City Guide 2022 | City Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2022 

City Weekly’s 18th annual celebration of all things SLC

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And ... we're back.

Did you miss us? Due to COVID-19 and its impact on the arts and hospitality communities, the City Guide has been on pause since 2019. The past two years have tested us, to say the least, not only those of us who enjoy a night on the town, but also for those intrepid purveyors who serve up the food, drink and entertainment we all crave.

It appears, however, that we may have come through the worst of the pandemic (fingers crossed that COVID is mostly in the rear-view mirror) and have every reason to crawl out of our caves and soak up the good times we've been missing.

Welcome to our 18th annual guide, published each spring by the same folks that bring you City Weekly. We launched it in 2002—when Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics—knowing visitors would want an insider's guide to the city's best food and drink. Who better to clue people into the city's party scene than our irreverent, hip alt-weekly brain trust? Turns out that locals wanted an insider's guide as well, so we've happily applied our best minds to the task each year.

We know that to newcomers, SLC exudes a nice vibe but remains a riddle. Is the capital city really ruled by teetotaling Latter-day Saints, they wonder? To some degree, yes, it is. The LDS influence at the Utah Legislature is strong! And that straightlaced body makes our laws.

But, the population and political/religious orientation of greater Salt Lake has lately grown ever more diverse. So how can a city ruled by conservative lawmakers be home to a bodacious Pride festival and a booming brewpub culture? Welcome to SLC!

Salt Lake retains that toughness from when our pioneers battled crickets and federal troops to farm their lands. But now, our adversities are of different stripe—with sky-high housing costs topping the list. We are dealing with unhealthy air, a years-long drought, a shrinking Great Lake Salt and an ever-growing homeless population. Ah, it's not so radically different from other large cities in the West. Yet, be warned: Those who take root in Salt Lake grow to love it madly.

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Let the guide help you find your place in this vibrant go-getting city. Locate a neighborhood to live in. Plan your arts calendar for the upcoming season. Check out all the great eateries. Follow the musicians and bands we claim as our own.

You should know the people, places and things we write about are truly our favorites. No one pays to be listed in our guide. This guide is, in fact, beholden to no one and locally focused, so you won't find stories about national chains and box stores in these pages.

As we emerge from our COVID cocoons, carry this guide in your car or in your backpack and use it to create the "new normal" we've all been waiting for. See you out on the streets.

Jerre Wroble

  • Visit Salt lake - John Burkholz
  • City Creek Center

Don't Listen to Me
I've only lived here all my life—what do I know about Utah?
By Benjamin Wood

Welcome to Salt Lake City, Utah, the perpetual youngest child at the metropolitan big kids' table. If you've been here a while, cheers to you (and a slice of pie!). And if you're newly arrived or just passing through, don't worry, this primer will have you livin' la vida local faster than you can blend some fry sauce.

  • Melissa Majchrzak
  • Utah Jazz

The City
If you think of Utah as a nuclear family—a handy metaphorical proxy on multiple levels—then Salt Lake is the wayward, but loving, black sheep that followed a band on tour and isn't so sure about this whole thing, you know? The other, more disciplined children pretend not to be jealous, while the parents roll their eyes and reiterate that SLC's life is nothing to aspire to.

But it's all good, because the city (and Salt Lake County, broadly) have all the best venues, many of the best restaurants and a pretty good share of the best people the state has to offer. Catch the Jazz at the Vivint Arena or Real Salt Lake at the RioT. See the ballet at the Capitol Theatre or the symphony at Abravanel Hall, which might be right next door if you're in town for a convention at the Salt Palace.

The Gateway Mall - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • The Gateway Mall

Ride TRAX up to the University of Utah (Go Utes!) for the state's flagship museums or a stroll through Red Butte Garden. If you're in the mood for some shopping, check out Trolley Square, City Creek Center and The Gateway, or rent a GreenBike to explore downtown.

Oh, and go see Liberty Park, Capitol Hill and the Salt Lake City Main Library, because they're neat.

Lake Powell - SLC.GOV
  • Lake Powell

The State
Ask a Utahn why they live here and some variation on "the outdoors" is likely to come up in their list of reasons. Our "Mighty 5" national parks are the marquee attractions—and rightfully so—but wherever you are in the state, you're probably within an hour or so from world-class skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, camping, rock climbing, rowing, boating, fishing, hunting or just about anything else you'd ever want to do outside. From the Uinta Mountains to the Bonneville Salt Flats to Lake Powell, we've got it all.

Most major cities sit alongside Interstate 15 (we say "I-15" and never "the") and those on the Wasatch Front are accessible via commuter rail. Getting around without a car once you're there, however, is dicey outside of SLC proper. And know that Salt Lake City is a 90-minute drive from West Wendover, Nevada, where adulthood is legal. Which brings me to ...

Utah State Flag - SLC.GOV
  • Utah State Flag

The Politics
As alluded to earlier, the state's powers-that-be don't give much of a hoot about Salt Lake (it was quite literally drawn and quartered during the last round of redistricting). That dynamic becomes additionally frustrating when you factor in how the United States doesn't give much of a hoot about Utah.

Salt Lake City is undeniably blue—particularly when compared against bright-red Utah—but Salt Lake County is dynamically purple, although conservatives here are guilty by association in the eyes of the Utah Legislature, which is dominated by politicians from outside the greater Salt Lake area.

We should pause and note the elephant in the room: Utah was settled by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which continues to be the dominant cultural identifier in the state. But Utah is growing rapidly, and growth brings change. This diversification has shrunk the "official" percentage of Mormons in Utah near the 50% mark (Salt Lake County went minority Mormon in 2018). While 9 out of 10 state lawmakers are LDS—not to mention the bulk of the state's upper crust—the faith's position as an overtly dominant entity is not what it once was.

Utah State Capitol - BENJAMIN WOOD
  • Benjamin Wood
  • Utah State Capitol

Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both legislative chambers and have for so long that they've—very effectively—trimmed the wings of the executive branch over time. Sometimes, the governor fights back, we'll see what the new one (Gov. Spencer Cox, elected in 2021) will do.

With Utah functionally a single-party state, most of the hot topics come from Republican infighting rather than cross-partisan squabbles. A civil war between "the establishment" and "the grassroots" has been raging for years—the hill they die on is the state's too-convoluted-to-bother-explaining caucus and convention system—but like elsewhere in America, the dividing lines have shifted somewhat under the strain of the far-right, militia and QAnon movements. Utah Democrats, for their part, have long presented themselves as pragmatic "Demuplicans" in an attempt to woo disaffected conservatives. Their perpetual irrelevancy outside of Salt Lake County shows you how well that strategy is working.

The Nightlife
Utah has a well-deserved reputation for alcohol restrictions. But gone are the days of "Zion curtains" and private club memberships. Today, you can simply walk into licensed premises with your ID and order a (carefully metered) drink. Despite the limitations, the state is home to excellent breweries and distilleries, but if you're looking to buy bottles, your best bet is through the State Liquor Stores scattered through towns and cities. Check the hours before you go.

There are a lot of places to catch some great music, from open-air amphitheaters like USANA and Red Butte Garden to the tiny garage at Kilby Court. And if you don't know where to go or what to do, just head to Main Street, 9th and 9th or Sugar House around Monument Plaza, and you'll find something. Or, better yet, keep reading in these pages for more specific recommendations.

  • Visit Salt Lake - E Schramm
  • Red Butte Garden

The Environment
Long known for having the "Greatest Snow on Earth," Utah is more competitive these days in the "Worst Air on Earth" category. Don't be alarmed when the weather forecast on the evening news includes both the chance of rain and the chance of unhealthy breathing conditions—that's just how we roll in the Beehive State.

You may have heard of the Spiral Jetty, a remarkable piece of land art on the north shores of the Great Salt Lake—for which our lovely capital city is named. But that inland sea is also in a "death spiral," as it is slowly wasting away under rising temperatures and yearslong drought conditions. Fun fact about saline lakes: Dust from their dry beds contains all sorts of noxious things (like arsenic!) that poison the air and accelerate snowmelt, exacerbating the drought conditions that kicked up the dust in the first place.

Don't worry. Lawmakers insist they're on it and that any day now they'll think about paving the way for bold action. In the meantime, there's all the more reason to escape to the canyons or just over the mountain range to Park City, where the air is clear, and the snow is still fluffy white.

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The Utah State Capitol—designed by - Richard K. A. Kletting—opened in 1916. - MACIEJ BLEDOWSKI
  • Maciej Bledowski
  • The Utah State Capitol—designed by Richard K. A. Kletting—opened in 1916.

You Are Here
With a booming economy and a hop, skip and jump to the great outdoors, Salt Lake is in the bullseye of desirable locations.
By Babs De Lay

As "The Crossroads of the West" and Utah's largest city, Salt Lake City hosted the world for the 2002 Winter Olympics and, each January, it co-hosts the annual Sundance Film Festival. The city is famously the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it's not all that straight-laced: In 2012, The Advocate named Salt Lake City the Gayest City in America.

The city's new international airport is close to downtown, and it's easy to travel from Salt Lake to places like Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle or Denver—all within 45 to 90 minutes. Salt Lake is also a Delta Airlines hub, and jetsetters can book international flights to 96 destinations in six countries, including a daily nonstop to Paris.

Salt Lake's metro area is attracting droves of new residents, many of whom work for tech companies on the "Silicone Slopes." And most of them hope to someday sit courtside to watch the Utah Jazz play NBA greats.

The capital city has a pretty great public transportation system with a free-fare zone around downtown and free travel to the airport with your boarding pass in hand. You can also take public transportation to ski resorts in the Cottonwood canyons.

As for green space, you'll find numerous parks (Sugar House, Liberty and Jordan, just to name a few), golf courses and a paved bike trail that runs north/south adjacent to the Jordan River—the length of Salt Lake Valley. Downtowners can connect with nature on their lunch hour with a short drive or bike ride to City Creek Canyon.

As the population rapidly grows (Salt Lake City boasts almost 200,000 residents; Salt Lake County is at 1.18 million), it's more challenging than ever to put down roots. In the 1980s, homes prices ranged between $39,000-$69,000. Today, the typical home value is over $550,000 and headed to $600,000 by summertime. Thousands of apartments are under construction, with rents skyrocketing by 19% over the past year.

With such high demand for housing, inventory is also tight. In today's seller's market, homebuyers need to be prepared to offer more than the asking price.

If you're looking to call Salt Lake home, it pays to know your way around its distinctive neighborhoods. Let's delve into the local scene and see which specific enclave calls out to you.

Look for public art and murals throughout Salt Lake City. - VISIT SALT LAKE - LAUREN_WESTER
  • Visit Salt Lake - lauren_wester
  • Look for public art and murals throughout Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City

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Salt Lake City's section of the Jordan River Parkway and our nearly 50 miles of citywide public alleyways are historically underappreciated gems that I love. We are investing in them with new boat ramps, park rangers, multi-lingual wayfinding and a neighborhood alleyway adoption program.
—Mayor Erin Mendenhall, in a recent City Weekly interview

Blue and Proud of It
Salt Lake City usually elects Democratic mayors, three of whom (since 1992) have been female. (Of those three, Jackie Biskupski was the city's first openly gay mayor). Erin Mendenhall is the city's current mayor.

Despite having just shy of 200,000 residents, Salt Lake City has some of the area's most recognizable neighborhoods, including Downtown, 9th & 9th, the Avenues, Marmalade, Capitol Hill, City Creek, Westminster, U of U, Emigration Canyon, Sugar House, Ball Park, Central City, Liberty Wells, East Liberty, Fairpark, Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Glendale, Highland Park, Westpointe, North Temple and the Granary districts.

Joseph Smith, founder and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mapped out a dream city on a grid pattern centered around a temple. His dream was later fulfilled by church President Brigham Young. In 1847, Young and some of his faithful climbed to the top of Ensign Peak, located behind what is now the State Capitol, and from that vantage point, they envisioned how and where they wanted to build their city.

Young and his followers built their first temple at the north end of the valley, which was surrounded by large residential blocks that allowed for urban farming. Young wanted roads wide enough for farmers to easily turn around their wagons without "resorting to profanity." At 130 feet wide, the streets are double the width of those in San Francisco and Manhattan.

Once you understand that everything is located east, west, north and south of the downtown temple, then street directions make sense, and it's easy to get around. For example, a condo at 380 W. 200 South is almost four blocks west of the temple and two blocks south of it. The number coordinates on streets with names (such as 1945 E. Sunnyside Ave.)—tell you how many blocks north, south, east or west of the temple the address is.

But if you're still confused, take heart because the city has an awesome bus system (Utah Transit Authority, or UTA) as well as light rail service (known as TRAX and FrontRunner) that offer free fares around downtown and to the airport, or $2.50 one-way. As the city grows, city planners and developers are helping to implement more "complete streets" with dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly features.

The oldest neighborhoods are Capitol Hill, Marmalade, City Creek and The Avenues located west, north and east of Temple Square and spread out around the State Capitol under Ensign Peak along the foothills. They are rich in history and offer a full gamut in types of homes/condominiums.

The downtown 'hoods have homes dating back 150 years as well as mansions built by sheep and mining barons in the late 1800s and early 1900s, some with one-car garages originally used as barns or carriage houses.

When polygamy was outlawed, some of the faithful dug caves into the hills through the foundations of their homes to hide their wives when the sheriff showed up, in a Monty Python-like "Bring Out Your Dead (er, Wives)" scenario. These neighborhoods generally have smaller building lots, say 10-15 dwellings to an acre, whereas if you head south through the valley, the lots are more like 4-8 per acre.

The Marmalade neighborhood was named after the trees the pioneers brought and propagated along streets that now have names like Apricot, Quince and Almond. Back in the day, farmers markets were held at the bottom of Capitol Hill on Saturdays with residents selling their jams, jellies, eggs and foodstuffs.

To the west of Capitol Hill is Swedetown, a small remnant of a few dozen homes built for Swedish Mormon immigrants who worked nearby on the railroad. Warm Springs Park was a hot springs originally used by Native Americans that was later developed as a bathhouse for residents who didn't own tubs.

Salt Lake City runs north from Westpointe (a newer community in the northwest area of Salt Lake City, near the airport) to the north edge of South Salt Lake.

Rose Park, located around 800 North and 1200 West, was developed by Alan Brockbank in 1947 to sell brick homes to returning World War II soldiers for $10,000. Liken it to an Ivory Homes subdivision of today but with streets named after rose varieties, and roofing either in red or green. Street layouts were designed in the shape of roses when seen from the air (with one, American Beauty Drive, resembling a long rose stem).

Rose Park homes now sell in the $400,000-$500,000 range and with TRAX connections, Rose Park is now a highly desirable place to live (along with Fairpark and North Temple—just north of Rose Park). They are among the last bastions of affordable housing in the city (for now!).

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini (who was in office from 1992-2000) enlarged Salt Lake City by extending the on/off ramps downtown as part of the master plan. That helped create more developable property downtown to add to the tax base, including The Gateway Mall, which was the place to be during the Olympics. The mall emptied out, however, when City Creek Center was completed in 2012. Gateway is now branding itself as an arts and entertainment center.

Along with new downtown growth, condos and apartments began dotting the western skyline over previously EPA-designated "brown fields." Nowadays, the Euclid area, Poplar Grove and Glendale are new frontiers for residential developers who are converting old factory buildings as well as constructing townhomes on vacant lots and erecting apartment buildings. City officials are paying more attention to these formerly underserved and quiet areas, with improvements springing up along the Jordan River Parkway trail as well as the latest effort to daylight local creeks at Three Creeks Confluence Park at 950 W. 1300 South.

Closer to State Street, West 900 South is seeing massive gentrification and influx of small businesses as is the area around Smith's Ballpark, home to the Salt Lake Bee's minor-league baseball team.

The 9th & 9th neighborhood (sometimes referred to as "SLC's Brooklyn") is just as architecturally precious as Harvard/Yale/Yalecrest but less expensive. It's close to the University of Utah and has been voted by many as the most walkable area in the city, featuring small shops, local restaurants and the world-famous Rowmark Ski Academy (attached to Rowland Hall private school).

Another nearby commercial area is Foothill Village, just south of Research Park, west of Hogle Zoo and Emigration Canyon famous for Ruth's Diner, a local favorite.

  • Visit Salt lake - Austen_Diamond_Photography
  • Hogle Zoo

Sugar House has received most of the attention in the past decade due to the high rises that have grown up around Highland Drive and 2100 South. Originally the home of Brigham Young's sugar-beet factory, and then the location of the Utah State Prison, Sugar House boasts as much history as it does modern urban living. Classic Arts and Crafts and Eclectic-style bungalows sit beside new two-story walkup townhomes that range between $500,000 to $1,000,000 each depending on square footage. Old money families are entrenched in picturesque Harvard/Yale and east toward the Foothills, who, instead of selling their homes, pass them along to their heirs.

There's a local adage, "The more east you go in Salt Lake City, the whiter the population." Diversity has not been a selling factor for decades, nay, centuries, but the faces and families are changing.

The communities have relatively low crime rates, low property taxes (compared to other major U.S. cities), insanely low water bills (despite a decades-old drought) and a great connector system of freeways and mass transit. Salt Lake will receive more than $3 billion for roads and infrastructure improvements county-wide though Biden's "Build Back Better" bill that will help Salt Lake firm up its place as one of the top cities in America.

Salt Lake City’s Chinatown mall - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • Salt Lake City’s Chinatown mall

South salt Lake

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"South Salt Lake contains a remarkable creative cluster of businesses. Let me introduce you to the South Salt Lake Creative Industries Zone (The Zone). The city and arts council are all about celebrating the 50-plus unique-to-their-niche artsy, crafty businesses—all local innovators, artists and makers—that have taken up shop in the post-industrial buildings in the area." Learn more about the businesses, tastes, breweries/distilleries and murals on the Creative Industries Zone App:
—Mayor Cherie Wood

It Might Surprise You
Some might call "SoSaLa" the red-headed stepchild of Salt Lake City but those who call it home would beg to differ. Originally, it was made up of three towns: Millcreek, Central Park and Southgate. Incorporated in 1938 as South Salt Lake, the city's first order of business was to fund and install a sewer system and other basic amenities such as sidewalks.

They've come a long way since then, thanks in part to lifelong resident and city mayor, Cherie Wood, who is changing minds and attitudes about the town's image. While most homes here were built between the 1940s and the 1960s, Wood, the city council members and planners are committed to partner with developers and residents to update and beautify the town.

For starters, Granite High School has been torn down and new homes and a library are under construction in its place. They hope to upgrade State Street with more additions like the Chinatown mall just south of 3300 South that boasts the largest Asian grocery store in the Intermountain West and numerous specialty restaurants.

South Salt Lake is the home of the world's first Kentucky Fried Chicken (3890 S. State), and if you go inside for your extra-crispy bucket, you'll find a tiny museum.

Plus, there are now enough breweries and distilleries within walking distance of one another that you can enjoy a bona fide pub crawl by foot or bike. It's an accessible area with TRAX and Salt Lake's two major freeways (Interstates 15 and 80) intersecting here.

Holladay Village Plaza - CITYHOME COLLECTIVE
  • Cityhome Collective
  • Holladay Village Plaza


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Perfectly situated between Parleys and Little Cottonwood canyons, Holladay is ideally located for access to the canyons and foothills of the Wasatch Front, beautiful mature tree canopy, small-town atmosphere in a big city, public school infrastructure that is second to none in the state, beautiful views of Mount Olympus and the Wasatch Range and passionate residents who love the city. We've got it all!
—Mayor Rob Dahle

'We've got It All'
In 1847, a group of LDS pioneers known as the Mississippi Company entered Salt Lake Valley and found a clean water source they called Spring Creek (by what now is Kentucky Avenue). In 1911, the area was formally named for John Holladay, an early settler, and many years later, in 1999, it became a city. Housing in Holladay is a huge variety of condominium projects, "forever" homes and large wooded estates with horse acreage. Don't expect to find starter homes here as Holladay is one of the most expensive places in Salt Lake Valley.

