Reef? Camp at one of Torrey's charming campsites or hotels, then drive just a few minutes down the road to ancient petroglyphs, hidden-gem hikes and lots of red rock. torreyutah.com
    2. Huntsville, Utah
    3. Kanab

    Best Utah Swear Word
    "Mike Lee"
    The essence of the "Utah swear" is clear: using words that are not offensive on their face in such a way that you know they represent something truly vulgar. In that sense, the undistinguished gentleman serving as the senior senator from Utah warrants being equated with an obscenity. Thanks to Lee's cozying up to the treasonous former POTUS and repeatedly stomping all over the principles of the Constitution he claims to hold so dear, his name deserves to be invoked when talking about some motherflipping bullspit. Twitter @BasedMikeLee
    2. Heck
    3. Frick

    Best Wedding DJ
    Richie Steadman
    The mastermind behind Utah's Best Wedding DJ is not just a DJ, but a radio producer, actor and self-proclaimed "good times" ambassador. With his eclectic skills and a knack for nimble adaptability, he transforms each event into an unforgettable experience. He's our maestro of merriment, spinning humor into any unexpected hiccups to keep the party pulsating. With Richie T on the decks, he is not just spinning wedding tunes, he's spinning love stories. bestdjinutah.com
    2. DJ Erockalypse
    3. DJ Justin Hollister

    Best Wedding Planner
    Pierpont Place
    We all want that perfect spot for a wedding, and once one is found, the search begins for flowers, food and DJs—even though such DIY efforts often court disaster. With an event as important as a wedding, it's best to leave it to the pros. Not only does Pierpont Place offer a versatile venue in downtown SLC but their Premier Event Services can plan, design and coordinate events, either at Pierpont Place or offsite locations. 163 W. Pierpont Ave., SLC, 801-200-3113, pierpontplace.com
    2. Michelle Leo Events
    3. Belle Bodas Events

    Best White Bread Sandwich
    Village Baker
    We all know that wheat bread is better for us in the long run, but we also can't undervalue the impact that two thick slices of white bread have on a sandwich's quality. Village Baker's white bread can be used for each of their signature sandwiches, and its pillowy softness conjures up the healing powers of every after-school sandwich that got us through childhood. Multiple locations, villagebakerfood.com
    2. Grove Market and Deli
    3. Sweet Hazel & Co.

    What Did We Miss?

    Best City Festival
    Taylorsville Dayzz
    Local fairs are a great chance to experience big fun on a scale that doesn't feel intimidating. While readers rallied behind Brigham City Peach Days, Midvale Harvest Days and even Pleasant Grove's Strawberry Days, Taylorsville Dayzz garnered the most cheers on the applause meter. For 27 years, Taylorsville has provided a weekend of family-friendly entertainment, combining a parade, carnival rides, a petting zoo, live music from tribute bands, food booths, fireworks and more. Valley Regional Park, 5135 S. 2700 West, Taylorsville, taylorsvilledayzz.com

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    Best Excuse for an Elastic Waistband
    Chubby Baker

    "Our passion for baking is often fueled by a love of food," proclaims Chubby Baker's Insta-worthy website. The City Weekly staff's passion for their delicately sweet Thai Young Coconut and tantalizingly tart Passionfruit Cheesecake donuts is resulting in a lot more elastic waistbands being sported during press meetings. Pro tip: If it's your turn to buy, order a baker's dozen so the crew doesn't notice one donut missing when you arrive. 317 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-946-4491; 1167 S. State, Orem, 385-226-1669; chubby-baker.com

    Media, People & Politics
    Arts & Entertainment
    Goods & Services
    Dishes
    Drinks
    Restaurants & Nightlife

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    Darlene McDonald, - author and political thought leader - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Darlene McDonald, author and political thought leader

    Best Community Advocate
    Darlene McDonald, Speaker & Author

    The power structures in the Beehive State can at times feel so calcified and entrenched that there's little point in pushing for positive change. But not everyone has the luxury of sitting out those fights. It's the strong example of tireless advocates like Darlene McDonald, director of the 1Utah Project, who works to ensure the right questions are being asked of the right people, and that minority voices aren't brushed aside and forgotten. 1utp.org, Twitter @iamdarlenemcd
    2. Pamela Atkinson, Homeless Advocate
    3. Salt Lake City Justice Court Homeless Court

    Best Advocacy Organization
    Planned Parenthood Association of Utah
    The Utah Legislature dislikes many things—alcohol, labor unions, public transportation—but it actively abhors abortion providers and Planned Parenthood. In the Roe days, Utah lawmakers trotted out every trick in the book to make life miserable for Planned Parenthood and its patients. Now that Dobbs has eroded bodily autonomy, lawmakers are seizing their moment. PPAU has stepped up as the last line of defense, fighting in court for every inch of freedom that can be preserved. Visit the website to learn about patient care, education and ways to get involved in fighting for reproductive freedom. ppau.org
    2. Equality Utah
    3. Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter

    Best Columnist
    Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune
    The purpose of journalists, the old saying goes, "is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." If that's so, then the Tribune's Robert Gehrke practices his profession in spades! During the past 20 years, the U of U graduate has caused more than a few anal spasms on Capitol Hill, while covering government and politics. He has a knack for sniffing out political shenanigans (his sources are legion) and exposing them to the sunshine of "truth." sltrib.com/staff/rgehrke
    2. Eli McCann, The Salt Lake Tribune
    3. Meg Walter, Deseret News

    Best Elected Official
    SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall
    After a long period of contention between the Utah Legislature and City Hall, there lately seems to be a more relaxed, less-confrontational climate, perhaps due to the current occupant of the mayor's chair, Erin Mendenhall. For example, she struck a deal for a bigger cut of property taxes generated by the 16,000-acre inland port. The 42-year-old mayor is seeking a second term, advocating for clean air, green spaces and affordable housing. She's announced a $100-million fundraising plan to shore up the Ballpark Neighborhood after the Salt Lake Bees move to Daybreak. 451 S. State, 801-535-7704, slc.gov/mayor/staff/mayor-erin-mendenhall
    2. U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney
    3. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox

    Best FM Radio Show
    Radio From Hell, X96
    Back in the '80s, a milk van painted like a black-and-white spotted cow promoted Ogden's KJQ new wave radio station. Its morning drive-time show Radio From Hell was "for people who feel like hell in the morning." The show found a new home in 1993 on KXRK (X96), featuring former KJQ hosts Kerry Jackson and Bill Allred (Gina Barberi joined the duo in 1996). It was mostly talk then (now all talk), with segments like Boner of the Day/Week, TV reviews with Bill Frost and trivia contests like Beat Gina. They're still going strong 30 years later. KXRK 96.3 FM, X96.com/radio-from-hell
    2. RadioWest, KUER 90.1
    3. Z104's Dave & Deb

    U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney: Utah’s best conservative and best “over the hill” politician - WIKI COMMONS
    • Wiki Commons
    • U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney: Utah’s best conservative and best “over the hill” politician

    Best Conservative
    U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney
    The radicalization of the Republican Party has left few people as isolated as Utah's Mitt Romney, perhaps the last "traditional" conservative left standing with the Democratic coalition to his left and a hungry pack of rabid hyenas to his right. Justifiably exhausted, Romney is packing up his Senate office and spilling a little tea on his way out the door (his tell-all biography, Romney: A Reckoning, offers a frank account of the dysfunction within today's Republican Party). romney.senate.gov
    2. Former Utah state Rep. Becky Edwards
    3. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee

    Best Former Utahn
    Donovan Mitchell
    Utah has seen plenty of Utah Jazz players move on to bigger-market stages, and it hasn't always left a good taste in the fans' mouths. When Donovan Mitchell was traded to Cleveland, he took to social media to show appreciation local fans, saying "Thank you for the memories and the incredible times." Jazz fans responded with warm applause when the Cavs visited in January 2023—and with Mitchell heading into a free-agency year, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if he weren't a former Utahn anymore. myway45.com
    2. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame
    3. Lex Scott, former head of local Black Lives Matter

    Best Local TV Lifestyle/Talk Show
    Good Things Utah, ABC4
    Inquiring minds want to know: Where do you store your soy sauce, what did it take to film Taylor Swift's The Era's Tour over the course of three nights in California or even how a woman won $50,000 after getting "a wedgie" on a Disney World waterslide. These topics have captured the fancy of ABC4's Good Things Utah. The team includes veteran Nicea DeGering, Surae Chinn, Janeen Golightly, Deena Manzanares and Brianne Johnson, giving you a dose of "lite" before you head out to the world. ABC4, weekdays 9-10 a.m., abc4.com/gtu
    2. The Place, Fox 13
    3. Roots, Race & Culture, PBS Utah

    Best Local Podcast
    City Cast SLC
    As back-to-back winners in this category, the women of City Cast SLC continue to establish podcast dominance, pumping out five episodes per week on topics as broad and varied as the city they call home. Listeners can brush up on the latest statewide controversy or get the inside scoop downtown, with City Cast there to make sure things stay by locals, for locals. saltlake.citycast.fm
    2. Geekshow podcast
    3. Cold, a KSL podcast

    Best Mixed-Use Space in Which to Live/Work/Play
    The Junction
    In addition to not tearing down its historical buildings along 25th Street, Ogden made another positive move for its downtown with The Junction. Anchored by a Megaplex 13 theater and the Salomon Center (housing numerous entertainment and fitness tenants), The Junction's 20 acres also include a children's museum, two office buildings, restaurants, a parking garage, and condos and apartments with ground-floor retail space. Walkable and engaging, you often can enjoy open-air musical performances as you stroll by. visitogden.com/neighborhoods/the-junction
    2. Farmington Station
    3. Maven District

    COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo

    Best Up-and-Coming Politician
    Utah Sen. Jennifer Plumb
    If there's one thing that's clear coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that we could use more doctors in government. Too many people (and too many men) in positions of power wrongly consider themselves experts on a medical ecosystem they scarcely understand. Before her election to the Senate, Jennifer Plumb's advocacy on overdose prevention was a catalyst for change. Now in office, she's utilized her background, insight and passion to make the facts-first arguments that too often go unheard on Capitol Hill. senate.utah.gov/sen/PLUMBJ
    2. Darlene McDonald
    3. Utah Sen. Kathleen Riebe

    Best Nonprofit Organization
    Planned Parenthood Association of Utah
    No surprise—unless you're the Utah Legislature. Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is still around, advocating for women's health and the right to make their own healthcare decisions. Yes, that means abortion, too. But PPAU is more than that. Their doors are open to all women who seek good medical care and advice, believing that sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights. For more than 50 years, PPAU has offered women a full range of health care. ppau.org
    2. Equality Utah
    3. KRCL 90.9 FM

    Best Piece of Legislation
    Statewide Full-day Kindergarten
    Full-day kindergarten is one of those rare, unambiguously good ideas—it churns out smarter kids, offers flexibility to working parents, enjoys bipartisan support and, if you still don't like it, is optional. But it can take years for good ideas to pass the Utah Legislature while bad ideas are funded in a day. HB477 finally made it over the goal line in 2023 after relentless pushing by supporters and multiple stalled attempts. Now to lift Utah out of its lowest-in-the-nation level on per-student funding. le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/HB0477.html
    2. Great Salt Lake Elevation Target (SCR6)
    3. Domestic Violence Lethality Amendments (SB117)

    Best Political Controversy
    Little Cottonwood Gondola
    You gotta hand it to the Utah Department of Transportation for finding a way to spend as much money as possible in order to move as few people to as few locations as possible. If it ever does get built, the gondola to Alta and Snowbird will be the longest in the world. We'll see if skiers actually use the thing, but everyone else will still be waiting in traffic, staring up at the massive towers and wondering where all that money went. littlecottonwoodeis.udot.utah.gov
    2. Failure to Deal With Homelessness
    3. Sen. Mike Lee's Election Fraud Texts

    Best Political Social-Media Influencer
    Ben Winslow, Fox 13
    Who doesn't love Ben Winslow? Not only is this veteran reporter a favorite of City Weekly readers, but he's garnered the national Edward R. Murrow award and the Religion Newswriters Association Local TV News Report of the Year. Locally, the Utah Broadcaster's Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and QSaltLake have recognized him. After 20 years on the job, Winslow still manages to be Utah's snappiest dresser and best-coifed reporter. Lately, he's taken on the vagaries of Great Salt Lake in this "pretty, dry state." fox13now.com/ben-winslow, Twitter @BenWinslow
    2. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune
    3. Utah Sen. Nate Blouin

    Best Over-the-Hill Politician
    Sen. Mitt Romney
    In September, Utah's 76-year-old junior senator announced he'll not seek reelection in 2024, saying, "Frankly, it's time for a new generation of leaders." He's been broadly praised—and widely condemned—for voting to convict President Trump of abuse of power and inciting an insurrection. Booed off the stage at the state GOP convention, he accepted the 2021 John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award. Romney, the GOP presidential standard-bearer in 2012, made his millions (he's the fifth richest member of Congress) at private equity giant Bain Capital. A Rolling Stone profile in 2012 compared him to Gordon Gekko of Wall Street, saying their business strategies were "essentially identical." All the same, most (sane) moderate Republicans and Democrats will salute his tenure in the Senate representing Utah. romney.senate.gov
    2. Rocky Anderson, former SLC mayor/current candidate
    3. Former Utah state Rep. Becky Edwards

    Best Radical
    Rocky Anderson
    In Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel, The Last Hurrah, Frank Skeffington is the political boss and longtime mayor of an American city (a thinly disguised Boston) running for reelection. It doesn't end well for His Honor. Enter Ross A. "Rocky" Anderson, former two-term mayor of Salt Lake City. Eight years out of office, he's launched a vigorous campaign against the popular incumbent. Whereas the fictional Skeffington was a rogue, Anderson, 72, is an unabashed idealist and nationally recognized human-rights activist. During his tenure, he marshaled city resources to ensure the successful 2002 Olympic Winter Games. And he walked off with the title of "Greenest Mayor in America." Win or lose, he deserves a "hurrah." rockyanderson.org, rocky4mayor.com
    2. Utah state Sen. Nate Blouin
    3. Rae Duckworth, Black Lives Matter operating chairperson

    Best Rally
    Utah Pride Rally and March
    Every year, the capital city awaits the Utah Pride Festival—an opportunity to dress as one's wildest fantasies and enjoy entertainment and camaraderie in ways that defy the image of staid Utah. But beyond celebration, Pride is also a protest, a rally, a march. Seeing members of your community fill the streets is a great unifier. This past September, the Utah Pride Center, which sponsors Pride events, furloughed its staff, and QSaltLake Magazine openly wondered if the nonprofit would weather the storm (but they intend to and are using this time to reorganize). 1380 S. Main, SLC, 801-539-8800, utahpridecenter.org
    2. Rally for Roe: Pro-Choice
    3. Black Lives Matter

    Best Radio Station
    X96
    Sticking well to its moniker as Utah's Original Alternative station, X96 (aka KXRK 96.3 FM) is a station for anyone who wants something far from boring coming out of their stereo speakers. Classic alt rock hits from the '80s on up to now are on constant shuffle, satisfying for anyone from any generation who's ever said, "It's not just a phase!" to their mom. x96.com
    2. KRCL 90.9 FM
    3. KUER 90.1 FM

    JOHN TAYLOR
    • John Taylor

    Best Progressive
    SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall
    It requires a careful balancing act to be an effective blue progressive in the bright-red Beehive State. Step too far to the left, and Utah will shut you down. But as a City Council member and now as Salt Lake City mayor, Erin Mendenhall has made friends where it counts, securing meaningful concessions and momentum on housing affordability, transportation, water conservation and even the Utah inland port, which has at least been turned away from the worst versions of itself through Mendenhall's collaboration and good old-fashioned politicking. erinmendenhall.com
    2. Rocky Anderson, former SLC mayor and current mayoral candidate
    3. Utah Sen. Nate Blouin

    Best radio reporter: Lara Jones, KRCL - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Best radio reporter: Lara Jones, KRCL

    Best Radio Reporter
    Lara Jones, KRCL 90.9 FM
    Lara Jones has been helping people tell their stories for 30 years, first as a teenage disc jockey, a business reporter, a public radio host and the first civilian public relations director for the Salt Lake City Police Department. She also helped draft the Utah Compact, "a document of universal values on which to base immigration reform and discussions." Now she's the executive producer and co-host of RadioACTive, KRCL's community affairs show that highlights local activists and community builders. Always well-researched, her radio show, airing weeknights at 6 p.m. on KRCL 90.9 FM, tells it like it is. krcl.org/radioactive, X: Auntie Lara @larajones7
    2. Saige Miller, KUER 90.1. FM
    3. Jeff Caplan, KSL Radio 102.7 FM

    Best Print/Digital Reporter
    Amy Donaldson, KSL Radio Podcast Host, Producer, Writer
    Now in her seventh year of podcasting, KSL Radio's Amy Donaldson has the bona fides any reporter would envy. For 28 years, she wore the hat of a print reporter, covering high school sports and the outdoors for the Deseret News, and hosting a prep radio show. Her podcasts—Talking Cold and Voices of Reason—take on a kaleidoscopic range of subjects. In an acclaimed multi-part series, "The Letter," Donaldson explored the 1996 shooting death of an 18-year-old and the life-altering aftermath of a letter the murderer wrote to his victim's mother. kslnewsradio.com/author/amydonaldson
    2. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune
    3. Michael Aaron, QSaltLake Magazine

    Best Sports Reporter, all media
    Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune
    If you're a Utah Jazz fan, following Andy Larsen on social media isn't just recommended; it's practically mandatory. His insightful analysis provides hoops junkies with a great sense for what's going on in Jazz Nation, and behind-the-scenes looks at players and coaches. But he's also ready to dig into reporting like the allegations of abusive behavior by University of Utah gymnastics coach Tom Farden, making him the kind of all-purpose sports journalist every town needs. sltrib.com/staff/alarsen
    2. Sarah Todd, Deseret News
    3. David James, KUTV 2 News

    Best TV Reporter
    Ben Winslow, Fox 13
    A perennial winner of this category, Ben Winslow doesn't let the grass grow under his feet. In March, he hopped on a plane for a 7,000-mile trip to Israel with a state delegation studying water conservation. The avuncular, bearded reporter says he picked up one Israeli word from the tour guide, "Yalla!" ... or "Let's go!" He then filed a comprehensive series of reports on how the Mideast nation has gone from water shortages to surpluses, and lessons Utah can learn. twitter.com/BenWinslow
    2. Alex Cabrero, KSL 5
    3. Kari Hawker Diaz, KUTV News

    Best Social Cause
    Shelter and Housing for Homeless People
    Where would you go if you had nowhere to go? Would you jump through hoops for a barracks-style bed at an underfunded shelter? Or would you tuck into some dark corner of the city and hope for the best? There's still plenty of people who think jail is the proper place for the unsheltered, but the conversation is increasingly shifting from "Where do we put people?" to "How do we help people?" While the problem is far from solved, the right questions are finally being asked. Learn more at homelessutah.org
    2. Drag Is Not a Crime
    3. Protect Trans Youth

    Best Utah Athlete
    Cameron Rising, Utah Ute
    You get a sense for how much of an impression someone has made when they're not in the spotlight—and the voting for this award took place at a point when it wasn't clear when University of Utah quarterback Cameron Rising would be available to play again after knee surgery. But Rising certainly made an impression last season, leading the Utes to their second consecutive Rose Bowl with him under center, and leading to optimism for even greater things ahead. utahutes.com
    2. Tony Finau, PGA Star
    3. Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

    Best TV Anchor
    Mary Nickles, KUTV 2News
    Thirty-two years ago, Mary Nickles walked through the doors of KUTV 2. It's been an eventful journey. For example, she took a routine mammogram for a series on cancer—and discovered she had a malignant tumor. Cameras followed her through surgery, radiation and chemo ... and trips to the wig store! She collected an Emmy in 2012. Now the picture of health, the mother of twins brings experience, poise and good humor to 2 News This Morning from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. kutv.com/contact/people/mary-nickles
    2. Nicea DeGering, ABC 4
    3. Kelly Chapman, Fox 13

    Best TV News Station
    Fox 13 News
    Journalism is fundamentally a team sport, with various newsrooms competing for the best information and the most eyeballs. And to stick with the metaphors, local media in recent years has seen a lot of, shall we say, conference realignment. Throughout all the upheaval, the talented and charismatic team at Fox 13 have kept their eyes on the ball, delivering twice as much news every night and doing it in a way that keeps Utah tuning in and wising up. KSTU-FOX 13, 5020 W. Amelia Earhart Drive, SLC, 801-532-1300, fox13now.com
    2. KUTV 2 News
    3. KSL 5 TV

    Best Utahn
    Bill Allred
    X96's Bill Allred has long been "Utah's most trusted newsman"—as his venerable Radio From Hell co-hosts are quick to remind listeners—and he can now add "Utah's best person" to his list of bona fides. A decadeslong tenure in local radio means that many City Weekly readers grew up with Allred's voice in their ears, with that voice offering an intellectual counterpoint to the Utah monoculture, an incisive critique of government and community failures and, no less important, an invitation to laugh your way to work every morning. X96.com/author/bill, X: @rfhbill
    2. Becky Edwards, politician
    3. Darren Parry, author and former Shoshone Nation-Northwestern Band chairman

    Best Weathercaster
    Allison Croghan, Fox 13
    In May, Fox 13's chief meteorologist Allison Croghan surprised viewers and her co-anchors with a six-month "special" forecast: She's expecting. The brainy and effervescent Missouri native—who previously was a familiar face on Good Day Utah—graduated from Mississippi State University. Her first professional gig was at a station in Joplin, Missouri, where she covered one of the deadliest tornados in American history. Viewers seeking prognostications—"special" and otherwise—can catch her at 4, 5 and 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. allisoncroghan.com
    2. Chase Thomason, KUTV 2 Weather
    3. Kevin Eubank, KSL 5 Weather

    Most Underreported Utah Event/Story
    LDS Church Fined by SEC After Hiding $32 Billion in Shell Companies
    The issue of financial transparency is getting harder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to ignore. Where church leaders could once swat away criticisms as the toothless bark of disgruntled malcontents, they're now finding their dirty laundry aired out in court, and their wrists slapped (a scant $5 million fine) by federal regulators for scattering their immense wealth through an intentionally byzantine network of affiliated entities. We can only wonder if more "revelations" are to come—so pass the popcorn. cbsnews.com/video/60minutes-2023-05-14
    2. Mormon Church's Blind Eye on Sexual Abuse
    3. Lesbian Wins Miss Davis County

    WIKI COMMONS
    • Wiki Commons

    Worst Utahn
    Sen. Mike Lee
    For everyone except those who voted him into office, Mike Lee wins worst Utahn hands-down. There are even several social media pages —such as Humans Against Mike Lee and Unseat Mike Lee—dedicated to denigrating the senior U.S. senator. The Salt Lake Tribune's Bryant Schott has dogged the senator to the point that Lee blocked him and ghosts him at every opportunity. Lee has repeatedly offended the LDS church, too, and has barely done anything in the way of helpful legislation. lee.senate.gov, X: @SenMikeLee @BasedMikeLee
    2. Natalie Cline, Utah state school board member
    3. SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall

    What Did We Miss?

    Best Cultural Program
    Black, Bold & Brilliant
    So, you thought Utah was a bastion for conservative white people? The Utah Film Center's series Black, Bold & Brilliant says otherwise. Black Utahns lead discussions and critique films around issues affecting the Black community. The events, however, look to the Black, Afro-Latino, Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and allied communities in Utah. In December, BBB will show Blurring the Color Line, stories of Chinese families in the Black South during Jim Crow. It's all about opening minds and hearts. utahfilmcenter.org/black-bold-brilliant

    Best Investigative Journalist
    Adam Herbets, Fox 13
    If you have not heard of Adam Herbets, you certainly know his investigations. Herbets started with the Fox Investigates team in 2020 and has been breaking stories ever since. He has won multiple awards including the Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism and nine Emmy Awards. Herbets was the first reporter to cover the search for JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan in Rexburg, Idaho. A successful advocate for veterans, Herbets continues to fight for those who can't. fox13now.com/adam-herbets, X: @AdamHerbets
    2. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune
    3. Wendy Halloran, KUTV 2 News

    cw_staff_picks.png

    Best City Street Makeover
    Green Loop Pop-up Park
    Salt Lake's streets are bonkers wide. There used to be trolleys running down them, but that infrastructure was tossed in favor of car-centric asphalt. Many struggle to even see the problem, which hopefully became clearer with the Green Loop demonstration on 200 East between 300 South and 400 South. Redundant car lanes became a temporary beer garden, performance stage, food truck station, badminton court, inviting people back into what is, fundamentally, public space. And the pop-up is just the beginning; city plans call for a permanent Green Loop that reutilizes the wide streets surrounding downtown. storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/0c901004d6b9421cbec40510f796b1c1

    Best Class Act by a Republican Politician
    Gov. Cox's Welcome of Biden
    When President Biden's plane touched down in Salt Lake City in August, he was warmly greeted by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox. He and First Lady Abby Cox were the only high-profile Republicans in the welcoming party. Later, the Utah GOP congressional delegation and state legislative leadership shunned the president's speech at the local Veterans Administration Health Center. Cox went on to say, "I think it's insane that we are having those conversations. ... When the president succeeds, America succeeds."

    Best Depictions of Small Lake City
    @salt_lego_city on Instagram
    Salt Lake City may be getting bigger and bigger, but Philip Sadler has tapped into something special by going small—using Legos to build detailed re-creations of SLC landmarks. His @salt_lego_city Instagram account has more than 10,000 followers drawn to his depictions of iconic buildings like East High School and the City & County Building, favorite restaurants like Dee's and Blue Plate Diner (RIP), and quirks and oddities like Gilgal Garden, the Summum pyramid and Fun Time Kidz Kare. We can't wait to see what he builds next. IG @salt_lego_city

    Best Shot in the Arm for Downtown
    Outdoor Retailer Is Back
    Five years ago, then-Gov. Gary Herbert and his GOP minions learned the hard way that outdoor lovers really care about Mother Nature. That's when the mammoth, twice-yearly Outdoor Retailer conventions pulled up stakes from Salt Lake City and moved to Denver—mainly because a ham-handed Herbert urged President Trump to rescind federal protections for Bears Ears National Monument. While a few of the big outdoor companies are still staying away, the acrimonious Beehive boycott ended when the Biden administration reinstated, and even enlarged, the boundaries of the sacred ancestral Pueblo lands. outdoorretailer.com

    Best Excuse to Stop Driving
    300 West Cycle Track
    City Weekly has received unconfirmed reports from the international news wire that cyclists are, in fact ... people? No, can't be true. If they were people, they would have homes and jobs and all sorts of material and recreational needs. City infrastructure would have to be updated to improve sidewalks and install protected spaces where these "people" could travel without harming or being harmed by others. No, it's fake news—think of how much work that would be! In other news: Can you believe these gas prices? 300westslc.com

    Christian Lenhart and Cameron Blakely - COLLEEN MEIDT / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO
    • Colleen Meidt / Utah Public Radio
    • Christian Lenhart and Cameron Blakely

    Best Bridge Builders
    Rio Grande Plan's Christian Lenhart & Cameron Blakely
    Salt Lake initially developed around both sides of the railroad, but a chain of racially charged decisions—from redlining to freeway construction to zoning—inflicted the proverbial 1,000 cuts on the west side. Christian Lenhart and Cameron Blakely's no-nonsense Rio Grande Plan would tackle the divide head-on by burying freight tracks and FrontRunner tracks, making intra-city travel more feasible and opening new frontiers for public transit that could take scores of cars off the road. Even if Lenhart and Blakeley are shooting for the moon, they've helped the rest of us to aim a little higher. riograndeplansaltlakecity.org

    Best Happy Landing
    The Return of the Delta Center
    A familiar presence returned to Sat Lake City's downtown this year. As of July 1, the 20,000-seat Vivint Arena, home to the Utah Jazz, reverted to the name it bore upon opening in 1991: the Delta Center. When Delta Airlines filed for bankruptcy in 2005, the signage came down, and naming rights went to EnergySolutions, which processes low-level nuclear waste. (Remember the "It glows in the dark" wisecracks?) Vivint Smart Home Arena (a mouthful for stadium announcers) came next. "They say homecomings are sweet," said the Delta CEO at the renaming ceremony. "Sixteen years later, this is really special." deltacenter.com

    Best 'He Knows It When He Sees It'
    Sen. Mike Lee's Smut Smiting
    Last year hadn't even ended before just-reelected Sen. Mike Lee eagerly unfurled a pair of anti-smut bills with the unlikely monikers of "IODA" and "SCREEN. "The first is the "Internet Obscenity Definition Act'; the second, "Shielding Children's Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net." No, we're not kidding. Sure, minors shouldn't view hard-core stuff, but Lee's bills could potentially outlaw all pornography by codifying a "national definition of obscenity." One legal expert calls Lee's scheme to appeal to his base "a slippery slope." Slippery? Enough said.

    Best Youth Mentor
    Marsha Boyd, Learning Lab Aide
    "Look for the helpers," invited Fred Rogers. Marsha Boyd is one such helper in varied local organizations and as a learning lab aide at Joel P. Jensen Middle School. Since her earliest years serving with such mentors as Alberta Henry (1920-2005), Boyd counsels the young with toughness and humor but always with love and acceptance. She lives for the community; it is better as a result. Joel P. Jensen Middle School, 8105 S. 3200 West, West Jordan, 801-412-2850, joelpjensen.jordandistrict.org

    Best Insightful Voice on the Salt Lake Scene
    Emily Means, City Cast Podcast
    Formerly with KUER, KPCW, KCPW and KRCL on the FM dial, Emily Means is now lead producer for City Cast Salt Lake and joins a growing national network of daily podcasts and newsletters. While she started out in chemistry, Means has found a calling in journalism where she works on current affairs, legislative news and all the weird stuff that is Utah these days. saltlake.citycast.fm, X: @Em_Means13

    The 300 North Pedestrian Bridge - SLC.GOV
    • slc.gov
    • The 300 North Pedestrian Bridge

    Best New East-to-West Connector
    The 300 North Pedestrian Bridge
    For many West High students over the years, the one thing between them and being on time for class has been several tons of freight and steel. On 500 West, a stopped train could mean an hour's wait—or if one was desperate, hopping through the trains to the other side. Obviously, this is bad. Suffice it to say, the new arching stairs and bridge over the tracks are so needed, and so much safer. 300 N. 500 West, SLC

    Best Made-Up Controversy
    Book Bans
    Forget fascism, climate deterioration, wealth inequality and deepening polarization. No, the real problem in America is books, and the thought that a child might choose to put down TikTok to read something—or so the pearl-clutchers of the interminable library censorship movement would have you believe. No one is surprised that the challenged literature tends to deal with racial and sexual diversity, but swatting down the deluge of baseless complaints is taking a real toll on educators, whose morale could already use a boost. library.usu.edu/news/2023/banned

    Best NIMBYs
    Speed Bump Opponents on 1300 South
    No one loves speed bumps, but a vocal contingent of opponents went overboard trying to preserve their right to drive fast. They said the noise would be unbearable (west-siders by the train tracks would like a word); they said the city should have solicited more input (on a speed bump? Come on); they even got The Salt Lake Tribune to report on the "scandal." Here's what they left out: Five people have died on 1300 South in three years, with even more injured. If drivers won't slow themselves down, the street design will have to make them.

    Best Old Standby Bike Lane
    300 South
    In a world where we're all focused on the 300 West and 900 South construction, let's shout out the cyclist's sturdy standby—300 South. Though parts of it have been temporarily blocked off thanks to oh-so-precious development, this bike lane is still a safe bet to get you downtown and to connect you to other chill lanes, like 200 West (another solid standby).

    Best Postponement of the Climate Apocalypse
    Utah's Record Precipitation
    One year ago, all of Utah was in a state of drought, with most areas falling somewhere between "severe" and "extreme" conditions. But after the one-two punch of a huge winter and a so-wet-we're-flooding spring, Utah's water map now shows most areas completely free of drought or "abnormally dry." The state still has a ways to go toward sustainability and even with all this new water, the Great Salt Lake won't just fill itself. So, enjoy the brief respite from an impending catastrophe and then get to work preparing for the next drought, because it's coming. Learn more at snoflo.org/reservoir/utah

    Best Primal Scream
    Mom Rage Over Lagoon's Delayed Primordial Opening
    This summer, we discovered what it takes to get Utah moms miffed. Long lines at Swig? Nope. Selling out of a favorite Minky Couture blanket? Also no. Turns out, it's a roller coaster. Between rage over Lagoon's newest ride, Primordial, failing to open at the beginning of the season and increased ticket prices, Utahns took to social media to complain ... and to KSL-TV's consumer investigator Matt Gephardt. Search "Get Gephardt Lagoon" on You Tube and Facebook and watch the drama unfold. Spoiler: It's more entertaining than the new roller coaster itself. youtube.com/watch?v=aHY69zFyrJE

    Best Reality Check
    SLC Housing Crisis Leading to School Closures
    It would appear that some Salt Lakers need a refresher on where babies come from: parents. If parents can't afford to live in the city, there won't be any babies here. And if there aren't any babies here, before long, there won't be any school-age children. Without children, schools close—simple as that. Elementary schools are just the canary in the coal mine. Get on board with affordable density or get ready for more closures. slcschools.org/departments/school-choice/school-openclosed-status

    Best Holy Comeback
    Holy Cross Hospital
    After a 30-year hiatus, Salt Lake Regional Hospital again became Holy Cross Hospital when Catholic-owned CommonSpirit Health acquired five hospitals and more than 35 medical clinics in Utah. The 158-bed facility was founded in 1875 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who sold it to a succession of for-profit owners, ending with Steward Health Care. Tip: If you find yourself visiting the "new" Holy Cross, pop into the 119-year-old Romanesque chapel—a little architectural gem with a white Carrara marble high altar, gold-leaf ceiling frescos ... and, of course, stained-glass windows. 1050 E. South Temple, SLC, 801-350-4111, centura.org/location/holy-cross-hospital-salt-lake/hc

    Best Unhinged Rallying Cries
    State Rep. Trevor Lee and Sen. John Johnson
    Voters in Weber and Davis Counties have sent plenty of cuckoo birds to the Utah Legislature, but Layton freshman Rep. Trevor Lee and North Ogden freshman Sen. John Johnson are standouts. Lee uses the megaphone of public office to propagate what corporate media likes to call "racially charged" viewpoints (in one example, he described Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation as a "diversity hire"). Johnson, meanwhile, fancies himself a brave general in the right's culture war for children's minds and has taken to book banning and anti-CRT paranoia. The punchline? Johnson chairs the Senate Education Committee, literally setting the agenda for public schools in Utah. X: @VoteTrevorLee, @JohnForUtah

    Best Walking the Walker
    Nelson vs. Biden
    Two presidents wear age differently. On one, it's an albatross; on the other, it's a crown. We're speaking about U.S. president Joe Biden, 80, known to dodge the age issue, and Russell M. Nelson, 99, leader of the 17-million-member LDS church. The perpetually smiling former heart surgeon and church president since 2018 unfortunately took a spill in September, injuring his lower back, forcing him to skip the faith's recent general conference. Prophet-watchers spotted Nelson with a walker and in a wheelchair—due, he said, to "challenges with my balance." Otherwise, "my heart is good, my spirit is strong as are my legs ... and my brain still works." No word from Joe, who seems prone to fall victim to gravity himself.

