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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    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    2. Red Rock Brewing Co.
    3. Hopkins Brewing Co.

    Best Brunch Cocktails
    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,
    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,
    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,
    2. Honest John Bitters
    3. Grandeur View Bitters

    Happy customers at Bjorn’s Brew speedy drive-thru - COURTESY PHOTO
    • Courtesy photo
    • 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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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;
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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;
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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,
    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
    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,

    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,


    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

    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,

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