The city lies below Mount Olympus where you'll find a popular hiking trail for all levels of recreationists. Holladay is one of the first Utah cities to designate a spot for food trucks, called the Soho Food Park.

Both residents and nonresidents have been waiting years to see what will happen to the bulldozed 58-acres of the old Cottonwood Mall—which was one of the first large indoor shopping malls in Utah until it became obsolete and was torn down.

The blight of the scraped ground will change as a huge project known as Holladay Hills ( comes to fruition. The developers—a partnership between the Woodbury Corp., Millrock Capital LLC and Ball Ventures—say this "legacy" project will include living and office space, a central park for gatherings, a high-rise building, restaurants and shopping.

  • Dogs Unleashed
  • Tanner Park

Millcreek/Canyon Rim

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"As our city motto states, we are fortunate to be 'Connected by Nature.' Not only are we connected to each other, we are lucky to be so proximate to the natural beauty of Mill Creek Canyon, the Wasatch Range and its recreational bounty, as well as the Jordan River on our western boundary.

We are also close to the urban amenities of downtown SLC, which affords us short commute times to there or the University of Utah. In fact, we can get from our homes in Millcreek to almost anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley in about 20 minutes.

And we are building an exciting new city center which will become a special place to gather and provide additional recreational and cultural fun, including an ice ribbon, a splash pad, a ground floor public market and an outdoor climbing wall on our new Millcreek City Hall."
—Mayor Jeff Silvristini

Must Love Canyons
Millcreek became Salt Lake Valley's newest city in 2016. The canyon above the city was named for the many mills that were built in and around the creek. In fact, you can see the restored home that belonged to Robert Gardner Jr. (built in 1848 and said to be the oldest standing home in Utah) at 1475 E. Murphy's Lane (where Gardner operated a commercial sawmill).

click to enlarge Tanner Park - DOGS UNLEASHED
  • Dogs Unleashed
  • Tanner Park

The area remained essentially rural in character until after World War II. As postwar suburban growth spilled south beyond Salt Lake City's limits, the city became the site of large subdivisions of brick cottages and, later, mid-century modern ramblers and splits.

Mill Creek Canyon is the only canyon east of the Salt Lake Valley that charges user fees to keep up the trails and picnic sites ($5/daily, payable when you leave) and is also the only canyon (other than City Creek Canyon downtown) to allow dogs.

People love the area because of its proximity to the canyons and because it sits on the southern slopes of Murdock Peak where cool breezes blow down on summer evenings. Old-time residents seldom had air conditioning in their homes (pre-global warming) and the breezes were appreciated. Also in Millcreek is Tanner Park, the largest dog park on the east side, which now connects the Parleys hiking and biking trail on the East Bench to Sugar House.

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Wheeler Farm


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"I've lived here for 33 years and served 10 years on the city council and am constantly inspired by the city employees, the Murray and Granite school districts and by the recreation opportunities that my children all participated in. The best kept secret is the Salt Lake City Canal Trail that starts at the back of Wheeler Farm and travels northeast to Van Winkle Expressway. The 1.6-mile trail was the result of an interlocal agreement between Salt Lake and Murray. It's easy to walk or bike. I guess it won't be secret for very long!"
—Mayor Brett Hales

The County Hub
Murray is known for its diverse mix of newer housing, condominiums and mid-century homes—even a hidden subdivision surrounding a boatable pond.

There's a smattering of art deco structures along the central business district, and the original Iris Theater on State Street was rebuilt to become Desert Star Playhouse. It used to show Swedish films on Thursday nights for immigrants living in the area.

The town was named for Eli Murray, the 12th governor of the Utah Territory, but was originally known as South Cottonwood. The town was mostly an agricultural area until precious ores were found in both Park City and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Since Murray was close to a railroad line, a smelter was built here that operated for decades.

The territorial road ran right through the town (now known as State Street), and a trolley line was built to accommodate the many residents who didn't own cars.

The city is known for its outstanding parks and recreation areas, including the Joan M. Hardle Memorial Arboretum at 5051 S. Treetop Circle (in Murray Park).

Two popular farmers markets, one at Murray Park and the other at Wheeler Farm, attract weekly crowds.

Nowadays, many people associate Murray with the huge campus of the Intermountain Medical Center as well as the upscale Fashion Place shopping mall.

Murray has its own police, fire, utility and water companies and one of the lowest city tax rates in the state.

  • Visit Salt lake
  • TopGolf


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"Midvale is lucky to still have a historic Main Street intact with so much potential for years to come. ... [With] a large Hispanic/Latino population and refugees from around the world, [we are] a true melting pot of life experiences and backgrounds. Finding that kind of mix of people is not something common in Utah, and I love that we have that here. If you're looking for some of the best beer and food in the state, Bohemian Brewery is perfect. If you're looking for a small local restaurant, then Del Barrio Café has incredible tacos and Sagato Bakery offers both desserts and meat pies. Finally, if you want to eat delicious desserts while supporting a great cause, Flourish Bakery—which offers a paid internships to those recovering from substance use and who have a history of incarceration—is a must!"
—Mayor Marcus Stevenson

Historic and Diverse
Originally known as the East Jordan Ward, then Bingham Junction (because it was on the road to the Bingham Copper mine), Midvale was the former location of Sharon Steel and a dumping ground for slag, the waste matter produced from ore refining.

Sadly, this left Midvale with swaths of lead, arsenic and heavy metals in the soils, rendering much of the Sharon Steel site heavily polluted. Through remediation, with help from the EPA and other parties, the site underwent a major cleanup that saw its name removed from the Superfund list, thus opening the door for development.

On the eastern edge of present-day Midvale (and later annexed by Midvale) was Fort Union, historically Union, which was an early settlement area. A small remnant of the fort still exists in the Family Center Mall (aka The Shops at Fort Union) near the Pie Pizzeria.

Midvale boasts a Top Golf facility along with a new crop of fast-food franchises, a Winco and a Harmons. Zions Bank is now building a high-tech campus here that should be completed this year.

Look for century-old homes that were original farmsteads dotting east and west of State Street, postwar bungalows and cottages as well as a high concentration of condo complexes with infill construction of townhomes going up faster than you can say "Midvale"!


Cottonwood Heights

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"Cottonwood Heights is the epitome of suburban life, blending the best in retail—Target, Home Depot and Trader Joe's—with secluded neighborhoods nestled up against the mountains.

"Award-winning schools, top-tier restaurants and residents who value community are a few of the reasons I love and live in Cottonwood Heights."
—Mayor Mike Weichers

Up High
Cottonwood Heights is one of the new kids on the block, incorporating as a city in 2005. With a motto of "The City Between the Canyons," its landscape is dominated by a high ridge separating the valleys of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, offering mountain and valley views.

The shoreline of the once-massive Lake Bonneville can still be seen halfway up the mountains. You can take an easy hike or a bike ride along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail here and find trilobites and other fossils.

Below, you'll see neighborhoods filled with suburban ranch-style, rambler and split-level housing with sweeping views of the Wasatch Range to the east. Most business and retail development are based in the lower-lying areas north of the ridge (along Fort Union Boulevard, in Fort Union itself and near Big Cottonwood Creek).

The town is the jumping off point to the mountain recreation of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, Ferguson Canyon and Mountain Olympus.

Nowadays, everyone just wants to drive by Post Malone's house where he raps (in the song "Rockstar") that he's "in the hills f—kin' superstars."

Snowbird’s tram - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Snowbird’s tram


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"Right up Little Cottonwood Canyon, there is a small and precious community called Alta. It came into being in the late 1800s and was a vigorous mining town. The ore ran out, most of the miners left, but the skiers arrived. Now it is a gem that is unrivaled in its beauty and charm. Those of us who live there are committed to preserving its unique character so that others can enjoy it far into the future."
—Mayor Roger Bourke

Wildflower Central
Alta City was founded around 1870 as living space for miners from the Emma and Flagstaff mines along with other fabulously rich silver mines in Little Cottonwood Canyon. There are few year-round Alta residents (less than 500) but the resorts (Alta, established in 1939, and Snowbird, built in 1971) have many timeshares and part-time residents.

Alta is favored by locals for its deep powder and challenging terrain with runs like Eddie's High Nowhere and Baldy Chutes. Most of the homes are typical ski-resort cabins on some of the original mining claims owned by generations of Utahns. But there are also numerous luxurious get-away second homes.

The area has UTA bus service, with extra service during ski season as parking is at a premium and limited throughout the year. Yes, Alta and Snowbird are famous for winter skiing and summer retreats away from the heat of the city. But its "secret" during the summer is that both resorts are just below Albion Basin with its carpet of wildflowers that should not be missed.

Big Cottonwood Canyon - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Big Cottonwood Canyon


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Why live here? "You're out of the inversion, you get to have true community policing, lower property taxes than in the unincorporated Salt Lake County, and the size of the community means you can have a voice in the town's decisions."
—Former Mayor Harris Sondack

Alpine Adventure
Big Cottonwood Canyon is indeed big but it's home to two of the Wasatch Front's smallest ski resorts: Brighton and Solitude.The town of Brighton was incorporated in 2020 with a population of a few hundred residents.

Much of the area is named after the Brighton family which migrated here from Scotland and established mining rights in the canyon, and then later built the Brighton Hotel in 1874. Catherine Brighton became the darling of the mining crowd who loved her cooking. Back then, the hotel was a great escape from busy Salt Lake City, and people came to fish in the lakes and walk through the wildflowers. Lake Catherine is named after Catherine Brighton. She named Silver Lake because it shimmered so brightly in the early morning sun.

In 1936, members of the Alpine Ski Club built a rope tow using wire and an old elevator motor to create Utah's first ski resort at Brighton. It brought recreationists with their heavy wooden skis and lace-up boots to the top of the hill. Brighton would later be the first ski resort to allow snowboarding.

Solitude opened its ski area in the fall of 1957. Both Brighton and Solitude resorts are part of the town of Brighton.

Some of the original mining cabins still dot the mountains, and locals know one of the best mountain drives is over the mountain from Brighton to Park City and Deer Valley on Guardsman Pass. (The Girl Scout Camp Trefoil is hidden near the summit).

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium - VISIT SALT LAKE CITY
  • Visit Salt Lake City
  • Loveland Living Planet Aquarium


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[Draper] has the best mountain trail system in the urban core anywhere in the world—over 600 miles!

I'm very excited about helping to plan for The Point—the 600 acres where the prison sits. I hope people will get involved in the process by going to"
—Mayor Troy Walker

A Point Well Taken
Originally home to Utes, Paiutes, Shoshone and Goshute tribes, Draper was settled by Ebenezer and Phebe Brown in 1848, a couple who raised cattle to sell to immigrants traveling through to the California gold fields. As the settler population grew, Native Americans pushed back, and a settler's fort was started but never finished. The site is now part of Draper Historic Park, which is not well advertised but a great educational public park worth checking out.

Up until the 1980s, Draper was a pleasant pig and dairy farm area with a smattering of polygamist-owned farms that were sold off and developed in the 1990s. The town grew in the past few decades into a sprawling area of new stucco homes and big box stores, including Utah's first IKEA store.

Draper is also home to Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake's Lisa Barlow, Musician's Friend and, for now, the Utah State Prison. When the prison begins relocating in June 2022 to a site west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, the 600 acres will be replaced with a new development called The Point, a planned area of commercial, residential and recreational use like none seen before in Utah. The mayor and city council have loosened zoning and height restrictions on new commercial construction.

An LDS Temple at the top of the bench above the South Mountain Golf Course opened in 2009, and most of the homes on the mountain are newer McMansions, town houses or condos. There are also horse, biking and hiking trails in Corner Canyon and over the pass into Utah County.

Sandy is a suburban ski town with a soccer habit - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Sandy is a suburban ski town with a soccer habit


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"Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and just 13 miles south of Salt Lake City, Sandy City is a beautiful community known for its safe neighborhoods and sweeping mountain views. Our downtown district, The Cairns, offers top entertainment, shopping and dining. Other crown jewels include Hale Centre Theatre, Real Salt Lake soccer and The Shops at South Town. What really makes Sandy stand out is its variety of parks, trails and open spaces, including Dimple Dell, Hidden Valley and Lone Peak Park. It's also the gateway to the premier mountain recreation of Little Cottonwood Canyon. We are an active, service-oriented community, and we care about our neighbors. I'm proud to call Sandy City home."
—Mayor Monica Zoltanski

We're here for rsl
In the late 1800s, it was mining that shaped Sandy's destiny.

It's hard to imagine this family-friendly suburb filled with brothels and saloons —it was more like the Wild West. With three smelters that, at times, ran 24/7 extracting silver from canyon ore and a rail hub that was an interchange between two rail lines, Sandy was a veritable a boom town. When the ore ran out in the early 1900s, farmers moved in, and in the 1970s, the neighborhood begain to sprawl in all directions with housing developments. More and more Valley residents began flocking to Sandy for its proximity to four ski resorts (now accessed by regular bus service) along with convenient shopping and services.

Sandy has become a housing hub for those working on Silicon Slopes, and its Rio Tinto stadium is home to RSL Major League Soccer. Come summer, residents enjoy outdoor concerts at Sandy Amphitheater, splash pads for kids and hiking and horseback riding at Dimple Dell.

Magna’s Empress Theatre - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Magna’s Empress Theatre


Latin for Great
European settlers began arriving in Magna and the Copperton areas in 1851 when precious minerals were discovered in the Oquirrh Mountains. In the early 1900s, jobs in the area switched from agricultural to industrial, when immigrants moved here to work in the Magna Mill (magna is the Latin word for "great") and the Kennecott Copper Mine.

There wasn't much housing available in the early years of the mining boom, so workers and their families lived in tents and rough shacks, with the town also getting the moniker of Ragtown. Drifters, prospectors and more immigrants followed, and soon there was a Japantown, Little Italy, Snaketown and Greektown.

A few miners owned cars but the mine and its mill were within walking distance, as was downtown Magna. There were plenty of saloons and churches, small stores and fraternal halls. The area grew rapidly over the decades as did industry. Hercules Powder Co. (a dynamite manufacturer) set up shop and morphed into a rocket motor company called Bacchus Works.

You'll find century-old homes dotting the western area of the valley with some affordable-housing options. New housing and commercial construction are evident as workers at the new airport and the soon-to-open Utah State Prison find Magna is only a short commute to and from work.

Main Street Magna is charming and was recently the set location for Disney's series Andi Mack. Historic Main Street underwent a major remodel in 2006, but a 2020 earthquake shook down bricks on Colosimo's Market and Sausage Factory as well as from the walls on other buildings.

Australian Pink Floyd at USANA Amphitheatre - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Australian Pink Floyd at USANA Amphitheatre

West Valley City

Progress as Promised
At 140,000 residents, West Valley City is the second-largest city in Utah. The area that is now West Valley City merged four mostly agricultural communities: Hunter, Granger, Chesterfield and Redwood. These areas experienced rapid growth in the 1970s and then came together in 1980 to form the city.

WVC is home to the Maverik Center and ECHL (hockey) Utah Grizzlies, which also served as a venue for Winter Olympics hockey in 2002.

Other attractions include the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, West Valley Arts, Stonebridge and Westridge golf courses, Lodestone Park, USANA Amphitheatre and Valley Fair Mall featuring a Megaplex IMAX Theatre. For a blast to the past, check out the Redwood Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet.

With 45% minorities, WVC is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the Salt Lake Valley. Most housing is typical of designs and construction of the 1970s and 1980s.

Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns


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"I'm often asked why I like Kearns so much. You would expect that I would say the awesome Olympic venue, our incredible history and perhaps throw in the outstanding leadership (ha ha). All of these make Kearns unique and special, but above all, I most admire the unwavering pride this community has for their hometown. We stand by each other through good and bad. I have witnessed this community celebrate our accomplishments and mourn our losses. It's what I love about Kearns."
—Mayor Kelly Bush

Our Ice Is Nice
Kearns, named for Utah's U.S. Sen. Thomas Kearns, came into existence in 1942 as a World War II U.S. Army Air Force training facility known as Kearns Army Air Base. Before the base was built, the flat landscape consisted of dry farms.

A year after the war ended, the Air Corps deactivated the base and turned it over to the State of Utah. The presence of roads and other basic infrastructure made the area attractive to developers, and soon small, affordable houses and new businesses sprang up rapidly on what had just a few years earlier been farmland. The airfield of the Kearns Army Air Base is known today as South Valley Regional Airport.

In 2002, the world was welcomed to Kearns to watch indoor speed skating in the new Utah Olympic Oval built specifically for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The facility is still in use today. Its existing infrastructure is one of the many reasons Utah would be a terrific location again for the games.

Salt Lake Community College - SLC.GOV
  • Salt Lake Community College


The good old Dayzz
Taylorsville, Bennion and part of Kearns became the City of Taylorsville during the centennial anniversary of Utah statehood in 1996. Some people liken Taylorsville to Salt Lake's Harvard/Yale area for its quiet neighborhoods and pockets of historical homes (but in Taylorsville case, it's great mid-century modern).

Taylorsville is ideal for students attending the Redwood campus of Salt Lake Community College who can let off steam playing disc golf at Valley Regional Park.

There's a good mix of older housing, new homes, condominium and rental projects. You can also find small ethnic grocery stores and restaurants, as well as every franchise eatery you could ever ask for.

Taylorsville Dayzz in June is an annual birthday bash to commemorate the city's incorporation in 1996, an event that brings the community together for concerts, a parade, a carnival and fireworks.


West Jordan

Copper in the hills
West Jordan ("WeJo") is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Salt Lake City, with a mostly modern housing stock, quality commercial districts and a strong industrial base. The Jordan Landing mixed-use development is one of the largest shopping centers in Utah. West Jordan gets its name from Jordan River that runs through it, and the city touts the world's largest open pit mine (the Bingham Canyon Mine).

City landmarks include Gardner Village (originally a sawmill built in 1850 and now a cute shopping/eating destination) and the historic Sugar Factory, built in 1916. The Viridian Event Center is a multi-use event space operated by the West Jordan Library and the county's Library Services.

The city is also the location of South Valley Regional Airport, formally known as "Salt Lake Airport No. 2." The airport serves general aviation operations as well as a base for the Utah Army National Guard for Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

Old downtown West Jordan has been redeveloped with an expanded Main Park, a history museum, conversion of the Sugar Factory into a playhouse, an indoor recreation center, a senior center and a large courthouse to serve the State of Utah 3rd District.

SoJo Farmers Market - SOUTH JORDAN CITY
  • South Jordan City
  • SoJo Farmers Market

South Jordan

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"I love this city. Our people and their spirit of service make it a truly special place. I've seen so many South Jordan residents rise up and ask what they can do to help out. The spirit and passion to serve is just one of the many things I love about our great residents."
—South Jordan Mayor Dawn R. Ramsey

Riding High
"SoJo" lies along the banks of the Jordan River between the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Mountains to the east. You can find a plaque marking "The Birthplace of South Jordan" at 10702 S. River Front Parkway, as well as ponds, trails, parks and natural habitats along the Jordan River. Alfalfa was grown in this area during the 1890s, followed by sugar beets that could be sold to the Utah-Idaho Sugar Co./factory in West Jordan. In the 1930s, residents in the area needed a water tank. They found the only way to do it was to incorporate into a city and get a grant from the feds, which they did in 1935.

Here, you'll find housing inventory that's made up of a few farms, large ranch houses with horse barns, scattered subdivisions from the 1970s-1990s and new neighborhoods that back up to Daybreak. It's also one of the first cities to warrant two LDS temples. The Salt Lake County Equestrian Park and Event Center, which was recently acquired by Utah State University, features a 120-acre equestrian park with a polo, dressage and racing track.

Plans for Mountain View Village - SLC.GOV
  • Plans for Mountain View Village


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"One thing that makes Riverton so great is its proximity to the freeway and major attractions while maintaining a semi-rural, community feel. This is something our council and I have strived for through conscientious zoning/planning, community events and engaging residents. Of course, our new Mountain View Village development (northwest corner of 13400 and Mountain View Corridor) is top of the line with amazing retail and dining options.