    Best Wallet-Folding Trick by a Former 10%er
    James Huntsman's Tithing Lawsuit
    The late billionaire philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. once described his son James—one of eight children—as "spirited, fearless and fun-loving." The 52-year-old film distributor was dead-serious, however, when he filed a suit in a California federal court against the LDS church demanding it return some $5 million in tithing he paid between 1993 and 2017. He's alleging fraud. The church, he claims, used tithing to bankroll the $1.4-billion City Creek Center in the heart of downtown. Saying the dispute is secular—not a spiritual or a First Amendment issue—a federal appeals court reinstated Huntsman's suit, which is working its way through the system. A brother of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and grandson of an LDS apostle, Huntsman left the church in 2020.

    What Did We Miss?

    Skinwalker Ranch - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Skinwalker Ranch

    Best 'Where the Weird Turn Pro'
    Skinwalker Ranch
    The most scientifically studied paranormal hotspot on the planet, Skinwalker Ranch is a 512-acre secure site that has been monitored for decades with armed security and surveillance. This remote location was involved with a Pentagon-funded black budget project studying UFO activity, cattle mutilations, and strange phenomena. Visiting is not encouraged, but it's now possible to get a Skinwalker Insider membership for $8 a month to learn a lot more about Skinwalker Ranch. Skinwalker Ranch, Gusher, Utah, skinwalker-ranch.com

    Best Urban Waterfront
    Sears Lake Seagull Preserve
    Intermountain Health reportedly has big plans for the former Sears lot on State/Main streets but until then, the big pit they dug combined with a record winter to form a stagnant reservoir of brackish slurry that charmingly resembles the Great Salt Lake in miniature (it even has an island!). Urbanists like how mixed-use density puts more destinations within walking distance, and now everyone can enjoy a stinky, buggy, seagull-swarmed water feature just steps from downtown. Between 800 South and 900 South at State Street, SLC

    Best Curated Community
    Edison House
    The private social club is far from a new concept, encompassing everything from Greek row to the Masonic temple. And while Salt Lakers of a certain age and taste have the Alta Club, those looking for something fresher will find it at Edison House, which combines all the amenities you'd expect (boutique fitness center, four bars and a restaurant) and a few you don't (rooftop pool) with that ineffable feeling of a home away from home. 335 S. 200 West, SLC, 385-799-7630, edisonhouseslc.com

    Media, People & Politics
    Arts & Entertainment
    Goods & Services
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    Red Kiln Pottery Gallery: ceramic arts made by - 11 Salt Lake City artists - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Red Kiln Pottery Gallery: ceramic arts made by 11 Salt Lake City artists

    Best Arts & Crafts Studio
    Red Kiln Pottery Gallery
    ou might not realize how expansive the category of "pottery" could be until you step through the door at Red Kiln Gallery. Work by 11 represented artists fills the shelves, from that perfect decorative coffee mug to get as a gift (or for yourself), to something fascinating to hang on the wall. And for those who do the work themselves, you can apply for membership to join the artists' workspace. 393 E. 1700 South, SLC, 801-695-4945, redkiln.org
    2. Art Haus
    3. Salt Lake Pottery Studio

    Best Art Gallery
    Urban Arts Gallery
    Urban Arts Gallery has always celebrated the idea that art can be hella fun. Its monthly themed group shows often feature engaging themes, like the annual "Heroes and Villains" pop-culture showcase, or "SLC Queer," a Pride celebration of LGBTQ-themed works. Beyond that, they get the community involved in creation, with regular events including Paint Nights for upcycling used canvases, and the unique date night of Couples Speed Painting. 116 S. Rio Grande St., SLC, 801-230-0820, urbanartsgallery.org
    2. Utah Cultural Celebration Center
    3. The Monarch

    Best Arts Nonprofit
    Salt Lake Film Society
    Those who shrug at the idea of film as "art" might need to expand their horizons. The Salt Lake Film Society exists to support the communal movie-going experience, one that's not just about box-office results, but about showcasing classic cinema on the big screen. Beyond their flagship theater, SLFS also supports the work of aspiring filmmakers through its MAST program, providing instruction in how to navigate both the creative challenges and practical realities of getting their work out into the world. Broadway Centre Cinemas, 111 E. 300 South, Ste. 99, SLC, 801-321-0310, slfs.org
    2. Salt Lake Acting Co.
    3. Urban Arts Gallery

    Best Classical Music/ Opera Performance
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Concert, Utah Symphony
    How do you hook a younger audience into the glorious experience of hearing a live orchestra in a state-of-the-art symphony hall? By pairing the performance with a hit movie. Utah Symphony's "Music Meets Movies" series has been delighting crowds with live accompaniment to cinematic favorites, and they've certainly loved experiencing the Star Wars films—because it's hard to convey the chills you get from hearing John Williams' iconic opening fanfare played in the same room. Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, SLC, 801-533-5626, utahsymphony.org
    2. Rigoletto, Utah Opera Co.
    3. Fischer's Farewell, Mahler, Utah Symphony

    Best Concert of the Past Year
    The Cure
    It's hard to narrow down and crown a winner to the best concert of the year, but that's what the Best of Utah polls are for. Our readers have spoken and dubbed post-punk kings The Cure as the year's best concert. The Cure stopped by Vivint (now the Delta Center), and just rocked everyone's faces off. For nearly 50 years, The Cure have blazed trails, set records and become one of the most recognizable names in the punk rock world. Hopefully, we have the honor of hosting them again before any mention of retirement. thecure.com.
    2. Post Malone
    3. Brandi Carlile

    Best Concert Series
    Twilight Concert Series
    For 36 seasons, the SLC Twilight Concert Series has brought national and worldwide acts to perform alongside local favorites, and each year, delighted fans flock to see who stops by for the series. In 2023, we saw the likes of Lord Huron, Death Cab for Cutie and Soccer Mommy, so it'll be exciting to see what 2024 holds for one of the longest-running concert series in the state. saltlakearts.org/programs/twilight-concert-series
    2. Ogden Twilight
    3. Red Butte Concert Series

    Best All-Ages Concert Venue
    Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
    The "all-ages" venue can mean many things, including a place for pre-21s to enjoy hip new bands. But it also can mean a great place for the family to enjoy a show, such as the lovely environs of Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre. Sure, the kids might not be nostalgic for acts like Blues Traveler or Boz Skaggs (on the 2023 lineup), but their music appreciation will skyrocket hanging out under the stars with the parents. 2188 E. Red Butte Canyon Road, SLC, 801-585-0556, redbuttegarden.org/concerts
    2. USANA Amphitheatre
    3. Kilby Court

    Best Indoor Concert Venue
    The Depot
    Accommodating up to 1,200 concert-goers, The Depot is a unique multi-floor entertainment hotspot nestled in the historic Union Pacific Building at The Gateway. It features a full-service bar, food service, ample parking and arguably the best sound system in town. Countless bands and DJs have graced the stage of The Depot since opening in 2006, so here's to many more years of performances at the iconic venue. 13 N. 400 West, SLC, 801-456-2800, depotslc.com
    2. Abravanel Hall
    3. The State Room

    Best Outdoor Concert Venue
    Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
    After a long Utah winter, one of the joys of spring is the release of the concert schedule for Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, set in the beautiful foothills of the Wasatch Range. As stunning as the venue is for a live show, it's the reliably great lineup that really catches our attention. They bring a slew of national touring artists, just waiting to be enjoyed with a picnic, a drink and a smile. 2188 E. Red Butte Canyon Road, SLC, 801-585-0556, redbuttegarden.org/concerts
    2. USANA Amphitheatre
    3. Sandy Amphitheater

    The fabulous Sequoia - COURTSEY @PRESTONPOWELLPHOTO
    • Courtsey @prestonpowellphoto
    • The fabulous Sequoia

    Best Drag Entertainer
    Sequoia
    Don't call it a rigged election just because Sequoia served as host for City Weekly's own Pride Pageant celebration of drag royalty in 2023. Since returning to Utah post-COVID after performing regularly in the NYC drag scene, Sequoia has become a fixture locally, producing shows from Utah County to Ogden and standing out from the crowd both literally (in terms of height) and fabulously (in terms of talent). @theonlysequoia
    2. Tamara Knight
    3. Tara Lipsyncki

    Best Cultural Event
    Utah Pride Festival
    With LGBTQ rights under assault from a variety of fronts, the need for a celebration of that community as a whole feels as important as ever. Thousands gather annually each June for the floats, fun and fabulousness of the Utah Pride Parade and its accompanying festival. Unfortunately, the organization sponsoring the festival (Utah Pride Center) has undergone a temporary closure, layoffs and furloughs. It is reorganizing with a new board, leadership and strategic plan, which promises good things for the 2024 festival and parade. Stay tuned. 1380 S. Main, SLC, 801-539-8800, utahpridecenter.org
    2. Utah Arts Festival
    3. Living Traditions Festival

    Best Dance Company
    Ballet West
    Celebrating its 60th birthday in 2023, the first professional ballet company to exist between Chicago and the West Coast continues to dazzle audiences, with seasons that combine classics like Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty with daring new work in its annual Choreographic Festival. Perhaps most significantly, its beloved seasonal production of Willam Christensen's The Nutcracker has become a family tradition spanning generations, giving young viewers their own chance to fall in love with dance. 52 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-869-6900, balletwest.org
    2. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Co.
    3. Repertory Dance Theatre

    Best Friend of the Arts
    Utah Arts Alliance
    It might be easier to identify all the ways that Utah Arts Alliance doesn't support the wide range of arts in Utah. You want a gallery? You've got Urban Arts Gallery. You want a full-on festival? You've got the annual Urban Arts Festival. You want multimedia support for arts? You've got the KUAA community radio station. From a resource database for items arts organizations might need, to the Connect pop-up events for aspiring artists, you've got a real friend in UAA. 663 W. 100 South, SLC, SLC Arts Hub: 801-888-9638, utaharts.org
    2. George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
    3. The Hive Market

    Best Haunted House
    Fear Factory
    Utah loves Halloween, and it really loves its haunted houses. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that when a Utah haunted house nails it, haunted house lovers around the country take notice, as Buzzfeed did in a listicle that ranked Fear Factory as one of the top three haunted houses in the entire United States. The creepy abandoned-factory location is just the beginning of a terrifyingly fun experience. 666 W. 800 South, SLC, fearfactoryslc.com
    2. Nightmare on 13th
    3. Castle of Chaos Escape Rooms & Haunted House

    Bringing all the laughs: comedian - Craig Sorensen - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Bringing all the laughs: comedian Craig Sorensen

    Best Local Comedian
    Craig Sorensen
    It's not easy to find humor at the intersection of being Mormon, being gay and having a disability, but Craig Sorensen manages to hit a sweet spot of self-deprecating recognition that gives him a unique comedic perspective. Sorensen also demonstrates his versatility by working not just in traditional standup, but as part of the Crowdsourced Comedy improv group, for which he serves as a co-producer. IG @kcraigsorensen
    2. Aaron Woodall
    3. Mallory Everton

    Best Local Author
    Brandon Sanderson
    Writing in fan-favorite genres like fantasy and science fiction—and signing on to complete a beloved series like The Wheel of Time—is bound to gain you a devoted following, if you're really good at what you do. Sanderson is just that, in addition to being remarkably prolific, with four new novels published in 2023 alone. He's also classy enough that, when Wired magazine wrote a particularly mean-spirited profile of him in March 2023, he encouraged his fans to just let it go. brandonsanderson.com
    2. Terry Tempest Williams
    3. Brandon Mull

    Best Local Band
    Pixie and the Partygrass Boys
    Pixie and the Partygrass Boys are no strangers to the Best of Utah winners list. The group is constantly innovating and delivering satisfying genre-bending music that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their most recent release, The Chicken Coop, Vol. 1, is an incredible collection that is perfect for newbies and longtime fans alike. Give them a listen and keep an eye out for live shows—you won't want to miss them. pixieandthepartygrassboys.com
    2. The Backseat Lovers
    3. Talia Keys and The Love

    Best Local Poet
    Paisley Rekdal
    It might be enough that Paisley Rekdal herself is one of the state's most accomplished poets, including serving as the state's Poet Laureate from 2017-2022. But Rekdal also dedicates herself to preserving and chronicling the history of Utah writers through the Mapping Literary Utah project, demonstrating a devotion to the creative work by so many other literary artists. She deserved praise both for her own work, and for celebrating the traditions of which it is a part. paisleyrekdal.com
    2. RJ Walker
    3. Wynter Storm

    Best Local Stage Actor
    Deena Manzanares
    She has been a familiar face in Utah for years, including her regular gig on ABC 4's Good Things Utah, but acting for live audiences is still a part of Manzanares' life. This year, she took on the role of the evil queen in Sting & Honey's production of Snow White, bringing her wickedly effective talents to bear, and once again delighting our readers. IG @deena_marie
    2. April Fossen
    3. Doug Irey

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    • Courtesy photo

    Best Muralist
    Evan Jed Memmott
    "Nothing Lasts" proclaims a work Evan Jed Memmott created for the South Salt Lake Mural Fest in 2019, a representation of a personal mantra accepting the transitory nature of things. But we think it's fair to say that the artist's vibrantly colorful pieces contradict that notion a bit, as they cover walls throughout the valley with exciting, peculiarly Utah images that are bound to stick with you. 2285 S. Main, South Salt Lake, evanjed.com
    2. Shae Petersen aka Sril
    3. Josh Scheuerman

    Best Movie Theater
    Broadway Centre Cinemas
    It's been a rough stretch for theatrical moviegoing post-COVID, but Salt Lake Film Society keeps fighting the good fight, providing a place (Broadway Centre Cinemas) that dares to argue that even documentaries, independent dramas and non-English language films have a place on the big screen. Plus, they keep providing fun ways for audiences to enjoy classic cinema, such as the "Summer Showdown" and Halloween season's now-traditional "Tower of Terror." True lovers of film know they're not just for streaming on your computer. 111 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-321-0310, slfs.org
    2. Brewvies Cinema Pub
    3. Tower Theatre

    Best Museum
    Natural History Museum of Utah
    Even from a distance, it's impressive, with the copper-trimmed exterior shining in the sunlight in the foothills. Step inside, and you get a fantastic experience of hands-on exhibits devoted to Utah's own unique history, from dinosaurs to ancient indigenous peoples to modern ecosystems like the Great Salt Lake. Touring exhibitions supplement the permanent collection to delight and educate visitors of all ages. 301 Wakara Way, SLC, 801-581-6927, nhmu.utah.edu
    2. Utah Museum of Fine Arts
    3. Clark Planetarium

    Best Music Festival
    Kilby Block Party
    Kilby Block Party has taken on a life of its own. The festival continues to grow bigger and bigger each year, with more concertgoers flocking to SLC to enjoy the insanely stacked lineups. KBP 2023 featured acts like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pixies and many more. Not even a massive storm could stop the Block Party this year, held at the Utah State Fairpark, and next year is sure to be just as eventful. kilbyblockparty.com
    2. Loveloud
    3. Das Energi

    Best Musical Instrument Store
    Summerhays Music Center
    Having a trusted place to buy and have your musical instruments repaired is something that can easily be taken for granted. Whether your precious instrument needs a crucial repair, or if you are in search of a quick string replacement, Summerhays is the place to go. If you're in the market for a new instrument, you can buy or rent, or just stop in to browse. 5420 S. Green St., Murray, 801-268-4446, summerhaysmusic.com
    2. Guitar Czar
    3. Acoustic Music

    Best Neighborhood Concerts
    9th & 9th Book and Music Free Community Concert Series
    Concerts are already a blast, but when you make them free, they instantly become a thousand times more fun—it's scientifically proven. Costs aside, it's great to get out and bump elbows with your fellow community members and support local artists. It's an added bonus that you can do shopping for books, guitars, records and other arts-related products. Head out to enjoy good tunes and say hi to fellow lovers of the arts. 962 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-739-1159, 9thand9thbookandmusic.com
    2. Mondays in the Park, Liberty Park
    3. Heart & Soul Music Stroll, Sugar House

    Best Neighborhood Gathering
    999 Bike Ride
    In an ideal world, there'd be nothing notable about the 999—our streets would be filled with a blend of neighbors and visitors, navigating the city primarily under their own power and with the comfort and safety to freely explore or to stay put and hang for a spell. Until that ideal world arrives, we at least have the 999, which takes the empty parking lots, dark underpasses and forgotten corners of Salt Lake and, every Thursday at 9 p.m., after gathering at 9th & 9th, transforms them into the hottest party in town, open to all. facebook.com/999ride
    2. Avenues Street Fair
    3. Chalk Art Festival Bountiful

    Best Paint Night
    Hogle Zoo
    Hogle Zoo's Paint Night isn't just a Canvas and Brush affair; it's a wild masterpiece waiting to happen! Surrounded by the enchanting beauty of nature, you'll channel your inner Picasso. No experience needed; the Paint Night at Hogle Zoo welcomes adult artists of all stripes, from beginners to seasoned pros, and you'll be guided step by step. All materials needed are provided. Sign up for a roarin' good time and let your imagination run wild. 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., SLC, 801-584-1700, hoglezoo.org
    2. The Local Artisan Collective
    3. What's Ya Vibe Hip Hop Paint Night @ Scion Cider Bar

    COURTESY SLAC / @TODDCOLLINSPHOTOS
    • Courtesy SLAC / @toddcollinsphotos

    Best Theater Company
    Salt Lake Acting Co.
    For more than 50 years, Salt Lake Acting Co. has been a place where the essence of daring theater is celebrated, bringing in local premieres of Broadway award-winners, new works by local playwrights and other fresh voices. And while the name of the annual summer production has changed (it's now the SLAC Summer Show), it's one of the best opportunities to look at the craziness of Utah life, and emerge with a smile on your face and a song on your lips. 168 W. 500 North, SLC, 801-363-7522, saltlakeactingcompany.org
    2. Hale Centre Theatre
    3. Utah Shakespeare Festival

    Best Potter/Ceramicist
    Randi Lile
    Ceramic work can take many different forms, from functional pots and vases to elaborately abstract work. Randi Lile found her distinctive artistic calling in ceramic sculptures of sea life—and while it's far from the only kind of work she does, it's hard to resist the fanciful works that are sometimes a little creepy, sometimes charming, but always characterized by bold colors and brilliant glazing. 801-815-4538, randilile.com
    2. Ben Behunin
    3. Min Oh, TinyFish Production

    Best Singer-Songwriter
    Tyler Glenn, Neon Trees
    We do love it when locals make good, and Utah has certainly embraced Neon Trees and frontman Tyler Glenn, particularly as he shared his personal story of coming out and leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That personal connection comes through, whether as part of the band, or in his solo album Excommunication. It's a thrill to have new music for a new 2024 album coming our way. IG @tylerinacoma, IG @official_neontrees
    2. Michelle Moonshine
    3. April Kerr

    Best Urban Public Art
    "Out of the Blue," aka "The Whale"
    Sculptor: Stephen Kesler; mural: Mike Murdock.

    While it can't be proven that Salt Lake City's embrace of the "sacred" whale is responsible for our record-breaking winter snowfall and much-needed spring rains ... it can't be disproven either. In a short time, The Whale has evolved from a controversial proposal to a curious attraction to, now, an intrinsic part of the 9th & 9th neighborhood, with its own tongue-in-cheek (mostly) religion and marathon route. Build the tail on 9th & 9th West! All hail The Whale! 900 S. 1100 East, SLC, saltlakepublicart.org/art/out-of-the-blue
    2. Salt Lake City Police Brutality Murals
    3. South Salt Lake Muralfest

    Best Visual Artist
    Cat Palmer
    It's clear that we at City Weekly dig Cat Palmer based on her regular contributions to these pages as a writer, but our readers also know that she's a remarkable talent as a visual artist. Her photography runs the gamut from commercial work like wedding and family photos to some of the most iconic images of our city and its people, including the legendary "Last Supper" of local badasses. She's earned her own place among them. catpalmer.com
    2. Justin Wheatley
    3. Andrew Alba

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    Kate Kilpatrick, owner of Kilpatrick Art Garage in Helper - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Kate Kilpatrick, owner of Kilpatrick Art Garage in Helper

    Best New Gallery on the Block ... in Helper
    Kilpatrick Art Garage
    Kate Kilpatrick's new gallery in Helper is a dream come true, adding to Helper's draw as a destination for the arts. It has a garage grunge feel to it mixed with a fun, hip vibe. Kilpatrick says, "I create these works to express my curiosity and reverence of what has gone on before. I am drawn to the richness of life imbued in both events and items those events create." 80 S. Main, Helper, 801-712-7611, kilpatrickvintagecarart.com

    Best Art Wonders
    Anthony's Antiques and Fine Art
    In the film Return to Oz, Dorothy visits the Gnome King's Ornament Room, a mysterious chamber of magical objets d'art. Such a sequence enters our minds upon any trip to Anthony's, a family-run fine art and antiques establishment that has graced the Salt Lake landscape for more than three decades. In this stately jewel, you can find early Utah art and original paintings, sculptures and works on paper by American and European artists created across the centuries. 401 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-328-2231, anthonysfineart.com

    Best Baring of One's Artistic Soul
    Andrew Alba
    Gifted in multiple formats such as painting, sculpture and drawing, local artist Andrew Alba has exhibited many striking and personal works drawn from his life and heritage. Whether providing his unique comment upon broad social issues or reflecting memories from his Mexican background, Alba's works are intimate, direct, and always himself. Painted or constructed, they tell stories that could not be heard in any other way. andrew-alba.com

    Best DIY Gettin' Crafty Classes
    Craft Lake City
    It's understandable if folks know Craft Lake City best for its namesake annual summer DIY Festival, but the organization doesn't just showcase people at their crafty best; it also helps create them. Throughout the year, Craft Lake City sponsors classes in a wide range of creative endeavors, helping folks learn skills like tote-bag decorating, lantern painting, food preparation and more, plus online STEM workshops for kids. 230 S. 500 West, Ste 125, SLC, 801-906 – 8521, craftlakecity.com

    Best Creative Stampede
    Tooele's Beautiful Bison
    Salt Lake may have a breaching whale, but Tooele is where the bison roam. Like many Western towns, Tooele has begun a campaign of bison installations throughout the downtown area, including at the Pioneer Museum, Main Street, the Veteran's Park and more. Painted by local artists, each bison has been adopted/sponsored by local businesses. Seven out of 10 have been placed so far. Tooele Downtown Alliance, tooelecity.gov/services/economic_development/downtown_alliance.php

    Best Live Theater Fan Club
    Utah Theater Lovers
    Ever longed to see a flamboyant musical or somber theatrical production but couldn't round up a show date? Take heart, there's an instant group of theater buddies you can join, one that attends monthly performances around town. Enjoy a pre- or post-show meal or beverage, headed up by the brilliant herder of cats, Megan Gutierrez. This group also travels out of town to see shows, even to New York City, Boston, London and Edinburgh! Join on facebook.com/groups/utahtheaterlovers or at meetup.com/theaterlovers

    Best Recently Discovered Artist Community
    Bogue Foundry
    A veritable beehive of creative spaces, the historic Bogue Foundry emits a hip Brooklyn vibe. Here, you'll find resident artist studios of Sue Martin, Steve Creson, Nancy Vorm, Lisa Hubbert, Lewis J. Crawford, Fern & Reed, Cat Palmer, Anna Hansen of The Hex Press and Anita Albright. Saltgrass Printmakers, which just celebrated 20 years, is also part of this mixed artistic community, as is Circa Salon, Modern West Fine Art and Kings Peak Coffee Roasters. A true hidden gem! 412 S. 700 West, SLC, boguefoundry.com

    What Did We Miss?

    Best at Naughty and Nice
    Hot! Take Burlesque
    This burlesque troupe—which includes burlesque dancers from all around the Salt Lake area—is so good at their craft that they can apply their scintillating dance moves to any theme. If you want a night of performance completely set to BTS tunes? They've got a performance or five for that. Recently, they've put on variety shows honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, participating in Pride events and playing with themes like the recent Barbie craze. facebook.com/hottakeburlesque

    Best Draper Dance Studio
    The Moxy Movement
    In 2016, Angela Nelson and Sarah Child began creating a space and community for adults to explore their physical potential and build self-confidence through movement. Their search ended when they found The Old School located in historic Draper. With currently nine instructors, Moxy Movement features lessons in a variety of dances in two studios: their pole dance studio and aerial and dance studio. 12441 S. 900 East, Stes. 105 and 205, Draper, 801-999-8630, moxymovement.com

    Best Immersive Adventures
    Mystery Escape Room
    If solving real life puzzles and problems is your forté, then you'll be in hot demand at the Mystery Escape Room. Originating at The Gateway, MER has since expanded to cities throughout the valley. Here, groups of people try to solve a mystery and tackle puzzles to escape a locked room in an hour or less. Each room's theme changes throughout the year, so even if you think you know the solution from a previous visit, next time you go, you'll probably be stumped all over again. 130 S. Rio Grande St., SLC, 385-322-2583, mysteryescaperoom.com

    Best Locally Curated Immersive Art
    Dreamscapes
    "Art" can be a complex word to define, but it's easy to agree on the idea that it's a process born of imagination. The fantastical worlds of Utah Arts Alliance's Dreamscapes are the product of more than 100 artists and artisans, creating spaces that combine physical and digital works into landscapes that might inspire another generation of artists. That the works are created from upcycled and reclaimed materials makes it even more remarkable. 10450 S. State, Ste. 2200, Sandy, 801-637-5155, utaharts.org/en/dreamscapes

    Best Musical Performed in Utah
    Shucked, Pioneer Theatre Co.
    It's not exactly a common occurrence for Salt Lake City to get a chance to see a Broadway hit before it even gets a chance to go to Broadway. But thanks to a preview run at Pioneer Theatre Co., local audiences were treated to the hilarious, ear-wormy delights of the cornpone musical Shucked, which subsequently became a nominee for nine Tony Awards, including an acting win for Alex Newell. University of Utah, 300 S. 1400 East, Ste. 325, SLC, 801-581-6961, pioneertheatre.org

    Best Stained-Glass Art
    'Roots of Knowledge' at UVU
    Stained-glass art sometimes seems like the most amazing creative accomplishment, finding illuminated beauty in a fragile medium. Utah Valley University is the home of "Roots of Knowledge," a stained-glass mural created by the artists at Holdman Studios over the course of nearly four years, and unveiled in 2016. This display looks at the human pursuit of learning, spanning 80 panels and 154 feet—a remarkable celebration of knowledge itself in a unique form. Fulton Library, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, 801-863-7172, uvu.edu/rootsofknowledge

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    Sue’s Alteration: - for the perfect fit - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Sue’s Alteration: for the perfect fit

    Best Alterations, Apparel
    Sue's Alteration
    Very few people these days know how to put in a zipper, let out a seam or hem pants. It's easier to just donate the item to charity and buy something new. Sue Song offers quality tailoring and alterations to clients around the world and prides herself in having "fulfilled hundreds of thousands of memories" for her clients and customers. Altering clothes and reusing them is the ultimate example of helping the environment and not discarding useful materials into our landfills. 1441 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-800-0141, suesalteration.com
    2. Leone's Custom-Made, Tailor & Dry Cleaning
    3. A La Mode SLC

    Best Animal Hospital
    Hillside Veterinary Hospital
    Most of us consider our pets as family, and patrons of this hospital rave about the care their "family members" receive. "My dogs absolutely love it here and are crazy excited to see that we're pulling into the parking lot," wrote one reviewer. They offer puppy training, doggy day camp to help stop leash pulling and learn "come" and "heel" commands as well as full-service wellness exams, vaccinations, dentistry, labs, surgery and online pharmacy. 7054 S. 2300 East, Cottonwood Heights, 801-943-2154, hillsidevet.com
    2. University Veterinary Hospital & Diagnostic Center
    3. VCA Cottonwood Animal Hospital

    Best Animal Shelter/Rescue
    Best Friends Animal Society
    Founded in 1993 as a nonprofit animal welfare organization based in Kanab, Best Friends now has satellite offices in Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, California, New York and Salt Lake City (at 2005 S. 1100 East, 801-574-2454). Partnering with shelters in all 50 states to promote pet adoption, no-kill animal rescue and spay and neuter practices, Best Friends' sanctuary in Southern Utah (on 3,700 acres) shelters around 1,500 homeless animals and saves millions of animals every year in placements around the world. Multiple locations, bestfriends.org
    2. Humane Society of Utah
    3. Community Animal Welfare Society—CAWS

    Best Antiques
    Capital City Antique Mall
    Antique stores used to be common along the Wasatch Front, but with the high costs of rent and taxes, many have closed, or the owners have passed on or moved on. This mall, next to Publik Coffee, offers booths to rent to different vendors. You could spend an entire day going back in time browsing toys, jewelry, clothes, movie and television artifacts. You can also take in items that the owner may purchase on Thursdays. 959 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-521-7207, capitalcityantiquemall.com
    2. The Village Vintage Interiors
    3. Euro Treasures Antiques

    Best Asian Market
    Chinatown Supermarket
    Part of a wonderland of complementary retail and restaurants, Chinatown Supermarket stands as the huge flagship of the zone, a 30,000-square-foot blend of Asian culinary staples and delicacies you may have never seen before. From live seafood to fresh produce from around the world to plastic-encased treats that are new to you, the store's a fantastic place to wander and fill your cart with unexpected options, as well as any items you were specifically seeking out on arrival. 3390 S. State, Ste. 11, SLC, 801-906-8788, saltlakechinatown.com
    2. Ocean Mart
    3. Japan-Sage Market

    Best DUI Attorney
    Ed Brass
    A dozen years ago, an uber-powerful Republican member of the Utah Senate was arrested for driving under the influence. Among his first calls was to criminal defense attorney Ed Brass. No, Brass didn't get him off. And yes, the senator resigned. But when the local movers and shakers find themselves in a legal pickle, Brass is often their go-to guy. Over a 36-year career, he has tried between 200 and 300 jury trials in every county in Utah with an impressive acquittal rate. 8160 S. Highland Drive, SLC, 801-322-5678, edbrasslaw.com
    2. Tyler Ayres, Ayres Law Firm PC
    3. Jonathan G. Jemming, Jemming Law LLC

    Best Immigration Attorney
    Orlando Luna—Oluna Law PLLC
    Spanish-speaking attorney Luna works in family and civil law but also specializes in immigration law. His website offers great information about how an immigration attorney can help you, what to do if you're stopped by the police and myriad useful blogs. It costs nada to consult with him, and you can either call or go onto his website to leave a message about the advice you need for your legal issues. 1750 W. Research Way, Ste. 103, SLC, 801-770-4670, +48010579790, orlandolunalaw.com
    2. The Law Office of Isabel Cueva
    3. Steven Lawrence Jr., Utah Immigration Attorneys

    Best Personal Injury Attorney
    Law Office of Jacob Jensen
    It's wise when hiring an attorney that you find a specialist with great reviews. Jensen's firm gets rave reviews for helping people by advising them on their legal rights after an injury in a car accident. He is bilingual in Spanish after serving a mission in Honduras and has a great team of clerks and lawyers to tackle any case. 6629 S. 1300 East, SLC, 801-996-8662, jacobjensenlaw.com
    2. Aaron Wilde, Wilde Law
    3. Steele Adams Hosman

    Best ATV /ORV Store
    Young Powersports XL
    With Utah boasting some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, residents love exploring every nook and cranny of that beauty via an ATV or ORV. Young sells (and services) new and used powersports products and accessories. The Young Powersports group now includes seven dealerships in northern Utah and Idaho. The newly opened Centerville location is the largest dealership of its kind in Utah, selling machines, parts and accessories for a dozen well-known brands. Quads, side-by-sides, bikes and trikes, get your mud on! 547 S. Frontage Road, Centerville, 801-486-5401, youngpowersportsxl.com
    2. Tooele Valley Motorsports
    3. Jorgensen Sporting Goods, Richfield

    Best Auto Dealership
    Mark Miller Subaru
    Not your normal car dealership, Mark Miller Subaru is known for its positive impacts on the community, which it does by supporting causes that matter. Sure, car sales and service of a great product are important, but Mark Miller's ethos and seven pillars are unique: earth, help, pets, learning, care, veterans and diversity. Whether you're buying new or used or leasing, the Mark Miller staff gets rave reviews for kindness and passion. 3535 S. State, South Salt Lake, 385-501-3366, markmillersubarumidtown.com; 10920 S. State, Sandy, 385-348-5637, markmillersubarusouthtowne.com
    2. Nate Wade Subaru
    3. Young Subaru

    Love for your locks: Savant Deux Barbershop - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Love for your locks: Savant Deux Barbershop

    Best Barbershop
    Savant Barbershop
    Founded seven years ago in a competitive marketplace, Savant Deux Barbershop now has three locations. And there must be magic in those chairs, because the rave reviews from clients are endless. Anyone out of cosmetology school can cut hair, but creating a terrific fade or dying hair rainbow colors for Pride takes talent. Plus, they offer student discounts, and several stylists speak Spanish. Locations in Magna, Millcreek and Bountiful, savantbarbershop.com
    2. Jed's Barber Shop
    3. The Salt Lake Barber Co.

    Best Bicycle Repair Shop
    Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective
    Give a person a fish—feed them for a day. Teach that person to tune their own bicycle—they will ride for a lifetime. With four locations in Utah, the Bicycle Collective's DIY bike shop is where folks can learn their way around a frame with the pros or where members with know-how can tune and get themselves back on the road. Note that Monday nights are set aside as Women, Trans, Femme (WTF). In SLC, keep an eye out for the Collective's impressive new digs on the 9-Line Trail. 325 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-328-2453, bicyclecollective.org
    2. Guthrie Bicycle Co.
    3. Bingham Cyclery

    Best Bicycle Shop
    Bingham Cyclery
    Last year's winners take the prize again this year! This Northern Utah bike shop with locations in Sandy, SLC, Sunset and Ogden offers not just sales of traditional and electric bikes, but bike repairs, service plans and rentals. There's no better way to know if you've found the right bike than to take it out for a test ride. Just fill out a waiver and test anything in the shop. Multiple locations, 888-611-2453, binghamcyclery.com
    2. Contender Bicycles
    3. Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective

    Best Bookstore
    The King's English Bookshop
    A longtime favorite with our readers and staff, this cozy retreat is a book lover's paradise. With an extensive selection and now with additional spaces at the Neighborhood Hive and Salt Lake City International Airport, TKE is a welcome refutation of the claim that no one reads anymore. Best of all, it hosts a variety of community events that are more essential now than ever before. 1511 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9100, kingsenglish.com
    2. Marissa's Books
    3. Under the Umbrella Bookstore

    Best Camping Gear
    REI Co-op
    Utah's blessed with outdoors stores, some catering to a specific activity, others offering a full range of retail options. REI Co-op, of course, takes the latter approach with a store full of gear. Whether you're shopping for hiking boots, a simple tent or a sleeping bag with NASA-like specifications, your needs will likely be met at any of the three REIs found along the Wasatch Front. Friendly staffers and the ability to buy online are all appeals of REI, one of those national chains that somehow still feels right-size. Multiple locations, rei.com/stores
    2. Recreation Outlet
    3. General Army Navy Outdoor

    Previously rocked clothing at IconoCLAD is purr-approved. - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Previously rocked clothing at IconoCLAD is purr-approved.

    Best Clothing Boutique
    IconoCLAD
    Who doesn't need a good Burner or Halloween outfit? Need to sell your previously "rocked" items? This store offers an inclusive atmosphere for anyone who needs a safe space to express themselves and explore their identities. It's known as the go-to festival and second-hand place to shop. Now with two locations in Salt Lake City. 414 E. 300 South, SLC, 385-432-3600; 855 S. State, SLC, 801-833-2272; iconoclad.com
    2. Pib's Exchange
    3. Katie Waltman Boutique

    Best Bank for Small Businesses
    Mountain America Credit Union
    Small businesses need banking institutions that understand their budgeting and cash flow requirements. And that's where MACU shines. As a federally chartered credit union headquartered in Sandy with more than 100 branches throughout Utah and the West, MACU is a nonprofit. That means they're able to offer lower rates on loans and credit cards, as well as higher earnings on savings, money market and interest-bearing checking accounts. These folks have been around since the 1930s and are now the 10th largest credit union in the nation by total assets. Bravo, MACU. Multiple locations, 800-748-4302, macu.com
    2. America First Credit Union
    3. UFirst Credit Union

    Best Comic Book Store
    Black Cat Comics
    Comic books have been a beloved part of popular culture for generations—not just the characters on movie screens and TV shows, but in actual, brightly colored reading material. Greg Gage has been providing those entertaining books to customers for nearly 20 years now, providing both the latest new works and row upon row of long boxes full of back issues for those looking to fill a hole in their collections. 2261 S. Highland Drive, SLC, 801-461-4228, blackcat-comics.com
    2. The Nerd Store
    3. Dr. Volt's Comic Connection

    Best Company That Gives Back
    The Other Side Academy
    This school's two-year residential program is for those who've been substance abusers, homeless or convicted and might face pre- or post-sentencing. Offering vocational training, education and counseling as well as mentoring/leadership training, The Other Side Academy is changing lives, and its enrollees, in turn, are giving back to the community by being of service. The programs are mostly funded by its thrift stores and moving services offered by the academy. (PS: And if you're relocating, their moving services come highly recommended.) 667 E. 100 South, SLC, 801-953-0409, theothersideacademy.com
    2. Cotopaxi
    3. Bjorn's Brew

    Matt Caputo, Caputo’s Market & Deli - AAUSTEN DIAMOND
    • Aausten Diamond
    • Matt Caputo, Caputo’s Market & Deli

    Best European Food Imports Market
    Caputo's Market & Deli
    Decadence, thy name is Caputo's. With three locations in Salt Lake (downtown, 15th & 15th and Holladay), Caputo's can prepare sandwiches, pasta, salads, daily specials and desserts. You can also shop here. Need a bottle of capers? A chocolate bar? Some bitters for your backbar? Caputo's brings quality European imports to its retail shelves. They boast a vast assortment of artisanal cheeses and chocolates, plus classes and tastings, with a weblog that gives smart and solid advice for using their products. Caputo's is the real deal, an oasis for foodies with friendly, informative service. Multiple locations, caputos.com
    2. Pirate O's
    3. Mediterranean Market & Deli

    Mastering pasta at Park City Culinary Institute - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Mastering pasta at Park City Culinary Institute

    Best Culinary School
    Park City Culinary Institute
    Don't let the name confuse you; classes are taught on State Street in Salt Lake City by real-world chefs. Laurie Moldawer, who trained in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu and in New York at the Institute of Culinary Education, directs this independent boutique culinary school. Students here are not just stirring pots, they are stirring passions, adding a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of innovation to spark a taste-bud explosion. The state-of-the-art kitchens are the canvases where budding chefs paint their gastronomic masterpieces. 1484 S. State, SLC, 801-413-2800, parkcityculinaryinstitute.com
    2. Salt Lake Community College Culinary Institute
    3. Salt Lake Culinary Education

    Best Doggie Biscuit Take Out
    Bjorn's Brew
    "Drink coffee, save animals" is the mantra at this locally owned coffee shop founded to serve delicious coffee while donating money to animal charities. Every drink is served with a gingerbread dog-shaped cookie on the like, which is for you (not your dog!). When you walk into any one of their locations, you'll find real dog bones for your four-legged friend! Three SLC locations, bjornsbrew.com
    2. Rebel Paw
    3. Dela's Doggy Desserts

    Best Family-Owned Business
    Sauced Up Salsa
    This family- and minority-owned small business offers a great collection of mild to hot sauces and tortilla chips delivered to your home or available in local markets and served in three local hotels. They may be the only company in Utah offering freeze-dried versions to take camping with you. The Google reviews are 5-star, and even employees post about how much they love working for the owner, George Bush. 3678 W. 2100 South, SLC, 435-249-1086, saucedupsalsa.com
    2. Caputo's Market & Deli
    3. Grove Market & Deli

    Best Golf Course Pro Shop
    Mountain Dell Golf Course
    The course was created in Parleys Canyon in 1962 and redesigned in 1991 to be a 36-hole facility with the "mountain" and "lake" courses. Even at 6,000 feet above sea level, it's known as one of Utah's busiest courses. During the winter, it becomes a playground for cross-country skiers and tubers, but during golf season, players are greeted by a friendly staff of pros and semi-pros who offer lessons and the latest equipment for all levels of duffers. Parleys Canyon, Interstate 80, Exit 132, SLC, 801-582-3812, slc-golf.com/mountaindell
    2. Thanksgiving Point Golf Club
    3. Bonneville Golf Course

    Best Florist
    Native Flower Co.
    Pam Olson, the daughter of a nurseryperson, opened this neighborhood florist in Highland Park in 2012. Brought up to love her surrounding botanical and natural world, she is committed to buying locally grown products in season; all the green waste is picked up weekly and composted. Olson and her team get rave reviews for unique designs from simple homecoming boutonnieres to elaborate and unique displays for corporate events. 1448 E. 2700 South, SLC, 801-364-4606, nativeflowercompany.com
    2. The Petal Coop
    3. Hillside Floral

    Best Fishing Gear Store
    Western Rivers Flyfisher
    You'll often see folks in front of this store on 900 South (no matter the weather) casting fly rods and talking about fly-fishing. Western Rivers Flyfisher is not just a place to buy flies, waders and gear—you can also take classes, check on river conditions, plan a Green River guided trip or a guided river trip outside of Utah, and more. Since 1986, the store's happy fly-fisher folk return on the regular to talk fish. 1071 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-521-6424, westernriversflyfishing.com
    2. Fish Tech Outfitters
    3. Fishwest Fly Shop, Kamas

    Best Fishing Guide
    Western Rivers Flyfisher
    For 25 years, the friendly staff at Western Rivers has dispensed advice to novice and expert casters without judgement or jargon. Plus, they might make you a cup of coffee while they spool a line on your new reel. Beyond equipping an armada of Utah's fly-casters, this store also advocates protecting stream access from greedy developers. 1071 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-521-6424, westernriversflyfishing.com
    2. Trout Bum 2 Fly Shop
    3. Fishwest Fly Shop, Kamas

    Best Garden Co-op
    Wasatch Community Gardens
    The good people at Wasatch Community Gardens are available to teach newbies and those with green thumbs how to better grow things in the unique climate zones of the Beehive State. Wasatch rents out garden plots, sponsors sales of plants and offers educational opportunities. An emphasis on training youth gardeners is a priority, as is job training for women facing homelessness. The WCG has been active since 1989, helping support growing and eating what you grow. 629 E. 800 South, SLC, 801-359-2658; wasatchgardens.org
    2. Summit Community Gardens and Eats
    3. The Mobile Moon Cooperative

    Best Grocery Store Bakery
    Harmons Grocery
    This local chain's pastry chefs are trained in the fine art of baking and empowered to create as well as innovate. From artisan breads to cookies made from scratch, challah on Fridays and custom cakes, Harmons bakeries are a pleasure for patrons to enjoy. You can watch them mixing, baking and decorating and get a taste of items before you buy. So much better than the Crisco frostings of national chain frozen cakes! Eight locations in Utah, harmonsgrocery.com
    2. Rancho Markets
    3. Dick's Market, Centerville

    Katie Waltman one-of-kind jewelry design - ZUZANNA AUDETTE
    • Zuzanna Audette
    • Katie Waltman one-of-kind jewelry design

    Best Jewelry
    Katie Waltman Boutique
    For more than 20 years, Katie Waltman has built a business—and a national reputation, including showcases on Oprah.com and Elle magazine—on unique jewelry designs, going way back to being inspired by her grandmother's bead collection. From earrings to bracelets to necklaces, Waltman's designs emphasize a sophistication that's not ostentatious, while remaining simply beautiful. 2108 E. 1300 South, SLC, 801-981-4647, katiewaltman.com
    2. KOI Piercing Studio
    3. O.C. Tanner Jewelers

    Best Hair Salon
    Landis Lifestyle Salon
    Not just a full-service hair salon, Landis also offers spa services. They ask you to "define the look you love," and they will then treat you and your hair with what you need with facials, skin care, hair coloring, cuts and perms, hair removal and waxing and Green Science Plant Peels. 569 N. 300 West, Suite A, SLC, 801-364-3354; 1298 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-485-5506, landissalon.com
    2. Lucero Hair & Wellness
    3. Emerald Beauty Lounge

    Best International Market
    Chinatown Supermarket
    With "China" right there in the title, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Chinese diaspora is the market for this... market. That community is central to the store's business, with its teeming, floor-to-ceiling displays of Asian products, be they encased in plastic, tin, glass or fresh. Foods from other continents can also be found here, though the emphasis is obvious from your first steps into this massive emporium of wonderful foods and cookware and the like. 3390 S. State, Ste. 11 (inside of Chinatown Center), SLC, 801-906-8788, saltlakechinatown.com
    2. Ocean Mart
    3. La Pequeñita International Market

    Best Local Credit Union
    America First Credit Union
    Credit unions are not the same as banks. Both offer financial services but, as nonprofit cooperatives, credit unions are owned by their members and can offer better rates on loans and credit cards. AFCU was founded in 1939 at Fort Douglas and is now one of the largest credit unions in the U.S. with 130 locations as of 2023. Multiple locations, 800-999-3691, americafirst.com
    2. UFirst Credit Union
    3. Mountain America Credit Union

    Best Library Branch
    Salt Lake City Main Library
    At this moment of extremist demands that school and public libraries not carry anything that troubles their narrow, petty notion of the world, it's important to support every library. And if you're going to go someplace to enjoy the shared resources of books, audio-visual material and more, why not make it someplace that's as aesthetically remarkable as the downtown main library, where you can celebrate their mission in an architectural marvel. 210 E. 400 South, SLC, 801-524-8200, about.slcpl.org/main-library
    2. Sprague Branch
    3. Granite Library

    Best Local Gear Brand
    Cotopaxi
    This award-winning outdoor equipment company was named after one of the world's highest active volcanos in Ecuador by founder Davis Smith. He was U.S.-born but grew up in many parts of Latin America with his dad/family and his various construction jobs there. He moved to the U.S. from Brazil in 2014, got friends to put up venture capital and now has five brick-and-mortar stores in Utah showcasing its sustainable outdoor gear. Five locations in Utah, cotopaxi.com
    2. Black Diamond Equipment
    3. KUHL Clothing

    Best Local Company to Work For
    UFirst Credit Union
    University Federal Credit Union rebranded itself to "match the most important part of our promise to you—putting you first, no matter what." It wasn't a buyout or a merger, and employees didn't mass-quit their jobs with the change. Instead, employee retention is the pride of the company. They were created 65 years ago for the U of U staff and students, and they're now open to anyone who prefers a nonprofit credit union over a profit-making bank. Multiple branches/ATMs in the Salt Lake Valley, 801-481-8800, ufirstcu.com
    2. Tres Gatos Coffee
    3. The Nerd Store

    Best Locally Made Salsa
    Salsa Queen
    So many successful local businesses in the state have started as booths at a farmers market, like Utah's own Salsa Queen, Maharba Zapata. A single mom with seven mouths to feed, she got her personal tribe to shop, chop and prep salsa during the week to sell on the weekends. She learned quickly how to market and deliver her products, and soon found her popularity led to distribution at local Utah grocery stores and, now, nationally. Magnífico! 801-307-8336, salsaqueen.com
    2. Sauced Up Salsa
    3. Salsa Del Diablo

    Waterpocket’s Temple of the Moon Gin label is a keeper. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Waterpocket’s Temple of the Moon Gin label is a keeper.

    Best Looking Utah Liquor Bottle
    Waterpocket Distillery Temple of the Moon Gin
    If clothes make the man, does a bottle make the liquor? Waterpocket's beautiful label art certainly pops off of the shelf at the state liquor store, and its Temple of the Moon Gin in particular. Juniper sprigs twist up to a full moon shown setting behind the iconic Capitol Reef monolith for which the gin is named. It's a striking visual, to be sure, but the best part is how it tastes. 2084 W. 2200 South, West Valley City, 385-202-5725, waterpocket.co
    2. Holystone Distilling Cerulea Gin
    3. New World Distillery Wasatch Blossom

    Fur-babies deserve healthy food from The Dog’s Meow - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Fur-babies deserve healthy food from The Dog’s Meow

    Best Pet Supply Store
    The Dog's Meow
    Humans have massive choices for food in grocery stores, but just two or three multi-national corporations supply those stores with dog and cat food, and many are full of not-so-great ingredients. Alexis Butler and her daughter have found like-minded animal lovers who produce natural foods for dogs and cats and sell goat milk, refrigerated food, CBD lotions and potions, toys and outfits. The Draper store has a "no bend down" dog wash for pet owners. 2027 E. 3300 South, Millcreek, 801-468-0700; 866 E. 12300 South, Draper, 801-501-0818, dogsmeow.com
    2. Ma & Paws Bakery
    3. Paw Paw's Self-Serve Dog Wash & Boutique

    Best Middle Eastern Market
    Black Cherry Mediterranean Market
    Opened in 2011, this family-owned specialty foods store offers a pleasant and affordable shopping experience. Whether you're looking for pomegranate molasses, Middle Eastern breads and pastries, or canned vegetables and soups from across the pond, this store is a delight in cleanliness and friendliness. Experimenting with a new recipe? They have the spices you'll need. Open seven days a week. 4576 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-904-3989, blackcherrymarket.com
    2. European Tastees
    3. N/a

    Best Minority-Owned Business
    Sauced Up Salsa
    This company proclaims that they make every batch of salsa with love as they roast their ingredients "to perfection." George Bush is the Black owner/creator of the company. With a background in banking, sales, coaching, mentoring and retention, he has the skill set to run a successful small business and the talent to create award winning recipes for products people rave about and once you dip your chip, you'll feel the love ... and the fire. 3678 W. 2100 South, SLC, 435-249-1086, saucedupsalsa.com
    2. The People's Coffee
    3. Shades Brewing

    Best Pet Groomer
    The Dog Den
    We like to think our pets enjoy looking and smelling good, but do they, really? Fur-babies seem to walk a little happier when they leave the "Den" after getting pampered by their pet-loving staff who are extensively trained in dog body language, behavior and low-stress handling techniques. They have play groups based on the size of the dogs and their energy levels, and you can check in on their care and boarding via webcams. 130 S. Redwood Road, Ste. C, North Salt Lake, 801-875-9663, dogdenutah.com
    2. Meowser Pet Salon
    3. A Cut Above Pet Salon

    Best Piercer
    Dustin Robbins, ENSO Piercing + Adornment
    This gentle giant is known for making even the most nervous and scared newbie comfortable. He was one of the first piercers in the valley to open his own shop. He and his wife have a light, open and sterile shop that features some of the nicest jewelry for ears and body you can find to adorn your schmexy self. Text to set up an appointment. 336 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-953-0201, ensopiercing.com
    2. Jade, KOI Piercing Studio
    3. Courtney Marriott, Abyss Body Piercing

    Cactus & Tropicals: For your special occasions - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Cactus & Tropicals: For your special occasions

    Best Private Event Venue
    Cactus & Tropicals
    This plant store/nursery has such a rich, green flowery interior (thanks to year-round orchids) that folks often rent the space in Millcreek or Draper as a place to hold weddings, parties, and private events. The temperature inside is nicely humid and pleasant and allows for different food and beverage stations to be set up in various locations within the stores. 2735 S. 2000 East, SLC, 801-485-2542; 12252 S. Draper Gate Drive, Draper, 801-676-0935; cactusandtropicals.com
    2. Pierpont Place
    3. Red Butte Garden

    Best Piercing Studio
    KOI Piercing Studio
    Established in 1997 as Utah's first piecing-only studio, KOI carries on a well-established tradition of body modification that can be traced to the oldest mummified remains of preserved humans who had earrings and nose piercings more than 5,000 years ago. Virtually any part of our skin suit can be pierced, and the staff can offer expert advice per your choices. 1301 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-463-7070, koipiercingslc.com
    2. IRIS Piercing Studio & Jewelry Gallery
    3. ENSO Piercing + Adornment

    Best Private Bar Service
    Your Favorite Bartender
    Need a bartender for your event? Want to make sure they know the drinking laws and are licensed and bonded? These pros serve both cocktails, mocktails and dirty sodas for parties, weddings and corporate events. And the company has a line of craft cocktail syrups that have really made a splash—berry/lavender, cucumber mint, ginger lime, hibiscus spice, pineapple/ginger, etc. Don't try and be your own parties' bartender—hire these pros for a guaranteed successful event. yourfavoritebartender.org
    2. Premier Event Services
    3. Monaco Bar Services

    Best Recreation Sports Store
    REI Co-op
    Who doesn't love a great sporting goods store, especially in Utah where outdoor adventures are a perk of residency? This national co-op was founded 85 years ago by a group of climbing friends. They sell the best quality gear—skis, snowshoes, tents, climbing gear, top-brand clothing and more, plus they rent gear from bikes to skis to kayaks. Members get discounts on shop services, free ski and snowboard belt waxes and a trade-in program for pre-loved gear. Local stores in Salt Lake, Sandy and Farmington, rei.com/stores
    2. Recreation Outlet
    3. General Army Navy Outdoor

    Best Residential Complex
    Maven District
    The word "maven" is Yiddish for "expert," or Hebrew for "understands." Maven, the residential area, was founded by Tessa Arneson and boasts townhomes, lofts and local shops, workspaces and studios. This district is not far from downtown and the University of Utah, and is both walkable and fun. Anchored at 200 East and 900 South, the website calls this spot a "curated block of locally owned businesses that believe in diverse communities, self-growth and dreaming big." mavendistrict.com
    2. Hills at Sandy Station Apartment Homes
    3. Post District Residences

    If the shoe from SLRC fits, run with it! - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • If the shoe from SLRC fits, run with it!

    Best Runners Store
    SLRC: Salt Lake Running Co.
    Originally known as Sporting Soles, the name's evolved to "running." Owners Guy and Debbie Perry are runners themselves, with experience in track and cross country in high school and college. Many on the staff are accomplished runners. The stores don't only sell shoes but also socks, insoles, clothes and supplements. With retail locations in Sugar House, Foothill Village and Sandy, they offer an in-store "stride analysis" to give you the best fit for your style of running. Multiple locations, saltlakerunning.com
    2. Runner's Corner
    3. Fleet Feet, Ogden

    Best Shooting Range
    TNT Guns & Range
    Catering to gun enthusiasts as well as newbies who want to learn how to shoot, this is the largest indoor shooting range in the Mountain West. Shooters get a private booth in three shooting areas that include: a 25-yard private shooting suite, a 100-yard rifle range and the nation's first indoor pigeon shotgun range. TNT rents a myriad of guns to try before purchasing and offer yearly memberships and classes in basic firearms safety. 5669 S. Commerce Drive, Murray, 385-800-2400, tntgunsandrange.com
    2. Doug's Shoot'n Sports
    3. Three Mile Creek Gun Range

    Best Ski Shop
    Ski 'N See
    With 14 locations in Salt Lake Valley and Park City, Ski 'N See has helped beginners and pros with their ski and snowboard gear for over 30 years. Offering daily and seasonal rentals, they also service what they sell. The staff are winter sports enthusiasts who can direct you to their favorite mountains and runs and may even share their secrets to improve your style. Olympic athletes have been spotted getting a tune up or browsing the aisles. Multiple locations, 800-722-3685, skinsee.com
    2. Lone Pine Gear Exchange
    3. Sports Den

    Best Smoke/Vape Shop
    Blackhouse Vapor Co.
    If you vape, you'll want to check out this store with its massive choice of devices, Ejuice, disposables and all things vape. Their website has great info like a blog on how to "Vape like a pro: a beginner's guide," the difference between PG dominant and GV dominant vape liquids, upping your wattage and getting a decent coil. 2148 S. 900 East, No.3, SLC, 801-467-6526, blackhousevapor.com
    2. Murray Vapes
    3. Robertsons Smoke & Coffee Shop

    Best Specialty Nursery
    Cactus & Tropicals
    This shop opened back in 1975 when Lorraine Miller started selling cacti in a storefront downtown. Miller retired and sold to Scott and Karin Pynes in 2002. The store has expanded from one location in Millcreek to a second one in Draper. They don't just sell indoor and outdoor plants; they have a side business that provides plants and weekly plant care to local businesses. 2735 S. 2000 East, SLC, 801-485-2542; 12252 S. Draper Gate Drive, Draper, 801-676-0935; cactusandtropicals.com
    2. Glover Nursery
    3. Deseret Nursery Perennial Farm

    Salty Kitten - Tattoo Co. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Salty Kitten Tattoo Co.

    Best Tattoo Shop
    Salty Kitten Tattoo Co.
    Tat shops are getting as common as fast-food joints but this one, founded by Will McCoy, offers a wonderful mix of resident artists. Check the website to see the different styles of the creators. They are also one of the few shops that first and happily welcomed the local queer and trans community into a safe environment for personal and original neo-traditional and traditional artwork. 4902 S. State, Murray, 801-313-4155, saltykittentattoo.com
    2. Black Honey Tattoo
    3. Studio Elev8

    Best Snowboard Shop
    Milosport
    Founded in 1984 as the first windsurfing and snowboarding shop in Utah, this specialty shop also features skateboards and decks. Selling the largest varieties and most popular brands of boards, they offer repairs and fittings for snowboarders and sponsor pro-team riders. Known as one of the top shops in the U.S., manufacturers continually look to them for trends. When out-of-state snowboarders find out you're from Utah, they will have heard of Milosport! The name came from one of the original partners, Dimitrije Milovich. 3119 E. 3300 South, SLC, 801-487-8600, milosport.com
    2. Salty Peaks Snowboard Shop
    3. Ski 'N See

    Best Tattoo Artist
    Ashley Love, Only Forever Tattoo
    The Granary District is a creative space—one that's just right for a tattoo parlor featuring Ashley Love and her fellow artists. She's been working putting ink on skin since 2003, and had dedicated a great deal of time to creating tattoo "flash events" which now reach around the world. Known for her love of traditional designs and pinups with precise line work, she sees her passionate art as an honor to those she inks. 285 W. 800 South, Ste. 201, SLC, 801-493-5956, onlyforevertattoo.com
    3. Mike Johnson, Studio Elev8

    Best Thrift/Consignment Store
    IconoCLAD
    Who doesn't love a bargain or finding the perfect gently used and groovy clothing item? The staff knows what to look for, and welcomes the chance to sell any of your treasures on consignment. No matter your gender you will squeal with delight at the huge variety of tchotchkes and accessories as well as new and used clothes. Now with two locations in Salt Lake City. 414 E. 300 South, SLC, 385-432-3600; 855 S. State, SLC, 801-833-2272; iconoclad.com
    2. The Other Side Thrift Boutique
    3. Pib's Exchange

    Best Tree and Shrub Nursery
    Glover Nursery
    This wholesale/retail nursery is run by two best friends, co-workers and brothers: Rod and Bryce Glover. These two are the ultimate resource when it comes to trees and shrubs, as well as garden tools, hard goods like rocks, bark and soil, and plant care. As Utah's "First Family Nursery," their business goes back six generations. Albert Glover started the Jordan Nursery in 1895, and a grandson launched Glover Nursery in 1911. It's a favorite year-round for landscape contractors and home gardeners. 9275 S. 1300 West, West Jordan, 801-562-5496, glovernursery.com
    2. J & J Nursery & Garden Center
    3. Millcreek Gardens

    Randy’s Records: where those who love to spin vinyl find their groove - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
    • Josh Scheuerman
    • Randy’s Records: where those who love to spin vinyl find their groove

    Best Vinyl Record Shop
    Randy's Records
    As can be seen on their record-shaped logo, Randy's Records has been selling vinyl since 1978. Here, you can peruse used tapes and CDs, as well as the players to listen to them on, including quality turntables, tape decks and even the odd 8-track player. But without those stacks of vinyl, the place wouldn't be the same. In a town that's seen real, quality growth in the record-store scene, Randy's is a solid pacesetter. 157 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-532-4413, randysrecords.com
    2. Graywhale Entertainment
    3. Diabolical Records

    Best Tree Services
    Diamond Tree Experts
    Taking down a large tree can cost thousands of dollars because removal services often have to bring in a crane so that the tree doesn't fall on a house or business. Diamond offers not just removal and demolition but landscape maintenance, stump removal, tree maintenance and power line trimming. Call anytime for an estimate. 3645 S. 500 West, SLC, 801-262-1596, diamondtreeexperts.com
    2. Atlas Tree Service
    3. Rent a Monkey Tree Service

    Best Veterinarian
    Corinna Camfield, Hillside Veterinary Hospital
    Dr. Camfield ("Cori") grew up with dogs, cats and horses in California and New York. She graduated from Stanford and UC Davis, and she specializes in animal dermatology, soft tissue surgery, infectious diseases and treatments of companion goats and backyard chickens. She owns a German shepherd named Merry and loves to follow her patients through all their life stages. 7054 S. 2300 East, Cottonwood Heights, 801-943-2154, hillsidevet.com
    2. Dr. Heather Moreau, Canyons Veterinary Clinic
    3. Dr. Kara Tassone, TLC Pet Care

    Best Water Sports Store
    Marine Products
    If you love playing in our local waterways, head to this store where you'll find the latest in wakeboards and water skis. And if you yearn for a boat, they sell pre-owned inventory as well as Supra, Moomba and Alumacraft products for fishing, skiing and fun. They also service what they sell, so it's really one-stop shopping for fun on the water. 949 W. 1700 South, SLC, 801-973-4017, marine-products.com
    2. Utah Whitewater Gear
    3. Pool 'N Patio Supply

    Best Website Designer
    Third Sun
    Large corporations can throw big bucks at web design. Small firms and nonprofits don't have such funds, but that's where Third Sun shines. Troy Mumm and Jocelyn Kearl put their heads together in 2005 to form a small but mighty group to help companies create a great presence on the internet for reasonable costs. Clients include TreeUtah, Amour Spreads and Café, Utah Nonprofits Association, Wood River Land Trust and the U of U College of Fine Arts. 774 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-649-3598, thirdsun.com
    2. Fluid22
    3. Hook'd IT Up

    Best Cannabis Budtender
    Dennis Magana, WholesomeCo Cannabis
    A familiar face at WholesomeCo Cannabis, Dennis Magana retains his crown as Utah's top cannabis budtender for another year. Magana's dedication to helping both novice and experienced patients navigate the diverse world of medical cannabis has not gone unnoticed. With a wealth of knowledge, a friendly demeanor, and a commitment to cannabis education, he continues to be a beacon of expertise in the state's thriving medical cannabis community. Don't forget to tip your budtender! 580 W. 100 North, West Bountiful, 801-695-4480, wholesome.co
    2. Jamie Kindig, Dragonfly Wellness, Salt Lake City
    3. Kristy Bennett, Bloc Pharmacy, South Jordan

    Best Cannabis Concentrates
    Jilu Premium Live Rosin Pineapple Express
    The competition was fierce, but Jilu Premium Live Rosin Pineapple Express cartridge emerged as the champion in the saucy cannabis concentrates category. WholesomeCo Cannabis Jam on It, Live Hash and Dragonfly Wellness Bruce Banner follow closely, showcasing the diversity and quality of cannabis concentrates available to Utah's medical cannabis patients. Finally! These products didn't start emerging until 2022, and are in high demand by Utah cannabis consumers. More info at IG @jilupremium
    2. WholesomeCo Cannabis Jam on It—Live Hash
    3. Dragonfly Wellness Bruce Banner

    Best Cannabis Edibles
    Riverside Farm Hygge Chew
    The Danish cozy lifestyle is said to be hygge. It's about snuggling up and embracing simple pleasures—yes, even yummy cannabis edibles. As our friends at Salt Baked City say: Utah weed should taste good. It often doesn't, due to legalities that say it shouldn't, which makes Riverside Farm stand out all the more with its line of fruit-flavored cannabis gummies that go down easy without sacrificing on strain, potency or formulation. Various locations, IG: @riversidefarmer
    2. Jilu Premium
    3. Dragonfly Wellness Mints

    Millcreek Gardens - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Millcreek Gardens

    Best Veggie/Flower Nursery
    Millcreek Gardens
    No matter the season, you can find everything a gardener needs to plan, plant and care for their veggies and flowers. Started in 1955 by Vernon and Murriel Smith, the small nursery on 3½ acres grew and grew. Drive by any day, and you can tell what season it is by the plants on display. Go in and receive terrific advice from their staff for all native, rare and common plantings. 3500 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-487-4131, millcreekgardens.com
    2. Glover Nursery
    3. Kuwahara Farms & Greenhouses

    Products to help you feel better, without the high: Koodegras CBD Oil - ZUZANNA AUDETTE
    • Zuzanna Audette
    • Products to help you feel better, without the high: Koodegras CBD Oil

    Best CBD Retailer
    Koodegras CBD Oil
    Koodegras continues to be the go-to destination for those seeking the benefits of CBD without the high. They really have been since 2015 when they first opened their doors. With locations in Midvale, Sandy, and Millcreek, the family-owned and -operated business has been a trusted source for small-batch artisan CBD formulations by people across the state. Their dedication to providing unique CBD products without the need for a medical cannabis card remains unmatched. Multiple locations, koodegras.com
    2. Blackhouse Botanicals
    3. HempLucid

    Best Cannabis Flower
    WholesomeCo Cannabis Live Resin Badder
    Utah is a new legal cannabis state, so sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Take, for instance, WholesomeCo Cannabis Live Resin Badder. While technically derived from cannabis flower, it doesn't fit the traditional mold for this category. Nevertheless, it earns its place as this year's winner in Utah's cannabis flower category, a testament to the excellence of Utah-grown cannabis and the diverse product offerings our high-elevation sticky-icky creates. 580 W. 100 North, West Bountiful, 801-695-4480, wholesome.co
    2. Pure Plan Medical Pure Plan
    3. Dragonfly Wellness MAC

    Best Cannabis Pharmacy
    WholesomeCo Cannabis
    Thanks to its commitment to patient care and convenience, WholesomeCo Cannabis retains its title as Utah's favorite cannabis pharmacy. Their statewide cannabis delivery service has been a game-changer for patients in rural Utah, ensuring that those in need have access to medical cannabis products regardless of their location. Plus, that's where Utah's favorite budtender, Dennis Magana, works. Dragonfly Wellness in downtown Salt Lake City and Bloc Pharmacy in South Jordan also earn well-deserved recognition. 580 W. 100 North, West Bountiful, 801-695-4480, wholesome.co
    2. Dragonfly Wellness
    3. Bloc Pharmacy South Jordan

    Best Cannabis Topical
    Jilu Premium
    Jilu Premium secures the top spot in the cannabis topical category, providing registered medical cannabis patients with a natural solution to alleviate aches and pains without the psychoactive effects of cannabis. This localized relief is highly sought after by those dealing with chronic pain, muscle tension and inflammation. For non-medical cannabis patients, HempLucid also deserves recognition for offering Utahns options to address discomfort effectively without a medical cannabis card. Toss the pills and go green! Ask for products at medical cannabis pharmacies, more info at IG @jilupremium
    2. Riverside Farm
    3. HempLucid

    Best CBD Products
    HempLucid
    Utah-born companies continue to shine in the CBD products category, with HempLucid taking the lead. HempLucid's dedication to using only the finest, naturally grown ingredients and extracting CBD from certified organic hemp has won the hearts of our green readers. When it comes to finding the best CBD products in Utah, HempLucid stands as a shining example of quality and efficacy. Don't forget to check out their new mushroom products! 852 E. 1910 South, Ste. 3, Provo, 385-203-8556, hemplucid.com
    2. Koodegras CBD Oil
    3. Blackhouse Botanicals

    Best Pet CBD
    Healthy Hemp Pet Co.
    Your dogs have an endocannabinoid system, too! For Utah's furry companions, Healthy Hemp Pet Co. remains the top choice when it comes to CBD products. By focusing on the well-being of our four-legged friends, Healthy Hemp Pet Co. offers CBD solutions designed to ease discomfort, reduce anxiety and enhance overall pet health. Their dedication to providing non-psychoactive, high-quality, and natural products demonstrates their commitment to improving the lives of your fur babies. Order online or at pet stores throughout the country. 801-935-4586, healthyhemppet.com
    2. Koodegras CBD Oil
    3. HempLucid

    Best Medical-Cannabis Card Provider
    Empathetix
    Recognized once again as the preferred choice for medical cannabis card providers in Utah, Empathetix ensures accessibility for patients far-and-wide with an extensive network of offices throughout Utah and a mobile medical cannabis bus. They host numerous card sign-up events offering discounts on medical cannabis cards. Empathetix has proven to be an invaluable resource for Utah medical cannabis patients seeking alternative health and wellness solutions in conservative Utah. Multiple locations statewide, 801-804-3166, empathetix.com
    2. KindlyMD, Utah Medical Card & Medication Management Services
    3. GetCannabisCard.com | UtahCanna

    DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle

    Best Lips to Latex
    Twisted Temptations
    Blown, twisted, tweaked and tied up. We're not talking about S&M, but rather Jeffery Kimber's erotic balloon art. Offering inflated crafts to bachelorettes and bachelors across this state, Kimber's creations aren't your typical birthday balloon animals. If you're looking for something provocative to make your next party really pop, stop clowning around and let Twisted Temptations tickle your fancy. Learn more on their social @twistedtemptationsofutah

    What Did We Miss?