"However, a real hidden gem is the area along 1300 West just south of 12600 South where the county golf course and pool are located, next to our magnificent main park that is constantly curated with events and things to do for the public."
—Mayor Trent Staggs

Rural Vibes
Riverton (originally known in the 1800s as Gardnerville) is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state and is considered a bedroom community to the Silicon Slopes tech boom after it was discovered by techies who commute to Utah County south on Redwood Road, or via the Mountain View Corridor.

It started as an agricultural community of sugar beet and wheat farmers as well as sheep and dairy ranchers. Without much water available, canals were dug by horse teams to get water from the Jordan River.

The largest farm of recent years was known as Tithing Yard Hill, with hundreds of acres of property owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members would bring one tenth of their own crops and animals for tithing. There was a granary, large root cellar, weight scales and a barn. It's now a housing development.

For so long, Riverton was known for its large expanses of farmland, but it's slowly been sold off to developers. Mountain View Village is Riverton's version of Daybreak and has become the new central gathering place with retail, restaurants, offices, theater and, of course, housing. Many of the newer subdivisions have the distinction of larger lots that have been broken up from old farm acreage.

Camp Williams family day demo - UTAH NATIONAL GUARD PUBLIC AFFAIRS
  • Utah National Guard Public Affairs
  • Camp Williams family day demo


A Foot in two Worlds
The historic site of Brigham Young bodyguard Porter Rockwell's Hot Springs Hotel and Brewery as well as a Utah Pony Express station, Bluffdale encompasses parts of Riverton, Draper and Herriman, with southern borders that stretch as far south as Lehi.

This bedroom community of 17,000 residents was incorporated in 1978 and is located in both Salt Lake and Utah counties. The National Guard base, historic Camp Williams, is a notable resident of the city, as is the Utah Data Center, which is a data storage facility for the U.S. intelligence community.

The town has five traditional public and four charter public schools, including Bluffdale Elementary, which offers a Portuguese Dual Immersion program.

Today, a significant portion of the Jordan River Parkway Trail goes through Bluffdale. If you have kids, you'll want to take them to the Wardle Fields Regional Park, an 80-acre family farm that now features a massive splash pad and playground area.

Daybreak’s walking paths - CHAD GRANT
  • Chad Grant
  • Daybreak’s walking paths


Build It, and They Will Come
Who would have thought 20 years ago that sleepy South Jordan would be one of the hottest places to live in the Salt Lake Valley? It was in 2004 that the planned community broke ground and now there are more than 6,000 units of apartments, condos and homes—intermingled with light rail and commercial businesses.

What started out as land owned by Rio Tinto is now owned by the Larry H. Miller Real Estate Group and sold off to select builders within the development. The community is expected to build out for the next 18 to 20 years and, when completed, it could contain more than 20,000 residential units and approximately 9.1 million square feet of commercial space.

It's not a city and doesn't have a mayor—it has a homeowners' association (HOA). You want to live here because every property is within five minutes of amenities such as a lazy river, the man-made Oquirrh Lake with watercraft rentals and sailing lessons, five pools, playgrounds, 40 miles of paved bike trails and well-maintained tennis, pickleball and basketball courts—with options (at a small cost) that include garden plots, swim lessons, fitness classes and rentable community centers. It's currently the home of Whitney (Justin) Rose, one of Bravo TV's Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Given the number of PRIDE flags on display each summer, Daybreak is getting the moniker of "Gaybreak" by the LGBTQ community.

Herriman’s Up  House - SLC.GOV
  • Herriman’s Up House


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"Because of our location along the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains with amazing trails for mountain bikers, hikers and horses, Herriman is also becoming a recreation destination in the Salt Lake Valley, with many more miles of trails planned for the next decade. The beauty of Herriman is also unrivaled right now. On a clear day, sitting on the west bench overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, you can see downtown Salt Lake City while relaxing in one of our amazing, well-planned parks. Herriman is now a destination city and will be a huge part of the future of the state of Utah."
—Mayor Lorin Palmer

Keep Looking Up
Herriman is the furthest west and south city in Salt Lake County and one of the newest cities to be incorporated in the Salt Lake Valley, in 1999.

Originally named after Thomas Butterfield, a white settler, it was later renamed after a prominent resident, Henry Herriman, and began seeing new construction in the 1990s when developers realized they could break up large plats of farmland into big residential lots for new rambler and two-story style homes.

It was on the list of fastest growing "large cities" in the U.S. from 2010-2019, growing over 135%. Butterfield Canyon makes up the far west border of Herriman with ranches and cabins dotting the bench.

The city's claim to fame was when Bangerter Homes built a 100% accurate large-scale version of the house from Disney's Up movie (it was built with permission from the Disney studios). The buyers purchased the finished product for just under $500,000, and it can be seen today (at 13218 Herriman Rose Blvd., the same as when they bought it.

There aren't too many places in our landlocked state to dig in the sand and play in the water, so Herriman City built Black Ridge Reservoir as an outdoor recreation area. The summer destination suffers from its own popularity and, on weekends, you'll usually see police presence for crowd control, illegal parking and minor infractions. The reservoir has been closed off and on, due to algae blooms, something that's now common around some Utah lakes and ponds during summer.

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Hamilton production at Eccles Theater - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Hamilton production at Eccles Theater

An Embarrassment of Riches
Salt Lake's arts and entertainment scene will take your breath away.
By Scott Renshaw

When talking about American cities outside the largest urban centers, it's tempting to describe things in terms of qualifiers: It has great [fill-in-the-blank] for a city of its size. Or it has better [whatever] than you might expect. It's all predicated on a vague sense of insecurity, as though you always need to be comparing things to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles—instead of recognizing everything that's amazing right where you are.

That's certainly true of the arts and culture scene in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area (and beyond), which boasts an extraordinary collection of talent, facilities and institutions. Not for a city of its size. Not better than you might expect. Extraordinary—full stop. From performing arts to film, from galleries to literature, there's a world of fantastic stuff to discover.

Whether your tastes run to the crowd-pleasing big-name shows, or to the discovery of new, edgy work, there's a place for you to explore the SLC live theater scene. The city's largest full Equity company is Pioneer Theatre Co. , which takes up residence on the University of Utah campus, and offers a full season ranging from the latest Broadway musical hits to Shakespeare, and from established classics to the latest innovative plays.

Salt Lake Acting Co. also brings in great shows from the New York stage, while mixing in its own unique flavor with stuff like an annual family-friendly holiday show, and the good-natured summer spoof of local living, SLC Cabaret.

Two resident companies at the Rose Wagner Center—Plan-B Theatre Co. and Pygmalion Theatre Co. —both present smaller-scale, intimate productions that take on challenging social-issue themes, including world-premieres from local playwrights.

If you'd like to catch a touring production of beloved hits like Hamilton, The Book of Mormon or Wicked, Broadway at the Eccles brings all of your favorites to the new, exciting Eccles Theater downtown.

Or, for one of the most decorated Shakespeare companies in the country, head down to Southern Utah for Utah Shakespeare Festival and its summer repertory season.

Beyond the major players, you can find great stuff at several community theater organizations. Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy offers two stages for long runs of shows like The Light in the Piazza, Disney's The Little Mermaid and an annual production of A Christmas Carol.

In Ogden, Good Company Theatre presents Utah premieres of smaller-scale new plays, while other challenging fare comes from newer players like SONDERimmersive, with more fascinating work emerging all the time.

(Note: For performance venue contact info, see calendar listings.)

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  • Ballet West

It's not only because the dance programs at the University of Utah and BYU are so strong that we get such a constant flow of amazing dance in this community—but it sure doesn't hurt. Ballet West approaches its 60th anniversary in 2023 with a national reputation for dynamic programming, including the annual production of The Nutcracker employing founder Willam Christensen's timeless choreography.

New contemporary dance works are often at the center of the program for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Co., which offers tremendous dance education opportunities, while Repertory Dance Theatre focuses on the preservation of the great works from throughout the history of modern dance, continuing the mission of founder Virginia Tanner.

Pop-culture-infused works have been a staple of the repertoire of Odyssey Dance Theatre, which heads into its final season of productions including the Halloween-season favorite Thriller. Seat-of-the-pants creativity and a distinctive vision characterize Stephen Brown's namesake company SB Dance, which innovated during the pandemic to offer "curbside theater" performances of short dance pieces at pop-up, even residential locations.

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  • Utah Opera

Classical Music and Opera
If you appreciate majestic music, this is the place. Utah Symphony and Utah Opera work together under one umbrella organization, with the symphony playing masterworks, pops and symphony-for-the-screen concerts at the acoustical marvel that is Abravanel Hall, and Utah Opera performing the great works of Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and more, plus contemporary works, at the Capitol Theatre accompanied by Utah Symphony musicians.

Many smaller regional symphony orchestras perform in outlying cities including Sandy's American West Symphony & Chorus and Utah Valley Symphony. For an emphasis on works of the Baroque and Medieval periods, Utopia Early Music regularly presents both instrumental and vocal pieces in the Cathedral Church of St. Mark.


Books & Literature
Utah's literary scene is as strong as you could hope for, fueled by the efforts of stalwart local independent booksellers. The King's English Bookshop ( offers a tremendous selection of local and national authors, both in person and online, as well as hosting virtual and in-store events with writers.

The same is true of Weller Book Works (, continuing the Weller family tradition of supporting the written word in the current Trolley Square location.

Ken Sanders Rare Books ( has been a source since 1997 for unique, specialty books, often with a focus on Utah and the desert Southwest; while Sanders' flagship location faces an uncertain future, a recent partnership with The Leonardo museum (see below) promises to keep the business going. For additional book-centric programming, both the Salt Lake City Library ( and Salt Lake County Library ( locations present author events, book clubs and other services.

If you happen to be an aspiring writer yourself, there are resources for you as well. The Community Writing Center ( offers multiple classes, both virtual and in-person, with coaching and other resources, whether your project is fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, songwriting and much more.

The League of Utah Writers ( has chapters throughout the state for writer groups and other mutual support, as well as an annual conference.


The real world keeps giving us plenty of reason to need laughter, and you can experience the best in stand-up comedy at a variety of locations. The most noteworthy venues are those operated by Wiseguys, with locations downtown at The Gateway mall, in West Jordan and in Ogden that present local, regional and national headliners—like Christopher Titus and The Office's Craig Robinson, among those scheduled for later in 2022—as well as regular open-mic nights for up-and-comers.

Touring acts frequently find their way to Kingsbury Hall ( or the Eccles Theater (, with the biggest of the big names occasionally stopping in for dates at Vivint Arena (

You also can catch one of many groups that make up Utah's thriving improv comedy scene. One of the longest-running groups is Laughing Stock, the resident group of Off Broadway Theatre (, now in Draper, with regular Saturday night shows. Desert Star Playhouse ( in Murray, has produced irreverent parodies for over 30 years. Quick Wits Comedy (, with nearly three decades of creative chuckles under their belts, performs Friday night shows at the Midvale Performing Arts Center.


Museums and Galleries
The cultural richness of a place is, for better or worse, often connected to museums and galleries, and fortunately, Utah has plenty to offer. The beautiful Rio Tinto building of The Natural History Museum of Utah ( is full of permanent and touring exhibits that explore the distinctive landscape of this region—in its people, its places, its flora and fauna.

The Leonardo ( sets its focus on science and technology, with hands-on exhibits that take visitors through amazing inventions.

The Gateway is home to two other specialty facilities: Clark Planetarium (, full of information about our world and its place in the universe; and Discovery Gateway (, a fun-filled children's museum with activities and workshops inspiring young imaginations.

For exhibits about the founding of the state by Mormon settlers, the Pioneer Memorial Museum ( features memorabilia and more relating tales of that unique migration.

If fine art is your interest, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art ( offers multiple gallery spaces for individual and group shows, highlighting both Utah's best contemporary artists and great works of the past. The permanent collection of the University of Utah's Utah Museum of Fine Arts ( gives visitors a chance to see amazing pieces from around the world, plus touring shows with specialized themes. For an additional listing of local fine-arts galleries, see the sidebar.


Utah is most famously connected to the world of film through the annual January showcase of independent film the Sundance Film Festival (, but that's not the limit of offerings for local movie-lovers. The Salt Lake Film Society (, with brick-and-mortar locations at the Broadway Centre Cinemas and Tower Theatre, offers year-round programming of new theatrical releases from the world of documentary, foreign-language and American independent cinema, as well as the recent addition of streaming films through You can also find DVD copies of classic films at the newly renovated Tower Theatre's video store. More specialty programming comes from the Utah Film Center (, which invites filmmakers for Q&A sessions accompanying film screenings; hosts the annual kid-friendly Tumbleweeds Film Festival and the LGBTQ-centric Damn These Heels film festival; and brings back a classic moviegoing experience during the summer with drive-in movies at pop-up locations throughout the Salt Lake Valley.



Arts Festivals
May 28-29: Moab Arts Fest
Start the summer off right with a trek to Moab's Swanny City Park on Memorial Day weekend, and a free-admission jubilee of pottery, glass, jewelry, fine art and more, with plenty of activities for kids and adult refreshments for the grown-ups. (SR)

June 23-26: Utah Arts Festival
The state's biggest and most varied arts festival (the 46th annual!) returns to its last-weekend-in-June schedule at the City/County Building and Library Square (200 East & 400 South). You can always count on great music from around the country and around the world, in addition to artist booths, kids' activities, culinary arts, urban arts, performances by local dance groups and the Fear No Film short film festival. (SR)

Aug. 5-7: Park City Kimball Arts Festival
You really shouldn't need an excuse to head into the mountains during the summertime, what with the clean air and temperatures 10-15 degrees cooler than the ones that are baking the Wasatch Front. But in case you've been dragging your feet, the delights of historic Main Street being turned into an open-air showplace for visual art and music should give you the necessary nudge. (SR)

Aug. 12-13: Craft Lake City DIY Festival
The DIY spirit has always been plentiful in Utah, and perhaps even more so by necessity during the pandemic. The Craft Lake City DIY Festival once again celebrates the "maker" spirit with vendors offering visual arts, clothing, textiles, food, personal care products and much more for two days at the Utah State Fairpark (155 N. 1000 West). (SR)

Also, don't miss: June 11 & 12: Ogden Arts Festival; June 17-19: Chalk Art Festival; July 16-17: Millcreek Festival; Sept. 2-4: Urban Arts Festival

Ethnic, Historical & Cultural Festivals
May 20-22: Living Traditions Festival
Presented by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, this three-day free festival returns to its pre-pandemic schedule on the weekend of May 20-22 in Washington Square/Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Celebrate the city's diversity with more than 90 different cultures and events that promote connection through folk art. (JW)

June 4-5: Utah Pride Festival
Party with 60,000 of the state's LGBTQ community and their allies at Washington Square in downtown Salt Lake City. You can expect a full roster of events, along with food trucks and exhibitor booths, plus the grand parade on Sunday morning. (SR)

July 9: Utah Asian Festival
For the 45th annual event, cultures from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and many more locales gather at the Utah State Fairpark (155 N. 1000 West, SLC) for a huge showcase of art, crafts, food and fun. Come ready for the Asian Pop Dance and cosplay parade. (SR)

July 8-25: Days of '47 Celebration
My, how 175 years can fly by! Utahns of Mormon ancestry—and even those who aren't—enjoy the Days of '47 with rodeos, a family festival, a Tabernacle Choir concert and the big annual parade from South Temple and State Street to Liberty Park, and note that this year, it's on July 23. (SR)

July 23: Native American Celebration in the Park Powwow & Festival
As an alternative to the Days of '47, Utah's Native American community celebrates those who were here first with arts-and-crafts booths, children's activities, tribal dances and fireworks. (SR)

July 25-30: Springville World Folkfest
The world is welcome at Utah's "Art City," as performing groups from 10 countries from South America to Eastern Europe gather in one place to bring the color and excitement of traditional folk dance and music. If you attend, you are automatically invited to the after party on stage at the end of each night. Plus enjoy food from cultural food trucks. Held at 620 S. 1350 East in Springville. (GG)

July 30: Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration
Utah's thriving Samoan, Tongan, Fijian and Native Hawai'ian communities begin a month-long celebration of their cultures with an event from 5-10 p.m. at Lonestone Park (6252 W. 6200 South, Kearns) that traditionally includes food vendors, live entertainment and a youth rugby clinic at Sorensen Unity Center. (SR)

Aug. 7: Ogden Pride
LGBTQ Pride activities around the country tend to be concentrated around the month of June in recognition of the Stonewall uprising, but Ogden has always been a place that marches to its own drummer. Taking place on Sunday, Aug. 7, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Ogden Municipal Grounds and Amphitheater (343 E. 25th St.), Ogden Pride welcomes visitors with live entertainment, vendors and general merriment. (SR)

Sept. 9-11: Salt Lake Greek Festival
The grounds of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (279 S. 300 West, SLC) again host a weekend of live performances, vendors and perhaps most importantly, plenty of amazing food. (SR)

Sept 2-5: Soldier Hollow Classic
Sheepdog Festival
One of the more unique cultural events on the calendar in any year, the Labor Day weekend tradition brings world-class working dogs to Utah to show us the fine art of wrangling sheep who don't always want to be wrangled. (2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway). (SR)

Sept. 8-18: Utah State Fair
The Utah State Fairpark (155 N. 1000 West, SLC) offers all of the traditional attractions: midway games, rides, animals, food and plenty of live entertainment. (SR)

More festivals: June 18 & 19: Juneteenth at Ogden City Amphitheater; June 23-25: Taylorsville Dayzz; July 29-31: Peruvian Festival; Sept. 2-3: Midway Swiss Days; Sept.17: Festa Italiana

Theater/Film Festivals
Jan. 2023 (dates TBA): Sundance Film Festival
A 10-day celebration of independent American film with film screenings in Park City and Salt Lake, giving locals an opportunity to view world-class films, sit in on film discussions and hobnob with celebrities in bars and at events. (JW).

July 6-Aug. 6: Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater
Epic operas and favorites of the Broadway stage are once again on tap on Logan's picturesque Main Street. (SR) For shows and schedule, visit

June 20-Oct. 8: Utah Shakespeare Festival
The award-winning theater showcase in Southern Utah presents stage classics from the 1500s to the present. (SR) Performances June 20-Oct. 8; for plays and schedule, visit

July 28-Aug.7: Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival:
The annual showcase of experimental theater, dance, music and art gives local residents a chance to see work with an edge that might not be expected on Utah stages. (SR)

Pop Culture

Sept. 22-24: FanX Salt Lake
The state's biggest gathering of nerds, enthusiasts and other lovers of pop culture returns to the Salt Palace Convention Center (100 S. West Temple) for three days of guest stars, panel presentations and vendors. (SR)

Food & Drink

Aug. 20-21 City Weekly's Utah Beer Festival
Allow us to brag on ourselves just a bit: There's nowhere you can go this summer that offers such a tremendous range of offerings to celebrate the art of brew-making. The 11th annual event returns to The Gateway (12 S. Rio Grande, SLC). Access to the festival grounds is free. You'll find music performances, and can purchase token punch passes to sample dozens of local, regional, national and international beers and hard ciders. (SR)

Late August to Mid-October: Snowbird Oktoberfest
Since 1973, Snowbird Resort has hosted its own annual Oktoberfest that attracts thousands of visitors in its nearly two-month run on Saturdays and Sundays. More information at


2022 calendar

Upcoming Performing Arts Calendar

Ballet West & Ballet West II
Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-323-6900,

April 1-9: Carmina Burana /Glass Pieces
May 11-15: Choreographic Fest V

Broadway at the Eccles
The Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-2200,

May 10-15: Jesus Christ Superstar
June 14-19: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Aug. 2-7: Hadestown

Egyptian Theatre Co., Park City
328 Main St., Park City, 855-745-7469,
April 22-May 1: Park City Follies
May 19-29: Pump Boys and Dinettes
June 1-17: Grease the Musical
Aug. 11-14: Evita the Musical

Good Company Theatre
2404 Wall Ave., Ogden, 801-917-4969,

March 24-April 10: Man and Moon
May 5-22: it's not a trip, it's a journey

Hale Centre Theatre
9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy, 801-984-9000,

April 18-June 18: The Light in the Piazza
June 15-Aug. 13: Singin' in the Rain
June 27-Aug. 27: Silent Sky

Live at the Eccles
131 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-2787,

April 9: #IMomSoHard
April 15-16: Lamb of God
May 1: The Bachelor Live on Stage
May 5: Whose Live Anyway?
May 18: Professor Brian Cox Horizons
May 21: Greg Gutfeld
July 7: Puscifer
July 19: The Masked Singer

Capitol Theatre shows:
April 21: Heather McMahan
May 23: Rupi Kaur
June 4: Hannah Gadsby

Pioneer Theatre Co.
University of Utah, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-6961,

April 1-16: Fireflies
May 13-28: Hello, Dolly!