    Best Craftsman Furniture
    Sugar House Furniture
    Craftsman-style furniture is finely crafted using high-quality materials. Simple and elegant, it's made of solid wood using "joinery" methods, as opposed to the use of nails and screws. Also known as "mission style," these pieces happen to be Sugar House Furniture's specialty. They fit perfectly in Sugar House bungalows and Tudor-style homes. Locally owned since 1985, Sugar House Furniture is a go-to for quality furniture that can last—and well worth the investment. 2892 S. Highland Drive, SLC, 801-485-3606, sugarhousefurniture.com

    Best Park City Butchery
    Chop Shop Park City
    Whether you're after a locally sourced charcuterie board, some prime cut steak or a quick lunch, Park City's Chop Shop is all over it. They've built a solid reputation among Park City's dining elite, and their menu of sandwich classics includes everything from spicy fried chicken to meatball and provolone. It's also just the place to snag some Detroit-style deep dish–perfect for carbo loading before grilling up all those steaks you just bought. 1177 Center Drive, Ste. J2, Park City, 435-604-0244, chopshopparkcity.com

    Best Professional Organizing Co.
    Organize Simply With Tracy
    OK, pack rats of the world: Tracy Bowers with Organize Simply is here to help you declutter and organize, prepare your home for sale, organize and pack for a move, and even consult on a kitchen design or remodel. One voter wrote: "Organize Simply is a professional organizing company like no other. ... You can see the attention to detail they put into everything they work on." If your clutter is holding you hostage, these folks can set you free. Draper, 805- 244-8150, organizesimply.com

    Best Tartans
    Edinburgh Castle Scottish Imports
    If Robert Burns were to stroll up Main Street, he'd feel right at home ducking into Edinburgh Castle Scottish Imports with its shelves packed with Scottish merchandise, many bearing a Royal Warrant ("By Appointment to His Majesty ..."). For the past 49 years, the store has sold tartan kilts, skirts, ties, scarves and clan crests to customers nationwide. Need a cap or a hat? The Castle has one of the area's largest inventories—including a gray top hat which almost guarantees you a seat in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot! 124 S. Main, SLC, 801-364-1406, edinburghcastle.com

    Best Tea Box of the Month
    Honey Teahive
    Honey Teahive ups the "posh" level of any social gathering. Count on Mika Lee to bring a British-style afternoon tea party to your home or location of your choice. She also offers tea classes and unique crafted catering. Don't miss her tea box of the month. These are not your granddad's bento boxes. For example, October's box featured braised pork, Hainanese kaya toast, green scallion bread, red bean snow mooncake and assam black tea (or roasted barley). Sign up on Teahive website and enjoy. 801-998-2057, honeyteahive.com

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    Best Balayage and Curly-Hair Styling
    Meraki House Salon
    This is not your average hair salon; the dedicated team of stylists specializes in cutting curly hair and creating stunning balayage effects. They understand curl patterns and how to cut to create volume and definition. As masters of balayage, the technique that originated in France, they hand-paint customized highlights onto the hair to create a soft, sun-kissed look with less noticeable regrowth. 156 E. 900 South, No. 5, SLC, merakihousesalon.com

    Best Urban Fruit Harvesting
    Green Urban Lunch Box Fruit Tree Services
    Sick of your fruit tree only bearing fruit onto your driveway? The Green Urban Lunch Box offers a way to put your fruit to good use—with their Fruit Tree Services, they'll not only take care of your tree, but can help to harvest it and use the fruit for local hunger relief. 3188 S. 1100 West, SLC, 801-318-1745, thegreenurbanlunchbox.com

    Best New Ski Shop for Locals
    Yomie
    At Yomie, a new locals-focused ski and clothing shop in 9th and 9th, you can buy Vishnu Skis, plus apparel and artful gear from other locals like Lizard Stuff, Arsenic, Malware, Kysen Hall and Rodeo. They also offer consignment and screenprinting. You'll have the best looks while skiing the best snow on Earth. 1065 E. 900 South, SLC, instagram.com/yomie.shop

    Best New Way to Pay for Transit
    Transit App
    Not only is the Transit app the new way to pay digitally for transit tickets, but it shows routes based on your location, bus and train ETAs in real time, and lets you create a cute little icon that gamifies your ride. The more you ride, the more data is sent to other phones about where the hell your bus is—a godsend in a city where the buses can never come fast, or regularly enough. transitapp.com

    Best OG Skate Shop
    Milosport
    Milosport has been slashing since 1984! Milo is known far and wide for its snowboards but it also caters to skaters, and they provide notable customer service. It helps that the staff all ride and know the product. One of our favorite things is that they take their time with young riders and know the ins and outs as kids' needs grow. Support your local skate shop! 3119 E. 3300 South, SLC, 801-487-8600, milosport.com

    Best Toy Shop
    Clark Planetarium
    Many folks go to the Clark Planetarium to catch an IMAX show or experience an eclipse. What you may not know is that they have a kickass toy store (open seven days a week) that will make any kid (or adult) squeal with joy. You'll find toys ranging from a variety of old standbys to the newest coolest handheld thingamabob. It's a one-stop shop for stocking stuffers, for birthday presents or for a simple reward for yourself. 110 S. 400 West at the Gateway, SLC, 385-468-7827, slco.org/clark-planetarium

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    DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle

    Best Bowling Alley
    Bonwood Bowl
    Bonwood Bowl is about as classic as it gets when it comes to old-school bowling alleys: no frills but all the fun. You won't find laser-lit, glow-in-the-dark games here, but you can count on a family-friendly environment with more than 40 lanes to try your hand at scoring a turkey while noshing on a plate of cheese fries and a cold beer. Serious bowlers can channel their inner "Dude" here. Call for info about league nights or private parties. 2500 S. Main, SLC, 801-487-7758, bonwoodbowl.com
    2. Pins & Ales
    3. Olympus Hills Bowling Lanes

    Best Bike-Friendly Neighborhood
    Sugar House
    If the current construction in Sugar House is any indicator, this bike-friendly neighborhood is about to get even friendlier as the city expands trails and green space. From Sugar House Park into Hidden Hollow and past Fremont Park along the S-line, one can pedal to shops like quirky Pib's Exchange or Look Look Tattoo, restaurants like SugarHouse Barbeque Co., and bars and breweries such as Hopkins, Acme and the Tap Room. visitsaltlake.com/salt-lake-city/sugar-house
    2. Central 9th
    3. Daybreak

    Best Dark Sky Park
    Capitol Reef National Park
    A designated International Dark Sky Park since 2015, Capitol Reef offers pristine night sky vistas and unparalleled stargazing. The park hosts four Night Sky Data Collection Sites and seven recommended stargazing areas, including three campgrounds: Panorama Point, Danish Hill, Slickrock Divide and more. Pick up a night sky chart at the visitors center to help pinpoint constellations visible at various times of the year. Torrey, 435-425-3791, nps.gov
    2. Goblin Valley State Park
    3. Bryce Canyon National Park

    Best Disc Golf Course
    Solitude Mountain Resort
    Starting at 9,000 feet of elevation, Solitude's 18-hole course meanders through stands of tall trees with holes spaced evenly for a comfortable downhill walk. Except the stunning last hole, which spans 1,200 feet and a 400-foot drop. The course, open June to October, is free, but a lift pass costs $10 and operates Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude, 385-282-7155, solitudemountain.com/things-to-do/disc-golf
    2. Brighton Resort
    3. Creekside Park

    Best Getaway—Bordering State
    Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
    There's a reason Lava Hot Springs is lovingly referred to as "Lav-aaah" by Utahns. It's where we go to soak away our stress, scratch lotto tickets and enjoy low-key living just a short drive across the Idaho border. Summer sees families floating the Portneuf River and surging down water slides at the Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Complex. Come winter, head four blocks upriver for a warming dip in the town's famous hot pools. lavahotsprings.com
    2. Las Vegas, Nevada
    3. Glenwood Springs, Colorado

    Best Getaway in Utah
    Moab—Like, All of It
    Moab is all about layers. On the surface are Arches and Canyonlands, with easy trails for coastal friends struggling to acclimatize. Dig deeper at Dead Horse State Park, which has similar scenery but zero crowds. Deeper still are local favorites Corona Arch and Moonflower Canyon, while slickrock trails crisscross nearby public lands. Whether you burn calories or hydrocarbons, refuel at Milt's Stop & Eat or grab a smoothie from Gloria's. discovermoab.com
    2. Bear Lake
    3. Zion National Park

    Best Hiking Trail
    Lake Blanche, Big Cottonwood Canyon
    If you're lucky enough to find a parking spot at Mill B South Fork Trailhead, you're in for a beautiful hike to some of the prettiest lakes in the Wasatch, including Lakes Blanche, Florence and Lillian. Lace up your boots, pull on your CamelBak get ready for some serious gains to the tune of 2800 feet as this 7-mile out-and-back route meanders through dense mountain forest, offering glimpses of Sundial Peak and the Great Salt Lake Valley. Trailhead: 6510 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, SLC
    2. Cecret Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon
    3. Timpanogos Summit Trail

    Best Mountain Bike Trail
    Bonneville Shoreline Trail
    The best bike trail is the one you could ride every day, and for Salt Lakers, the Bonneville Shoreline is your first-class ticket to mountain singletrack, minutes away from home, school or the office. Whether you're running Dry Gulch before class at the U, bombing down Bobsled into the Avenues or looping in City Creek Canyon after quittin' time downtown, build the ever-improving BST network into your routine and you won't regret it. bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org
    2. Wasatch Crest Trail
    3. Canyon Hollow in Corner Canyon

    Iconic Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park - ROYCE BAIR AT ROYCEBAIR.COM
    • Royce Bair at RoyceBair.com
    • Iconic Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park

    Best Must-See Rock Formation
    Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
    Pick your approach. A parking lot viewpoint. A steep ½ mile trail to a canyon overlook. Or a 3-mile roundtrip hike to stand beneath the arch. Adventurous visitors opt for the last option, which hides your goal from view until it materializes like a giant petrified slinky. Arches now requires "timed entry" reservations to enter the park from April-October, which can be booked three months in advance. Moab, 435-719-2299, nps.gov/arch
    2. Goblin Valley State Park
    3. Rainbow Bridge

    Best Municipal Park
    Liberty Park
    City-dwellers may not have the same sprawling, grassy estates as their suburban counterparts, but what they do have is an 80-acre backyard that everyone shares. Does your yard have sports courts, a pool, a pond, a cycling track, an aviary, gardens and multiple playgrounds? Unless your last name is Romney or Huntsman, it probably doesn't—so I guess you'd better get yourself to Liberty Park. 600 East between 900 South and 1300 South, 801-972-7800, slc.gov/parks
    2. Sugar House Park
    3. Murray Park

    Best Off-Road Destination
    Moab
    With a million acres of accessible public lands, Moab is a knobby tire mecca. Spring and fall are popular dry seasons, while summer monsoons bring forth mud. Arrange a guided trip, rent a side-by-side in town, or test your Subaru's 8.7-inch ground clearance. Popular trails include Potash Road and Onion Creek. Starting in 2023, all off-road drivers must pass a 30-minute online test, and always remember to "throttle down in town." discovermoab.com
    2. Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    3. Sanpete County

    Best Paddleboard Lake
    Causey Reservoir
    There's a lake for everyone in Utah—Lake Powell for the houseboaters; the Great Salt Lake for sailing and rowing; Utah Lake for toxic algal bloom enthusiasts. Looking for a quiet and calm place to paddle around? There's no beating Weber County's Casey Reservoir, perched in the mountains east of Huntsville. Summer weekends can see the main channel turn into a floating tailgate party, but there's plenty of space to explore for those seeking solitude. visitogden.com/directory/causey-reservoir
    2. Jordanelle Reservoir
    3. Tibble Fork Reservoir

    Best Pickleball Courts
    Murray Park
    Pickleball, that accessible marriage of badminton and ping-pong, has long found a niche here in the Beehive State. Murray Park's complex offers six courts, shaded seating, and overhead lighting for evening sport. Open play runs from 6 a.m. to noon on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Courts can be reserved for weekday afternoons through Murray Parks and Recreation. 165 E. Myrtle Ave., Murray, 801-264-2614, murray.utah.gov/1865/Murray-Park-Pickleball-Complex
    2. Second Summit Hard Cider Co.
    3. Club Pickleball USA, Sandy

    Best Staycation
    Park City
    For those of us who live here, it's easy to take for granted the natural beauty of the Wasatch Front. You don't need to go far to get a dose of another world, as heading up the canyon to Park City gives you access to the picturesque mountain setting, seasonal recreation (whether you ski or hike—or both), and the quaint delights of Historic Main Street, with its galleries, amazing restaurants and delightful nightspots. visitparkcity.com
    2. Bear Lake
    3. The Grand America Hotel

    Best RV Boondocking
    Little Sahara State Park
    Everything in Juab County is off the beaten path, including this 220-square-mile playground of sagebrush and sand dunes. Located two hours south of SLC, Little Sahara is well-known among OHV enthusiasts. Since ATVs and dune buggies take over during weekends, visit mid-week for quiet. Oasis campground offers paved loops and pads for trailers, while Sand Mountain is primitive and rowdy. 27020 W. Sand Mountain Road, Eureka, 435-433-5960, blm.gov/visit/little-sahara-recreation-area
    2. Fishlake National Forest
    3. Fred Hayes State Park, Starvation Reservoir

    Best Public Golf Course
    Mountain Dell Golf Course
    Featuring two 18-hole courses—Lake or Canyon, a driving range and putting greens nested among the pines in Parleys Canyon, Mountain Dell feels distinctly Utah, where elk, deer, moose, rabbits and other wildlife are par for the course. Beat the summer heat on the back nine, then grab a table on the deck at Sandwedge Cafe for a patty melt and a cold one. Parleys Canyon, I-80 Exit 134, SLC, 801-582-3812, slc-golf.com/mountaindell
    2. Wasatch Mountain Golf Course
    3. Nibley Park Golf Course

    Best River Guide Company
    OARS
    With boat houses near Moab and Vernal, OARS runs trips on the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Yumpa Rivers, including whitewater excursions through the infamous Cataract Canyon and shorter runs though Split Mountain Canyon or Westwater Canyon. Choose from a day-long itinerary starting at $129 per person or go all-in on the 24-day John Wesley Powell Retrace. Meals, rafting essentials and camping gear included. Multiple locations, 855-669-6051, oars.com
    2. Holiday River Expeditions
    3. High Country Adventure

    Brighton: Life elevated for skiers and snowboarders - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Brighton: Life elevated for skiers and snowboarders

    Best Snowboarding Resort
    Brighton
    The rivalry over best snowboard resort runs deeper than the '22-'23 season's snowfall, but this year's title goes to Big Cottonwood's Brighton, which saw its season extended through May thanks to well over 800 inches of powder, 105 snowfall days and nearly a 200-inch base. Those in the know dropped lines in Rock Garden, sought out untouched stashes in the trees and cut fresh tracks in Milly Bowl during a winter that was nothing short of legendary. 8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, brightonskiresort.com
    2. Snowbird
    3. Snowbasin Resort

    Best Ski Resort
    Brighton
    There's plenty for skiers to love at Brighton, like rolling corduroy runs, perfectly spaced trees, park features for all abilities, night skiing, family-friendly pricing and the best snow on Earth. New for the '23-'24 season, Crest lift is upgraded to a Doppelmayr high-speed 6-seater, Snake Creek gets its own dining area in Sidewinder Grill and parking reservations go into effect for the entire lot. 8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, brightonskiresort.com
    2. Alta Ski Area
    3. Snowbird

    Best Skate Park
    Fairmont Park
    Once the site of a public swimming pool, this 15,000-square-foot concrete wonderland crams in rails, ledges, a mini-ramp and a Euro-gap, plus two bowls for carving corners. Fairmont's convenient location, ample parking and nearby bathrooms attract crowds of skaters and fans, especially on warm summer nights when the overhead lights stay on until 11 p.m. 1040 E. Sugarmont Drive (2225 South), SLC, slc.gov/parks
    2. Vans Utah State Fairpark
    3. Rosewood Park Skatepark

    Best Sunset View
    Living Room Trail
    Like Stonehenge, no one knows who assembled these sandstone slabs into couches and chairs perched on the Wasatch foothills. But their wide-angle view of the western sky is a worthy goal for this 2½ mile out-and-back hike. Considered "moderately challenging" due to the 1,000-foot elevation gain, most hikers can handle it. Just remember to bring water, sunscreen and a headlamp for the descent. Trailhead at 383 Colorow Road near the Natural History Museum of Utah
    2. Dead Horse Point Overlook
    3. Bountiful/Layton Foothills

    Best Urban Fishing
    Big Cottonwood Creek
    World-class fishing can be found on Utah's Weber and Provo Rivers, but when you've only got an hour or two to spare, grab your pole and a bucket of night crawlers and head to Big Cottonwood Creek. With the headwaters starting at Brighton, the creek rushes down Big Cottonwood Canyon, and once outside the canyon, it swishes through many neighborhoods. Try your luck at catching the perfect pan-sized trout at access points along the creek from Cottonwood Heights to Holladay to Murray, all the way until it empties into the Jordan River.
    2. Willow Pond, Murray
    3. South Jordan Fishing Ponds

    Best Urban/City Bike Trail
    Jordan River Parkway Trail

    Ten years from now, when e-bikes are as common as cars on city streets (and potentially more common), we'll look back on the Jordan River Trail as the one that started it all. Forming a 40-mile backbone for the Wasatch Front's active transportation network, the JRT is an increasingly viable—if not preferable—alternative to driving on Interstate 15, and demonstrates the kind of sustainable, human-scale, interconnected world that we should have been building all along. jordanrivercommission.com
    2. City Creek Canyon Trail
    3. Ogden River Parkway Trail

    Best Utah Road Trip
    Mirror Lake Highway
    When the city hits triple digits, locals escape to cooler climes via this 55-mile scenic byway. Make a right turn in Kamas, then climb upward to Upper Provo Falls Overlook and uncountable alpine lakes, trailheads and campsites. Bald Mountain is the halfway point, before the road descends to its namesake Mirror Lake. Turn around or make it a loop by returning via Wyoming and Interstate 80. When Utahns say "Life, elevated," this drive is what they mean. More information at fs.usda.gov/recarea/uwcnf/recarea/?recid=9908
    2. U.S. Route 89
    3. Scenic Byway 12

    Best Running Trail
    Bonneville Shoreline Trail
    Named after the vanished Lake Bonneville, this foothills trail is busy in all seasons and accessible to all ages because its moderate elevation changes protect ankles and knees. SLC's most popular sections are above the Upper Avenues (Terrace Hills Trailhead off 18th Avenue) and the U of U (below the Natural History Museum of Utah). During hot months, go at dusk or dawn because your only shade will be your shadow. bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org
    2. City Creek Canyon Trail
    3. Jordan River Parkway Trail

    Best Utah State Park
    Goblin Valley State Park
    Looking to escape the crowds at Utah's "Big 5" national parks? Want to find natural wonders you can explore in a single day? Need a dog-friendly destination with convenient camping? Consider Goblin Valley your new go-to. This 3,600-acre park offers a handful of hiking trails and encourages visitors to get up close to its unique Entrada sandstone hoodoos. For more ways to enjoy the park, canyoneering, mountain biking, stargazing and a disc golf course offer something for everyone. 18630 Goblin Valley Road, Green River, 435-275-4584, stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblinvalley
    2. Snow Canyon State Park
    3. Antelope Island State Park

    COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo

    Most Overlooked Site/Curiosity
    Mystic Hot Springs
    Step into a desert oasis that bends the concept of time. Soak in calcium-rich thermal springs frequented by Indigenous Ute, Piute, Shoshone and Fremont tribes. Book a weekend stay in a '70s-style furnished, vintage bus. Explore restored pioneer cabins dating back to the 1800s. Pop in for live music under the twinkling lights of the Milky Way. When you need to get away from it all, nothing recharges the soul quite like Mystic Hot Springs. 475 E. 100 North, Monroe, mystichotsprings.com
    2. Spiral Jetty at Promontory Point
    3. Homestead Resort Crater, Midway

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    Get in touch with your inner cowpoke at - Cross E Ranch. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Get in touch with your inner cowpoke atCross E Ranch.

    Best Family-Friendly Cattle Ranch
    Cross E Ranch
    Cross E Ranch is a wonderland of year-round activities including a baby animal festival, summer camps, sunflower festivals, fall festival and grandpa's pumpkin patch. In the fall, enjoy hay-bale slides big enough to accommodate grown-ups as well as kiddie-size zip lines, archery zones and bounce pads. After finding your way through a giant corn maze, treat yourself to a cider donut and pick some lovely pumpkins on the way out. 3500 N. 2200 West, SLC, 801-203-0148, crosseranch.com

    Best Morning Commute
    19th Avenue Mountain Bike Trail
    Each weekday, tens of thousands of Utahns climb into their cars and creep toward downtown Salt Lake City and the University of Utah, despite those being the two most transit-connected destinations in the state. Apparently, some people just love sitting in traffic. But if gridlock isn't your idea of a good morning, catch the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and use 19th Avenue to drop into downtown through City Creek Canyon. Pro tip: the Red Line will get you back uphill. utahmountainbiking.com/trails/19th-avenue

    Best Quaint Courts to Tickle Your Pickle
    5th Avenue & C Street Pickleball Courts
    Where large tennis courts loom, smaller boxes and lines are being painted within them, making room for the nation's new favorite pastime, pickleball. While there are a few hot spots for it around town (like those with the view at 11th Avenue Park), the lower Aves boasts two quaint courts of its own, creating a charming bustle of bouncing balls in the low-key neighborhood. 230 C St., SLC

    Best Builder of Health and Community
    In the Steps of Our Ancestors Running Group
    A recurring event under the aegis of the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake (UICSL), In the Steps of Our Ancestors Running Group provides weekly runs and 5K races. Open to UICSL clients and members of the household, the group accepts varying skill levels and ages. It is one of the many unique initiatives designed to further the UICSL mission of promoting health, wellness and community to Salt Lake's Native peoples. 120 W. 1300 South, SLC, 801-486-4877, uicsl.org

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    Scion Cider Bar’s charcuterie board offers a feast of cured meats, vegan fig salami, cheeses and more. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Scion Cider Bar’s charcuterie board offers a feast of cured meats, vegan fig salami, cheeses and more.

    Best Charcuterie Board
    Scion Cider Bar
    While the long list of inventive and spirited hard ciders is reason enough to come to Scion Cider in the Central 9th neighborhood, they've got hearty snacks to supplement your imbibing. With rotating selections including cured meats from Olympia Provisions and Underground Meats, vegan fig salami and of course, cheeses, Scion's comes out on top for its invitation to play mix-and-match with the spread. 916 S. Jefferson St. West, SLC, 801-326-0349, scionciderbar.com
    2. White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    3. Salt & Olive

    Best Made-in-Utah Food Product
    Beehive Cheese
    This is not the cheese you grew up on—it's in a league of its own. Beehive Cheese is a dairy deity dominating entirely in the realm of curd-based creations. It's as if the cheese maestros of Utah conjured up a culinary masterpiece, and us ordinary folks have the privilege to relish this enchantment. Their barely buzzed & sea hive cheese are udderly irresistible! Step up your charcuterie board and holidays with Beehive! 2440 E. 6600 South, Ste. 8, Uintah, 801-476-0900, beehivecheese.com
    2. Sauced Up Salsa
    3. Salsa Queen

    Best Must-Have Appetizer
    White Horse Spirits & Kitchen Egg n' Chips
    When White Horse first opened, the unexpected surprise hit came from their appetizer's menu: The Egg n' Chips has been a best-seller and a Salt Lake staple item. The dish is presented in a brown bag, but don't let first impressions fool you; you'll be scraping the bottom of it in no time. The Egg n' Chips are prepared with their house potato chips, a gooey 63-degree sous vide egg, malt vinegar powder and truffle. 325 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-0137; Airport location: 474 N. 3700 West, SLC, 801-558-8579; whitehorseslc.com
    2. Ivy & Varley Everything Brussels
    3. Oak Wood Fire Kitchen Baked Goat Cheese

    Best Pretzel
    Bohemian Brewery
    Leave it to the Bavarian experts at Bohemian Brewery to perfect the classic pretzel. Theirs comes hanging on a hook like a new pea coat and is served with a rich tavern cheese sauce. Even if you're hosting a group of four, this soft knot of freshly baked goodness is enough to whet everyone's appetite. Pulling off bits of pretzel to dab in that golden cheese sauce is a perfect way to begin a meal at Bohemian. 94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474, bohemianbrewery.com
    2. Ice Haus
    3. Level Crossing Brewing Co.

    Best Sliders
    Post Office Place
    Initially invented as a bar waiting room for Takashi next door, Post has since proven it's not just their cocktails worth pulling up a chair for—and, last year, snagged a James Beard Award semi-finalist designation in the process. Among their elegant lineup of sleek bites and salads, Post's Japanese-inspired sliders are the perfect, hearty bite. Go classic with a smashed beef patty, or try your slider with spam and pickles, crispy katsu or Japanese chicken meatballs. 16 W. Market St., SLC, 801-519-9595, popslc.com
    2. Marley's Gourmet Sliders
    3. Beehive Distilling

    Best Tapas
    Eva
    The "small plates" concept is really all about avoiding FOMO—e.g., seeing a menu with a dozen amazing-looking things on it, and realizing you can try a bunch of them. But at Eva, the problem is deciding what not to bring to your table: The sublime lobster ravioli? The savory roasted tri-tip bruschetta? The harmonious combination of the fig and pig pizza? The capacity of your stomach might be the only limitation when facing such difficult choices. 317 S. Main, SLC, 801-359-8447, evaslc.com
    2. Finca
    3. Café Madrid

    Best Wings
    Trolley Wing Co.
    It's the attention to detail that makes the chicken wings at Trolley Wing Co. No. 1. Before the wings even get hit with their signature sauces, they get prepped and fried to golden perfection. In a foodie landscape that often considers chicken wings to be an afterthought, it's nice to have a local spot that takes wings seriously. Multiple locations, trolleywingco.com
    2. Wasatch Wing Coop
    3. A Bar Named Sue

    Best Bento Boxes
    Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar
    Tsunami Restaurant is killing it in the world of bento boxes. Their commitment to culinary excellence is evident in every meticulously crafted bento box. The artful presentation is a feast for the eyes. For $15, you will not go hungry—the choices they give you are incredible: steak and sushi with tempura?! And do not fret, they can accommodate allergies and gluten-free! Multiple locations, tsunamiutah.com
    2. Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill
    3. Japan-Sage Market

    Best Dim Sum
    Hong Kong Tea House
    Dim-sum-loving locals know good dim sum can be hard to come by and consistently good dim sum is even rarer. Yet Hong Kong Tea House has been pulling it off for decades. Available six days a week (closed Mondays) until 3 p.m., choose from nearly 50 Cantonese favorites like fried sesame balls, homemade dumplings, sticky rice in lotus leaf, foil wrapped chicken and more, accompanied by a comforting cup of Dragon Well tea. 565 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-531-7010, hongkongteahouse.yolasite.com
    2. Red Maple Chinese Restaurant
    3. New Golden Dragon

    Yoko Ramen’s - crepe-like gyoza - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Yoko Ramen’s crepe-like gyoza

    Best Dumpling/Gyoza
    Yoko Ramen
    No dumpling compares to these magical little pockets of fried joy. Yoko Ramen's got great ramen, but their star appetizer is gyoza, which are somehow enmeshed together by a thin, crepe-like batter of sorts. It's a crisp welcome to the warm, savory chew of the dumplings, which are filled with either pork or local mushrooms. 473 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-876-5267, yokoslc.com
    2. David's Kitchen
    3. Kyoto Japanese Restaurant

    Best Fried Egg Rolls
    All Chay
    There's a lot of winning options at All Chay, SLC's beloved all-vegan Vietnamese treasure, but sometimes it's the little things you really require. All Chay's egg rolls hit the spot, so much so that you may feel compelled to order one of their noodle salads just to get the bonus of a halved egg roll nestled into the pile. Don't forget to dunk your roll in the sweet chili sauce! 1264 W. 500 North, SLC, 801-521-4789, facebook.com/allchayveganrestaurant
    2. Mi La-Cai Noodle House
    3. The Pearl

    Best Katsu
    Comfort Bowl
    Comfort Bowl's chicken katsu is well worth a drive across town to find their food truck, and you won't mind waiting in line for it, either. A crispy but so-tender-and-moist fried chicken breast is cooked up fresh while you wait, then covered with a sumptuous garlic and ginger sauce. It's served with a side of steamed rice and a Thai salad. To. Die. For. Follow that truck! facebook.com/Comfortbowl
    2. Mo' Bettahs Hawaiian Style Food
    3. Yoko Ramen SLC

    Best Korean Bibimbap
    Korea House BBQ
    Bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish that consists of a bowl of steamed rice topped with veggies, beef, chicken or tofu and a raw egg yolk. One of the most popular dishes on the menu, Korea House BBQ's bibimbap is top-notch, made from scratch daily for lunch and dinner services. Pair it with a side of kimchi or their Spicy Fried Pork Pot Stickers for a fresh take on some Korean classics. 145 E. 1300 South, 801-487-3900, koreahousesaltlake.com
    2. Stun Cube
    3. Myung Ga Restaurant

    Best Momos
    Himalayan Kitchen
    Pretty much everything on the menu at Himalayan Kitchen is great, but there is something next level about their momos. Maybe it's the chewy steamed dough, the perfectly seasoned fillings or simply how cute they look when they arrive at your table. Whatever their X factor may be, it's had diners coming back for more since the restaurant first opened. 360 S. State, SLC, 801-328-2077; 11521 S. 4000 West, Ste. 105, South Jordan, 801-254-0800; himalayankitchen.com
    2. Cafe Shambala
    3. Nepali Chulo

    Best Pad Thai
    Sawadee Thai Restaurant
    A downtown and Avenues staple for getting your Thai fix, Sawadee also offers the perfect solution to any acute pad thai craving. Expect a large plate with all the sides you hanker after, plus options to add chicken, shrimp or tofu to the nest of noodles. Plus, you can snag it on the lunch menu for a modest price and a smaller portion. 754 E. South Temple, SLC, 801-328-8424, sawadee1.com
    2. Skewered Thai
    3. Tea Rose Diner

    Takashi’s - Spider Roll - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Takashi’sSpider Roll

    Best Spider Roll
    Takashi
    To truly experience this extraordinary eatery, you must try one or two of the specialty rolls. We suggest starting with the spider roll to see how Takashi's stacks up against the others. At Takashi, it's rolled just right with crispy, soft-shelled crab, kaiware sprouts, eel sauce, spicy sauce and sesame seeds. And thanks to owner Takashi Gibo's standards of preparation, it's exactly what a spider roll is meant to be. Let this be your baseline for all future rolls. 18 W. Market St., SLC, 801-519-9595, takashisushi.com
    2. Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill
    3. Itto Sushi

    Bagels at The Bagel Project rock, as do their bialys. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Bagels at The Bagel Project rock, as do their bialys.

    Best Bagel
    The Bagel Project
    It took two transplants from New Jersey to help Salt Lakers experience true East Coast bagels. Through trial and error, the owners re-created the taste of their childhoods, making bagels from scratch sans preservatives, sugar, eggs or honey. It's not the water, they claim, but rather the old-world fermentation process that sets theirs apart. With varied flavors and spreads from hummus to jam to cream cheese, they'll have you munching like a pro in a New York minute. 779 S. 500 East, SLC, 801-906-0698, bagelproject.com
    2. Rich's Bagels
    3. Cheryl's Bagels

    Best Ramen
    JINYA Ramen Bar
    Ramen is one of those rare dishes that can be both hip and humble, and JINYA has thrived by making it the former. Every JINYA location just feels like it makes you cooler by association. Whether you've gone with the popular black garlic tonkotsu or the vegan Red Fire Opal, you're getting something that tastes every bit as good as it looks—a trademark of hip ambassadors everywhere. Multiple locations, jinyaramenbar.com
    2. Tosh's Ramen
    3. Yoko Ramen

    Best Thai Curry
    Skewered Thai
    With every spoonful, the flavor explosion of Skewered Thai's curry catapults your taste buds to the bustling streets of Bangkok. The rich, velvety sauce hugs tender morsels of meat or vegetables, creating a harmonious blend of creamy and spicy that's nothing short of perfection. The pumpkin curry makes you close your eyes, savor the moment and wonder how you ever lived without it. 575 S. 700 East, SLC, 801-364-1144, skeweredthai.com
    2. Chanon Thai Café
    3. Tea Rose Diner

    Best Donuts
    Banbury Cross Donuts
    Banbury Cross has become one of those reliable winners, and for good reason—their amazing light and fluffy confections are impossible to resist. For decades now, many a workday in a Utah office has gotten a boost from employees walking in to see that magical box with the rocking horse logo, letting you know that sweet deliciousness resides within. Locations in SLC, Centerville and Layton, Facebook.com/BanburyCrossDonuts
    2. Fresh Donuts & Deli
    3. Chubby Baker

    Best Kouign Amann
    Eva's Bakery
    You can't go wrong with any of the baked goods in the case at Eva's Bakery, but if you want to treat yourself to the very best (and if they're not sold out), order the kouign amann. But don't take our word for it. According to one IG follower, "These are the damn best on this planet." When it comes to flaky, crunchy, gooey, sticky, sugary laminated layers of buttery dough, that's a contest we wouldn't mind judging. 155 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-3942, evasbakeryslc.com
    2. Fillings & Emulsions
    3. Gourmandise

    Best Specialty Cakes
    Tulie Bakery
    If cakes went to heaven, Tulie's would be on order. The French bakery is the place to get your special occasion cakes for your most loved ones (or yourself! Let's be honest about the importance of buying yourself the perfect b-day cake). Local favorites include their lush olive oil cake, which blushes with citrus notes and luxe brown butter buttercream frosting. They even offer flourless cakes, like their fudgy chocolate cake with ganache. 863 E. 700 South, SLC, 801-883-9741; 1510 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-410-4217; tuliebakery.com
    2. The Chocolate, A Dessert Cafe
    3. Granite Bakery & Bridal Showcase

    Best Vegan Cakes /Confections
    Sweet Hazel & Co.
    Sweet Hazel is maybe best-known for its vegan iterations of popular candy brands, satisfying the sweet tooths of countless vegans in the valley. Their "Galaxy Bars," "Crunchies" and peanut butter cups are amazing, but they also offer versions of favorite childhood sweets, like Cosmic Brownies topped with candy sprinkles, Funfetti mini cakes and Samoa bars. Go forth and indulge, the vegan way! 282 W. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-889-1466, sweethazelandco.com
    2. City Cakes & Cafe
    3. Passion Flour Patisserie

    Dress the pulled - pork your way at SugarHouse Barbeque. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Dress the pulled pork your way at SugarHouse Barbeque.

    Best BBQ Pulled Pork
    SugarHouse Barbeque
    SugarHouse BBQ has been smoking meat for nearly 30 years, so it's no surprise they know something about pulled pork. They also know something about their customers' BBQ preferences. While we could debate 'til the hogs come home about which regional style is best, SugarHouse lets you dress up your pork the way you like with four signature sauces: vinegary Carolina Pig, mustard, cayenne-based hot sauce or sweet and tangy barbecue. 880 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-463-4800, sugarhousebbq.com
    2. Salt City Barbecue
    3. Charlotte-Rose's Carolina BBQ

    Hruska kolaches: for breakfast on the go - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Hruska kolaches: for breakfast on the go

    Best Breakfasts to Go
    Hruska's Kolaches
    As wonderful as breakfast burritos are, it can be quite difficult to eat one and successfully navigate the morning commute. In contrast, the breakfast kolaches at Hruska's make for a tasty, filling breakfast that's pretty easy to eat while on the move. Whether it's stuffed with ham, cheese and scrambled eggs or one of their tasty cream cheese and fruit variations, a kolache in the morning pretty much guarantees a good day. Multiple locations, hruskaskolaches.com
    2. Apollo Burger
    3. Red Moose Coffee Co.

    Best Hawaiian Barbecue
    Mo' Bettahs Hawaiian Style Food
    Utah's Polynesian population is nearly 27,000—the fourth-largest Polynesian community in the country after Hawai'i, California and Washington. Mo' Bettahs re-created the feel of family gatherings by serving up the best Hawaiian barbecue around. Grilled and roasted meats, such as teriyaki chicken, kalua pork and beef are plentiful at Mo' Bettahs, and no Hawaiian barbecue is complete without a heaping serving of macaroni salad. Multiple locations, mobettahs.com
    2. Kokonut Island Grill
    3. Moki's Hawaiian Grill

    Best Biscuits & Gravy
    Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade
    Putting "biscuits" in the name of your restaurant is like throwing down a gauntlet, and Sweet Lake continues to defend its reputation. It doesn't matter if their biscuits are slathered in that delicious sausage gravy or topped with a bit of homemade jam, there's something special in each bite. Biscuits are rarely seen as main course material, but Sweet Lake will always be here to remind us. Multiple locations, sweetlakefresh.com
    2. Ruth's Diner
    3. Lazy Day Cafe

    Best Breakfast Burrito
    Beto's Mexican Food
    Breakfast burritos are hard to screw up, which makes a truly great breakfast burrito even harder to acquire. Somehow, every location of Beto's manages to whip up the absolute finest breakfast burrito in town, which is an impressive feat in itself. Whether it's the gargantuan size or the savory fillings, it's hard to do better than one of these lovelies. Multiple locations, betosmexicanfood.com
    2. Alberto's
    3. Rancherito's Mexican Food

    Best Breakfast Sandwich
    Central 9th Market
    For the second year in a row, City Weekly readers have turned to Central 9th Market for their breakfast sando of choice—and it's easy to see why. The market is already a sweet spot to visit in general, perched at the beating heart of the Central 9th Neighborhood. But the sandwich itself is a thing of artful simplicity: a pitch-perfect combination of egg, pork and cheese punctuated by two slices of impeccable wood-fired bread. 161 W. 900 South, SLC, 385-332-3240, central9th.com
    2. Frankie & Essl's
    3. Roots Cafe

    Best Chicken & Waffles
    Pig & A Jelly Jar
    No local restaurant quite nails a savory breakfast in the way that Pig & A Jelly Jar does. Perhaps the best example of this is their chicken and waffles. No flavor opportunity is missed with this dish–golden brown waffles that manage to simultaneously soak up syrup and remain crispy and juicy fried chicken that hits all the right savory notes. Multiple locations, pigandajellyjar.com
    2. Hub and Spoke Diner
    3. Bruges Belgian Bistro

    Best Cannoli
    Carlucci's Bakery
    Cannoli is one of those desserts that doesn't get enough love, as many Italian joints don't see them for their full potential. This is why Carlucci's is so important—their take on this traditional dessert presents the cannoli as it should be. The creamy, rich filling is piped into the crisp shell as soon as you order, and it's as close to dessert perfection as one can get. 314 W. 300 South, Ste. 1, SLC, 801-366-4484, carluccisbakery.com
    2. Sicilia Mia
    3. Osteria Amore

    Brats: Siegfried’s serves up the best of the wurst! - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Brats: Siegfried’s serves up the best of the wurst!

    Best Brats
    Siegfried's Delicatessen
    There is a fine art to crafting the perfect bratwurst, and Siegfried's Delicatessen manages to nail it every single time. Whether you get one in-house, sliced up on a kaiser roll and doused in mustard, or take some home to grill up yourself, you're getting the best bratwurst this side of Frankfurt. The snap, the notes of black pepper and garlic—everything lands exactly where it's supposed to. 20 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-355-3891, siegfriedsdelicatessen.com
    2. Bohemian Brewery
    3. Beer Bar

    One of many greats on the menu: - Lucky 13’s jalalpeño - popper burger - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • One of many greats on the menu: Lucky 13’s jalalpeño popper burger

    Best Burger
    Lucky 13 Bar & Grill
    Lucky 13 shows up regularly on our Best of Utah lists, but its burger expertise officially expanded to the national stage when enjoytravel.com listed it as the 14th best burger joint in the country. Perhaps Lucky 13 always manages to snag these accolades because the place simply embodies everything that makes a burger great: diverse ingredients, unassuming presentation and just enough edge to be charming. 135 W. 1300 South, SLC, 801-487-4418, lucky13slc.com
    2. Crown Burgers
    3. Proper Burger Co.

    Best Ribs
    Salt City Barbecue
    If barbecue were a meteor, Salt City’s would be the story to describe it. Salt City Barbecue has taken the local BBQ scene by storm in barely a few years. Best, they've accomplished this feat as a food truck, not as a brick-and-mortar location with all the giant gizmos. They’ve quickly acquired a loyal customer base to go along with their stacks of awards for not just ribs, but also brisket, steak, chicken, pork, appetizers and dessert. Surely, nachos are next. Find them and dig in, folks. 801-899-5541. Visit website for food truck locations: saltcitybbq.co
    2. Pat's Barbecue
    3. SugarHouse Barbeque

    Best Crepes
    Monsieur Crepes
    In a Sugar House store that looks like a French corner deli, French chef Maxime Ambeza and his wife, Raysha Carrasco, utilize traditional French recipes to create distinctive crepes for their customers. Their menu includes an extensive list of sweet and savory fillings. Sweet fillings include Nutella, strawberry, banana and chocolate, while savory offerings include brie, prosciutto, tomato and spinach. Bon appetit! 1617 S. 900 East, SLC, 787-358-9930, monsieurcrepesut.us
    2. Greenhouse Effect Coffee and Crepes
    3. Dali Crepes Catering & Cafe

    Best Eggs Benedict
    Finn's Cafe
    It seems like every new restaurant menu these days touts "reimagined" takes on classic dishes, but Finn's Cafe makes a strong case that classics should be classic for a reason. After all, why mess with the perfection that is the delicately poached egg, savory Canadian bacon and buttery hollandaise sauce atop a toasted English muffin. It's just one of many ways Finn's champions heritage and tradition at the heart of its Sugar House cafe. 1624 S. 1100 East, SLC, 801-467-4000, finnscafe.net
    2. Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade
    3. Hub and Spoke Diner

    Best French Toast
    Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
    Kneaders bakers slice two thick pieces of their chunky cinnamon bread, dip it in a seasoned egg wash, then cook up their delectable French toast. They top it with housemade caramel syrup, a whipped cream dollop and fresh-from-the-farm strawberries. Enjoy it in-house or take a kit home for a family breakfast: The French Toast Feast Family Kit includes 10 slices of Chunky Cinnamon French toast, 10 strips of bacon, whipped topping, sliced strawberries and caramel syrup. A chef's kiss to your day! Multiple locations, kneaders.com
    2. The Park Café
    3. Hub and Spoke Diner

    Best Pancakes
    Penny Ann's Cafe
    We often forget that the word "cake" is right there in "pancake," but Penny Ann's Cafe helps us remember what this breakfast staple shares with dessert. Eating an order of Penny Ann's "heavenly" pancakes instantly evokes every slice of birthday cake you've ever had, only this time you get to eat it for breakfast and with maple syrup. Multiple locations, pennyannscafe.com
    2. Lazy Day Cafe
    3. Roots Cafe

    Best Quiche
    Eva's Bakery
    With its charming atmosphere and intimate bistro furnishings, Eva's Bakery will transport you to a Paris sidewalk café. Once you sample their breakfast menu, Eva's will be a regular stop for your petit-dejeuner. They serve quiche Lorraine and veggie quiche daily—both light and fluffy. Try them with potatoes, fresh greens or a scrumptious orange muffin. Don't forget to pick up a treat for later. The chocolate croissant and the salted caramel macarons are délicieux! 155 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-3942, evasbakeryslc.com
    2. Tulie Bakery
    3. Beaumont Bakery & Cafe

    Best Comfort Food Dish
    The Bayou's Jambalaya
    Said to be a dish that combines various influences from multiple cultures inhabiting the Port of New Orleans. The Cajun and Creole dish has many interpretations around the world, but here in SLC, the Bayou has mastered it, turning it into a famous staple at the Cajun-themed bar. Try it with shrimp or crawfish—and there's even a vegetarian option. 645 S. State, SLC, 801-961-8400, utahbayou.com
    2. Wasatch Brew Pub Loaded Mac N Cheese
    3. Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen Shrimp and Grits

    Best French Fries
    Lucky 13
    You know them for their burgers and sandwiches—The Nut Butter and The Big Benny are musts when visiting—but keep in mind that Lucky 13 has the best fries in town. Get the good ol' regular fries, or live large with a basket of Cajun or rosemary-garlic fries. Look, no one's going to win a "freshest breath" competition after visiting Lucky 13 anyway, so go ahead and load up on those garlic fries. Your taste buds will thank you. 135 W. 1300 South, SLC, 801-487-4418, lucky13slc.com
    2. Crown Burgers
    3. Patty Shack

    Ice Haus’ poutine is made with French fries, squeaky cheese curds and rich brown gravy. - ALIZE HARDING
    • Alize Harding
    • Ice Haus’ poutine is made with French fries, squeaky cheese curds and rich brown gravy.

    Best Poutine
    Ice Haus
    Best poutine has to go to Ice Haus because you can go two ways with the delicious fry gravy—classic, with a side of any of their German-inspired eats, or vegan mode ... with any of their German-inspired vegan eats. A big pile of fries with Ice Haus' poutine gravy generously poured over the top is the warm, filling taste treat to share at your table when hanging at this charming neighborhood pub. 7 E. 4800 South, Murray, 801-266-2127, icehausbar.com
    2. SpudToddos
    3. Hopkins Brewing Co.

    Best Meatloaf
    Ruth's Diner
    The meatloaf at Ruth's Diner is a mood. It's a vibe. It's everything. A mainstay on the menu, this dinner entree— served with mashed potatoes, gravy and sautéed veggies—is from a traditional recipe. Don't resist ordering comfort food at Ruth's—you'll still be cool. Cool comes with the territory. And no matter who your mom was or what her meatloaf tasted like, Ruth's will always have it beat by a country mile. 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, SLC, 801-582-5807, ruthsdiner.com
    2. Tradition
    3. Franck's Restaurant

    Best Sweet Potato Fries
    The Bayou
    The Bayou's sweet potato fries are unmatched. They're expertly cut and fried to golden perfection, achieving that coveted crispy exterior that's a hallmark of great fries. But what truly sets them apart is their secret seasoning blend, which adds a tantalizing kick that elevates each bite. You can order them 50/50 with a mix of regular fries. By the way, their dipping sauce is delightful! 645 S. State, SLC, 801-961-8400, utahbayou.com
    2. Cubby's
    3. Spitz

    Best Vegan Burger
    Grid City Beer Works
    Every brewery worth its hops has an accompanying kitchen—or ties to the local food truck or pop-up community. Every so often one of the kitchens gains a following. Found in a funky zone of off-ramps and light industry, Grid City Beer Works is a destination for fans of both food and drink. The beer? Super-solid. The food? So good! And the vegan burger— a double-decked, house-blended style of vegan excellence, served with vegan cheddar on a brioche bun—has taken the top spot with our readers. 333 W. 2100 South, SLC, 801-906-8390, gridcitybeerworks.com
    2. Proper Brewing Co.
    3. Old Cuss Cafe

    Best Beignet
    Pig & A Jelly Jar
    Pig & A Jelly Jar serves a fresh, from scratch menu with a unique twist on Southern comfort food. Brunch driven, Pig serves breakfast and lunch all day. No food says French Quarter more than a traditional beignet. Pig's beignets are made on site and best served warm with their delicious blueberry compote. At Pig, they believe food should be made with love, served with integrity and should include a unique dining experience. Multiple locations, pigandjellyjar.com
    2. Thirst Drinks
    3. Franklin Ave Cocktails & Kitchen

    The Wizard Hat, with a caramel center, at Momo’s Gourmet Cheesecake Co. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • The Wizard Hat, with a caramel center, at Momo’s Gourmet Cheesecake Co.

    Best Cheesecake
    Momo's Gourmet Cheesecake Co.
    Cheesecake can be a finicky dessert to perfect, so the fact that every mini, cutie and standard full cheesecake you get from Momo's hits the right balance between firm and creamy is worth our attention. Their seasonal flavors give each visit enough variety to keep coming back, and their flavors are always sweet and refreshing. Multiple locations, momoscheesecakes.com
    2. The Dodo Restaurant
    3. Tin Roof Grill

    Best Bread Pudding
    The Grand America Hotel
    Even if you think you're not a bread pudding fan, try this one. Made with croissants and topped with rum sauce, the Grand America's singular bread pudding matches the classic elegance of its opulent downtown setting. Rich and moist, with a firm outside and tender center, the pudding is accompanied by a divine rum sauce that is delicious and heavenly. You may find yourself wanting to drink the sauce on its own. 555 S. Main, SLC, 801-258-6000, grandamerica.com
    2. The Copper Onion
    3. Caffé Molise

    Best Chocolate Cake
    Caffé Molise
    A real winner from a beloved Italian hotspot. While there are several toothsome toppers to tuck into at this trattoria, this treat is tops. Extravagantly rich in flavor and dense in makeup, this moist confection combines dark chocolate with a whisper of cinnamon for a dessert that is positively squisito. 404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-364-8833, caffemolise.com
    2. Tulie Bakery
    3. The Chocolate, a Dessert Cafe

    Best Cookies
    RubySnap Fresh Cookies
    It's hard to give a menu of cookies character, but this is where RubySnap succeeds. Each of its cookie varieties gets a name and pinup persona to go along with its flavor combo and, man, does it work. The cranberry, almond and white chocolate Aubrey embodies the girl next door with a secret, and the chocolate chip mango Viviana just wants to take you dancing all night. 770 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-834-6111, rubysnap.com
    2. Crumbl Cookies
    3. Chip Cookies

    Best Decadent Dessert
    Gourmandise
    Ooh-la-la! You might think you were in France when you drool over the bakery case at Gourmandise. Each cake, tart and pastry is meticulously appointed to look almost too good to eat. And yet, you must. Take the Queen Emma, for example. "Layers of tropical cakes and mousse (guava, passion fruit and coconut). Finished with coconut Chantilly cream, guava glaze, fresh berry garnish and white chocolate curl." That's just one reason Gourmandise is Utah's finest in decadence. Locations in Salt Lake, Draper and American Fork, gourmandise.com
    2. The Chocolate, A Dessert Cafe
    3. Délice Bakery & Café

    Best Macaron
    Fillings & Emulsions
    Macarons are not just a special dessert—they're a delicate art form. The ultimate macaron aficionado must stop by Fillings & Emulsions where they are celebrating 10 years. Not only can you indulge in macarons on the spot but you can bring home assorted or customized boxes of 6, 12, 35 and even a "tower" of 200. Picture a tiny, exquisite sandwich, where every bite explodes with flavor! 1475 S. Main, SLC, 385-229-4228; 1980 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 385-549-1167; fillingsandemulsions.com
    2. Gourmandise
    3. Eva's Bakery

    Twisted Tiramisu: Dessert with a little something extra - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Twisted Tiramisu: Dessert with a little something extra

    Best Tiramisu
    Twisted Tiramisu
    Turning 40, Pam Williams felt it was time to pursue a hobby. Her love of cooking for co-workers led to the creation of Twisted Tiramisu. It's a web-based business offering tiramisu—a delicious Italian custard-like dessert—in "twisted" flavors. Trending flavors include passion fruit, crème brulee and Boston cream pie, all available to order online and pick up in Midvale. Fillings don't always include coffee—sometimes it's infused milk, juice, tea, or local spirits, says Williams. twistedtiramisuslc.com
    2. Sicilia Mia
    3. Osteria Amore

    Best Gelato
    Dolcetti Gelato
    It's as if an Italian designer uploaded his portfolio across this creatively quirky venue. A gazillion chandeliers accompany Asian umbrellas and inflatable globes—and that's just the ceiling. A feast for the palate happily accompanies this visual extravaganza. One-hundred and fifty artisanal gelato flavors rotate daily next to a cabinet where cookies, brownies, macarons and pastries, tea and espresso, are temptingly available. Once you pick a flavorful treat, relax on an overstuffed couch, to bask and enjoy. 902 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-485-3254, dolcettigelato.com
    2. Sweetaly Gelato
    3. Capo Gelateria Italiana

    Best Steakhouse Prime Rib
    Maddox Ranch House
    Maddox Ranch House is Utah's original steakhouse and well-known for its quality cuts of beef, including prime rib. Slow-cooked all day, the pepper-encrusted hearty portion of protein is served after 3 p.m. and, heads up, limited in quantity. Served with the perfect homemade au jus, it is the stuff of cravings for carnivores. Early-bird diners can enjoy a prime rib special from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. daily for only $20.95. 1900 S. Highway 89, Perry, 435-723-8545, maddoxfinefood.com
    2. Christopher's Prime + Sonoma Wine Bar & Grill
    3. Carvers Steak & Seafood

    Best Steakhouse Rib-eye
    Ruth's Chris Steak House
    Who knew a broiled steak could taste so good? Apparently, founder Ruth Fertel did, and her patented broiler has been in use since the mid-'60s. The 16-ounce USDA prime cut rib-eye is generously seasoned and served sizzling on a 500-degree plate. The well-marbled juicy steak is a meal all its own—but you'll want to order the signature sides, too! Multiple (154) locations worldwide, including in SLC and Park City, ruthschris.com
    2. Maddox Ranch House
    3. Grub Steak

    Best Gyro
    Greek Souvlaki
    Staple foods like the cheeseburger, taco or Greek gyro are easy to make good, but difficult to make great, which speaks to the consistency of Greek Souvlaki. With four locations (downtown, Murray, West Valley City and South Jordan), Greek Souvlaki combines quality and convenience, and their mouthwatering pita, lamb and white sauce (or red) will leave you both full and looking forward for more. Multiple locations, greeksouvlaki.com
    2. Yanni's Greek Express
    3. Santorini's Greek Grill

    Greek Souvlaki grilled meat skewers are tops. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Greek Souvlaki grilled meat skewers are tops.

    Best Souvlaki
    Greek Souvlaki
    Once again, Greek Souvlaki takes home the gold in the Best Souvlaki category. The delectable chicken or pork is stacked with grilled veggies and is perfect on its own or accompanying one of Greek Souvlaki's many traditional Greek side dishes. Looking for an easy catering option for a party or event? "The Souv's" souvlaki catering options are a great choice to feed a squad. Multiple locations, greeksouvlaki.com
    2. Yanni's Greek Express
    3. Crown Burgers

    Italian Village’s calzone - (aka pizza bender) - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Italian Village’s calzone(aka pizza bender)

    Best Calzone
    Italian Village
    For more than half a century, since 1968, Italian Village has offered reasonably priced Italian fare to prom dates, families and anyone seeking delicious food. Here's a hint—on the menu, the sumptuous and customizable calzone is called a pizza bender. It comes stuffed with ham, pepperoni, sausage and cheese (or you can substitute any three-item combo) for $7.99. Enjoy the calzone and accompanying iceberg dinner salad, and it's no more hunger pangs. 5370 S. 900 East, Millcreek, 801-266-4182, italianvilliageslc.com
    2. The Pie Pizzeria
    3. Rusted Sun Pizzeria

    Best Lamb Dish
    Mazza
    This isn't just a dish; it's a culinary mic drop, a cheeky slap of flavor that leaves you begging for more. The lamb at Mazza is practically whispering sweet nothings to your taste buds. Get your toes wet with an appetizer of seasoned lamb meatballs. Next, try the lamb kebab or dishes such as lamb and rice dolaa, lamb and spinach or the Mazza lamb shank. If you want to taste the epitome of lamb perfection, Mazza is your destination. 1515 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9259, mazzacafe.com
    2. The Other Place Restaurant
    3. Manoli's

    Best Biryani
    Himalayan Kitchen
    As biryani, rice becomes star of the show. And at Himalayan Kitchen, biryani (which, depending on location, can be served with chicken, goat, lamb, prawn or vegetables) is at its most savory and comforting. Basmati rice is cooked with curry spices, toasted nuts and fried onions. Drizzle cool raita over it, and you've got yourself a complete meal. 360 S. State, SLC, 801-328-2077, himalayankitchen.com; 11521 S. 4000 West, South Jordan, 801-254-0800, himalayankitchensouthjordan.com
    2. Saffron Valley
    3. Mumbai House

    Best Carbonara
    Sicilia Mia
    Before Sicilia Mia opened, Francesco Mirenda created a Sicilian carbonara. Diners are treated to a tableside presentation prepared inside a 2-foot wide grana padano cheese wheel. Parmigiana pecorino cheese is added before hot house-made noodles blend inside the cheese wheel with other ingredients, including eggs and pancetta. The result is a carbonara whose rich flavor is a show-stopper equal to its luxurious presentation. Enjoy this dish at both Sicilia Mia and their sister restaurant in Millcreek, Antica Sicilia. 4536 Highland Drive, SLC, 801-274-0223, siciliamiautah.com
    2. The Copper Onion
    3. Italian Graffiti

    Best Eggplant Parmesan
    Valter's Osteria
    The old world meets new at Valter's Osteria, an Italian fine-dining establishment in downtown SLC. Entering this gem, with its white tablecloths, multiple meal courses, full bar and open kitchen, you feel like you've flown to Italy for dinner. Valter's delicious eggplant Parmesan (melanzane al forno) is always a popular choice. The succulent sliced eggplant is baked, topped with mozzarella and served with fresh tomato sauce. 173 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-4563,valtersosteria.com
    2. Sicilia Mia
    3. Per Noi Trattoria

    Best Ravioli
    Valter's Osteria
    My, but our readers do love Valter's Osteria's housemade ravioli! Perhaps it's because of the daily sampler on offer in which Valter's ravioli and gnocchi are served as a first course or appetizer (a recent sampler featured a spinach and butternut squash ravioli with Valter's mother's meat sauce). Or, if cheese is your obsession, just dive into the comfort of a plateful of four-cheese ravioli with cream sauce and asparagus. 173 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-4563, valtersosteria.com
    2. Caffé Molise
    3. Sicilia Mia

    Best Birria Taco
    La Casa Del Tamal
    In an eatery that claims "passion" is the most important ingredient in its cuisine, you can trust that each bite of La Casa Del Tamal's birria taco is a flavorful fiesta. Its tender, spice-infused meat is tucked into a crispy tortilla shell, and it comes alive when you dunk it in a rich consommé. More than just a taco, the drippy goodness takes the crunch to a whole new level. 2843 S. 5600 West, Ste.140, West Valley City, 385-266-8729, lacasadeltamalutah.com
    2. Los Tapatios Taco Grill
    3. Santo Taco

    Best Ceviche
    La Cevicheria
    Sure, the words "ceviche" and "Utah" don't necessarily belong together, but the team at La Cevicheria has raised the bar for this classic dish. It's perhaps best enjoyed on a sweltering summer day with a shot of tequila, but anyone craving the delightful acidity and herbaceous flavors of a good ceviche needs to check this place out, ¡pronto! 123 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-906-0016, lacevicheriautah.com
    2. Puro Peru Peruvian Grill
    3. Barrio

    Best Chilaquiles
    Red Iguana
    We all know that Red Iguana has been a staple in our city for over 40 years. Red Iguana's chilaquiles dish is a sunrise on a plate. The crispy tortilla chips, smothered in a sauce that's as enchanting as a magic spell, create a flavor alchemy that defies explanation. When it comes to this Mexican delight, Red Iguana has the chilaquiles game on lockdown, turning every meal into an ingenious celebration of taste. Multiple locations, rediguana.com
    2. Maria's Méxican Grill
    3. Eggs in the City

    The whole enchilada at - Blue Iguana - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • The whole enchilada at Blue Iguana

    Best Enchilada
    Blue Iguana
    City Weekly readers voted Blue Iguana the Best Enchilada, but it's up to you decide which of their nine varieties is your favorite. Will it be spicy, slow-cooked chile verde? Creamy enchiladas suizas with mole poblano? Or maybe the enchiladas amarillas with tender carnitas? Any way you roll, be sure to pair your plate with a margarita (there are over a dozen of those to choose from) or the mezcal-based cantarito served in an authentic Mexican clay mug. 165 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-533-8900, blueiguanarestaurant.net
    2. Tres Hombres Mexican Grill and Cantina
    3. Red Iguana

    Best Empanada
    Arempa's
    You may recognize them from the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Their Venezuelan empanadas (as well as their arepas and cachapas) are handcrafted with meticulous care, guaranteeing the ideal ratio between the freshly made, savory fillings and the succulent corn cakes and fried pockets. These pockets of joy are among Utah's top culinary delights. Multiple locations, arempas.com
    2. Argentina's Best Empanadas
    3. Noemi's Cafe & Catering

    Best Huevos Rancheros
    Oasis Cafe
    Oasis takes a traditional Mexican dish of eggs, tortilla and pico de gallo and conjures breakfast magic with it. (Apropos, given the New Age aura wafting from Golden Braid Books next door.) Combining the ranch-style dish with their own black bean puree, salmon chorizo and guacamole, this is a delectable brunch item that you can only find before 3 p.m. Don't sleep on this one. 151 S. 500 East, SLC, 801-322-0404, oasiscafeslc.com
    2. Red Iguana
    3. Eggs in the City

    Best Menudo
    La Casa Del Tamal
    La Casa Del Tamal is packed most nights, and for good reason—the authentic Mexican restaurant brings a new flair for traditional Mexican dishes. And if you are curious about the menudo, know that it's a traditional soup made with tripe (the edible lining of a cow's stomach), chili powder, garlic and onion. If you truly espouse nose-to-tail dining, this hearty and delicious soup is for you. 2843 S. 5600 West, Ste. 140,West Valley City, 385-266-8729, lacasadeltamalutah.com
    2. La Puente Restaurant
    3. El Meño's

    Best Nachos
    Porcupine Pub & Grille
    Even at their most chips-and-cheese basic, nachos are kind of a perfect pub appetizer. Then there's the glorious mountain of comfort food that is the Porcupine's nachos, as their blue and white tortilla chips get a boost from tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, scallions, cilantro, salsa, [pause for a breath] guacamole and sour cream, and that's before you decide whether to augment it with chicken or black beans, and make it a meal on its own. 3698 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-942-5555, porcupinepub.com
    2. Nacho Daddy
    3. Lake Effect

    Chile-Tepin’s magnificent - molcajete - VISIT SALT LAKE
    • Visit Salt Lake
    • Chile-Tepin’s magnificent molcajete

    Best Molcajete
    Chile-Tepin
    Chile-Tepin prepares its classic Mexican dishes, including molcajete, from family recipes. If you've never tried a molcajete (meaning "mortar and pestle"), this is the place to experience it the "first time." Served in a stunning volcanic stone pot cradling a medley of succulent meats, grilled veggies and seafood, Chile-Tepin's molcajete bursts with flavor. It's a feast for your eyes and appetite as the ingredients mingle and delight all the senses. 307 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-883-9255, chile-tepin.com/home
    2. Blue Iguana
    3. La Casa Del Tamal

    Best Quesadilla
    Tres Hombres Mexican Grill & Cantina
    Decked out with gorgeous artworks and plants, Tres Hombres rocks the cantina vibe quite nicely. Their quesadilla is a generous near platter-size portion, with a perfectly fried tortilla. Fillings include a choice of seasoned meat, chiles, cheeses and pico de gallo. To top it off, it's served with sour cream and guacamole. Olé! 3298 Highland Drive, Millcreek, 801-466-0054, treshombrescantina.net
    2. Blue Iguana
    3. Chunga's

    Best Tacos
    Facil Taqueria
    These tacos are a balance between carefully crafted and uniquely inventive. Menu items include Nashville hot chicken tacos topped with Mexican escabeche and nutty pepita salsa macha; local mushroom tacos glazed with orange and ancho, topped with fermented cabbage; plus standbys like cauliflower and avocado tacos with house hot sauce and carrot chips. If you've yet to join the cult of Facil tacos, it's time to drink the Paloma! 4429 S. 2950 East, SLC, 801-878-9969, faciltaqueria.com
    2. Roctaco
    3. Taqueria 27

    Best Tacos al Pastor
    Chunga's
    The tacos al pastor are the big-ticket item at Chunga's, made with savory, marinated pork, pineapple and greens. The iconic Mexican street food is but the tip of the iceberg for delicious eats at Chunga's—they have all the favorites (burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas) as well as excellent tortas and gorditas. 180 S. 900 West, SLC, 801-953-1840; 1895 S. Redwood Road, SLC, 801-973-6904; chungasslc.com
    2. Real Taqueria
    3. Santo Taco

    Best Tamales
    La Casa Del Tamal
    Each masa-hugged tamale here is a work of art. And the fillings are a flavorful secret society your taste buds long to join. The history of this ancient food goes back 9,000 years; every aspect of preparation followed traditions and rituals. It's still a lengthy process today but you can now enjoy fresh tamales daily at La Casa Del Tamal. They use the recipe of the owner, whose hometown is Hildalgo, Mexico. 2843 S. 5600 West, Ste.140, West Valley City, 385-266-8729, lacasadeltamalutah.com
    2. Victor's Restaurant
    3. El Meño's

    Wait for the delicious crunch of Bricks Corner’s pizzas - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Wait for the delicious crunch of Bricks Corner’s pizzas

    Best Deep-Dish Pizza
    Bricks Corner
    Bricks Corner occupies a special place in the hearts of pizza fans. Once we've been seduced by the iconic crunch that develops on the edges of each Bricks Corner pie, we are forever changed. When such culinary alchemy is matched with a heap of tasty toppings, it's just hard to look at other pizzas the same way. 1465 S. 700 East, SLC, 801-953-0636, brickscornerslc.com
    2. Slackwater
    3. The Pie Pizzeria

    Best Tres Leches
    Cakes by Edith
    Tres Leches is a staple in Latin cuisine. Consisting of, clearly, three types of milk (evaporated, condensed and heavy cream), this cake is moist and rich. Cakes by Edith, owned and operated by Edith and Jorge Lopez, has been perfecting Tres Leches and a plethora of other delicious desserts for over 15 years together. While Edith and Jorge make everything from scratch, they say their "secret ingredient is love." 1736 W. 5000 South, Taylorsville, 801-963-3743; 1515 W. 12600 South, Riverton, 801-542-0169; cakesbyedithbakery.com
    2. Panadería Flores
    3. Canela Bakery

    Best Cauliflower Dish
    Laziz Kitchen

    Cauliflower, the humble crudite formerly in the dustbin of popular cooking, has made a major comeback in recent years, earning its own BOU category. Laziz Kitchen, on its website, describes how it takes its fried cauliflower and transforms it, Lebanese style, by adding just two ingredients: cumin and parsley. Simple, but astonishingly tasty. The three items come together in a marvelous way, prepared by skilled cooks who typically apply a less-is-more philosophy. And that's how a star is born. Three locations: Granary District, Midvale and downtown; lazizkitchen.com
    2. HSL
    3. Fav Bistro

    Best Falafel
    Laziz Kitchen
    Laziz Kitchen's housemade blend of spiced garbanzo and fava beans perfectly captures falafel's crisp exterior and soft interior. Vegan and gluten-free, Falafel's a great add to any of the bowls and wraps at this small, locally owned chain. It's a pretty tasty appetizer by itself with a side of lemon tahini sauce, but when part of Laziz's signature dishes, the falafel really shines. Three locations: Granary District, Midvale and downtown, lazizkitchen.com
    2. O'Falafel Middle Eastern Cuisine
    3. Mazza

    Best Shawarma
    Mazza
    Mazza's shawarma is a thing of beauty. Made with thin slices of lamb and beef marinated in seasonings, it's cooked on a standing grill, then shaved into a pita pocket and finished with tahini, greens and turnip pickles. The tender meat dances with seasonings, creating tantalizing flavors in every bite. Mazza has long held a special place in our community's heart, and this dish is one of the reasons why. 1515 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9259, mazzacafe.com
    2. Curry Fried Chicken
    3. Beirut Cafe

    Best Gluten-Free Pizza
    Slackwater Pizza
    Slackwater, renowned for its delicious pizza, extends its culinary prowess to gluten-free offerings. What makes their gluten-free pizza so adored is the unwavering commitment to taste and quality. The gluten-free crust, often a challenging aspect, is perfected to achieve the ideal balance of crispiness and tenderness. It is so delicious you may ask yourself if it is actually gluten-free?! Hot Honey Double Pepperoni is a local favorite. Multiple locations, slackwaterpizzeria.com
    2. The Pie Pizzeria
    3. Este Pizzeria

    Best Margherita Pizza
    Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
    Settebello was one of the first U.S. pizzerias to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) which ensures that the Settebello pizza-making process upholds the traditions created in Napoli over 200 years ago. The fluffy, oven-charred Margherita pizza—made with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, Parmigiano, basil and olio—is a perfect mix of crisp, cheesy and chewy, served piping hot. It's out of this world. 260 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-322-3556, settebello.net
    2. Pizza Nono
    3. Level Crossing Brewing Co.

    Best Cobb Salad
    The Dodo Restaurant
    The Cobb may be a salad, yes, but it's also a satisfying meal when done right. And boy, does The Dodo know how to do it the right way. Their "Chef's Cobb" consists of fresh greens, crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, crumbled Gorgonzola and buttermilk dressing. Let us pray this fan favorite at the Dodo neighborhood bistro never goes extinct. 1355 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-486-2473, thedodorestaurant.com
    2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
    3. Squatters Pub Brewery

    Best Coleslaw
    Feldman's Deli
    It's not surprising to see Feldman's as a repeat winner in this category, because their approach to the classic deli side remains so unique. The amazing sandwiches served here find their perfect accompaniment in the flavorful mix of cabbage and carrot, creamy dressing, and that peppery punch of seasoning. Not only would it probably win a blind taste test, but anyone who had ever tried it before would know exactly where it came from. 2005 E. 2700 South, SLC, 801-906-0369, feldmansdeli.com
    2. Pretty Bird
    3. Salt City Barbecue

    Best Salad
    Spitz Doner Salad
    What constitutes a good salad? For some, it may be a dense colorful salad that packs a punch. Those who prefer substantial salads would likely be the same ones who voted for Spitz's Doner Salad for Best Salad. It's a salad to be reckoned with: crunchy greens piled high with onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, pepperoncinis, garbanzo beans and fried pita strips, topped off with luscious dressing. It's a salad lovers' green dream come true, and healthy, too! Multiple locations, spitz-restaurant.com
    2. Sweet Hazel & Co. California Chick'n
    3. Nomad East's Smoked Salmon Salad

    Best Cheesesteak Sandwich
    Moochie's Meatballs & More
    If it's a hot sandwich with meat and cheese, you can bet Moochie's makes it better than anyone else. Their cheesesteak sandwich, for example, exudes indulgence—all that melty cheese and thinly sliced beef, and the freshly baked sandwich buns are to die for. Forget the plane ticket to the City of Brotherly Love–you can get all that and a bag of chips right here at Moochie's. Multiple locations, moochiesmeatballs.com
    2. The Philadelphian
    3. DP Cheesesteaks

    Best Banh Mi Sandwich
    Oh Mai Sandwich Kitchen
    What started as a small Vietnamese kitchen on State Street has blossomed into a local banh mi empire. Even after Oh Mai's expansion to all areas of the Wasatch Front, their banh mi have remained satisfying, flavorful additions to our local food scene. From the simplicity of the sunny-side-up egg to the sophistication of the honey-glazed pork, Oh Mai's banh mi game is unmatched. Multiple locations, ohmaisandwichkitchen.com
    2. Little Saigon
    3. All Chay

    Moochies’ transcendent - meatball sandwich - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Moochies’ transcendentmeatball sandwich

    Best Meatball Sandwich
    Moochie's Meatballs & More
    The Moochie's cheesesteak has already been recognized on this list, so it's not a huge surprise that Moochie's meatball sandwich would follow suit. The homemade meatballs, the gooey marinara and the melty cheese hit just right on this classic sandwich. Sure, it's hard to mess up a meatball sandwich, but that makes it all the more difficult to excel at one like Moochie's does. Multiple locations, moochiesmeatballs.com
    2. Caputo's Market & Deli
    3. Grove Market And Deli

    Best BLT
    Central 9th Market
    While the BLT is technically an off-menu item (last we checked), the artful sandwich makers at Central 9th Market are nonetheless prepared to make you one when you ask for it—with a just-right cluster of crisp bacon and fresher-than-fresh veggies held between two thick cuts of wood-fired focaccia. This three-ingredient lunch classic has never looked, tasted or crispy-crunched better. 161 W. 900 South, SLC, 385-332-3240, central9th.com
    2. Hopkins Brewing Co.
    3. Lucky 13

    Best Cuban Sandwich
    Beltex Meats
    People adore Beltex Meats' Cuban sandwiches made with their in-house smoked ham, roast mojo pork loin, house-brined pickles, mustard, Swiss cheese, fennel marmalade and freshly baked bread. They're so irresistible that if you don't arrive early (Saturday special only), they're gone within the first hour of opening. We love having this quality butcher shop in our city—though, as you can see, it's more than just a butcher shop! 511 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-532-2641, beltexmeats.com
    2. Whiskey Street Cocktails & Dining
    3. Red Rock Brewing Co.