Plan-B Theatre Co.
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-355-2787,

April 7-17: Aftershock
June 9-19: Mestiza, or Mixed

Pygmalion Theatre Co.
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-971-4362,

May 6-21: Body Awareness

Repertory Dance Theatre
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-534-1000,

April 21-23: Six Songs from Ellis

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Co.
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
138 W. 300 South, SLC, 801- 297-4241,

April 28-30: Lo and Behold

Salt Lake Acting Co.
168 W. 500 North, SLC, 801-363-7522,

April 6-May 15: Passing Strange
July 13-Aug. 21: SLC Cabaret 2022

May 7: Hemingway & The Byrd

1100 Tuacahn Drive, Ivins, 435-652-3200,

May 13-Oct. 21: Wonderland
May 20-Oct. 22: Mary Poppins
June 24-Aug. 13: The Buddy Holly Story
July 16-Oct. 20: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Utah Opera
Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-533-6683,

May 7-15: The Pirates of Penzance

Utah Shakespeare Festival
195 W. Center St., Cedar City, 1-800-752-9849,

June 20-Sept. 8: All's Well That Ends Well
June 21-Sept. 9: Sweeney Todd
June 22-Sept. 10: King Lear
June 23-Oct. 8: The Sound of Music
June 24-Sept. 9: Trouble in Mind
June 25-Oct. 8: Clue
July 12-Oct. 8: The Tempest

Utah Symphony
Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, SLC, 801-533-5626,

April 8-9: Hilary Hahn plays Ginastera and Serasate
April 15-16: Haydn 11, Arlene Sierra, Nielsen & Elgar
April 22: Cirque de la Symphonie
April 29-30: Steven Osborne plays Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2
May 20-21: Messiaen, Smetana & Sibelius 2
May 27-28: Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Messiaen & Ravel

Wiseguys Gateway
194 S. 400 West, SLC, 801-532-5233,

April 1-2: T.J. Miller
April 7: Mick Foley
April 8-9: Shapel Lacey
April 14: Tumua
April 15-16: Sam Morril
April 28-30: Kyle Kinane
May 5: Are You Garbage?
May 6-7: Lachlan Patterson
May 12-15: Dan Cummins
May 20-21: Tony Hinchcliffe
June 10-11: Chad Daniels
June 17-18: Christopher Titus
July 14-16: Mark Normand
July 21-23: Craig Robinson

Note: Schedule changes to above events may occur, so please check with the performance company or venue.

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Myungrang Hotdog - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Myungrang Hotdog

Trending on the Wasatch
Taste buds want what they want.
By Alex Springer

Once diners along the Wasatch Front get wind of a new foodie trend, it's not long before that trend becomes a full-blown social media event. Luckily, we've been blessed with a few restaurateurs who understand the writing on the wall when it comes to Utah food trends. From jaw-dropping Korean corn dogs to mouth-watering Indian fusion, here is what's hot in the world of Utah food.

Korean Corn Dogs
It started slowly when neighborhood Korean joints started floating the idea of Korean corn dogs on their menus, but that only added to the mystique of this apex snack. Korean corn dogs start in the same way as their American cousins—dip hot dog in batter, deep fry, repeat—but there are a few variations that make them so memorable. They usually get a dip in some crispy panko breadcrumbs before frying, along with a liberal sprinkle of granulated sugar once they've emerged from the fryer. We're starting to see versions made with potato cubes, squid ink and nacho cheese sauce as well. Notable purveyors of Korean corn dogs include Myungrang Hotdog (11428 S. Parkway Plaza Drive, Ste. 300, South Jordan, 801-790-7776,, Yummy's Korean BBQ (multiple locations,, and SanFran Burrito N Fryz (3390 S. State, Ste. 35, South Salt Lake, 801-419-0227,

Birria Tacos
Though birria tacos—cheesy, meaty tacos served up with a steamy bowl of consommé—have been a part of Mexican cuisine for decades, it's only recently started to become a hot ticket item here in Utah. We're to the point where you can get birria made with beef and even plant-based versions with jackfruit but look no further than El Cabrito (956 W. 1000 North, SLC, 801-363-2645) if you're after traditional birria made with goat meat. If goat meat is still a little gnarly for you, birria tacos made with beef can be found at Santo Taco (910 N. 900 West, SLC, 801-893-4000,, La Casa del Tamal (2843 S. 5600 West, Ste. 140, West Valley, 385-266-8729, and Red Tacos (1077 S. 750 East, Orem, 801-362-2338). Regardless of how you enjoy your birria, you'll find something nearby to satisfy your cravings.

Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers

Fried Chicken
When all those fast-food places were engaged in a grand Twitter melee about whose fried chicken sandwich was best, a kind of poultry renaissance was born. Of course, locals in the know would tell you that the Nashville hot chicken at Pretty Bird (multiple locations, already had this contest wrapped up. That didn't stop a deluge of fried chicken restaurants—both local and national—from setting their sights on Utah. If you're after chicken fingers, it's all about Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers (multiple locations, mrcharlie'—they offer grilled or fried chicken strips, thick slices of Texas toast and golden-brown crinkle cut fries. We've also had a few national establishments open like Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers (multiple locations, and The Crack Shack (912 E. 900 South, SLC, 385-715-0250,

Bubble Tea
Most local Vietnamese spots have dabbled in boba drinks for years, but lately we're seeing coffee shop-style locations opening up all over the place. These spots have doubled down on the whimsical nature of drinks filled with squishy balls of tapioca and started adding new flavors to the mix. Places like Space Tea (1085 S. State, SLC, 385-528-0141, whip up signature drinks such as soft serve, honeydew lemonade, matcha and chocolate cream cookies. If you absolutely can't get enough of slippery and chewy textures, you can check out Meet Fresh (3390 S. State, Ste. 32, South Salt Lake, They've got an excellent selection of milk teas with all the black sugar boba you can handle, and they specialize in Taiwanese desserts called bao bing which are packed with chewy taro balls and silky grass jelly.

  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Curry Pizza

Indian Fusion
Utah's Indian food scene is well established—we have plenty of great options for those after traditional Indian fare. Perhaps it's this strong foundation that has prompted restaurateurs to open delicious eateries that take all the flavors of Indian food and repackage them into dishes like tacos, pizza and fried chicken. For example, Tandoori Taqueria (3540 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-590-9473) has a taco menu that pairs pozole with tikka masala served up on a warm buttermilk naan tortilla. Fans of Mexican and Indian food will recognize their favorite flavors, but when they all come together you get something completely unique. We've also got Curry Pizza (multiple locations, that applies the same principal to pizza—the honey curry pizza is another great example of complementary flavors that come together in a fantastic way. One of the most creative examples of this Indian fusion can be found at Curry Fried Chicken (660 S. State SLC, 801-924-9188). Here, you can get some of the best bone-in fried chicken in town spiked with a smokey blend of curry spices that make you rethink every previous fried chicken experience you've had. For burritos, you can check out Curry Up Now (152 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-953-0156,, a California import that whips up tikka masala burritos and deconstructed samosas.

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  • Donut Boy

Utah's Doughnut Dynasty
The sooner you find a local doughnut shop, the sooner you find your bliss.
By Alex Springer

Though larger metropolises have Utah beat in sheer number of doughnut shops, we make up for our lack of quantity with an excess of quality. This is a state that likes sugar on top of its sugar, so if a doughnut shop wants to thrive here, it has to deliver the goods. These doughnut purveyors know the basics backward and forward—there is no shortage of glazed, filled, raised, cake or frosted doughnuts—but each has developed a signature offering that makes them a destination in and of themselves. Read on for an all-star list of Utah's finest doughnut joints.

Fresh Donuts and Deli
In a perfect world, small neighborhood doughnut shops like Fresh Donuts and Deli would be on every street corner. The smell of sweet sugar glaze and deep-fried dough hits your nose as soon as you open the door, and their fully stocked display case is enough to brighten anyone's morning. There's not a bad doughnut on the menu, but it's the apple fritter that makes this place a required stop for local doughnut lovers. How good can an apple fritter be, you ask? For starters, the sheer size of the fritter allows for more of that sugary, apple-y goodness to sink into the nooks and crannies of the fritter. Once you take a bite, you get a perfect balance of flavors that would rival even the most sophisticated of French pastries.
2699 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-467-8322

Banbury Cross Donuts
It's a safe bet that you can credit at least 70% of downtown Salt Lake's productivity to the doughnuts at Banbury Cross. The high-rise fluff of their raised doughnuts is legendary for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and for making the contents of every box look too good to eat. The MVP of their raised doughnut game is the cinnamon crumb, which is bedecked from top to bottom in a buttery cinnamon crumble that gleefully sticks to your lips with every bite. If cake doughnuts are more your thing, the sweet and slightly spiced applesauce doughnut will do the trick nicely.
705 S. 700 East, SLC, 801-537-1433

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  • Donut Boy

Donut Boy
This colorful West Valley doughnut shop is all about variety. All the doughnut standbys are available, but Donut Boy is on the map for its selection of creative gourmet doughnuts like carrot cake, key lime and mango filled. While their regular menu of doughnuts offers plenty of variety to chew through, Donut Boy likes to mix things up around the holidays with themed doughnuts to match any national celebration. If you're the type of person who associates doughnuts with partying, then Donut Boy is the place for you.
2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 385-528-0782,

The Big O Doughnuts - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • The Big O Doughnuts

The Big O Doughnuts
Just because someone is sticking to a plant-based diet doesn't mean they should have to give up on doughnuts. The team at Big O have perfected their vegan doughnuts—they come in small and large sizes, and all of your favorite flavors are present. Not only does Big O give traditional doughnuts a run for their money, but they also pride themselves on inventive flavors like lemon curd infused with lavender tea. Whether you're vegan or not, you'll find something delightful at Big O.
248 W. 900 South, SLC, 385-770-7024

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  • Donut Star

Donut Star
Donut Star began as a fairly basic bakery until the team built it into something incredibly special. Their traditional doughnut recipes ensure high-quality desserts no matter the time of day, but they've lately started to develop their expertise into the realm of sourdough bread and breakfast sandwiches. If you've never had bacon, eggs and cheese served up on a glazed doughnut, you're missing out. Owned and operated by longtime doughnut enthusiasts and thought leaders, Donut Star stands out for its perky pursuit of a doughnut's full potential.
213 E. 12300 South, Draper,

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  • Lehi Bakery

Lehi Bakery
It's common knowledge that the shape of a doughnut greatly impacts its flavor. It's this logic that spurred Lehi Bakery to create the square doughnut. While doughnut purists may balk at this symmetrical sweet, it's definitely worth the trip to neighboring Utah County to give it a try. Once you're in the door and have stocked up on these elusive square doughnuts, you can also try their buttermilk bars, which are oh-so-delectable when dunked in a cup of cold milk.
172 W. Main St., Lehi,

Dunford Bakers - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Dunford Bakers

Dunford Bakers
One of the oldest bakeries in Utah, Dunford is our local heavy hitter—it's not hard to find Dunford doughnuts in any supermarket or gas station throughout the Wasatch Front. Perhaps one of the reasons it's gained such a staunch following and solid presence is because their cake doughnuts are just about as good as you can get. The chocolate frosted chocolate cake doughnut is always a good bet—a thick layer of chocolate frosting coating a soft, fudgy doughnut is a chocolate lover's dream. Of course, their white cake doughnuts with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles are also fantastic. For cake doughnut fans, it doesn't get much better than Dunford.
8556 S. 2940 West, West Jordan, 801-304-0400,


Ten Under $10
Wallet-friendly ways to stretch your dining out dollars.
By Alex Springer

It's hard to be a locovore on a budget these days—but it's not impossible. We've scoured the Wasatch Front for the best budget eats that will leave body and soul well satisfied. Not only is every item on the following list locally made and satisfying to both body and soul, but they're all under $10. Let's dig in, shall we?

Hot Dogs at Nana's Sonoran - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Hot Dogs at Nana's Sonoran

1. Hot Dogs at Nana's Sonoran Hotdogs
There was a time when any local who wanted to dive into the overstuffed, bacon-wrapped glory of a Sonoran hot dog had to road trip down to Arizona. Thankfully, the Ledezma family had the beneficence to bring Sonoran hot dogs to Utah via their food truck called Nana's Sonoran Hotdogs. Their truck typically operates outside of Latino's Furniture in West Jordan on Fridays and Saturdays, but at the rate they're going, we'll likely start seeing more from them in the days to come—here's hoping, anyway.
7659 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan, 623-210-7320

2. Hand Pies at Pie Fight
Whether you're after savory pies stuffed with mushrooms and bacon or sweet pies loaded with lemon and blueberries, Pie Fight has you covered. This local bakery in the 9th and 9th neighborhood has a walk-up window to accommodate local shoppers with a sugar rush to keep them energized. For around seven bucks, you can get hand pies crafted with a textbook-perfect, buttery crust that manages to be flaky while keeping all those bodacious fillings safe inside. Any place that makes reasonably priced pie on the go is more than welcome in our local food scene.
937 E. 900 South, SLC 385-222-5373

3. The Otter Space at Space Tea
Milk tea packed with black sugar boba pearls has taken the local coffee shop ecosystem by storm as of late, and Space Tea is where you can get some of the best. Granted, they stack the deck by loading their milk teas up with soft serve and other goodies. Their signature drink, known as Otter Space, is a great example. You get the caffeine rush of a good milk tea along with a saccharine chaser of soft serve ice cream and black sugar boba. Caffeine plus sugar equals energy to spare—just snag another if you feel yourself starting to crash.
1085 S. State, SLC 385-528-0141

4. Doughnies at Mad Dough
Just when you think that doughnut innovation had come as far as it could, a place like Mad Dough completely shifts the paradigm. From a foundational perspective, their signature doughnies bear a lot of similarity to the traditional filled doughnut. But once you try them, you realize that there is so much more to chew on. The dough is impossibly pillowy and the fillings provide a wallop of nuanced flavors like strawberry balsamic and their flagship Boston cream. Forget what you think you know about doughnuts before trying this place out.
807 S. 800 East, SLC801-358-3295,

5. Kimchi Rice Balls at Bumblebee's
Bumblebee's is a bastion for East-meets-West fusion, and nothing on their menu represents that fusion as well as the kimchi rice balls. They're ideal for those who think they have tried deep fried versions of everything—spicy kimchi is incredible once it's been battered and deep fried. It's got a strong enough base flavor to complement the density of fried batter, and when you put the two together, it's pure magic.
Multiple locations,

6. Lemon Pancakes at Lazy Day Café
When you're craving a pick-me-up while sticking to a food budget, it's time to check out the lemon pancakes at Lazy Day Café. Not only are these pancakes large and cooked to golden-brown perfection, but they're spiked with just enough lemon flavor to make them feel inordinately fancy. These fluffy, flavorful pancakes are enough to give classic French pastries a run for their money.
2020 E. 3300 South, Ste. 23, Millcreek, 801-953-0311

7. The Curry Cup at Curry in a Hurry
The combo meals at Curry in a Hurry are among the city's finest representations of curry, but when you need something quick and cheap, it's all about the curry cup. You can choose chicken, lamb or veggies as the base for your curry—regardless of your pick it's the legendary sauce that makes this dish stand out. For big flavor that doesn't put a dent in your wallet, hurry up and order a curry cup.
2020 S. State, SLC, 801-467-4137,

The Crispy Tender Roll at Pretty Bird - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • The Crispy Tender Roll at Pretty Bird

8, The Crispy Tender Roll at Pretty Bird
Pretty Bird's Nashville hot chicken has become a fan favorite across the state, but their full-fledged entrees can be a bit pricey. Thankfully, devotees of spicy fried chicken can get their fix at a fraction of the price with the crispy tender roll. It's a generously sized chicken tender, made as spicy as you can handle, stuffed into a soft, buttery roll. Once you dig into one of these, you may feel the need to open up your wallet for some larger fare—don't say we didn't warn you.
Multiple locations,

9. Pistachio Cake at Biscotts Bakery & Cafe
There are plenty of excellent options to satisfy your sweet tooth at Biscotts Bakery, but the pistachio cake is the one that offers the most bang for your buck. Like all of the cakes, cookies and pastries at Biscotts, the pistachio cake relies on its understated flavors. The creamy texture of its topping along with the soft crumb of the cake hits your tongue like velvet while the pistachio flavors lilt along your tastebuds for an excellent sensory experience.
Multiple locations,

10. Golden Splendor at Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen
If you ask for a side of mac and cheese at Sauce Boss, a Southern-inspired restaurant on the edge of Draper, you'll get a funny look. That's because calling their Golden Splendor mac and cheese is a bit like calling a filet mignon Salisbury steak. This stuff is gooey, melty and rich to an almost absurd degree. You can get it as a side to one of Sauce Boss's signature dishes, but there's absolutely no sin in ordering it all by itself.
877 E. 12300 South, Ste. 203, Draper, 385-434-2433,

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  • Takashi

The Delicious Dozen
Salt Lake's essential eateries curated by City Weekly's dining critic.
By Alex Springer

Oh Mai
Skip the sandwich chains and try an overstuffed banh mi from Oh Mai. If aromatic broth and miles of slippery noodles are calling your name, the pho at Oh Mai is sure to satisfy.
Multiple locations,

Itto Sushi
You can get your fill of Japanese favorites like katsu don and flavorful toknkotsu ramen, but Itto is all about the sushi. Check out the sushi vampire with its spicy baby lobster tail or the sweet and savory Romeo and Juliet roll.
Multiple locations,

One More Noodle House
With a dizzying array of different broth, noodle and topping combos, don't let One More Noodle House's unassuming name throw you off. Their house-made noodles and fiery flavor combinations make this noodle bar one of South Salt Lake's finest.
3370 S. State, Ste. N5, South Salt Lake, 801-906-8992,

A downtown sushi bar with unmatched class and a stellar list of cocktails, Takashi is where you go when you need to make an impression. The creativity and technique on display makes Takashi one of Salt Lake's premiere sushi destinations.
18 W. Market Street, SLC,

Tonkotsu Ramen
A cozy ramen bar that prides itself on flavor combinations both traditional and off the wall—check out the WTF for an unfiltered blast of delicious pork flavors. Fans of more conventional ramen will also find plenty to slurp on at Tonkotsu.
1898 W. 3500 South, Ste. 10, West Valley City, 385-202-5241,

FAV Bistro
FAV Bistro brings an eclectic mix of traditional Thai favorites and innovative fusion dishes to its menu. A fan favorite is the massaman poutine which melds the peanutty flavor of massaman curry with some carb-loaded poutine.
1984 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay, 801-676-9300,

ChaiYo Thai Togo
Those looking for some high-quality Thai takeout will love ChaiYo. Fans of the curry rainbow are sure to find exactly what they're looking for, but don't overlook the ChaiYo fried rice, a stir fry that combines a little bit of everything for a dazzling dish.
3804 S. Highland Drive,
Millcreek, 801-890-0036