    Best French Dip Sandwich
    Desert Edge Brewery
    For starters, the French Dip sandwich originated in Los Angeles, not France, but was so named, it's thought, because of its French roll. Desert Edge leans more toward spice with its Mexican Hot Roast Beef Dip. They take a sourdough baguette, pile it high with slow-roasted beef, pepper jack cheese, roasted chiles and chipotle mayo and serve it up with spicy au jus. But if it's French you're after, pair it with a cup of Desert Edge's famous French onion soup. 551 S. 600 East, SLC, 801-521-8917, desertedgebrewery.com
    2. Piper Down Pub
    3. Chop Shop Park City

    Best Fried-Chicken Sandwich
    Pretty Bird
    Back during the social media kerfuffle that revolved around fried chicken sandwiches, those of us who had been to Pretty Bird just sat back and chuckled. As much as the big fast food chains wanted to duke it out, we all know that Pretty Bird is the only place in Utah to go if you wanted a really, really good fried chicken sandwich—and it still is. Multiple locations, prettybirdchicken.com
    2. Cluck Truck
    3. Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers

    Have what she’s having: Feldman’s pastrami Reuben - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Have what she’s having: Feldman’s pastrami Reuben

    Best Reuben Sandwich
    Feldman's Deli
    Some people would have you believe that Jewish rye bread, corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing make a Reuben, but those people are misled. A true Reuben requires you to eat some of the corned beef with your fingers before you can pick the sandwich up. A true Reuben gets all over your hands, face and shirt. Feldman's Reuben is the Best of Utah because they know how to make a true Reuben. 2005 E. 2700 South, Millcreek, 801-906-0369, feldmansdeli.com
    2. Siegfried's Delicatessen
    3. Level Crossing Brewing Co.

    Best Inexpensive Lunch
    Buds
    If you want a big-ass sandwich that will fill you up on the cheap, look no farther than this SLC vegan classic. Not only will Buds save you money, their plant-based options come in every craveable taste—classic deli, Italian cold cut, buffalo, pesto, cheesesteak, BBQ and even pizzasteak. All the sandies come in under $8, leaving more than enough room for a lavender lemonade, horchata cold brew or a dollar-fifty cookie to have as a treat. 509 E. 300 South, SLC, budsslc.com
    2. Tacos Don Rafa
    3. Santo Taco

    Best Seafood Sandwich
    Freshies Lobster Salt Lake City
    A delicious seafood sandwich is a harmonious blend of fresh, flavorful ingredients that transport you straight to the seaside, which is quite a feat in Utah. It begins with the star of the show: the seafood, which can vary from succulent lobster or crab, seasoned and then cooked to perfection, ensuring it retains its natural, oceanic flavors. Multiple locations, freshieslobsterco.com
    2. Slapfish
    3. Chop Shop Park City

    Best Deli Sandwich
    Caputo's Market & Deli
    Whether it's the signature Old School sandwich or the traditional muffaletta, any sandwich at Caputo's tells a story. Thinly sliced deli meats, freshly-baked bread and a little bit of amore are what make Caputo's deli offerings so irresistible. You can get any sandwich (plus any of their signature deli meats) to-go, for a taste of Caputo's at home. Multiple locations, caputos.com
    2. Feldman's Deli
    3. Grove Market And Deli

    Best Fish Platter
    Current Fish & Oyster
    Current Fish & Oyster's seafood platter keeps us coming back for more! Succulent seafood offerings—including oysters, shrimp, Dungeness crab and Maine lobster tail—are all expertly prepared and plated to perfection. Current's menu is designed around fresh seafood available from regional America with an eye always toward sustainability. So sit back and enjoy their expertise in tasting what's fresh, well-prepared, good for you and good for the planet. 279 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-326-3474, currentfishandoyster.com
    2. Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar
    3. The Bayou

    Fish and chips at Little Taste of Britain - TASTE UTAH
    • Taste Utah
    • Fish and chips at Little Taste of Britain

    Best Fish & Chips
    Little Taste of Britain
    Little Taste of Britain offers what its name implies-- assorted British faves, led by fish and chips. They're real planks of white cod done perfectly with a great batter. The fish is always white and fresh. It falls apart as you enjoy every bite. There's also shrimp, shepherd's pie, mushy peas (a British delicacy), simple salads and other delights. They have lots of British products for sale, including sweets and canned goods. Cheerio! 768 W. 1425 North, Layton, 801-543-5707, littletasteofbritain.net
    2. On the Hook Fish and Chips
    3. Summerhays Halibut and Chips

    Best Oysters
    Current Fish & Oyster
    Oyster lovers, rejoice! With "oyster" in their name, the shellfish at Current have to be fresh and well prepared to bring the taste of the ocean (and a hint of brininess) to landlocked Utah. Current Fish & Oyster offers two delicious options to choose from: chef's choice oysters on the half shell or Kumamoto oysters on the half shell. Both are served with mignonette sauces and lemon to complement the oysters and satisfy your cravings. 279 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-326-3474, currentfishandoyster.com
    2. Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar
    3. Kimi's Chop & Oyster House

    Best Poke
    Hanaya Poke SLC
    When it comes to crafting your own poke masterpiece in SLC, Hanaya Poke is the undisputed maestro of the "build your own" symphony. When you crave sushi (but not sushi prices), a poke bowl is a great go-to! Offering the freshest fish selections and a rainbow of vibrant toppings, it's a poke paradise letting you make your own beautiful music. Sometimes we crave that sweet, sweet gochujang sauce! 675 E. 2100 South, Ste. B, SLC, 385-528-0592, hanayapokeslc.com
    2. LemonShark Poké
    3. FreshFin Salt Lake City

    Best Seafood Cocktail
    Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar
    For more than 40 years, patrons of Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar have ordered countless bowls of clam chowder and platters of oysters. It's no surprise that Market Street also serves an impressive gulf shrimp cocktail with a housemade cocktail sauce. Tuck into a shrimp cocktail, pair it with a gin martini, and you'll conclude life is good. Multiple locations, marketstreetgrill.com
    2. Tres Hombres Mexican Grill & Cantina
    3. Maria's Méxican Grill

    Best Clam Chowder
    Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar
    On Oct. 30, 1980, the first Market Street Grill opened inside the historic New York Hotel building in downtown Salt Lake. The chef back then, the late Tom Guinney, brought his recipes from California where he'd worked at seafood restaurants and been a corporate chef. His recipe for his "undeniably best clam chowder in the United States" is made with clams, onions, celery and fresh leeks. Guinney's chowder was served the first night and remains a mainstay today. Multiple locations, marketstreetgrill.com
    2.Current Fish & Oyster
    3.The Green Pig Pub

    DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle

    Best Chili
    Whiskey Street Cocktails & Dining
    If you associate chili with tailgating at a football game or as a dish to be enjoyed in the mountains around the campfire, Whiskey Street will change your mind. Their bourbon black bean buffalo chili topped with shredded fontina cheese and cilantro crème fraiche is the most elevated rendition of this comfort classic we've ever tasted. Wash it down with one of over 500 (five hundred!) whiskeys. 323 S. Main, SLC, 801-433-1371, whiskeystreet.com
    2. The Soup Kitchen
    3. Squatters Pub Brewery

    Best French Onion Soup
    Desert Edge Brewery
    Desert Edge may be pros at brewing beer, but some patrons go there expressly to sip something warm and golden. A symphony of caramelized onions simmered in savory beef broth and crowned with a thick layer of melted Swiss cheese, Desert Edge's French onion soup is the epitome of craveable comfort food. Also available at Desert Edge's sister restaurant, Stella Grill, this is not just soup; it's a warm hug for your taste buds. 273 Trolley Square, SLC, 801-521-8917, desertedgebrewery.com
    2. Gracie's
    3. Stella Grill

    Best Soup
    Soup Kitchen's Cream of Tomato
    Soup Kitchen is a nostalgic, welcoming place—the décor in Sugar House especially might remind you of your school cafeteria back in the day. Their clam chowder, chicken noodle, cheese broccoli or good old-fashioned split-pea are all house-made and delicious, especially on chilly wet days. Soup Kitchen's tomato soup is a must; it has a particularly robust, delightful flavor and is best for dunking their housemade breadsticks into. Locations in Sugar House, South Salt Lake and on Redwood Road, slcsoup.com
    2. Feldman's Deli's Matzo Ball Soup
    3. Oasis Café Tomato Fennel

    What Did We Miss?

    Best Croissant Menu
    Forty Three Bakery
    With new digs of his own now, international award-winning pastry chef Andrew Corrao is serving his buttery croissants in a variety of ways. The classic all-butter croissant is always delicious, but that vanilla bean-glazed pull apart hits differently. Try it for yourself and report back. 733 W. Genesee Ave., SLC, 435-962-1628, fortythreebakery.com

    Best Vegan BBQ
    Blatch's Backyard BBQ
    A backyard miracle in the Avenues, Blatch's offers vegan barbecue done right—not only with mains like slow smoked jackfruit, tempeh burnt ends, smoked seitan brisket and Korean barbecue strips, but with their variety of sides. No order is complete without mixing and matching smoked poblano potato salad, wood-fired rolls, Cuban-inspired black beans and, of course, slaw. Make this your next takeout order, but, keep in mind, they're open only two days a week for pre-reserved orders and pick-up. 186 I St., SLC, 385-210-5029, blatchsbackyardbbq.com

    Best Avocado Toast
    Beaumont Bakery & Café
    The elote-inspired avocado toast at Beaumont satisfies the Southwestern toast twist you didn't know you needed. Perfectly ripened avocado, smoky roasted corn, crumbled Cotija cheese and just-spicy-enough fresno chilis pile atop hearty Super Seed bread for a breakfast that easily masquerades as lunch or #girldinner (add eggs, turkey or salmon if you please), available daily open to close. Bonus points if you pair it with a lemon filled cruffin. 3979 Wasatch Blvd., Millcreek, 801-676-9340, beaumont.cafe

    Best Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
    Nana's Sonoran Hot Dogs
    As Nana's officially brought bacon-wrapped hot dogs to the Wasatch Front, it's only fair that they nab the Best of Utah accolades for this wonderment of porcine goodness. While wrapping a hot dog in bacon seems like an easy way to turn up the volume on those taste buds, the Nana's team goes above and beyond. They offer the genuine article when it comes to the Sonoran hot dog, and it's always a good time. 7659 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan, 623-210-7320, @nanas_hotdogs

    Delice Bakery’s case of tempting treats - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Delice Bakery’s case of tempting treats

    Best Gluten-Free Velvety Goodness
    Delice Bakery & Café Crème Brulee
    Chef Jean-Jacques Grossi started baking at a young age in France. After moving to Salt Lake City in 1977 and working for other bakers, Chef Grossi and Akbar Matinkhah opened Délice French Bakery and Café in 2018. A dessert of theirs sure to please is their rich, creamy custardy crème brulee with that slight burnt-sugar crunch of the caramel topping. Stop by and pick one up today. 2747 S. State, SLC, 801- 953-1910, delicebakeryslc.com

    Best 'Let's Share' Paella
    Mar | Muntanya
    Chef Tyson Peterson is a Utah native who is able to channel Spanish cuisine like it's his job. OK, it is his job, but Peterson has a knack for creating fusion dishes that actually work really well. His paella has everything you would want in this sharable dish (no tapa-size plate here), with some extra proteins to spare. 170 S. West Temple, SLC, 385-433-6700, mar-muntanya.com

    Best Not-Necessarily-Mexican Tacos
    Roctaco
    There's nothing wrong with a traditional taco filled with traditional ingredients, but when you want to deviate from tradition, Roctaco's freestyle tacos have you covered. They specialize in borrowing liberally from the cuisine of Korea, Vietnam, India and Mexico for their tacos, and each one is a tasty adventure in itself. 248 S. Edison St., SLC, 801-905-8016; 471 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, 435-652-5999; roctaco.com

    Best New York Style Pizza
    Villaggio Pizzeria
    Villaggio's New York-style pizza is a big city yum adventure that reminds us of the bustling streets of NYC with every bite. To add to the authenticity, they even import some of their ingredients from the Big Apple! But it's not only about pizza; their menu is a culinary gold mine. You can stick to the classics or step it up with a balsamic glaze—either way, your taste buds will thank us! 3144 S. State, Ste. 1, South Salt Lake, 801-410-4355, villaggio-slc.com

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    Meat Hook: barbecue and more! - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Meat Hook: barbecue and more!

    Best Party BBQ
    Meat Hook BBQ
    We go to Meat Hook BBQ for delicious brisket, ribs and pulled pork, but we stay for the party—the home party, that is, especially one you don't have time to prepare for. When you expect lots of guests (think: Super Bowl), better hook up at Meat Hook for selections beyond BBQ joint staples. Tacos, burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and salads can round things out. Party of one? Keep the Barbecuterie platter near your TV remote and eat for two days. 3380 S. Redwood Road, SLC, 801-938-3773, meathookbbqco.com

    Best Drunken Noodles
    Nuan's Thai Kitchen
    Many Thai food lovers rejoiced at finding Nuan's Thai Kitchen reopening in new digs, albeit at another Cottonwood Heights strip mall. Once again, we can indulge in Nuan's delectable spring rolls, chicken satay, green curry and pad thai that we know and love. It's just steps away from an excellent state liquor and wine store. Ergo, you can buy your booze and then feast on their truly delightful drunken noodles when you get home. 1871 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-432-8356, nuansthaikitchen.com

    Best Vegan Sushi Rolls
    Keyaki Sushi
    Not only does Keyaki Sushi create innovative Latin and Japanese fusion rolls, but they also serve amazing vegan sushi. Most restaurants stop at two or three (somewhat boring) vegan rolls. But Keyaki offers 10 big, beautiful, loudly decorated rolls giving vegans the delight usually reserved for fish-eaters. Rolls include tropical fruits, toasted coconut, tofu several ways, crunchy zucchini and in the case of the Imperial Roll, enoki mushroom nestled inside a roll topped with elegant fried lotus. 167 W. 4500 S. Frontage Road, Murray, 385-787-4409

    Best Sushi on a Bullet Train
    Sushi Pro & Timi Boba Milk Tea
    Sushi Pro is the only restaurant in Utah that boasts "conveyor belt" sushi (the Japanese call it kaitenzushi). Small covered plates of freshly made sushi and sashimi travel around on a conveyor belt next to the tables, and diners are free to grab what looks good to them. At the end, the plates are added up to determine the bill. You can also order dishes or boba tea drinks off the menu, and they are delivered to your table by the most adorable toy bullet train imaginable. 4337 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, 385-432-0834, sushiproutah.com

    Best Noodles in the Making
    Oishi Ramen
    The flavor combinations at Oishi Raman are spectacular. That they offer oxtail, tongue and even intestine skewers indicates that this State Street eatery is willing to push—and please—local palates. Notably, upon entering Oishi Ramen, you might notice their cooks making, stretching, pulling and turning homemade noodles. Those noodles become the base for their Chinese-style ramens, but can be added to a Japanese ramen dish as well. You'll forgo all packaged noodles ever after. 3424 S. State, Ste. A, SLC, 801-410-4310, oishiramenslc.com

    Best Belly-Warming Modern Asian
    Saola Restaurant & Lounge
    Apres ski dining options tend to be of the bougie variety--butternut squash bisque, oysters, etc. But post-ski noshing should warm you up from the inside out, and that's what you get at Saola. Their sophisticated take on popular Asian favorites like egg rolls, Peking duck and pho with filet mignon brings cozy comfort food to a new level. 7307 Canyon Centre Parkway, Ste. 1, Cottonwood Heights, 801-944-2949, saolaeats.com

    Best Pop-Up Bagel Getting a Home
    Baby's Bagels
    SLC's newest (and perhaps chewiest) bagel can be found all around town at different locales. Find their completely coated bagels in every flavor at Liberty Heights Fresh, The Neighborhood Hive and as breakfast sandos at Old Cuss Café. Or just buy directly from them Thursdays through Saturdays at their new full-service bagel shop that opened Nov. 11. 204 E. 500 South, SLC, 801-613-0066, instagram.com/babys.bagels

    Best Park City Breakfast
    Five5eeds
    Fresh, wholesome, crunchy and inventive. We have so many reasons to love the breakfast/brunch menu of this Aussie eatery, such as their huge pancakes slathered in mixed berries, Moroccan baked eggs, smashed avocado and peas on toast, and delicious housed-baked goods. There's a wow factor here that outdoor adventurers and locals cannot ignore. Fill'er up here and hit the slopes. 1600 Snow Creek Drive, Ste. EF, Park City, 435-901-8242, five5eeds.com

    Best Weekend Spice
    Curry Connect
    Sandy's Curry Connect prides itself on fresh South Indian fare (but you can order Northern dishes as well). On weekends, Curry Connect is generally packed, and perhaps their weekend specials have something to do with it. Dishes like Thalappakatti goat biryani, Veg Manchurian and Kerala fish curry highlight the list. Broaden your palate and soak up the positive energy of the friendly owners and customers. 863 E. 9400 South, Sandy, 385-274-4177, curryconnect.com

    Best 'Normal-Size' This
    Apollo Burger
    For decades, the Supersize Me model of giant portions at takeout eateries has been all the rage. But there's growing evidence consumers want to get back to normal (in pant size and budget). At Apollo Burger, you can still order their craveable burgers and sandwiches, but maybe slow your belly roll with any of their eight junior-size items. Pair that Junior Apollo Burger with any seven fresh salads for takeout—Greek, Cobb and Chef's included! Multiple locations, apolloburger.com

    Best Quietly Cheap, Quality Burrito
    Yoko Taco's $5 Bean Burrito
    You may have noticed that even fast food ain't cheap these days—but you can still get a cheap ... er ... affordable burrito and with locally sourced, high-quality fixin's at Yoko Taco. Their $5 bean and rice burrito is simple satisfaction rounded out by fried cheese and their house sauces. It won't break the bank at lunch time. 285 W. 800 South, SLC, 385-218-4325, yokotacoslc.com

    Best Oh My Stars & Chars in Cedar City
    Centro Woodfired Pizzeria
    If, after attending a fabulous theater production at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, you get a craving for scratch-made pizza ingredients and toppings, lovingly handled pizza dough and wood fired oven char, then make that reservation at Centro for their "artisan made" fare (hint: The fennel sausage pizza does not disappoint). It's also the place for proper "stagedooring," and glimpsing your favorite performers because—you know—actors gotta eat, too. 50 W. Center St., Cedar City, 435-867-8123, centropizzeria.com

    Best Apple Strudel
    Weller's Bistro
    If German hospitality and comfort food are what you crave, here you'll find authentic entrees like schnitzel, stuffed cabbage rolls, beef rouladen and goulash with sauerkraut and spätzle. After your meal, full you may be, but find room for the German apple strudel (apfelstrudel). This heavenly dessert consists of layers of baked cinnamon-seasoned apples, raisins and berry sauce in a strudel pastry that sits on a dish of vanilla sauce and is topped with powdered sugar and chocolate drizzle. Layton, here we come. 197 N. Main St., Layton, 385-888-9531, wellersbistro.comBest Asian-Inspired Omelets

    Uncle Jeffi's Place
    Uncle Jeffi's Place is Anny Sooksri and Jeff Kelsch's latest restaurant venture. (The pair also founded Tea Rose Diner, Tea Rose Thai Express, Chabaar Beyond Thai and FAV Bistro—located next door to Uncle Jeffi's.) While Uncle Jeffi's serves all the classic breakfast and lunch options, it's their Thai breakfasts—such as Thai fried egg, Kai Jeaw Moo Sup and the Thai omelet—that beckon those wanting to free themselves from eggs over easy. These dishes are lighter than trad American diner fare—and healthier—but still so tasty. They open at 7 a.m. 1968 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay, bestthaifoodinutah.com/uncle-jeffis

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    Piper Down’s Bloody Piper - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Piper Down’s Bloody Piper

    Best Bloody Mary
    Piper Down Pub
    The Bloody Piper is the most unique of Piper Down's bloody offerings. Created with chipotle vodka and topped with Guinness beer, which helps dial down the spiciness a little, this signature bloody mary is absolutely satisfying. A masterful use of horseradish, Worcestershire and garlic—make this as mild or spicy as you'd like. Add bacon and other condiments to this breakfast classic, and you've got a meal in a glass. 1492 S. State, SLC, 801-468-1492, piperdownpub.com
    2. Lucky 13
    3. Gracie's

    Best Barista
    Omar, The People's Coffee
    Omar is both co-owner and working barista, giving caffeine-starved downtowners their daily fix served up with his warm smile. His friendliness and calm belies the toughness of a year his business has faced, what with construction and other environmental factors out of his control. Still, he has created an inviting space for those seeking refuge from the outside world, pouring a lovely cuppa to soothe your soul. 177 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-410-4734, facebook.com/thepeoplescoffee
    2. Joanna, Coffee Garden
    3. Hanna, Picnic Café

    Best Beer Selection—Brewery or Brew Pub
    Templin Family (TF) Brewing
    When you spend as much time paying attention to the tiny details in the brewing process, people are bound to notice. From exquisite old-world lagers to award winning IPAs and sours ales, the house that Kevin Templin built has put Utah on the world beer map, creating a huge demand for the TF brand from inside and outside of Utah. 936 S. 300 West, SLC, 385-270-5972, tfbrewing.com
    2. Fisher Brewing Co.
    3. Bewilder Brewing Co.

    Best Beer Selection—Club or Restaurant
    The Bayou
    Few used to notice how many beers a pub or restaurant had. You just showed up and drank what was available. Then the Bayou debuted in 2001 and advertised a 200-plus beer menu, and people have been clamoring for their suds ever since. From classic American standards to the rarest European ales and lagers, Mark and Kileen Alston keep this institution's eclectic beer list fresh and innovative. 645 S. State, SLC, 801-961-8400, utahbayou.com
    2. Slackwater
    3. Beerhive Pub

    Best Boba Tea
    Space Tea
    One of Space Tea's mantras is giving back to the community. They host Small Business Sundays, where they invite five local businesses to be vendors at no cost during store hours, and they donate bubble tea to three local classrooms a month. Oh, yeah, and they also serve insane boba tea that looks like it's from another galaxy. The Big Bang (strawberry matcha latte) or Otter Space (soft serve with milk tea and black sugar boba) are musts. 1085 S. State, SLC, 385-528-0141, spaceteaslc.com
    2. Tea Bar
    3. Xing Fu Tang

    Cans with a message: - Salt Flats Brewing - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Cans with a message: Salt Flats Brewing

    Best Brewery Can Art
    Salt Flats Brewery Save the Lake Pilsner
    With the Great Salt Lake at its lowest level in recorded history, the message is clear: Save the Lake! The message of its fragility can be subtle as a sticker or boisterous as a beer can. Luckily for us, Salt Flats Brewing went with the latter. To help bring awareness to this crisis, Salt Flats will donate 5% of every case sold to local support for preserving the Great Salt Lake. That's a beer we can all get behind. Multiple locations, saltflatsbeer.com
    2. Epic Brewing Co. Chasing Ghosts IPA
    3. Proper Brewing Co. Blizzard Wizzard

    Best Brewery Food
    Grid City Beer Works
    Grid City Beer Works is more than just a brewery; it's a gastronomic experience that combines creativity, local ingredients, and, of course, exceptional craft beer. From burgers to tacos, to even Brussels sprouts, Grid City's varied menu offers a diverse eating experience that goes far beyond your typical pub fare, including decadent sandwiches and many vegan options. 333 W. 2100 South, SLC, 801-906-8390, gridcitybeerworks.com
    2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
    3. Hopkins Brewing Co.

    Best Brunch Cocktails
    Prohibition
    Fancy a Michelada constructed with house made Chipotle Bloody Mary mix? Or what about a coffee cocktail, crafted with bourbon cold brew, hazelnut liquor, cinnamon bark, salted caramel cold brew and whipped cream? Yeah, our mouths are watering, too. Discover these and other brunch libations before all of the other CW readers beat you to them. 151 E. 6100 South, SLC, 801-281-4852, prohibitionutah.com
    2. Purgatory Bar
    3. Ivy & Varley

    Best Canned Cocktail
    Sugar House Distillery Raspberry Lemonade
    Made with local grains and distilled in house, Sugar House Distillery's brilliant tasting vodka is the perfect base to help drive the delicious raspberry lemonade combo that makes this canned cocktail the perfect summer refresher or winter dining companion. On ice or straight with crisp bubbles, this one always satisfies. 212 S. West Temple, Ste.14, South Salt Lake, 801-726-0403, sugarhousedistillery.net
    2. Ogden's Own Distillery Porters Huckleberry Lemonade
    3. Beehive Distilling Moscow Mule

    Best Cocktail Bitters
    Bitters Lab
    Owner Andrea Latimer has changed the way we taste local cocktails. The former cake designer's innovative approach to designing bitters has changed the way we experience flavors and extracts. Each small batch bitter is handcrafted with the highest quality local ingredients. With flavors like barrel-aged apricot vanilla and habanero lime, it's no wonder these are a yearly favorite. Sold in multiple locations or by subscription, bitterslab.com
    2. Honest John Bitters
    3. Grandeur View Bitters

    Happy customers at Bjorn’s Brew speedy drive-thru - COURTESY PHOTO
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    • Happy customers at Bjorn’s Brew speedy drive-thru

    Best Drive-Thru Coffee Shop
    Bjorn's Brew
    Utah has a reputation for its coffee "teetotalers." But that thought only makes those who do drink coffee all the more passionate about supporting their local java joints. Family-owned Bjorn's has grown, since starting in 2008, to three locations, all with drive-thru windows designed to be fast and efficient. Customers can order a variety of tasty morning drinks with minimal stress. And that's how you grow a coffee business in a "teetotaling" state. Locations on State Street, Foothill Drive and Highland Drive, bjornsbrew.com
    2. Java Jo's
    3. Beans & Brews Coffeehouse

    Best Sit-Down Coffee Shop
    The People's Coffee
    It's a special thing when you find a coffee shop where you can just sit down for a while, get some refills, work on your laptop or hang out with a book or a friend. The People's Coffee is that place—a coffee shop for people being people. Order one of their monthly specials (fruit-spiked Americano, anyone?) with some of their very pretty avo toast, and just chill. 177 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-410-4734, instagram.com/thepeoplescoffeeutah
    2. Tres Gatos Coffee
    3. Sugar House Coffee

    Best Craft Cocktails
    Water Witch
    This tiny craft lounge promotes a relaxed atmosphere without being intimidating. We love the innovative cocktails that are nothing short of exceptional. The talented mixologists possess artistry that lacks pretentiousness and enhances the overall craft cocktail experience. Water Witch promises a non-stuffy cocktail journey that's perfect for any level of cocktail enthusiast. 163 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-462-0967, waterwitchbar.com
    2. Prohibition
    3. Bar-X

    Best Distillery
    High West Distillery
    Utah's world-renowned distillery is also the favorite of readers this year. Not only does High West produce some of the incredible bourbons and ryes, they also offer one of the best experiences while drinking and dining. From Park City's Ski-in gastro distillery to their mountain resort-style Wanship experience, it's no wonder High West is a favorite. 27649 Old Lincoln Highway, Wanship, 435-649-8300, highwest.com
    2. Beehive Distilling
    3. Waterpocket Distillery

    Best Distillery Tour
    High West Distillery
    There are distillery tours, then there are distillery events. The 45 minutes spent at High West's gorgeous Wanship distillery, located at Blue Sky Ranch, combines old-world esthetics with cutting-edge tech to provide a well-rounded whiskey experience. Oh, and did we mention the whiskey sensory tasting at the end? 27649 Old Lincoln Highway, Wanship, 435-649-8300, highwest.com
    2. New World Distillery
    3. Dented Brick Distillery

    Mountain West’s - Ruby Hard Cider - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Mountain West’s Ruby Hard Cider

    Best Hard Cider
    Mountain West Cider
    Utah's cider scene is still young compared to its older, beer-focused siblings, and it's a credit to the quality of Mountain West's offerings that their lineup is a Salt Lake staple, from the can't-go-wrong Ruby (or its "Ruby's Gay" label in June) to the killer single-varietal Elliot Gold. For the more experimental, try one of the rotating special releases on tap at the cider house. 425 N. 400 West, SLC, 801-935-4147, mountainwestcider.com
    2. Scion Cider Bar
    3. Second Summit Hard Cider Co.

    Best Frappe
    Bjorn's Brew
    As if the first sip of a blended coffee wasn't blissful enough, at Bjorn's Brew your frappe order can help a furry friend in need. Fill up a punch card and when you redeem it, Bjorn's Brew makes a $1 donation to local animal charities like Nuzzles, Best Friends, Therapy Animals of Utah and Salt Lake County Animal Services. With frappe flavors including mocha, rich caramel and vanilla chai, you have plenty of reasons to collect punches and help the pups. Multiple locations, bjornsbrew.com
    2. Tres Gatos Coffee
    3. Beans & Brews Coffeehouse

    Best Hard Seltzer
    Grid City Beer Works
    People like "simple" when it comes to their hard seltzers—or so we thought. There's no denying that these fruity and sometimes herbal beverages make very easy drinking, but when CW readers crave a boozy spritz, nothing compares to the real fruit and the high ABV of Grid City's snappy adult beverages. With flavors like Rosé, Cucumber Lime and even Hoppy Hard Seltzer, there's little wonder why these beverages shine. 333 W. 2100 South, SLC, 801-906-8390, gridcitybeerworks.com
    2. Shades Brewing
    3. Kiitos Brewing

    Best Horchata
    Facil Taqueria
    The horchata at Facil Taqueria—not your average neighborhood taqueria!—is the unicorn of the beverage world—rare, magical and utterly enchanting. Each cinnamon-spiked sip whispers sweet tales to your taste buds. It's like the beverage version of a warm hug—comforting and utterly delightful. The ricey richness is the stuff of legend, leaving you wondering what's in the drink that keeps you coming back for more. 4429 S. 2950 East, SLC, Holladay, 801-878-9969, faciltaqueria.com
    2. Barrio
    3. Real Taqueria

    Best Kombucha
    Han's Kombucha
    Hannah (aka Han) started brewing kombucha in the closet of her dorm, selling her first batch in 2018. Han's Kombucha is a lively, effervescent elixir that tickles both the palate and the imagination. You can visit their taproom where they host trivia nights, as well as kombucha for a cause, and other themed events! Han's Cheers Queers, Ginger Hibiscus, Raspberry Rose, Grapefruit Rosemary are just some of our favorite flavors. 370 Aspen Ave., SLC, 385-227-8240, hkbrewing.com
    2. Mamachari Kombucha
    3. Renourish Kombucha Tap Room

    Here’s looking at you, Ogden Own Distillery’s Five Wives Vodka! - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Here’s looking at you, Ogden Own Distillery’s Five Wives Vodka!

    Best Local Spirit Overall
    Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka
    This perennial favorite continues to shine with its crystal-clear appearance and always promises a clean and pure taste experience. Five Wives always delivers a smooth, silky texture and a subtle sweetness, making it ideal for sipping neat or mixing in cocktails. It blends seamlessly with various mixers, enhancing the flavors without overpowering them. Whether enjoyed in a classic martini or a trendy mixed drink, this vodka consistently is a go-to choice for Utahns. 615 W. Stockman Way, Ogden, 801-675-3204, ogdensown.com
    2. High West Distillery A Midwinter Night's Dram
    3. Sugar House Distillery Vodka

    Best Michelada
    Lucky's Iron Door Roadhouse
    What truly sets this Michelada apart is the choice of beer—a high-quality, crisp lager that marries seamlessly with the balanced mix of tomato juice, lime, and assorted spices, creating a tangy and savory base that stimulates your pre-brunch cravings. A must-try for anyone seeking the best of this beloved Mexican cocktail. 3754 Center View Way, West Jordan, 801-878-9439, luckysirondoor.com
    2. Facil Taqueria
    3. El Meño's

    Best Liquor Selection—Distillery
    Dented Brick Distillery
    Some say vodkas and gins are easy to make. Maybe, but craft these in a way that causes a double take as you peer into your cocktail glass, and you've probably found a Dented Brick spirit. On top of that, you'll find a house-sourced tequila, malt whiskey and even a glitter pineapple rum. Yeah, this distillery with a kaleidoscope of flavors and styles has all the goods, and readers are finding it out. 3100 S. Washington St., South Salt Lake, 801-883-9837, dentedbrick.com
    2. Beehive Distilling
    3. Ogden's Own Distillery

    Best Local Gin
    Beehive Distilling Jack Rabbit Gin
    Gins are hot right now. We'd dare say that there's a "gin-aissance" happening right now. And one of the leaders of this revolution has been a regional favorite, Beehive's own Jack Rabbit Gin. This spirit is bold with juniper, sage and rose petal and lemon peel. Trust us, you don't even need a tonic or quinine with stuff like this. 2245 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-259-0252, beehivedistilling.com
    2. Ogden's Own Distillery Madam Pattirini Gin
    3. Waterpocket Distillery Temple Of The Moon Gin

    Best Local Rum
    Dented Brick Distillery Premium Rum
    When looking for a rum that offers rich and complex flavors that captivates the senses, Dented Brick's Premium Rum delivers the goods for CW readers. Presenting a delightful blend of caramel, vanilla, and oak, with a subtle hint of tropical fruits, it's an impressive spirit that enhances your tiki beverages or pool-side sippers. 3100 S. Washington St., South Salt Lake, 801-883-9837, dentedbrick.com
    2. Waterpocket Distillery Anejo Rum
    3. Outlaw Distillery Spice Rum

    Best Local Vodka
    Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka
    Distilled to perfection, Five Wives Vodka continually boasts unparalleled purity and smoothness. Its crystal-clear appearance alludes to the pristine Ogden Canyon water that delivers a clean and crisp taste, with subtle hints of citrus and a touch of sweetness that tease the back of the throat. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the base for cocktails, this vodka effortlessly calls to CW readers and once again, you have answered. 615 W. Stockman Way, Ogden, 801-675-3204, ogdensown.com
    2. Dented Brick Distillery Craft Vodka
    3. Salt City Vodka

    Best Local Whiskey
    High West Distillery Bourye
    This Utah favorite has only been around for 13 years. In that time, many whiskeys have come around, but none have matched the happy marriage of this bourbon and rye whiskey blend. It's the perfect interplay of sweet and spicy, with notes of honey, toasted oak and a subtle peppery kick. It exemplifies the art of whiskey crafting, offering a unique and memorable tasting experience year-round. Distillery: 27649 Old Lincoln Hwy., Wanship, 435-649-8300; Saloon: 703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300; highwest.com
    2. New World Distillery Ogden Nine Rails Bourbon Whiskey
    3. Ogden's Own Distillery Porters Peach Whiskey

    Best Mango Lassi
    Himalayan Kitchen
    After chowing down on all of the delicious spices and tastes of Indian cuisine at downtown's Himalayan Kitchen, there's nothing better than slurping up a mango lassi to cool off your taste buds. A refreshing yogurt-based drink, mango lassis are made by blending mangos, sugar and milk, leaving behind a rich and creamy texture that make it a popular dish from Mumbai all the way to Utah. 360 S. State, SLC, 801-328-2077, himalayankitchen.com
    2. The Kathmandu
    3. Mumbai House

    Best Margarita
    Blue Iguana
    With six unique margarita concoctions and eight different tequilas on the menu, the Blue Iguana excels with this lime and tequila classic. Looking for something a little snappy? The jalapeno margarita provides that much needed hint of fuego. Also, try upending a bottle of cerveza in the Coronarita for the perfect beer/margarita hybrid. Oh mi! 165 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-533-8900, blueiguanarestaurant.net
    2. Taqueria 27 Holladay
    3. Tres Hombres Mexican Grill and Cantina

    Whiskey Street’s immense liquor selection has the cocktail hour covered - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Whiskey Street’s immense liquor selection has the cocktail hour covered

    Best Liquor Selection—Club or Restaurant
    Whiskey Street Cocktails & Dining
    Searching for that crazy gin that you found in Spain or that rare unicorn of a whiskey that you've only been able to read about? Whiskey Street's library of spirits, libations and liqueurs conquers all preconceived notions about potions and lands the discerning customer in a cozy atmosphere where every spiritus flavor is possible every day (or night) of the year. 323 S. Main, SLC, 801- 433-1371, whiskeystreet.com
    2. White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    3. Lake Effect

    It’s tiki time at Flanker Kitchen and Sporting Club - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • It’s tiki time at Flanker Kitchen and Sporting Club