Hong Kong Banjum
A franchise with locations all over Korea, Hong Kong Banjum presents an excellent opportunity to snag Korean favorites that aren't as readily available stateside. The jajangmyeon, with its thick noodles and savory black bean sauce, is a comfort food powerhouse.
3513 S. Constitution Blvd., Ste. 100, West Valley City,

Cup Bop
It started out as a fleet of food trucks, but Cup Bop has officially taken Utah by storm. Its fast casual take on traditional Korean bibimbap, its spiciness spectrum and its enthusiastic approach to Korean food has made it a local favorite.
Multiple locations,

The Angry Korean
The Angry Korean starts with traditional Korean favorites and extends those rich flavors into the realm of tacos, loaded fries and their signature Korean cheesesteak sandwich. It's a perfect gateway into the nuances of Korean flavor.
11587 S. District Drive, Ste. 300, South Jordan, 801-307-8300,

Gourmandise - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Gourmandise

Utah's own slice of France, Gourmandise specializes in tradition. Buttery croissants, crisp almond cookies and luscious slices of marzipan cake strut their stuff wherever these bakeries are found.
Multiple locations,

Fillings and Emulsions
Billed as an eclectic Latin bakery, Fillings and Emulsions does pretty much whatever it wants. There are plenty of jewel-toned macarons to sample, along with glossy cakes and caramelized pastries that look much too good to eat.
Multiple locations,

The Baking Hive
A neighborhood bakery that specializes in traditions from the United Kingdom. Sticky toffee cakes, Victoria sandwiches and pavlovas swirled with Chantilly cream proudly hold sway like the Court of St. James.
3362 S. 2300 East, Millcreek, 801-419-0187,

Conte de Fee
The name means "fairy tale," which is exactly what you get at this Asian and French-inspired bakery. From their colorful rainbow cake to their boba tea-flavored crepe cakes, everything at Conte de Fee is filled with fluffy, whimsical delight.
7695 S. 700 East, Midvale,

Les Madeleines
The bakery that brought the rich, buttery Breton pastry known as kouign-amann to Utah, Les Madeleines prides itself on tradition. It's a fantastic place to brush up on your French pastry game since everything from eclairs to tarte tatin is readily available.
216 E. 500 South, SLC, 801-673-8340,

Kaiser's Bar-B-Q - SARAH ARNOFF
  • Sarah Arnoff
  • Kaiser's Bar-B-Q

Pat's BBQ
Pat's has been a Utah institution for nearly 20 years, and in that time their menu has evolved to take the best aspects of traditional barbecue and insert them into burgers, sandwiches and even salads. You can't go wrong with any protein on the menu, but that smoked meatloaf is to die for.
Multiple locations,

Kaiser's Bar-B-Q and General Store
A little piece of Texas right in Downtown Salt Lake, Kaiser's is the kind of no-frills barbecue that newbies and aficionados alike can get behind. Ribs, brisket and pulled pork are all smoked to perfection onsite, and you can pick up a few roadside tchotchkes while you're here.
962 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-355-0499,

A local barbecue joint that has quickly spread across the Wasatch Front, R&R BBQ is one of Utah's culinary success stories. What began with competition-winning ribs has flourished into a fast casual barbecue spot that never skimps on quality.
Multiple locations,

Charlotte Rose's Carolina BBQ
As the genesis point for barbecue as we know it, Carolina barbecue must not be overlooked. The team at Charlotte Rose's takes this barbecue discipline seriously, and fans can find all kinds of vinegar and mustard-based sauces that let the smoked meats stand on their own.
792 E. 3300 South, Millcreek,

The Sugar House Barbeque Co.
Our resident Southern-inspired barbecue joint, Sugar House Barbeque combines its own special recipes for dry rubs and sauces with Southern classics like jambalaya and pulled pork mac and cheese.
880 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-463-4800,

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  • Lucky 13

Crown Burgers
Arguably the inventors of the pastrami burger, one of Utah's comfort food staples, Crown Burgers has built a small fast-food empire along the Wasatch Front. Crown Burgers doesn't skimp on their pastrami, but don't worry—no one will judge you getting a Junior Crown Burger on your first visit.
Multiple locations,

Lucky 13
For fans of over-the-top burgers like the peanut butter slathered Nut Butter Burger, look no further than Lucky 13. This pub turned burger emporium has long been recognized by locals as one of the best places to check out for some cold beer and enormous burgers.
135 W. 1300 South, SLC, 801-487-4418,

Proper Burger
Right next door to Proper Brewing Co. is one of downtown Salt Lake's most inventive burger joints. You can get old favorites like the Plain Jane, but Proper Burger's strengths lie in their more creative offerings like the kimchi and miso-topped Rising Sun Burger.
865 S. Main, SLC, 801-906-8604,

Cotton Bottom Inn
This beloved pub at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was recently restored by a local restaurant group for one reason and one reason only—the garlic burger. Garlic burgers at Cotton Bottom are events in and of themselves with their gigantic proportions, gooey cheese and melty garlic aioli. It's well worth the price of post-burger garlic breath.
2820 E. 6200 South, Holladay, 801-849-8847,

Apollo Burgers
It's the Texas bacon cheeseburger, with its crispy onion rings and hickory barbecue sauce, that puts Apollo Burgers on the list. Its balance of all the classic flavors that make us crave burgers in the first place makes this a go-to destination for local burger fans.
Multiple locations,

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club

SLC Eatery
In both its concept and execution, SLC Eatery has continued to defy the expectations of local diners. With a continually rotating menu and a dim sum-style dining cart making the rounds each evening, every visit is a new experience.
1017 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-7952,

Laurel Brasserie & Bar
Salt Lake's swankiest hotel—the Grand America Hotel—couldn't do without an equally swanky restaurant. Laurel's hybrid of European and contemporary American food and its lush décor make it the perfect spot for a special occasion.
555 S. Main, SLC, 801-258-6708,

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club
Those after a bit of fun and games will absolutely love Flanker. Experts at curating delicious small plates and tasty cocktails, Flanker lets diners engage in virtual golf, karaoke and plenty of other social diversions.
6 N. Rio Grande St., Ste. 35, SLC,

Carson Kitchen
This Las Vegas import has brought every bit of The Strip's style. Its menu takes its foundation from Southern comfort food, but it's all been reinterpreted to match the excess of Vegas. Make sure to save some room for the glazed doughnut bread pudding.
241 W. 200 South, SLC, 385-252-3200,

Copper Onion
For decades, Copper Onion has been a Downtown dining institution. Its approachable but hip interior and its classic contemporary American cuisine have made Copper Onion one of Salt Lake's most revered restaurants.
111 E. 300 South, Ste. 170, SLC, 801-355-3282,

Those eager to explore the nuances of Greek food have come to rely on Manoli's for their local fix. It's got familiar favorites like dolmades and keftedes along with less common fare like the braised pork afelia and the seared branzino lavraki. Its locally sourced take on Greek cuisine and its finely curated cocktail menu make Manoli's an excellent spot for a night out.
402 E. 900 South, Ste. 2, SLC, 801-532-3760,

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Gracie's

The rooftop patio at Gracie's coupled with its excellent location for downtown people watching makes this gastropub one of the most entertaining spots to grab a drink and a bite in the city. It's also a great spot to take in some live music or watch the game.
326 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-819-7565,

Cliff Dining Pub
If you find yourself a bit south of downtown and want a great view of the Wasatch or Traverse mountains, then Cliff Dining Pub has you covered. It's complete with an excellent menu of elevated pub favorites along with a Sunday brunch that is sure to chase away the Sunday scaries.
12234 S. Draper Gate Drive, Draper,

Strap Tank Brewery
The Outlets at Traverse Mountain is one of the best places in the state to shop 'til you drop, and there's no better place than Strap Tank Brewery to seek out refreshment. They've got a wide range of craft brews on tap, and their dining menu is diverse enough to match. Plus, you can't go wrong with the antique, roadside attraction décor.
Locations in Lehi and Springville,

High West Saloon
Located in the heart of Park City, High West Saloon is the gastronomic extension of one of Utah's most venerated distilleries. Their award-winning spirits are always worth sampling, and their selection of elevated pub food will be sure to satisfy the most discerning of tastes.
703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300,

The Garage Grill
If the hot rod aesthetic and extensive cocktail menu don't appeal to the restaurant-lover in you, then the sushi nachos should do the trick. The Garage Grill is ideal for those looking for something low-key and casual that doesn't skimp on quality.
Locations in Draper and Herriman,

Greek Souvlaki - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Greek Souvlaki

The Other Place
While you can get an excellent American breakfast at The Other Place, its heart belongs to traditional Greek comfort food. It's the local go-to for Greek favorites like moussaka and pastichio, or even a savory gyro to go for a quick Mediterranean lunch.
469 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-6567,

Greek Souvlaki
This local institution has become a mandatory visit for those seeking true gyro enlightenment. Since the early 1970s, Greek Souvlaki has been perfecting its gyro recipe. The best example of this is the Philly Gyro that borrows a few notes from cheesesteak sandwiches and adds them to the classic gyro lineup.
Multiple locations,

O'Falafel Etc.
The name says it all with this longtime Sugar House favorite. The falafel on their famous sandwiches and platters is a perfect blend of flavors and textures. Those in the mood for something sweet will also want to check out their homemade baklava.
790 E. 2100 South, Ste. 100, SLC,

Those after Middle Eastern food with a bit of fine dining razzle dazzle need look no further than Mazza. Whether you're looking for flavorful starters like muhammara or a marinated kabob platter grilled to perfection, you'll find only good things at Mazza.
1515 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9259,

Banking on the universal appeal of doner wraps and other monsters of Middle Eastern street food, Spitz has turned a flavorful fast-casual concept into a statewide obsession. The housemade doquitos are an explosive fusion of Middle Eastern flavors into an egg roll appetizer, and the street cart fries must be seen to be believed.
Multiple locations,

Osteria Amore
With an eye for nuanced Italian cuisine, a wine list to match and an excellent patio near the University of Utah, Osteria Amore has it all. It's fine dining for those who can live without the starched tablecloths and elaborately folded napkins.
224 S. 1300 East, SLC, 385-270-5606,

Valter's Osteria
If you're famous and happen to be visiting Utah, there's a good chance you'll end up here. Everyone from Hugh Jackman to Utah Jazz players know and love Valter's. When you want to pull out all the stops and indulge yourself, there's no place better.
173 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-521-4563,

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Caffe Molise

Italian Village
This cozy neighborhood restaurant has been serving up traditional Italian favorites like lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs for decades. Its claim to fame is the Pizza Bender, a calzone-like entrée that wraps the good stuff on a pizza in a thin crust before it goes into the oven. Great spot for casual fans of Italian food.
5370 S. 900 East, Murray, 801-266-4182,

This Italian market and deli whips up the best muffaletta sandwich in the state, hands down. Its other deli favorites that incorporate all the good stuff like Genoa salami, mortadella and prosciutto to fantastic effect are also worth checking out. Plus, if you're in need of any high quality European ingredients for your own cooking, you can score it all here.
Multiple locations,

Caffe Molise
Caffe Molise is at its best when it's serving up its famous paninis, antipasti and pasta dishes for the business lunch crowd Downtown. That's not to say it isn't also a low-key place to enjoy some top-notch Italian fare for dinner—once the sun goes down, their patio is absolutely magical.
404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-364-8833,

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Red Iguana

When you're in a post-club haze and in search of late-night sustenance, nothing looks quite as inviting as an overstuffed arepa. The crew at Arempa's are no strangers to nocturnal nourishment, and their generous portions are satisfying enough to get even the most exhausted diner through the night.
350 S. State, SLC, 385-301-8905,

Venezuela Mia
Operating one of the finest grills in town, Venezuela Mia dives deep into Venezuelan hospitality and culture with their larger-than-life cachapas. For the newbie, cachapas are soft corn tortillas folded around melty cheese and whatever grilled meat will suit your fancy. Just remember to come hungry.
9460 S. Union Square, Ste. 104, Sandy, 801-831-6420,

Red Iguana
A local favorite for decades, Red Iguana's claim to fame comes from its variety of mole, each of which contains its own rich tapestry of flavors. It may take some time to land on your favorite, but once you do, be prepared to have strong cravings on the regular.
Multiple locations,

Santo Taco
Santo Taco takes everything you love about street tacos and packages it in a chic space right out of the barrio. Whether you're in the mood for a plate of cochinita pibil tacos or need a monstrous carne asada burrito, Santo Taco will have something to drool over.
910 N. 900 West, Ste. B, SLC, 801-893-4000

La Garnacha
A niche restaurant that specializes in the regional cuisine of Mexico City, La Garnacha is our local source for the pambazo. It's a sandwich dipped in chili sauce stuffed with potatoes and chorizo, and it's excellent. Come for the pambazo, but don't overlook the gorditas and quesadillas.
5418 W. Main St., Herriman, 385-695-5871,

Seasons Plant Based Bistro
Picture your favorite Italian restaurant. Now, picture the same thing without meat, eggs or dairy. Sound impossible? Then you need to check out Seasons Plant Based Bistro. They've put a plant-based spin on classics like baked ziti and even pepperoni pizza, and it all tastes fantastic.
1370 S. State, SLC, 385-267-1922,

Mark of the Beastro
Seitan worship is on the menu at this Downtown vegan diner. In addition to comfort food favorites like mozzarella sticks, burgers and breakfast burritos, Mark of the Beastro has perfected a recipe for plant-based chicken and waffles that perfectly captures the right kind of sweet and savory miracle.
666 S. State, SLC, 385-202-7386,

In addition to its already stellar selection of plant-based comfort food, Salt Lake City is also home to Monkeywrench and its menu of dairy-free ice cream. Many a skeptic has come away from the creamy, flavorful and sophisticated concoctions from Monkeywrench completely rethinking their entire worldview.
53 E. Gallivan Ave., SLC,

Yumz Vegan Bakery and Café
Looking for plant-based Mexican food? If so, Yumz has you covered. They do everything from chili verde to quesadillas to warm, gooey birria tacos. They also cover dessert like tres leches cake and Napoleons. For both sweet and savory offerings on the plant-based spectrum, you can't do much better than Yumz.
3490 S. State, SLC, 801-590-8092

Vertical Diner
Salt Lake's plant-based pioneer, Vertical Diner has been doing vegan comfort food for years. Their celebrity-named burgers are always a safe bet, but it's the dude cakes that keep diners coming back. Two giant pancakes topped with signature "sauzage," grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms and fries that get smothered in gravy. Remember, there aren't any calories because it's vegan.
234 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-484-8378,

  • Derek Carlisle
  • The Pie

The Pie
Whether it's game day or Tuesday, the pizzas at The Pie are always picture perfect. Opting for thicker crust with piles and piles of toppings—see The Mountain of Meat for reference—The Pie represents the pinnacle of American pizza evolution.
Multiple locations,

Bricks Corner
Touting slabs of Detroit-style deep dish pizza, Bricks Corner is the place for pizza connoisseurs who think they have seen it all. Not only does the restaurant rely on an unexplored realm of the pizza medium, but they're putting toppings like Italian beef, truffles and Spam on their signature pies—you've got to see (and taste) it to believe it.
1465 S. 700 South, SLC, 801-953-0636,

Sergio's Pizza
The original Sergio's has been doing business in New York since the mid-70s, so this Utah expansion is a great place to get traditional New York-style pizza and pasta. Their combination specials make them a popular spot to check out for big events, or you can just pop in and snag a slice of whatever suits your fancy.
3537 W. 11400 South, Ste. A, South Jordan, 385-346-1968,

Serving up both New York and Sicilian pies, Villagio is another local import all the way from the Big Apple. The thick, sauce-heavy Sicilian pies are the way to go here—one slice can usually do the trick for pizza fans of any appetite.
3144 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-410-4355,

Pizza Nono
Those after the wood-fired sensibility of a Naples pie will appreciate the nuance that Pizza Nono provides. The simple margherita is a classic, but the Rocket Man and Beehive pies are signature creations that are worth checking out.
925 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-702-3580,

Mahider Ethiopian - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • Mahider Ethiopian

Mahider Ethiopian
Ethiopian food is all about community, sharing and eschewing traditional utensils, and Mahider is the best place for that experience locally. Traditional Ethiopian stews, greens and other flavorful offerings are on the menu, all of which is served with rolls of spongy injera that is used to scoop up all the goodies on your plate.
1465 S. State, Ste. 7, SLC, 801-975-1111,

BFF Turon
The crew at BFF Turon turned their mobile catering business into a storefront that celebrates Filipino flavors and culture. Filipino food doesn't shy away from the acidic, spicy and vinegary flavors that are showcased in their adobo dishes. Some egg-roll style lumpia on the side make this a great way to experience Filipino eats.
8860 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan,

Saffron Valley
The Saffron Valley empire has become one of Utah's most consistently tasty Indian food experiences. Whether you're checking out Indian street food at their South Jordan location or taking a dip into more upscale dining with their Sugar House spot, fans of curry, samosas and mango lassi will be right at home here.
Multiple locations,

Horn of Africa
This local restaurant captures the flavors of Somalia and East Africa, a cuisine that is defined by its use of pasta and expertly grilled meat. The fettucine here is a great pick—think of the flat noodles you're familiar with topped with bone-in goat meat. It's all served up in a cozy neighborhood spot known for its friendly service.
1320 S. Swaner Road, SLC, 801-908-5498

Feldman's Deli
Utah's prime example of a traditional Jewish deli, Feldman's is our pick for skyscraping Reuben sandwiches, rich matzo ball soup or golden potato pancakes. It's also a great spot for live music on weekends—nothing quite like enjoying towering sandwiches while listening to some local tunes.
2005 E. 2700 South, SLC, 801-906-0369,

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They Riff Among Us
City Weekly's music MAVEN divines her year's 'must-see' local artists.
By Erin Moore

Every town has its own legendary performers. Sure, the musicians on this list could easily head for the coasts and make it to the big time. They're that good! But for whatever reason, they've chosen to put down roots in the 801 and connect with their local fan base. That gives us all ample opportunities to partake of their musical gifts. Here are 10 local performers you should make a point to see in the coming days. Be in the know and catch them live, so you can say you knew them when.

1. Pixie & The Partygrass Boys
If you love folk at its ripping and roaring-est, you have to make sure you see Pixie & The Partygrass Boys. One of the most beloved bands in Utah, they're popular for a reason. Their strong musical chops have carried them through two albums and an EP that are toasty warm as often as they run fiery hot. The five-piece make use of wild string instruments and the charisma of their lead singer, "Pixie," to blow their shows up to proportions that easily fill venues both large and intimate alike. For links to stream, plus videos of their live performances, visit:, IG @partygrassmusic


2. Worlds Worst
Contrary to their name, Worlds Worst are not the world's worst band, but indeed a pretty good rep for what the SLC garage rock scene is churning out these days. The young four-piece have started out strong with two EPs, the latest of which, EP2, features super catchy songs like "Balloons," a melodic builder that crashes into catharsis that can be felt in the crowd if you see it live—you might get blown up like a balloon, in fact. Reminiscent of heavy, emo-adjacent rock from over a decade ago, Worlds Worst is bringing the best of it back—with their own style, of course. For music links and show dates, follow at: IG @worlds_worst


3. Cop Kid
What happens when a folk artist with a penchant for melancholy and an uninhibited, hyper pop producer team up? An unexpectedly perfect union. Marny Proudfit and Boone Hogg are the two such figures who make up Cop Kid, a distinct and danceable electronic project that balances Proudfit's low, husky and honest voice with Hogg's imaginative, bright synth pop. Proudfit comes alive in this world of swirling color, and Boone (who has a solo project in superyoungadult) comes down to earth a bit in songs that paint vivid vignettes of anxiety, nervous commitments and, of course, love. For ways to stream and shows to see, follow at: IG @copkidlives


4. Courtney Kelly
If you're riding the wave of women rappers dominating the genre lately, Salt Lake City has our very own rep for the powerful new moment in hip hop. Courtney Kelly is a local rapper who puts the "fire" in spitfire, and on her latest release A Vendetta of Love, she plays the role of tough and fine leading lady, becoming the embodiment of a supreme player in love on songs like "Playa Like Me." You can see her performing all around town. For dates and ways to stream, follow her at: IG @courtneykellyxi


5. Jacob T. Skeen
Ever seen a one-man band? Let alone one with incredible style? Jacob T. Skeen is our own local one-man bandman, and he does his thing remarkably with slicked back hair and a suit on, looking right out of a 1960s boy-band showcase, with all the instruments mashed together into his solo lap instead. Skeen specializes in rockin' rockabilly tunes, where the guitar snarls ominously and the drums pound with vigor, all while he sings. The dark, rumbling songs on his debut album Death, Thou Shalt Die are almost unbelievably dynamic for someone playing guitar, drums and tambourine at the same time, but that's just Skeen. Don't miss out on the live spectacle, and more importantly, the jams. Follow him at: IG @jacob_t_skeen


6. Jazzy Olivo
Once you've heard the voice of Jazzy Olivo, you can't forget it—no matter what genre she's singing. Despite her name, Jazzy is not only into jazz (though she excels at getting into the swing). The Dominican singer has been singing since she was 3 years old, and since then, has made a name for herself everywhere from SLC to Mexico. Her repertoire ranges between blistering soul to easygoing island-minded tunes—switching between English and Spanish, too. While she has only a few singles on Spotify, you can hear her performing around Salt Lake City, especially in venues like the Gallivan Center and the Excellence Concert Series that presents there. Keep up with new music and show dates from Olivo at: IG @jazzyolivo


7. Vincent Draper & The Culls
If there was an album by any locals made specifically for brooding over a crush, it's Vincent Draper & The Culls' latest release, 2021's Night Light. The band has always specialized in a smoldering, Americana sound, but on Night Light, that sound found new focus in romance. The album is a slow burner, and minimalism takes them to emotionally crushing heights—the kind that you feel when you're falling hard in love and every moment feels significant. All members of the band have been making music in many different projects in SLC for years, and vocalist Carson Wolfe ("Vincent Draper") really shines on the album, baring a raw honesty and yearning that folds you right into each song's flickering vignette. The basslines growl with a low anticipation while the guitar lines keep things bright as a night light in a darkened room. The whole album feels like staying up too late, drinking a few with somebody new and special, and if not, sitting and fantasizing about it instead. You can stream it online, and keep up with the band's many frequent local dates at: IG @vdandthecs


8. Lord Vox
Psychedelic music is alive and well in Salt Lake City, and it's partly due to the existence of bands like Lord Vox. The three-piece band specializes in grand and sweeping psych rock compositions that can be as stormy as they can be sunny and sweet—that's thanks to bright guitar tones mixed up with the drama of vocalist Nahum Reyes' declarations. He makes statements as simple as "If you want me / come around and let me know" sound like the peak of romance. Reyes is usually wearing some big, black, sweeping cape while performing, and his extravagance on stage is balanced by the stoicism of expertise displayed by his bandmates on bass and drums. While their music alone is enough to sweep you away, their shows often feature impressive graphics that enhance the psychedelic vibes. Stream them wherever you stream and follow them at: IG @lordvoxmusic


9. Little Moon
In the style of artists like Joanna Newsom, local artist Little Moon (Emma Hardyman) lives in a world of magic and whimsy all of her own creation. Her complex and rich compositions are transportive, and if you listen to her music, you're leaving our very ordinary world for her much more interesting one. Robust with plucking strings, thin and sparkling brass, spirited guitars and the soaring, dizzyingly high and bold voice of Hardyman herself, her music will carry you off. You can get a taste of it by listening to her 2020 debut, the album Unphased, a clever title for an even cleverer album—the moving and emotional songs will make you wonder why the early 2010s obsession with big-band, folk-infused indie went out of style. But more than anything, any listener will marvel at Little Moon's ability to bring tinkling, twee instrumentals to such high grandeur. Whether you love folk music or not, Little Moon is a deft songwriter, one well worth seeing perform live, too. Stream her music wherever you stream, and don't forget to look up her enthralling NPR Tiny Desk submission on YouTube. Keep up with Little Moon at: IG


10. Sophie Blair
If the new generation of pop is what you're after, look no farther than Sophie Blair, an up-and-coming pop artist who flirts with hyper pop just as often as she employs her viola in her unique and compelling songs. On her first two EPs, released over the last three years, she brings lush and innovative layers of texture to songs about living with intense emotions and attachments. She's also got some understreamed pop bangers that belong on your party playlist, like "Don't Be Like That!" and "Are You Thinking About Me?" that are supremely danceable and oh-so fun. To keep up with this budding young artist, and to know when to see her live, follow her at: IG @sophiexblair


11. The Backseat Lovers
Utah is home to many acts that "make it," and the latest one that seems to be getting there is The Backseat Lovers. After winning the fortune-making Battle of the Bands in Provo at Velour, the band has found rapid success, going on world tours even, and selling out big local venues like The Depot. The boy band specializes in the kind of jangly guitar pop that has had such a hold on indie music since Mac Demarco and the like took over, and they even have a signature song dedicated to their old stomping grounds. "Kilby Girl" references the kind of cool girls with fake IDs that hang out at SLC's oldest and most well-loved all-ages venue, Kilby Court. The homage to one of their early practice grounds has brought them viral status, and that's also lent even more of a legendary sheen to the local venue. To keep up with their busy tour schedule, follow them at: IG @the.backseat.lovers

Raunch Records' Brad Collins - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • Raunch Records' Brad Collins

Record Stores
Get Your Groove on
Salt Lake's record shops are a music lover's Lounge.
By Erin Moore

Yes, music streamers, record stores still exist! You may not have purchased a CD since the '90s or a vinyl LP since the '70, but record stores still make the rocking world go round. Not only is vinyl highly collectible but thanks to nostalgia and a growing number of vinyl-only labels and events like Record Store Day that spark re-releases of major labels, vinyl is a hot commodity. There's nothing like the soulful sound of a needle dropping on your favorite LP. Plus, album covers with their art and descriptions are something you can't find online or on a jewel case.

Salt Lake's record shops are not just purveyors of vinyl—each one caters to its own crowd, offering multiple genres and an array of products. With that in mind, here are a few of Salt Lake's vinyl mainstays. Stop in and find something special you didn't know you need.

Peasantries + Pleasantries
Come for: Rarities, ambient, experimental, electronic, jazz, noise, modern indie rock, all in vinyl and rare pressings, but also in cassettes and even CDs.
Stay for: Of late, it's P+P+P—Peasantries + Pleasantries + Pastries, thanks to local sweets slinger Mad Dough teaming up with the shop to supply record shoppers with more than just ear candy.
807 S. 800 East, SLC
IG @pleasantlyslc

Raunch Records
Come for: The noisiest damn shopping experience you've ever had while you hunt for even noisier punk and metal records.
Stay for: A glimpse at what pre-development Sugar House used to be. Plus, skate gear, scary tees and merch at the back of the shop that all the cool kids already know about.
1119 E. 2100 South, SLC
IG @raunchrecords

Graywhale Entertainment
Come for: Its famously knowledgeable staff and to experience shopping at a Utah music institution, all in the modest and approachable Graywhale digs.
Stay for: Graywhale's robust used CD collection, plus movies, books and games. Find some vintage games for your old PS4 and play while you listen to your new record.
1773 W. 4700 South, Taylorsville
4062 Riverdale Road, Ogden
IG @graywhaleslc

Diabolical Records
Come for: A variety of psych, shoegaze, punk, indie and DIY records.
Stay for: The selection of local artists in the mix, plus frequent updates from trade deals (you can sell or trade your own records with them anytime), cassettes and zines, pins and other pieces of apparel and merch available all the time at the shop.
238 S. Edison St., SLC
IG @diabolicalslc

Kevin Kirk, owner of the Heavy Metal Shop - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • Kevin Kirk, owner of the Heavy Metal Shop

The Heavy Metal Shop
Come for: Well, heavy metal, of course, and the experience of stepping into one of SLC's most legendary music spots.
Stay for: The iconic Heavy Metal Shop hoodies that are basically synonymous with SLC music culture. Also, Heavy Metal Shop hot sauce, among other niche gifts (sweatsuits anyone?).
63 Exchange Place, SLC
IG @theheavymetalshopsaltlakecity

Owner Sam Cooke Randy's Records - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Owner Sam Cooke Randy's Records

Randy's Records
Come for: Their famously immense record collection—the largest in Utah. From oldies to new releases, you can find whatever you need.
Stay for: A piece of SLC history, in that Randy's is a family business that's been around since 1978. Head for the bins on the floor for a crate-diggers experience.
157 E. 900 South, SLC
IG @randysrecordshop

Sound & Vision Vinyl
Come for: Collectibles! This suburban record shop has long been the place to go for fans of The Beatles and other classic rock icons.
Stay for: Unique merch, as in bar stools with the Grateful Dead skull on them or luggage emblazoned with the seals of Bowie and Queen.
3444 S. Main, SLC
IG @soundandvisionvinyl

Heading out of town? Check these places out on your next road trip.

3hive Record Lounge
Come for: A blogger boom-era blog turned record shop with regular trades and pre-orders as well as inventory available at their downtown Provo shop or on their website.
Stay for: The occasional show, Downtown Provo Art Stroll special pop-ups featuring local artists and collaborations with Provo's other small businesses.
50 E. 500 North, Ste. 105, Provo
IG @3hive

Lavender Vinyl
Come for: A solid small biz shopping experience in Ogden's charming and historic downtown, with bins stocked full of classics and a locals section alike.
Stay for: Turntables and accessories, really cool merch (in particular their tie-dye "Lavender Menace" tees) and some of the most enthusiastic Record Store Day participation in the state.
123 25th Street, Ogden
IG @lavendervinyl

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Ogden's Own Madam Patrini - STEVE CONLIN
  • Steve Conlin
  • Ogden's Own Madam Patrini

Raising the Bar
As more local distilleries come alive, the Beehive is becoming the Boozehive.
By Erin Moore

Even in 2022, in a state with a large number of resident teetotalers, outsiders assume that Utah doesn't know its booze, but the truth is, we do. Not only do we have a growing number of inventive distilleries up and down the state, but drinkers can readily imbibe our locally produced spirits—whether at your local watering hole, the tasting bar in the local distillery, or at home, after a successful trip to the liquor store. Read on for the full scoop on how to fill your coupe with locally made spirits.

Of All the Gin Joints
Gin, that magical clear elixir made with juniper berries and other botanicals, is booming as big brands and local craft distilleries continue to innovate with distinctive flavor profiles and new-school botanical formulas.

From the well of your favorite bar or on most state liquor store shelves, you can find the locally made and handcrafted gin (and rum and vodka) of Dented Brick Distillery (3100 S. Washington St., South Salt Lake, 801-883-9837,

Another dynamic and interesting gin includes the richly spiced Madam Pattirini Gin, with a quirky label that includes the likeness of Brigham Young's gender-bending son, Morris, in drag as he performed (convincingly) as an Italian opera diva in the 1880s. This small-batch gin made by Ogden's Own Distillery (615 W. Stockman Way, Ogden, 801-458-1995, doesn't need the novelty tag to attract drinkers—it's won an international spirits award and continues to wow seasoned gin drinkers tempted to underestimate Utah's liquor distilling prowess.

You can also head down south to Murray where Holystone Distilling (207 W. 4860 South, Murray, 503-328-4356, makes both a dry, British-style gin in their 114 proof (57% ABV) Bosun's Navy Strength Gin and a tantalizing Cerulea Gin, a concoction of lavender, citrus, vanilla and cedar flavors that starts off a naturally sourced delightful indigo color that magically changes colors in a mixed drink as the pH level varies.

Another standout on the local scene is Beehive Distilling (2245 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-259-0252,, with its lineup of gins, including their approachable, floral Jack Rabbit Gin, which, when aged in a charred French Oak barrel, becomes their equally delicious but deeply different Barrel Reserve Gin. They even put out a limited stock seven-year-aged version in February, which, at press time, is most definitely sold out.

Drink it: At Beehive's distillery bar from the chic but understated seating, where you can watch the distillery cat, Gimlet, through the glass wall as it wanders among the gleaming stills. Or, enjoy frequent live music and food trucks while sampling a variety of cocktails made with great creativity and flair. (Ever tried a kimchi-inspired cocktail?)

You can find even more gins across the spectrum of dry, juniper-forward, aged or generally tinkered-with products such as the Oomaw Gin at New World Distillery (4795 E. 2600 North, Eden, 385-244-0144,; the mountain sage-imbued gin at Hammer Spring Distillers (3697 W. 1987 South, SLC, 801-599-4704); the Green Ditch Gin at Eight Settlers Distillery (7321 S. Canyon Centre Parkway, Cottonwood Heights, 385-900-4315, and Temple of the Moon Gin at Waterpocket Distillery (2084 W. 2200 South, West Valley City, 385-202-5725,

Sugarhouse Distillery - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Sugarhouse Distillery

Oh, Whiskey, You're Me Darlin'
Here's the most popular category for Utah distillers: good old-fashioned whiskey. The jumping off point would have to be at High West Distillery (27649 Old Lincoln Highway, Wanship, 435-649-8300,, which got its start in 2006 as Utah's first legal distillery since 1870. Since then, it's grown to include the High West Saloon in Park City and High West Distillery on Blue Sky. Their vintage-looking glass bottles are some the most recognizable in Utah. Known for smoky favorites like the blend of scotch, bourbon and rye that is Campfire, standbys like Rendezvous Rye and American Prairie Bourbon, High West is a whiskey maker many Utahns know and love.

A relative newcomer by comparison, Sugar House Distillery (2212 S. West Temple, Ste. 14, South Salt Lake, 801-726-0403, deserves your interest—and your taste buds. Their rye and bourbon whiskeys are some of the most dynamic around. They also offer special sippers, like the Boilermaker Bourbon series, which is transferred from charred American oak barrels to finish in Uinta Brewing's Cockeyed Cooper (barleywine) barrels—a full-circle moment for the distillery, which lends its used barrels out to local breweries like Uinta all the time. Sugar House's American take on a Scottish Single Malt Whisky earned them a gold medal in the 2019 San Francisco Spirits Competition.

Bourbon and rye fans alike will find something to love at any of our other whiskey distilleries. There's the spirits and pie-matching bar at Alpine Distilling Pie Bar (364 Main St.—entry at the corner of Swede Alley & 4th; Park City; with the distillery at 7132 N. Silver Creek Road; 435-200-9537, Or enjoy Cottonwood Heights' Eight Settlers Distillery's impressive take on the Wild West-meets-the second Industrial Revolution theme that dominates their distillery bar space. Further south, at Outlaw Distillery (552 W. 8360 South, Sandy, 801-706-1428,, Sandy residents can savor their no-nonsense whiskeys and moonshines.

Drink it: At the Tap Room (2021 S. Windsor, SLC, 801-484-6692, where, though named for its beer taps, they offer an expansive collection of Japanese whiskeys on top of their regular booze selection. The comfortable and unassuming neighborhood bar in Sugar House is the perfect place for whiskey nerds to sit back with a sipper, whether imported or distilled down the road at one of our own distilleries.

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  • Rabbit & Grass Blanco

Agave Got the Blues
It's difficult to get "real" tequila that's produced anywhere outside of Mexico, because outside Mexico, spirits made with 100% blue agave aren't legally able to call themselves tequila. But that doesn't stop creative distillers from sourcing blue agave and experimenting with it to make delicious spirits. New World Distillery in Eden is doing just that, too, with their Rabbit and Grass Agave Spirits, which come in both blanco and reposado varieties. Their blanco spirit—with its Weber blue agave brought in straight from the Jalisco area of Mexico—is an experimental beverage, fermented with champagne yeast, that captures all of the fruit-forward flavor of agave. At this time, New World is the only distillery in Utah making its own agave spirits.

Drink it: At any of our local craft cocktail establishments—Bar-X, Alibi Bar & Place, Copper Common and Undercurrent, or try some smoky mezcal. To bring home New World's goods, they're usually available at a state liquor store, but there's no harm in making a journey to Eden to get some for yourself at their bottle shop, where their limited-release items sell out fast.

Landlocked Rum
Despite our desert surroundings, Utah is home to several local rum makers, including Distillery 36 (2374 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-983-7303), which jests with the local religion with its awarding-winning Brigham Rum. They've gained accolades at the International Spirits Challenge, New York Spirits Competition and others. For special occasions, or wintry ones that call for toasty drinks, reach for their Spiced Brigham Rum, which adds hints of nutmeg, citrus, clove, vanilla and cinnamon to the mix of 100% sugar cane spirit.

You can also find spiced rum from Sandy's Outlaw Distillery, plus their more experimental Vanilla Bean Rum and Coffee Rum—all of which sound like they'd be welcome in some exciting tiki drink or a hot chocolate. And don't sleep on the other fantastic local picks available around town, like West Valley's Waterpocket Distillery's Añejo Rum aged in bourbon and French white wine casks (!) and Sugar House Distillery's award-winning Silver Rum.

Drink it: At a tiki bar, of course! For a cool and chill night out or afternoon thirst-quencher on the patio, head to Water Witch (163 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-462-0967, They usually have a sweet daquiri or punch on their menu, and you can request any rum-filled, heavily garnished classic cocktail you can think of. If you crave huge pineapple leaves and fragrant flowers rimming your beverage, or just a good mai tai, head to Under Current (270 S. 300 East, SLC, 801-574-2556, where you can enjoy oceanic eats alongside their inventive drinks.

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  • Hammer Spring Habanero Vodka

The One and Only Vodka
Vodka doesn't need to be a boring spirit to toss back at parties, or to simply mix into drinks hoping it will disappear. Vodka can be a noble spirit worth tasting in your drink, and these local distillers know it. Dented Brick constructed a hole in their roof to make room for the custom-built 28-foot-high stills, which now poke through their ceiling and roof as they distill their Roofraiser Premium Vodka, which uses red winter wheat and pumpernickel rye sourced from the Utah-Idaho border. The end product is no ordinary vodka, but carries the scents of butterscotch, steamed milk and a finishing hint of lemon zest.

Hammer Spring Distillers make the only potato-based vodka in the state. And with its adaptable flavor, they also make their Habanero Vodka, a spicy take on a basic spirit that's ready-made for bloody marias, punchy summer cocktails and anything else that needs a little kick.

With a ban on Russian vodka in effect at state liquor stores, there's no better time to turn to local distilleries and their bottle shops. So don't forget to scan the shelves for Butler Vodka made by Eight Settlers Distillery; Ogden Valley Vodka made by New World Distillery; 622 Vodka made by Salt Flats Spirits (2020 Industrial Circle, SLC, 801-828-3469,; Organic Vodka made by Beehive Distilling; Sugar House Distilling's Vodka; and of course Ogden's Own Distillery, maker of the famous Five Wives Vodka.

Drink it: Vodka tops the list of popular liquors, and nowhere is it most at home than in a bloody mary. Head to Piper Down (1492 S. State, 801-468-1492, for reliably satisfying brunch options and pair them with a Bloody Piper (a bloody mary that includes a float of Guinness).

The brunch at White Horse Spirits and Kitchen (325 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-0137, lets you get your morning vodka fix with an oyster shooter complete with tabasco.

Next door at Whiskey Street (323 S. Main, 801-433-1371,, look to their entire bloody menu for 10 options to choose from—go traditional with Five Wives Vodka and Clamato juice, or go for their cucumber vodka and Guinness-floated "Prairie," or their "Michelada," which mixes Bohemian Brewery Sir-veza, Clamato and Tapatio. There are, of course, maria and whiskey variations, plus a delectable version with smoked tomatoes.