    Best Tiki Drink
    Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club
    With a seasonal custom cocktail menu designed by master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, Flanker Kitchen's tiki experience draws on the tastes of the islands and is inspired by classic tiki drinks. Each beverage has a distinctive presentation and vessel that is served from Flanker's tiki speakeasy, Paradise Parlor. The perfect immersive tiki cocktail experience. 6 N. Rio Grande St., Ste. 35, SLC, 801-683-7070, flankerslc.com
    2. Acme Bar Co.
    3. Why KiKi

    Best Mixologist
    Scott Gardner, Water Witch
    Creating innovative and delicious cocktails with a deep knowledge of spirits, liqueurs and mixers, Scott Gardner is well known for his magical concoctions that utilize his wealth of knowledge to craft cocktails that are both balanced and flavorful while also being a feast for the eyes. But stand back: many of his creations include flames. 63 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-462-0967, waterwitchbar.com
    2. Harrison Archibald, White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    3. Bijan Ghiai, Urban Hill

    Best Non-Dairy Latte
    The People's Coffee
    Known for their hospitable baristas, excellent coffee and craveable treats (their avocado toast with blackberries, jalapenos and honey stands out), The People's Coffee, located on the corner of 2nd & 2nd in downtown SLC, is serving up hot and cold caffeine just the way the people like them. The vegan/lactose intolerant among us don't want dairy anywhere near our java, so let your barista offer ways to lighten and sweeten your brew and be dairy free evermore! 177 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-410-4734, facebook.com/thepeoplescoffee
    2. Tres Gatos Coffee
    3. Old Cuss Cafe

    Best Smoothies
    Brass Smoothies
    Talk about heart in a blender! Tucked behind Pizza Nono in the 9th & 9th neighborhood, Brass has a decidedly local vibe—and it shows in its smoothies, crafted from locally sourced produce by friendly baristas knowledgeable enough to cater to any dietary restriction. Try the Beetlejuice with beets, pineapple, ginger and mixed berries with a scoop of one of several in-house adaptogen blends, or opt for the signature Brass Monkey with peanut butter and banana. 925 E. 900 South, Ste. 103, SLC, 801-208-6542, brasssmoothies.com
    2. Protein Foundry
    3. The Juice Shop

    Best Tea Service
    Tea Zaanti
    Calling all tea fanatics! Discover your next favorite sip from 85+ varieties of premium loose-leaf tea, wine and espresso or build your own charcuterie board from their market. This is not your typical cafe. Beyond their exceptional tea, TZ also hosts a variety of engaging events, creating a vibrant community hub for tea enthusiasts to connect. We love their dreamy dog-friendly patio. 1944 S. 1100 East, SLC, 801-477-5323, teazaanti.com
    2. The Grand America Hotel
    3. The Tea Grotto

    Best Wine Selection
    BTG Wine Bar
    Get the best of Caffé Molise without all the fuss of a big dining-out experience. Maybe even snag a table to yourself for a solo date night, indulge in some appetizers from upstairs and dig into the wine menu. You can order a flight to sample some of their vast menu—you can go for bubbles or blushes, or even orange wines if you're riding that wave. 404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-359-2814, btgwinebar.com
    2. Urban Hill
    3. Casot

    Best Ale
    Bewilder Brewing Co., Bewilder ESB
    Best beer categories are tough to judge. Beer lovers have their favorites, and we're sure they're all wonderful, but Bewilder's ESB (Extra Special Bitter) is the complete package. It's malty without being overly sweet; bitter, but only in a complementary fashion with a 5.0 percent ABV that's interesting enough to keep beer lovers coming back for more. Available in 16-ounce cans and draft. 445 S. 400 West, SLC, 385-528-3840, bewilderbrewing.com
    2. Templin Family Brewing Granary Kellerbier
    3. Epic Brewing Co. Brainless On Peaches

    Best IPA
    Squatters Brewery Juicy IPA
    IPAs are very polarizing. Some are massively bitter, others tropical and fruity with new hops varieties. Leave it to SLC's oldest brewery brand to find the happy medium that appeals to both camps. Packed with bright, citrus aromas and notes of ripe stone fruit, this unfiltered Northeast-style IPA finishes smooth, creamy with no fruit or flavorings added. A pleasure to drink. 147 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-363-2739; Taproom and Beer Store:1763 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-466-8855; utahbeers.com
    2. 2 Row Brewing Feeling Hazy
    3. Red Rock Brewing Co. Fukiphino

    Best Lager/Pilsner
    Fisher Brewing Co. Fisher Beer
    It's hard to resurrect a brand; not to mention a brand from the early/mid-20th century. When Fisher Brewing Co. was re-created in 2017, the one beer the new owners vowed would always be available was founder Albert Fisher's beloved Fisher Beer. This German-style lager has great toasty cracker flavors with some sweet dough. The hops are assertive with grass and herbal bitterness. 320 W. 800 South, SLC, 801- 487-2337, fisherbeer.com
    2. Bohemian Brewery Czech Pilsner
    3. Templin Family Brewing Helles

    Best Overall Beer, All Categories
    Templin Family (TF) Brewing Ferda
    This is a beer Ferda friends, Ferda team and Ferda beer lovers who love a full-flavored beer. This West Coast-style Double IPA checks all of the boxes as far as CW readers are concerned. It provides well-balanced flavors, melding light cereal grains and strong yet restrained hop fruitiness with a low-key alcohol presence. Smooth, warm and satisfying, it's Ferda taste buds! 936 S. 300 West, SLC, 385-270-5972, tfbrewing.com
    2. Fisher Brewing Co. Fisher Beer
    3. Bewilder Brewing Co. Kolsch

    Best Sour Beer
    Shades Brewing Kveik Pina Colada
    Shades has been pioneering its own path in the sour beer world. Instead of harshly tart or oaky sours, Shades has turned their specialty Kveik sours into a thing of beauty. The Kviek sour base has helped turn a simple sour ale into a delicious pina colada beverage that is in many cases better than the original cocktail. With a decent amount of pineapple and coconut that is full and round, this ale is beyond drinkable. 154 W. Utopia Ave., South Salt Lake, 435-200-3009, shadesbrewing.beer
    2. Kiitos Brewing Blackberry Sour
    3. Fisher Brewing Co. Lemonade Stand

    Best Stout
    Kiitos Brewing Coconut Stout
    Stouts used to be basic, roasty and dry. Then brewers started to add flavors to complement them; some flavors were great, others not so much. CW's readers have found that coconut is their favorite flavor combo in their stouts; and Kiitos' Coconut Stout absolutely fits the bill. The sweetness from the coconut weaves seamlessly with the natural roasted coffee, cocoa and char from malt. This was a beer that was meant to be. 608 W. 700 South, SLC, 801-215-9165, kiitosbrewing.com
    2. Epic Brewing Co. Big Bad Baptista
    3. SaltFire Brewing Co. Dirty Chai Stout

    What Did We Miss?

    Best Caffeinated Instagram to Follow
    Tres Gatos Coffee
    Not everyone in Salt Lake drinks coffee, but if you follow Tres Gatos Coffee on Instagram, you'll feel like you do. Their posts are a high-energy double shot of enthusiasm and pride in operating a small business. You can't help but be excited about their housemade chai, Mexican mocha and flavored drinks. The tantalizing photos of freshly made baked goods beckon travelers far and wide to old-town Midvale to their drive-thru window. Follow Tres Gatos and catch the wave. 7567 S. Main St., Midvale, 801-403-8351, IG @tresgatoscoffee

    Best Neighborhood Wine Bar
    Casot
    That a wine bar is thriving in a residential, Salt Lake City neighborhood is reason enough to celebrate. Nestled in the 15th & 15th commercial cluster, Casot is in a class of its own. With an interior of red brick, exposed joists, skylights and a wall-size antique bar from Italy, Casot is not what you would call "a watering hole." Boomers enjoy "New World" and "Old World" wines while there's craft beers and ciders for Gen X and Millennials. 1508 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-441-2873, casotwinework.com

    Best Sake to Join Local Brewing Scene
    Tsuki Sake
    Certified as a sake sommelier through the Sake School of America, Jill Watenabe has gone on to create Tsuki Sake, Utah's first and only premium, craft American sake company. Balancing traditional Japanese brewing techniques with a modern American twist, Watenabe is creating unique sakes for Utah. Flavors include Harvest Moon White Peach Nigori, Desert Moon Citrus Prickly Pear and the region's only sparkling draft sake. 385-450-7253, tsukisake.com

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    Best Big Bad Beer
    Epic Brewing
    Starting in 2017, the team at Epic Brewing released a new version of their popular Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. This series has been a hit among craft beer lovers and has patrons clamoring for more. This year, Epic's master brewers concocted six crazy-good new creations—S'mores, Cocquito, Naked Baptist, Brewers Keep, Blueberry Pie and Chocolate Caramel. 825 S. State, SLC, 801-906-0123, epicbrewing.com

    Play ball: - UTOG Brewing Co. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Play ball: UTOG Brewing Co.

    Best Beer & Ballgame Views
    UTOG Brewing Co.
    Established in 2019, UTOG Brewing Co. has been proudly serving Ogdenites from their spacious bar for years. The patio may be the most interesting in the state, as it overlooks the outfield of Lindquist Field, home of the Ogden Raptors, part of the Pioneer Baseball League. UTOG beer is expanding south of Weber County and can be found on most bar taps and fridges around. 2331 Grant Ave., Ogden, 801-689-3476, utogbrewing.com

    Pucker up with RoHa sours. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Pucker up with RoHa sours.

    Best Seasonal Sours
    RoHa Brewing Co.
    RoHa is great at keeping things simple for their customers—they have 10 stable beers, a rotating seasonal brew and two seltzer selections—and they also excel in keeping sours straightforward and tasteful. Their Pucker Sour catalog includes the Bumpy (raspberry), Dimple (blood orange) and Fuzzy (peach) and are worth a mix-and-match six pack to take home or cold glass at their bar. 30 E. Kensington Ave., SLC, 385-227-8982, rohabrewing.com

    Best Schooner and Sushi Night
    O'Shucks / Ahh Sushi
    While most Park City bars close during the off-season, O'Shucks has been committed to remaining open every day (aside from pandemic-mandated shutdowns, that is) ever since Bruce and Deb Corrigan opened up shop in 1994. They are known for their great breakfasts, sizable sushi menu and of course, the $3 Local's Night Schooners. For an affordable night out for dinner and drinks, this is the place. Multiple locations, oshucks-ahhsushi.com

    Best Distillery Menu
    Eight Settlers Restaurant & Distillery
    In addition to paying homage to the pioneer roots of Cottonwood Heights, Eight Settlers performs another vital service by proving that distilleries can serve up an exciting menu. Where else in Salt Lake Valley can you enjoy octopus, elk, salmon and airline chicken with a variety of in-house distilled spirits? Try the Butler Blossom cocktail that pairs with all the dishes, or go for a Devil's Gate Bourbon Old Fashioned. Real pioneers, though, take their whiskey straight. It's the ideal pairing with the bourbon-braised pork shank. 7321 Canyon Centre Pkwy., Cottonwood Heights, 385-900-4315, eightsettlersdistillery.com

    Best Coffee and Couture
    Old Cuss Coffee & Market
    Come one, come all. This community cafe welcomes all to its eclectic marketplace. Oozing with a vintage general-store atmosphere, you'll feel cozily at home. Local vendors offer everything from clothing to glassware to art and collectibles. Double your pleasure by ordering a cup of specialty java from Marcell Coffee Roasters along with a full breakfast or lunch. Brent'lee and chef/owner Chandler Bailey's love for fresh vegetables launched the Old Cuss as a vegan eatery, but nowadays, you'll find local eggs, dairy and cheeses on the menu. So, come on in and sit a spell. 2285 S. Main, South Salt Lake

    Best 'Dirty' Chai
    King's Peak Coffee
    When you want quality spicy chai, King's Peak has you covered—make it a dirty chai for us, please. They make just about everything from scratch, including their chai. KPC also has homemade kombucha on tap, and their bougie avocado toast is a must try. KPC is serious about sustainability and relationships with their farmers. Make sure to say hi to Carlos, Sadie and Fred for us; they are the friendliest staff around. 412 S. 700 West, SLC, 385-267-1890, kingspeakcoffee.com

    Best Turkish Coffee
    Kahve Café
    At Kahve Café, you'll be transported to a Mediterranean oasis, indulging in the finest Turkish coffee and teas. The menu pays tribute to the rich Turkic culture, which has thrived as nomads, finding solace wherever their journeys led. True to the Turkish Proverb listed on the website that says: "One cup of coffee creates a 40-year friendship," you feel like family when you walk through the doors of the cozy Victorian home. 57 S. 600 East, SLC, 801-888-0354, kahvecafeslc.com

    Best 'Wining' After the Show
    IG Winery
    After feeling all the feels at Cedar City's Utah Shakespeare Festival, there's no place better to "wine" down than IG Winery. Sample the fabulous wines while discussing the Bard's prose and verse. You'll also find enticing cocktails and small bites on the menu. And do say hello to Shimmer—the sculpted vineyard siren who adds to the beauty of IG Winery from a perch near the wine wall. Cedar City has gussied itself up! 59 W. Center St., Cedar City, 435-867-9463, igwinery.com

    Best Beer From Local Friends
    Hopkins Brewing Co.
    Chad Hopkins, founder of Hopkins Brewing Co. and Sugar House native, has been a restaurateur for more than 20 years. His passion for homebrewing, combined with his knowledge of the restaurant industry, gave rise to his hopping neighborhood brewery that's known for delicious eats and beer. Along with his rotating taps and small batches, Hopkins also offers other local breweries' creations (Bewilder, Fisher, RoHa, etc.) via his "Beer From Local Friends" list. 1048 E. 2100 South, SLC, 385-528-3275, hopkinsbrewingcompany.com

    Best Beer and Burger
    Proper Brewing Co.
    A staple in the beer community for years, Proper Brewing Co. has been serving up classics like the Lei Effect, made with passion fruit, guava, coriander and salt and keeping it fresh with the newer Whispers of the Primordial Sea, a smoked helles lager with pineapple. Patrons at the Granary District location can scamper next door to sip their beer with an award-winning Proper Burger. Our faves include the vegan DaVinci and the Rising Sun with kimchi. Multiple locations, properbrewingco.com

    Best Beer Museum
    Beerhive Pub
    Museums can come in all shapes and sizes, but they rarely come with dozens of tap handles. Del Vance's beer-specific pub not only offers a "locals only" draft list, it also houses the state's largest collection of beer memorabilia and artwork you'll find outside of the state archives or private collections. Walking around the historic pub sipping a pint is not only educational, it's also cozy and fun. Did we mention the hundreds of beers? 128 S. Main, Salt Lake City,  801-364-4268  

    Best Wallet Thank You
    The Ruin
    There's nothing worse than thinking you've got an evening covered only to discover your bar and food tab exceeds your credit card limit. Embarrassing. The cure is at The Ruin where you find extraordinary cocktails but without the pocket pinch. Same goes for their food service. Lean into a South-of-the-border plate and wash it down with a signature Mexspresso Martini, then do it again. Because you can. And again. P.S. Charcuterie at The Ruin is not to be missed. 159 S. Main, SLC, 801-869-3730, ruinslc.com

    Best Caffeinated Art
    Mestizo Coffeehouse
    People go hot and cold on their coffees. They also go hot and cold on their politics or with their personal affection for a piece of art. At Mestizo you get it all—a near west-side treasure that is home to a true community of folks who care about their environs, who are vocal about it and who are not at all shy to open your wider senses to the colorful expressions of artistry that adorns both interior and exterior walls. Not your typical grab-and-go shop, Mestizo grabs you, hugs you, in ways that make you feel welcome and comfortable. 631 N. Temple, SLC, 801-596-0500, mestizocoffeehouse.com

    Media, People & Politics
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    Restaurants & Nightlife

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    Bingo at Bar Named Sue on Highland - ALIZE HARDING
    • Alize Harding
    • Bingo at Bar Named Sue on Highland

    Best Bar Bingo
    A Bar Named Sue
    If you've been in search for Utah's best bar bingo, A Bar Named Sue is where your quest should begin and end. With complimentary pool (and darts and pingpong and jukebox), a variety of beers on tap at affordable prices, delicious pub grub (they serve excellent food, really! We recommend the garlic chicken Parmesan bites) and a bingo jackpot that can reach over $2,000, it's a no-brainer that either location for A Bar Named Sue should be your watering hole. 3928 S. Highland Drive, Millcreek, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222; abarnamedsue.com
    2. Why KiKi
    3. Piper Down Pub

    Best African Restaurant
    Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant & Market
    Mahider has always excelled at creating a singular experience that transports diners abroad. The menu leans into the Ethiopian custom of using only floppy injera flatbread as utensils, which is often a nice change of pace for local diners. On top of that, you can't beat their combination plates—everything is always vibrant, colorful and delicious at Mahider. 1465 S. State, SLC, 801-975-1111, mahiderethiopian.com
    2. Oromian Restaurant
    3. Kafe Mamai

    Best American Diner
    Ruth's Diner
    A perennial winner since our first Best of Utah in 1991, Ruth's Diner has it all: history, canyon setting, patio, live music ... oh yeah, and the food is superb. Whether it's breakfast you're wanting or a sandwich, burger or salad, you can't go wrong. Add to all this the appetizers, desserts and Ruth's Mile High biscuit, and you are enjoying one of Utah's unalloyed treasures of American fare. 4160 E. Emigration Canyon Road, SLC, 801-582-5807, ruthsdiner.com
    2. The Park Café
    3. Vertical Diner

    Best Appetizer Menu
    White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    White Horse continues to dominate in this category. If you've not yet discovered the array of bite-size starters and small plates served up at this downtown SLC mainstay, what have you been doing? Don't limit yourself to charcuterie—dive into the steak tartare. 325 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-0137, whitehorseslc.com
    2. Squatters Pub Brewery
    3. Ivy & Varley

    Best Apres Ski
    Porcupine Pub & Grille
    A warm bowl of Porcupine's creamy chicken-noodle soup after a day on the slopes is a rite of passage for any local worth their salt (those in the know ask for it with a side of Hellfire sauce). Wash it down with one of 24 beers on tap as you and your crew debate over who had the best pow run, who came this close to landing that double rodeo and whose turn it is to buy the next pitcher. 3698 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-942-5555, porcupinepub.com
    2. The Hog Wallow Pub
    3. Molly Green's Restaurant & Bar

    Best Bar Bathroom
    Lake Effect
    For a place as swanky as Lake Effect with their tall ceilings, plush booths and intricate decor, is it at all surprising they didn't spare any expense when it came to designing their bathrooms? The atmosphere is a one-of-one downtown experience and feels like big city livin'. This blurb will never be memorialized on the walls of their restrooms—it doesn't complement the feng shui—but we see you, Lake Effect! 155 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-532-2068, lakeeffectslc.com
    2. Quarters Arcade Bar—Downtown
    3. White Horse Spirits & Kitchen

    Best Bar Beyond Downtown SLC
    The Hog Wallow Pub
    Secluded among pine trees at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon, The Hog Wallow Pub is a groovy spacious tavern beyond downtown, a landing zone for those who hike and ski in the Cottonwood canyons, where bands like Pixie and the Partygrass Boys are known to get things rocking. When it comes to fun-filled dance floors, cozy nooks, a game of pool and a charming patio, Hog Wallow is where you want to be. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-5567, thehogwallow.com
    2. Ice Haus
    3. A Bar Named Sue

    Best Bar in Downtown Salt Lake City
    Gracie's
    A lesser bar would simply lean on its excellent location without putting much effort into bettering itself. Gracie's, on the other hand, has taken the blessing of a fine Downtown location and capitalized with a fabulous menu of bar bites and signature cocktails. Not to mention their great calendar of events taking place year-round. If you're looking for a metropolitan night spot, you can't do much better than Gracie's. 326 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-819-7565, graciesslc.com
    2. Why KiKi
    3. Lake Effect

    It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and Gracie’s patio is the place to be. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and Gracie’s patio is the place to be.

    Best Bar Patio
    Gracie's
    One of the perks of dining and/or drinking at Gracie's is the people watching, which is preferably done from the vantage of their rooftop patio. The sights and sounds of downtown Salt Lake blend with the music and chatter of the clientele, and you just can't beat these vibes around sundown on a summer evening. 326 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-819-7565, graciesslc.com
    2. The Hog Wallow Pub
    3. Templin Family Brewing

    The Park Cafe breakfast sandwich - JOHN TAYLOR
    • John Taylor
    • The Park Cafe breakfast sandwich

    Best Breakfast
    The Park Café
    The Park Cafe has a devout following, which sometimes means a wait for breakfast. But since we know their breakfasts are worth the wait, we will wait. Their potatoes are golden nuggets of pure bliss, as are their pancakes (which can be ordered gluten free) and eggs dishes. Plus, they make the wait more manageable with the offer of free coffee, and in so doing, the wait becomes part of the dining experience. The Park Cafe simply rocks our mornings! 604 E. 1300 South, SLC, 801-487-1670, theparkcafeslc.com
    2. Eggs in the City
    3. Roots Cafe

    Best Bar Menu
    White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    No offense to nachos and jalapeño poppers, but some of us prefer our bar food without a side of Tums. Class up your cocktail accouterments at White Horse with the likes of fresh oysters, confit duck wings, grilled gem lettuce salad, short rib French dip or organic salmon. In the mood for something sweet alongside your sips? The bourbon butterscotch pudding can't be beat. 325 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-0137, whitehorseslc.com
    2. The Bayou
    3. Prohibition

    Best Barbecue Restaurant
    R&R Barbeque
    In 2023, R&R is celebrating a decade of dishing up delicious 'cue and Southern comfort fare across the state. From humble beginnings and a single storefront, R&R has bulged (as have our waistbands) to 12 locations in Utah and Idaho. They're perhaps best known for pulled pork and ribs, though the brisket tacos—made with chopped brisket, housemade BBQ sauce, coleslaw, cilantro, feta and tomatillo sauce—merit a taste. Multiple locations, randrbbq.com
    2. Pat's Barbecue
    3. SugarHouse Barbeque

    Best Brazilian Restaurant
    Rodizio Grill
    What carnivore is not impressed by the sight of servers strolling around a restaurant with skewers of freshly grilled beef, pork and chicken offering you slices of meat to your heart's content? Rodizio Grill offers traditional Brazilian flavors via rotisserie-grilled meats, glazed pineapple and authentic Brazilian sides. Every patron has a green and red knob to turn the faucet of succulent meats on or off. Multiple locations, rodiziogrill.com
    2. Tucanos Brazilian Grill
    3. Braza Grill

    Best Bread Bakery
    Vosen's Bread Paradise
    What comes to mind when one wanders into Vosen's and eyes the dinner rolls? Thought bubble: "Gotta have." And seeing the seeded rolls and baguettes? "Need that in my basket." What thought does a loaf or any other bakery product create? "I wonder if there is room in my freezer for this." A visit to Vosen's will really make you think, and pretty much exclusively about the heavenly bread. 328 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-322-2424, vosen.com
    2. Mims SLC
    3. Table X bread

    Best Breakfast in the Canyon
    Ruth's Diner
    We Utahns crave our breakfast food—huevos rancheros, cinnamon roll French toast, pulled pork Benedict or the classic Ruth's breakfast combo—and we love to enjoy it while smelling the crisp air and listening to the wind whistle through the canyon as snow-fed creeks rush down the mountain. Such reverie on Ruth's patio first thing in the morning is bound to get your day off to an amazing start. 4160 E. Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, 801-582-5807, ruthsdiner.com
    2. Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant
    3. Emigration Brewing Co.

    TF Brewing’s inviting patio - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • TF Brewing’s inviting patio

    Best Brewery
    Templin Family (TF) Brewing
    Regardless of the style of beer they brew, the Templin Family (TF) Brewing seems to excel at every batch of IPA, pilsner, lager, ale, stout, sour and more that goes into their taps, bottles or cans. Chalk it up to the passion and enthusiasm running through their veins. With a taproom and 15-barrel brewhouse in SLC's Granary District, a spacious patio with communal seating and fire pits, plus a dog friendly attitude, it's no wonder locals and visitors love this brewery. 936 S. 300 West, SLC, 385- 270-5972, tfbrewing.com
    2. Fisher Brewing Co.
    3. Bohemian Brewery

    Best Brewpub
    Squatters Pub Brewery
    You'd think after 34 years, craft beer fans would have moved on to a craft brewpub that's newer and shinier. However, that's not the case with Squatters. Perhaps it's the return to its roots or reclaiming their original name of Salt Lake Brewing Co.; or maybe it's simply the great beer. All we know is that the original is still the best. 147 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-363-2739, saltlakebrewingco.com/squatters
    2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
    3. Level Crossing Brewing Co.

    Best Bar Brunch
    Piper Down Pub
    Brunchers can choose between plant-based (vegan Irish breakfast, anyone?) or classic brunch items (the Henry the VIII includes eggs and bangers, baked beans, Canadian bacon and a scotch egg), with numerous offerings to satisfy every member of your party. Piper Down's midday meal (Saturday and Sunday only, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is for ages 21+. Full disclosure: the $2 mimosas may or may not cure a hangover. 1492 S. State, SLC, 801-468-1492, piperdownpub.com
    2. Lucky 13
    3. Gracie's

    Best Restaurant Brunch
    Sunday's Best
    Sunday in Sandy used to connote a quiet day filled with church activities. But this playful creation of Michael McHenry and chef Tyler Stokes is rocking Sandy's world with its all-day brunch menu (8 a.m. til closing—at 3 or 4 p.m. depending on the day). We're talking BLT Benedicts, smoked-salmon toast, Caviar Me Hard, monkey bread and of course, beautiful beignets. Sunday in Sandy is ready to party—and not just on Sundays, but seven days a week. Bring on the mimosas! 10672 S. State, Sandy, 801-441-3331, brunchmehard.com
    2. Hub & Spoke Diner
    3. Roots Cafe

    Best Special Occasion Brunch
    Provisions
    This is Win No. 2 this year for executive chef Tyler Stokes (his Sandy eatery, Sunday's Best, won Best Restaurant Brunch). Provisions' cozy setting in Millcreek makes it the perfect spot for celebrating any special occasion. Add to that the visual appeal of modern American dishes like organic Mary's fried chicken waffles, brioche French toast and Niman Ranch flat iron steak and eggs and you almost don't want to disturb the plate. But you can't resist. 3364 S. 2300 East, SLC, 801-410-4046, slcprovisions.com
    2. Prohibition
    3. The Dodo Restaurant

    Best Candy Shop
    Hatch Family Chocolates
    Hatch Family Chocolate has perfected the sweet science of crafting confections that capture hearts and taste buds alike. Their dedication to quality, evident in every velvety truffle and hand-dipped caramel, shows a genuine love for their art. Their diverse selection is impressive, and you definitely shouldn't miss out on their handcrafted shakes. Our personal favorite candy? Aztec spice caramel. 376 E. 8th Ave., Ste. A, SLC, 801-532-4912, hatchfamilychocolates.com
    2. Sweet Hazel & Co.
    3. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

    Best Casual Brunch
    Hub & Spoke Diner
    Sometimes, on the weekend, you wake up and need a quality breakfast in an eatery that's set up to handle lots of tables while providing great service. And one that's got dining options for everyone in your group. Hub & Spoke is that place. It's got you and yours covered—the greasy staples, the classic plate, the vegan nosh, boozy milkshakes, bloody marys—even coffee refills. 1291 S. 1100 East, SLC, 801-487-0698, hubandspokediner.com
    2. Roots Cafe
    3. Sunday's Best

    Superb Chinese cuisine at the Mandarin - JOHN TAYLOR
    • John Taylor
    • Superb Chinese cuisine at the Mandarin

    Best Chinese Restaurant
    Mandarin
    The perennial winner of Best of Utah's Best Chinese category, Mandarin has a rich history of awards and accolades almost as extensive as the flavors coming out of the kitchen. The Greek-American Skedros family has been operating Mandarin since 1977, and cultivated a great team of culinary chefs to provide Utahns with an unforgettable dining experience. Mandarin serves the traditional classics, as well as creative monthly specials. 348 E. 900 North, Bountiful, 801-298-2406, mandarinutah.com
    2. Red Maple Chinese Restaurant
    3. Dragon Diner

    Best Dog-Friendly Bar Patio
    Handle Bar
    The vibes at Handle Bar can vary wildly. One day, you find some couples scattered throughout the space, a few solo souls huddled over their pints at the bar. Other times, the place is absolutely poppin', with parties of all sizes taking over the patio. Dogs are part of the mix and dig the ability to wander about (on a leash), making new friends among those walking on both two and four legs. On a Sunday in spring or fall, that patio full of patrons and their canine friends—those are the best days of all at this Marmalade neighborhood staple. 751 N. 300 West, SLC, 801-953-0588, handlebarslc.com
    2. Wasatch Brew Pub
    3. Hopkins Brewing Co.

    Best Dance Club
    Why KiKi
    Point at your headphones and mouth, "can't hear you" ... because that would've been a boring conversation anyway. Silent discos are a favorite, not only because of the aforementioned scenario where you can avoid conversation in a socially acceptable way; they're also winners for being wonderful spaces of self-expression. Check the weekend line and see, to no surprise, why Why KiKi is voted Best Dance Club. Another round of coconut sluts, please. 69 W. 100 South, SLC, 801-641-6115, @whykikibar
    2. M I L K +
    3. The Westerner

    Best Chef
    Viet Pham, Pretty Bird
    Chef Viet Pham has redefined the Utah dining scene not once, but twice. His former eatery, Forage, set the bar for local fine dining up until its closure, and Pretty Bird continues to raise the bar for fast-casual restaurants throughout the state. Pham has also been a stalwart ambassador for Utah's culinary chops by appearing in several Food Network shows, and he's just an overall nice guy to hang out with. We're lucky to have him. prettybirdchicken.com
    2. Matt Crandall, White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
    3. Tyson Peterson, Mar Muntanya

    Best Cidery
    Mountain West Cider
    It seems like Utah went from a hard cider wasteland to a hard cider incubator overnight, when Jeff and Jennifer Carlson took it upon themselves to bring the joy of hard ciders to the Beehive State in 2015. After that, award-winning ciders like Ruby, 7-Mile and Desolation Prickly Pear ciders have become staples on draft and in cans around the state, due to their crispness and high drinkability. 425 N. 400 West, SLC, 801-935-4147, mountainwestcider.com
    2. Scion Cider Bar
    3. Second Summit Hard Cider Co.

    Best DJ
    Handsome Hands
    Las Vegas-born and -raised, DJ Handsome Hands relocated to Salt Lake City in his 20s to set off on his dream of becoming a disc jockey. From playing at Sweet 16s and birthday parties, DJ Handsome Hands' big break came from 92.5 FM U92 as a regular mixer. After trading in the birthday parties and small events, he began scoring regular gigs at Utah's hottest clubs spinning records and mixing beats. expansionteamdjs.com, IG @djhandsomehands
    2. DJ Solo
    3. Bangarang

    Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant
    Hell's Backbone Grill
    It's clear why this dreamy place has attracted countless visitors for more than 24 years. Hell's Backbone Grill & Farm is a culinary haven where Jen Castle and Blake Spalding (and now executive chef Tamara Stanger) whip up dishes utilizing HBG's glorious garden and orchard at their fingertips. Their creations are more than meals; they're edible poetry that celebrates the Earth's bounty. Chef Tam's innovative dishes are pure heaven! It's a delicious ode to sustainable dining truly cooked with love. 20 UT-12, Boulder, 435-335-7464, hellsbackbonegrill.com
    2. Table X
    3. Oquirrh Restaurant

    Best Fine Dining
    Table X
    Fine dining lives and dies by its ability to set its own pace while keeping up with culinary trends, and Table X has always been a great example of that maxim. From its impeccable interior design to its ever-evolving menu, Table X never fails to find new and interesting ways to excite local diners. 1457 E. 3350 South, Millcreek, 385-528-3712, tablexrestaurant.com
    2. Urban Hill
    3. Log Haven Restaurant

    Skinny Fats: one of many eateries at HallPass - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Skinny Fats: one of many eateries at HallPass

    Best Food Hall/ Food Court
    HallPass
    HallPass has been a food hall pioneer since it opened its doors at The Gateway, and has been a major force in the shopping center's second coming. Offering everything from ramen to lobster rolls, HallPass and its stable of eateries make sure everyone is satisfied, and their bar space makes for an excellent downtown watering hole. 153 S. Rio Grande Street, SLC, 801-415-9886, hallpassslc.com
    2. Woodbine Food Hall
    3. Salt Lake Chinatown

    Scrumptious dining at Caffé Molise features king salmon and gulf shrimp with fettuccine. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Scrumptious dining at Caffé Molise features king salmon and gulf shrimp with fettuccine.

    Best Italian Restaurant
    Caffé Molise
    Caffé Molise is that distinctive trattoria you take your friends to when they visit Salt Lake. As you pass through its art-filled dining areas and garden patio, you'll be greeted by the wafting aromas of Northern Italian cuisine and the fresh dishes of the Molise region of Italy. While it's all delicious, the butternut-squash ravioli is truly out-of-this-world comfort and richness. It's an added bonus that BTG Wine Bar is located beneath the eatery, and you can order off the Caffe Molise menu in the bar. 404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-364–8833, caffemolise.com
    2. Sicilia Mia
    3. Valter's Osteria

    Best German Restaurant
    Siegfried's Delicatessen
    Serving up everything from spaetzle to black forest cake, Siegfried's Delicatessen has long been our go-to for everything German, and it continues to impress. Whether you're getting some delicious grilled brats and sauerkraut from their cafe or simply shopping for some imported knockwurst, you'll find a little piece of Germany wherever you look. 20 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-355-3891, siegfriedsdelicatessen.com
    2. Bohemian Brewery
    3. Ice Haus

    Best French Restaurant
    La Caille
    Located within the pastoral ambience of a 23-acre countryside surrounding a turreted stone French-country chateau, La Caille offers a classy getaway for exceptional French dining. A European tradition, the charcuterie board includes assorted Utah meats and cheeses, Featured main courses include mouthwatering temptations such as bouillabaisse, cherrywood smoked salmon and crusted sea bass. Try topping dinner off with a sundae, cheesecake or refreshing sorbet. A walk around the picturesque grounds is another fitting finale. 9565 Wasatch Boulevard, Sandy, 801-942-1751, lacaille.com
    2. Tuscany Restaurant
    3. Franck's Restaurant

    Best Greek Restaurant
    Manoli's
    Even a flood that kept the restaurant shuttered for several months this year couldn't stop Manoli's from becoming a James Beard Award semifinalist and earning the 2023 Best of Utah title of Best Greek Food. Maybe it's the meze, a seasonal assortment of shareable bites ranging from vegetarian to meat to seafood, or the warm loukoumades with spiced honey syrup, but one thing's for certain—you haven't truly tried Greek food until you've tried it here. 402 Harvey Milk Blvd., Ste. 2, SLC, 801-532-3760, manolison9th.com
    2. The Other Place Restaurant
    3. Greek Souvlaki

    Best Food Influencer on Social Media
    Chase @SLCFoodie
    Hey, foodie fam! SLCFoodie's passion for all things culinary is contagious—every post pulls you in, sparking an insatiable appetite among his followers. SLCFoodie's meticulous food photography skills turn every dish into a work of art, making you want to lick your screen. In a world of influencers, SLCFoodie stands out as the beacon of authenticity and is simply fun—you can catch Chase Tuesdays on Fox13! slcfoodie@outlook.com
    2. Jennifer Burns, @JBCookingHost
    3. Gastronomic SLC

    Best Health-Conscious Cuisine
    Vessel Kitchen
    While Utah has plenty of health-conscious restaurants, the fact that Vessel has made that concept into a successful fast-casual franchise says a lot. We've all been in a situation where we want to eat something fast and tasty while also getting our daily supply of veggies, and we've all gone to Vessel as a result. Multiple locations, vesselkitchen.com
    2. Zest Kitchen & Bar
    3. Roots Cafe

    Best Hotel Restaurant
    Bambara
    Bambara has always been able to navigate that fine line between pleasing its regulars and evolving to attract a wider audience. A lot of that has to do with the work of executive chef Patrick LeBeau, whose innovative interpretations of classic dishes make every visit something special. On top of Bambara's fantastic menu, it remains a hip and accessible space to enjoy a night out. 202 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-5454, bambara-slc.com
    2. The Little America Hotel
    3. The Grand America Hotel

    Best Indian Lunch Buffet
    The Kathmandu
    Sometimes lunch rolls around and you're just ravenous, and nothing cures ravenous like a pile of aromatic rice, toasty, buttery naan, a bowl of steaming daal or your favorite curry. The lunch buffet at Kathmandu is also a great way to sample new things from the menu before committing to a full dish. 3142 Highland Drive, SLC, 801-466-3502, highland.thekathmandu.net; 250 W. 2100 South, Ste. G, SLC, 801-935-4258, thekathmanduutah.com
    2. Himalayan Kitchen
    3. Kathmandu Grill

    Cluck Truck’s co-owner Phil spices up a sandwich - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Cluck Truck’s co-owner Phil spices up a sandwich

    Best Food Truck
    Cluck Truck
    Chicken inspires some strong partisanship, and there are plenty of places (and ways) to make it wonderful. But the poultry offerings from Cluck Truck are something special—the impossibly juicy result of long-brining, topped with the unique flavor combination of a dredge that includes cornflakes, sesame seeds and spices. Whatever chain location has been your default, it's time to rethink things. 801-750-6508, clucktruckutah.com
    2. Salt City Barbecue
    3. Jurassic Street Tacos Food Truck

    Fill ‘er up: Arempa’s arepa reina pepiada (arepa filled with chicken avocado salad) - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Fill ‘er up: Arempa’s arepa reina pepiada (arepa filled with chicken avocado salad)

    Best Latin/South American Restaurant
    Arempa's
    Ah, the overstuffed glory of Arempa's signature dish. It's almost as if they have an ongoing dare to see how many fillings they can fit into each arepa they serve. Not that anyone is complaining–every juicy, savory mouthful is pure dynamite. Arempa's also provides a taste of other Venezuelan dishes such as cachapas, empanadas, patacon and pabellon. For best results, plan a late-night visit after some bar hopping. Multiple locations, arempas.com
    2. Papito Moe's
    3. Facil Taqueria

    The beat goes on at Hog Wallow Pub, Salt Lake Valley’s best neighborhood bar. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • The beat goes on at Hog Wallow Pub, Salt Lake Valley’s best neighborhood bar.