It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere
While many of Utah's vineyards and wineries can be found in our warmer southern climes, there are northern offerings, too. Enjoy a variety of blended wines from around the world at Old Town Cellars (408 Main St., Park City, 435-649-3759,, and in Layton, The Hive Winery and Brandy Co. (1220 W. 450 North, Ste. 2, Layton, 801-546-1997, specializes in fruit wines.

In Sandy, the famous French restaurant La Caille (9565 Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942-1751, maintains its own 20-acre vineyard and winery at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon called Chateau La Caille, from which it bottles its own wine and sells at the restaurant.

Drink it: This one's tricky. Local wine makers have a hard time selling at state liquor stores because of the high product mark-up (88%, which is higher than any other state), so locals are best off buying straight from the premises.

Another option to enjoy local wines is to hit up a local wine bar such as BTG Wine Bar (404 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-359-2814, for one of the largest wine lists in the city. Or, head to the newly opened Casot (1508 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-441-2873,, a small and charming wine bar that, by day, functions as a co-working space.

Simplicity Cocktails - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Simplicity Cocktails

Get Some Cold Ones
We're not talking about beer. Like canned wine, canned cocktails are a growing trend that's both wonderfully convenient and just as refreshing as the real deal. Companies like Simplicity Cocktails (3679 W. 1987 South, Building 6, 801-210-0868,—the first to start canning cocktails in Utah—have expanded from the basics like Moscow mule, gin and tonic, vodka soda and margaritas to spin-offs like flavored vodka sodas, gin rickeys and a bourbon mule, plus, just straight-up bourbon in a can, for pouring, mixing and even re-sealing.

Salt Flats Spirits, the sister of Salt Flats Brewery, is now offering a Bartender to Go series of canned cocktails that include more summery standards like Long Island Iced Tea, Sex on the Beach, a bourbon lemonade, gin spritz, tequila sunrise and Cuba Libre (rum and Coke).

Ogden's Own is also getting in on the game, canning their Madam Pattirini Gin into a gin and tonic, and their Porter's Fire into a whiskey and cola-style drink.

One of the best locally canned craft cocktails, though, is from Desolation Distilling (2245 S. West Temple, SLC, 385-259-0252), which are made and distilled by Beehive Distilling. It's difficult to preserve lime juice in a can, but their lime juice stays fresh in all three of their offerings—a mule made with their organic vodka, a gin rickey and a gin and tonic. You can find them at your local liquor store, or better yet, visit the distillery in person.

Waterpocket Snow Angel Kümmel - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Waterpocket Snow Angel Kümmel

Rounding Out Your Bar
Whether you're running a cocktail bar or just trying to keep your home bar well-stocked, no liquor shelf is complete without a few tasty liqueurs and niche spirits to round things out. The sweet concoctions below are incredibly varied, and can give any cocktail more interest and zing.

Popular local bottles include Ogden's Own's Porter's Fire, a spicy take on Fireball that's common at bars around Salt Lake. Just don't pay too much attention to the label's depiction of Orrin Porter Rockwell when you put it on the shelf—those hellish eyes might follow you like a painting in Scooby Doo.

Ogden's Own Distillery also makes Ogden Underground, an approachable liqueur that falls somewhere between the licorice-sweetness of Jägermeister and the minty zing of amari-like Fernet Branca—mix it in with some cola for a quick and easy treat.

Another alternative to a liqueur standard is Wasatch Blossom, New World Distillery's answer to the cocktail staple that is Luxardo cherry liqueur. Theirs diverges by distilling Montmorency tart cherries with their signature Utah agave spirit.

In Utah County, Clear Water Distilling (564 W. 700 South, Ste. 401, Pleasant Grove, 801-997-8667, makes an interesting line of spirits, putting a lot of trust in their consumers by eschewing most traditional labels. Their products—named for famed trailblazers—are mixtures of different processes and ingredients. Their Lorenz spirit is a rum that uses the "botanical basket" typically used in gin-making. Another, Joséphine, is Eau de Vie meets Rum-so-sweet. Bringing together fresh fruit purees and fine molasses, the brandy is given a short rest in toasted oak barrels for a final product that is intended to be reminiscent of sangria. Clear Water's third funky spirit, René Rye-Magnac, is a cross between brandy and whiskey, specifically French Armagnac and Spicy American Rye Whiskey. Everything they're doing is pretty wild, so take a chance on these experimental works, even if they can't be categorized. Clear Water's products are not available at the DABC liquor stores, but you can find ways to buy on their website.

In addition to their fruit wines, don't miss out on The Hive Winery's mind-boggling array of offerings—meads, hard ciders, Eau de Vie, spirit-soaked fruit, brandies, liqueurs and "other spirits." The "others" include spirits distilled from mead (also aged), jalapeno and garlic, India pale ales and imperial stouts. While many are available at the state liquor stores, you're better off visiting the winery's store for the more inventive offerings.

Waterpocket Distillery is the star of this category though, because they've gained quick local fame for their experimental liqueurs, even though their house spirits are fantastic, too. Their Snow Angel Kümmel, for example, adds a whole laundry-list of herbal flavor to the mix of the typical caraway base, folding in green anise, fennel, coriander and peppermint—a cordial meant for light sipping. Amaro lovers will want to try all of their Toadstool series, too: Notom, Pennelen and Box-Death Hollow are all named for parts of Utah's wilderness, and all share vibrant varieties of botanicals, herbs and bittering agents that make for delightful mix-ins or solo sippers. Add an ice-cube if doing the latter.

Drink it: Visit any craft cocktail bar worth its salt, like Seabird (two locations: Gateway Mall, 7 S. Rio Grande St., SLC, 801-456-1223; 13811 Sprague Lane, No. 210, Draper, 385-255-5473; or even at restaurant bars with good cocktail programs, like HSL (418 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-539-9999, Or, sip at home, from your now well-stocked bar.

Erin Moore is City Weekly's former music editor who bartends by day.

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  • Bewilder ESB

Craft Beer Rising
Utah's microbreweries Are Popping.
By Erin Moore

Local microbreweries are quickly becoming more than just a place to grab a pint or a crowler, but destinations all their own, perfect for sampling a limited-release barrel-aged brew, lazy-weekend patio hangs or snagging a post-work bite from one of many brewery-friendly food trucks. Read below to discover a new favorite place to feel at home and to, of course, enjoy a few cold ones, from traditional brews to crushable coolers to boozy, wild experiments in flavor and form.

Bewilder Brewing
The only bewildering thing about Bewilder is drinking their delicious ESB and then wondering why more locals don't do the style. Or bewildering collabs, like their Home Grown Graf made with Mountain West Cider, which uses locally harvested grain and apple juice to make a hopped-cider-like creation.
445 S. 400 West, SLC, 385-528-3840,

Bohemian Brewery
Come to Bohemian Brewery for their variety of fine lagers (all are winners, but especially satisfying are the Czech Pilsner, Vienna amber lager and Oktoberfest). Do stay for the cozy European lodge digs and old world eats.
94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474,

Craft Café by Squatters & Wasatch/West Side Tavern
Make a mid-day trek to Craft Café (weekdays only) to sample the best of Utah's two oldest breweries. Or imbibe on the daily at West Side Tavern, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy standards like a Hop Rising Double IPA from the former, or a Polygamy Porter from the latter, alongside classic bar eats. Also note that both Squatters and Wasatch Brewery have multiple pub locations across the Wasatch and in Park City.
5725 Amelia Earhart Drive, SLC, 801-707-9382,;
1763 S. 300 West, SLC, 801-466-8855,

Desert Edge Brewery
An understated and long-standing member of the Utah beer scene, you're best off getting their dependably tasty house brews at their brewpub in Trolley Square—where you can also bring your kids (gasp!), since they have a restaurant section for all-ages customers.
273 Trolley Square, SLC, 801-521-8917,

Epic Brewing Co.
Don't let anyone tell you this is a Denver brewery. Yes, there's a sister brewery there, but Epic started in Utah as a response to an early 2000s Utah-specific problem: no high-point beers. Making those beers (delectably) has been the name of their game since.
825 S. State, SLC, 801-906-0123,

Fisher Brewing Co.
Fisher is SLC's patio—the seats are good, the beers ever-changing, with food trucks rounding everything out. Fisher doesn't sell commercially, so you can only drink it or buy their lovely golden cans at the brewery.
320 W. 800 South, SLC, 801-487-2337,

Grid City Beer Works
Enjoy these tap pours one of three ways—from the cask, on nitro or with co2. All are delicious ways to enjoy GC's delicious beers. And don't forget to peruse their stunning menu of bar eats, which center vegan options.
333 W. 2100 South, South Salt Lake, 801-906-8390,

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Hopkins Brewing Co.
New kids on the Sugar House Block, Hopkins Brewing is right in the middle of the action on busy 2100 South, but you can take a breather from the hubbub in their taproom, with experimental brews like their Stonewall Sour Saison, or their Black Sesame Stout. Oh, and there's a well-rounded bar grub menu, too.
1048 E. 2100 South, SLC, 385-528-3275,

Kiitos Brewing
Out in the industrial underbelly of the snaking freeways is Kiitos' taproom, where cozy lights, food trucks and arcade games give the odd spot charm. Ask your bartender for half 'n' half pour recommendations.
608 W. 700 South, SLC, 801-215-9165,

Level Crossing Brewing Co.
Located in the growing South Salt Lake hub of breweries, distilleries and all things cool, Level Crossing offers innovative brews, plus woodfired pizzas and regular tunes.
2496 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-270-5752,

Proper Brewing Co.
Whether you want an award-winning Proper Beer or something from one of their more experimental taps, you can have it casual at Proper Brewing with a burger from neighboring Proper Burger, or fancy by booking a table at Avenues Proper.
857 S. Main, SLC, 801-953-1707,

Red Rock Brewing
Known for traditional brews and ass-kickers like their 8% Elephino Double IPA, Red Rock also does another thing well. If you've driven along 200 West downtown on a weekend morning, you'll know that thing is brunch.
Multiple locations,

RoHa Brewing Project
RoHa is in the pursuit of the best, and so far they've got some really reliable favorites like their Back Porch Pale Ale and its refreshing Grapefruit variation. Enjoy either at their taproom with some live music.
30 Kensington Ave., SLC, 385-227-8982,

SaltFire Brewing Co.
Another SoSoLa gem, SaltFire Brewing makes eclectic brews oh-so approachable (hello, Charlotte Sometimes Blonde Ale), and their taproom has everything else you need: sports TV, food trucks, live music and trivia nights.
2199 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-955-0504,

Salt Flats Brewery
There are many different places to enjoy Salt Flats' speed-inspired brews, at their Garage Grill locations in Draper and Herriman, or at their original tap room in SLC, which is race car themed.
2020 Industrial Circle, SLC,

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  • Plum Berliner Weisse

Shades Brewing
While Shades has made a name for themselves recently with their crazy kveik riffs—spaghetti beer just one of them—their Kveik 1 Golden Sour Ale, Plum Berliner Weisse, lagers and IPAs are some of SLCs finest brews.
154 W. Utopia Ave., South Salt Lake,

Templin Family Brewing
Whether you reach for their Ferda IPA, an Oktoberfest special or an oh-so balanced sour, TF does no brew wrong—so try a
schnit or two of a few. Their fire-warmed patio is also super spacious, and they nearly always have a good food truck.
936 S. 300 West, SLC, 385-270-5972,

2 Row Brewing
Find 2 Row in bottles all around town, because their stuff's too high-point for tap. Delicious favorites like the Dangereux Farmhouse Ale and Feelin' Hazy Double IPA pack a punch in more ways than one. Visit their taproom for all the goods.
6856 S. 300 West, Midvale, 801-987-8663,

Uinta Brewing Co.
Makers of some of Utah's favorite standbys (Cutthroat Pale Ale, 801 Pilsner), Uinta is one of the oldest brewers around, a cornerstone who've kept up with brewing trends and quality products for the past 29 years.
1722 S. Fremont Drive, SLC, 801-467-0909,

Joshy Soul & The Cool at Alibi Bar & Place - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Joshy Soul & The Cool at Alibi Bar & Place

Apres Dark
Night clubs, concert venues, breweries and pubs: For Salt Lake insomniacs, here are the places to go and people to meet.
By Erin Moore

Salt Lake's nightlife works hard to overcome an undeserved rap, namely that it's hard to come by a drink. This notion stems from the fact that half of the population of Salt Lake County identifies as Latter-day Saint—meaning, in theory, they're non-drinkers.

It's true, every legislative session, state lawmakers try to pass new laws to make it harder to operate a liquor establishment, but bar owners call them out on it. Gradually, it's dawning on the powers that be that we can't invite the world to events like the Olympics and Sundance Film Festival and not be good hosts, so Salt Lake's nightlife continues to improve (and is surprisingly robust if the truth be told).

So yes, there are numerous local establishments to satisfy every yen, whether you're in the mood to meet those you love for a trendy meal and cocktail, a spot to people watch and get your dance on or places to sip and catch comics and drag performances. Or maybe just hang out in a brewpub, distillery or wine bar for beverage-specific imbibing. Salt Lake has any number of inviting patios that can be filled to the brim on summer evenings. Conversely, you can find quiet pubs where you can chat with the bartender after work and play darts or trivia. Or how about watching a movie while enjoying beers and cocktails? With a wide range of bar experiences, there's no need to feel deprived.

Utah bars are for those 21 years of age and over, and bars can start serving at 10 a.m., seven days a week. You'll be asked for photo ID at the door or prior to being served. Don't get mad at the workers who ask for your ID, even if you look 50 years old. It's just how we roll in Utah.

You can also order alcoholic beverages at full-service restaurants (starting at 11:30 a.m.), but at restaurants, you must order food to go with your drinks. (At bars, there is no food requirement.)

And do bring a designated driver or take public transportation on your journey home. Utah's blood alcohol limit is .05% (most states are .08%), so don't tempt fate by driving home after a few drinks.

Dirty Dancing
Alibi Bar & Place
Tiny though it may be, this chic little cocktail bar on Main has become a dancing hotspot with all the coolest DJs.
369 S. Main, SLC, 385-259-0616,

Area 51
One of SLC's longest reigning goth clubs, Area 51 is the place to go if you love dancing to New Wave or dressing up for fetish-themed nights. A recent change? The formerly bi-level 18+ and 21+ bar is now just 21+—sorry kids.
451 S. 400 West, SLC, 801-534-0819,

Chakra Lounge
A slightly off-the-beaten-path spot for DJ nights and karaoke singing, the Chakra Lounge is a downtown bar to have an easygoing time with friends.
364 S. State, SLC, 801-328-4037,

Club Karamba
Shimmy to reggaeton, bachata, cumbia, salsa and more at this Sugar House Latin dance hot spot.
1051 E. 2100 South, SLC,

The Complex
Come here for the hippest in rap, pop and all the rest of the stuff youngsters like—and dance to it all.
536 W. 100 South, SLC, 801-528-9197,

The Great Saltair
Known for hosting big EDM events like Das Energi, this venue is far-out in more ways than one.
12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna, 801-250-6205,

A cavernous, high-tech dance space for the best regular EDM partying in the city.
149 Pierpont Ave., SLC, 801-702-9014,

The Red Door
Downtown SLC's old-school classy martini bar with live music.
57 W. 200 South, No. 102, SLC, 801-363-6030,

Lovers of Sky can actually reach the sky if they journey up to the new rooftop patio venue, Trellis. With food, cocktails and music, it's the perfect warm weather getaway.
149 Pierpont Ave., SLC, 801-702-9014,

Twist Bar
Two words: dance dungeon. Brave the long line for entry into the cavernous party bar.
32 Exchange Place, SLC, 801-322-2300,

Come for the free line-dancing lessons and stay for local country bands and Jell-O shots.
3360 S. Redwood Road,
West Valley City, 801-972-5447,

Dives, Taverns, Pubs, Oh My!
Bar Named Sue
The so-called "Swiss army knife of bars," there's something for everyone at both of Bar Named Sue's locations, including karaoke on Mondays and Thursdays plus live locals on Fridays and Saturdays.
3928 S. Highland Drive, Millcreek, 801-274-5578; 8136 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-3222,

Cheers To You
You'll always have an interesting time at Cheers To You, especially if you go on a weekend night or partake of the mind erasers. Come on a Friday or Sunday though, and enjoy chill karaoke from 9 p.m. to close.
315 S. Main, SLC, 801-575-6400; 7642 S. State, Midvale, 801-566-0871

Club 48
This suburban dive has been around since 1986, and besides age, it has a little bit of everything—karaoke, DJs, live music, parties and on top of it all, $7 steak on Wednesdays.
16 W. 4800 South, Murray, 801-262-7555,

Cruzrs Saloon
Many dives have lost the art and ambiance of live music, but not Cruzrs. Beers, wings and pool are rounded out by a healthy dose of live music on the regular.
3943 S. Highland Drive, Millcreek, 801-272-1903

Green Pig Pub
Besides great food and a favored rooftop patio, Green Pig Pub has Thursday Karaoke, Monday Blues Jams and more live music to please any crowd.
31 E. 400 South, SLC, 801-532-7441,

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Hog Wallow Pub
Tucked away at the mouth of scenic Big Cottonwood Canyon, find live touring and local acts here, plus good grub and a secluded patio to enjoy it on.
3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-5567,

Ice Haus
A European style beer hall with music, pool and delectable bar grub—plus a vegan menu.
7 E. 4800 South, Murray,

Johnny's on 2nd - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
  • Josh Scheuerman
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Johnny's On Second
One of SLC's most easy-on-the-wallet downtown bars, occasional DJ nights and parties go down here.
165 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-746-3334

Liquid Joe's
This famed blue bar features a lot of metal—on the walls and on the stage.
1249 E. 3300 South, Milcreek, 801-467-5637,

Pat's BBQ
While not a dive, tavern or a pub, Pat's carries the vibe, with beloved BBQ dishes and weekend live music at their smoky locale.
Multiple locations,

Piper Down Pub
This old-worlde Irish pub has killer Irish eats, brunch, karaoke and live music.
1492 S. State, SLC, 801-468-1492,

Tailgate Tavern
A new modest home for open-mic nights, plus local and touring blues and rock artists.
3550 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-290-2531,

Twilite Lounge
Visit this neighborhood watering hole for odd lounge music on Wednesdays and Sundays, plus DJ sets on the weekend eves.
347 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-532-9400,

Rock 'n' Roll/Indie/DIY
The Beehive
This local punk and DIY venue is somehow, rightfully, located at the devil's address.
666 S. State, SLC, 385-654-3116,

The Boxcar Gallery & Studios
Having just relocated from Utah County, this whimsical arts space hosts occasional parties and music sets.
509 W. 300 North, SLC, 385-429-2051

Hangar House
New on the scene, Hangar House is a South Salt Lake venue pulling in touring bands across genre spectrums.
1016 S. State, SLC,

Kilby Court
SLC's oldest surviving all-ages venue is where locals come up and big-time acts tour before they blow up.
748 W. Kilby Court, SLC,

Medium Studio
Another new venue on the block, this multi-purpose arts space sometimes hosts local avant tunes.
2006 S. 900 East, SLC, 801-810-5740,

Metro Music Hall
A mid-sized venue for touring acts on their way up, plus frequent local drag shows.
615 W. 100 South, SLC, 385-528-0952,

The Commonwealth Room
The State Room's little folky sister, The Commonwealth Room is an easygoing space to see truly good Americana, folk and rock 'n' roll.
195 W. 2100 South, South Salt Lake, 800-501-2885,

There's more to Quarters Arcade Bar than just games—their new pocket of a venue space, The DLC, is a hoppin' spot to see local gigs.
5 E. 400 South, SLC, 801-477-7047,

The International Bar and Lounge
Formerly known as Wasted Space, this new low-key dive showcases experimental, exciting music.
342 S. State, SLC, 801-893-2271,

The Loading Dock
This warehouse-y venue hosts local and touring hardcore, metal and rock bands.
1489 S. Major St., SLC, 435-690-9234

The state room - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • The state room