    Best Neighborhood Bar in Salt Lake Valley
    The Hog Wallow Pub
    In 1947, when this neighborhood was "the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon," a WWII vet turned an abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps bunkhouse into a bar. The once "out-of-the-way watering hole" has undergone many incarnations in the past 76 years. But it's still a chill place to bring friends or go meet friends, a destination for live music, drinks and great food. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-5567, thehogwallow.com
    2. Handle Bar
    3. A Bar Named Sue

    Best Indian Restaurant
    Mumbai House
    Nearly 8500 Google reviews and 4.9 stars don't lie, Mumbai House (formerly Salt Lake's Bombay House) is Utah's go-to for golden samosas, creamy saag aloo and tender chicken tikka masala. Aiming to please plant-based friends and meat lovers? Choose from a long list of vegan and vegetarian options (try the pineapple tofu) or carnivore classics like rogan josh, lamb vindaloo and butter chicken. Take your dish to the next level with refreshing cucumber raita with house-made yogurt. 2731 E. Parleys Way, SLC, 801-581-0222, mumbaihousecuisine.com
    2. Bombay House, Provo
    3. Himalayan Kitchen

    Best Juicery/Fresh-Pressed Juices
    Vive Juicery
    Whether fresh-pressed juices are the miracle product many think them to be or not, there really is something about chugging down what tastes like pure, nutrient-dense elixirs. Whether you're going for a juice cleanse or a zesty immunity shot or just a sip of something that feels healthy and refreshing, Vive has got you covered with veggie and fruit-forward concoctions for every palate. 1597 S. 1100 East, SLC, 801-875-8923, vivejuicery.com
    2. The Juice Shop
    3. Just Organic Juices

    Best Karaoke
    Highlander Pub
    Be the rock star you've always known you were born to be at the Highlander Pub, where a friendly crowd, a just-the-right-size stage and a full bar of reasonably priced drinks are waiting for you at the south end of the Van Winkle Expressway. Don't worry, everyone sounds amazing at the Highlander, especially after a couple rounds. 6194 S. Vine Way, Murray, 801-277-8251, highlanderutah.com
    2. Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club
    3. Handle Bar

    Best Korean Barbecue
    KOU-Korean BBQ of Utah
    The Korean barbecue experience is simply incredible, and it doesn't get better than KOU. Their lunch and dinner all-you-can-eat options are affordable (under $33) and offer samples of premium beef, angus brisket, pork and signature side dishes. Korean barbecue, where patrons grill the meat themselves on a tabletop grill, is a fun date night experience or outing with friends and family. 7157 S. State, Midvale, 801-996-8415, thekou.com
    2. The Angry Korean
    3. Ombu Grill

    Best LGBTQ+ Bar
    Why KiKi
    Color us coconut sluts! It's no surprise why Why Kiki was voted Utah's best LGBTQ+ bar. Beyond their tropical drinks (The "Coconut Slut" being one of them), you'll find a passionate staff and a devoted community. More importantly, you'll see the community expressing itself—whether it be through well-choreographed drag performances, standup comedy or finding comfort in a space that allows you to be yourself. It's "the place for everyone." 69 W. 100 South, SLC, 801-641-6115, IG @whykikibar
    2. The Sun Trapp
    3. M I L K +

    Best Local Fast-Food Franchise
    Crown Burgers
    Thanks to the efforts of Crown Burgers, the pastrami burger and fry sauce have become signature Utah dishes that are known throughout the country. It's no small feat for a local joint to make a mark like that, and it's something any Utah native can be proud of. When you're craving a gargantuan burger dripping with melty cheese and pastrami, there's really no other place to go. Multiple locations, crown-burgers.com
    2. Cupbop—Korean BBQ in a Cup
    3. Apollo Burger

    Best Mexican Restaurant
    Red Iguana
    There's a reason Red Iguana always dominates this category, and it's not just the mole. OK, maybe mole has a lot to do with it, but you have to admit this place completely nails the marriage between good food and good vibes every time you visit. It's one of the few local places that is truly worth waiting in line for. Multiple locations, rediguana.com
    2. La Casa Del Tamal
    3. Chile-Tepin

    Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
    Mazza
    For over 20 years, Mazza's Middle Eastern cuisine has left its mark on the Salt Lake dining scene. The dishes—falafel, shawarma, kebabs, dips and salads—use only fresh ingredients and all-natural meats. Our faves have to be the dolmas, the dips and any of their lamb dishes. Mazza's Middle Eastern beer and wine selections are among the largest in the U.S. Can you tell we love Mazza? 1515 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9259, mazzacafe.com
    2. Laziz Kitchen
    3. Afghan Kitchen

    Karaoke at Paxton - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Karaoke at Paxton

    Best New Bar
    Paxton Pub
    The words "new bar" in SLC have become synonymous with top-tier cocktail programs—and top-tier prices. But when your wallet needs a break, or you want a drink with a little less drama, Paxton Pub is the place to be. With a full-service liquor license and all your favorite bar foods, this new Ballpark pub is the neighborhood hang you've been hankering for. Drop by for karaoke or trivia nights, or huddle up with a cold one to watch the next big game. 365 Paxton Ave., Unit C, SLC, 801-441-2208, paxtonpub.com
    2. Acme Bar Co.
    3. The Pearl

    Best New Restaurant
    Urban Hill
    The local owners of Park City's Hearth and Hill and Hill's Kitchen café and catering have had their eye on downtown Salt Lake, and the opening of Urban Hill in the new Post District is the thrilling result. Upscale and innovative, the restaurant features the cuisine of executive chef Nick Zocco, an open kitchen, wood-fired grill, oyster bar, a 2,400-bottle wine room, lounge and patio areas. It's new and posh. What's not to love? 510 S. 300 West, SLC, 385-295-4200, urban-hill.com
    2. Mar | Muntanya
    3. Italian Graffiti

    Best Nightclub DJ Lineup
    Sky SLC
    Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake, Sky SLC is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, 20 VIP suites and a retractable roof, combining to create an experience unlike any other in the state. Sky has aligned with Live Nite Events and Realine Group, bringing in top DJs and artists on a frequent basis. "Sky Saturdays", "Energi Wednesdays" and "Any Given Sundays" are filled with emerging and premier music from local and national artists. 149 Pierpont Ave., SLC, 801-702-9014, skyslc.com
    2. Why KiKi
    3. The Exchange By Twist

    Best Nightclub for Live Music
    Garage on Beck
    A Best of Utah longtime favorite for entertainment, food and drinks, Garage on Beck is now sadly struggling to rise from the ashes after a serious fire damaged the building on Oct. 21. The bar has temporarily closed hoping to return, and a GoFundMe fire relief page has been set up to help the Garage's employees in the wake of the sudden closure. Readers remain hopeful the roadhouse-style bar, outdoor patio and music will return to Garage on Beck. 1199 Beck St., SLC, 801-521-3904, garageonbeck.com
    2. Urban Lounge
    3. Soundwell

    Best Ogden Bar
    Harp and Hound
    Harp and Hound is a friendly bar, known for its original crafted cocktails. Dana "Danger," one of the bar's long-time mixologist, "doesn't just serve cocktails, she creates a beverage experience," notes one patron. Seek out Dana! Beyond drinks, Harp and Hound's comfort food is gourmet, with a twist, and features vegan options. Whether you're after live music or banter with the bartender, Harp and Hound delivers, making it the place to be in Ogden. 2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-3483, harphound.com
    2. Side Bar at Ogden's Own Distillery
    3. The City Club

    Best Old-School Drive-in
    Hires Big H
    While the days of carhops and poodle skirts are moving farther and farther away from us, it's nice to visit a place like Hires Big H to recapture some of the Happy Days vibes. Even for those not after a sense of nostalgia—borrowed or otherwise—the burgers, sides and shakes at Hires will always do the trick. Multiple locations, hiresbigh.com
    2. Iceberg Drive Inn
    3. Woody's Drive-In

    Best Ogden Restaurant
    Tona Sushi Bar & Grill
    Ogden's Historic 25th Street, the city's cultural hub, offers so much to do, from shopping to nightclubbing to dining out. If you have a hankering for some the city's most deluxe sushi, Tona is the place to be. They serve up sophisticated Japanese sushi rolls and seafood dishes daily. Here, you'll be served innovative cuisine that leaves a lasting impression. 210 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-8662, tonarestaurant.com
    2. Roosters Brewing Co. and Restaurant
    3. Slackwater

    Best Old-Timey Cafe
    Sill's Cafe
    What this older building lacks in curb appeal, it makes up for in diner fare extraordinaire. This Layton institution serves a home-style menu of hash browns smothered in country gravy and chicken-fried steak as if cholesterol wasn't a household word. Just save room for their famous scones—crispy pastries topped with an ice-cream scoop of honey butter—that will have you licking your fingers and your plate. 335 E. Gentile St., Layton, 801-544-7438, facebook.com/sillscafe
    2. Left Fork Grill
    3. Midvale Mining Cafe & Catering

    Best Park City Bar
    No Name Saloon
    In a town that's thick with bars it's no easy feat being named the best. But Park City's No Name Saloon offers all of the goods under one roof. The four spaces that the saloon provides include the classic main bar that reflects PC's history; the mezzanine—a cozy, quieter space; the rooftop patio that overlooks Main Street; and the loft, which is perfect for watching a game. It's easy to see why locals and visitors love this joint. 447 Main St., Park City, 435-649-6667, nonamesaloon.com
    2. The Cabin
    3. O' Shucks Bar and Grill Main Street

    Playin’ that funky music at Funk ‘n Dive Bar - in Ogden - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Playin’ that funky music at Funk ‘n Dive Bar in Ogden

    Best Ogden Dive Bar
    Funk 'n Dive Bar
    If you're looking for a good time in O-Town, chances are you'll find it at Funk 'n Dive near Historic 25th Street. From live music to video game nights, to Tuesday night poker, trivia and open mics, there's no shortage of fun to be had. Plus, Funk 'n Dive has a small, but delicious menu for when you're craving some classic bar food. 2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-3483, funkanddive.com.
    2. Lighthouse Lounge
    3. Harp and Hound

    Gourmandise’ classic pastry is a delicious work of art. - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Gourmandise’ classic pastry is a delicious work of art.

    Best Pastry Bakery
    Gourmandise
    Taking their cues from the annals of classic French pastry, Gourmandise has established itself as a serious destination for fans of baked goods. Their expert use of butter, chocolate, custard and fresh fruit simply makes every pastry on their shelf shine just a little brighter. In addition to their top notch pastry game, each Gourmandise location is a warm, welcoming place to chill out and enjoy all those flavors and textures on display. Multiple locations, gourmandise.com
    2. Fillings & Emulsions
    3. Délice Bakery & Café

    Slackwater’s adventurous Taco Camarones pizza - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • Slackwater’s adventurous Taco Camarones pizza

    Best Ogden Pizza
    Slackwater
    If you head downtown on any given evening, you'll see that Slackwater is popping. Pizza for dinner is always a good idea, especially if you're heading to Slackwater. You'll find a menu full of mouthwatering appys, sandwiches, soups, salads and of course, pizza. There's something for everyone on the menu, even the most picky eaters! 209 24th St., Ogden, 801-399-0637, slackwaterpizzeria.com
    2. Lucky Slice Pizza Ogden
    3. The Pie Pizzeria—Ogden

    Best Pastry Shop
    Gourmandise
    When you consider how much work Gourmandise puts into each and every item on their menu, it's baffling to see so many options on display. From perfectly laminated croissants to dark chocolate brownies to dainty, jewel-toned macarons, the variety at Gourmandise is staggering–and delicious. Who among us hasn't gone to Gourmandise for one indulgence only to walk away with a whole box full of goodies? Multiple locations, gourmandise.com
    2. Fillings & Emulsions
    3. Délice Bakery & Café

    Best Utah County Pizza
    Brick Oven
    Brick Oven is a doughy da Vinci painting, a saucy Sistine Chapel of flavors that'll make your taste buds shout "Bravo!" You have a pasta bar, housemade root beer and an extensive pizza menu at your fingertips. When it comes to pizza in Utah County, Brick Oven is the top slice on the pyramid of pie perfection. Folks love the environment and that it has been around since their childhoods—aahh! The memories! 111 E. 800 North, Provo, 801-374-8800, brickovenrestaurants.com
    2. Via 313 Pizza
    3. Mozz Artisan Pizza

    Best Park City Pizza
    Este Pizza Park City
    Este Pizza doesn't just excel in New York Style pizza; they also shine in the realm of vegan and gluten-free options. Their pizzas are a delicious masterpiece, boasting the perfect proportion of crispy crust, flavorful sauce and generous toppings to make each bite an edible celebration. Their dedication to quality ingredients and innovative combinations sets them apart; they know you can taste the difference. We love that they offer vegan buffalo wings! 1781 Sidewinder Drive, Ste. 1, Park City, 435-731-8970, estepizzaparkcity.com
    2. Davanza's
    3. Maxwell's

    Best Restaurant Atmosphere
    Log Haven Restaurant
    Long synonymous with wildflowers, waterfalls and fine dining, Log Haven is located in a historic log mansion in the Wasatch National Forest. The atmosphere is cozy and charming, and it's only enhanced by a menu that includes appetizers like tuna tartare and crab cakes; main courses featuring bison, salmon, quail and halibut; and desserts like crème brulee and chocolate cake. Log Haven boasts a woodland setting and crackling fireplaces that simply warm the soul. 6451 Mill Creek Canyon Road, SLC, 801-272-8255, log-haven.com
    2. Urban Hill
    3. Italian Graffiti

    Best Restaurant in Utah County
    Communal
    Don't be afraid of dining family style, especially when the food is this good. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Communal draws the crowds for good reason. Where else can you get a broccoli grilled cheese? Or a funeral potato waffle? 102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000, communalrestaurant.com
    2. Hungry Hawaiian Provo
    3. Happy Sumo

    Best Restaurant Beyond Downtown SLC
    Log Haven Restaurant
    Where Best of Utah is concerned, Log Haven continues to knock it out of the park—or the city, in this case. The log cabin's intimate and romantic setting in Mill Creek Canyon is the perfect place to take a first date, a business associate or a long-time friend. The elegant but rustic fine dining experience is second to none, and the food is extraordinary every time. 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, SLC, 801-272-8255, log-haven.com
    2. Arlo Restaurant
    3. Manoli's

    Best Salt Lake Valley Pizza
    Bricks Corner
    Anyone who has indulged in Detroit-style deep-dish pizza without heading out of state owes a tip of the cap to Bricks Corner. Not only does this local favorite serve up plenty of traditional recipes, but its signature pies like the Spam-tossed Polynesian Pie and the veggie-friendly Roots Pie bring a touch of gourmet flair to this transcendent pizza joint. 1465 S. 700 East, SLC, 801-953-0636, brickscornerslc.com
    2. The Pie Pizzeria
    3. Via 313 Pizza

    Tasty grub and drinks on The Green Pig Pub’s roof offer a reprieve from a busy day. - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Tasty grub and drinks on The Green Pig Pub’s roof offer a reprieve from a busy day.

    Best Rooftop Patio
    The Green Pig Pub
    What makes a great rooftop patio? Size, first of all—it shouldn't be too large. You're there for the scenery, not a mob. Most importantly is the view. It should be stimulating and provide an overlook that doesn't detach you from the landscape. The Green Pig's cozy rooftop patio provides all of this during the day and evening. It is the perfect urban perch for scenery and people gazing. 31 E. 400 South, SLC, 801-532-7441, thegreenpigpub.com
    2. Grid City Beer Works
    3. Piper Down Pub

    Sawadee’s salmon curry - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Sawadee’s salmon curry

    Best Thai Restaurant
    Sawadee Thai Restaurant
    Sawadee reigns as one of SLC's favorite Thai establishments, and for good reason. You can not only get your favorite comfort dishes like heaping plates of pad thai and pad see ew, or steaming bowls of tom kha, but rotating chef's specials to get a real taste of Thai cuisine. Look out for crispy duck dishes and seafood splendors full of every kind of seafood you could desire in a bowl. 754 E. South Temple, SLC, 801-328-8424, sawadeethaiutah.com
    2. Tuk Tuk's
    3. Skewered Thai

    Best Late-Night Grub
    Pie Hole
    The restorative power that pizza has on a partied-out soul cannot be overstated, which is why Pie Hole is such a bastion of hope for the late night lost. See, they serve all that comforting stuff like cheese and pepperoni, but they also have insanity on a crust like the Thai peanut and smoked jalapeño Munchy Mango. There are few late night snacks that hit the spot like this hits the spot. 344 S. State, SLC, 801-359-4653, pieholeutah.com
    2. Arempa's
    3. The Pie Pizzeria

    Best Restaurant in Downtown SLC
    Oquirrh Restaurant
    There are plenty of fine dining options that offer a stellar menu, but Oquirrh is one of the few restaurants that has Utah in its bones. From the sophisticated take on rustic cuisine to the locally produced art and dinnerware, Oquirrh is a rare establishment that taps into what makes Utah great and serves it up on a dinner plate. 368 E. 100 South, SLC, 801-359-0426, oquirrhslc.com
    2. Valter's Osteria
    3. Urban Hill

    Best Restaurant in Park City
    Hearth and Hill
    With its reliably great food and succulent cocktails, this family-friendly eatery is a mainstay, for sure. Great service and a dog-friendly patio make it a fun option off of Main Street. The large space is surprisingly warm and welcoming, and well, so is the truffle mac 'n' cheese. 1153 Center Drive, Park City, 435-200-8840, hearth-hill.com
    2. Handle
    3. Riverhorse on Main

    Best Restaurant Patio
    Ivy & Varley
    Ivy & Varley is home to the largest outdoor restaurant patio that downtown Salt Lake has to offer. The American eatery offers a contemporary and farm-to-table approach. There's no better afternoon or evening spent than snacking on their Everything Brussels (fried Brussels sprouts, fromage blanc, maple-mustard, everything bagel seasoning and dill) on their expansive and inviting patio. For larger events or gatherings, inquire about renting the space out for an unforgettable experience. 55 S. 100 West, SLC, 801-895-2846, ivyandvarley.com
    2. Ruth's Diner
    3. Log Haven Restaurant

    Best Romantic Dinners
    Log Haven Restaurant
    Log Haven is a love story in the making. Located in a historic log mansion in the Wasatch National Forest, Log Haven offers an intimate dining experience that stirs the soul. The warm glow of candlelight dances on wooden beams, creating an enchanting ambiance. When it comes to romantic dinners, Log Haven has long been the ultimate destination for lovebirds seeking an unforgettable evening. Nature is delicious. 6451 Mill Creek Canyon Road, SLC, 801-272-8255, log-haven.com
    2. La Caille
    3. Valter's Osteria

    Best Rural Tavern
    Shooting Star Saloon
    They truly don't make 'em like this anymore. Near the town center of sleepy Huntsville—a stone's throw from city hall, a pioneer monument and a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse—the Shooting Star Saloon has been serving lost souls since the late-1800s. Good food, pool table, jukebox, a few booths, a handful of barstools and a resident ghost or two—this place has everything a great bar needs because it figured out the formula generations ago. Bring cash. 7350 E. 200 South, Huntsville, 801-745-2002, shooting-star-saloon.business.site
    2. Ray's Tavern
    3. Mim's Bar and Grill

    Best Salt Lake County Dive Bar
    A Bar Named Sue
    There's really nothing all that "divey" about being cozy and cheap. That's why locals choose A Bar Named Sue as their favorite place to chill and blow off steam. The drinks are cheap, the food is reasonable and the billiards are free as are the darts, shuffleboard and jukebox. Throw in UFC matches and live music—now you've found the full package. 3928 S. Highland Drive, Millcreek, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222; abarnamedsue.com
    2. Willies Lounge
    3. X-Wife's Place

    Best Seafood Restaurant
    Current Fish & Oyster
    With a menu that's innovative, contemporary and honed through extensive research, Current selects and prepares the freshest seafood from regional America. We feel like their entire menu is award worthy, but you can't go wrong with the oysters, ceviche, or the cooked-to-perfection scallops. They may have won best seafood—but save room for dessert because where else can you taste powdered olive oil?! 279 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-326-3474, currentfishandoyster.com
    2. Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar
    3. Kimi's Chop & Oyster House

    DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle

    Best Utah County Bar
    Strap Tank Brewery
    Both Utah County locations of Strap Tank Brewery are delightful anomalies in the Happy Valley landscape. Strap Tank is packed with effortless charm, welcoming vibes, an impressive gastropub menu and a great variety of beer on tap. They will ever remain stalwart monoliths dedicated to the inner biker in all of us. 3661 Outlet Parkway, Lehi, 385-503-8443; 596 S. 1750 West, Springville, 385-462-8775; straptankbrewery.com
    2. ABG's Bar
    3. Wee Blu Inn Bar & Grill

    Vertical Diner’s “Dude cakes” are deliciously vegan and can be made - gluten free. - JOHN TAYLOR
    • John Taylor
    • Vertical Diner’s “Dude cakes” are deliciously vegan and can be madegluten free.

    Best Vegan Restaurant
    Vertical Diner
    Utah restaurants are upping their vegan game, but this eatery makes vegan food the star of the show. You'll be wowed by vegan plays on classic dishes that are found with appetizers, wraps, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Breakfast options are in abundance and the beverage program (wines, spirits and beers) is far better than a lot of bars in town. Nearby construction and COVID may've conspired to ding business but Vertical has hung in there. 234 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-484-8378, verticaldiner.com
    2. Buds
    3. Zest Kitchen & Bar

    Best Soul Food
    Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen
    Before Sauce Boss came along, it was hard to make the distinction between soul food and Southern cooking. Sure, the two often overlap, but nothing quite drives the concept of soul food home as hard as a pile of Golden Splendor or some fried catfish from Sauce Boss. Just make sure you haven't eaten in a few days before you take this journey—soul food tastes best when it's served in large quantities. 877 E. 12300 South, Ste. 203, Draper, 385-434-2433, saucebosssouthernkitchen.com
    2. The Bayou
    3. Taste of Louisiana

    Best Sports Bar
    Flanker Kitchen and Sporting Club
    If you're a sports fan and haven't stopped in at this Gateway bar, what are you waiting for? Flanker is 17,500-square-feet, equipped with 400 square-feet of LED screens, sports simulator rooms (virtual golf, hockey, etc.), a central sporting club and cocktail lounge. Enjoy the quiet patio or move inside to a karaoke room, hobnob in the cocktail area or hang in the intimate private bar. It's truly a sports-lover's haven. 6 N. Rio Grande St., Ste. 35, SLC, 801-683-7070, flankerslc.com
    2. Gracie's
    3. Big Willies

    Best Steakhouse
    Ruth's Chris Steak House
    The first iteration of Ruth's Chris Steak House opened in 1965, and it's set America's standard for premium steak houses ever since. The a la carte menu is ideal for those wishing to sample a few of their delicious sides (we recommend the sweet potato casserole) to pair with their choice of protein. It goes without saying, each cut is USDA Prime and comes piping hot straight from the kitchen to your table. 275 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-363-2000, ruthschris.com
    2. Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
    3. Hoof & Vine

    Best Sushi Restaurant
    Takashi
    Takashi is our sushi sanctuary in the city of salt, where every roll is a tantalizing work of edible art (try the Caribbean, the Spider, or the Surf & Snow). And there are more than rolls here; the sashimi must be tasted—so let your server guide you along on a delicious adventure to taste the specials or ask to be served omakase (leave it up to the chef). 18 W. Market St., SLC, 801-519-9595, takashisushi.com
    2. Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill
    3. Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar

    Best Trivia Night
    Piper Down Pub
    What sets this trivia night apart is the exceptional level of obscurity in its questions. Hosted by Dr. Nick, it's the ultimate brain-teasing, laughter-inducing evening in an electrifying atmosphere where teams compete in a battle of wits. Whether you're a trivia novice or a seasoned pro, you'll want to be here on Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Order some nachos, tip their charming wait staff and stay for karaoke with Jamal! 1492 S. State, SLC, 801-468-1492, piperdownpub.com
    2. The Green Pig Pub
    3. A Bar Named Sue

    Best Vegan Bakery
    Sweet Hazel & Co.
    Get ready for a lot of, "Wait, this is vegan?!" At Sweet Hazel & Co. Bakeshop & Bistro, everything (yep, everything) is vegan. With a menu full of classic bistro comforts like pastrami Reubens, club sandos and burgers, plus plant-based riffs on all your favorite brownies, cakes and candies, it's easy to see why every bite beguiles your taste buds into thinking you're noshing on foods from your pre-vegan days. 282 W. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-889-1466, sweethazelandco.com
    2. City Cakes & Café
    3. Passion Flour Patisserie

    Best Japanese
    Takashi
    Takashi is the ultimate Japanese culinary thrill ride in downtown. Sushi becomes an adventure, and each roll is a mini-exploration of taste. The vibrant atmosphere and attentive service only add to the delight. Whether you're a sushi connoisseur or a novice, Takashi's fusion of flavors and playful creativity guarantees a memorable, fun-filled dining experience that's second to none. If sushi is not your thing, the braised pork ribs will have you coming back for more! 18 W. Market St., SLC, 801-519-9595, takashisushi.com
    2. Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill 
    3. Kyoto Japanese Restaurant

    Have your fill of Mi La-Cai Noodle House’s lettuce wraps - DEREK CARLISLE
    • Derek Carlisle
    • Have your fill of Mi La-Cai Noodle House’s lettuce wraps

    Best Vietnamese Restaurant
    Mi La-Cai Noodle House
    Tuck into a curtained booth with a warm, fragrant bowl of pho, a cup of toasty genmaicha tea and a side of egg rolls, and you couldn't feel further from SLC's busy State Street. For nearly 30 years, La Cai's been the place to get one's Vietnamese food fix. Service never skips a beat, dishes are always consistent (try the chicken lettuce wraps and the walnut shrimp), and the takeout game? Well worth the drive. 961 S. State, SLC, 801-322-3590, lacaislc.com
    2. All Chay
    3. Little Saigon

    Best Vegan-Friendly Food Truck
    Garden O'Veaten
    Many food trucks serve up tasty fare that satisfies our comfort food cravings but it's often not super healthy. However, if you're into a vegan diet and happen upon Garden O'Veaten, you'll find options that not only sound good but are good for you and your body. Plant-based options at this food-truck include jackfruit sliders smothered in barbecue sauce, cashew-based mac 'n' cheese, crab cakes made with heart of palm and super-healthy quinoa and brown rice bowls. Eat up—without the guilt! 801-403-7423, gardenoveaten.com
    2. Sushi Squad
    3. Salt Flat Coffee Co.

    Best Vegetarian Restaurant
    Vertical Diner
    Places like Vertical Diner launched the trend to create vegetarian and vegan comfort food that are now a culinary genre of their own. Saucy chunks of Tender Tigers, sweet maple-y tempeh bacon, fennel-flecked TVP sausage, nutritional yeast-laced mac 'n' cheese—these staples for veg heads are like eggs and bacon, burgers and chicken tenders to omnivore. Vertical is the go-to for brek, lunch and dinner for anyone who loves classic, no-frills veggie cuisine. 234 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-484-8378, verticaldiner.com
    2. Zest Kitchen & Bar
    3. All Chay

    Best Mexican Bakery
    Panadería Flores
    Founded in 2003 by the Flores family—who hail from Tehucán Puebla, México—this panaderia at 900 South and 900 West has since expanded to a second location in Rose Park. Celebrating 20 years of family heritage serving up pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and pasteles tres leches (cakes), you’ll also want to try their colorful cookies, delectable flan and Mexican hoagie rolls. Also ask about their wedding cakes, Day of the Dead bread and Wisemen Day bread. 904 S. 900 West, SLC, 801-533-0211; 1625 W. 700 North, SLC, 801-533-0209, panaderiaflores.com
    2. Cakes by Edith
    3. Canela Bakery

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    Best Bar to Play Pool at
    Big Willies
    Big Willies is the place to quaff a beer, have a shot and take a shot. Its seven pool tables by premiere builder, Diamond, are scrupulously maintained. Rent by the hour ($3) or play by-the-game ($1). The full-service bar features daily specials like $3.50 shots of Jack Daniels and Bombay or a $5 glass of Robert Mondavi pinot noir. Hungry? Big Willies takes "bar food" to an entirely new level with entrees like fettuccine Alfredo and filet mignon. 1717 S. Main, SLC, 801-463-4996, bigwillieslounge.com

    Best Lowdown Libations
    Back Door on Edison
    Bored with the SLC bar scene? Here's a light bulb of an idea—head for a hidden speakeasy sure to leave your guests impressed: Back Door on Edison. Sink into a velvet banquette and order the Frosted Water Lily for a verdant sipper that sees local Dented Brick Craft Gin saddle up alongside St. Germain, Crème De Violette, lime and coconut. And for a late-night nosh, ask for appetizers from neighboring Laziz Kitchen. 152 E. 200 South, SLC, 385-267-1161, backdoorslc.com

    Best Affordable Deer Valley Dining
    Rime Seafood & Steak
    Ski town dining ain't cheap, especially fine dining. But for one of the better values, check out Rime at the St. Regis. Ascending to the resort's main building on a Swiss funicular is where the fun begins. Once inside Rime, watch the kitchen work its magic with fresh seafood and prime-cut meats. Then dine indoors or al fresco with breathtaking mountain views. St. Regis Deer Valley, 2300 Deer Valley Drive, Park City, 435-940-5760, srdvdining.com

    Best Drive-Thru Brew and Breakfast
    Red Moose Coffee
    Each morning, patrons at Red Moose Coffee flock to the drive-thru window or peruse the comfortable indoor space. The bustling baristas serve excellent coffee and dish up great handheld breakfasts, including the Bull Moose Breakfast Burrito, a mammoth serving of double protein, cheese, scrambled eggs and potatoes. Did we mention breakfast is served all day (till 3 p.m.)? 1693 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-906-8864, redmoosecafeslc.com

    Best Reason to Visit City Creek Mall
    Aqua Terra Steak & Sushi
    One of City Creek's newer fine-dining establishments, Aqua Terra has garnered praise for its romantic atmosphere, unique cocktails and well thought-out menu. For starters, a must-try is the salmon belly, torched and set over crispy rice, mixed with cucumber lime, garlic kewpie and mango salsa. We also recommend the frenched lamb, served with crisp potatoes, rosemary butter sauce and asparagus. 50 S. Main, No. 168, SLC, 385-261-2244, aquaterrasteak.com

    Best Birthday Bash
    SLC Eatery
    If a chain restaurant won't convey, "Happy birthday, gee, we think you're swell," then it's gotta be SLC Eatery. Creators Paul Chamberlain and Logen Crew converted a commercial garage to express a bold urban flair and ambiance, leaving no doubt that you chose wisely. Plus, the ever-changing menu brings you back time and again. Chef Logen's creative genius conjures exotic dishes with fresh ingredients and new spins on the familiar. The rolling cart items alone are a culinary experience. 1017 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-7952, slceatery.com

    Best South Valley Splurge
    Las Botellas
    This Latin-inspired eatery promises "a little touch of Tulum." The decor is bold and swanky—unlike any place in the Valley—with dazzling hanging lights and chandeliers. Specialty drinks are a big thing here, so live it up and order one that involves flames. Pair it with a flight of salsas and maybe some tableside guac. The high-end Mexican dishes and steaks will call out to you, but beware, even a hamburger is $28! YOLO. A bit of Vegas in a Riverton mall. Who knew? 4488 Teal Ridge Way, Ste. H-100, Riverton, 385-758-7847, experiencelasbotellas.com

    Best Named Sandos
    The Robin's Nest
    For people who want a sandwich that's not all bread, nor one so big that it takes two days to eat, but who also care that their sandwich is built on unique and memorable flavors, then The Robin's Nest wins hands down. Robin Paluso uses the whole taste palate in such clever named sandwiches as Salsero Chicken, Yummy Hummy, Flower Child and the Oinkity Doink. Also serving satisfying soups and salads to the downtown Salt Lake lunch crowd. 83 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-466-6378, robinsnestslc.com

    Best Local Legend
    The Cabin's Elkupine
    Years ago, all silver mining children knew of the Elkupine—basically a porcupine with antlers. But with the onset of ever more miners to the Park City area, the Elkupine gradually disappeared, their final hurrah being blamed for the great fire of 1868 that burned over 200 businesses. The last of the Elkupines, Al, now sits at The Cabin, buried nose deep in a plate of truffle fries adorned in Elkupine swag. Buy Al a beer when you're in the neighborhood. 427 Main, Park City, 435-565-2337, thecabinparkcity.com

    Best Princely Savings
    Crow and the Pitcher
    One of the most common things we hear these days is that drinks—and especially classic cocktails—are cost prohibitive. Going out for cocktails seems to cost double or triple what it did not that long ago. Not fun if you're on a budget. Now comes Murray's Crow and the Pitcher where, for Sunday brunch, you can wash your eggs down with a super tasty bloody mary for a mere $5, or a mimosa for just $2.50. Party like it's 1999, folks. 4883 S. State, Murray, 801-590-9187, thecrowslc.com

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