The State Room
One of the most beloved music rooms in the city for its ample amphitheater-style seating plus standing room, see the best of the best in Americana, folk and rock here.
638 S. State, SLC, 800-501-2885,

The Urban Lounge
One of SLC's most popular mid-size venues for touring and local acts alike, indie music lives here.
241 S. 500 East, SLC,

Biker Bars
Aces High Saloon
A somewhat new addition to the saloon scene, Aces High brings in metal and rock 'n' roll from all over.
1588 S. State, SLC, 801-906-8908,

Barbary Coast Saloon
Park your hog outside Barbary Coast and catch a game, play some pool or enjoy some of their live rock 'n' roll.
4242 S. State, Murray, 801-265-9889

The Garage on Beck
This out-of-the-way bar on Beck Street has a lot of charm—good food, regular shows and a killer patio.
1199 Beck St., SLC, 801-521-3904,

Jazz, Piano Bar & More
Brewvies Cinema Pub
What could be more chill than watching the latest blockbuster with a frothy beer or juicy cocktail in hand? You can also order eats and shoot pool afterward in the bar area.
677 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-355-5500,

  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Gracies

There's a variety of live music at Gracie's (and good food) but the Jazz Vespers Quartet are always worth catching here.
326 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-819-7565,

JazzSLC at the Capitol Theatre
JazzSLC brings world class jazz performances to this historic theater, and to all Utah jazz fans—the music kind.
50 W. 200 South, SLC, Tickets: 801-355-2787,

Keys on Main
Nothing endures like dueling pianos, or at least that's the case made by Keys on Main.
242 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-3638,

Wiseguys Live Comedy
With locations at the Gateway, Jordan Landing and in Ogden, this club hosts nationally known comics while serving up pub grub, beer, wine and cocktails.
Multiple locations,

Blue Genes
This stylish new mid-century-inspired highball bar has a lot going for it: brunch, late night bites, dancing and Wednesday karaoke nights.
239 S. 500 East, SLC, 801-364-4655,

Donkey Tails Cantina
Get some satisfying Mexican grub with your standard bar fun, which of course includes karaoke and live music at this Draper hub.
136 E. 12300 South, Draper, 801-571-8134,

Tavernacle Social Club
The beloved SLC bar was displaced late last year due to an unfortunate development project, but luckily found a new home for their famed karaoke nights.
50 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-519-8900,

Club Try-Angles
One of SLC's oldest surviving gay bars, visit this one for a piece of history, open community and, of course, karaoke and a party-friendly atmosphere.
251 W. 900 South, SLC, 801-364-3203,

Milk+ is one of the latest additions to SLC queer nightlife—whether for hot dancing or hot eats.
49 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-935-4424,

Sun Trapp
While business is paused at the time of this writing due to legal issues, here's hoping this SLC queer landmark will open again soon.
102 S. 600 West, SLC, 385-235-6786,

  • Langley Hayman
  • Why KIKI

Why Kiki
Regular drag nights, costume parties, a silent disco room, drag brunch, karaoke nights and a kitschy tiki theme make this downtown bar A+.
69 W. 100 South, SLC, 801-641-6115,

Reggae and Hip Hop
This downtown SLC spot is pretty much the place to catch local hip hop and reggae acts, plus touring DJs.
149 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-290-1001,

Speakeasy Vibes
Bourbon House
Head down the elevator inside the Walker Center and keep descending til you find the boozy little basement hub, where DJs and live music are common.
19 E. 200 South, 801-746-1005,

Lake Effect
Whether upstairs in the bar or downstairs in the Rabbit Hole Lounge, Lake Effect has about as much music as booze on their high shelves. Go for the best SLC DJs, bands and jazz nights alike.
155 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-532-2068,

Go for the prohibition-inspired craft cocktails, stay for the saucy burlesque performances.
151 E. 6100 South, Murray, 801-281-4852,

Taproom Tunes
Beehive Distilling
As if Beehive wasn't cool enough, with their sleek digs and inventive cocktail menu, they've rounded out their distillery space with semi-regular live music nights from only the coolest local artists.
2245 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-259-0252,

Hopkins Brewing Co.
Head to this little Sugarhouse refuge for not only fantastic local brews, but frequent live music of the jazz, soul and jam varieties.
1048 E. 2100 South, SLC, 385-528-3275,

Level Crossing Brewing Co.
For those who enjoy a bit of hillbilly swag with their music, don't miss shows at this fine taproom, where the stage is on a rusty, old, modified pickup truck bed.
2495 S. West Temple, South Salt Lake, 385-270-5752,

Templin Family Brewing
Head over to TF on Sundays for their Slow Pour Sundays, featuring easy-breezy vinyl DJ sets from local spinners like Adam Michael Terry and friends.
936 S. 300 West, SLC, 385-270-5972,

The Garten Cider House & Bar
Utah's most famous local cider makers have a sweet little "garten" for enjoying your fruit brews, and low-key live music in the warmer months.
417 N. 400 West, SLC, 801-935-4147,

Ballrooms, Stadiums & Amphitheaters
Abravanel Hall
Class it up and head to Abravanel for an uplifting dose of the Utah Symphony at this stunning music hall.
123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City 385-468-1010,

Eccles Theater
The soaring, swanky spot to hear the biggest of voices in touring acts and musical theater, right here in SLC.
131 S. Main, SLC, 385-468-1010,

Kingsbury Hall
A performing arts center on the University of Utah campus, this stage is also often home to well-known touring acts.
1395 Presidents' Circle, SLC, 801-581-7100,

Maverik Center
Home to Utah Grizzlies Hockey, this huge arena is where your larger-than-life legacy artists are going to blow the roof off on their anniversary tours.
3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, 801-988-8888,

Khruangbin  at red butte - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Khruangbin at red butte

Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
A seasonal spot to see big-time touring acts all summer long, with a panoramic view of Salt Lake Valley.
300 Wakara Way, SLC, 801-585-0556,

Sandy Amphitheater
One of many warm-weather arenas to catch cool touring acts in the warm summer air.
1245 E. 9400 South, Sandy, 801-568-6097,

The Depot
Downtown's hub for a variety of artists and the occasional local-who's-made-it.
13 N. 400 West, SLC, 801-456-2800,

The Union
This huge event space has an amazing light and sound system, perfect for your favorite touring act to come through.
235 N. 500 West, SLC, 385-831-7771,

USANA Amphitheatre
Venture to the west end of the valley to enjoy the open space of USANA, and whatever country, rock or pop star happens to be on stage.
5150 Upper Ridge Road, West Valley City, 801-417-5343,

Vivint Arena
Besides hosting the Utah Jazz, Vivint often makes itself a fitting home for artists who can fill a stadium.
301 W. South Temple, SLC, 801-325-2000,

O-Town Faves
A historic bad reputation finds glamor in the modern age at this multi-level bar with surprises at every level.
201 25th St., Ogden, 801-837-1665,

Funk 'n Dive
Ogden's Funk 'n Dive used to be part of the town's speakeasy scene, and that rep lives on today in that Funk 'n Dive is still underground. What's new is the music, karaoke nights and bar food that includes a vegan menu.
2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-3483,

The Lighthouse Lounge
With their unmistakable Pabst Blue Ribbon stage in one room, a bloody mary bar in the other for weekend brunch and plenty of space to either lounge or to dance, The Lighthouse Lounge is a comfortable spot for any kind of outing.
130 25th St., Ogden, 801-392-3901,

Big Boi at the Gallivan Twilight Concert Series - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Big Boi at the Gallivan Twilight Concert Series

Music Festivals
Get in Tune
A lineup of Local Don't-Miss Shows.
By City Weekly Music Editor Thomas Crone

As the "Crossroads to the West," Salt Lake is fertile ground for artists, musicians and all manner of cultural celebrations. Music lovers might be surprised at the caliber of touring bands and artists that stop here as well as the homegrown talent of local artists who perform at festivals such as these:

Spring Fest 22
Saturday, May 7
The Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna
ZaRon Ventures brings the spring with this pop, rock, reggae and hip hop festival hosted by Alex "Funny Man" Thomas. Headlined by "The Boss," Rick Ross, the festival features Common Kings, Macy Kate, Spazmatics, Kalan.FrFr, Analea Brown, James The Mormon, Mike Styles, Pur & 95 Dan, Vitus God, D Blacc, Kahmone, Native Leaves, Soggy GQ, Hollow HIll. plus a DJ Verzuz Contest with DJ Bear, DJ Teo, DJ Mezz.

Kilby Block Party III
Friday, May 13-Saturday, May 14
Library Square, 250 E. 400 South, SLC
Developing into one of the biggest new music festivals in the entire U.S., the Kilby Block Party is set for its third incarnation this year. The good news is that a host of bands such as Animal Collective, Phoebe Bridgers and Mac Demarco are slated to appear at 2022's downtown event. The bad news is that tickets have sold out. So those without tix will need to look at ticket resale sites or will have to find a sympathetic space near the stages and hope that acoustics gods smile upon them from outside the fences.

BuskerFest SLC
Friday, June 24-Saturday, June 25
Downtown SLC on Main and Regent streets and Gallivan Ave.
Held in conjunction with Open Streets, this festival encourages a stroll through three performance downtown "pitches." BuskerFest "celebrates the city's rich Vaudeville history by bringing the living tradition of busking and street theatre to downtown." This event is free and all-ages. Bring some tip cash for the performing artists and consider supporting nearby restaurants and cafes. While musical acts are central to the fest, expect various performances, including comedy, dance, juggling and interactive arts.

Get Funky Festival
Friday, May 27-Saturday, May 28
The Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna
Due to the pandemic, last year's Get Funky Festival was an outdoor affair at Saltair with an emphasis on house music. As of press time, the "phase 1" status reports for Get Funky were still coming together, including important details like artist announcements and even the chance for an indoor/outdoor, multi-stage approach to the festival this year. Interested parties ought to keep an eye on event's website and social pages.

Red Butte Outdoor Concert Series
Kicks off May 17
300 Wakara Way, SLC
Since 1987, Red Butte Garden's Outdoor Concert Series has welcomed music-lovers with name acts across the genres, boasting some 30 shows each summer. This year's full lineup will be announced April 12 but season openers include KALEO and special guest Bones Owens on Tuesday, May 17, followed by Trey Anastasio Band on Friday, May 20.

Utah Blues Festival
Friday, June 10-Saturday, June 11
The Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, SLC
The Utah Blues Festival is the keystone event of the Utah Blues Society, an 8-year-old 501(c)(3), "dedicated to expanding the reach of the blues genre throughout Utah." This year's fest lives up to the mission by bringing in two days' worth of entertainers from around the nation, including Marquise Knox, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Curtis Salgado and others. Local artists like Eric Heideman will also make appearances. Individual tickets for $40-45 (Friday-Saturday) are available, as are $80 weekend passes.

Twilight Concert Series
July 14, Aug. 6, Aug. 11, Aug. 16 and Sept. 2
Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, SLC
The 2022 version of this three-decades-and-change series will feature acts such as Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Julien Baker, The Decemberists, Cuco and Shakey Graves. Individual tickets and season passes are available. Events are booked under auspices of Salt Lake City Arts Council and S&S Presents. Individual $10 tickets tend to sell out well in advance of show dates, so would-be attendees should keep an eye on the website or socials.

Hive Music Fest
Aug. 6-7
Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, SLC
Originating in 2020, the Hive Music Festival is poised to become a top hip hop music festival. This year's all-ages event will feature Post Malone as the Saturday headliner and SuicideBoys as Friday's headliner. DaBaby, Don Tolliver, Trippie Redd and Jack Harlow will also perform.

Das Energie
Friday, Aug. 12-Saturday, Aug. 13
The Great Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna
The 10th annual dance music festival takes place at the Great Saltair, with the 2022 lineup coming together at press time, compliments of dance music specialists V2. Two-day wristbands and tickets will be available; the best chance to stay current on this one is to check the event's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, all dubbed DasEnergieFestival.

Urban Arts Festival
Friday, Sept. 2-Sunday, Sept. 4
Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, SLC
Live music, on-site food tents/trucks and the presence of vendors/makers make this festival one of the livelier free festivals on SLC's late-summer calendar. Free, thanks to the efforts of the Utah Arts Alliance.

Spoon at the Ogden Twilight Concert Series - JOSH SCHEUERMAN
  • Josh Scheuerman
  • Spoon at the Ogden Twilight Concert Series

Out of Town
Ogden Twilight
Tuesday, June 21-Saturday, Oct. 1
Ogden Amphitheater, 343 25th St., Ogden,
Counterpoint to Salt Lake's Twilight Concerts is Ogden's series kicking off with Bleachers on June 21. Later in the season, look for Local Natives/Lucy Dacus, The National, Beach House, Modest Mouse and more. Tickets at

Deer Valley Music Festival
Friday, July 1-Saturday, Aug. 6
2250 S. Deer Valley Drive, Park City
Held at various Park City venues, this series features pop and symphonic crossovers into many other musical genres, serving as the summer programming for the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera. Hot Sardines, Lakisha Jones and Stewart Copeland (of The Police) are among the acts for this summer's showcases.

Moab Music Festival
Monday, Aug. 22-Friday, Sept. 16
58 E. 300 South, Moab,
The venerable southern Utah series returns for another season "celebrating old and new chamber music, jazz with a Latin flavor, and traditional music from around the globe." Stunning outdoor venues are the rule, including some spaces that require additional travel via boat or bus. Acts and venues were being determined as of press time, with details becoming available at the fest's website.

For more concerts, festivals and upcoming music events, visit

click image 06_content_lifestyle.png
  • Courtesy Photo

Get Your Chant on
breathe deep and raise your vibration at Meditation SLC.
By Lexie Levitt

With his unassuming demeanor and ski goggle tan, Rob Wallace in no way resembles your typical guru. By day, Wallace is a snowboarding instructor and landscaper, but by night, he leads groups in a unique and engaging form of meditation.

Wallace was introduced to yoga, meditation and Eastern philosophy while working at a bike shop in Colorado. As his life began to change in profound ways, he felt inspired to share his practices, so when he moved to Salt Lake City from Colorado in 2010, he started Meditation SLC.

Wallace follows the Vaisnava tradition of Bhakti yoga which, in simplified terms, views devotion as a spiritual practice. For the past 12 years, Wallace has offered free classes and events on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. that are open to the public. Donations are accepted to help defray program costs, space rental and learning materials, but neither Wallace nor his volunteers are paid for their time.

When asked why he offers these programs at no charge, Wallace said the intent is to make the practice available to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. "It's part of the philosophy," he said. "It's part of the teaching that this practice is meant to be offered without financial obligation."

The scene at a Meditation SLC event is what you might expect at a yoga retreat, with attendees sitting cross-legged on the ground or on meditation cushions, but the auditory experience is entirely different from a silent group meditation practice. Instead of sitting quietly and observing their breath, attendees chant mantras (repeated words and phrases with a spiritual meaning or quality) and engage in a practice called kirtan, which is call-and-response singing with live musical accompaniment.

According to Wallace, this form of meditation actively engages the body and the senses in order to focus the mind. Teaching practices that are simple and approachable is important to Wallace because his ultimate goal is for individuals to develop their own personal, daily meditation practice.

To that end, Meditation SLC offers three programs, the first—Introduction to Mantra Meditation—teaches three meditation methods (Gauranga breathing, Japa chanting, Kirtan call-and-repeat chanting) as well as the philosophy behind mantra meditation and its potential benefits.

"Some people who attend are more interested in just doing the meditation. They're not quite as interested in the philosophical aspect of it," says Wallace, "so we offer a program that's available for that interest."

The Thursday night class is for those wanting to understand the philosophy behind the practice. In that class, selected passages from the Bhagavad-Gita, an ancient text in the yogic tradition, are read and discussed.

Finally, Sunday Night Kirtans provide an opportunity for like-minded individuals to meet one another and engage in the call-and-response meditation practice. Wallace makes a concerted effort to explain what meditation is and why it can be beneficial at the beginning of every class for all newcomers.

Meditation SLC's events attract people of varying ages and from diverse backgrounds. According to Wallace, the common thread is that attendees are looking to move in a more positive direction in their lives. Some simply seek to relax and slow down. Others come in hopes of quieting an overactive mind and fostering a greater sense of peace, calm and equanimity. Still others are searching for answers to the deeper questions in life. "People looking for any of these different things can attend our programs and take interest in it to whatever degree they want," Wallace says.

During winter months, Meditation SLC's events are held at Meet Me on 33rd in the Millcreek area. In the summer, events are held on the lawn of Sugar House Park. The Tuesday and Sunday evening events are also livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram for those who cannot attend in person. Interested persons can sign up for events on

The pandemic caused some minor changes to programming. Masks are optional for those who have been fully vaccinated (without proof of vaccination, masks are required), and the vegetarian meal that typically follows Sunday Night Kirtan has been temporarily discontinued but is expected to resume in the summer.

Meet Me on 33rd
1565 E. 3300 South, SLC

Sign up for events:
Learn more on Facebook:

  • Team Toyota

The last word w/
Nathan Chen
By jerre wroble

At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Salt Lake's native son, Nathan Chen—the "Quad King"—broke records with his electrifying "Rocketman" free skate that earned him a gold medal. He also helped the U.S. win a silver in the team event (which has yet to be awarded awaiting the outcome of a doping investigation involving the Russian team). Completing his medal collection was the bronze he earned for the same team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018.

Chen is also a three-time World Champion (although he did not compete this year due to a "nagging injury"). Salt Lakers only wish him well and consider the 22-year-old Chen as "family." After all, he took his first breath here. You can still find You Tube videos of Chen as a 3-year-old, skating at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex near the U of U. "I don't remember much," he says of those early competitions, "but I remember loving the challenge of skating and trying to learn new things. I wanted to show my improvement to my coach, and I was simply trying to skate my best!"

Chen went on to attend Hawthorne Elementary and even West High for a short time before relocating to Irvine, California, to train for the Olympics.

The ice rink was his domain, but so was the dance studio. Training with Ballet West Academy for many years, Chen graced the stage of the Capitol Theatre as a cast member of Ballet West's annual Nutcracker performances.

After the 2018 Games, Chen enrolled at Yale University, where he reportedly studied statistics and data science. He took a pause from school in 2020 in advance of the Beijing Olympics.

What is next for Chen? We caught up with him to find out what his plans are.

One thing is locked in: Chen's celebrated return to Utah at the 2022 Stars on Ice on Wednesday, May 18, at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. Joining Chen will be Alysa Liu, Jason Brown, Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Mariah Bell, Mirai Nagasu, Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, Madison Chock & Evan Bates and Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier. (Tickets start at $30 and are available at

You've said in other interviews that the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City inspired you to pursue Olympic skating. But you were barely 3 at the time!

Nathan Chen: I watched the games on TV but was too young to enter any venues. My sisters were "Children of Light," so they got to perform in the opening ceremonies.

How did Ballet West fit into your early years?
Ballet is a great fundamental for all styles of dance and movement, and that's definitely the case for skating as well. I always was a part of the annual Nutcracker production. I loved that performance as my whole family had participated in it through the years. Our end-of-year recital was also always a fun way to finish off the ballet year. Dancing was a way to improve my skating, and so skating always took precedent for me. I did thoroughly enjoy my time at Ballet West, though.

Where is "home" these days?
College [at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut] will be home for me after I finish the tour.

In 2018, our then-county mayor, Ben McAdams, designated May 16 as "Nathan Chen Day" in Salt Lake County. Might we look forward to your return visit each May so we can mark the occasion?
Absolutely! I will be back in SLC coincidentally right around that time for Stars on Ice.

What do you look forward to doing when you get back to Salt Lake?
I'm a huge Utah Jazz fan, and that is a great reason to visit.

Any tips for newcomers to Salt Lake City?
Of course, enjoy the mountains and snow! I lived really close to H-rock, so I would walk around that from time to time. Utah has a lot to offer, and sports/recreation is abundant.

Do you crave any Utah foods?
Crown Burger was always be a go-to. I'm a fan of Red Iguana as well.

What big goal is next on your list?
Graduate college!

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